JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Jeff from Orlando, FL:
What's your opinion of the offensive line? I still think this is the weakest unit on the roster and will prevent this team from going beyond .500 this season.
John: You're certainly entitled to your opinion because the Jaguars' offensive line struggled mightily at times last season – and if you don't believe players can improve from one year to the next, your view is understandable. Your view also assumes right tackle Jermey Parnell won't be an upgrade and assumes neither guard A.J. Cann nor center Stefen Wisniewski will help significantly – and that offensive line coach Doug Marrone won't have a positive effect. I'm a pessimist by nature and I, generally speaking, am one to expect improvement to occur steadily rather than overnight. I also am one who generally believes if you make a series of offseason improvements, some will work out and some won't. So by nature I am cautious in what I expect from the Jaguars' offensive line next season. Still, it's hard to look at the offseason moves and not think it's going to improve significantly as it moves forward. That may not mean being Seven Blocks of Granite in Week 1, but it should be better and may not be the first sentence in stories on the Jaguars' weakest unit much longer. That's the hope, anyway.
Ray from Vernon:
I really hate to sound negative but ... Is there any chance the Jags will ever go back to the original uniform look? I loved the old uniforms and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone on this subject. I can appreciate the new change/approach, but the two-tone paint scheme is not good. Although the new logo is cool, the helmets are bad – but I love my Jaguars and your daily read, O-man. Keep up the great work.
John: Never say never, but it won't happen soon. I doubt the team will ever go back to the old uniform, though I personally could someday see a return to the old all-black helmet. (That's not "news," by the way; just personal opinion/speculation). None of it will happen within the next three years, though. The league mandates that teams keep uniforms and helmet designs for five years.
Hunter from Duval:
Dear John, Will Andrea from Italy marry me? Thanks.
John: According to Wikipedia, Andrea is a name for the female gender except in Italian, Albanian and Romansh, where it is male. I bring this up not to judge or to make assumptions, but to assist where possible.
John from Starke, FL:
The offensive coordinator has got to be licking his chops. Two Pro-Bowl tight ends – one the best blocking tight end and the other a very good receiving tight end – the combinations are endless. I feel the offense will be on the field longer to rest the defense, more points should be scored. General manager and head coach should also be very happy. Jags are on the rise.
John: I think Jeff would argue that the offensive line is still a very critical element to this equation, and Jeff would be right. All of that said, the tight end combination of Marcedes Lewis and Julius Thomas should be a roster strength. No doubt.
Dave from Oviedo, FL:
O-man, Wayne Weaver said firing Tom Coughlin was his biggest regret as an owner. Tony Boselli once called it "a tremendous mistake." What are your thought on this matter?
John: I think in retrospect it's very easy to say Weaver shouldn't have fired Coughlin. With the benefit of hindsight, it's easy to say Weaver should have hired a general manager and tried to convince Coughlin to stay on as head coach. That's the role Coughlin has held with the New York Giants and he has proven to be one of the best in recent decades in that role. But would that have worked in Jacksonville? Would Coughlin have accepted that? There's no way to know.
Ray from Jacksonville:
John: I heard a kicker discussing the extra-point issue. He had an interesting suggestion for field goals: the closer the field goal, the greater the points given. His reasoning is it would encourage teams to use fourth downs to try to get closer to the goal line rather than kicking a field goal. I know it won't happen, but it is an interesting concept.
John: Amazingly, it appears kickers have more time on their hands than we all thought.
Paul from Lohrville, IA:
I live in small-town in Iowa and grew up in a small town about 15 miles from where I currently live. In '98, I was 13, my parents took us on a two-week vacation to Florida. We went to Disney World, Sea World, Daytona Beach and saw some Alligators. But the best part of the trip was the drive down I-95 and catching a glimpse of where MY team played. Because of the Jaguars, I have a unique fascination with Jacksonville and hope to visit a few more times. As they say, Home is where the heart is. Duuuuvaaaal!
John: I hope you thanked your parents for that trip. And I hope for their sake there was a bar.
Ed from Ponte Vedra, FL:
I guess you are using the Duval thing like the kid in third grade that repeated everything you said to bug you. Good job.
John: I guess you are using the Duval thing like the kid in third grade that repeated everything you said to bug you. Good job. (whispers) duval.
Amata from the Marshall Islands:
My dad's favorite team was the Dolphins (player was Marino). … First NFL game I watched was with him, Jags vs 'Fins, '99 playoffs). … Been a Jags fan ever since. … So, in continuing the DUVALLLL and #DTWD theme. … I live in the middle of the Pacific (one of the dots between Hawaii and Japan) but I am and will always be DUVALLL #DTWD!!!!!
Ty from Jack Town:
Somebody hit on it already, and Duval is a mental state. Duval isn't a place. It isn't cheap seats, or a county; nor is it a stupid chant. Duval is underdog. Duval is dirty hands. Duval is luxury. Duval will be on top. #dpd (duval past death)
John: #DTWD, and what's wrong with cheap seats?
Clark from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
With the Patriots losing draft picks, do they also lose the salary-cap dollars that coincide with those picks? Give the money to all the other teams? Refund the fans who paid to see the games they cheated in? If they don't lose salary cap, then they can just sign a veteran player for the value of a rookie or extend the contract of a current player that they might lose to free agency. Not a big punishment or deterrent unless you hurt the cap structure. Thanks for your insight.
John: I get your point, although few in the NFL would see it that way. That's because of the importance NFL teams put on draft selections, particularly first-round draft choices. To understand why a first-round draft selection is so key – yes, even one late in the first round – remember that there generally are two ways NFL teams procure significant talent. One is the draft and the other free agency. The draft is generally considered the more effective way, and the first round obviously is the premium round. So, while New England indeed can still sign a free agent or re-sign a current player, the Patriots nonetheless have lost a significant piece of talent-acquisition equity.
Steve from Nashville:
In a no-back set the receivers will be tight end Julius Thomas and wide receivers Allen Hurns, Marqise Lee, Rashad Greene and Allen Robinson … that sounds pretty good.
John: There's a lot of potential in that group. It's a young group and – in theory, anyway – should be developing and improving before our eyes. That does sound good, and it sounds as if it will interesting to watch.
Scott from Jacksonville:
I can't stand change for the sake of change, so I'm no fan of moving the extra point back. I also hate the college overtime rules. I change the channel when games go to overtime. Am I getting old?
John: Yeah, probably, but what are you gonna do?
Lucky from Ponte Vedra, FL:
My colleagues up in Nashville say that "Duval" sounds perfect for the Jacksonville area; they say it sounds like a typical, rundown trailer park in Jacksonville. Apparently, they think it's classless.
John: I often have written that I'm not overly concerned about what national media do or do not write about the Jaguars or Jacksonville. Take that lack of concern and multiply it by something enormous and that's how much I am concerned about what Nashvillians say about Duval.
Ivan from Hollywood:
As lame as #DTWD it sure as heck beats Miami using it's area code (305) as its battle cry but when you're Miami-Dade County it kinds of limits the possibilities.
John: Sometimes when the family and I are feeling particularly proud of ourselves – say, for instance I mowed particularly well, or Mrs. Ozone cooked me up yet another mean turkey pot pie – we'll walk around Town Center chanting our street address. People act like they think it's weird, but trust me: the envy I see in their eyes … it's real.
O-Zone: Turkey pot pie
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Jeff from Orlando, FL: