JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it...
Jayme from Garden City, KS:
On NFL Total Access, Willie McGinest tells San Francisco offensive tackle Joe Staley they won't even have to practice the week they play the Jaguars in London. I can't wait for that upset win for the Jaguars. I expect the Jaguars to play well against the 49ers and every team next year. I know it’s early, but what are your expectations for next season? Obviously, others seem to think we are at rock bottom.
John: Sure, people think the Jaguars are at rock bottom. They were 2-14 last season. I expect the Jaguars will compete, and I expect them to be better than some national analysts believe. I also expect them to be better at the end of the season than at the beginning. And yes, I expected that last season. That’s a reasonable expectation of a first-year head coach, and because it wasn’t met last season the Jaguars again have a new coach. I don’t know what the improvement will mean in terms of victories and losses, but I really don’t much care. It’s not that it doesn’t matter if the Jaguars win or lose next season. It’s the NFL. Of course it matters. But the Jaguars need to improve and need to start doing things right in a way that will lead to success. Do that and everything else will take care of itself.
Wayne from Jacksonville:
Can you give some insight as to why the Jags passed on Jake Long? Is four years, $34 million a lot for a player/position like him? It seems like such a solid move: Long and Monroe on the team, draft either Joeckel or Fisher, and there you have three very talented, relatively young offensive linemen. Then, you can find out just how good Gabbert can be.
John: You would then not only have three tackles making core-player money, you would have three left tackles making significant, salary-cap-space-eating money. You need good players, but you also have to manage the roster and cap.
Hunter from Jacksonville:
I don't recall an overabundance of penalties last year. With the emphasis on young players and high levels of competition for roster spots and starts, do you foresee a season flooded with enthusiasm, competition, younger players and then as a result...penalties, penalties and more penalties?
John: No. There may be a few penalties of youthful exuberance, but just because a player is young and competing doesn’t mean he’s playing stupid or making errors. One does not automatically lead to the other.
John from Jacksonville:
You answered a reader question with, "My general thought on the draft is you must, must, must hit in the first round," then went on to explain what was considered a "hit." For more drafts than not the Jaguars have not gotten a "hit" in the first round. Coupled with more free-agent failures than successes you get a 2-14 season. Kudos to you, coz you nailed it. I'm ready for a change (but not you of course).
John: (of course).
Colby from Jacksonville:
How was the trip to the Nike HQ? Can you tell us anything about what you saw, as in new Nike technology, gear, or the new unis?
John: The trip to NIKE headquarters was great. It’s a first-class operation and the people there did a great job. The technology is really, really cool and the advances in uniforms and the various layers are significant. As far as the uniforms, yes, I have seen them, but information about what we saw is embargoed until April 23. They’re different, and April 23 will be memorable. But for now, no details.
John from Jacksonville:
John, is it just me or are we bringing in a lot of players for workouts and interviews? I can't remember the last regime doing this sort of thing; did they just not broadcast it? Only time will tell the success of Caldwell and Bradley, but I have to say, I really love the way they are conducting themselves. I see a bright future for the Jags.
John: Caldwell and Bradley indeed are conducting themselves properly, but I wouldn’t place too much emphasis on the interview process. Who teams bring in for interviews can mean a lot or it can mean nothing at all. All regimes bring players in for workouts and interviews, and the Jaguars’ former regime did, too. It has been a little more public this year, with one reason being the Jaguars have the No. 2 overall selection, so there is more focus nationally on the process. Also, more visits and interviews around the league are becoming public knowledge. The focus on the league grows every year and the amount of information floating around about it seems to grow accordingly.
Chris from Jacksonville :
John...now, I love you. And now that we have a relationship started, there are gonna be some ground rules. No. 1: sharing is caring. Any beer offered to you is also being offered to me. No. 2: Honesty is policy. Honestly, do you think this regime could be the "ONE?” Does this new culture have a realistic make-something-positive-happen feel to it? Does this combination (Bradley/Caldwell) have the feel of a combination of talent that can turn this franchise around back on a once familiar track of success?
John: It does. At the same time, I’ll say what I have said since Shad Khan hired Gus Bradley and David Caldwell: As positive of a vibe and good of a direction as they seem to be headed, a lot has to go right for a team to grow into a perennial contender. Players must develop, players must stay healthy and you need some good fortune. The first step is having the right leadership and the right decision-makers, and the early vibe is the Jaguars do have that.
Tom from Melbourne, FL:
O, describe yourself in three words.
John: Happy, happy, happy.
Owen from Waycross, GA:
While the players are in town during voluntary workouts, are the coaches allowed to be involved? Are they allowed to go over the playbook and stuff like that?
John: I should have addressed this before. I can’t believe I didn’t. Coaches can be involved with meetings and classroom work throughout the nine-week voluntary offseason program. That is “going over the playbook.” They can be onfield with players in individual drills for three weeks beginning next week, then in team-oriented drills for four weeks after that.
Ryan from Jacksonville:
I want to see two quarterbacks in the backfield. The defense would never know where to rush and if they figure it out, lateral it to the other one. It's foolproof! Don't worry, my resume is in the mail.
John: Yeah, I was afraid of that.
John from Jacksonville:
Garrard would have been the starter here, and will probably be the Jets’ starter. I'd feel a lot more confident going into the season with Garrard, Tebow, Palmer than Henne, Gabbert, Palmer. I think both Garrard and Tebow have playoff wins. I've seen Garrard and Tebow roll over The Steelers! Abraham and Urlacher are the free agents we could use. Come on. Get with it. That draft pick would definitely be Geno Smith. I've seen him play.
John: A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
Jay from Jacksonville:
The more I watch Dion Jordan the more I think he would be the best pick at No. 2. We haven't had a dominant pass rusher since Tony Brackens, and Jordan has the potential to be just that. With the new defensive scheme, he could wreak havoc. With his size, speed, athleticism and versatility, he could be a force for years to come. What say you?
John: I say he makes some sense at No. 2. I also say there are about seven or eight guys who makes sense, from Jordan to Ansah, to Fisher, to Milliner, to Floyd, to Lotulelei, to Smith and so on. No one out of that group would stun me, and it won’t stun me if it’s someone outside of that group, either. It’s wide open.
John from Jacksonville:
According to Barth's Distinction there are two types of people: those who divide people into two types and those who do not. What say you?
John: To quote Steve Earle, “I’m the other kind.”
Dakota from Dupree, SD:
Ahhh. Better now...just got my daily O-Zone fix. Is this just work for you O-man or do you feel the need for some O-zone every day?
John: As Junior O-Zone – as well as anyone who knows me – can attest, there is a such thing as “too much O-Zone.” A little of me goes a long way.