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O-Zone: Consider the source

Posted Apr 23, 2013

JACKSONVILLE -- Let's get to it . . .

John from Jacksonville:
My compass for success is to observe gradual improvement over the regular-season games. I do have concern that a loss on opening day (at home against the other cellar team from last season) heading into a grueling schedule would be a kick in the gut. This would be similar to last season on opening day against Minnesota. Those two teams went down different paths as a result of that game. Hopefully, our new coach will have better success should that opening-day loss scenario play out because of his philosophy of getting better each day.
John: You’re taking the right approach. While the offseason is entertaining for fans and media, this particular offseason is a long process that’s more about the big sum of a lot of moves rather than one impact move that will change the dynamic of the team. The same will be true next season. Yes, the game against Kansas City will be big – that week. But this franchise right now isn’t going to rise or fall on one game – even the opener against an opponent many believe is “beatable.” This is more about a long-term trend than a short-term spike or dip, and that will be the perspective needed in the coming months. The approach of the entire organization – not just Bradley – reflects that.
Mr. Sir from Orlando, FL:
The Jaguars are reportedly considering either Oregon’s Dion Jordan or the top offensive tackles at the No. 2 pick. (Tony Pauline) I KNEW IT!
John: CONGRATULATIONS!
Emily from Boulder, CO:
Biggest loser in our schedule - Blaine Gabbert. Say the kid competes and wins the starting job...then he's got to spend most of the first half of the season on the road. Tough draw! Seems like a good guy; hope he eventually catches a break.
John: I’m not sure I agree. Gabbert actually played significantly better on the road than at home last season. *Significantly.* That’s one of the things that needs to change this season should Gabbert win the starting job. He must be more consistent and play better at home, something that’s obviously true for the entire team, but Gabbert won’t be at any particularly disadvantage playing on the road.
Bruce from Jacksonville:
The Jags NEGLECTED the quarterback position for so long, telling us how smart they were. Now it's funny to see them stepping and fetching and all they can talk about is how important finding a quarterback is.
John: Yeah, Bruce, whatever.
Bo from Dresden, NC:
Are you ready? The new uni's are coming out and the draft is on its way! You are getting ready to be bombarded with everything that is wrong with both. Good luck!
John: I’m sure you’re right. Bruce needs something to do with his time.
James from Bossier City, LA:
You can never take for granted the Jags will start 2-0. The Raiders and Chiefs fans are also looking at the Jags games as being wins for their teams. "Any given Sunday"... I expect them to be close games.
John: James, the Jaguars were 2-14 last season. That doesn’t have anything to do with next season, but I can assure you no one around EverBank Field is taking anything for granted.
Dave from Ada, OK:
If the present-day Johnny could go back in time and give a single piece of advice to the 80's Johnny, what advice would he give?
John: "They’re about to invent this thing called 'email.' Whatever you do, do not let this happen."
Ben from Conover, WI:
I heard from someone the Jags and Browns are in talks about the Browns moving up to No. 2. Have you heard anything about this?
John: It’s a rumor that I’ve seen on message boards and comments sections, but it’s not one that seems to have taken off. That doesn’t mean much. Two days from the draft, there’s plenty of time for whisperings and rumors to take hold. My guess is David Caldwell has talked to many, many people. Almost certainly he has had or will have preliminary conversations with every team about draft night. Just about every general manager does this because time is critical on draft night. My gut is the Jaguars don’t trade, but my gut has been wrong a lot, and frankly, it has been acting up lately.
John from Section 213:
Who would you say is the last Jaguars draft pick that was a real impact player in their rookie season?
John: Justin Blackmon came pretty close, but with a 2-14 team, I can see the argument that there wasn’t much impact made last season from any player. Not having covered the team from 2001-2010, it’s difficult for me to judge the players selected in those seasons. Just staying in the first round, my understanding is Tyson Alualu played well as a rookie in 2010, as did left tackle Eugene Monroe in 2009. Fred Taylor in 1998 had a dramatic impact, and Fernando Bryant in 1999 did as well, but even if those are the last first-round impact rookies – and I’m in no way saying they are – that’s not dramatically unusual. There are certain positions such as defensive line, wide receiver and tight end at which it’s difficult for any player to have a huge impact quickly. Other positions, such as corner and running back, it’s far more common for players to play well as rookies.
Ben from Cover, WI:
How intent are the Jags on getting Geno Smith? I've heard from some people that they really want him, but I'm not sure I believe that.
John: You’re talking to a lot of people lately, Ben. Get back to work.
Cristiano from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:
I think you should be the one announcing the Jaguars draft picks.
John: I think considering the selections are aired live at times, those tuning in would alternately be horrified/disturbed/confused if that were to take place.
Gary from Gainesville, FL:
Will you be in NYC for the draft? If so, can we hang out? I'm flying out tomorrow for a full week of NYC. Safe travels, if so. Go Jags.
John: I will actually be in Jacksonville for the draft. There are two approaches you can take to covering the draft if your team has an early selection. One is to focus on New York, where the drafted player will be. The other is to focus on your team’s headquarters, where the decision-makers are. Because this is David Caldwell and Gus Bradley’s first draft with the team, our thought here at jaguars.com is the bigger stories are here in Jacksonville. We’ll be covering the entire event – with coverage of the draft selection, too, of course – on jaguars.com.
Colin from Orlando, FL:
Hey John, when the new regime is evaluating Gabbert, do they go back to college tape as well, or only his time with the Jags?
John: David Caldwell certainly watched tape of Gabbert in college, and there might be reason to look back and see what he did well or poorly at that stage, but there’s enough NFL tape that it’s not necessary to look at Missouri video when deciding if they want Gabbert as part of this. Gabbert will be judged by the new decision-makers on what he does moving forward, as he should be. There have been so many moving parts in the past two seasons – and so many things that Bradley and Caldwell can’t really evaluate – around Gabbert that it’s best for the duo to watch him now and decide on what they see. That’s what’s fair, and it’s also what will lead to the best decision.
Brian from Mandarin:
John, I am thinking Fisher. Your logic is sound concerning why not. My question is with the league becoming more of a passing league, and the defenses putting their best rushers on the offensive line’s weak spot, wouldn't it behoove us to have a real stud bookend on both sides? Salary cap going up in coming years and I would really like having our QB learn his craft without running for his health.
John: Your logic is becoming sounder. Ten years ago – or even five – it was rare to have two elite tackles capable of playing on the left side on the roster. Now, that may be rethought a bit. Fisher/Joeckel also may be different cases, because while they can eventually be left tackles, they also are capable of playing on the right side. I don’t know that in the long run teams will have two tackles making elite-tackle money on the roster, but could we see a trend of teams having more pass-blocking oriented guys on both sides? Yeah, that’s a possibility.
Rich from Jacksonville:
I was thinking you could pass this on or something... It appears to me that jaguars.com needs to update their "favicon" to the new logo. The favicon is the little icon that you see in your browser when you bookmark a page. You can see the source file at jaguars.com/favicon.ico. Sorry if I sound a little nerdy.
John: Here’s my source file.

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