JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …
Garrison from Baton Rouge, LA:
How much does Blake Bortles
play in the preseason? Will he get reps with the first team? I assume since he's the backup he will be the starter in Game 4, but what kind of playing time should we expect to see Games 1-3?
John: I expect Bortles to play almost exclusively with the second team in Preseason Games 1-3. That probably will mean playing parts of the second and third quarters in the first game and around that much in the second game. It could then mean playing about the final quarter and a half of the third preseason game. As for the preseason finale, you’re right there’s a good chance he and the reserves will start and play a lot of the first half.
Austin from Atlanta, GA:
I expect Colvin to start opposite Gratz next season, but I expect Alan Ball
to continue to be very difficult to unseat at that position. I also expect McCray to be in the mix.
Antony from Columbia:
Who is getting Alan Ball's reps with the first team? Blackmon or McCray? Also, how good do you think McCray will be? From what you've seen from him, do you think he will become a quality starting corner in this league?
John: McCray has gotten a lot of reps in Ball’s absence, and this is an important time for the second-year veteran. He is a talented player who has the skill set to be a good corner – and the size and physicality to fit in Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley’s defense. He also needs to play well during this opportunity. The Jaguars drafted Colvin this past offseason with the idea he can start – perhaps next season. If McCray can play well now he can be a legitimate part of that conversation.
Ron from Jacksonville:
I sure haven't heard a lot of talk about moving the Jaguars to LA lately have you?
John: Not from anyone knowledgeable, I haven’t.
Chris from Philadelphia, PA:
Hypothetically, if Chad Henne
is injured going into Week One and cannot start, does Coach Gus start Bortles?
Hypothetically, yes, but this is a fascinating question right now. Bortles is the backup to Henne and will start the season that way. If Henne is injured, Bortles will be the one to play. That’s the situation now – before Bortles has taken a snap or thrown a pass in an NFL preseason game. If he looks solid in the preseason – and he has looked pretty good early in training camp – then the Jaguars will have no problem entering the season with him as a backup. If he struggles in the preseason, then Bortles likely will still be the backup, but they also would need to at least have a temporary Plan B. You would think that’s Ricky Stanzi
, especially considering Stanzi’s familiarity with the offense. That also raises a question: if Bortles is ready to be the backup, then is he not also pretty close to being ready to start? That’s a legitimate question, and one that I’ve gotten a lot in recent weeks. I don’t know that the Jaguars yet have the answer. The bottom line is the Jaguars will continue to monitor this constantly, and when the time is right to start Bortles, that’s when they’ll start him.
Jason from Jacksonville:
Even though we've had a streak of losing seasons, I can't help but fall in love more and more with the team and what it does year in and year out. I always have more faith every year regardless of the record because I believe there are big things to come in the following year. I remember the 49ers not being too good in the recent past. Am I crazy for thinking this?
John: No. Not anymore.
Seth from Omaha, NE:
First off, I wish I could have been at the unveiling. Feel like I missed something big and important. Did many of the players attend the event? What do they think of the boards? Also, why did Underwood wear #12? Any significance? Is she a Mike Brown
John: The unveiling was big and important, and mostly it was symbolic. The presentation and Shad Khan’s words were a significant message to the people of Jacksonville that he and the team believe in this community. He made it a point to say it’s OK to celebrate Jacksonville and that there’s a lot of reason to have pride in the area. Yes, the players did attend the event and I think they felt it, too. In fact, I’m sure they did because you couldn’t be there and not feel it. I don’t honestly know why Carrie Underwood wore No. 12. Maybe she’s a doughnut fan.
Rob from Orange Park, FL:
Saturday night at EverBank was awesome! All I can say is: If Shad Khan is moving the team out of JAX he is going about it all wrong.
John: You’re right. He’s really bad at alienating a community and severing ties with a fan base.
Keith from Section 150:
O-Man, the Boards are Awesome! With the latest and greatest in technology though, the crystal clear HD showed how old and faded the seats are! Lol! I guess that could be the next project. Can't wait for to see a real game there!!
John: Yes, the stadium is showing its age in spots, but my big-picture takeaway from Saturday night was that there was a significant difference in overall appearance. The video boards, pools, cabanas and overall upgrades have taken a good 10 years off the stadium’s age. The place looks clean, young, shiny and new. I don’t know that it’s right to put it on a list of the league’s best stadiums, but it sure isn’t close to the worst and if you haven’t seen it, it’s absolutely worth a look. It’s looking really, really good.
Mike from Middleburg, FL:
MR O Its been a while . Let me get to the point what about TIM TEBO DUDE
John: I can’t think of a question that seems more out of place here right now.
J. Hooks from Orange Park, FL:
Man, I remember just two seasons ago when dropped passes were the theme of training camp. We don't seem to have that problem anymore. A lot of talent at receiver. Tough decisions ...
Good point. There have been a few drops during training camp. Rookie Marqise Lee
has had a few, and rookie Allen Robinson
had one Sunday. There have been others, but it’s not unusual to have a few in camp. And it’s certainly not a theme. Wide receiver without question appears to be very talented. Robinson in particular has been better more quickly than I expected. He looks the part, is making significant strides with his footwork and has the appearance of a player who might be good for a long time. I continue to say it’s a young group that may not be ready to carry the entire offense early in the season, but it may be more productive early than I originally anticipated.
Al from Orange Park, FL:
One of my favorite game-day traditions has died in recent years. For the Jags’ first decade or so, sometime shortly after halftime, when the fans/team needed a bit of an energy boost, Sweet Home Alabama was played. The energy in the stadium got a huge boost from it. Am I the only one who misses that? Who do we need to talk to to get it back? Do you have any clout in that department?
John: If I had clout in that department, you not only would hear Sweet Home Alabama shortly after halftime, you would hear the Drive-By Truckers’ first album the entire first quarter and Jason Isbell, Steve Earle and Lydia Loveless in the second. I’d probably toss in a little selected Waylon, too, along with the Clash, Sex Pistols, Dropkick Murphys and the Ramones – RIP, Tommy – at the right time, which in fact is all the time. You can add some Blaine Crews Band and Stevie Stilleto. No, you wouldn’t want me running the music in the stadium on game days. (OK, maybe a few of you would).
Jerry from Tamarac:
You state that the tightness of a spiral to a thrown ball is low on the list for quarterback effectiveness, but doesn't this severely affect the accuracy of the throw?
John: Not necessarily, no.
Tom from Charleston, SC:
In light of the recent events with pot and the rapidly changing social law, please solve a small dispute and answer the following. If a NFL player is caught in a state where pot is legal and he has been smoking a joint, is he punishable under the substance abuse rule? Can NFL rule trump state law?
John: Yes, the NFL’s substance-abuse policy applies no matter the state. Something not illegal under law can still be against NFL rules.
Sid from Pittsburgh, PA:
Khan is so DUUUVVAALLL!!!
John: That he is.