Chat with Michael DiRocco
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPN NFL Nation Jacksonville Jaguars reporter Michael DiRocco drops by to chat and answer all of your Jaguars questions.
DiRocco covered the University of Florida for 13 years, including 10 with the Florida Times-Union, before moving to the Jaguars beat with ESPN.com. A graduate of Jacksonville University and a multi-APSE aware winner, DiRocco lives in Middleburg, Fla. with his wife and two sons.
Send your questions now and join DiRocco Friday at 3 p.m. ET!
Michael DiRocco (3:02 PM)
Hello everyone. Let's get started.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What Jacksonville Jaguars Team(s) has made the NFL Playoffs?
Michael DiRocco (3:04 PM)
Chris: The Jaguars made the playoffs in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2005 and 2007.
Somebody married you?!?!?!?!
Michael DiRocco (3:05 PM)
Greg: I know, right? I keep asking myself the same thing.
Hi Mike, on a personal level how difficult is it to cover a team that is likely to win no more than 2 or 3 games? Do the interviews get tougher as the season progresses?
Michael DiRocco (3:06 PM)
pj: Actually, it hasn't been difficult at all. The players have been great, accommodating and willing to answer any question. I was expecting things to get rough as the season progressed but so far that hasn't happened. There's a bunch of good guys in the locker room.
Not to belittle you but what is the point of a Jaguars chat? Are they going to draft Bridgewater or Mariota next year?
Michael DiRocco (3:07 PM)
Dan: To interact with the fans, which I think is an important thing for journalists to do. The Jaguars will take a quarterback and I think Bridgewater still tops their list. But it's still too soon to tell.
Is Posluszny good to go on Sunday?
Michael DiRocco (3:08 PM)
Gary: Yup. Practiced fully on Thursday and Friday.
What's the over/under on when Tebow fans will stop pestering the Jaguars? 3 years?
Michael DiRocco (3:08 PM)
Dan: I think it will be when he lands a TV job, which he has indicated he will pursue if the NFL doesn't work out for him. If he doesn't end up in a training camp next July then that'll be it.
Issac Washington (Your Bartender)
32 yards rushing on only 16 attempts last week. Will the Jags commit to run the ball more this week?
Michael DiRocco (3:10 PM)
Issac: They will try to run the ball more and you should expect to see Jordan Todman and Justin Forsett get more carries in an effort to keep MJD fresher. The Cardinals' defensive front is pretty stout.
Fred Garvin (NYC)
What are the keys to coming out of Houston with a win this week? They just lost to a Raider team led by Matt McGloin and look very beatable at the moment.
Michael DiRocco (3:11 PM)
Fred: They need to find a way to run the ball. Don't have to rush for 200 yards, but need to be able to move it effectively on the ground because that will somewhat neutralize the effect JJ Watt will have on the game and the Texans do have the top-ranked pass defense. The other thing they need to do is force several turnovers. Case Keenam has only thrown one interception in four starts.
Merrill Stubing (Pacific Princess)
Can we realistically win 2 of our last 3 home games?
Michael DiRocco (3:12 PM)
Merrill: You could win all three. The Texans are a mess, the Bills aren't very good, and you've already beaten the Titans. I think 2 of 3 is more likely, though, with wins over the Bills and Texans.
Michael, do you see the Jags making any big free agent moves in the future? And no, I don't mean Tebow.
Michael DiRocco (3:14 PM)
Gary: I don't see major signings, but I do see the Jaguars being more active in free agency than they originally anticipated. They'll be trying to upgrade the OL and DL through free agency to supplement what they do during the draft. So probably not some sexy names but some interior linemen in the mid-level free agent range.
Will drafting a QB with an early pick in next year's draft be enough to bring the Jags to .500 next season?
Michael DiRocco (3:15 PM)
Josh: No. The OL and DL need a major upgrade, plus the team needs to find a No. 1 RB and a No. 1 WR. But getting the right QB will make a significant difference.
Hennesanity (Sweeping the Nation)
What are your thoughts on the Jags to London in 2017 report? Any inside information?
Michael DiRocco (3:19 PM)
Hennesanity: I'm told Khan is committed to Jacksonville. He is dumping $31 million of his own money into the stadium and facilities. It's always a possibility but I don't believe we're close to having an NFL team in London.
Adam "Doc" Bricker (Your Ship's Doctor)
To what do you attribute the stout run defense last Sunday? 21 yards on 17 carries (if you subtract C.Palmer's yards) is pretty impressive.
