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O-Zone: Cool enough

Posted May 21, 2014

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Chris from Jacksonville:
If Chad Henne gets hurt early in the season, and they don't think Blake Bortles is ready, do they start him anyway? Do they start Ricki Stanzi to protect Bortles from starting before he's ready? Do you think the Jags will sign a veteran quarterback before the start of the season just in case?
John: Wow. Questions. Questions. Questions. The answer to your first question is, “No, the Jaguars don’t plan to start Bortles before he’s ready.” Whether Stanzi will be the first quarterback early depends on how he performs in organized team activities, minicamps and training camp, so the answer to the third question just remains to be seen.
Mark from High Springs:
When Storm Johnson was drafted, Dave (Caldwell) mentioned issues with him holding onto the ball. Gus (Bradley) indicated his weakness was third-down runs, where they needed him the most. With his signing, can we assume he has shown the coaches he has what it takes?
John: No, you cannot assume that. Johnson signed his rookie contract Tuesday, and you can probably look for most other rookies to sign theirs in the coming days/weeks. Johnson had a solid rookie camp over the weekend, but even if he’d tripped over his feet 13 times and fumbled 13 more he would have signed this week. Rookie signings aren’t based on minicamp practice.
Ryan from Jacksonville:
Do you think the Jaguars would have drafted Storm Johnson even if for some reason we did not get Bortles? Or was Johnson drafted because he played with Bortles and to help his game?
John: Yes, the Jaguars would have drafted Johnson whether or not Bortles was on the team.
Etheric from Magicland:
Headline: "Bortles chortles at the mere mortals" How do you feel about that?
John: It makes me feel uncertain and noncommittal. I guess. Maybe.
Bennett from Fruit Cove, FL:
Oehser! I am loving all the hype and excitement surrounding our boys in teal, but I hope the emotion doesn't die out when out team doesn't meet some of the crazy expectations fans are putting on them. A lot of fans are predicting nine wins this year. I would love to see it, but we have a whole lot of young talent on this team that still needs to develop. Your thoughts?
John: My first thought is the “h” comes before the “s!” My second thought is that your email echoes much of what I’ve said throughout the offseason – that while the Jaguars indeed almost certainly will be improved next season, that improvement may or may not translate to a dramatically higher victory total. I do get a sense that some fans are thinking postseason-or-bust next season. There’s nothing wrong with the postseason part, but be careful of “or-bust” because this is a young team that’s still early in the build process. There is optimism about this team and that optimism is based on a strong foundation being built. But it’s still going to take time for that foundation to grow.
Carlos from Mexico:
I just didn't want to be left out of this thing. Duval hasta la muerte desde Mexico! #SoyDuval
John: Si.
Joe from Pontypridd, Wales, United Kingdom:
The Welsh Valleys, Duval nes byddaf yn marw #DTWD
John: Rhyddid!!!
Gaetano from San Diego, CA:
I am from San Diego, and I am Gaetano #GTWD. How is Joeckel looking?
John: Good.
David from Ystad, Sweden:
From Ystad, Sweden and feeling more Duval than ever! #DTWD
John: Duval Tills Vi Do – or something like that.
Mark from Recife, Brazil:
Duval ate nes morremos! #DTWD
John: Ja!!!!!
Randy from the Philippines:
Hey, John. I'm in the Philippines. My Filipina wife wants you to know she and I both are #DTWD!
John: Duval Hanggang Die naming!
Michael from Copenhagen, Denmark:
#Duval til vi der!
John: Her går vi, Jaguars!
Josiah from Fargo, ND:
I'm from Fargo, but I'm also Duval! Dontcha know?
John: I checked Google translate for a “Fargo” version. No luck.
Al from Fruit Cove, FL:
Tucker from New York asked you, "Does Bortles have a big arm, or a weak one?" I think you missed an opportunity to answer simply, "One of each."
John: Stay in your lane, Al.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
I know publicly the Jags have said they're not interested in being on Hard Knocks, but do you think privately they actually want to? It seems like the team is doing a lot to rebrand and broaden the scope of Jaguar fans, and that seems like an easy way to do that. If you're willing to take home games away from your fans and take them across the ocean to broaden your fan base and help local revenue, it seems like letting a camera crew come to training camp is a no brainer. (By the way, this is all coming from a guy who has never seen the show so I don't know much about it).
John: Let’s make this clear: very, very few football people – if any – truly love the idea of being the team on Hard Knocks. Football people generally speaking dislike distraction on any level, and the idea of camera crews on site and everywhere in the building during training camp is by definition distracting. Now, would the marketing and branding part of the building welcome it? Sure, but to say that as a whole the Jaguars secretly want to do Hard Knocks and are just saying otherwise … no, that probably wouldn’t be accurate.
Steve from Hudson, FL:
Can this Jaguar fan way out west on the Gulf of Mexico in Pasco County get some of that Duval love?
John: Yes.
John from Savannah, GA:
So clearly the answer to showing the away games in the stadium is to install Nielsen boxes in every one of the seats, right? Right??
John: I wouldn’t spend much time grinding down on the details of this. The NFL doesn’t allow teams to air road games in its home stadium. No matter how often or in how many ways people ask about it, there’s no indication that’s changing.
Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
John, how many defensive linemen, linebackers and defensive backs do you see the Jags carrying this year on the 53-man roster?
John: You’re always guesstimating when answering this question more than three months before the final roster cut down date. Best guesstimate now would be nine defensive linemen, six linebackers and ten defensive backs… -ish.
Jason from Hilliard, FL:
If a rookie refuses to sign with the team that drafted him, would that team receive any compensation or would they have to pull a trade like the Chargers did with Eli Manning?
John: No, a team would not receive compensation. Both sides – the team and the player – have compelling reasons to get a deal done. The team wants the player on the field and the player doesn’t want to lose a year of compensation in what by any definition is a short career. That’s why deals with almost no exceptions get done.
Josh from Fernandina Beach, FL and Fort Lauderdale, FL:
I was once in Key West with some buddies from Jacksonville who are also Jags fans and we found ourselves chanting "Duval" while walking down Duval Street. It was probably less cool than we thought, but it is a true story. Just sayin.
John: I don’t know … It sounds like it was pretty cool to you at the time, and in the condition you were probably in, that’s probably all that matters. #Duval

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