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O-Zone: Scouting overseas

Posted Jul 3, 2013

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

Craig Taste Buds of Gold and The Deuce:
Is it correct that we have the No. 2 waiver pick all year? This seems like a potentially nice advantage. I like how the decision-makers are bringing in a bunch of people. Does that approach end at training camp once we're limited to 90 guys? Also, even though I have season tickets, I can sit for seven hours straight watching RedZone, and I think this will greatly enhance my game-day experience. Since I'm only 40 and moderately "tech savvy," I can handle four things happening at once. Your thoughts…
John: I think you ask a lot of questions. And I think you ask them in short, concise sentences. The Jaguars have the No. 2 waiver pick until Week 3. After that, the waiver system depends on the team’s record from the current season. In reference to your second question, I imagine the pace at which the Jaguars bring in people could be brisk through the end of the preseason, and while it may slow somewhat once training camp ends, I don’t think it will stop entirely. General Manager David Caldwell and Head Coach Gus Bradley have indicated they want to continue improving the roster by any means possible through the regular season. Finally, regarding watching the RedZone seven hours straight . . . that might be disturbing to some people, but here in the O-Zone . . . well, let’s just say we’ve seen far worse behavior.
Bill from Sebastian, FL:
"John: Careful, Bill. We have video." John, be careful what you wish for, it may come true.
John: I’m not worried. My wishes never come true.
Steve from Jacksonville:
The way the league is going is Johnathan Cyprien the kind of player who may want to save a few dollars to pay fines – at least until he figures out the "limits" of his position?
John: Well, he’s a safety and he hits hard, so in that sense, yes, Cyprien likely will be at risk of incurring fines. That doesn’t remotely mean he’s a dirty player, and I don’t anticipate he’s the sort of guy who necessarily should incur a ton of fines. But we shall see. He has yet to wear pads in practice, much less a game.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
It bothers me when people continuously point to players teams could have drafted or picked up in free agency. Yes, there are many, many examples of teams missing players who turned out to be great, but aren't there just as many (if not more) examples of teams passing on guys that turned out to be busts? In the 2006 draft the Jags took MJD 60th overall. The next running back off the board was Brian Calhoun. In his three-year career with the Lions, Calhoun gained 54 total yards rushing and no TDs. Yet, if their career numbers were reversed, all the Jags fans would crucify the team for missing on him. There are good picks and bad picks, but there are no do-overs, so get over it and move on.
John: Your email speaks to an often-overlooked truth. Fans and media love to go through drafts and find players teams missed on, and in so doing, they absolutely often overlook players the team selected right. I never have been much interested in playing the “Let’s-see-who-this-team-could-have-drafted” game. It’s pointless and it doesn’t reflect much. No general manager’s track record – however good or bad – can withstand that scrutiny. The best general managers miss on players, particularly outside the first round. It’s a percentage game, and you hope to bat 60 percent. Anything better is the stuff of legends.
Joe from Jacksonville:
Mr O...I see that Jimmy Smith is back home ...with some restrictions. I hope he reads the Ozone...and knows his many, many fans here wish him the best and hope he will overcome his issues! My son and I both remember the Smith from Brunell combo as if it were yesterday.
John: I don’t know if Smith reads the O-Zone or not either. Whether he does or does not, I wish him the best, too. He was one of my favorite athletes to cover, and I have fond memories of that time.
Tom from Jacksonville and Section 106:
Do coaching staffs have a salary cap? Or any other restrictions like number of assistants, scouts, etc. for that matter?
John: No.
Kirk from Recently Renewed Section 244:
What is the state of the team going to be coming into that London game? How much pressure do you think there is now on Khan, the coaches, and the players on this team to show up and make a statement on the field in arguably this franchise's most important "road" game to date?
