FREMONT, Calif. – Let’s get to it . . .
Shaun from Honolulu, HI:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but by my calculations the Jags have nine selections in the 2014 draft. A fifth-rounder from Detroit and unconditional from Seattle and all of their normal choices. So, fans can relax and focus on how the rookies play?
Your calculations are correct, and how the rookies develop is a key storyline this season. Ideally, the Jaguars want to see at least Luke Joeckel
and Johnathan Cyprien
develop into core players, guys the team can depend on to play at a high level and consistently win matchups. That’s a process, but each show signs of doing that. That shouldn’t be fans’ entire focus, but it’s a key to watch.
Smalls from Fernandina, FL:
Were you a hippie growing up?
Jamie from Tampa, FL:
The difference between what is read and what is written can be explained by poor reading comprehension in this country, which is the result of increasing reliance on the internet and social media.
John: Yes. Anyone who relies on the internet and social media as a source of information and/or income is an absolute . . . Wait. What?
Wallace from Jacksonville:
Hate to disagree, but there is a defensive lineman store - it's called free agency and the Jags could have signed Cliff Avril and/or Bennett. Instead, the Seahawks did and those guys played a heckuva game against the 49ers Sunday night. I know free agency can't be the solution to all problems, but with the severity of the Jags’ pass rush issues I'm guessing Dave Caldwell is regretting not signing at least one free agent DE this past offseason.
John: I’m guessing “not.” Caldwell knew the deficiencies in the roster. He also knew that the idea right now is to build through the draft, then add pieces through free agency at the right time.
Keith from Jacksonville and Section 436:
How about this draft scenario: We get first pick, pick Bridgewater in the first round, then at 33 pick Manziel since he may fall that far. Let them battle it out in camp, and trade the loser.
John: That’s a very unorthodox idea.
Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
This defense will make mistakes but they are very capable of making big plays. The offense is better than it has shown. It would not be a shocker to see them bounce right back. Those players have a lot of pride and they read what is being said about them! This team is going to win some games if they can continue to stay healthy.
Nicholas from Fort Lee, VA:
The biggest frustration about not winning is who we lost to. When your first two games are against two teams who were bad last year and you can't be competitive, then logically it seems all is lost. If our first two games were against the Broncos, Seahawks, or Patriots at least we would have an excuse for being bad.
John: That is the perception – that the Raiders and Chiefs were “winnable” games because of the teams’ records last season. That’s often not how it works, and it’s usually the case that by the end of seasons most preseason prognostications about many teams are way off. Were the Raiders and Chiefs the weaker teams on the Jaguars’ schedule? That’s the perception, but it may not be the reality in a month or two.
Cecil from St. Johns, FL:
COMPETE: compete for something; engage in a contest; measure oneself against others. By this definition every player on every team to ever play the game has "competed.” Can we stop with the "We competed today" talk after a loss? Congrats, guys, you made it to the field and played football. You want to build a great game day experience? We don't need a pool, the biggest screen in the world, or free WIFI.... We need to win
John: Thanks for the research. I would have done the same, but my internet was down. Look, I get that fans tire of hearing about competing after a loss. But the concept is core to Gus Bradley’s beliefs, and his belief is that once that is established long-term in the minds of players, then the foundation to his approach is established. It’s something you’re going to keep hearing.
Ken from Vero Beach, FL:
Before you can become a winner you have to know how to win. Say what you want, but Tebow knows how to win. He has been a winner all his life. He will do whatever it takes to win. You can't say that about the two guys they have now. Neither one of these guys are winners and they prove it every week. What did Tebow do for Denver? He showed them that they could win. Do you think Manning would have gone there if he thought they were losers?
John: This was a real email.
Eric from St. Mary’s:
I just got through watching "SportsCenter." What shocked me was that the ESPN football analysts dubbed the Jags as the most hopeless team in the NFL!!! Do you agree with that statement? Because I definitely don't!!!
John: I don’t agree, but there’s not much you can do to change people’s minds when you’re 0-2. I remember going to Tampa to do a story on the Buccaneers in 1995, and the gist was how that was a hopeless situation considering they had had a long run of double-digit-loss seasons. They were the brunt of many national jokes. They hired Tony Dungy as head coach the next offseason, began winning, eventually won a Super Bowl and the perception changed. That’s how it happens.
Thomas from Madison, WI:
With Clowney coming out in the draft and the Jags looking like a solidified No. 1 pick is there any chance you pass on Clowney when he could completely change the lack of pass rush even though that means that we are stuck one more year with awful quarterbacks?
John: The draft is seven months away. I expect the quarterbacks and Clowney to get discussed a lot. David Caldwell said last offseason there were core positions that needed to be addressed that realistically could only get addressed one draft at a time. I expect that defensive end will be addressed next offseason, and we’ll know more on quarterback by the end of the season.
George from Savannah, GA:
We may well lose MJD next year. In light of the Trent Richardson trade, if we could find a willing team to trade with for a reasonable draft pick why not do what Indy and Cleveland did? Granted MJD is older, but we are going nowhere this year and could use more picks and at the same time spend more time evaluating our younger running backs.
John: This question came a lot in the last day since the Richardson trade. There is a key difference. Richardson is in his second year, while Jones-Drew is coming off of a season in which an injury cost him 10 games and he is injured again.
Adam from Jacksonville:
I'm annoyed WE didn’t manage to fleece the Colts by trading MJD for a huge draft pick. I don't expect that anyone (even Irsay) would trade a first-rounder for MJD, but as soon as I heard they were looking to trade for a running back I was really hoping we might be the ones getting the best of this trade. Instead, I see the Browns taking the lead and we are once again standing on the sidelines...
John: . . . Richardson is in his second year, while Jones-Drew is coming off of a season in which an injury cost him 10 games and he is injured again.
Tudor from St. Augustine, FL:
Anyone else notice how the running game coincidentally fell apart the same year Greg Jones peaced out?
John: The Jaguars running game wasn’t very good last year. It was better when Jones was playing, perhaps, but I wouldn’t put the entire demise on the absence of Jones.
Jared from downtown Otown:
Do you foresee a time when the NFL starts to employ a draft lottery system similar to the NBA's?
Vincent from Section 103:
I think drafting Gratz over Matthieu was a mistake and I think both Gratz and Sanders are starting to look like busts.
John: Gratz has played less than one game and Sanders has played two.
Brian from Lansing, Mich.:
Do you think Mercedes Lewis will be ready to play in Seattle? He could take the pressure off CS3.
John: No. Yes.
Dane from Jacksonville:
I read that eighty percent of our starting offensive linemen have played every snap in the first two games. If this amount of playing time together continues, do you think it could make for some improvement along the line?
John: Yes. Continuity on the line helps. The Jaguars’ offensive linemen played a bit better against the Raiders than they did against the Chiefs. As they continue to adjust to the zone-blocking scheme, and to playing together in it, that should continue.
Marshal from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Do you think the Seahawks will have more points than the Jaguars will have yards this Sunday?
Malachi from Valencia, CA:
"Warming up" the pool water at the Marriott in Fremont, CA #ShadrickSighting
John: Wait? Just how close is Valencia to Fremont?