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O-Zone: Napping like a newborn

Posted Jun 26, 2013

JACKSONVILLE – All right. Thanks for bearing with us. We seem to a little more back to normal today. Not sure what all *that* was. Dream sequence. Or maybe it was the shoes.

Let’s get to it . . .

Jack from Jacksonville:
Any news on the Maurice Jones-Drew front? It has been a month since the Conch House incident. I'm starting to lose faith in our justice system, if that's even possible. I know the wheels of justice move slowly, but this is ridiculous.
John: Well, *Jack,* I’m glad you asked! The State Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday that Jones-Drew will not be charged with a crime relating to the incident of which you write. Jones-Drew released the following statement shortly thereafter: “Naturally I am pleased with this result and look forward to focusing on football. My rehab is going well and I'm anxious to join my teammates at the start of training camp.” There’s not much more to say from a football standpoint.
Nathan from Portland, OR:
Even though no charges are being filed against MJD, any chance that he sees a suspension from the league?
John: I learned long ago to never say “never” – or to rarely say it, at least – but I doubt the league gets involved on this. Jones-Drew does not have a history of off-field issues, and with charges not being filed, it would be surprising to see action from the league.
Beavis from Somewhere:
For all we know, "John Oehser" is really just a hologram or something.
John: That’s right. You don’t know. And it’s possible you never will.
Ron from Asheville, NC:
I don't understand how the Jags playing a game in London has much of an economic boon to the team, directly. I do, however, see how this greatly benefits the NFL as a whole by increasing the television market, thus creating an increase in the next network contract, which in turn is divided among the 32 teams. So, how can selling a few extra tickets and jerseys by playing there really benefit the Jags? I always believed this had more to do with Khan returning a favor to the other NFL owners, for permitting him to become part of the fraternity. I don't see any other owner itching to play across the pond to increase their respective team’s brand.
John: You’re right that it benefits the entire league, but I’ve never gotten the idea that the Jaguars playing in London is about Khan trying to repay other owners. Also, any idea that the NFL owners did Khan a favor is seeing Khan’s ownership through the wrong lens. I was in Dallas in December 2011 when Khan was officially announced as owner, and considering Khan’s strengths – his path to success, his personality and perhaps most importantly to other owners, his financial status – NFL owners were ecstatic to have him in the fraternity. Khan from the beginning saw a London game and London series as a way to increase the team’s brand and fan base. At the same time, the revenue from a London game is significant and Jaguars President Mark Lamping has said it will serve to significantly strengthen the team in Jacksonville.
Dan from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
What initiated the man-hate that you have for Tony Boselli? Is all the degradation you extend to him only one-sided? Does he ignore you or does he return barbs in kind? Are you aware that he is strong like bull and is capable of inflicting mucho pain upon you?
John: Spend even uno day with Boselli. Then, come talk to me.
Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
It was interesting seeing that Denard Robinson has been classified as an OW (offensive weapon) by the Jaguars. I see him possibly emerging as an Antwaan Randle El-type player for them. Yes, I know nobody has put on pads, but I think this young man is something special. He may just turn out to be the Kaepernick or Wilson of this year’s draft. Not as a quarterback but as a nice surprise as OW.
John: Yes, he very may well do that. The Jaguars have classified him as an offensive weapon, at least partially because it’s difficult to know exactly what he will do best next season: running back, wide receiver, wildcat quarterback. I’ve said before and I’ll probably say again that Robinson has shown a phenomenal amount of speed and potential. He also has a lot of rough edges to smooth and the Jaguars will have to be creative to get him the touches they want. How that plays out will be an intriguing story through preseason and early in the regular season. Once they work through the process, Robinson could well be a weapon.
Robert from Bartram Springs, FL:
Can you give a little insight on the rookie pay scale? I thought it worked something like this: Pick No. 2 gets ‘X’ amount, and ‘X’ signing bonus. Pick No. 132 gets ‘Y’ amount, and ‘Y’ signing bonus. Is that not how it works? What is there to actually negotiate between an agent and the team? Is it the size of the signing bonus is? Whether or not it’s fully guaranteed (off set language)?
