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O-Zone: Softly unto the night

Posted Jul 10, 2013

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it...

Tater from Hallandale Beach:
With back-to back games on the West Coast in Weeks 2 and 3, is there a chance Bradley keeps the team there for the week like Harbaugh did with the Niners coming east?
John: Gus Bradley has determined the Jaguars will stay on the West Coast the week following the Raiders game in Oakland Week 2. The plan for now is for the team to stay in California, then to travel to Seattle closer to the weekend.
John from Elizabeth City, NC:
Actually, John, I'm doing alright for myself. I'm 24 and in the Coast Guard working as an electrician on C-130 aircraft and going on law enforcement and search-and-rescue flights. So ya, I'm pretty sure things will work out just fine for me. Thanks for the concern. Love the website, but the app keeps force closing. Have a good one.
John: Oh, yeah? Well, people write me questions and I answer Moodachay, so . . . well, so that.
Tania from Orange Park, FL:
I am soooo happy Denard signed a contract (GOOO BLUE!!!), but what does it consist of? I see he got a $210 signing bonus, but what is the whole contract amount and for how many years?
John: According to Spotrac.com, Robinson signed a four-year contract worth $2.373 million. His signing bonus was $213,612.
Jim from Chuluota, FL:
A Google search of “Moodachay” renders 33 results including this: “If you want someone to move out of the way: MOOdaChay! If you are chill: It's all good. It's: “boodechay.”
John: That’s extremely valuable information for me, because I am nothing if not “Chill.”
Jimmy from Orange Park, FL:
Did Eric really suggest that McFadden and MJD do not have the speed to do well in a zone-blocking scheme? McFadden posted a 4.33 40 time. As for MJD: granted, he's probably not still a 4.3 guy, but he ran a 4.39 40 at the combine. My point is a guy like Arian Foster who has been great in the ZBS ran a 4.68 40-yard dash, so it's definitely not about the "speed" so much as the "style" of runner, would you say this is correct? And how do you see this style suiting our own MJD?
John: I would say you are correct. Successful zone-blocking running is not completely based on speed. It’s about being able to cut back at the right time, and it’s about reading and feeling the timing of your blocking. Done correctly – think: Terrell Davis, Arian Foster – it can be beautiful, flowing and numbingly effective. You don’t automatically think of Jones-Drew as “flowing;” he won the rushing title in 2012 with a remarkable season of grit, strength and heart in the wake of offseason knee surgery. Jones-Drew’s history is that he figures out a way to be effective whatever his circumstances and the belief here is that he’ll figure out a way to do that this season coming off serious foot surgery. How he looks while he is being effective in this scheme is going to be fascinating to watch.
Jeff from Jacksonville:
I was a little unclear on something, maybe you can help me out. Are NFL players elite-level athletes capable of adapting to change? Thanks for your time.
John: I’ll check.
Kevin from Orlando, FL:
Would the role of Denard Robinson be similar to the way teams use Darren Sproles?
John: It could be. What we don’t yet know is what Robinson is most comfortable doing. He played quarterback in college, but doesn’t have much experience returning kicks or catching passes, and the Jaguars probably will need to determine where he excels before determining his role.
Jeff from Jacksonville:
I’m a longtime season-ticket holder, reader of your column and that of your predecessor. I can’t seem to get a question answered through your, “Ask John” or in “the Live O-Zone.” What’s the deal??? Is there a trick to it or something???
John: Yes.
Chad from Jacksonville:
After Justin Blackmon's suspension, do you think he will have a great season? And are you expecting a Pro Bowl-type season out of Cecil Shorts III?
John: I expect Blackmon to continue playing as he did late last season, which is to say I’d expect him to be a 1,000-yard, seven-to-eight touchdown guy over the course of 16 games. I’d call that a very good production level. I don’t know that I *expect* a Pro Bowl season for Shorts. There are so many factors that come into play for a wide receiver to make the Pro Bowl – including reputation, which is a factor that’s hard for the player to control. I do expect Shorts – if healthy – to be perhaps the Jaguars’ best offensive player and to be a 1,200-yard guy. If he does that, and if the Jaguars improve to close to .500, then I think he could get some Pro Bowl consideration.
