Let's get to it . . .
Anthony from Madison, WI:
The referees were downright terrible last year. Did you watch the playoff game between the Giants and Packers? I'm not just talking about real-time refereeing here; they frequently made me question whether or not they were blind when they went under the hood.
John: Referees make mistakes now and then. I won't disagree there. But overall, I can't agree that NFL referees are terrible. They are officiating a game that is played at a remarkably fast pace, and if you talk to players and coaches, they'll tell you officials are correct and keep the game in control a remarkable percentage of the time.
Rashad from Section 410, Row L:
What is the likelihood that Justin Blackmon not sign with the Jaguars and he goes back into the draft next year?
John: I rarely say there's zero likelihood of anything, so . . . whatever the closest thing is next to that.
Daniel from Jacksonville and Section 146:
I love reading your column every day, even when I don't agree with you. Mojo certainly makes his own decisions, but the agent who "works for him" is paid to be an adviser. It would be ridiculous to pay that much to an agent and not listen to his advice. If the agent were telling him there's no reason to continue the holdout, he'd either report or fire the agent. And what agent wants to lose his cut of the 4.? million contract he already negotiated, unless he thinks he can get more? The agent is encouraging the holdout, or he's about to be fired, or both!
John: I wish I'd stopped at "I love reading your column . . ." Yes, Jones-Drew pays the agent, but Jones-Drew is a grown man and one who very much understands what he's doing. I don't pretend to completely understand Jones-Drew's motivation, but I do know enough about him to know that he's going to think for himself and make his own decisions – no matter who's "encouraging" him.
Clyde from Jacksonville:
From what I've seen, Eben Britton is a player happy to be back and it shows. I'm thinking this guy is going to turn some heads at right tackle. What have you seen from Britton and what do you think we have there?
John: Britton absolutely is happy to be back. He said throughout the offseason that the back that kept him out much of last season felt great, but there always was an undercurrent of needing to wait until he got back in pads. The pads went back on this past week and Britton said his back felt fine. What I've seen is a player savoring the moment and enjoying every day. His teammates on the offensive line talked all last week about the lift Britton gave them on and off the field. As far as what Britton will bring to the offensive line, he's the player the Jaguars need to start at right tackle. He's not at his best yet as he's working through the process of getting his footwork and sets right, but the more time goes on, the better he's going to be.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
Could it be that MJD is holding out so the offense can move away from him being the focus? When you have so many unknowns and trying to figure out where to go you tend to gravitate to that which you do know, so is it not possible he is doing this so the offense can move forward without using him as a fallback so much?
John: Um, no – that couldn't be.
Anthony from Madison, WI:
We all know the national media doesn't have the greatest insight on the Jaguars. However, after reading much of what you have said and getting my own feel from the Jaguars, I have not seen any indication the Jaguars will ever budge, so why does the national media believe it will happen if Jones-Drew holds out into the season? I understand, once again, that they don't know specifics, but I don't think they're blatantly lying when they say their sources tell them MJD is planning to take "up to 1 million dollars in fines if necessary." I'm not asking for a guarantee, but maybe on a scale of 1-10, how shocked would you be to see the Jaguars blink before and after the season starts?
John: You'd be shocked at how shocked I'd be.
Casey from Section 143:
I searched all the websites, even the ones owned by the NFL (which even though they don't make us feel like we exist, we do) and BIG SURPRISE!!! Nothing on the Jags' scrimmage or how well Blaine played. O-Man, sometimes I really feel like it's us against the world.
John: I wouldn't get too worked up about a scrimmage not getting reported much. While the NFL is big news, scrimmages are by their definition going to be under the radar. If he looks better in the preseason and it's ignored, then I'd say it's more reasonable to be upset.
Cade from Orlando, FL:
From what I've seen so far, Kevin Elliot has looked good. I think preseason will really tell the story but what do you think his odds are of making the starting roster?
John: I assume you mean the regular-season roster and not whether or not Elliott can start. I think Elliott has a real chance to make the team. Not only is he a very good special teams player, he has shown enough potential as a receiver to make you think he can develop into a contributor at that position. I'd say it's getting harder and harder for the Jaguars not to figure out a way to keep him on the 53-man roster.
Justin from Marina Del Rey, CA:
At this point, when do you expect Blackmon to finally report? Do you know if he's been in contact with the coaches when it comes to going over the playbook, etc?
John: Blackmon was with the Jaguars throughout the offseason, a time when the team went over the playbook extensively with players. I doubt there has been much contact since then. I'd expect Blackmon in sometime this week, but I expected him to be in by the end of last week. At this point, it's not time to be in. It's past time.
Zeleznoc from Jacksonville:
Unable to make the scrimmage but watching the video clip you posted, Gabbert did look a lot better, but he also seemed very jittery with happy feet. Although Henne didn't look good, he did appear more relaxed and more comfortable in pocket. Am I wrong?
John: I'd caution against breaking down quarterbacks "looking" jittery and having happy feet. Peyton Manning was accused of this for a long time, and most quarterbacks these days do what they can do get away from pressure. Gabbert is going to keep his feet moving in the pocket and at times he is going to run when he's under pressure. This is not always going to look pretty, but he is mobile and the Jaguars want him to run at times. It doesn't translate into being jittery.
Joy from Section 103:
Leslie says "I have a tremendous amount of respect for what MJD has done for the City." What exactly has MoJo done for the city? NOTHING in my view. He is NEVER here in off season. Never has been. For the team, yes; for the city, NO. I gave my Jones-Drew jersey to Goodwill. I will wear my Gabbert jersey until I get an ANGER jersey. MOJO needs to play or just sit his butt in California and pay the team $$$$$$$$ every week. I no longer care what he does. GO JAGS.
John: I'd advise against cutting Joy off in traffic in the next day or two. In terms of how much she's willing to take, she appears to have reached her limit.
Colin from St. Johns, FL:
Do you think Usain Bolt could add an element to an NFL football team that would make his signing him or some other Olympic sprinter worthwhile?
John: I doubt it. History is littered with sprinters who sign with or try out for NFL teams, and they generally don't contribute much. There are exceptions such as Bob Hayes and Willie Gault, but those players – particularly in the case of Hayes – were football players first and sprinters second. There's more to football than just running fast.
Adam from Long Island, NY:
What do you put the chances at that we get to see MOJO on the field on Friday?
John: Even remembering my answer to Rashad, I'd say zero chance.
Jerry from Tamarac, FL:
Every day that passes is another day that I think of R. Jay Soward!
John: For me, every day that passes is another day removed from a youth spent tanning golden skin on the beach in the South Pacific, wind gently drying shoulder-length locks, muscles rippling after a morning in the surf, soaking in the glorious . . . Oh, wait, that wasn't me.
Tanned golden skin
Let's get to it . . .
Anthony from Madison, WI: