Let's get to it . . . Ryan from Orange Park, FL:
I don't understand why we're stalling on signing Scobee. I understand there has to be some negotiation and you can't just pay him whatever he wants, but it's not like there's an upgrade at that position or equal talent out there for a lesser amount, either. If a solid punter was worth a third-rounder in the draft, shouldn't locking up a proven clutch field-goal kicker be a priority, too? I mean, get it done, right?
John: You answered your own question. If you indeed understand that there has to be some negotiation and you just can't pay him whatever he wants, you understand why there's no movement. Negotiations in the NFL are like they are in most businesses. Progress gets made when there's a deadline. The deadline for this is a long way off and if the sides can't reach an agreement by mid-July, I'd expect Scobee to do what most players do – sign the franchise tag and continue negotiating toward a long-term deal. If they can't reach a deal, I'd expect him to play for the franchise tender because there aren't any acceptable options. The Jaguars clearly believe Scobee is asking for too much right now or they would have signed him. Are they supposed to pay him more than they believe is market value because the fans are impatient? There's no deadline fast approaching. Let it play out.
Brad from Orange Park, FL:
"One guy who let this defense down last season is Tyson Alualu, who really had a down 2011 season in all regards." Kuharsky's comment there. That legitimate or propaganda?
John: Neither. Just incorrect.
Bob from Jacksonville:
So people in the Jaguars organization don't believe Gabbert will be the starter this year? This doesn't sound good.
John: This a story that started this week when Don Banks of SI.com reported that some inside the Jaguars' organization believe Chad Henne will beat out Gabbert early in the season. It has wheels because SI.com is a reputable site and Banks is a very good reporter. Many people work in football organizations and I don't doubt that Banks has heard that from somewhere. I do doubt that that is anything close to a consensus or majority view or that the Jaguars' decision-makers don't believe Gabbert is their future. Did the Jaguars get Henne so that they could have a capable backup if Gabbert should falter or get hurt? Of course. Would Henne start if Gabbert is disastrous early? Quite likely. Is there sentiment in the Jaguars' organization that Gabbert won't be the starter? I have not heard that and don't believe it to be the case.
Mark from St. Augustine, FL:
Who are your top five players that were rookies last year that should make giant strides in their second year?
John: I have four. Blaine Gabbert, Will Rackley, Cecil Shorts and Cameron Bradfield.
Zachary from Jacksonville:
This is more of a comment than a question. The offensive line was weak last year, but they can only get better. Meester's best days are behind him, but the rest have long careers ahead of them. One of the most important things for an offensive lineman isn't a stat but how many times you start by your fellow linemen. You grow with them and work together to block. Since these guys are young they can grow and evolve into one of the best lines in the NFL.
John: I agree. I'll be writing a story on jaguars.com on the offensive line later Wednesday and continuity will be a part of it.
Aaron from Reading, PA:
Gene Smith's goal has always been to upgrade the roster and it takes time. We see former "upside" players like Jarett Dillard released and could view it as a wasted pick, or we can say that while it took time, the front office did its job and made a guy we once thought we needed a contribution from into one that's expendable. If Gene does his job right, those players we upgrade from will be much better than Dillard or Podlesh. The goal (while unrealistic) should be a starting roster so talented and experienced that few rookies can start on it, only learn from and strive to join.
John: Absolutely. If you're upgrading the roster, you should be releasing players who have been around for a while. A general manager who keeps every player he drafts for four or five seasons is a general manager who can't admit to his own mistakes, and to paraphrase something I saw written somewhere recently, that's arrogance and that's stupidity. All general managers miss. The good ones miss on a lower percentage than the others and know when to move on.
David from Waxahachie, TX:
How is Zach Miller coming along with his injury?
John: He is healthy and participating 100 percent in organized team activities.
Andrew from Norcross, GA:
When Travis said the other day that he thinks the Jags will cut a bunch of players he had Zach Miller on the list. You didn't say anything about him. What do you think? I personally think he can be a legit No. 2 tight end in this league.
John: Big day for Miller. I, too, believe he can be a legit No. 2. He must stay healthy, but I don't believe he will be cut.