John: I don’t see that game being significantly more pressurized than any other regular-season game. Certainly, the players and coaches won’t feel anything differently along those lines. From the coaches’ and players’ perspective, it’s a road game under unusual circumstances, but not much more than that. Coaches and players aren’t motivated by marketing or a chance to expand the fan base, nor should they be. As for Khan, would he like the Jaguars to win the game for the new fans in the London market? Certainly, but he gets that building that market is a long-term, big-picture process, and I don’t see him acting in such a way to increase pressure on coaches and players based on this one game.
Jeff from Norwood, MA:
My 5-year-old daughter wants me to ask you, "Why?" I received no further instructions.
John: Tell her I said, “Leave me alone.”
Mike from Clyde, NC:
O-man, I appreciate your willingness to continue with the O-Zone on a continual basis. The other day, ESPN reporters talked about the quarterback situation in Jacksonville. They predicted Henne would win the starting job because Gabbert does not show leadership in the huddle and that his teammates have lost all trust in Gabbert. Is there anything to this story? If not where are they getting their sources?
John: I have no idea where they get this. Players I have spoken with say they believe in Gabbert. Is it possible some say differently? Sure, anything’s possible, but to say players have “lost all trust,” no, I don’t sense that. And I don’t agree with the prediction that Henne will start. I’ve said often. We’ll know soon enough.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
Can you draw comparisons to the Jaguars' London series to the Buffalo Bills' annual game in Toronto, where due to proximity the Bills are also Toronto's Team?
John: Yes, I can.
Ed from Ponte Vedra, FL:
Cannot figure out why you would mention Cyprien as the guy other teams will have to look out for on our defense and not mention Paul Posluszny. Cyprien has not even been on the field yet.
John: I have huge respect for Posluszny and think he could be the best player on the Jaguars’ defense this season. If I was starting a team, I’d feel really comfortable with Posluszny as my middle linebacker. But I interpreted the question as asking what player on the Jaguars’ defense could eventually be a player for whom other teams would have to game plan – i.e., who would be a superstar, defense-defining player and eventually define a great defense. I don’t know that Posluszny is necessarily at quite that level, but at this very early stage it appears Cyprien could have a chance to be.
Earny from Springville, AL:
Was there a reason you included Seth's email twice, or are you just emphasizing the point? Or maybe you're just checking to see if our attention span is more than 10 seconds?
John: What?
Debs from Jacksonville and Section 150:
Tudor from St. Augustine has it wrong. I believe the former regime thought they had lightning in a bottle with Blaine Gabbert and therefore pulled the trigger on letting Garrard go because of what they THOUGHT they had. It was a gamble for sure. But don't deceive yourself. It was not Gabbert's fault he was thrown in the fire.
John: It certainly wasn’t Gabbert’s fault he was thrown into the lineup at what, in retrospect, was far too early a stage in his career. But the decision to release Garrard wasn’t about Gabbert. It was about the regime at the time not thinking Garrard was the right guy at that time. Once Luke McCown struggled against the New York Jets that season, the decision was made to go with Gabbert, but there wasn’t a widespread belief in the organization that Gabbert was ready.
Earny from Springville, AL:
Was there a reason you included Seth's email twice, or are you just emphasizing the point? Or maybe you're just checking to see if our attention span is more than 10 seconds?
John: What?
Ray from Jacksonville:
John: I am always amused by people pointing out the number of offensive coordinators under whom a quarterback has played. (Remember Alex Smith) Is this a chicken-and-egg question? If a quarterback plays well, he usually does not have a coordinator per year.
John: It is indeed a situation where one difficult issue tends to feed another – or as you say, a “chicken-and-egg” question. Still, whatever the reasons for Gabbert’s struggles, three coordinators in three years is about as difficult situation as a quarterback can face – unless you add in four head coaches, two owners and so on and so on . . .
Mark from Ponte Vedra, FL:
I am heading to Ireland on Thursday and then to London next week. Anything you want me to scout out for you?
John: Yes, make sure they have Sbarro’s.

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