JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it . . .
Shawn from Honolulu, HI:
Aloha, John … If the roof on EverBank Field is to be one like that of the Vikings, then why add a pool? Otherwise, if it is like that of Dallas, wouldn't it make sense that the Jaguars would open the roof early in the year in order to take advantage of the heat?
John: First, let’s slow down a bit on the “roof” talk. The video boards aren’t even up yet, and anything covering EverBank Field is in the fairly distant future. Still, it appears this topic is being discussed, so when thinking about this concept, it’s probably best to think more in terms of “cover” than “roof.” There would be shade, but EverBank Field would still very much be outside. Still, if anything is added in the future, it almost certainly would be used in September; combating the heat would be the whole idea – or most of it, anyway.
Oscar from Palm Coast, FL:
Why does Vito have to come crashing in on interviews? I was enjoying the interview with Dave, then all of a sudden out of nowhere Vito comes crashing in. I started laughing and missed the end of the interview....
John: Some things in this world you just can’t explain.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
Running back is important on Sundays, but in terms of player contracts and draft picks, it seems teams feel they can get a serviceable back without spending big or picking high. I can see elite athletes in high school and college gravitating toward other positions because they know they're not going to have a long, lucrative career at running back. Over a long period, that could mean the end of the position as we now know it. I could see it becoming a position where you have a blocking back, then rotate other hybrid players in to run the ball when necessary, thereby eliminating the need for one guy that can run, catch and block. What do you think?
John: I doubt we’ll see the total extinction of running backs. But the general trend has been toward teams rotating at the position with guys playing specific roles. Gone are the days when most NFL teams have one “primary, dominant running back.” I don’t see that reversing.
Jay from Port St. Lucie, FL:
I don't see "dunking the football over the goal post" as a safety rule change, so how bout one fer renaming the NFL to the No Fun League?
John: I liked the dunk, too. One fer wishing they hadn’t changed this one.
Ray from Section 115:
I just saw Chris Burke's mock draft and can't say that I agree. He has a possible Jaguars trade up to No. 1 for a quarterback. If anything, I could see the Jags trading back with Oakland or Minnesota; extra picks and Mack, Evans or Barr would be outstanding. Some may want Watkins, but there has to be some caution with prior trouble and the Jags receivers’ history.
John: I’d be surprised if the Jaguars moved up. Really surprised, actually. Caldwell values draft selections too much and I don’t get the sense that he sees any player in this year’s draft as being that much better than the field to merit giving up what it would cost to move up. As far as Watkins, don’t associate the past with the present. Caldwell was asked about this at the owner’s meetings and didn’t seem overly concerned about Watkins’ history.
Greg from Neptune Beach, FL:
One game, I almost substituted beer with water because it was so hot ... almost.
John: Way to stay strong. #Standunited
John from Ponte Vedra, FL:
Not even one extra pick? Some teams got four.
John: You’re referring to the compensatory selections for the 2014 NFL Draft, which were announced Monday. No, the Jaguars didn’t get an extra pick. They weren’t surprised by this. The league’s formula for compensatory selections is based on free agents gained and lost the previous offseason, and emphasizes contract value and playing time. The formula is secret, but based on how it has worked in the past, few expected the Jaguars to get a compensatory selection – and if they had gotten one, it wasn’t expected to be in one of the earlier rounds.
April from Pooler, GA:
How did the Ravens do it? They traded two middle-round picks to the Jags for Monroe, but now receive four middle-round compensatory picks in the 2014 draft, mitigating the loss of the picks traded to us. I somehow now feel fleeced in the trade deal.
John: I can’t control how you feel, April, but give the Ravens credit. They have in recent seasons been very good and disciplined in retaining certain free agents, letting others go and not overspending for veteran free agents. That’s a formula for garnering compensatory selections. That’s also the sign of a healthy franchise and that’s something toward which the Jaguars are working. All of that said, what the Ravens received had nothing to do with the Jaguars. Had the Jaguars retained Eugene Monroe until this offseason and lost him in free agency, they likely still wouldn’t have received much in the way of compensatory selections next offseason. They were active enough in free agency that it likely would have negated the loss in the league’s formula.
Joe from Jacksonville:
Some guy denied that I was a "Jolly good fellow," so I punched his lights out. (What would you have done?)
John: Given the facts at my disposal, I’d say you made the right call.
Frank from Knoxville,TN:
Zero compensatory picks. That has to sting a little considering how many veteran guys the Jags lost, with a couple of them (Knighton and Smith) excelling for their new team. This makes the few trades DC was able to swing to acquire more picks look even better.
John: It really doesn’t sting. Terrance Knighton signed with the Broncos, but it wasn’t a huge contract and Daryl Smith’s departure didn’t count in the formula because he signed with the Ravens after June 1.
Patrick from Jacksonville:
What's the big deal with players looking the part? Bridgewater is skinny, and Manziel is small but both have had success at thequarterback position in some big-time college games.
John: I’ll hold my breath and wait for the can of worms this opens, but hey … what’s the offseason for if not for worm-can opening? Yes, Bridgewater and Manziel performed well in some big-time games, but that doesn’t always translate to the NFL. There are concerns about each player that not only could prevent the Jaguars from drafting them, but could cause them to slip in the draft significantly. I said, “could,” not “will,” but the possibility exists. Now, talk amongst yourselves …
Andrew from Toledo, OH:
Do you think the Jaguars’ third pick will be used to select a player that everyone is talking about or do you think they could take a wild-card player? Such as wide receiver Mike Evans or defensive tackle Aaron Donald?
John: Most of the mock drafts you see have the Jaguars selecting quarterbacks Blake Bortles of Central Florida, Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville, Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack or Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins. It’s March 26 and as of that date, I’d be surprised if it’s not one of those players if the Jaguars select No. 3 overall.
Stephen from Switzerland, FL:
You were asked a question about what would happen if Henne got hurt – if we would start a rookie we just drafted. You answered, "Probably." My question is that while I know Gabbert has not been great by any means, and at times he has made some questionable on-field decisions, has he really proven to be so bad that we start a rookie over him while he is on the roster?
John: Blaine Gabbert is a member of the San Francisco 49ers.
Christian from Orlando, FL:
I'd like to share a story about our great owner if I could. I was able to go to the Thursday night win over the Texans with some friends last year. When we returned to the hotel, Mr. Khan was in the lobby. After posing for a picture, he spoke with me for 20 minutes about the Jaguars, the direction of the team, and the culture he was building. He was genuinely interested in my opinion and was extremely proud of our dedication to the team. Afterward, we all shared an elevator and he even graciously accepted a beer from my girlfriend. We could not have a more humble, passionate, or genuine person writing the checks and every Jags fan should be proud to have him as our owner
John: Hey! One fer Shad, and your story is not uncommon. He is indeed gracious and cares very much about the opinions and thoughts of Jaguars fans. Incidentally, if you think he was gracious accepting one beer, you should hang with me some time. You have no idea how gracious I can be.