Let's get to it . . .
Marcus from Jacksonville:
Everyone seems to be jumping on the "spread" bandwagon – specifically, the read-option bandwagon. The thing I've taken away from seeing these offenses succeed isn't the type of offense they're running, but that they are putting their quarterbacks in a system best fitting their skill set. That, to me, has been the problem with Blaine Gabbert
. He has the tools to be a drop-back NFL quarterback, but he's not comfortable with that yet, so why not tailor the offense to what he's comfortable with until he's comfortable being a pro-style, drop-back passer?
John: I assume you’re talking about the success of Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick and perhaps Tim Tebow. Yes, coaches adjusted offenses to those players, but those players are also comfortable running as a designed part of the offense – and did so in college. While Gabbert is capable of running, and while he indeed ran a spread offense at Missouri, I don’t know that he would be all that effective in a read-option type system. He seems to be more comfortable running when necessary. If you’re not running the read option, it’s difficult to run a spread in the NFL. There’s too much risk getting the quarterback injured with little of the reward of having him run.
Sean from Orange Park, FL:
From the reports this week, it appears the Jaguars were receiving tons of positive attention with good vibes all around. In spite of a 2-14 record, how might this positive perception translate to attracting talent in the free agency market?
John: A good vibe and positive attention could help in free agency. A good, big contract helps a lot more.
Mike from Middleburg, FL:
Why is it that the national sport beat writers have better sources or insiders than we here in Jacksonville do? They’re always first.
John: I get this question a lot in the offseason, and it takes a while to address. First, the insiders and writers here in Jacksonville are good, and I have a lot of respect for them. But with the rise in importance of the internet has come the growing profile of a number of national reporters such as Chris Mortensen, Adam Schefter and Jay Glazer, to name a few. Most local beat writers around the country have good sources with their own teams, but those sources rarely speak about news of coaching changes or general managers or even free agents. Much of the news on head coaching changes, general managers and free agency comes from agents and from leaguewide sources – i.e., people from other teams and in the league office. National writers are usually more connected at that level. Schefter, for example, speaks to many agents and people within the league every day and because of his profile, an agent is more apt to assist him with a story than he would a local beat writer from the Times-Union or Tampa Tribune, for example. It’s not a matter of effort, experience or ability as a reporter. Often, it’s a matter that an agent or league/team official gains more from helping the national writer than the local writer. As for how jaguars.com handles news stories such as coaching changes, general manager coaches or free agency changes, team policy often prevents us from tweeting or writing something before it becomes official – i.e., when paperwork is signed or legalities are completed. This sometimes causes us to lag behind in the news, but policy in these cases is policy.
Gerald from Hilliard, FL:
In a pure BAP drafting situation, couldn't you, theoretically, end up with five quarterbacks or five punters? Nobody in their right mind would do that.
John: Yes, you could and no, you would not.
Shane from Jacksonville:
Frank Scelfo coached Losman. Yikes!
John: I’ve never understood people who judge coaches solely on players they’ve coached. You can only work with the talent given, and how effective the coaching is depends on the player. I have no idea what people think of Losman or why his career was the way it was, or what impact Scelfo had either way. What I do know is you can’t judge a coach based on the performance of a single player.
David from Jacksonville:
“Walker went 10-40 with the Aggies after serving as an assistant at UCLA for three years." How is this good news? He never won more than four games in a season with New Mexico State. How can he improve this team?
John: See my answer to Shane from Jacksonville, and give it a twist. The job duties of a college head coach and an NFL position coach are dramatically different. Walker is being hired to coach the secondary. New Mexico State’s record couldn’t be more meaningless in his new role.
Michael from Jackson, MS:
The Eagles, Browns, Saints and Falcons are switching to a 3-4 defense. Why are we being stubborn sticking to a predictable 4-3?
John: Why do you want the Jaguars to do something because the Eagles, Browns, Saints and Falcons are doing it? There’s no magic in the 4-3 or the 3-4.
Ed from Danvers, MA:
Was it Boselli sleeping on the bench next to you?