Michael DiRocco (3:20 PM)
Adam: The Jaguars have been more disciplined up front and not gotten pushed around. Sen'Derrick Marks said players are more accountable, meaning they're doing their job and not getting out of position or freelancing.
Which QB in the 2014 Draft be the best fit for the Jags, in your opinion?
Michael DiRocco (3:21 PM)
Josh: I think the Jaguars are looking for a QB who can run but isn't in the read-option class of QBs. That would put Bridgewater atop the list and I think that's who the Jaguars will target.
Len Tukwilla (Washington)
Don't pay any attention to the haters. What happened in the 2nd half against Arizona? We went into the locker room tied at 14. Did you see any particular adjustments or was it simply a matter of better talent winning out?
Michael DiRocco (3:23 PM)
Len: The offense bogged down as it did the second half against Tennessee. Arizona did a good job clamping down on Cecil Shorts and when Mike Brown went down with a shoulder injury the Jaguars were short-handed. Arizona's defense is better than people give it credit for.
Gimmie dat loofa mit (south beach)
Name the jags player you would be most afraid of if you encountered them in a dark alley?
Michael DiRocco (3:24 PM)
Gimmie: Since I have talked to most of these guys and gotten to know them a little bit, there isn't one that would scare me. But I think if you didn't know those guys Sen'Derrick Marks would probably be the one that frightened you the most.
Tom (Jax, FL)
I'm seeing moch drafts with the Jags getting a RB in the 2nd or 3rd round. Haven't people learned that you can get anyone to play running back and their shelf life isn't that great. What positions do you think they should get in the 2nd and 3rd rounds (QB is obviously 1rst round)
Michael DiRocco (3:31 PM)
Tom: I'd be surprised if the Jaguars took a running back higher than the fifth round. They need to beef up the OL and DL and I think they'll take a QB then linemen until the fifth round.
Steve Sanders (Beverly Hills)
Ace Sanders got 10 targets against Arizona. Was that part of the game plan or just a result of the Cardinals' coverage?
Michael DiRocco (3:31 PM)
Steve: It was partly because the Cardinals were locking down Cecil Shorts, sometimes with a safety. But also partly because Mike Brown went out later in the game.
The Jags' defense seems to be improving this season, but the offense is still very inconsistent. What do they need to do to become more consistent and put more points on the board?
Michael DiRocco (3:32 PM)
Gary: Aside from a better QB, they need to upgrade the OL. They can't run the ball, which makes them one-dimensional and one-dimensional offense's generally don't have a lot of success or consistency.
Pete Schweddy (Delicious Dish)
In your opinion, what is Chad Henne's biggest weakness as a QB? He'll post good numbers on occasion but has never been able to put it all together. I expected more from him.
Michael DiRocco (3:34 PM)
Pete: You hit on it in your question: Consistency. One of the reasons Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers are all great QBs is because you know what you're getting from them every week. They do make bad throws and have bad games, but the bad throws happen rarely and the bad games are even more rare. Henne isn't the greatest down-field passer either, but he's solid.
Julie McCoy (Your Cruise Director)
Do the Jags need to take more chances on defense?
Michael DiRocco (3:35 PM)
Julie: I think they should when it comes to rushing the passer. They tried in spots against Carson Palmer and while it didn't work it was the right move. Rushing four isn't producing pressure. What they're doing now isn't working so try something else. Can the results be worse?
Warren Coolidge (South Central LA)
Is Denard Robinson even in the game plan anymore? Is it time to concede that was a wasted pick?
Michael DiRocco (3:36 PM)
Warren: I think he gets one more year to show he can be productive at this level. You may see him get a few carries this week but I don't see him being a major part of the game plan on a consistent basis.
Dylan McKay (The Peach Pit)
I read the ESPN article on John Harbaugh's schedule. Unreal. What kind of hours are Gus Bradley and company keeping? Don't you feel like you reach a point of diminishing returns?
Michael DiRocco (3:38 PM)
Dylan: They're working long days, but they're not sleeping in their offices or getting in at 4 a.m. and leaving at midnight. You're right about diminishing returns. I always thought those coaches who spent 20 hours a day at the facility were wasting time. Quality, not quantity.
Mario "Salami" Pettrino (Carver)
How do we contain Andre Johnson this week? He's the only Texan that scares me.
