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O-Zone: Mind-blowing . . .

Posted Jun 2, 2013

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

Keith from Palatka, FL:
Wishing, hoping and wanting will not fix our offensive line. While great strides were made with the drafting of Luke Joeckel, the interior is far from fixed. We could have fixed this problem by drafting Larry Warford and Barrett Jones, but chose instead to go with a diminutive returner/slot receiver and a questionable cornerback. Do you really think we are set to go with our current offensive line and will the offense run when the interior collapses and our quarterback has no pocket from which to pass? The last time Rackley and Meester teamed up, the middle of our line was a sieve (please go back and review game film before refuting this statement).
John: Keith, I understand you’re concerned. **Believe me** after all this time and all of these emails, I absolutely understand you’re concerned. What I can tell you and others who share the concern is that the Jaguars believed drafting Luke Joeckel at right tackle will help the entire line. They believe this because of the belief that offensive line play is a team concept rather than purely individuals. There also is a belief that in Rackley’s case, players can improve from their rookie season to their third season. Perhaps, too, the Jaguars don’t share your belief that Barrett Jones in the third- or fourth-round would have been the cure-all or that the cornerback was questionable. There were many around the NFL who didn’t believe Jones or Warford capable of solving all of their team’s woes. This is why they were available late in the draft. I don’t know if the problems will be fixed. I do know that offenses with big-time tackles are supposed to be able to cover for guards who are struggling, and I do know the Jaguars couldn’t address every issue. So, again, will the issues be fixed, Keith? We’ll have to see.
John from Section 105:
Have you ever been accused of being a cool dude?
John: Only falsely.
Damien from Jacksonville:
How frequently do you get emails that insinuate your column is meant to purposely mislead readers? I am surprised at how many people take this column so seriously. Just curious if you frequently have to deal with people who don't realize this column is supposed to be fun, not a window into the future. Anyways, best of luck and stay awesome!
John: How frequently? Only every day. The column is indeed supposed to be fun. I’ve stated that often, though the question does remain: what else in the world would it possibly be? The goal here is to inform when possible, discuss what’s going on and come as close as I know how to entertaining. A lot of people seem to get that, and believe it or not, some people enjoy the column. Other readers don’t. I learned a long time ago the second category exists and I learned a long time ago, too, that there’s not a lot you can do change the minds of those people. That’s OK. I don’t like everything, either.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
The cost and logistics of getting the team, its entourage and hangers on and Senior Writer to London must be daunting. Will the trip to London be financially rewarding for the Jags?
John: Don’t lump me in with the team or hangers-on. Yes, the cost for those people will be substantial, but the early travel plans for London call for me to ride in a suitcase with the rest of the baggage, hitch it after that and stay in a hostel outside town. Yes, partially thanks to my lodging and travel, London will be financially rewarding for the Jaguars. That’s a big reason for playing there.
Sean from Fleming Island, FL:
Last year, when the Jaguars scored a touchdown they were to politely hand the ball to the ref. I suggest for this year they throw the ball in the stands and have Mr. Khan pay the fine - should not amount to much money.
John: I see what you did, there, Sean. You’re saying the Jaguars won’t score much, so the fines won’t be much!! Oh . . oh . . . ha, ha, ha, ha!!!!
Jake from Gainesville, FL:
Suppose the Jags are abysmal next year. They go 0-16 and the offense is especially bad. How secure are Bradley’s and Fisch's jobs? Do you think Khan is going to want to stick with the same coaching staff for a few years?
John: For that matter, suppose giant panda bears fly into Jacksonville, drain the river and search for treasure at the bottom. We can suppose anything, I suppose. I don’t know what the Jaguars’ record will be, and don’t know how the offense will be, either. I absolutely believe they’ll be improved on both counts – and yes, one reason is there is a whole lot of room for improvement from last season. Whatever next year’s results, I’d be surprised if Khan makes changes. I don’t see Khan’s nature in the long term being quick-trigger decisions. Yes, he changed general managers and coaches after his first season as owner, but that was after a season to get acclimated to the NFL. For the most part, Khan seems to be of a mind to give people adequate time to work.
Jim from Gainesville, FL:
How about cars, helicopters, and boats? Do NFL players use these to travel as well?
John: No doubt.
Gary from Broken Arrow, OK:
Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn't any quarterback be closely watched by a new coach and staff – not just a young quarterback who had a less than stellar season previously? I'm thinking even more so with a new head coach that is implementing competition at every position. Next year I feel like we will see the same scrutiny.
John: Yes, quarterbacks always will be scrutinized – by new coaches and old. And as much as we talk about competition in this, Gus Bradley’s first season, it’s reasonable to assume competition will be a constant. He believes in it as a core value.
Michael from Kentwood, MI:
If this news about MJD ends up being true, is he done in Jacksonville at end of year? If he is done, who do we have that can step up and attempt to fill his role - I wasn't impressed with the position last season. Would that be a new need for the 2014 draft, or something that could be filled via free agency?
John: I don’t know that the news regarding Jones-Drew has a direct correlation with his future on the team after this season. It remains to be seen whether this is something with long-term ramifications. Jones-Drew’s future with the team will depend far more on what it should depend – his health and productivity this season.
Steve from Jacksonville:
Thank you for the answer to Tommy from Jacksonville. Football players are humans that like to go hang out with their friends on a holiday weekend, just like the rest of us. I wish people would just withhold judgment until we actually know all of the facts in MoJo`s case.
John: People tend not to do that, and that’s OK. That’s the price celebrities pay. As for how the Jones-Drew story will play out, that we don’t yet know. We do know he did nothing wrong by being there, and that he can do what he likes on the weekends. We all can.
Mike from Green Cove Springs, FL:
If you want to take some time off, I'd volunteer to fill in for you and do the O-Zone. My career is in the toilet, too, I have a lousy sense of humor and I'm also afraid of Boselli. The fans would never know you were gone!
John: Boselli knows where to find me.
Steve from Denver, CO:
O, do you think Mr. Khan would admit that he regrets buying a team where his two best players on offense are going to be suspended for drunk driving, and possibly jailed for assault? Why not stick to auto parts and cruising around in that beautiful yacht? Do you think you can get me a ride on the yacht?
John: I can’t imagine him “admitting” he regrets buying the team because I can’t imagine he regrets buying the team. For the record, the Jaguars drafted Justin Blackmon after Khan bought the Jaguars, but that’s beside the point. Professional sports franchises feature professional athletes. Professional athletes are human beings. Human beings make mistakes. Khan bought the Jaguars for the long-term, and certainly he bought them knowing that on occasion players would have off-field issues. To think otherwise would be dim and shortsighted, and with a self-produced net worth of $3 billion and counting, I can only assume Khan is neither.
Sling from Little Rock, AR:
J, if you had only two or three answerable questions/comments on any given day, would you make up your own to answer?
John: What’s weird, Sling, is you’re the only one who knows whether or not I’m doing that now – if, indeed, you’re real. Think on that, huh? HUH!?

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