Joe from Orange Park, FL:
I don't understand why some fans are upset because Gene Smith said the Jaguars "could be a playoff contender." What would you rather him say "Guys, we suck. But we still want you to buy season tickets." Or "We will make the playoffs. I guarantee it." I can guarantee if he had said the latter, he would be quickly compared to Rex Ryan, which is why his statement is perfect the way it is. No one wants to be compared to Rex Ryan.
John: Fans are upset with Gene Smith because we live in the Internet age. In the Internet age people read quotes in the off-season and get all stirred up in comments sections and message boards on Web sites. That's fine. It's the nature of the NFL these days, but I don't think it's something that's going to be an issue come September. Smith said the Jaguars could be a contender and that's the feeling around the building – that if the Jaguars are healthy, there's a very good chance they will be contending in December.
Lee from Duval County, FL:
Knighton is a class act! He was assaulted and really didn't owe anyone an apology. We're lucky to have players of this caliber representing this city!
John: I couldn't agree more. Knighton handled his press conference Tuesday as well as possible, and showed remorse and a willingness to discuss what happened. He always has been a popular player among fans, and I've always considered him a classy player with whom I enjoy talking and working. I'm sure he will continue to be criticized in some circles, but that's the world we live in. He made a mistake. He regrets it. I trust he won't make the same mistake again. Most people I know can forgive people when that's the case and move on.
Greg from Section 101:
Letting your 15-year-old drive on 295? I'd be worried about making it to training camp.
John: When I said soon, I meant "three or four years" – that kind of soon.
Jody from Fort Pierce, FL:
Are we renegotiating with MJD, to prevent a hold out? Is this why Scobee and the Rooks are not signed yet?
John: Ah, we're into OTAs, which means it's time to write about potential holdouts and contracts. In this case, one doesn't necessarily connect with the other. Scobee isn't getting done yet for the reasons I mentioned, and there's no rush on the rookies because everything is slotted and there is no real danger of rookie holdouts anymore. As for renegotiating with Jones-Drew, I'm not sure I see the Jaguars' incentive. He has two years remaining on his deal and he will be entering his ninth season when the contract expires. Tearing up this deal and giving him another is a very risky proposition and so is extending him. That's not saying Jones-Drew doesn't deserve to get paid more. It's possible he does, but from the Jaguars' perspective it's a long way from a no-brainer and it's certainly not a time-sensitive issue. Ah, we're into OTAs, which means it's time to write about potential holdouts and contracts. In this case, one doesn't necessarily connect with the other. Scobee isn't getting done yet for the reasons I mentioned, and there's no rush on the rookies because everything is slotted and there is no real danger of rookie holdouts anymore. As for renegotiating with Jones-Drew, I'm not sure I see the Jaguars' incentive. He has two years remaining on his deal and he will be entering his ninth season when the contract expires. Tearing up this deal and giving him another is a very risky proposition and so is extending him. That's not saying Jones-Drew doesn't deserve to get paid more. It's possible he does, but from the Jaguars' perspective it's a long way from a no-brainer and it's certainly not a time-sensitive issue.
Matthew from Tampa, FL:
Is it sad that...one, I made a tribute to Peyton Manning even though I am a diehard Jags fan and two, that if we don't win I want him to win? Do you have a diagnosis for this possible disease? He killed the Jags for so many years but watching him has been an honor.
John: It's no disease. It's just respect. As a fan, you may not recognize it because it's a mature trait based in logic.
Curry from Jacksonville:
Do you think that maybe the pick of Andre Branch is a little overlooked by everyone? To me that was the biggest need for us and we got a guy who has tons of potential and can be shaped into a great player with a little work. Be totally honest, do you believe he will start in front of Kampman at the start of the season? (if Kampman is still here)
John: If Kampman's healthy, I believe he will start. That's not a knock on Branch as much as my belief that it takes defensive ends – especially those selected outside the first round – a while to develop into every-down impact players. Now, the obvious question that arises in that answer is whether Kampman will be healthy. That's a question I don't think we'll know until August.
Mike K from Section 149 and Row 2:
@Mike from St Mary's, GA: Nobody puts Johnny in the corner (on good 80's references).
John: Stay gold, Pony Boy. Stay gold.
Let's get to it . . . Ryan from Orange Park, FL: