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O-Zone: Me two

Posted Jun 11, 2013

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

Jack from Jacksonville:
Let me paraphrase MJD's Q&A with reporters. MJD can't talk (not even to the police, apparently) about the Conch House incident, because it's still under investigation. His lawyers are busy cleaning up his mess because that's what they are paid to do. His focus is solely on football?
John: No, Maurice Jones-Drew didn’t say much about the Conch House incident Monday. I’m not sure what’s more notable – that he didn’t, or that anyone actually thought he would. I assume Jones-Drew’s attorneys are working on his case; I’d also assume he would be upset if they weren’t. As for his focus, he’s working in Miami with the idea of being in shape so that he can continue to play at a high level in the NFL. He spent the last seven years doing this, and he understands the importance of it. It’s his livelihood and he has proven to be very good at it. How else is he supposed to show focus? Will he occasionally think of other things? Perhaps. We all do. But to think he’s not focused on preparing for the season and to think he won’t be able to do that is to ignore what has made him an elite player for many years. I’m not saying Jones-Drew wouldn’t change some things about his offseason given the chance, but it’s a reach to say a lack of “focus” is going to hurt him or the Jaguars next season.
Steve from Jupiter, FL:
Will MJD be attending minicamp on the 11th?
John: Yes. He will attend but won’t participate because he has yet to be medically cleared to do so.
Steve from Jacksonville:
So, given the news of the Patriots' recent signing, I challenge you to not discuss it. No good will come of it, and it's news about a free agent quarterback that the Jags weren't interested in being signed by a team not in our division. It doesn't concern the Jaguars at all.
John: And yet you feel compelled to bring it up. And you are not alone.
Robert from Moorpark, CA:
Do you expect more blitz packages in Gus' 4-3 scheme?
John: It depends what you mean by “more.” Will there be more blitzes under Bradley than under former defensive coordinator Mel Tucker? Quite possibly. Tucker believed strongly in keeping things simple in an effort to play fast, and that meant a limit on blitzing. But if you’re asking if there will be a lot of blitzing, I doubt it. Bradley is about aggressiveness on defense, but the way he wants to create that is with press coverage and defensive backs putting pressure on the receivers. His philosophy isn’t steeped in blitzing.
Joe from Albany:
JP's looking real tan lately. Is that all natural, or does he go tanning?
John: JP Shadrick is by nature a man’s man. He bronzes like an Oscar at the slightest hint of sun, then glows like a sunny Hawaii morning for weeks afterward.
Nick from Annapolis, MD:
John, NFL.com wrote, "Jones-Drew said via John Oesher of Jaguars.com." Am I supposed to believe you or Greg Rosenthal about the spelling of your last name? I'm starting to believe you have been lying to us all along.
John: I’ve been lying all right, but not about the spelling of my name.
Trent from Jacksonville:
So far, there have been reports about nearly each position group but linebackers. What did the linebacker group look like during organized team activities and have there been any standouts? In the new defensive scheme athletic linebackers are favored. Which linebackers on the current roster do you think fit that profile the best?
John: Linebacker indeed has been overlooked at times this offseason. One reason is that the Jaguars didn’t address the area in the draft, and another is that it’s a difficult position to gauge in OTAs. You can get some idea of quarterbacks, wide receivers and defensive backs, but linebackers – it’s difficult to see much until the pads go on. Right now, Geno Hayes, Paul Posluszny and Russell Allen are the starters. Gus Bradley said Hayes got better as OTAs went on, and the team really likes Posluszny. On the side opposite Hayes, I could see Julian Stanford possibly pushing Allen in training camp. He’s athletic, and as you mentioned, athleticism is favored in this scheme. At the same time, Allen is very reliable and every time he gets an opportunity, he takes advantage. I’ve said before I think linebacker will be addressed next offseason unless the outside linebackers currently on the roster show that they’re core-type players. For now, the Jaguars have no problem going into the season with this group.
Graveman from Jacksonville:
J, QUIT SCREWIN AROUND AND GET SERIOUS! I get the feeling you flunked your SATs and goofed off in high school?
John: What was the other option?
Jillian from Jacksonville:
Do you know what many fans would appreciate? Some candid honesty, a statement like, “Enjoy the Jaguars while they’re here, but know there’s a good chance they won’t be past 2020, NO MATTER HOW MANY TICKETS YOU BUY, because London is a better long-range business opportunity for Khan and the NFL.” Almost right up until Weaver sold the Jaguars, he assured the fans he wasn’t selling the team. No one likes to be lied to, or led on. This is a BUSINESS, the object, to make the most money. The national media was right about 2-14, right about the team being sold, and I’m afraid, right about a move regardless of ticket sales.
John: I suppose some fans might appreciate that, Jillian. Some might also appreciate the reality that the national media also said Jacksonville would never get a team, that Jacksonville would never get a Super Bowl and that the team would move to Los Angeles in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Nicholas from Fort Lee, VA:
I submitted a question asking why we don't see more people from London asking questions at the O-Zone. Although you did not publish my question, you did end the column with a reader from the UK. Did my concern influence you to post a question from across the pond?
John: No.
Steve from Jacksonville:
In your answer to Jerry from Jacksonville, you say Ace Sanders "is really, really quick." What is the difference between 'quick' and 'fast' as it pertains to football?
John: It’s pretty much as it is with any sport. Quickness is the ability to move quickly over short distances, and in the case of a wide receiver/punt returner such as Sanders, it’s the ability to get in and out of breaks, cut quickly and separate from defenders. Fast is more about long-distance, breakaway speed. A quick player might be able to separate for a 10-to-20-yard gain but he might get run down from behind over a long distance. A fast player might not get open for a short gain as often, but once he is in the clear he can accelerate and is rarely caught from behind.
Dave from Fukuoka, Japan:
John, I like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain.
John: Hey! Awesome! Meet me at O’Malley’s.
Neil from Fort Wayne, IN:
John, I see that the Jags have almost $27 million in cap space. How many more free agents do you see being signed between now and the start of the season and at what positions?
John: I don’t expect any free-agent signings before training camp, and certainly not anyone that most people would consider “high-profile.” The Jaguars made a conscious decision to not spend big free-agent money this offseason, and there’s no reason to think that will change between now and the beginning of the regular season. It is far more likely that the Jaguars could claim players released from other rosters during training camp or late in the preseason. I’ve said before that could happen at defensive tackle, linebacker or cornerback. It wouldn’t stun me to see the Jaguars go into the regular season with the current starters still starting at those spots, but Gus Bradley has talked often of a lot of potential transactions. He and David Caldwell have said those transactions likely will continue into the regular season, so to think there couldn’t be any starters still to be acquired would be to miss the point of much of what they have said for the last six months.
Ricky from Jacksonville and Section 245:
Aside from increasing ticket prices or selling more tickets (i.e., ultimately removing the tarps) – or a combination of the two – how can the Jaguars raise their local revenue? I know the London home game will have more seats at a higher price but that's a drop in the bucket at the end of the day.
John: Increasing ticket prices and selling more tickets are crucial to the formula. Jaguars President Mark Lamping was pretty up-front about that early in the offseason. But that doesn’t mean raising ticket prices across the board. The Jaguars did increase some ticket prices this offseason, but the vast majority did not increase. The goal is to find the right prices for the right seats and eventually find the right balance. The Jaguars were once No. 2 in the NFL in local revenue. That steadily dropped, but if they were there once it stands to reason they can be high in the NFL again. That’s an objective.
Miles from York, England:
I like grammar.
John: Me two. And I’m really well at it.

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