JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …
Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
When the team plays well, Chad Henne
plays well. He is not chopped liver. He is smart, and has the size and arm to play at a very high level. Fans are going to be shocked when he plays this year. It is his time and something tells me he is going to be hotter than a firecracker!
John: I agree Jaguars fans may underestimate Chad Henne. While I can’t in good conscience write that he is a Top 10 NFL quarterback, it’s fair to note he has never had the benefit of elite talent or consistent, stable situations around him. He will enter this season with a year of experience in Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch’s system, and also will enter the season having worked the entire offseason as the starter. Those factors should work in his favor. The other side of the equation is he is working behind a young line and with young receivers, and that makes his task difficult. The Jaguars re-signed him in large part because they believe his experience will help those areas develop. If they do, then yeah, maybe he can light that firecracker!!!!
Tim from Deltona, FL:
What are the chances, given the right opportunity, that Gus would allow Josh Scobee
a chance at the field-goal record this year? Does Gus have a bit of riverboat gambler in him? I sure hope he lets us all see what I've always believed from the very start of Scobee's tenure with the Jags: He is the MAN!
John: If the Jaguars are on the opponent’s 47- or 48-yard line late in a half or a game and if the situation calls for a field-goal attempt I’m sure Bradley will let Scobee attempt a 64- or 65-yarder. If it’s any other time of the game … probably not. The reward of three points in most situations isn’t worth the risk of giving the opponent field position for a touchdown.
Sean from Arlington, VA:
When does the O-Zone video mailbag return?
Brandon from Waukesha, WI:
I want to get a new Jaguars jersey but I don't know who to get. I have always gone with the running backs being Taylor and Mojo, but I think I want to wait a year on Toby. Your thoughts?
Jersey questions always baffle me, but what the heck: it’s training camp, so I’ll give it a whirl. There are a number of good long-term jersey options on this roster right now. Johnathan Cyprien
, Dwayne Gratz
, Luke Joeckel
, Marqise Lee
, Allen Robinson
… all have the look of good jersey “investments.” As for Gerhart, he has all the earmarks of a good player for this franchise for the next few years. He’s a fit for the offense, is in good health and is entering the prime of his career. I’m not a “jersey” guy, but if I were, I wouldn’t be overly concerned about not being able to wear No. 21 for a while.
Desmond from Spring Hill, FL:
Your response to Redmond about a white running back was very good. I personally don't think it matters what color anyone is as long as from a football perspective they get the JOB DONE.
John: Of course, it doesn’t.
Jacob from Beech Grove, IN:
Do you think Cecil Shorts III
and Allen Robinson will play in the first preseason game?
John: Yes. Shorts’ hamstring originally was diagnosed as perhaps keeping him out four weeks. Robinson felt something in his hamstring Thursday, but there was no indication initially that it’s a long-term situation.
Mike from St. Augustine, FL:
Hey John, you should ask the coach how his second year has been so far and how it's different from last year (coaching process)? If you haven't already?
John: I actually have asked Gus Bradley about this, and he’s discussed it more than once with a lot of people. He is of course approaching a lot of things the same because at his core he always will emphasize competition and daily improvement with the idea that if you focus on those things victories will take care of themselves. That approach helped the organization re-establish a culture last season, and the foundation of that culture is very much in place. Bradley still focuses on that, with an emphasis this season on what he calls a “race to maturity.” The process is a bit different this season in that many veterans understand his approach. Because they do, it’s a bit easier teaching young players and newcomers. But as Bradley will tell you it’s still a constant effort to articulate and coach the message.
Andrew from Jacksonville:
Just over a week until we get to see some action! And it's going to be on my birthday no less! Obviously he isn't starting for us yet, but do you expect Bortles to get any first team reps for a drive or two against the Bucs?
John: No, I expect Bortles to get about a quarter of playing time and maybe a little more. But he hasn’t worked with the first team in practice yet, and they’re not likely to put him in with the first team in a game situation before he has worked with the unit in practice. Chad Henne is the starting quarterback for the Jaguars, and to play Bortles against the starters would be indication that there is a competition or a chance for Bortles to start. As of the first week of preseason, that’s not the case.
Tom from Jacksonville:
The BRONX is not in Alabama but I went to a three-game set last year at Yankee Stadium. They played Sweet Home Alabama at all three games and the fans were singing. We have not won many games since we took away the song … ask the Cubbies about a curse. Bring the song back to be safe, plus at least everyone knows the song as evidenced by the fact it is the only one people ask about.
John: No insult to Lynyrd Skynyrd, but it’s safe to say that of the many, many reasons for the Jaguars’ struggles in recent seasons, cutting Sweet Home Alabama from the playlist is about as low on the list as you can imagine. In fact, I am almost certain you can’t find anything less pertinent, less important, more ridiculous and sadder to associate with the fortunes of this team …
Charles from Midlothian, VA:
Not that I am superstitious, but the team went from 8-8 the season before you arrived to not having a winning season since. Not saying it’s your fault, per se. But isn't this a season of starting things anew? A season to reset the team and the clock … time to reset the O-Zone …
John: … #DTWD
Tom from Jacksonville:
Went to practice this week and was a little shocked! These professional athletes spent half of the two hours stretching and doing individual drills. Does the league mandate that? With only 20 some-odd practices in camp, I would think they would stretch before practice. These guys don't practice a third of what we did in high school football, no wonder they are so delicate! #soccer sux
John: The league doesn’t mandate how much teams stretch and how cautious teams are, but logic and reason do. Minimizing injury is a priority for NFL teams, which means keeping full, all-out contact to a minimum. What you see at Jaguars practice is pretty much normal for NFL teams, and I sort of smile when you say these guys are delicate. Everyone’s entitled to their opinions, but most people who have been around NFL players probably wouldn’t share that one.
Joe from Richland Center, WI:
I haven't seen anything on the fullback situation. How many fullbacks do you expect the Jags to keep on the roster? From my hometown, you can probably guess I am interested in how Bradie Ewing
is doing. Will he be able to make the squad based on special teams play?
John: The Jaguars like both Bradie Ewing and Will Ta’ufo’ou very much. They likely will keep just one fullback and I would expect that fullback to be Ta’ufo’ou.
Billy from Los Angeles, CA:
Wanna go for a ride?
John: Do I!!!!!!
Stimpy from Section 145:
I've noticed in a lot of the videos, players on "D" talk a lot about Red Bryant
being the anchor of the line now. He is a big dude, but can he really be that dominant force we have been missing on the D-line for the long haul this season?
John: Red Bryant without question was signed to be the anchor of the line and to be a force against the run. Even against the backdrop of other large NFL players, he looks very large. So, yeah, he can be the dominant force, and if that wasn’t the case, this 6-feet-4, 207-pound senior writer may not be the best person to tell him he’s not.
Jason from Jacksonville:
What is your favorite football story to tell?
John: The one where I say to Shad Khan, “Hey, isn’t football awesome?” and he gives me a whole bunch of money.
Tom from Fort Myers, FL:
Jay, not sure if you're joking, but "pound-sign-dial-tone-while-dialing" is #DTWD. To be read "hashtag Duval Til We Die…"
John: You say, “Pound …” I say, “Hashtag” … Can’t we just all get along?