Michael DiRocco (3:39 PM)
Mario: Expect the Jaguars to bracket coverage him or have a safety roll to his side. But I'm not sure how effective that can be. Teams have been doing it all year and he's still caught 72 passes.
This guy is insane (seriously)
What could possibly be the reasoning behind the former dolphins player wetting himself every game? I mean seriously what the...
Michael DiRocco (3:41 PM)
This: I covered Channing Crowder in college and I can tell you that when I read that story it didn't surprise me one bit. He's an, um, interesting person. I think he did partly to make people reluctant to block him or get near him. Also maybe to punish the ballcarrier, too.
Who would be your team MVP so far?
Michael DiRocco (3:42 PM)
Kyle: Even though the Jaguars are last in rush defense and 29th in total defense, I would say LB Paul Posluszny. He is pretty much the defense's only playmaker. Gus Bradley said Posluszny is affecting roughly one out of every 3.5 plays -- a phenomenal ratio for a middle linebacker.
Milton Reese (Carver H.S.)
Favorite "Away" game for you?
Michael DiRocco (3:44 PM)
Milton: If you mean from this year, it'd probably be Nashville. Love that city. Seattle was cool, too. If you mean favorite NFL city it'd be Foxboro. I spent the first 10 years of my life in the Boston area and still have family up there.
Dawson Leery (Capeside)
How serious is the injury to Mike Brown? I really liked what I was seeing out of him. This team needs as many weapons as it can get.
Michael DiRocco (3:45 PM)
Dawson: It's iffy as to whether he can play Sunday. He'll be re-evaluated on Saturday. It's an injury that limits his range of motion and how high he's able to lift his arm -- vital things for a receiver. My educated guess is he's out this week but able to play next week.
Ricardo "Go-Go" Gomez (CHS)
What percentage of a scouts' time is spent in JAX and what percentage is on the road watching games/practices?
Michael DiRocco (3:46 PM)
Ricardo: Depending on the time of year, the majority of their time is spent on the road. During the season and in January-March it's mainly on the road.
A.C. Slater (Bayside)
What in the wide world of sports happened with our pass "defense" last week? 419 yards to Carson Palmer. Come on, man.
Michael DiRocco (3:48 PM)
A.C.: No pass rush. Young secondary (three rookies) plus no pass rush equals Carson Palmer looking like Peyton Manning.
Abner Goldstein (Carver High)
Have you seen any changes in the locker room since the Martin/Incognito story broke?
Michael DiRocco (3:50 PM)
Abner: Not really. But I never saw anything in the locker room that showed guys getting harassed or bullied before that story broke. Haven't heard any rumors of problems, either.
Ken Reeves (LA via Chicago)
How does the front office improve the OL and DL? Is the raw talent there or do we need to jump into free agency with both feet?
Michael DiRocco (3:52 PM)
Ken: There is some talent here. Luke Joeckel, obviously. But I also think the team likes Austin Pasztor and Cameron Bradfield. On the defensive line, the team will try to resign Sen'Derrick Marks, who has been the best defensive lineman this season. GM Dave Caldwell is going to try add pieces to both lines in free agency, but I don't believe it'll be top-tier free agents. More mid-level guys, which is what they did last season.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What NFL Teams Share their Stadiums with College Football Teams?
Michael DiRocco (3:55 PM)
Chris: As far as I know Tampa Bay is the only one. USF plays its home games there.
Both Tennessee and Houston could be making coaching changes and neither seems to have a franchise QB. Do you think Jacksonville is a quicker rebuild than either of those situations?
Michael DiRocco (3:57 PM)
Kamala: Yes, because they have more cap room (more than $20 million) and don't have any high-price players that they'll have to either re-sign, designate as a franchise player, or ask to take a pay cut.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who were the Coaches for the Jacksonville Jaguars in those Playoff Years from 1996-1999,2005 & 2007?
Michael DiRocco (3:57 PM)
Chris: Tom Coughlin from 1996-99 and Jack Del Rio in 2005 and 2007.
Curtis Jackson (South Central LA)
If you were GM, would you address the offensive or defensive side of the ball on Day 2 of the draft?
Michael DiRocco (3:59 PM)
Curtis: Let's say that the Jaguars were able to sign a couple OL and a couple DL in free agency. Not big names, but mid-level guys. Then on Day 2 in the draft I'm going after the best DE/pass rusher I can find and the best OL available.
Michael DiRocco (4:00 PM)
OK everyone, that's it. Thank you for joining me. One quick note: There will not be a chat next Friday but it will return Dec. 6.