JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Marcus from Jacksonville:
You've maintained for the long haul that Justin Blackmon's situation will not have an effect on the Jaguars' drafting plans, and I tend to agree. However, I've heard more and more lately from "experts" that they wouldn't be shocked if the Jags drafted a wide receiver at No. 3. Let's say, for arguments sake, that the Jags have a pass rusher and wide receiver rated the same and both are available at No. 3. In that case, if Dave Caldwell learned a week before the draft Blackmon was reinstated, do you think that information would sway him in the direction of a pass rusher instead of a wide receiver at No. 3?
John: No. Remember to view the draft from a general manager's point of view. A general manager is drafting for the long haul – in part because there usually is a limit to how significantly a rookie will contribute, but mostly because you must plan your roster around draft picks being key pieces of your roster for at least a three-to-four-year span. I don't know if Justin Blackmon will return or not. I also don't know what his future holds. I do know that considering his history, a prudent general manager can't plan a four- or five-year period around him. In that sense, his status absolutely would have no effect on the Jaguars' thoughts with the No. 3 selection.
Al from Orange Park, FL:
Don't you think that from a competition standpoint, the Jags DO have a home-field advantage in London by now? Our coaches, staff and players have the most experience in making the trip and preparing for such a game. Certainly more so than the folks in Buffalo.
John: The Jaguars absolutely should have the home-field advantage when playing at Wembley Stadium. That's true because of all the reasons you cite. And if they indeed play a game a year in London for the foreseeable future – which all indications are will be the case – they absolutely must build that into a home-field advantage. But it's hard to call a place an advantage when the team has lost big twice at that place without a victory. For the Jaguars to have a home-field advantage at Wembley, they first have to play better there.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville:
Exactly why is it that Jacksonville needs London to be viable in Jacksonville? If the market over there is so good, move the team. Otherwise, stop this dependency on a foreign venue in the name of "franchise viability." I would love to understand why OUR market is the only one that needs this London option to be viable? There are a number of teams with much worse attendance issues than ours and we have heard NOTHING about the Jags being moved in years. Bottom line: the London game will eventually alienate the home fan base unless it is understood it is a temporary arrangement. They are called the JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS. Not the JACKSONVILLE GLOBETROTTERS.
John: I don't know the situations of other teams in detail; mainly because the situations of other teams aren't that pertinent to the Jaguars' situation. This is a unique market because of its size, but because Jaguars Owner Shad Khan is committed to this market for the long term, he has sought unique ways to solidify it here. Part of that has been the stadium improvement. Part of it has been developing relationships with local businesses and city leaders. Part of it has been a commitment to the game-day experience. As far as other markets, perhaps their local revenue is a mess and they just haven't thought of playing a home game in Barcelona; I don't know. I do know a huge reason you don't hear about the Jaguars moving is the local-revenue situation has improved in recent seasons. And a big reason the local-revenue situation has improved is the London game. The bottom line is things around this franchise have taken a dramatic step forward in the last two years, and the London game is a big part of that.
Garrett from Casper, WY:
Don't most, if not all, teams have difficult parts of the schedule? So is there even any reason to complain? Let's just win some games and enjoy some football! #DTWD
John: Complaining is cool. People like it. #DTWD
Bryan from Jacksonville:
What happened to the "significant part of the local-revenue equation" being the actual winning? The media has been speaking "Year Three" since Dave Caldwell and Gus Bradley have been hired. In fact, Pete Prisco even said before last season that "this is about 2015." Isn't time to prove their worth and do their part to solve the "local-revenue equation?"
John: Your question seems to have a tone to the effect that someone, somewhere has vehemently disagreed with your point. I don't quite know why.
Sonny from Melbourne, FL:
I have a solution for the London games that will make everybody happy (well, most/maybe some): alternate home and away games in London. That way we miss one home game every two years. Is this a possibility or as a visiting team is the income from the game is not as great?
John: No. The local revenue boost comes from the Jaguars being the home team in London.
Romeo from San Diego but born in 904:
The NFL did not show the Jaguars any love with eight weeks not playing in "The Bank." The teams they want in the playoffs have an easier road. Conspiracy theory to keep the Jags down?
John: No. There's no conspiracy theory (at least not in terms of the NFL's thinking toward the Jaguars). The Jaguars are actually playing one time at EverBank Field during that span, and they also have the London game and a bye – so, it's not as if the league made an all-out effort to stick it to the Jaguars and put them on the road.
Brian from Jacksonville:
O Man, I totally get what you're saying about the national media, the Jags, and how winning will bring more positive coverage. But I was reading one analyst's breakdown of the schedule. He wrote a paragraph or two of somewhat serious analysis for every single other team. When it came to Jacksonville, his comments were: "We're being treated to another riveting matchup between the Jags and Titans on Thursday night in Week 11. Get your popcorn ready." That's it. That's the whole quote. Jacksonville is the only team treated to such snark. Not Oakland. Not Tampa. Doesn't that just burn your chaps?
John: Not really. Part of that is snark, and it also sounds as if part of it is the writer simply not knowing – or caring – enough about the Jaguars to write anything else. I'd criticize the writer for that, but it may have been laziness, and I'm all about that.
Emil from Tallahassee, FL:
John, all I want from the draft this year is for it to not be the high point of the Jaguars' season.
John: Fair point. I think there's a good chance you will get your wish.
Rob from Brunswick:
If you could "draft" one non-quarterback from any team in college or the NFL to play for us this year, who would it be and why? I personally am going with Beastmode®. But I admit I gave this very little thought.
John: J.J. Watt. Because he is a rare, once-in-generational player whose skill-level allows him to make an impact far bigger than his position usually allows. He also makes your team significantly better when he's on the field and those guys are rare outside the quarterback position.
Steve from Defuniak Springs, FL:
The NFL does realize the Jaguars can play someone besides the Titans on these Thursday night games?
John: Not until the two teams start improving, they don't.
Jerry from Tamarac, FL:
In order to be the best you have to beat the best. What's all this love for Philip Rivers, anyway? Yes, he's a good quarterback but I don't consider him greatness by any means. Even if he is you're not going to get anywhere chasing your tail. BRING IT!
John: I do consider Philip Rivers great, but that doesn't mean you're wrong. Yes, it's OK to beat the best. Philip Rivers. Andrew Luck. Tom Brady. Peyton Manning. These players are allowed to lose games. It's OK to beat them.
Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
In reading some of center Wisniewski comments, he mentions that he loves the position because he can analyze the line format. Are centers allowed to instruct or change something when the play has been set?
John: I can't speak for every center in the NFL, but generally speaking, yes.
Dave from Oviedo, FL:
O-man, you're not going to believe this, for Jags stayed put at the 3 spot, Leonard Williams was unavailable and they didn't take Dante Fowler! If you were a betting man, who do you think they selected?
John: Under your scenario, I think the Jaguars take Amari Cooper or Kevin White. I'd lean toward Cooper.
Jon from Restless in Korea:
Dave Caldwell is that smart. Did you know that he is the real brains behind the flux capacitor, which we all know is what makes time travel possible? #Realmanofgenius
John: Wasn't that Boselli?
O-Zone: True genius
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Marcus from Jacksonville: