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O-Zone: A complex question

Posted Oct 12, 2013

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it . . .

Ryan from the Depths of Despair:
With 10 picks in next year’s draft, do you see Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell trading some of these picks to gain a second pick in the first or second round? I can see where this could help add some impact players early.
John: That’s certainly possible, although I imagine Caldwell will be very, very frugal spending his draft selections in that manner. A benefit of trading Eugene Monroe rather than waiting for a supplemental selection is that you can trade selections acquired in a trade whereas you cannot trade supplemental selections. That gives Caldwell flexibility, but the Jaguars also need to increase talent and depth in a lot of areas, so he will be hesitant to deal too many draft selections.
Ricky from Richmond, VA:
Any chance of possibly a day off or a request for a moment of condolence for Adrian Peterson's son?
John: No joke here. We’ll honor him by doing what Peterson’s doing by playing Sunday – by doing what we do to the best of our ability. Friday’s news regarding Peterson’s son was sickening, tragic and unthinkable. May he and those who love him somehow find peace.
Mikey from Tallahassee, FL:
Regarding parity, do you think the recent rules changes that opened up the passing game hurt parity?
John: I did something after receiving this email I rarely do. I actually put in some time thinking about the question. While this process cut into nap time, I did come to the conclusion that at first thought, I believe the answer is, “Yes.” I first started noticing the lack of parity in the NFL in 2004. That was a year when the Steelers finished 15-1, the Patriots finished 14-2, the Colts won eight consecutive games at the end of the season, the Chargers won eight consecutive games at one point and the Eagles started 13-1 with the only loss to the Steelers. The Chargers’ winning streak was snapped by the Colts. One of the Patriots’ losses was to the Steelers and so on . . . That’s not parity. That’s a lot of good teams beating up on other not-so-good teams. It’s too early to know if this season will play out to that extreme, but with the rules favoring offense to a greater extent than ever before, teams with elite quarterbacks certainly appear to have a greater advantage than before, and teams without them seem to have a longer road to the top.
Bryan from Tampa, FL:
If Caldwell's free agency strategy does not include re-signing the Jags' own young ascending players, then I fear we're in for another long four years. If this last offseason is any indication of how he operates, then I can't see how we will ever have good players, just a bunch of development players on rookie contracts. When I think about how much more depth we could have right now if we were willing to fork over the monies for Knighton, and Cox, and Selvie (who now has 3 sacks for Dallas), it frustrates me.
John: I’m sorry you’re frustrated. Frustration can be frustrating. Caldwell’s free agency strategy most certainly will include re-signing ascending players. Now, that might take a year or so until players he wants to re-sign enter their contract years, but part of a draft-and-develop strategy is making your own quality draftees core players by signing them to second contracts.
Joy from Section 103:
One more thing, O-man: Please don't eat SeaBest frozen fish and chips in England. As a British-born, Southern-bred gal, it’s just not right. Kinda like instant iced tea if you get my point.
John: I’ll eat Sea Best where and when I please, thank you very much. #Sponsorpandering
Daniel from Santa Rosa, CA:
How can people be so down on the Jags when you look at the other winless teams in the league? The Giants, Steelers, Vikings, and even the Bucs have fallen further than the Jags have. We won two games last season; worst-case scenario, we go 0-16. The other teams go from playoff-bound to bottom of the barrel. At least we know we are rebuilding our team this year. The other teams have to figure out if they are rebuilding or just going to slowly decline for a while. Too much silver lining?
John: Yes, it probably is a little too much silver lining, and you’re not going to find a whole lot of “well-at-least-other-teams-are-0-5” here in the O-Zone. Winless after five games stinks, and no one wants to hear differently. I don’t honestly spend a lot of time looking at what other teams are 0-5 – at least not enough to figure out whether them being 0-5 should make the Jaguars feel better or worse or whatever. The Jaguars are building through the draft and have a first-year head coach and general manager. They have parted ways with of a lot of veterans who were part of the past regime and are transitioning with mostly young players to a new regime and culture. When it’s a full change like this, it can be painful and there can be some difficult results. Other teams have different situations, and they’re not really all that comparable.
Hunter from Orlando, FL:
The Jags are 0-5. You are wearing jeans on Inside the Jaguars. This ship is sinking fast.
John: At least I had on jeans.
Micah from Springfield, MO:
At the game on Sunday, I felt like I heard "Cyprien on the tackle" on every offensive snap. He seemed to be near the ball on most pass plays and then would make a tackle in the backfield on the next play. No, Sunday's game wasn't encouraging as a whole, but if we keep getting players like him in the draft, I think we have a bright future.
John: That’s the idea. Remember, Cyprien is in a position where he *should* be making tackles, especially if the defense is struggling around him, so it’s not correct to say he is a fully developed player yet. But absolutely he is showing the potential and growth you want from a player who could have been a first-round selection. He looks like a core player in the making. The Jaguars need more of them.
Mario from Zapata, TX:
In a crowded public restroom and yelling into the mirror, “SHOW ME THE MONEY.” #shadricksightings
John: You were there, too?
Tom from Charleston, SC:
"He’s not an NFL quarterback." Are you describing DR or Gabbert? "For these decision-makers, that’s not enough of a sample size to move forward and release Gabbert." The "powers-to-be" have seen less than five months of Robinson as a professional while they have seen three years of Gabbert" (granted some was on film). I agree that Robinson will not become a NFL quarterback. But please explain how "the powers" can make such a quick judgment on one player and can't see what is clearly is in front of them with another?
John: I understand the frustration, and I’m going to try to be done with this after this question because it’s getting to the point where it seems like I’m unfairly criticizing Denard Robinson. I’m not. He has the potential and talent to make an impact. The Jaguars aren’t playing him at quarterback because they watch him every day. They see him practice. He’s not ready to play the position in the NFL. And I get that that will bring a hue and cry of, “OH, BUT NEITHER IS GABBERT!!!!!” Gabbert hasn’t played well, but he has functioned at times and led drives and gotten the team in and out of the huddle and all of the things required of the position. Maybe he has not done them well enough or consistently enough, but he has done them. Not that he won’t ever be good or not that he couldn’t eventually function in a Wildcat role, but Robinson right now does not appear remotely ready to do that.
David from Durban, South Africa:
Fans should not forget that the team should also receive compensatory picks as a result of free agents such as Daryl Smith, Rashean Mathis and Terrance Knighton signing elsewhere. That should add to the team's bounty of picks and assist in the rebuilding effort.
John: The loss of players such as Mathis, Derek Cox, Knighton and Greg Jones indeed will count in the compensatory formula, but Smith will not. The reason is that he signed with the Ravens after June 1, so he doesn’t figure into either team’s formula.
Tom from Jacksonville:
I keep reading the wrong approach to stopping the Broncos. It's not keeping Manning off the field so much as you need to score more per possession no matter how many. Therein is the problem. What do you think?
John: Part of me always has agreed with you, and that was always the Colts’ philosophy when Manning played there. They never cared much about time of possession, because they were OK with a team keeping the ball for five minutes a few times to get field goals if they were scoring touchdowns in two minutes. You can keep Manning off the field all you want, but if he gets five touchdowns in six possessions and you get five field goals on your six, you’re going to lose 35-15.
Shane from Jacksonville:
What is wrong with you?
John: How much time ya got?
 

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