Let's get to it . . . Tony from Jackson, TN:
Wait, wait, wait. So, Lee Evans is telling us that coming off a season where the offense was one of the worst in modern history, and a season with a group of wide receivers that dropped everything thrown to them, the slow start and drops should not be a concern? When youíre a wide receiver catching the ball should already be second-nature, right? Last I checked no matter what route you run or what spot you end, you still have to put your hands up and catch the ball. Thatís not a good sign.
John: Way to keep it in perspective, Tommy. Then again, youíre far from alone. Evans wasnít here last season, so heís not thinking of the Jaguarsí receivers as a group that ìdropped everythingî last season. He sees them as a group thatís coming together, a group thatís learning an offense and a group that has been in full pads two days. The group got better Wednesday, and Laurent Robinson started looking like a guy who can be counted on to make plays downfield. Thatís a start, and that was Evansí point ñ that youíve got to get started. After that, you can build and improve.
Danial from Rockville, MD:
Hey, O-man. I've heard Gabbert is doing better, but what about Henne? Is there even the slimmest chance he'll be the starter Week 1?
John: Sure, I suppose Gabbert could get injured. Beyond that, I donít see it unless something changes pretty dramatically.
Andrew from St. Augustine, FL:
At this point, how does MJD benefit from holding out? Does he honestly think the Jags will all of a sudden change their stance?
John: I canít speak for what heís thinking. I can tell you if thatís what heís thinking I donít think heís thinking correctly.
Daniel from Section 143:
How are Derek Cox, Rashean Mathis and Aaron Ross looking? Is Mathis back to full speed and is he starting to look like his old self? If opening day were tomorrow, who do you see as starting opposite Cox: Mathis or Ross, and why?
John: Derek Cox is looking good, and I have been very impressed with Aaron Ross early in camp. I wouldnít say Mathis is looking like his old self, but I would be shocked if he looked like his old self two days into training camp coming off of a torn ACL. I think by the end of preseason youíll see him a lot closer to that. I see Ross starting the season because I think thereís a chance it could take Mathis a few weeks to get fully comfortable on the knee, then after that I could see Mathis and Cox starting with Ross playing a very high quality nickel corner. The bottom line is the Jaguars have three very good front-line corners, and you need that in this era.
Jeff from Jacksonville:
I passed you last week in the grocery store parking lot and I must say that you need to get out of that car and get yourself a black-and-teal Hummer. You could get one of those stencils on the back window that says "The O-Man." And maybe a Jaguars decal on both doors.
John: I donít recall saying no to any sponsorship deals. And I havenít not returned any calls.
Richard from London, Ontario, Canada:
Kevin Elliott seems to be having a great training camp from things that I have read. Does his performance shake up things with wide receivers or are we still expecting Blackmon, Robinson, Thomas, Evans, Shorts to be the guys on the roster? I hear heís catching everything.
John: We have to get to the preseason to know for sure, but so far, Elliott seems to be playing well enough to possibly ñ just maybe ñ shake up the decision-making process. He is very athletic, and seems to be catching just about everything in practice. He also is a very good special teams player. This comes with the obvious caveat that weíre only a week into training camp, but Elliott would seem to have a very good chance to make the final roster if he plays as well in preseason games as he has in practice.
Chris from Section 232:
The Earth rotates from right to left because of the law of conservation of angular momentum. The direction of angular momentum and angular velocity are one in the same. This accounts both for the reasons the Earth tilts towards the Sun and rotates to the right....football if not so fun would seem inconsequential.
John: I like books with lots of funny pictures.
Jim from the Villages, FL:
In your estimation, which is more useless: the AP Preseason Power 32 (which lists the Jags 31) or all those college polls from preseason till week 6?
John: The AP Preseason Power 32. Because the NFL decides its champion on the field in a playoff system, any rankings ñ including the ones I do for jaguars.com ñ are by definition useless. Some of the college polls at least influence the real polls, which have at least a small effect on the eventual national champion.
Ron from Orlando, FL:
We're a laughingstock now. We're the only team without our first-rounder signed and the only team with a star who's holding out of camp. This is getting ridiculous and unacceptable. You can sugar coat the practices all you want, but when the AFC South blogger says that Gabbert looks the same as last year after Tuesday's practice, I tend to believe him because he has no bias in this. I have a very, very bad feeling about this year and I feel like we're becoming (if we're not already) the laughingstock of the NFL.
John: So, the Jaguars are a laughingstock because they donít want to tear up a playerís contract with two years remaining, and because they want protections safeguarding them in case a first-round pick has another serious off-field issue. To me, it sounds like the Jaguars are doing the right things possible to not be laughingstocks, but sometimes you have to agree to disagree. I consider Paul Kuharsky, the AFC South blogger, a friend, but while Gabbert still has a lot of improvement to make, to say he looks the same as last year just plain isnít true.
Bill from Jacksonville:
Mike Thomas earns more than Jordy Nelson. Let that sink in for a minute. If Mike Thomas doesn't make it past final cuts, how big of a mistake will that contract Gene gave him with two years left on his deal look? Thanks! Go Jags!
John: It would look like a big mistake.
John from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Is there any way that the MJD holdout can end with a win-win for both sides?
John: Sure, Jones-Drew can report. That way he gets paid for the season and the Jaguars can have their three-time Pro Bowl running back as was previously agreed on.
Peter from Atlantic Beach, FL:
We don't have Drew or Blackmon in camp. We have a second-year quarterback who was in over his head last year. We have a new owner and a new coach. The Jags are my team and I always support them. But I am perplexed as to the source of the optimism.
John: One source of optimism is a very, very good defense that looks better than it did a year ago. Another source is the team looks significantly better-coached. Another is this team will have a good running game no matter the running back. Another is that while the offense needs work there are signs of progress. I donít know how the season will play out, but those are the sources of optimism.
Kyle from Valley City, ND:
Don't know if you can be completely truthful about this given you work for "The Company," but I'd trade MJD in a nanosecond straight up for Mike Wallace or Cliff Avril. You?
John: I doubt either of those teams, the Steelers or the Lions, would make that trade. That has nothing to do with Jones-Drewís quality as a player and everything to do with Wallace being a wide receiver and Avril being a pass-rushing end.
Casey from St. Augustine, FL and Section 143:
I now realize why coaching staffs hate to have some (not you) of the media at practice. The whole world is making this HUGE deal about Blaine only going 1 for 12 on Monday. Whoever started that without telling the whole story should be banned from practices!!!
John: Welcome to the Twitter Age.
Armand from Jacksonville:
In the next offseason how much time can Gabbert and the receivers spend together according to the CBA?
John: Pretty much what they did this off-season. They came in in mid-April and left in mid-June. Because the coaching staff was new, the Jaguars were allowed to come in two weeks earlier for conditioning, but the time on field is limited to eight weeks for all teams.
Greg79 from Daytona Beach, FL:
I just finished reading an article on Profootballtalk.com titled "Reeling Jags suffer another blow." I understand that we'd prefer having Blackmon and Jones-Drew in camp but really, "Reeling" five days into training camp because an O lineman tweaks his ankle? I've done my best to pretend that there isn't some kind of agenda against the Jaguars, but they make it seem like we should go ahead and throw in the towel.
John: Yeah, I was chuckling about that headline, too. I could go into a big explanation about national writers taking snippets of information and drawing conclusions, but Iíd really rather just chuckle.
Time to chuckle
Let's get to it . . . Tony from Jackson, TN: