JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it . . .
Phillip from Brunswick, MD:
With the development and production of Ryan Davis
and Andre Branch
this year, I am not seeing defensive end as a true "need" in the upcoming draft. Am I seeing that right?
John: Probably not. Branch and Davis have shown signs this season of developing into productive pass rushers in the team’s “Leo” position, but to say the Jaguars don’t need or couldn’t use an elite, change-the-game pass rusher probably wouldn’t be accurate. Despite their development, it’d be a reach to say either Branch or Davis is going to be elite. Also, here’s the thing that’s dangerous about talking “need” incessantly before the draft: If you go into the draft thinking, “I need, need, need X, Y or Z” you can talk yourself into drafting the wrong guy. Balance is the key.
Brian from Alabaster, AL:
Is it me or does the Jags’ logo look tougher and a bit meaner these past weeks?
John: It’s not just you.
Michael from Coach K and Jackson de Ville, FL:
In regards to your response to Colin from Orlando, are you stating the draft approach of taking Blaine Gabbert
in the Top 10 was an obviously bad move, since the expectation of a Top 10 drafted QB is for him to immediately be a starter? I agree this is the expectation.
John: It’s a little tiresome at this point to continuously hammer the Gabbert selection. What’s done is pretty much done. I would say, though, that when teams in the future are deciding whether or not to draft a quarterback that early more consideration likely will be given to whether he indeed can play immediately. I doubt you’ll see many more teams draft a quarterback in the first round with the idea that he will sit for an extended period. And yes, I think Gabbert’s career thus far would be discussed in draft rooms as a reason not to take a quarterback who wasn’t ready so early.
Thomas from Madison:
Thanks for reporting a great year of progress for the jags. GO JAGS!
Brian from New Hampshire:
I’d really like to see the Jaguars either sign or trade for a quarterback. Kirk Cousins or Ryan Mallet would be two I’d like to see them pursue. It doesn’t sound like Cousins would cost too much to get, either. Then, the Jaguars could spend the whole draft fixing the offensive line and adding more to the defense.Quarterback is the biggest need, so if we can solve it before the draft … sweet! And that would let us fill a lot of other holes the team has right now in the draft.
John: Your question assumes that the Jaguars’ front office believes Cousins and/or Mallet solves the Jaguars’ quarterback situation. I don’t know that we can assume that. The biggest issue with Cousins remains whether the Redskins want to trade him. I certainly wouldn’t, particularly considering Robert Griffin’s III style of play being conducive to injury. As for spending the whole draft fixing the offensive line, I don’t see that. I’d guess the Jaguars pursue an interior lineman in free agency and draft one, but I don’t think it will be a case of drafting three or four offensive linemen.
Bobby from Woodbury, NJ:
I just wanted to share my Brad Meester
story. I remember when he got drafted. I hated the pick. I said "Who? Not even from the regular Iowa?" Lol! "And what's wrong with Neujahr, Wade, and Weigert?” Then, on seemingly every long Fred Taylor run, you saw No. 63 running downfield. U just kept saying "There's that 63 in the mix again." Now I can't imagine our offensive line without No. 63. We love you and we'll miss you 63. Thank you.
John: Good stuff.
Josh from Savannah, GA:
You keep referring to the possibility of signing a quarterback in free agency over drafting one. I would be all for it if there were a franchise-caliber player available. Jay Cutler may make some sense, but his very high cap hit wouldn't fit Gus's mold. Other than that, it is down to Vick, Cassel, and Henne. If any of them are starting for the Jaguars come September, I will be a very confused fan.
John: I’ve also mentioned the possibility of trading for one. I’ve said often I think the most-likely scenario will be for the Jaguars to draft a quarterback next offseason. At the same time, it’s David Caldwell’s job to make sure that the player he acquires is one he absolutely believes has a chance to be a very, very good player. He didn’t see that in last year’s draft, which was a reason the Jaguars didn’t take one at No. 2. He’ll have different circumstances this year, but the same responsibility. The coming months will be fascinating as we all try to figure out what he’s thinking as he makes that decision.
Chris from Jacksonville:
So, when you are inducted into the Pride of the Jaguars, are you going to go with "John Oehser" or "O-Zone", or "O-Man" or what? Pro level senior writers with (hopefully) 10 year stints of writing the O-Zone every single day deserve a place.
John: At this point, I’m just hoping the security code works Monday. Actually, that’s sort of my daily mission statement.
Fred from Naples, FL:
Everyone seems to have a different opinion on this year’s Super Bowl being played in the New York area. What is your take on it? Are you hoping for a blizzard like I am?
John: Because of the weather issue, I’m not big on having it in New York from a football standpoint. You’d like to see the game decide the best team in the league, and severe weather hurts the chances of that happening. As for a blizzard, I like watching a slip-slide fest as much as anyone, but I wouldn’t enjoy it as much in the Super Bowl. To be frank, I probably see this issue too much from the perspective of someone who knows people who do this for a living. People – and not just players – spend their careers working for a chance at the Super Bowl. To have it influenced by inclement weather just doesn’t seem right. But that’s quite the stodgy, corporate view, I know. From a fan’s perspective, by all means … Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!
Tom from St. Augustine, FL:
You left Scobee off the list of "Meester" type guys. He may take your job sooner than we thought. Look over your shoulder ... the man is good at everything ...
John: I left Scobee off for a reason. He is good with the media, but if you’re ever around him, look into his eyes. There’s something there that can’t be trusted.
Garrison from Baton Rouge, LA:
Todd McShay's mock draft had Johnny Manziel being drafted by the Jaguars. Honestly, I'm happy with that. A lot of people have a problem with his attitude more than his height. In my opinion, his attitude is something the Jaguars need. He brings a fire to his team. Like a swagger, which is something the Jaguars don't have. And I think Gus Bradley would be the perfect coach to be able to reign in that attitude and point it in the right direction.
John: One fer Johnny …
Frank from Knoxville, TN:
Please no to Johnny Football. While I agree he has been a fabulous college player I see doom and gloom for whoever picks him to be their franchise guy. Too short. Too slight of build. Too injury prone. Too unconventional. And way too immature. He's got Ryan Leaf bust potential all over him. Please don't be lured into the potential of being relevant for the First Take audience Jim. Look away! Look away! You want a bold play? Go after Cutler and draft Mettenberger in the third or fourth round.
John: … and one not fer Johnny.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
I don't know any of the front office folks personally. They may all be idiots. But, I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and suggest that they may be able to handle the exceedingly monumental conundrum of how to fit the names of the "Pride" members on the walls of the stadium. Maybe they can't, but I have confidence that in 20 years, if there isn't room for the next name to go up, that they will have the wherewithal to tell a contractor, "move that one over a little". Then again, I could be wrong, and that scenario may turn into the end of the Jaguars altogether, because we all know that once a team runs out of room to put names in their stadium, they must disband as a team and all record of said team must be erased from history completely. That'll be a sad day!
John: The Jaguars’ front office appreciates your support.
Matt from Section 138:
O-Zone, I like you. What can I get you for Christmas?
John: I am a man of few needs. While some desire material goods, I find comfort and joy in the simple company of friends, family and yes, co-workers. So, you ask: What do you get such a man for Christmas? Not a gift you can touch or purchase, but rather, something from the heart: A kind word, a gracious thought, a good deed for someone less fortunate . . . either that, or a bottle of Jack.