JACKSONVILLE -- Let's get to it . . .
Richard from Richmond, VA:
Hey, O-Zone, I see where Maurice Jones-Drew
can practice, but will be brought along slowly? What does this mean? Will he be ready for the season or not? What say you?
John: Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley updated the team’s injury situation extensively Tuesday, with the highlight certainly being the news that Maurice Jones-Drew will be able to practice when training camp begins. Bradley also said the team will be “smart” with Jones-Drew, which means he may not practice absolutely 100 percent early in camp. That’s not unusual for a player coming back from offseason surgery – in fact, it’s pretty much the norm. I wouldn’t worry about it even if Jones-Drew doesn’t play Week 1 of the preseason, though I’m hardly predicting that will be the case. He is a veteran who knows his body, and his history suggests that he knows how to get himself ready and play at a high level coming off of an injury.
Billy from Ann Arbor, MI:
What’s the level of concern with the Johnathan Cyprien
injury? This kind of came out of the blue, no?
Well, yeah. Cyprien sustained a hamstring injury last week training, and Bradley announced on Tuesday that he will begin training camp on the Non-Football Injury List. It doesn’t sound like a major deal, and Bradley said the hope is Cyprien will be able to practice next week. That’s when the Jaguars are scheduled to start practicing in pads, so if he’s back by then he misses very little. Wide receiver Justin Blackmon
(groin) is expected to be on the Physically Unable to Perform list more long-term, but defensive end Jason Babin
is in the same cleared-but-expected-to-be-brought-along-slowly category as Jones-Drew. Overall, the Jaguars are in pretty good shape as they enter training camp.
Bill from Jacksonville:
John, hasn't my punishment gone on long enough? Can you please unblock me on Twitter? Thanks! Go Jags!
John: Bill!! I got some thinkin’ to do on this one. Stay tuned.
Dave from St. Augustine:
Cyprien? Hamstring? Do we have another Bob Sanders on our hands?
John: Really? Already? Look, I heard a sniff of this on Tuesday, and one couldn’t have less to do with the other. Sanders entered the NFL injured and struggled with significant injuries throughout his career. He primarily had knee issues early on, and eventually injuries drove him out of the game. Cyprien sustained a hamstring injury that is expected to keep out maybe a week. To equate one with the other is very Twitter- and message board-ish and just, plain extreme. Now, I will say this: around his injuries, Sanders early in his career turned in three of the most remarkable extended stretches of safety play seen in the NFL in the last couple of decades – the 2005 regular season, the 2006 postseason and the 2007 regular season – so if there are Sanders comparisons in that area, the Jaguars would be doing cartwheels over the Hart Bridge.
Chuck from Summerville, SC:
I like you, I turn 47 this week. My wife and children ignore me, too. Can I come over and drink your beer on my birthday? If your wife and kids ignore me, too. I'll feel right at home and I'll get free beer . . .
John: I don’t care how much you like me. You can buy your own beer. #punctuationsiseverything
Shawn from Jacksonville:
"You can't waive someone whose brother is a superstar QB." I guess we should sign Cooper Manning ASAP.
John: I hear Eddie Elway is unsigned, too.
Tym from the Southside:
gets the direct snap in the shotgun formation, with MJD lined up next to him for a potential draw. Meanwhile, Ace is running an end-around from the slot. Who would choose you cover in that situation John?
John: Good question, and it certainly shows the sort of wrinkle that could be a possibility in the Jaguars’ offense this season. Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch understandably showed little of the playbook in the offseason, and I frankly doubt he will show significantly more of it in open training camp practices or even preseason. I don’t know that your play/formation will be a part of the Jaguars’ scheme, but I don’t know that it won’t, and that’s sort of the point.
James from Jacksonville:
So what do you REALLY do?
John: Some questions are better left unanswered.
Tom from Jacksonville:
So the whole the purpose of this new fast-paced offense is to wear down defenses and make them tired. Wouldn't that have the same effect on the offense, too? Could this mean more drops and sloppier routes?
John: Sure, it could. The catch with running a high-tempo offense is you have to be organized, in good shape as a team and have the mental stamina to run it. It stands to reason the Jaguars will train with that in mind and therefore be able to run it without significant issues. If they do, then there is merit to the idea that a fast-paced offense can wear down a defense. Typically, it’s difficult for a defense to maintain pace with an offense because it’s considered more difficult to react than to act.
Gary from DeBary, FL:
The Dead Zone is a great time to learn new things, remember old friends (like Russ), or just go on Vacation. Thank you, Mister O-Zone for all of the Extra services you provide. Good talk, Russ.
John: I don’t know why they call this stuff Hamburger Helper.
Rocko from Jacksonville:
When we score and wanna jump in to the stands, we should call it the JUNGLE LEAP.
Donny from Jacksonville:
I share the concern others do about our offensive line. Assuming all the starters play to their potential, all looks good. But who's behind them on the depth chart when/if an injury happens? This team has had some terrible luck in recent seasons with certain positions being decimated by injuries, offensive line being one of them. If just one of them goes down, do we have any sort of depth at the position(s) to not fall apart again, and possibly put the final nail in the coffin of who I still see as a promising young quarterback who's never had a season with good protection?
Your question pretty accurately addresses the offensive line. On paper, you have to like the personnel in the starting lineup a lot more than last season. Eugene Monroe
and Brad Meester
are proven. Uche Nwaneri
is proven, too, and should be better now that he’s healthy. Rookie Luke Joeckel
should be very good from the start, and while Will Rackley
is unproven, he should be better than he was as a rookie in 2011. The question becomes depth, because depth almost is always needed on the offensive line. Depth is something that takes time to build and it wouldn’t be surprising if the Jaguars aren’t very deep this season. That, of course, isn’t an acceptable answer to Gus Bradley, offensive line coach George Yarno or the Jaguars’ offensive linemen, so by the end of training camp, they need answers.
mike from middleburg:
pls pls stop with the mocchee stuff I think I am gonna be sick
John: no pbrml
Steve from Nashville, TN:
You mentioned the starting quarterback will have to be good at making play calls at the line of scrimmage in the new offense. Is that a current strength of Gabbert or Henne?
John: Time will tell. Neither Henne nor Gabbert was asked to do it a whole lot last season, but Fisch has said publicly and to the quarterbacks that this absolutely will be a staple of the offense. It has more to do with his overall philosophy as a coach than it does his feelings individually on Gabbert or Henne. Fisch believes the quarterback is the player not only most familiar with the offense, but in the best position to get the offense into the right play and out of the wrong one, so the quarterback will have that responsibility. If Henne or Gabbert is better than the other at this skill it’s going to give that player a huge edge in the competition.
Johnny from Palatka:
Why are the sandwiches all wet?
John: Do you know what the penalty for animal cruelty is in this state?
John from Section 105:
Do you think there will be a lot of roster moves and turnover before any of the mandatory cut deadlines?
John: It depends on your definition of a lot. I think there will be some, and I think there could be, say, upwards of 10 players signed and 10 released during training camp. Do those 10 players make the roster? Who knows? There will be a lot of transactions in training camp and perhaps beyond. Competition and transactions are going to be a major theme for this franchise in the coming weeks.
Leo from Gilbert, AZ:
Your predecessor offered coffee mugs to bring attention to his column. Have you thought about pimping Moodachay Beer mugs to promote yours?
The neat thing about this column now is it doesn’t need cheap gimmicks
to get attention. #MOODACHAY!!