JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Ryan from Harlan, IA:
With a young team, many players seem to be working on building themselves physically. How are players like Luke Joeckel, Telvin Smith and other players managing their weight and conditioning this offseason? Thanks!
John: You're right that adding strength and size has been a priority for many Jaguars players this offseason. That's usually a priority for young NFL players, and because the Jaguars are so young – and because it's a priority for the young offensive line – it's a particular focus around EverBank Field this offseason. Joeckel, entering his second full season as the Jaguars' starting left offensive tackle, needed to gain bulk. As of early last month he had put on 10-to-12 pounds of what he believed was good weight and I've seen nothing to indicate he is down any from that. My understanding is that Smith has added some weight, but I haven't talked to him to find out exactly how much. Overall, a lot of the offensive linemen wanted to gain strength and size and it's expected that most of the rookies will add size and strength over their first few offseasons. That's generally what happens.
Fred from Naples, FL:
I have to agree with you … J.P. is pretty cool.
John: It can't understand a word you're saying.
Jim from Jacksonville:
The table is still square! That is all!
John: Wait. What?
TWJag from Jacksonville Beach:
Did Tandon Doss make it to OTAs? How did he look? Are he and Ace competing for the same spot? One makes it as the punt returner/backup wide receiver and the other not?
John: Doss indeed is participating in OTAs. He hasn't particularly stood out in the first week, but that's not unusual early in the offseason – particularly after a player who missed an entire season. Yes, it's probably safe to assume he and Sanders are essentially competing for the same returner/receiver role. And while Sanders has drawn praise from Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley and wide receivers coach Jerry Sullivan in recent days, Doss shouldn't be overlooked. He led the league in punt returns for Baltimore in 2013 and looked good as a receiver in spots for the Jaguars last training camp before missing the season with an injury.
Jim from McCaslin:
John, can you provide any insight as to possible reasons why Dante Fowler Jr. had his ACL surgery in Pensacola? What, if anything, does that say about our surgeons here in JAX, like those at JOI?
John: Fowler had his surgery done by James Andrews, who for at least the last decade and a half has been considered at the top of the profession in terms of orthopedic sports-related surgeries. It says nothing about the surgeons in Jacksonville or at JOI.
B Man from Woodbridge, VA:
Big O, help me out. Why in the world would they implement a new rule to give these "IDIOT KICKERS" even more influence over the outcome of games!? Shouldn't the idea be to give them less importance as to how the end result of the schedule and season plays out?
John: I'm of the belief that the rules change regarding extra points isn't going to cause teams to go for two more often, but it certainly will put more in the hands of kickers, particularly in cold weather late in the season. Does that seen a little counterintuitive? Does it seem silly to make them a more crucial part of the postseason equation? Well, no argument from here.
JD from Duval:
O, just watched the Jags LIVE with Bortles. If he is half as good on the field as he is witty and confident on camera, we may have a dynasty in our future.
John: He's indeed a cool, confident guy. He also seems to enjoy taking shots at the senior writer, which is understandable. That sort of demeanor certainly can help a quarterback. There are more important things at the position, to be sure, but that doesn't hurt.
Ric from Jacksonville:
So, I have (sort of) been keeping up with the "slap fight" between the Vikings and Adrian Peterson over his contract. He has been complaining about NFL teams having the ability to drop a player in the middle of a contract. And he commented that it is different in other professional sports. I have always wondered why it is possible to dismiss a player while he is under contract. And if/when that happens, are the players compensated at all? It really surprises me that the players union would agree to that... it just seems strange to me.
John: In the NFL, the guarantee for the most part is the signing bonus and the first year or two of the contract. Players typically know this upon signing the deal, or at least they should. The players' union and players probably could work something out to implement guaranteed contracts, but the only result would be structuring contracts differently. Teams would still need to release players at times and players would still earn the same money. They would just receive it differently.
Flashed from Flashed in Camp:
O-Man, Can we use the term "Flashed In Camp" more this year? Especially for those on the roster bubble? Thanks!
John: Will do.
Brian from Greenwood, IN:
Monte Kiffin at practice and in Jaguars gear? That guy has forgotten more football than most ever learn. Will he eventually be on payroll?
John: I haven't heard if that was the specific reason for Kiffin's visit to Jaguars OTAs this week, though Kiffin does have strong ties to Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley and defensive line coach Todd Wash – as well as to other members of the Jaguars' staff. It's also not uncommon for former coaches to visit teams. I don't know how many more assistants the Jaguars feel they need or plan to add, but Kiffin is not currently employed and – as you indicate – that's a lot of football knowledge to be walking around not sharing it with anyone.
TWJAG from Jacksonville Beach:
Mike Zimmer says AP will never play for another team other than the Vikings. My take: Cowboys give up the required draft picks, take AP in the trade, Cowboys win the Super Bowl and prove that you need thugs. What say you, O-Man. By the way, what does man stand for?
John: I get the sense that the Vikings are in this for the long haul. I also get the sense that Peterson will eventually play for the Vikings because players typically don't leave a year's worth of salary on the table. It's not that easy to make that kind of money elsewhere.
Misty from Somewhere in Alaska:
Sorry, I live in a small village in Alaska with no service. I'm in Anchorage right now but I'm hearing Dante Fowler Jr. tore his ACL. Any truth to this?
John: Yes. He tore his anterior cruciate ligament on the first day of rookie minicamp. Andrews performed successful reconstructive surgery in Pensacola this week.
Troy from Anaconda, MT:
Can continuity become an issue with veterans and rookies? If so, how do the coaches and staff manage it?
John: Sure, it can. You manage continuity by letting players play together. The answer will be the same Sunday, too, incidentally.
Gabe from Sioux Falls, SD:
I remember the old days when John Henderson and Marcus Stroud dominated as tackles. The Jaguars had a great defense without having an elite edge rusher. Do you think this could be done again?
John: Sure. It's more difficult to do it that way, and an argument could be made that it's trickier to produce turnovers without edge rushers creating havoc in passing situations, but you can be dominant on defense that way. That's not the way the Jaguars will build their defense under Bradley, though. He's more about the Leo pass rusher creating pressure off the edge.
Kyle from Clearwater, FL:
Brian Sexton may or may not have ties to several shady people who may or may not be involved in organized crime. I'm concerned for your safety, John. Ask a couple of guys where Sexton is from, and if you all have a different answer, then you may or may not want to dig a little deeper.
John: Sexton knows where to find me. So do his "friends."
Beau from Mountain Home, ID:
I looked through the staff directory and I did not see Lageman or Boselli anywhere on the list. If they are not employed by the Jaguars, who are they employed with? Just curious, I guess. I find it interesting to see all the different positions responsible for running a business. Is that weird?
John: That's not what makes you weird. Jeff Lageman and Tony Boselli aren't technically full-time Jaguars employees, and therefore aren't on the staff directory, but they are nonetheless "valued" members of the organization. The valued part is in quotes, because although Lageman is unanimously valued, the same is … well … "less than true" of Boselli. While he is valued by 99 percent of the organization, there also is a vocal one percent that feels differently. I am proud to be among the vocal one percent.
O-Zone: Vocal one percent
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Ryan from Harlan, IA: