JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …
Don from Ponte Vedra, FL:
You do not need an elite quarterback to win the Super Bowl. Eli Manning, Trent Dilfer, Jim McMahon, Phil Simms, Brad Johnson and Doug Williams … Bob Griese never lost a game on the way to the Super Bowl and Dan Marino never won a Super Bowl. Andy Dalton and Alex Smith are worth every dime and are good enough to win it all. I think Chad Henne
is better than both of them. He just never had a good team around him. Having two really good quarterbacks on the team is a very, very good thing.
John: Having two good quarterbacks is indeed a good thing. It’s also a rare thing, but to address your first point: while you may not need an elite quarterback to win the Super Bowl, having one sure puts you in a position to get there more often. The jury is still very much out on how Henne compares to Dalton and Smith. As of now, I couldn’t put him in that category, but I agree he’s tough to evaluate because he never has had a great team around him. The early part of this season will be a challenge for Henne because of the youth around him. But that youth is a big reason he’s the starter, so that’s certainly a storyline as the regular-season opener approaches.
Andy from St. Johns, FL:
Once Bortles earns his first start, do you think you will be bombarded with e-mails calling for Henne to remain the starter?
John: I don’t know. How will Bortles play in that game?
Daniel from Jacksonville:
How many touches do you think anger hart is going to have week 1? THis is a fantasy question because I am debating on whether to start himorDanny Woodhead. (Woodhead is playing Arizona)
John: I don’t care if Woodhead is playing the ’85 Bears or the Episcopal Eagles back in the day when my boys Barksdale, Ketchum, Donahoo, Wyse and Barnett were lining up … if you’ve got a guy as talented, athletic and savvy as anger hart on your team, you play him every time. #freeangerhart
Tyrone from Tiburon, CA:
Preseason/roster-cut takeaway: Guys that we liked didn't make our team but are being picked up by other teams... Another small step in the rebuild that our depth is getting deeper than it used to be. Another small but positive step in the right direction?
Damien from Jacksonville:
What do you mean when you say the coaching staff thinks Henne can get the team in and out of plays faster? Is this related to the up-tempo style of offense they want to play, something with communication, or something else? Thanks!
John: I mean Henne because of his experience and his ability to see defenses sees and reacts faster – and gets plays called more quickly because of that. That generally speaking is what coaches mean by a quarterback playing fast, and that’s what Jaguars coaches are saying Henne did in the preseason. And yes, it’s about communication and it helps when you’re running an up-tempo offense.
Keith from Palatka, FL:
I liked your response to Kyle from Clearwater. There was no ulterior motive to Mike Brewster's release; he simply did not perform as well as Jacques McClendon
, Brandon Linder
, or Luke Bowanko
. Does anyone know what is going on with Marcel Jensen
? I thought he would be re-signed to the practice squad once he cleared waivers. Are other teams interested in him? Did he get his feelings hurt by being cut? Do the Jaguars not want him back? Could you shed some light on this rather murky situation?
John: Marcel Jensen is on the Jaguars’ practice squad. I don’t know how murky or not murky that is, but that’s where he is.
John from Jacksonville:
Tell the fans who are constantly second-guessing Bradley, Caldwell and others that there is a reason why they are earning millions of dollars to make those sorts of decisions and there is a reason why the fans aren’t.
John: That wouldn’t be very nice. You tell them.
Kevin from Jacksonville:
The Jaguars couldn't find a spot on their team for Michael Sam after his performance this preseason?
His preseason performance aside, Sam doesn’t really fit either of the Jaguars’ defensive end roles. He’s not really a five-technique, run-oriented end and he’s not really a Leo pass rusher. If he was going to play in Gus Bradley’s scheme, it would probably be as a Leo, and the Jaguars have four players at that position – Chris Clemons
, Andre Branch
, Ryan Davis
and Chris Smith
– that they like a lot.
Tom from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Does Henry Josey
get promoted to the active roster if he out-competes the current backup running backs in practice?
Mark from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Luke Bowanko is an example of why you do not trade away late-round draft picks. Great teams are developed and maintained by finding long-term starters in the late rounds. The more draft picks you have, the better chance of finding a diamond in the rough.
John: Yes, and as much as that, the more draft picks you have the better chance you have to have quality depth and speed in your backup units and on special teams. The more good, young players you have developing the better chance you develop good, young players. No doubt about that.
Steve from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Poppin' Bortles, Sippin' Henne. Game week is here. Are you happy now that you can start writing about actual in-game items/performance?
John: Oh, yes ... My life is pretty much a boiling, bottomless cauldron of joy.
Mike from Jacksonville:
With the offensive line set at Joeckel, Beadles, McClendon, Linder, Pasztor (once healthy) is it correct to assume that this will remain the starting lineup, barring any injuries, or is there still a chance of the line being shuffled if there's no cohesion?
John: I think Joeckel, Beadles, Linder and Pasztor are pretty much set barring injuries. I think there’s a fairly good chance Luke Bowanko could push to be in the mix at center sooner rather than later.
Buddy from Ocala, FL:
Loved the Jacksonville-In-Motion video. Is there any chance we can get a Culligan-cheerleader-in-motion video, too?
John: I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Jim from The Villages:
“Nah” was a great answer to Knolly. As to the fans seeing something sinister about not starting Bortles, how do you keep from trashing them? Bradley and Caldwell surely want to remain employed and are going to win to do so.
John: I don’t see much point in trashing fans for wanting to see Bortles. Shoot, I don’t see why they wouldn’t want to see Bortles. He’s exciting. He’s the future. He’s the No. 1 reason right now I see the future of this franchise having a chance to be really bright. Fans aren’t supposed to be rational and see the details of things and see behind the scenes. That’s the job of coaches and general managers, and right now the Jaguars’ coaches and general managers see enough that they believe Henne should be starting. Fans aren’t necessarily supposed to like that, but there’s no reason to trash them for not liking it, either.
Tom from Gainesville, FL:
I feel like a forgotten man...
John: Who is this?
Clint from Richmond Hill, VA:
It seems many national "experts" feel the Jags are heading in the right direction, but many have us only winning four games again this year. Do you feel like it would be a successful year if we only won four games, but showed improvement in the stats (i.e., points, sacks, int's, offense/defense rankings, etc.)?
John: Yes and no. I don’t care too much about where the Jaguars rank offensively or defensively, and taken by themselves, I’m not too concerned about where they rank in this category or that category. I do think the season can be successful if the Jaguars win four games, though. One reason is the Jaguars – statistically, at least – were closer to having one victory than they were to having seven or eight last season. The games they won were close and they needed to make plays at the end of games to win as many as they did. There were a lot of games in which they weren’t competitive. I think there will be a lot fewer of the noncompetitive games this season, and if that’s the case, then I think the Jaguars are improving. I also imagine Bortles will be playing by the end of the season, and if he’s ready and developing when he plays, then that also will be a step forward. I think by the end of the season those are the two things I will be watching for – competitiveness and further signs that Bortles will be very good. If we see those, I think this season will be successful whatever the record.
Cliff from Jacksonville:
I don't know what I'm hungry for. I don't know what I want anymore.
John: Get the buffet.