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O-Zone: Man in the mirror

Posted Jul 18, 2013

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

Ryan from Jacksonville:
We have arguably the best O-line bookends in the league now with Luke Joeckel and Eugene Monroe, but I still worry about our interior opening up holes for MoJo; Meester isn't getting any younger out there. If we struggle to run the ball between the tackles, could you see the Jags moving towards a pass-first offense?
John: The two positions areas I want to see in preseason and training camp on the offensive line are Will Rackley and Uche Nwaneri. I assume Joeckel will be good, that Brad Meester will do his job at center and that Monroe will play at the same solid level at which he generally has played the past two seasons. But will Nwaneri return to the form he showed in 2011 before injuries hurt him last season? And can Rackley play to the level of a third-round guard, which should be a higher level than the Jaguars got from the left guard position last year? Those are critical storylines for the offensive line in the coming months, and of the two, there are more questions about Rackley. Nwaneri has shown he can play at a high level when healthy. Rackley will be entering his third season, but after missing last season with an injury he must show he is ready to be an asset. As far as struggling between the tackles, sure, that could force more passing, but I think the offense is going to be more balanced with more early-down passing than it did previously. I can’t see offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch getting into a pattern where he’s running up the middle on every first down. That doesn’t seem to be his mode of operation.
mike from middleburg:
alright big fellow Mr. Johnny o its time to take it up a notch
John: i was afraid of that
Patrick from Jacksonville:
Give me your top five current pass rushers. I got Watt, Wake, Pierre-Paul, A. Smith, and J. Clowney in no particular order.
John: I’ll take Watt, Wake and Smith off your list and include them on mine. I have trouble with Jason Pierre-Paul, though. I am as impressed by his ability as anyone, but after 14.5 sacks in 2011 he had 6.5 last season, so having him in the top five is debatable. I can’t put Clowney on my list, either. He’s an otherworldly talent, but prospects are prospects until they’re players and he’s still got some provin’ to do before he’s there. I’d probably have to go chalk and put Von Miller and Clay Matthews on my list to round out the Top 5. Pass rushing is more than numbers, but their numbers are consistently pretty darned impressive.
Bryan from Portland, OR:
Instead of the team staying in California between West Coast road games this season, I'd like to invite everyone to crash at my place in Portland. We can all eat at food carts, drink craft beer from one of the hundreds of microbrews (most per capita in the world), and head out to Nike for any midseason equipment tweaks. Bed space will be limited, but we'll make it work. As for the senior writer, we have a pool and a pond. Pond will be good for you. #Moodachay
John: #Moodachay
Jody from Fort Pierce, FL:
I’m driving up from Fort Pierce August 2 and 3. Will my kids be able to get autographs at all? I've never come up for training camp before but my boys really want to this year. They have become real interested since starting their own football practices.
John: Yes. Players typically sign autographs after practices that are open to the public. Practice each of those days will be open.
Mauricio from Nuevo Leon, Mexico:
I am a huge fan of the Jaguars. Sadly, in Mexico, there are very few Jaguars fans, but I don’t care. I still love the team. I always try to keep informed about the Jags, my PC is always on nfl.com, jaguars.com and on any page where I can get informed about the Jaguars, so I would like to keep in touch and I would really appreciate if you could give me some rumors and help me know everything about the Jags. I am really passionate about the Jags so I hope you understand. GO JAGS!
John: Actually, Mauricio, you write at just the right time. Beginning soon, we at jaguars.com plan to have a plan in place to keep fans informed of the team. The first “spoke in the wheel” is a daily question-answer forum in which fans can ask questions and have the writer answer them. There will be football, with perhaps some humor and sarcasm mixed in. I also plan to start a Twitter account, in addition to which I will write daily stories, interviewing players and coaches about team happenings. Videos and radio elements are also in the works. We’ll roll things out soon.
Jared from Downtown O-Town:
I was reading through the O-Zone Live Archive and suddenly had this vision of you standing in front of EverBank while throwing your hat high in the air with a cheesy grin on your face. Did you do some kind of subliminal voodoochay on me?
John: I might just make it after all.
Matt from Jacksonville:
Last year I had just graduated college, moved back to Jacksonville, and the first thing I did was buy season tickets. I wrote in asking if you were witnessing the same resurgence of fans from the "Generation Jaguar" that I was. A year later, with a new GM, Coach, and one helluva owner, my excitement for the Jaguars has exceeded even my own expectations. The fans are back, and for the first time in a long time, it actually feels like we're going in the right direction. Not just the team, but the city of Jacksonville.
John: I saw the fan resurgence last year, and a year later, I still see it. As I’ve often said and written, I’m not arrogant enough to believe O-Zone readers are the only Jaguars fans, and I don’t even know that they’re an accurate read on the team’s fan base as a whole. But what I do see in the O-Zone – and in fan groups such as the Teal Street Hooligans and the Bold City Brigade (in no particular order) – is a growing fan base that seems increasingly passionate, engaged and informed. I think of that group as the core, and the more this team wins – the better it becomes, the more long-term improvement is shown – the bigger that base will become.
Trey from Eagle Mountain, UT:
Should you really be taking credit for Moodachay without at least acknowledging that it was one of your readers who actually started it?
John: Ah, why get bogged down in details like credit?
Pete from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
John: the analysis on the Fulham purchase is easy. The EPL is the most popular league in the world and a cash cow. Khan is a brilliant businessman and he saw the opportunity to get in on an even more exclusive owner's club, to further build his sports empire, and eventually take over the world. I'm envious!
John: Oh, well yeah – that, too.
Hogfish from Mayport and Section 441:
If Mr. Khan is able to do everything he is talking about (restoring shipyards, putting Jacksonville on the world stage, and turn "the bank" into a stage that will bring in major events) he has a chance to go down as a legend not just in NFL circles, but in the history of Jacksonville. I can't think of many men who have taken steps that have the chance to be a far reaching and improve Jacksonville as much as this man. I for one, hope he can do it and am excited to see how it plays out.
John: You are not alone, and you know what? My sense is most fans around here see Khan that way, too, and that as time goes on, more and more people in town get and feel comfortable with his vision. There always will be those nationally – media and fans alike – who don’t care enough to take the time to fully grasp the situation, but the fans who are engaged and informed locally see him as you do. They see him as a man capable of and intent on shaping the franchise and the city in a unique, positive way.
Brian from Orange Park, FL:
It was one of those days when it's a minute away from snowing. And there's this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it, right? That's the day I realized that there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid. Ever. Sometimes, there's so much, moodachay, in the world. I feel like I can't take it, and my heart is just going to cave in. RIP Otto.
John: #Moodachay.
Sage from Orlando, FL:
Seriously, John, dye your hair pink or black, shave it, Mohawk, do SOMETHING to your hair for the fan interest! Aren't you tired of looking at the same face in the mirror day after day?
John: Wouldn’t you be?

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