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October 18, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Michael DiRocco

Michael DiRocco
  (3:02 PM)

Hello everyone. Let's get started right away.

Doug (MI)

Does Blaine ever start for the Jags again?

Michael DiRocco
  (3:03 PM)

Doug: This probably isn't the answer you want to hear, but I think he starts after the bye week. He should be completely healthy by then. It's obvious by now that Chad Henne isn't going to be their guy but they still want to look at Blaine more, so we'll see him as the starter whenever he's healthy.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What Uniform Numbers are Retired by the Jacksonville Jaguars?

Michael DiRocco
  (3:05 PM)

Chris: Officially, none. But 71, which belonged to Tony Boselli, has not been worse since he left and it's "unofficially" retired.

pj (midlo)

Hi Mike, why do you think Jags are unwiling just to name Henne starter going forward? Seems to me the Jags have a better chance to win for the next 2 years with him during the time it takes them to rebuild - Why the preoccupation with Gaebert - Jags will take a QB with their first pick in the 2014 draft so we know the direction!!! give Blackmon and Short an opportunity to develop with the better passer . thoughts

Michael DiRocco
  (3:07 PM)

pj: I think Henne gives them the better chance to win a game right now than Gabbert. However, Henne has been nearly as inconsistent as Gabbert and there's a 5-for-20 performance coming down the pipe any time now. So there's really no difference between the two in the longer term. The Jaguars will take a QB in the draft, install him as the starter, and grow with him.

David (Utah)

Hey MIke, I think the Jags could pull the upset this week with Chargers on short week and traveling cross country for an early game. Does the chargers defense bring anyone to worry about to the table that the Jags have seen from many of the D's they have faced so far this year?

Michael DiRocco
  (3:15 PM)

David: I think the Chargers defense is solid but not spectacular and has some players (Donald Butler, Jarret Johnson, Kendall Reyes for example). They rank slightly ahead of the Jaguars in total defense and are in the middle of the league in scoring defense (23.0 ppg). It's certainly not as good a unit as Kansas City, Seattle or Indy.

Tom (Jax, FL)

Whats the status on Mercedes?

Michael DiRocco
  (3:15 PM)

Tom: He'll play, but they're going to monitor his reps so he doesn't have a relapse with the calf.

Zach (Jags Fan)

Hey Michael, do you think the Jags will make an attempt at resigning MJD?

Michael DiRocco
  (3:16 PM)

Zach: They are certainly interested in bringing him back, but it will have to be a salary number that's realistic for both the team and Jones-Drew. He's not going to be able to command the kind of money he probably wants on the free agent market so he's going to have to decide if he wants to play for less money here or somewhere else.

Tom (Jax, FL)

Whats your feeling on Mercedes? He was signed to a big contract under the old regime and has not lived up to it since. Do you think he gets cut at the end of this season? Do we look for a TE during the middle rounds? sign a FA?

Michael DiRocco
  (3:18 PM)

Tom: Marcedes did catch 52 and 58 passes in two of the last three seasons, so that's pretty good production considering the inconsistency at QB. I don't think they cut him because he's such a good blocker. They like Clay Harbor as a receiver so I don't think they'll go tight end in the draft. They've got so many other needs.

Spencer (NYC)

Why is Blaine Gabbert still on the roster? He faked an injury in high school so he wouldn't lose scholarships from Nebraska or Mizzou after he went out and sucked for 4 or 5 straight games and they had to replace him with his younger brother Tyler. He was no Chase Daniel or Chase Patton at Mizzou, and I don't understand how he remains in the NFL. What do you see in him that makes your organization feel he could still be a fit?

Michael DiRocco
  (3:22 PM)

Spencer: The organization sees a 6-4, 235-pounder with a rocket arm. They see someone who's athletic and can run well. And he has flashed some elite ability. They're trying to get him to become consistent and give him some weapons to do that. That being said, I think he won't be here after the 2014 season.

Tom (Jax, FL)

Is there a plan for the center position? Or are we going to see Meester play until he dies on the field. He's getting killed out there. We haven't drafted a center SINCE HIM. Do you think we finally draft one? What round? Any FA possibilities out there?

Michael DiRocco
  (3:26 PM)

Tom: This will be Meester's final season. Mike Brewster played center at Ohio State and can step in if needed, but I believe the entire interior will undergo an overhaul. Cleveland's Alex Mack is probably the best center who could become available, but the Browns are working on an extension. But if they can't reach an agreement, he could be a free agent -- unless they franchise him.

Tom (Jax, FL)

Whats your assessment on the outsdie linebackers? I don't think anyone can complain about Puz. The man brings it every week and appears to be a good leader. Russell Allen in a joke and shouldn't start in this league. Do you think we look to draft a LB this year? what round? What FA should we target?

Michael DiRocco
  (3:28 PM)

Tom: The team plans on addressing the linebacker position in the draft for sure. Have to get better there, although Geno Hayes has had a solid season. The Jags need playmakers there.

Christian Bedgood (Orange Park,FL)

What is the Jags potential at WR when they get there cornerstone QB

Michael DiRocco
  (3:30 PM)

Christian: That's probably the one position, other than safety, where the Jaguars are really in good shape. Blackmon and Shorts are a pretty good tandem and the team thinks Ace Sanders/Mike Brown will fill the slot role. Having those guys should help a young QB as he learns the NFL.

Demetrius (Jacksonville)

Would you say last week was something to expect from Blackmon week in and week out, or nah? Also, where would you rank him currently?

Michael DiRocco
  (3:31 PM)

Demetrius: I wouldn't expect 14 catches for 190 yards every week, but I would expect him to be an impact player every week. His presence opens up things for other players, Shorts and MJD for example, and makes the defense game-plan to stop him. If they're doing that, they can't stop everything. It's still early, but Blackmon has the potential to be a 100-catch guy for a while.

