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O-Zone: A final Christmas wish

Posted Dec 26, 2013

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it . . .

Jeff from Starke, FL:
The Jaguars’ roster that is playing the last couple games won't even come close to resembling what we see next season or even what we saw at the beginning of this season. Take a stab at the percent of turnover in off-season No.2 of Caldwell/Bradley.
John: There will be turnover, because there is turnover on any NFL roster these days. But my guess is you’ll have more stability or at the very least have a better idea of the direction of the franchise this offseason compared to last. The numbers may be similar, but the quality of play of overall will be better next season and the team will be harder to make. That should lead to slightly less turnover the following offseason and certainly in the offseasons after that. As for a specific number this season, let’s say 15-to-20, with 11 rookies making the team and four-to-nine veterans of some variety.
Randy from Medicine Hat, Alberta:
Merry Christmas to you and your family, John. And thanks for your entertaining columns and videos this year. Your originality and humor in your articles is most appreciated. Keep up the good work. Glad that J.P. is as good-natured as you are. And kudos to your tech staff. Merry Christmas all!
John: You’re probably overemphasizing the value of the other people, but I certainly thank you.
Ralphie from Hammond, IN:
Will I really shoot my eye out?
John: I don’t know. Use your Little Orphan Annie decoder ring and find out.
Terri from Jacksonville:
Who ya got Sunday, John? I got me a big ‘ol Jaguars victory!!!
John: I got what I’ve had for the last few weeks – and that’s a prediction that the Jaguars will play well and play hard. And that’s what Jaguars fans should want from the regular-season finale. The Jaguars’ second half of the season has been remarkable for many reasons, but mostly for the consistency of performance. They are not yet talented enough to reel off seven nor eight victories in succession, but they are so much better than they were in the second half of the season as to be almost unrecognizable. The team has played with consistent effort and appears to be establishing an identity as a team that will play hard and that wants to be creative and up-tempo offensively. The Jaguars also have had a chance in the fourth quarter in all seven games in the second half of the season. If they can do that again, it’s a heck of a second half of the season, and in that sense it would be a big ‘ol Jaguars victory whatever the scoreboard says.
Nick from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
You can't see the line can you Russ?
John: ‘Tis the season to be merry.
Josh from Savannah, GA:
Alex Mack, the center of the Cleveland Browns, is rated by many as the top center in the league. He is also a free agent this year. We need a center. If the price is right, that would be a great move.
John: We’re a couple of months from free agency, and Alex Mack’s name undoubtedly will get associated with the Jaguars – in part because of the retirement of Brad Meester and in larger part because the interior of the Jaguars’ line struggled at times this season. Will the Jaguars pursue Mack? The first thing that has to happen is for him to hit free agency, and as with any free agent, we’re a long way from that. Most premium free agents don’t hit the market and the Browns may well try to sign Mack or they may franchise him. If he hits the market, as with any free agent, cost must be balanced with how much a player at the position will help. Give this one time. It’s intriguing, but in free agency there are no guarantees.
Daniel from Jacksonville and Section 146 and Day One:
Four and 12, 5-11? I still haven't seen a team that was any better than last year of the year before. I like Gus Bradley, but I still think we'd have a better record this year with Mularkey/Smith. How many players did we add to the roster that are gonna seriously help the team next year? No more than the average team does every year. Caldwell sucks...
John: I’d make a joke about too much holiday egg nog, but I fear this runs far deeper.
David from the Nog Zone:
The question I have for you is a long one. So get ready for, what? Say again.....nooo...how can we be out? MUST GET MORE NOG.
John: Mmmm, egg nog.
Jim from Meridian, ID:
Merry Christmas John, and thanks for an entertaining 2013.
John: No worries.
Eric from Boston, MA:
If for some reason Jake Matthews is on the board when the Jag's selection is up, do you grab him?
John: As of now, I doubt it. You almost certainly will need to draft offensive tackle Jake Matthews from Texas A&M in the Top 10, and it seems reasonable that the Jaguars will go quarterback or pass rusher with that pick. That’s looking at it through a lens dated December 26, 2013. The draft is more than four months away and that lens could be shattered many times before the draft.
John from Jacksonville:
Concerning MJD: Pay The Man; Damn It. Oh, I won the Championship game in my Fantasy League by 0.86 of a point. Thank you Peyton Manning, and Panthers Defense! Still why do players back off the throttle late in the season. They're still getting a paycheck, or did I miss something?
John: Egg nog doesn’t explain this, either.
Jordan from Jacksonville:
Big question for you, John. What did Santa get you this year?
John: What I deserved, unfortunately.
Hunter from Jacksonville:
People ask your permission to feel. I love it. Did you know that was going to be part of the job when you took it? Your foresight is amazing if you did. It might still be otherwise amazing, but if you knew … let's just say you're a winner in my book either way. Merry Christmas. Make sure the people closest to you know how much of a "cosmic pull" you have and how much they SHOULD appreciate you. They ask you if/how they can feel. I love it.
John: The people closest to me are vaguely aware of my cosmic pull, but they know me too well to appreciate me.
Dave from Jacksonville:
Is it just our team or do a lot of teams start to see a rash of injuries towards the end of the year? Seems like a trend for us the last few years. Merry Christmas to you and your family. I feel like I've known you forever.
John: It’s a trend for the league. Players get hurt throughout the season, but there often are a few more per team toward the end of the season. The game is not played in a vacuum and injuries don’t always happen on a single play. Players such as Cecil Shorts III and Roy Miller this season played through injuries for an extended period until they could play no longer. And as for knowing me forever, I don’t think so. It sounds as if you still remotely like me on some level. People wear out on me pretty quickly.
Kurt from Jacksonville:
What did Santa bring you, O-zone? Be sure to drink your Ovaltine!
John: I triple dog dare you.
Benjamin from Jacksonville:
You said it would be difficult for Posluszny to make the Pro Bowl because of the Jaguars record, but the Chiefs had a worse record last year and had six players make the Pro Bowl. What makes him and/or this team different?
John: Last year’s Kansas City team was a unique situation. A good number of the Chiefs’ players who made the Pro Bowl last season were players who had at least somewhere established themselves in the preseason. Posluszny is still relatively unknown and underrated – particularly among fans. There also was a league-wide perception last year that the Chiefs’ defense was really, really good, which made it a bit easier for four defensive players from the team to make the Pro Bowl. There also had been a prime-time game late in the season in which the defense played pretty well, which raised the profile around voting time. The other two selections were punter Dustin Colquitt and running back Jamaal Charles. Punters from teams with poor records often make the game and Charles had established himself as a Pro Bowl caliber player before last season. There also was a perception that coaching was an issue for the team, making it a bit more palpable for people to vote in so many Chiefs players. And yes, market size obviously will hurt Posluszny, too. Maurice Jones-Drew led the league in rushing and made the Pro Bowl from a 5-11 Jaguars team in 2011, but a player from a losing team here has a more difficult time being high-profile than he would in other markets.
Keith from Jacksonville and Section 436:
While my biggest Christmas presents were received a few weeks back, your O-Zone was the best gift I received Wednesday. Merry Christmas to you and Yours O-Man.
John: I’m sorry you had a bad day. Merry Christmas.

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