John: There actually is very little to negotiate, particularly outside of the first round. Under the rookie wage scale, every rookie signs a four-year contract, but clubs have options to extend first-round selections by a year after the third year of a player’s contract. The only real area for negotiation is in the details of the signing bonus, and even within that the wiggle room is limited. The Jaguars have three unsigned draft choices – Robinson, Ace Sanders and Josh Evans – and there is little separating the sides. If there was a time crunch on this – i.e., if training camp was about to begin – the contracts almost certainly could be done within days, if not hours.
Hunter from Jacksonville:
Khan is really bringing in the right crew these days. You can read between the lines and see multi-tasking at its finest. Think of how much shorter the lines in the bathroom just became at halftime when the crowd knows there's a swimming pool.
John: There are eight million stories in the naked city. Apparently, there are even more pool jokes.
Brian from the Bold City Brigade Atlanta Chapter:
Regarding the trend of teams keeping two quarterbacks as opposed to three, it may also have something to do with the league instituting new rules and changing the focus of officiating to better protect the quarterback. (#keepyourhandsoffmy20milliondollarinvestment) It's still professional football, and injuries WILL occur, but I think it's far less likely that a team could lose two quarterbacks in the course of one game than 10 years ago.
John: That probably has something to do with it, but honestly, having watched a lot of football in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s before I covered the NFL, and I can’t say that I recall a slew of games in which teams lost two quarterbacks. The chance of it happening always has been pretty low. The league perhaps wasn’t quite as quarterback-centric in those days – although the quarterback always has been critical – so it may have been that teams believed in that era they had a better chance of winning with a third quarterback than teams believe today. More than anything, a lot of it has to do with the NFL historically being very much a copy-cat league. Once a few teams started going with two, other teams figured it would be doable began carrying two quarterbacks rather than wasting a roster spot on a player who had only a very small chance of getting on the field.
Andrew from Orange Park, FL:
It sounds like Andy from St. Augustine had seven years of college go down the drain if he really thinks the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor. Open a text book, heck watch any of the 20 movies made about Pearl Harbor. This is becoming the Dodo-Zone!!!
John: Or you could skip all those movies and watch this one.
Kent from Oak Harbor, WA:
Okay. Off the rails, weird, whatever - that episode of the O-Zone (yes, I'll be creative and call it that) was funny! Sometimes it's just best to step out of the way and let the kids play! Nicely done.
John: Now that we indeed seem to be moving on from a week of weirdness, I’ll mention a few things that struck me during the few days when the O-Zone went off the rails with talk of Quid Pro Quo-Zone, Fo, Fo, Fo-Zone and Yoko Ono-Zone. One was how many people reveled in the silliness and goofiness of the running joke; the emails we received taking part outweighed those disliking the gag by a staggering number. Another was how many people seemed to understand what the O-Zone is at its core – that is, a gathering place, where questions get asked and answered *365* days a year and where we also strive to have a good time while informing and to not take ourselves too seriously while we do it (football, remember, is entertainment). Another is that some people realize the O-Zone is not the entire website, and that there are other stories if you don’t find this column entertaining or amusing (if you count yourself among these people, I won’t be insulted; my wife and son don’t think I’m funny, either). And finally, that there are indeed people who detest the ridiculousness and silliness and still after more than two years expect this column to be something else. I once looked to the other free, team web sites offering this sort of interactive feature on a seven-day-a-week basis for guidance, and found little in the way of a blueprint. Bottom line? I answer questions every day. I choose a lot of questions that make me laugh and answer a lot of questions the way I do for the same reason. If you laugh, great; if you don’t, that’s what those arrow keys are for. We discuss football every day; not to the liking of everyone, perhaps, but I learned long ago “to the liking of everyone” is a cruel goal – unattainable at best, torturing at worst. Hence, I journey forth, knowing that there are those who enjoy what we do here on some sort of weird, cult-like level, and others who detest it to their core with much the same passion. Me? I rest easy, napping like a newborn each afternoon, at ease in the knowledge that I’ll probably never fully understand either party.

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