Aaron from Baltimore, MD:
I'm sure you've seen many training camp practices in your years of covering the NFL. In your opinion, will it be difficult for the coaching staff to truly evaluate and develop five quarterbacks simultaneously during camp? Also, what level of interaction are Matt Scott and Jordan Rodgers allowed to have with the coaching staff during this period, when only rookies are allowed at the facility?
John: It will be trickier, and certainly not all five will get equal repetitions, at least not at first. Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne will share reps with the starters, and Mike Kafka, Matt Scott and Jordan Rodgers will have to earn their way up the depth chart. That’s pretty much the norm on any football team at any level. Scott and Rodgers are under the same rules as any rookie or veteran – that is, they may not talk football with coaches until training camp.
Andy from St. John’s, FL:
Everyone writes to you like you are the decision-maker within the organization. You seem to relish that fact, with your daily platform of this column to voice your answers to the masses. What has been your toughest, most gut-wrenching decision you have made to date since joining the organization?
John: Just the other day, with my immediate supervisor on vacation and Mark Lamping reportedly out of office, I had a choice at 1:30 in the afternoon between silently, sneakily closing the office door for a nap or moseying to the conference room for birthday cake. I chose the nap, and while the decision wasn’t exactly gut-wrenching, goodness knows it wasn’t easy.
Darrick from Jacksonville:
Today seems a long way away from Aaron Ross's stinging "a nice vacation" comment. Somehow I don't think we're going to miss him. What are your thoughts?
John: I think most Jaguars fans stopped thinking about Ross pretty quickly after the team released him, and in retrospect, I’m not sure the comments stung the franchise much at all. They really were sort of an offseason blip.
Keith from Palatka, FL:
Our defense looks poised to be solid, if not spectacular. I expect them to improve to rank in the Top 10-to-20 range. What do you think of our defense's chances to be improved?
John: I certainly think the defense will be improved. The cynics among us would say the unit struggled enough last season that it would be hard not to improve, and those cynics wouldn’t be entirely incorrect. The key for the unit will be finding a way to create a pass rush. It’s not likely to be with a lot of blitzing; when Gus Bradley talks about aggressive defense, he’s talking about aggressive, press coverage in the secondary. With a young secondary that could mean mistakes at times, but in the big picture, I expect you’ll see an improving unit that gets better as the season continues.
James from Orange Park, FL:
At first, I thought the schedule looked daunting, but then I looked again and it's really not too bad. We start off against Miami, the Jets, and the Eagles. We could relatively easily start off 3-0 before anyone is sober enough to realize it doesn't matter. Wins are wins, baby. MOODACHAY, MOODACHAY, MOODACHAY!! MOOOOS!!
John: #Moodachay.
Dwayne from Jacksonville:
Move the chains is lame? I'll always believe the chant got started in Section 403. A Steeler fan showed up for the Pittsburgh game and taunted our section with that cheer all game. (Must be a Pittsburgh cheer?) The next year, he showed up again, but so did the Jaguars and everyone around him did Mooodachay as the Jaguars found their offence. Great fan, he never returned after that, but 403 and 404 kept the chant going every game.
John: Moodachay!!!! Moodachay!!!! Moodachay!!!!
Matt from Bartow, FL:
I made it to my first Jags game a couple of years ago against the Dolphins. We were seated around a bunch of Dolphin fans who, every time Miami made a first down would scream "That's another Miami Dolphins . . . FIRST DOWN!" Followed by some old guy yelling, “Shula.” I much prefer Moodachay.
John: You are not alone, my friend...
Bryan from Tampa, FL:
Moodachay pretty much sums up my life.
John: ...nor are you, my friend.
Tom from Melbourne, FL:
Just before the final blow our hero closed his eyes and thought of her; he whispered softly unto the night, "Moodachay..."
John: Oh my goodness.
 

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