John: No, Boselli is covering the Pro Bowl this week for whatever radio network believes he has something worthwhile to say about the NFL. That means he’s probably sleeping on a bench somewhere in Honolulu.
Buddy from Jacksonville:
Ok, change is great, but are you kidding me? The GM would rather keep Gabbert, and Henne, instead of Tebow and a first-round draft pick. The current quarterbacks can't and haven't even finished a season. I think Henne had two four-game seasons, a 14, and a 15 before he got here. Garrard got us to the playoffs, and kept even with the Patriots until they went conservative the second half. Why isn't Tebow getting a full season to play? He's already proved himself.
John: Buddy’s back.
Frank from Knoxville, TN:
Given what we know about the draft, specifically, the lack of a game-changer in the Top 10, why not go with the safest pick that also fits a need? I'm speaking about the guard from Alabama, Pork Chop Womack. Everyone seems to think he is a Top 10 talent and by far the best at his position. He is a plug-and-play starter with Pro Bowl potential from Day One. With the lack of production from Britton at Guard, the unknown status of Rackley returning from IR and the increasing age of Nwaneri, it seems like a perfect fit of need and value. Thoughts?
John: I think I have a hard time seeing a guard going No. 2 overall in the draft. You only get so many chances to get game-changing players, and teams have a hard time not using Top 10 selections on those positions.
Ruben from Jacksonville:
What do you make of the Manti T'eo issue? I don't really care, but I think he's a good football player. Before the one bad game and the controversy that has nothing to do with football he was probably a Top 10 pick...Do you think if he falls to the second round we would pick him up I think he'd be a steal?
John: I have no idea what to make of the Manti T’eo issue. I’m not big on trying to pass judgment on someone’s personal life if they’re not trying to harm others. From what I can tell, I don’t believe T’eo was trying to hurt anyone. It may hurt him in the draft, though, and it may make things awkward with teammates. I sort of thought his value in the draft was well outside the Top 10, anyway, so, yeah, second round might be about right.
Emil from Tallahassee, FL:
New owner, young GM, young coach, young assistants, more than likely a very young core of players. Yes, there is bust potential here but can we focus on how rare it is for fans to watch all these pieces grow and learn together? The next couple years could be a lot of fun to watch, and a chance to watch something blossom. Let's enjoy that, yeah?
John: There is bust potential whatever the age of those involved. The coaching staff was very experienced last year, and that didn’t work out. Not knocking that group, just pointing out that age isn’t a positive or negative. And yes, there is a good chance that with these pieces in place, we could be watching a progression in the coming years. That’s the hope.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
I agree with you that trading for Revis would be a bad idea, considering the money involved, the injury, and the fact the Jags are at least a year away from contending. But, using that same logic, would it make sense to trade MJD and get some draft picks for him?
John: Yes, it would make sense. The issue is how much you can get in return and if the benefit would outweigh the loss. That’s where Jones-Drew’s age, injury last season and position comes into play. Can you get worthwhile value for him? That’s the question.
Kurt from Seattle, WA:
John, I wish I was like you – easily amused . . .
John: Yes, you do.
Wallace from Jacksonville:
Do you think Caldwell may take Luke Joeckel with the No. 2 pick in the draft? Seems this would be a good pick as it would address multiple needs and pick a "top-rated player." Move Eugene Monroe
to right tackle and play Joeckel at left tackle, thus helping pass-blocking on the right side and improving Blaine Gabbert's performance. In the event Joeckel gets injured, Eugene can move back to left tackle and Bradfield or Whimper can fill in at right tackle. Dare to dream - could Luke Joeckel maybe be the second coming of Tony Boselli? Now that would be a great find.
John: It would, but I don’t know that we need to spend the next three months debating whether the Jaguars will move Eugene Monroe to right tackle. It could happen, but left tackle is far from the greatest need on the roster. If Joeckel is overwhelmingly the best player, then this scenario could play out, but at this juncture, it’s not the most-likely scenario.