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O-Zone: All in good fun

Posted May 9, 2013

JACKSONVILLE -- What, you're not at the Players? Everyone else is.

Let's get to it . . .

Deb from Jacksonville:
I know you are tired of Tebow talk, as am I. Is there a way to voice our support to Caldwell, Bradley and Khan so they know there is a large contingent behind doing things their way and not Gator Nation's way? We need to be heard.
John: I led with this email this morning despite every fiber of my being wants to spend this O-Zone making, well . . . “light” of this increasingly odd, ridiculous situation. Before we get to that – and we will get to that – I’ll say that you have no reason to worry about Caldwell, Bradley and Khan on this topic. They understand completely that there are people in Jacksonville – and evidently elsewhere in Florida – who would love the team to sign Tim Tebow. There are also just as many – and really, far more – that understand that the Jaguars’ job is to put the best possible team on the field. Listening to public outcry, no matter how passionate, is no way to run a franchise. Any perception that the public conversation about this topic is somehow causing consternation, emergency meetings and pressurized decisions couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s terrific talk radio and Twitter conversation. It also evidently makes for great attorney-at-law advertising fodder. That’s outside EverBank Field. Inside, in the places that matter and the places where football decisions get made, it’s as close to a non-topic as anything could possibly be. In the O-Zone, however . . .
Duran from Rapid City, SD:
You got me. Couldn't you have just had the decency to hook up my mistake and give us your opinion on the topic?
John: But that wouldn’t be me being me.
Blake from St. Augustine, FL:
I hear great things about Denard, but I’m confused on where we plan to play him. Special teams, running back, cornerback? Come Week 1, where should I expect to see Denard?
John: That will play itself out during OTAs and training camp. The Jaguars want to use Denard Robinson’s speed and playmaking ability, and the task facing offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch is how best to do that. I’d look for Robinson to play primarily running back, with a role as a slot receiver and a kick returner. Let’s not be in a rush to define this thing. The Jaguars aren’t.
Andrew from Panama City Beach, FL:
Didn't I see you at Tony's bunker party last weekend? Oh, maybe I shouldn't have said anything.
John: Somebody’s got some ‘splaining to do.
Nelly from Jacksonville:
Bradley and Caldwell are doing a good thing bringing in a veteran at cornerback. Will they attempt to bring in a vet at the other positions (in a perfect situation, a vet at each position)? I think it would be optimal, so rookies can learn from their experience.
John: Ideally, you would have that scenario, though in a building situation such as the Jaguars are in it can take time to get to that ideal. Center Brad Meester will play that role on the offensive line, and Trufant can play it in the secondary. When you get things going and have your program established, the goal is to have a veteran who has performed at a high level and can lead the “room” by example and words. When you’re a young team on the rise, you get that in as many positions as is reasonable. Getting one at every position would probably be counterproductive.
James from Jacksonville:
Is it just me or is Jaime Dukes an idiot? His opinions along with all the hoopla for Tebow are making it unbearable to watch NFL AM.
John: Did you lose your remote?
Chris from Gainesville, FL:
Are the Tebow maniacs that desperate? What if that doesn't work? Where does it stop? Do they take hostages or something? I'm starting to get worried.
John: Put it this way: when anyone leaves EverBank Field after a certain time of night, a security officer asks if they want accompaniment to their vehicle. I’m thinking of taking him up on it for a while.
Chris from Delray Beach, FL:
Tony Boselli is a very good-looking man.
John: I know one person who won’t argue with you.
Ed from Winston-Salem, NC:
Am I the only one who thought it would've been funny if Goodell had said "the Chiefs select Leon Sandcastle? Naah, I'm kidding!"??
John: Probably.
Scott from Vienna, VA:
It was my understanding a quarterback had three years to show potential. Has that changed recently or is it just fans calling for a change?
John: There’s no hard, fast rule. There once was a time when quarterbacks and coaches usually got five years and it was unheard of to fire a head coach after one season. That’s obviously no longer the case. As it stands now, fans will always call immediately for change. That’s the nature of quick-trigger public reaction. It will remain the job of management and decision-makers to see the big picture and decide how long players and coaches should have to develop and prove themselves capable.
Brandon from Lompoc, CA:
Can you post this for a very special person who passed away Tuesday? Angus Smith. He was the biggest Jaguars fan I knew; he would go on the website every day and read the O-Zone with a passion unmatchable. He wrote to you only once and you posted it on his birthday two years ago and it was the happiest day of his life. R.I.P Angus Eugene Smith/Hernandez.
John: I say this without sarcasm: I can’t tell you how happy I am to have posted Angus’ birthday email. May he rest in peace.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
How many roster positions will there be allocated to the secondary after the final cuts?
John: Look, I don’t know how many times I have to say it: no matter where it is – on White House websites, or on comments sections or wherever – starting a list and having people sign it is not how decisions are going to get made around this franchise . . . oh, I thought you said, “petitions.”
Dane from Jacksonville:
How has Will Rackley progressed from his injury? Do the coaches see him as a building block on the offensive line, or do we need to see him through training camp before getting a clearer idea?
John: Will Rackley is healthy and has been cleared to play. You would think he would have the edge at the left guard position being a third-round selection, but Mike Brewster will get a chance there. Rackley is among the key storylines for training camp. If he plays as you’d expect from a third-round selection, because of the presence of Luke Joeckel, the Jaguars’ offensive line is suddenly vastly improved from last season. It may be as hard to evaluate Rackley as any player on the roster. He hasn’t played since his rookie season, and while he struggled at times that season, he should take a pretty significant jump. Time will tell.
Steven from Fernandina Beach, FL:
John, have ya heard the NFL.com interview with attorney John Morgan?
John: I didn’t hear the whole thing. The story wasn’t tops on my to-do list Wednesday. There was, after all Business Person’s Special at The Baseball Grounds. I did hear where he said he put together the advertisement for fun, and you know what? He’s allowed to have fun. Goodness knows we try to have fun here in the Ozone. Sometimes, it’s a poke at Tebow fans. Sometimes it’s a poke at J.P. Shadrick. Sometimes – a lot of times – it’s a poke at yours truly. This is football, and at its core, it’s entertainment. So, if we’re all having fun, then it’s all in good, you know . . . fun. PLAY BALL!!!
Rob from Section 124:
I'm not a 15 wacko, and I'm not saying I think 15 should come here. But I am curious as to why none of the other 31 teams think 15 isn't any better than Charlie Whitehurst, Brady Quinn, Colt McCoy, Matt Leinart or Matt Cassel, (who are on rosters.)
John: I could be snide and stoke the fires and say, “They watch video,” but I won’t. Instead, I’ll keep in the spirit of having fun and say, “They watch video.”
Terrance from Jacksonville:
Why Trufant and not Mathis? I'm all for the release of Mathis due to age and productivity, but he had just as much left in the tank as Trufant, as well as the 'invaluable' leadership qualities. Also, a very similar playing style. Could you help me better understand this?
John: Don’t underestimate Trufant playing four seasons under Head Coach Gus Bradley in Seattle. He knows exactly what Bradley wants from corners.
Tom from Orlando, FL:
If I ever need a lawyer, I can tell you now there isn't a chance it will be John Morgan.
John: I have no idea if John Morgan is a good lawyer or not. Quite likely, he is very good. I do know he is a brilliant marketer. #Allingoodfun.
Kirk from the Intercoastal:
Well if the Tebow fans can do it, so can the rest of us. Here.
John: #Allingoodfun

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