Dustin from Jacksonville:
I disagree about watching the starters in the preseason. Sure, it's good to see if they are clicking, but I think it's more telling to watch the second- and third-string guys. It shows how much depth the team has. No team is immune to the injury bug and the more depth you have the better your chances late in the season.
John: You have the right to disagree. What I meant is the starters matter in preseason if you're thinking about scores, and how the team might do in the regular season. You generally don't want to get to the end of the preseason and see that your starters have been outmanned and outscored 55-3 over four games. That's worrisome. You want your starters to win the time they play in preseason, then you spend the rest of the preseason solidifying depth and looking to fill out your roster.
Robert from Moorpark, CA:
Do you get so bored during the offseason that you think about making up stories?
John: Why should the offseason be any different?
Tim from St. Petersburg, FL:
What are your thoughts on the enormity of the Drew Brees contract? Will it prevent the team from keeping other blue-chip or depth players? I think Peyton's contract in Indy prevented them from keeping enough depth that would have helped after he was injured.
John: Sure, Brees' new contract may keep the Saints from signing one or two veteran backups at other positions. What you get with contracts as enormous as that of Brees is a gap between the "haves" and "have nots." In the case of the Colts, the roster during Manning's final seasons was top-heavy with not only Manning's contract, but the contracts of Dwight Freeney, Dallas Clark, Reggie Wayne, Robert Mathis, etc. But with big-time quarterbacks, you have to commit big-time money and do your best to build around the contract. When you have a franchise guy, you pretty much are "all in" in the sense that if he's healthy and playing at a high level, you'll be competitive; if he's not, you won't be in the running. To use the Manning/Indy example, yes, they could have been deeper last season, but was that depth going to be the difference between winning two games and making the playoffs? Obviously not.
Billy from Hilliard, FL:
The start of training camp is less than two weeks away. August is right around the corner. I can almost feel the excitement of game day now. I know your job as a writer is to cover the game, but do you still get excited about the start of the season, just as a fan?
John: I absolutely get excited about an upcoming season, though perhaps a bit differently than a fan. I look forward to training camp and the preseason because they bring new storylines, and a chance to see how players have developed since we last saw them in competitive situations. Then, with the regular season, there always is an energy that makes you remember what you loved about the game in the first place. There's a unique energy in an NFL regular-season game week. Once September hits, it brings that energy rushing back.
Armand from Jacksonville:
How important is it for Anger and Scobee to bond as holder and kicker?
John: It's important, but it's something that can be developed relatively quickly. I expect Scobee to be in camp. If he is, I think they'll start working together well pretty fast.
Mike from Orlando, FL:
Ever get the urge to curse in response to an O-Zone question, John?
John: Hell, no.
Jason from South Florida:
Do you think the Jags will give Rashad Jennings a look at returning punts in training camp? There's definitely nobody right now who has that job sewn up, and Rashad has good hands. He might be able to help us in that area, if he's given a chance.
John: I don't see the Jaguars using Jennings in that area. Punt return is usually more about quickness and making the first defender miss. Jennings could do that, but he seems a better fit on kick returns.
Nick from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
When you refer to our coaching staff last year as "lame duck" do you mean that you don't think they were a good coaching staff, or they all knew that they would most likely be looking for a new job so didn't work like they should have?
John: Neither. I mean most of the coaches were on one-year contracts. Because of that, it stands to reason at least some of their thoughts focused on where they might be coaching the following season. I wouldn't say they didn't work as hard as they should have, but generally speaking you prefer to have coaches who are under at least a two-year contract.
Corey from Orange Park, FL:
Andy Reid believes you should draft a quarterback in almost every draft. This isn't a knock on Gabbert. because what I saw last year was a player with A LOT of potential, but my question is, do you agree with this philosophy? It seems like having too many good quarterbacks on your team would be a great problem to have (although the same can be said at almost every position).
John: It is a good problem to have, and theoretically I agree with Reid. It's always good to have a quarterback developing. Not only does it give your team depth and competition at the position, it gives your franchise a chance to improve by trading some of the quarterbacks for draft selections. It's difficult to do because fans want teams to draft need, but if you have your draft-and-development program where you want it, yes, I can see taking a quarterback somewhere in the draft most seasons.
Ray from Jacksonville:
Okay, this drives me crazy. Why on earth do some people think that Gene Smith has some secret agenda, within which he would like the Jaguars to fail? Aaaargh . . .
John: Because, believe it or not, some people just don't think things through.
Nathan from Jacksonville:
Will Aaron Beasley make your top 25 Jaguars? He is oft-forgotten.
John: He will be close. We'll see.
Mike from Philly:
Everyone talks about the situation Gabbert was in last year, but few mention what Cecil Shorts went through. Now that he has a full offseason working with one of the best receivers coaches in the business, this could potentially be a breakout year for him.
John: Indeed it could. Shorts showed a lot early in camp last season, then fell off quite a bit after that. The belief around the Jaguars is that with an offseason working with receivers coach Jerry Sullivan he has a very real chance to get back on the course he appeared to be on early last August.
Chad from Jacksonville:
A lot of people like to say Boselli is the best Jaguar because if he didn't get hurt he would be in the Hall of Fame. I do agree with that, but you could also say if Fred wasn't always hurt he would be a sure Hall of Famer, and even with the injuries there is still a good chance he gets in.
John: I'm one who personally believes Boselli is the best, and as I've said before, that may be a bit biased because I saw pretty much every game Boselli played with the organization as opposed to seeing Taylor in three seasons. I also believe that for a four- or five-year period Boselli was as good as any left tackle in the NFL. Taylor's advantage in the argument is he played at a high level for a longer time than Boselli. I honestly believe it's close, and those who argue for Taylor have pretty good points.
Dwayne from Jacksonville:
Why do you keep answering so many questions about why there are so many MoJo questions?
John: Probably because I keep getting questions about why there are so many MoJo questions. A funny thing happens when you have a question-answer forum. A lot of what you answer depends on what you get asked.
Al from Orange Park, FL:
I keep checking the Jaguars & Times Union websites every hour looking anxiously for the "Scobee signs contract" headline. What is the latest hour, minute and second that he can sign a long-term deal?
John: The exact deadline is 4 p.m. Monday.
Hogfish from Mayport, FL:
Sad to hear that Tania Ganguli is leaving us. I thought she was fantastic, and was wondering if she was as highly regarded among writers as she was readers? (I guess the fact that she's moving to a larger market may answer my question.) Will we get a compensatory pick for her?
John: There won't be a compensatory selection for Ganguli, but as you mention, she is moving on to the Houston Chronicle after two years covering the Jaguars for my old newspaper, the Florida Times-Union. One nice thing about covering major sports beat is developing close friendships with other reporters. You share press boxes, locker rooms and media rooms and as a result, many memories. I am proud to call Ganguli a colleague, peer and friend. She is a solid young reporter who did a good job on the Jaguars, and her future is bright. She will be missed and remembered fondly. Here's wishing her farewell.
She will be missed
Dustin from Jacksonville: