It has been noted that we missed a couple of "Let's get to its . . ." over the weekend. Maybe Beryl blew them away.
Let's get to it . . . Camron from Millersburg, PA:
I'm wondering what you think about ALL of the following – and I want your opinion, not the opinions of those around you. Here they are: Is Gabbert improving, and how much? Is Blackmon worth it, or is he just another bust of ours? Does MJD look like he's slowing down? How does our O-Line look, especially at the pass block? These are things that I have been looking for, but I can't find except for the opinions of coaches and other players. Please don't spare us the details; I want to know EXACTLY what to expect next year.
John: Wow. You don't ask for much – except the impossible. I'll answer best I can, but understand these are questions that will only be answered on the field next season. Is Gabbert improving? He appears to be working on mechanics as instructed in organized team activities, and appears to be taking shorter steps in his drops. He also appears to be better balanced when setting up to pass. It is only May, so I have no idea how to tell you how much all of this will help. Is Blackmon worth it? Is he a bust? I have no idea. It's May. The season starts in September. Does MJD look like he's slowing down? I haven't seen him since the day after he set a franchise record for rushing in a single season. He will slow down eventually, but the last I saw him he had not. How does the offensive line look? It looks like an offensive line that is working in shorts with no pads, so it looks really, really good. As for what to expect next year, I'd expect the Jaguars to start with some hiccups offensively because that's what offenses with young quarterbacks and new systems do. If they stay healthy, I'd expect them to improve, because that's what offenses with talented people do. I could be more detailed, but I'd be guessing, and it doesn't sound like you want that.
Pat from Point Edward, Ontario:
In response to Tyler and redoing one moment, I'd say it was the 2003 draft. Our team would have been a lot better off had Minnesota got their card in and taken Leftwich, with us taking Suggs. We realistically could have taken Roethlisberger the next year. Roethlisberger and Suggs is a lot better than Leftwich and Reggie Williams.
John: Yes. Yes, it is.
Rick from Tampa, FL:
I don't get it and maybe you can clarify. The offensive line getting credit for MJD? I disagree as the other running backs averaged 2.4 yards a carry so I guess that isn't because of the offensive line.
John: I don't think the offensive line deserves all of the credit for the rushing title last season, and no question, Jones-Drew had a special season. But to think the offensive line deserves no credit is simply wrong. No back can be effective if the offensive line isn't doing its job. It simply doesn't happen.
David from Jacksonville and Section 436:
Working through "the storm"!! That is pure dedication!! My question is, did you do it by candlelight like our forefathers or by powered generator?
John: We at the Oehser Estate were fortunate. We only lost power in one wing.
Anthony from Watsonville, CA:
I've been a Jaguar fan since their inception, and i can honestly say that I'm not sick of the ESPN bashing. When the time comes (and it may not be far off) that we are a playoff contender year in and year out. ESPN will change its tune, and the experts will undoubtedly have "said all along" the Jaguars are this great, and that great.... it's what they do.
John: I don't know that many experts will profess to saying the Jaguars were great all along, but you'll see less bashing and more praising if the Jaguars improve. Look, the team has made the playoffs twice since 1999. The national media has bashed Cincinnati over the years. It used to bash Tampa Bay and probably would again if the Jaguars didn't exist .You hear some Miami bashing now and you hear a lot of Washington Redskins bashing. The media bashes teams when they struggle, and they bash Jacksonville because it's a small market. In the 1990s, when the team was successful, I recall less bashing and more feel-good stories. When the Jaguars start to win, you'll see stories about how the team is turning things around and if it gets close a few times and doesn't get to the Super Bowl, you'll see stories about how the Jaguars can't win the big one. These things aren't hard to predict. It's just irritating when it's your team.
Brent from the Southside:
What happened to "Let's get to it . . ."?
John: It's back, baby.
Calvin from Jacksonville:
How is Jennings doing in OTAs? He is one of the guys I would like to see shine. Is he taking charge as the leading backup or is it still up in the air? Thanks.
John: Jennings has looked healthy and ready in OTAs. He showed at the end of the 2010 season he is more than capable as a backup, and there's no reason to think he wouldn't do a good job in the role if asked to play extensively this season. He's definitely the top backup to Jones-Drew and I don't see any way – barring injury – he wouldn't have that role next season.
Huge Fan of Jones-Drew:
I know it's not unheard of for a player to want a new contract, and not attend some practice or any other mandatory activities the team has. Well my question is, is that if Jones-Drew does not hold out and come to all the mandatory practices will the team take his request for a new contract seriously?
John: I believe the Jaguars are taking his request seriously and I don't believe he'll hold out. That doesn't mean he'll get one. I'd be surprised if that happens until at least next off-season. I said on Monday I may take some time off from Gabbert questions. It may be time to do the same on Maurice Jones-Drew contract questions. It's dominating the conversation and the truth is he's done nothing wrong and there's really no reason the story should move forward, sideways or back. If he's not at mini-camp next month, it's a story. Until then, it's nothing.
Dane from Jacksonville:
An article was just released by nfl.com ranking the most popular franchises in the league. I find it amazing, but mostly pathetic, how amidst discussing the top 3-5 most popular teams, the writer goes out of his way to jab at "the poor Jaguars" and how they will be "going stag to prom again this year." And how childish to make such an outrageous claim that Justin Blackmon is begging to become a free agent. The effort these clowns put into making fun of our Jags is really just plain laughable.
John: I did something I usually don't do when I get emails complaining about national media stories that take a shot at the Jaguars. I made the effort. I found the story. I read it. It was what I expected – a weak, lazy poke at the Jaguars. It wasn't funny. It wasn't clever. The poke taken was a bit sophomoric, which is fine. I've written plenty of sophomoric things. I clicked away from the page. I moved on. My advice. Do the same. Anything else just ain't worth the stress.
Joe from Orange Park, FL:
I think I'm missing a joke here, but I read on NFL.com an article about the most popular teams. Jags placed last (no surprise), but just under that, it said "In a related story, Justin Blackmon has called his agent three times since the beginning of this story to find out if he can file for free agency." The story was written by Dan Hanzus. If that's true, it's a nightmare. If it's a joke, then it's some of the most unprofessional journalism I've ever read. Please clear things up.
John: It wasn't journalism, and it wasn't really all that unprofessional. It was just humor. I guess.
William from Jacksonville:
On NFL.com, I read an article discussing the most popular NFL teams. Here's where it gets interesting "We have a feeling Shahid Khan won't like what he sees here, as it appears the poor Jaguars will be going stag to prom again this year. In a related story, Justin Blackmon has called his agent three times since the beginning of this story to find out if he can file for free agency." That has to be the most immature statement I've read yet, saying Blackmon wants out when he doesn't. What would happen to you if you said something like that?
John: What would happen if I wrote something immature? They keep letting me come in every day, so – so far, so good.