Let's get to it . . .
Scott from Grenada:
Now that we've got pads on, can you give some insight into how Branch looks so far?
John: Bear in mind the Jaguars were only in shoulder pads Monday morning. The full pads go on for the first time today. Still, the Jaguars liked what they saw from Andre Branch Monday and there continues to be a strong feeling in the building that he is the real deal. He's tougher than the Jaguars anticipated, and he appears to be better against the run than was expected, too. It's still early, but the excitement about this guy is high.
Paul from Jacksonville:
I understand Blackmon's agent's reasons to not give in to the Jaguars' demands too quickly or without trying to secure the best possible deal for his client. At what point does the agent decide that things are as good as they're going to get and it's time to recommend to his client that he take the deal?
John: We're fast reaching the point where that's a very good question.
Matt from Clemson, SC:
I think that Mularkey press conference was telling of the expectations for this football team. He is very demanding and definitely isn't afraid to express that to the media. If the players have that same attitude and respond, then there's no doubt in my mind that this team is going to improve dramatically over the year.
John: Mularkey's approach with the media has been very professional and impressive. He has been honest without being showy or outlandish for the sake of being showy and outlandish. He has not been afraid to offer an honest assessment when things are not going great, and that gives him credibility when he praises. This is appreciated by the media. I'm guessing he takes the same approach with players, and that they appreciate it, too. And yes, that sort of management style bodes well for the team.
Ryan from Queens, NY:
If MJD was a top three quarterback in this league instead of a top three running back, do you think the team will be more likely to renegotiate his contract?
John: Not this offseason, but I think there would be far more of a chance it would get renegotiated next offseason – primarily because if he were a quarterback he would be perceived as entering his prime. As a running back, that's far from the perception.
Andrew from Rochester, NY:
why dont the jags pay the men jones drew and blackmon are their best players there you know you have so much money to give around you should just pay the guys
John: thank you for your analysis insight appreciated very much absolutely
Sonny from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Do teams have a certain number of players they keep at each position during the training camps? Seems like when they cut or one gets injured they replace them with the same position.
John: Teams generally have a number they want at each position. They usually want three or four quarterbacks, for example, because they want to make sure they don't wear out the arms of the starter or backup. You need a certain number of offensive linemen and defensive linemen, for example, so you can run the drills you want in practice. You usually have more defensive backs than most positions because those players play extensively on special teams and you need the numbers to function in practice.
Alex from Austin, TX:
Not a fan of the old Coughlin "no sunglasses" rule?
John: Not when you're this stylin'.
Brian from Section 409:
I saw everything I needed to see Saturday to know we have the right man as receivers coach. He was not in a great mood coming off the practice field, either. I like the fire he has and I believe that will translate to on field success when the receivers get what he is teaching. I called out to him after practice and he just shook his head no. Let him know that I just wanted to welcome him to Jacksonville and all Jags fans are very glad he is on our side.
John: I see Jerry Sullivan as a guy who knows he has a job ahead of him and a relatively short amount of time to get that done. I believe the Jaguars receivers will be better at the beginning of this season than they were last season, and I believe they'll be a lot better at the end of the season than the beginning. Sullivan is a big reason for that. He'll keep coaching and squeezing as much out of this group as possible, and there's enough talent there that eventually there will be results.
Sean from Fleming Island, FL:
What are the pros and cons of having your training camp far away from your home stadium? It seems like a lot of teams do this.
John: The pros are that it's a chance to get away from distractions and focus on football – often in a secluded environment where everything is in a convenient location. That can promote camaraderie. The cons are it can be inconvenient and expensive, and also that it can take camp away from hometown fans.
Keisha from Annandale, VA:
If/when MJD decides to report to camp, does he just walk in the door and say, 'I am ready, coach,' or is it something worked out ahead of time between him and the team?
John: It probably will be worked out between his agent and the team, but if he walked in and said, "Hi, coach, I'm ready" . . . well, I don't think they've changed his security code.
Brian from Section 410:
O-Man, I attended practice on Saturday, and I sat in front of the O-line during drills. I don't remember Eugene Monroe looking this lean and mean, well, ever. Has he bulked up or is it just me?
John: Monroe is around 308 pounds or so, which is about 20 pounds heavier than this time last season. He indeed looks far better to me than he did last year.
Rashon from Nashville, TN:
Hey, John who would win in a race: you or Pot Roast?
John: Knighton would win. He's big and quick. I'm not as thin as I once was, and I was never fast.
Scott from Jacksonville:
Thanks for answering my question about your days as a beat writer! Your response was in depth, riveting, and rich.
John: Unfortunately, my answer was about as good as most of my stories from my days as a beat writer.
Steve from Jacksonville:
With two years left on MoJo's contract, if he sits out this year, could he go to another team the following year?
John: Not unless he is traded.
William from Jacksonville:
I read on NFL.com that Marcedes Lewis is out of shape. Have you heard anything about this? If so, how do you think it will impact his season?
John: This is one of those stories that takes on a life of its own and often gets overplayed. Someone asked Mike Mularkey Saturday if Lewis was out of shape, and his answer was essentially that because Lewis – like most Jaguars players – had been out of the Northeast Florida heat for five weeks and because he hadn't been in football practice for a long time that he probably would get in better shape over the coming days. I don't know that Lewis is in the best shape of his career, but he has looked very good in practice so far and I wouldn't paint his situation as being "not in condition." So far, he has looked much better than last season and I'd expect that to translate to the field.
Jeremy from Navarre, FL:
Peyton Manning's drops in practice even look faster and crisper than any of the Jags QBs (by a large margin). When will people stop letting Peyton outwork them? It's clear that what he does as far as preparation, practice, style, and execution work! Why not emulate him more?
John: Many, many quarterbacks suffer in comparison to Peyton Manning. He has a chance to be very good someday.
Eric from Gettysburg, PA:
The Jaguars never seem to get much attention from mainstream media, even considering MJD's recent rushing title. I'm well-aware this is part of being a younger team and having quite a few mediocre seasons stacked up. But from what you've seen thus far, which player(s) do you believe will take the most positive steps toward that spotlight - whether it due to talent, numbers or personality - and bring some recognition to Jacksonville this season? Fans of other teams seem to have a hard time taking the Jags seriously when they can't name more than three players from our roster. Who will change that??
John: Winning will change that. Winning will draw attention and winning eventually will get the team on television, after which people nationally will know the Jaguars' players. Attention without winning is pretty hollow and whatever positive feeling comes from it is usually short-lived.
Nate from Pinellas Park, FL:
John, do people bash our quarterback because he's a "pretty boy?"
John: No, they bash him because he struggled last season. They bash the senior writer because he's a pretty boy, though, and let me tell you brother, it hurts.
Oh so pretty
Let's get to it . . .
Scott from Grenada: