JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Eddie from Jacksonville:
I think people need to stop worrying about our pass rushers getting enough playing time. If the defensive line improves and wins on first and second down, the pass rushers will get plenty of opportunities to play.
John: Life offers many legitimate reasons to worry. NFL pass rushers getting opportunities to rush the passer is not chief among them. The Jaguars almost certainly will be in their nickel pass defense – the one that includes their best pass rushers – well more than 50 percent of the time next season. That's because pretty much all NFL teams are in nickel the majority of the time. It almost has become a misnomer to call a team's first-down defense the "base" defense. It's often true that the nickel, pass-defense is on the field far more than any other package. However the line fares on early downs, the Jaguars' pass rush will get opportunities. Plenty of them.
Carl from Section 115:
NFL Network recently proclaimed while announcing Allen Hurns and Telvin Smith as Top 100 players that the Jags have five – yes, FIVE – players in the Top 100. What's your best guess on the other three? I say Allen Robinson, Blake Bortles and Malik Jackson. Your thoughts?
John: My thoughts are that those are good guesses.
Cam from Ottawa, Canada:
You made fun of me when I said the Jags should sign Werner.
John: I don't doubt that was among the reasons I made fun of you. I'm sure part of the reason I dismissed your proposal that the Jaguars sign defensive end Bjoern Werner was the timing of the proposal. To sign Werner in March as a key to the pass rush would have made little sense. To sign him in May in a low-risk situation is a completely different matter.
Rob from DuuuuuVaaaaaal:
O'stradomas, do you think if Dave Caldwell had anticipated Allen Hurns being listed on the Top 100, he would have given him an extension sooner? Seems like officially being deemed the 89th-best player in the league would help your negotiating power quite a bit. Bet Dave is having to rethink his offer right now. Haven't seen a kid more deserving in a long time … better pay him. I feel that rewarding your underpaid overachieving players is important to set a precedent. Your thoughts?
John: Look, let's keep some perspective on a couple of topics here. One topic is what seems to be a growing concern among fans over the Allen Hurns Contract Situation. I capitalize that to denote sarcasm, because at this point there really is no "Situation." Allen Hurns is under contract for another year and he would be a restricted free agent after the 2016 season if he is not re-signed before then. Just because something hasn't happened yet doesn't make this a tragedy or a crisis. There are no indications Hurns won't be around the Jaguars for a long time, but the sides must eventually agree to a deal that makes sense and there's no reason to think that won't happen when the time is right. The second thing to keep in perspective is the importance of the NFL's Top 100. The list is cool. It's fun. I'm glad for Jaguars fans that there are Jaguars players on it. But a list of players ranked by players is not the end-all and it's not really a great gauge of real market value. It's not actually that great a gauge of how good a player may or may not be. It's cool, offseason viewing and little more. It's certainly not something that will make Caldwell reevaluate a negotiation.
Scott from Jacksonville:
Had to scroll to the bottom to see what "Be very quiet" was all about. I was fully expecting an Elmer Fudd reference. I'm very disappointed.
John: As my father used to tell me when I wanted something he was opting not to purchase, "Son, disappointment is good for you. Builds character."
Shannon from Brunswick, GA:
I thought Bjoern was one of the male members of ABBA. I never knew he played football. Who would've thunk it?!
John: As my father used to never tell me, "Son, any day when have a chance to ponder – and indeed, mention – the male members of ABBA … well, son, that's a good day."
David from York, PA:
The past couple years we've had one or two players regarded as decent, serviceable, players step up to that next level (see: Allen Hurns, Sen'Derrick Marks, Brandon Linder). Who are the candidates for such a jump this season? I'm thinking Rashad Greene or T.J. Yeldon.
John: Good thoughts.
Brian from Charlottesville, VA:
Regarding the glaring-hole question, I feel like left tackle/left guard is an issue. Kelvin Beachum is built more like a left guard whereas Luke Joeckel is not. Beachum was better than Joeckel at left tackle, but is coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Joeckel appears to be an average left tackle when he's playing well and a player who can lose you a game when he isn't (Week 17 2015). I've also heard conversation that Mackenzy Bernadeau, Luke Bowanko and Tyler Shatley could be in the mix at left guard. Bernadeau was a free agent for a reason and Bowanko/Shatley couldn't unseat Beadles (who was downright horrendous). The left-side of our line could be a serious issue this year. Perhaps the situation isn't sound-the-alarms bad, but I wouldn't call it great. How do you think this all plays out?
John: I agree it's an issue. I believe either Joeckel or Beachum will start the season at left tackle with the other starting at guard, and I don't have a clear idea the favorite for either position. I see Bernadeau, Bowanko and Shatley as reserves if all three are on the roster.
Jarrett from Crosby, ND:
Who do you think are the three toughest players on the team? I'd say Allen Hurns, Tyson Alualu and Roy Miller, with a nod toward Poz.
John: I'd have to consider Brandon Linder … but yeah, overall … good list.
Dwayne from Jacksonville:
Oman, I am confused about Bjoern Werner and I find that to be … confusing. Jaguars.com said he's a defensive end, but the Florida Times-Union said linebacker. So, does that meld into a "Leo" or what? Maybe the defense needs a position called the Oehser, wouldn't that be awesome?
John: The "Oehser" would probably be similar to "left out," the position I played in high school. Werner was signed by the Jaguars as a defensive end and he played outside linebacker for the Colts. He is a hybrid, pass-rushing linebacker/end, which means in this scheme he's pretty much a Leo.
Bo from Dresden NC:
I noticed someone asked about people worrying about the draft picks that haven't signed … should we worry or what? Also, with Marks coming off the knee injury could he conceivably not make the squad?
John: Bo, Bo, Bo … you truly are inventing things about which to worry. No, there is no reason to worry about draft selections not yet being signed. As long as they're signed by training camp there's no cause for concern and all Jaguars draft selections will be signed well before training camp. Marks will be a year and a half removed from the anterior cruciate ligament tear when training camp begins and he was starting to play well at the end of his four-game stretch last season, so we can stop worrying so much about him, too.
Chris from St. Augustine, FL:
If Bjoern Werner spent the last few seasons playing more of a linebacker role for the Colts, does that hurt his chances of returning to the kind of form at defensive end that got him drafted in the first round? I just wonder if these players who get drafted and placed in different areas than what they are used to playing lose some of their abilities that got them there in the first place.
John: Don't get too locked into names of positions when it comes to Werner. He played pass-rushing linebacker in a 3-4 scheme with Indianapolis and will play 4-3 pass-rushing Leo end in the Jaguars' scheme. There are differences in the positions because there are subtle differences in any scheme but the similarities are bigger – and the similarity is about pass rusher. That's what Werner is – whatever the scheme.
Gator from Gainesville, FL:
I woke up from a long nap ... Then I wake up to see Caldwell and Gus Bradley haven't signed their top picks here. Want to know why? They don't respect this team. There is a certain quarterback out there all the teams are playing rope-a-dope on ... If Caldwell wised up and signed 15, all of the top picks and all of the top free agents would be fighting each other to sign here.
John: Gator's back. How awesome for us all.
Willis from Jacksonville:
Who do you think is the most handsome rookie? I like Myles Jack - he has kind eyes.
John: There's no right or wrong way to judge a draft class.
O-Zone: Those eyes tho
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Eddie from Jacksonville: