JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …
Steve from Jacksonville:
Since we're entering the doldrums, I think it might be a good time to ask: any recommendations on a good summer ale? I'm always on the prowl and "word on the street" has it you're fond of malted hops and barley.
John: You know what? I’m a little worn out on the whole “doldrums” dead-zone, woe-woe-woe-is-everyone theme we’ve got going here the last few days. First, it’s *OK* to have a dead zone in the NFL. If you have football news year-round, you’re going to burn out – and while it’s better to burn out than fade away, it’s not a horrible thing to have a few weeks off to appreciate what we’re missing. My experience is that while late June and early July might not be all-football, all-the-time that period doesn’t have to be doldrums and dreariness. Even in the O-Zone, all is not lost. The offseason is a time to have a little more fun than usual, and there were those who I like to think had at least an OK time here last June and July. Remember, #Moodachay arose in the dead zone and there were people who had fun with that for a long time. Also remember, the O-Zone goes as readers’ questions go, so if you want this forum to stay strong, stay engaged and keep the conversation lively. If you want football, ask football questions. Now, as far as your question, I’m more of an IPA guy, but when it comes to a good summer ale, just keep it light, baby. Keep it light.
Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Just updating my record-keeping, John. How many days is it now in the streak of O-Zones?
John: This is No. 1,051. Give or take.
Jacob from Auburn, AL:
Yo, O. I noticed when you listed the corners that you thought would make the team, you left Aaron Colvin
off the list. Is he going on injured reserve this season, or did you leave him off for some other reason?
John: This one’s on me. In answering a question on Saturday I should have been far more specific. I left rookie Aaron Colvin off the list of defensive backs who I project to make the roster next season. Colvin, a fourth-round cornerback, is expected to begin the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list, which means he wouldn’t be on the original 53-man roster. However, Colvin is a big part of the team’s plans. I expect him to be on the team next season and for a long time, and expect he will be starting sooner rather than later – probably by 2015.
Mike from Section 238:
Another couple of Dead Period questions: One, are players allowed into film rooms to study their plays and opponents on their own? Two, can rookie quarterbacks decide to continue working with private coaches on their footwork as long as the team is not involved?
John: One, yes. Two, yes.
Keith from Summerville, SC:
My daughter, a Jaguars fan, is on an airplane at this very moment, on her way to see me in Australia, the biggest Jaguars fan in Australia and I am in full panic mode. Help me out … Tell me everything is going to be alright.
John: Judging by when you sent the email, she’s there by now. Relax. Enjoy.
C. Bedgood from Orange Park, FL:
Do you believe that Toby Gerhart
has the potential to have a Pro Bowl year? Because I sure do.
John: I think what you’re asking is, “Does Gerhart have the potential to be a 1,000- to 1,200-yard running back and does he have the potential to be the sort of all-around back who can score double-digit touchdowns and be a real factor in the offense?” That’s what I think of when I think of Pro Bowl backs, anyway, and the answer is yes, Gerhart can be that kind of back. He appears sturdy enough to be durable and I like what I’ve seen in minicamps and organized team activities. He seems to be a smart runner who can get the most out of plays, and he seems to be very versatile. How productive he will be could depend on how quickly the Jaguars’ offensive line comes together and that will be a process because there are a lot of new faces – or at least old faces playing in new places. There also is, of course, the uncertain nature of Pro Bowl voting. Still, at minimum the Jaguars should be better at the running back position and that’s a start.
Adam from Jacksonville:
IO 18 games is toouch, any Janice we see 17 with 3 preseason games first?
John: Hey! Leave Janice the heck out of this. She has been through enough.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
I don't have a problem with letting Jason Babin walk. We can't move into the future at the Leo position with two guys over 30. I think Gus and Dave made the right call, but do you think Shad Khan is a little upset about the way it went down? I know you said that he wasn't given significant guaranteed money, but he got a $500,000 signing bonus. Maybe it's just me, but half a million for a few offseason practices in shorts is a lot of money. I know Shad can handle it, but even if I had the money he did, I wouldn't be too happy about flushing $500,000 like that. Is that just a "part of the game" thing, or do you think those guys got a brief, "don't-do-it-again" kind of talk?
A few thoughts on this. One, neither Khan nor any other owner – or any that I know of, really – enjoys paying people to NOT work, so I’m sure on some level he doesn’t love the idea. At the same time, remember: the Jaguars re-signed Babin after signing Chris Clemons
, so there was a chance from the beginning that Babin was insurance at the Leo position and that he might not be here come the regular season. Everyone around the Jaguars almost certainly grasped that. Also, don’t forget that the Jaguars are significantly under the cap and need to spend quite a bit to meet the minimum cap floor over 2013-2016. You would rather get production for every dollar spent, but $500,000 spent on insurance may not in this case have been horrible.
Chris from Orlando and Section 150:
Chowing down on chicken nachos and brews before the #jagscaravan in Oviedo. #shadricksightings
John: That’s my boy.
Dennis from Port St. Lucie, FL:
Last year we went to a game and waited for the players in the viewing area under the stadium. The players entered the area drifting out in two or more groups with no orderly fashion that would present an exciting experience for the fans. It turned out to be somewhat of a disappointing experience. I expected the team to come out in a group that displayed a team fired up and ready to battle on the gridiron. So why even create a viewing area that provides the same experience that you can get watching people walk by sitting in a mall?
John: I’ve never sat in the viewing area, and I wasn’t there for your experience, so my expertise here is limited. I do know the Jaguars have created the Prowl, which enables fans to fans to line the walkway by which players access the field just before pregame introduction – and I know that the Prowl has become popular for fans. I assume you’re talking about viewing players as they walk to the field before that. The Jaguars created it, I’m sure, to give fans a chance at an experience they might not get in another forum. They’re constantly looking for ways to give the fans a better experience, but it sounds like you saw players walking out for pregame warmups. Players do that at their own pace, and while it might not be thrilling, we’re not yet at the point where we orchestrate everything. And, frankly, I hope we don’t get there.
Jim from Meridian:
What do you think of Michael Vick's comments? I don't see how he revolutionized anything. Maybe elevated it, but Steve Young and Randall Cunningham come to mind as having done what Vick has done.
John: I read Vick’s comments, but can’t really get on board. I still haven’t seen a quarterback revolutionize the NFL game by being predominantly a runner. I’ve seen some make some spectacular plays and I’ve seen a lot of highlights on Sports Center, but I haven’t seen one that makes me think, “Boy, I’d rather have that runner as opposed to a guy who can stand in the pocket, read defenses and win with his arm.” I’m not saying the day’s not coming. Perhaps it is. I’m just saying I haven’t seen it yet.
Dave from Section 410 and Jacksonville:
I don't envy a guy who marries a cheerleader, or Miss America, or a swimsuit model, but when someone tells me his wife is frugal, that’s when I say, “Oh man, where'd you find her?”
John: I’ll tell you where he found her! At the awesome store, that’s where!!!