Thomas from Fleming Island, FL
Q: Within the AFC South, which opposing teams provide the most difficult matchups for the Jaguars' offense and defense?
A: I'd say the Houston Texans, for both the offense and defense. The Texans do not have a quarterback that is the caliber of Andrew Luck, but Bill O'Brien has made the Jaguars look foolish in every one of their meetings, while Luck has to bounce back from a poor season.
As for the Jaguars offense, the Texans have forced a ton of pressure on Blake Bortles as well as forced a number of turnovers in each encounter that they have had with the Jaguars since Bortles took over as quarterback.
As mediocre of a franchise as the Texans have been, they are still very much so a hump that the Jaguars have to get over.
Gatorboy from Jacksonville, FL
Q: Who will start in place of Aaron Colvin at nickel while he is suspended? Also, do you foresee Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue playing together at each end in third-and-long situations?
A: To answer your first question -- we don't know yet. During training camp, nickel corner will be a significant storyline. I imagine Colvin, Dwayne Gratz, and Jalen Ramsey will spend some time in the position. On opening day, I think you'll most likely find Ramsey outside, which probably puts Gratz in that nickel role. Though, the Jaguars could choose to employ Ramsey's skill set in the nickel on a short-term basis. We'll see.
As for Fowler and Ngakoue -- it's possible that they could share the field in rare situations. The Jaguars' lightning package has been evolving since 2013. Todd Wash is the Jaguars' new defensive coordinator, but he's also still the defensive line coach. We'll see how creative Wash chooses to be with the new talent at his disposal. If a situation calls for a surplus of on-field speed, the Jaguars might place a Fowler/Ngakoue package on the field.
Jim from Kingsland, GA
Q: According to many, the Jaguars offensive line did not live up to expectations last year. However, with the changes made for this year, expectations are very different, and one key to success may be blocking assignments assigned by a new center who has never done this at a pro level. How sure are you that Brandon Linder can make the correct blocking assignments consistently?
A: Very. Linder might very well be the best offensive lineman on the team and his expertise is interior blocking. And he has experience at center. Gus Bradley gets a lot of (deserved) crap #onhere, but he started giving Linder reps at center last year in training camp and the preseason.
But that doesn't mean I'm necessarily confident in the offensive line as a whole. You're going to have two new starters at left tackle and left guard who didn't even play on the team last year. Even if Linder does well at center, which I'm confident he will, that's a lot of changeover. Kelvin Beachum and Mackenzy Bernadeau are veterans, but still.
Alan from Aurora, IL
Q: With Dan Skuta's pending legal issues do you think Myles Jack will start to get some time at the Otto position? I'm not writing off Skuta until the legal stuff is sorted out. But the thought of Poz stuffing the middle, Telvin and Jack flying around the rest of the field sounds good to me.
A: Alfie wrote about this last week. Check it out.
Drew from Jacksonville, FL
Q: We will probably have at least five new starters on defense this year. How do you think they will blend together?
A: Very well. We have talked about this in a previous post, but it is much easier for a defense to blend together than it is an offense because a lot of assignments on defense are based on individual ability and not on the people around you.
Steve from Fort Lauderdale, FL
Q: The national media seems to talk about Ivory being a good addition because of his pass protection and ability to take some carries off of Yeldon. But will Yeldon's performance decrease after what appears is a decrease in confidence from the organization in him?
A: I don't think there is any decrease of confidence in Yeldon from the team. They have made it clear from day 1 they do not see him as a goal line back. Them replacing a role that he has never had with the team does not indicate a loss in confidence. I think the backfield situation will be easy to decipher as the year goes on; Both backs will get a lot of opportunities, but Ivory's opportunity are more likely to yield more beneficial results.
Mark from Merced, CA
Q: You might laugh, but I think Bortles will be a top-five quarterback this year. More dependable running game, outstanding targets, and an improved offensive line. Am I crazy?
A: Do I look like I'm laughing, Mark? Slide over, I'm hopping on that train.
Ryan from Jacksonville, FL
Q: We signed Malik Jackson for a gargantuan amount of money. That was the last I have heard about the guy. Is he standing out in practice at all? Is he making an impact?
A: Unpadded summer practices don't do much to highlight the worth of an interior lineman. In training camp, you might hear a bit more about him and his role. If we're being honest, I wouldn't expect much hoopla surrounding Jackson during the regular season, either. He's not a flashy player, and he doesn't occupy a flashy position. But he sure as hell does his job, and he does it well.
Jimmy from Gainesville, FL
Q: What do you think will happen with the Jaguars third-string quarterback? Will Brandon Allen make the roster or will the Jaguars try to put him on the practice squad and risk another team getting him?
A: You don't draft a guy, even in the later rounds, with plans to cut him. My money is Allen being a healthy scratch for most games in 2016 but making the 53-man roster.
Dane from Mandan, ND
Q: Who's the MVP this season?
A: My cop-out answer? Blake Bortles. If anyone else, it's Tashaun Gipson.