Ed (FL)

Is Justin Blackmon's groin a major concern or are they resting him for Sunday?

Michael DiRocco
  (3:32 PM)

Ed: It is a concern, as well as his hamstring. And they are resting him for Sunday. He will play.

Paulo (NYC)

Do you think Denard will develop enough to play more this year? Why aren't they playing him now?

Michael DiRocco
  (3:34 PM)

Paulo: He's not playing much now because they don't have a role for him. He's struggled with his hands so he hasn't gotten work at WR and he fumbled the last time he ran the wildcat. The OL is playing better so maybe we see more of him as a running back, but I wouldn't expect him on the field for more than a handful of plays at best each game.

Brian (Cville, VA )

Seems like Caldwell may have found a gem in Will Blackmon. Odds they ink him to a few year contract at some point soon or in the offseason?

Michael DiRocco
  (3:37 PM)

Brian: He actually was a Gene Smith pick so let's give Smith credit for drafting him. Blackmon's contract expires after the 2015 season so I don't expect the team to work on anything with him until sometime between the end of the 2014 season and the end of the 2015 season. There are still some questions about his off-field issues so there's no way you'd want to lock him up to a long-term deal unless you were convinced he won't have any more trouble.

Mariopvn Norwalk,CA [via mobile]

Why do you think the jags, bills & browns have the same kind of year , year in and year out? i dont believe its coaching . i think its owners and gm's . but does jax finally give up on gabbert and get a new qb?

Michael DiRocco
  (3:38 PM)

Mariopvn: It's a mixture of a lot of things: coaching, drafting, GM, salary cap, injuries. And sometimes teams get into a run of bad luck. I think the Jaguars draft a QB in May and Gabbert is gone after next season.

Tom (Jax, FL)

One of the commentators made a good observation last week and noted that Blackmon was doing most of his damage in the slot. Do you think we should make him the primary slot guy in 3 receiver sets? What are your thoughts on him playing outside/inside?

Michael DiRocco
  (3:39 PM)

Tom: You can move him around but I see him as more of an outside receiver. He's not the biggest or fastest (although he ran away from the St. Louis secondary) but he's got great ball skills and that makes up for a lot. He's a guy you can throw a jump ball to and he'll go get it. I

Newt (Jacksonville)

Buy or sell: The Jags will win a game this season.

Michael DiRocco
  (3:40 PM)

Newt: Buy. It's hard to go winless, which is why only two teams have done it in the modern NFL.

Brian (Cville, VA )

Before the year, the talks were that Shorts was the better WR. I'm not so sure Blackmon hasn't quieted that talk. In your opinion, which of the 2 is the better player?

Michael DiRocco
  (3:42 PM)

Brian: I'd probably give the edge to Blackmon. I think he has better ball skills than Shorts -- but not by much.

Brian (Cville, VA )

It's curious that Josh Evans came in and immediately made Lowery expendable. Can you talk about what Evans brings to the table and how close is his play to Lowery's?

Michael DiRocco
  (3:43 PM)

Brian: The main thing Evans brings is youth. Lowery is probably a better player right now, but in two years Evans will be the better player. That's what made Lowery expendable. Josh is a physical, smart player and he and Cyprien are going to make a good team in the secondary for years.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Do you think that Louisville QB Todd Bridgewater will be a perfect fit for the Jacksonville Jaguars?

Michael DiRocco
  (3:43 PM)

Chris: I really like Bridgewater, especially his toughness. I think he'd be a good fit for any team.

Brian (Cville, VA )

I said Will Blackmon Mike :-)

Michael DiRocco
  (3:47 PM)

Brian: I went back and looked and saw I goofed. My bad. I'll answer it now. That was a very good acquisition just before the season began. He has played better than they expected on defense and did a solid job as a punt returner. I don't see him in the team's long-term plans, but I could see them signing him to a one-year deal for 2014.

Brian (Cville, VA )

In your mind...which guy lives up the least to his contract...Marcedes Lewis or Uche Nwaneri?

Michael DiRocco
  (3:49 PM)

Brian: Both have been banged up this season, Nwaneri with the knee and Lewis with the calf. Nwaneri has been on the field for every game, though, so that puts him ahead of Lewis. But a healthy Lewis will have an impact on the offense in the passing and running game. So far neither has, but lets take stock again at the end of the season.

Chans (Arkansas)

Why wont the jags just sign Tebow? Bringing him in would make them so much money from all the jerseys.

Michael DiRocco
  (3:51 PM)

Chans: I thought we'd be through a whole chat without a Tebow question, but I was wrong. He can't help the team on the field because he has been ruined as a QB by all the people who tried to change his throwing motion. He would sell jerseys, but right now it's about winning games and building the franchise and Tebow can't help with that. Plus, the GM was pretty emphatic about not signing Tebow.

Dan (Cleveland)

Shorts give it a go this week? If so, will he make it through the whole game?

Michael DiRocco
  (3:52 PM)

Dan: It'll be a game-day decision, but based on what Shorts said today I would be surprised if he didn't play some. The Jags would likely limit his reps by replacing him with Mike Brown.

Brian (Cville, VA )

Do you think Alan Ball or Roy Miller have played well so far? I find it curious that Marks & Will Blackmon have actually seemed like the better players so far, yet I believe I recall both being 1-year deals.

Michael DiRocco
  (3:53 PM)

Brian: Both of those guys have been OK, but you're right in that Marks and Blackmon (Will, this time) have out-played them. Marks has been the best defensive lineman all season and Blackmon, as we've already discussed, has performed better than expected. Sometimes that's how things work out.

Michael DiRocco
  (3:59 PM)

OK everyone, that's it for this week. Back next week with the Jaguars across the pond.