JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Jeremy from South Korea:
We all hope the Jags improve greatly but that has yet to be seen. It's nearly pathetic that we become hopeful or optimistic to finish second in the AFC South this year. The goal is to win the Super Bowl. Anything less is falling short. That should be our perspective. It's time for the Jags' decade-and-a-half rebuilding to be over.
John: I see your point, extreme though it may be. And by the way, the Jaguars haven't been rebuilding for a decade and a half, although I do understand it seems that way sometimes. But to address your point: Of course the goal is to win the Super Bowl. Of course that's the objective. Of course ideally all of the developing and potential will come together and the Jaguars will make a huge jump this season. Is that possible? Sure, it is. But I'm a little more realistic and reserved by nature, and the Jaguars have won nine games over the past three seasons. They won three games last season. They remain at their core a young team and young teams often need to learn as they develop. Second place and a push for .500 would mean a significant step forward for this franchise. It wouldn't be the objective or the goal, but it certainly would show the progress the team needs – and that the fans very much deserve.
Fred from Portsmouth, VA:
Play them in JAX or play them in London, I don't care. I hate any team playing the JAGS equally.
John: Now, that way of thinking, I do understand.
Rob from Orange Park, FL:
As a season-ticket holder, I don't care where the Jags play the Packers next year. I just want them to win. A win in London in front of an "international" audience would be great! Just win, baby, win.
John: I understand that way of thinking, too.
Zurka from Section 123:
Big O, at the risk of beating a dead horse in the dead zone, I want to ask why you wouldn't prefer to see the Jags take down an elite team like the Packers here in Jax? Not saying the Packers and Jags have any rivalry, but in my experience, the 'Bank got a lot rowdier back in the late 2000s when we beat Indy and the late 90s when we beat the Steelers. Getting to be there and watch the Jags take down an elite team like the Packers would be an awesome experience! Love what you do. Keep it up.
John: I think the horse has been beaten, but whatever … we still have a few days until quarterbacks and rookies report. I have nothing against the idea of the Jaguars beating the Packers in Jacksonville, and I have no doubt a home victory such as that would be awesome for fans. I'm not arguing that idea; I'm simply saying that to me it would be far more important to watch my team than worrying about the identity of the opponent. If I'm a fan, I just want to see my team win, whether it's at home or away or against the Packers or the Titans.
Joy from Section 103:
Do you have any idea how long we work on The Look? It starts young and by puberty the appropriate Look for each occasion is perfected.
John: You had to work on it? I always figured it was an evil gift from above.
Thomas from Jacksonville:
If Robinson is still our rushing leader this year, Hurns leads the team in TDs again and Henne starts two games, would that be a disastrous sign for the Jags?
John: How many yards will Robinson gain? How many touchdowns will Hurns score? How will Blake Bortles play in the 14 games he is healthy?
Jason from North Pole, AL:
Asked for a cup for free water at McDonald's then filled it with soda. #shadricksightings
Patrick from Duval:
Mr. O, My wife and I bought our first set of season tickets last year after having been lifelong Jaguars fans. This year now we upgraded to three so we can bring our daughter with us. We fully support the London games, but if there is any truth to moving the Green Bay game next year overseas I will be greatly disappointed. Help us out, man.
John: I don't know what the end game is on this. Jaguars Owner Shad Khan reportedly is reluctant to have the Packers game in London in 2016. As far as a timeline on knowing the outcome, we're a ways out – probably October or so. I do know if you're looking to me for help for this – or for pretty much anything – you're in tough shape.
Matt from Stroudsburg, PA:
What is the ultimate goal in spreading the NFL brand internationally? The logistics of moving a team overseas has been debated and largely considered very unlikely. Is the NFL hoping that eventually there will be enough interest for Europe to start its own league? Or is the entire purpose of overseas football to sell more merchandise and charge even higher prices for tickets at Wembley a couple times per year?
John: The goal is to have an expanded presence, which means more fans and more revenue. If it would work logistically, I think there's little doubt the NFL would like teams to be located in Europe. I think that's difficult logistically, but can the game grow in popularity significantly? Sure, it can. Soccer is growing in this country, so there's no reason the NFL can't grow there.
Matt from USA:
Most agree four preseason games are too much. The players want the TV money if they play more meaningful games. The NFL wants to reach global fans. Solution: Expand the NFL schedule over several more weeks and have teams play games every two-to-three Sundays. There will still be games every Sunday, but now you have a wider TV market, even locally, because there will not be so many games being played at the same time. Further, the players would get a little extra time between games to rest and heal from the previous game. There may need to be a week or so less of OTAs, minicamp, or training camp, but that is offset by more time between individual games to practice. Thoughts?
John: Nah. The offseason is long enough, and adding more bye weeks to the season really drags out the season.
Tim from Mandarin, FL:
Something I keep hearing over and over again: "Jacksonville being a small market." Can you expand on this please? It is a HUGE city with many people. Why is it considered a "small market?"
John: There are many people, but in order to fill EverBank Field, a larger percentage of people in the market must go to games each week than in almost any other market in the NFL. It also is a more transient community than most NFL markets. Those are a couple of the big challenges.
Brian from Charlottesville, VA:
What would you say a successful season looks like for Luke Joeckel this year? I agree he wasn't horrible 100 percent of the time last year, but grading offensive lineman seems really subjective. I did recall saying "What in the world was Joeckel doing" on what felt like 5-to-10 times per game on both run and pass plays. I think if Joeckel has 5-10 plays where he dominates his man and only one or two where you wonder what he was thinking, that would be an enormous leap forward. Is this a reasonable jump to expect Joeckel to make?
John: It's hard for me to say how many times everyone wondered "what in the world was Joeckel doing?" That's a little broader a concept than I can answer. The reality at left tackle – and anywhere on the offensive line – is your mistakes stand out more than your successes. Joeckel needs to make fewer noticeable mistakes, and I think there's a good chance he will improve within that framework.
Chris from Titusville, FL:
Let's say Blake never signed his contract his rookie year, and went into the regular season unsigned. Do the just continue to negotiate until he signs?
John: Yes, and he wouldn't play or practice until he signed.
Casey from Jacksonville:
Hello, John … first-time writing, long-time follower. My question is back to the offensive line: do you think the line is going to give up more or less sacks? Then are they going to be more consistent?
John: I absolutely think the Jaguars will allow fewer sacks this season. That should have happened anyway, but after the offseason additions it absolutely should. And yes, the Jaguars' offensive line should be more consistent – and significantly better – for the same reason.
Chris from San Marco:
The only way I could see a Tokyo game working is this. Schedule a bye week prior to playing in Japan. The week following the game in Japan, schedule a game in Hawaii. The following week, schedule an away game on the west coast. That would be a rough stretch to say the least, but that could be a workable option.
John: "A rough stretch …" ya think?
O-Zone: To say the least...
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Jeremy from South Korea: