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O-Zone: This crazy mixed-up world

Posted Jul 5, 2013

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

Charles from Bangalore, India:
Hello, John: Gabbert, 22 sacks; Henne, 28 sacks. Combine the two, and you have the second-most-sacked quarterback in the NFL in 2012, missing the top honors by only one sack. This is not just some one-year stat. It has been a recurring problem the last few years dating to Garrard. Speculation on the upcoming performance of our quarterbacks is unwarranted and cannot be answered until the offensive line is fixed and our running game returns to its previous efficiency (think “MoJo”).
John: No question the offensive line must play better than it has the last few seasons. In their first draft together, General Manager David Caldwell and Head Coach Gus Bradley addressed that pretty pointedly with the selection of Luke Joeckel. It stands to reason that with the addition of Joeckel at right tackle, the pass protection should improve. A tackle of his caliber not only makes that position better, it means the guard next to him and the tight end have less help responsibility, which in turn should make those positions better. As for the running game, it should be helped by Joeckel’s presence, too, particularly if Maurice Jones-Drew returns to health by early in the season. This is maybe the primary storyline of the Jaguars’ 2013 season – after, of course, quarterback. Stay tuned in a month.
Sage from Orlando, FL:
"Dramatization. Do not attempt." Have you ever ignored that warning, John?
John: Boy, have I!
Carl from Jacksonville:
I think there might be a problem with the website. I keep seeing questions posting twice, O-Man. Someone should fix that... Ugh...
John: I’ll contact IT.
Chad from Section 140:
Our ticket prices have been low in comparison to the rest of the league from what I understand. I’m concerned these new improvements to the stadium are going to result in higher ticket prices. I love my seats/parking lot and don't want to relocate to another section. Winning product= ticket-price increase. Stadium improvements = ticket-price increase. Winning product stadium improvement = too much to afford? Thinking of that concept was too much work. Can you inform me of the current average ticket price in the NFL so I can get back to slacking off?
John: You did put some time in on that one; I’m not envious. Look, increased ticket prices are a truth of the NFL. Over the course of time, prices will inevitably rise – as they do in everything. It’s pretty likely there will be some premium seating or other premium opportunities associated with the stadium improvements. The NFL is a business, and as I’ve written before this off-season, finding ways to maximize local revenue is a priority for all teams, Jaguars included. At the same time, as was the case with this year’s increases, I feel safe in saying the Jaguars will make every effort to have a broad enough range of prices and options that fans will be able to afford to attend the games.
Carl from Jacksonville:
I think there might be a problem with the website. I keep seeing questions posting twice, O-Man. Someone should fix that... Ugh...
John: I’ll contact IT.
Bryan from Tampa, FL:
Can you shine light on what the safety depth might look like come game day? It seems Cyprien is really the only strong safety on the roster (one has tight-end coverage assignments and can be relied on for run support), while free safety seems to be where the depth is with D-Low, Prosinski and Evans. I guess my question is who is considered J-Cyp's back up?
John: You’re right that Cyprien is the only true strong safety on the roster who appears to have front-line starting potential. Evans is more of a true free safety, but has the ability to play strong safety and would appear to be the likely choice to play strong safety if Cyprien isn’t available. Dwight Lowery is a pretty solid choice to start at free safety, with Chris Prosinski and Evans backing up the positions. As time moves on, you’ll probably see the Jaguars with more of a true strong safety as a backup. In the first year of a building process, the roster breakdown isn’t always as ideal as it will be a few years in.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
If you had to put money on one or the other, which would you pick?...1) A QB currently on the roster will start game one of 2014, or 2) an incoming rookie QB will start game one of 2014.
John: I’d say . . . wait, how *much* money?
Scott from Honolulu, HI:
I’ll admit to a slight fist pump or two when they announced Denard Robinson on draft day. The Jaguars haven’t drafted a real playmaker since MJD, and he surely has the potential to be the next one. I just hope people will temper their excitement, knowing he has to learn a new position and system and won’t always be the fastest man on the field. Most fans are so hungry for a star/playmaker they’re not always very fair or more importantly, patient.
John: Fans won’t be patient, Scott. They won’t temper their excitement, and generally speaking they won’t care that he’s learning a new position. That’s not a knock on the fans; just the way it is when it comes to fans. They will be quick to tear down Robinson should he fail, or anoint him if he succeeds. Whatever the hunger level, that’s just the way it is. Denard Robinson has big-time play-making ability, but as I have written often, as a fifth-round selection without a position, the odds are against him. He may well have the ability to overcome those odds. The feeling inside the organization is that he does. That’s why we watch.
James from Orange Park, FL:
Looking at the schedule between home games (I did not include London as a home game), we have to wait about 17 days between each home game. The longest wait is 28 days and the shortest is 7 days (our only single digit wait time!). Being that these games are so infrequently played at home, will this have a negative effect on the season? I mean, this can't be a good thing can it, or am I blowing a small thing out of proportion again because I tend to do that?
John: The layout of the schedule is annually a great topic for the offseason, and people tend to assume that a lot depends on when home games are played and the presumed difficulty of certain road trips. My experience is that good teams tend to play well whatever the schedule and bad teams make easy schedules difficult.
Kevin from Jacksonville:
Is Montreal's defensive line that good or Winnipeg's offensive line that offensive?
John: Is this mic on?
Sean from Fleming Island, FL:
What advantages if any do the Jaguars have being the home team in London this year?
John: The site realistically gives the Jaguars few on-field advantages this year. My sense from emails here in the O-Zone is that there are more Jaguars followers in London and the UK than many might believe, but I don’t know that the number is yet big enough to be a true advantage come game day. The biggest immediate advantage is off-field; the London game produces significant revenue and will help stabilize the franchise in Jacksonville. On field, it stands to reason there will be an advantage in time, but perhaps not immediately.
Troy from York, PA:
Instead of Jacksonville bringing in some other running back that hasn't proven anything but injuries (Beanie Wells) why don't they bring in like a Felix Jones? I believe he's a free agent isn't he?
John: No. He plays for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Bo from Dresden, NC:
I don't care for the "dead zone" . . . I'm checking out till training camp gets going, take care.
John: You take care, too, Bo. My job is to write for jaguars.com, so we’ll be here if you change your mind.
Alex from Rockville, MD:
Why do you keep making lame jokes about getting a raise? You work for the Jags. I'd love it and do it for free. Have you even ever played football? Nope, just take naps and ask for a raise. Call it lame-o-zone.
John: Lame-o-zone – good one, Alex.
Dane from Jacksonville:
Please tell "Thomas from Jagsonville" that there are fans who like the Move The Chains cheer, as you affirmed yesterday. In fact the vast majority of the stadium seems to enjoy it.
John: It’s indeed a funny thing about stadium cheers. Like a lot of things in this world – Dead Zone O-Zones and their author included – some people like them and some people don’t. I hope the “Move the Chains” cheer learns, as I did long, long ago, that you can’t please everyone, and to try to do so is frustrating, impossible and really, pretty meaningless in the grand scheme of this crazy, mixed-up world of ours.

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