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O-Zone: True visionary

Posted Jul 13, 2013

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

Kevin from Orange Park, FL:
Well, that’s it, right? Shad Khan has bought the Fulham FC – a sure sign he is moving the Jaguars to London. London Jaguars, here we come!!!
John: I should probably just link to all of the other times I’ve written about this topic this week, but no, Khan’s purchase of Fulham does not mean the Jaguars are moving to London. Khan since purchasing the Jaguars has talked of building Jacksonville and the Jaguars into global brands. The acquisition of Fulham, as I’m sure Khan will indicate Saturday, should do nothing but help he and the team build relationships there, and that will help the franchise. Khan’s focus in London has been to strengthen the Jaguars overall, and as he has said often, that will only strengthen the franchise in Jacksonville.
Chris from Jacksonville:
OK, I know they don't really mean anything, but I was looking at the fantasy ratings on NFL.com. Now, I didn't expect us to be too great in most areas, but I can't believe our kicker wasn't even on the board! I seem to remember him being rather good, and a source of quite a few points when we were unable to make the touchdown. What's up with that?
John: Dunno.
Bobby from Doboy Island, GA:
Can we tell folks to simmer down regarding Cecil Shorts III? The guy is an early-season concussion away from possibly never playing football again. Seems like with every new concussion, it gets more and more likely you'll get another. And Cecil had two in the span of a month that ended his season last year. I hope the man cracks 1,000 yards, but I'm more hoping he survives next season with no further issues.
John: Yes, the future is always a concern for any player, particularly one who has had concussions. We’ve discussed it. I’ve written it. It’s public knowledge. Should we not write about him or discuss him because of that? I don’t quite see what that would accomplish.
Jonathan from Fort Irwin, CA:
Has anyone considered the possibility that Khan simply likes soccer?
John: Khan has, probably.
Rhett from Old Bridge, NJ:
I'm leaving for Army BCT on the 15th. The hardest part for me is going to be missing following training camp and preseason, and the first five weeks of the season. I think this year our Jags will take a step forward toward greatness, and can be real Super Bowl contenders by 2015-2016.
John: I agree that there should be a step forward this season, and that’s a more-than-reasonable time frame for contending. Good luck to you, and thank you.
Bryce from Algona, IA:
So you know the rough definition of laissez-faire. Should credit go to your 12th-grade government teacher or thefreedictionary.com?
John: Ah, so much talk of credit these days . . . why get bogged down in details?
Ted from Jacksonville:
Do you think the coaches should try Josh Evans at corner and how do you think he would be? Rashean Mathis was drafted as a free safety and started but switched to corner.
John: Evans actually began his career at Florida as a corner, so it’s not completely beyond the scope of possibility. I wouldn’t bet on it, though. His body type and playing style appear to fit safety better than corner. The Jaguars liked Evans as a safety, and there was no talk – at least not in a public setting – of moving him.
Snook from Keller, TX:
Woke up this morning with an incredible headache and this rather large new tat. What the heck does Moodachay mean again? Gonna have a hard time explaining this one to the misses... Advice?
John: Where’s the tat?
Nick from Jacksonville:
When I reread my question about home-field advantage, I realize at the end I did get off-course. We may not lose all four London games, and Moodachay knows I hope we don't, but it did sound as though you were partially agreeing with me about not having home-field advantage come October against the 49ers. Here's to hoping we face the Raiders there next year.
John: The 49ers are good. On paper, they’re probably better than the Jaguars entering the season. We’re probably down to arguing semantics on this. The 49ers could have an advantage in terms of crowd noise, and if that’s your definition of home-field advantage, then go with that. I think the Jaguars over time could get enough of a fan base and enough familiarity with the London surroundings and trip that it becomes a home-field advantage. Time will tell.
Josh from Section 105:
Was there any clapping when you agreed to terms with the Jaguars?
John: Yes, quite a bit. I was flattered at first, then realized there was a dog sleeping in the hallway and the sales staff was trying to startle it awake.
Jimmy from Gainesville, FL:
So, Josh Evans is the only unsigned draft pick. Do you think David Caldwell saying Evans was the second-highest-rated safety on the Jags’ board is making the negotiations more difficult than they would be otherwise?
John: I thought the same thing when Caldwell said that, but only briefly. Evans was a sixth-round selection, and there’s realistically not a lot of wiggle room in the negotiating process for even early-round selections these days. We’re a little less than two weeks from training camp, and once you get into late June and early July, negotiations take a bit longer because front-office personnel are taking vacations. There’s nothing to suggest Evans won’t be signed by training camp, and it would be surprising if he wasn’t.
Jeff from Clearwater, FL:
So, as I finish pouring my glass of afternoon wine, I whisper to myself, “MOODACHAY.” Startled, I ask myself, "Did that just happen?" Then I realize . . .yep it's the dead zone. Honest truth.
John: J.P. Shadrick did the same thing when he was pouring his morning bourbon.
Jack from Jacksonville:
Any chance of the Jags taking a chance of former ‘Nole Greg Reid as a possible kick returner? Seeing as how Ace Sanders couldn't even make it through minicamp without injury this might be a no-risk, high-reward situation.
John: Sanders sustained an injury during rookie minicamp, then returned and had a very productive organized team activities period. Let’s not slather Sanders with that slop until it’s warranted.
Ian from Leeds, UK:
I think the Jags will be much better next year, but in reading the divisional rankings by position group that Paul Kuharsky is doing (where we come fourth nearly every time), I find it hard to argue with any of the rankings. I guess I didn't realize the scale of how far behind the others we are, or how widespread our lack of quality is across the various position groups. David Caldwell has one heck of a big task ahead of him to turn it around.
John: Yes, the Jaguars need to continue to add talent. I’d always caution against reading too much into preseason power rankings, because they’re by definition based on the past and not how much a player may have improved in the offseason. But yes, Caldwell would be the first to admit that the Jaguars probably need another offseason or two to fill the needs he saw when first evaluating the roster. That doesn’t make winning this season out of the question, but it does mean there’s a process involved.
Dave from Cranston, RI:
Hey, John. What’s the world record for longest consecutive days for a Q&A?? You have to be getting close to whatever it is!
John: I don’t hold it, actually. And in fact, family lore has it my great, great, great, great, great uncle Otto Oehser wrote a mean daily question-and-answer for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in the 1860s covering the fledgling concept of professional baseball. Though an internet search of Daily Eagle archives reveals strikingly little evidence of the Otto-Zone, that same family lore is it ran for 1,143 consecutive days – well beyond my current streak – before newspaper higher-ups realized they never actually hired Uncle Otto and had no records regarding his background beyond a job interview in which he said of his work history, “It’s cool, right?” Uncle Otto shortly thereafter established the family tradition of shame and shuffling out of town a step ahead of ramifications, after which lore also has it he headed to the Southeast with sights on starting a NASCAR blog. The visionary Otto, although frustrated by the nonexistence of not only automobiles, but the internet, lived out his days in Central Florida, napping by day and frequenting saloons by eve, ranting sometimes for hours on end that “social media would change everything” before falling silently and strikingly contentedly into a fog of delusion, dysentery and drink. He died broke and happy, convinced Jacksonville would someday get an NFL team. On his deathbed, a nurse asked had he learned anything in his years in this life – or, perhaps, being so close to his maker, had he any insight into the world beyond? Uncle Otto nodded, and motioned the nurse closer. Doctors, nurses and the stray dog Uncle Otto believed to be his “brother by another mother” crowded close. Breaths were held. Silence filled the room. “Moodachay,” Uncle Otto rasped, then died with a smile.

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