Let's get to it . . .
Ray from Jacksonville:
How about this equation: six really good offensive linemen is better than five really good offensive linemen?
John: Good point. I'm about worn to the nub on this subject, as I'm sure others are, too, but like you, I never have grasped people's anger over it. It started when the Jaguars moved Eben Britton to left guard, and continued when it was speculated he and Will Rackley might compete when Rackley returned. That turned out to be a moot point because Rackley is on injured reserve, but had he been healthy, you're right: that would have given the Jaguars at least six really good offensive linemen. My view on this may be skewed because I grew up a Redskins fan in the Hogs Era and it seemed like every year they had linemen go down only to replace them with players who were just as good. I just got used to the idea that in the NFL you were absolutely going to have linemen injured and that you needed players who could play at at least a serviceable level in their place.
Mike from Jacksonville:
How often does Greg Jones take your lunch money?
John: I don't carry cash to work. Jones is just one reason.
Wallace from Jacksonville:
To build off Michael from Orange Park's question, what is the NFL rookie reception season record and who holds that distinction? Given the chemistry that seems to be rapidly building between Gabbert and Blackmon, I'm with you on the over/under question. I think Blackmon will total over 80 receptions this season.
John: Anquan Boldin holds the NFL record for receptions by a rookie with 101 in 2003 and for receiving yards by a rookie with 1,377. Randy Moss holds the record for touchdown receptions by a rookie with 17. He did that in 1998 with Minnesota. We'll continue in this vein with a nod to Garrett "Go Get 'Em" Petty of the Jaguars' public relations department, who researched first-round receivers since 1991. Of that group, only A.J. Green (1,057, Cincinnati) in 2011, Michael Clayton (1,193, Tampa Bay) in 2004, Moss (1,313, Minnesota) in 1998, Terry Glenn (1,132, New England) in 1996 and Joey Galloway (1,039, Seattle) finished with more than 1,000 yards receiving.
Thomas from Jacksonville:
Could you please help me understand why C.J. Mosley is playing ahead of Pot Roast? Is it due to the injury? No way that guy is better than Knighton.
John: This is a little like the Britton/guard angst to me. I'm a big fan of Knighton. I respect him as a person, a player and I'm impressed with how he came back from his offseason eye surgery. I think Knighton is a talent and will be a very good defensive tackle in the NFL for a long time. All of that said, everyone you talk to around the Jaguars will tell you that since C.J. Mosley arrived here he has gotten better and better and is playing at a high level. Right now, he is ahead of Knighton. Why is that bad?
Mark from Waldorf, MD:
I have two questions. One, if a player is hurt and sits out a few games is he still receiving his normal game check as if he were playing? Two, Mularkey talked about wanting to move Blackmon around to gain advantages on defenses when he gets comfortable with where he is at now; my question is about when do you expect Justin to be completely comfortable with where he is at now and how soon could we see Blackmon lining up in the slot and other things?
John: I have two answers. One, yes, a player keeps getting paid if he is out a few games with an injury. Two, I think you'll start seeing Blackmon moving around pretty soon. I think you'll see him do it a lot more as time goes on.
Jeff from Starke, FL:
So, does a lengthy holdout while still under contract and the levying of fines to get him to play have any effect on a potential Jaguars Ring of Honor inductee for MJD?
John: I doubt it. One holdout during a career is pretty common for players, and this is a business. If there is long-term acrimony between Jones-Drew and the team it could have a lingering effect, but that doesn't appear to be the case.
Pete from St. Augustine, FL:
When you were with the Times-Union, how many writers covered the Jaguars? How about in Indy? Seems pretty sad that Vito is it considering this is our one and only team. Do you know if replacement for Tanya is on the way?
John: Pete Prisco and I covered the Jaguars during most of my time covering the team for the Times-Union and in Indianapolis there generally were two or three writers on the beat. The permanent replacement for Tania Ganguli has been hired, though. His name is Ryan O'Halloran and he started this weekend.
Keith from Summerville, SC:
OK, I don't get it. Jaguar players will get fined for talking about injuries, yet Mularkey is telling reporters that William Middleton will be starting in place of Derek Cox on Sunday? What is the logic in this? Do you think Cox will play and that this is just misdirection to get Minnesota to game plan for Middleton at cornerback?
John: Mularkey doesn't want players talking injuries because the idea is to get one source for injury information going out of the building. That source is Mularkey. It's a situation that should work for fans because Mularkey to this point has been as forthcoming as he could possibly be regarding injuries. For that same reason, I think right now Cox is unlikely to play and that Middleton will indeed start.
Sharon from Jacksonville:
Does the $28.7 million currently under the salary cap carry over and get added to next year's?
Randy from Jacksonville:
I didn't want to ask, and even waited a few days, but now it's bugging me. Since MJD didn't count against the 53-man roster, don't we have to waive somebody now? I don't see who the poor guy is that made to final 53, and now has to be cut.
John: I thought I'd answered this, but maybe it was on Twitter (@johnoehser). The Jaguars haven't released anyone yet, and don't have to until they actually activate Jones-Drew. For this week's game that doesn't have to happen until 4 p.m. Saturday. As for feeling sorry for these guys, keep that to a minimum. All of the guys who worked throughout the offseason and got released last weekend knew the situation going in, and the guy who gets released this week does, too. Another thing to remember is a guy who gets released to make room for Jones-Drew obviously is good enough to make a final roster. It's quite likely he will get signed by the Jaguars or someone if/when someone gets hurt. See: Colin Cloherty. NFL reality for a lot of the bubble guys is they are going to bounce around and play four or five games for teams for a couple of years. It ain't as good as being a regular, and it ain't easy, but the money ain't bad, either.
Bill from Jacksonville and Section 118:
Is it true a player must play in one game before he can be traded or released or become a free agent?
Joel from Atlanta, GA:
I think it speaks volumes for the team's belief in Gabbert that he's a captain, and I think it will benefit him tremendously. It is huge that the team believes so much in him. He's 22. And more importantly, the PLAYERS chose him.
John: The quarterback should be your captain, but with Gabbert being a second-year player, it is important. But if you've been around this team it's not surprising. His teammates believed in his potential last year, and they saw how he worked and improved in the offseason. They also saw how he naturally led the team during practices all offseason and in training camp. Time will tell how he performs, but he absolutely has the respect of his teammates.
John from Jacksonville:
Many people are missing a point. Today, Phil from Fort Collins asked "...why would it be OK for a team to break the contract no matter how much money the player received in a signing bonus?" The point is, the team is not "breaking" a contract. The contract allows the team to terminate it under certain terms. One of those terms is that the players get to keep the signing bonus. There are other protections for vested veterans within the contract. That's the balance that the two sides wanted and negotiated.
John: Yes, it is.
Steve from Atlantic Beach, FL:
In preparation for opening day's first kick, I've just spent a well-used hour perusing everything Jags on Jaguars.com. I have to say there's probably not a better sports web site on the internet. From the O-Zone to All Access, from the video interviews to the up-to-the-minute insights, from Oehser to Lageman, there is no stone unturned. The team's growth remains to been seen but you and your team are a proven commodity and I, for one, thank you! I cannot wait until Sunday!
John: Oh, there are a few stones unturned. They involve @jaguarsinsider, @TonyBoselli and their approach to all things dining. What's under them? Well, believe me, it ain't pretty.
Let's get to it . . .
Ray from Jacksonville: