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O-Zone: Deep in the zone

Posted Jul 10, 2014

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Jon from Fairfield, PA:
Would you take into consideration how a quarterback played in the postseason/Super Bowl as a reason to make him stronger or weaker in terms of being a top quarterback? For instance, if a quarterback constantly gets to the postseason and his play is less productive than the regular season, would you take that into consideration in your evaluation?
John: Sure, it would be a factor in the conversation because this is a conversation in which everything should be a factor. Why not? It’s just conversation. My point is this is a great bar-room, message-board debate, but in the end we’re sort of splitting hairs and debating very philosophical issues. Here’s what I mean: If you’re a fan, you might see that, say, Peyton Manning got to the postseason every season since 2002, doing so at times with rosters that probably wouldn’t have made the playoffs without him. And if you’re a fan, you might criticize the fact that in that span his teams made just four championship games and three Super Bowls, winning once. If you’re a general manager, you’ll take his 13 postseason appearances – including his last 10 consecutive healthy seasons – and take your chances that you can put a team around him that can win the whole thing a few times. And I certainly think most general managers would put quarterbacks such as Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, Dan Marino, etc., etc. – quarterbacks who historically almost always got their team to the postseason – among a list of “top quarterbacks.”
Nick from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I had a question for today, but now I forget. I guess I'll ask you later...
John: Apparently this every-day-during-July thing isn’t as easy as it looks. #irony
Armando from Vacaville, CA:
How do you see Denard Robinson playing out in the 2014 season?
John: In pads.
Brian from New Hampshire:
If the Jags are out of the playoffs coming out of the bye, is it possible we could see Blake Bortles before the end of the season or is Chad Henne going to finish out the season regardless? I can’t see the harm being done giving Bortles a couple games at the end of the year if the team is eliminated from the playoffs.
John: Like so many offseason questions, this one is difficult if not impossible to answer before the season begins. That’s because the answer revolves around whether Bortles will be ready to play in the second half of the season and there’s no way to know that until … the second half of the season. We should have a slightly better idea in training camp in preseason, but much if not all of whether or not Bortles plays this season will depend on how much of the offense he learns and how ready he appears in practice. I would guess at this stage the answer to your question would be yes, if the Jaguars aren’t in the postseason chase we will probably see Bortles sometime after the bye, but so much can change between now and then that that’s a very, very speculative answer.
Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
John, there seems to be more players coming out early for the NFL draft every year. I particularly am looking at the QB position. That of any I think needs to play a full four-year commitment. Just looking at Sanchez and Leiter for two. Yes there are exceptions, but not many. What are your thoughts?
John: After rereading your question a few times I must confess I have no idea.
Sage from Orlando, FL:
Would you rather have $5 million all at once or have someone give you one penny and then double it each day for a month?
John: I’d rather get the $5 million, because knowing my luck, whoever was going to give me the penny and double it would go back on his word or betray me as I have been betrayed so often.
Peter from Maribor, Slovenia:
So, I recently officially became a Bold City Brigade member and the only one from Slovenia. I know you spent some quality time tailgating with them. Any recollections?
John: Unsurprisingly, no.
Benjamin from Jacksonville:
Judging the best player in team history depends on what you value more, talent or career. Boselli was THE best at his position for a short-lived career. Taylor was one of the best at his position for a much longer period of time over a much longer career. I value the career, you value the talent. Neither of us is wrong. (You're just less right.)
John: Boselli played at a high level for six seasons. Taylor played at a high level for nine seasons, so we’re talking a difference of three seasons there. Boselli made five Pro Bowls and while that’s not the end-all measure of a player he was as good as any player at his position for each of those five seasons. I’m a huge admirer of Fred Taylor. I enjoyed covering him and watching him play as much as any player I’ve ever covered. I’d just have to give the nod by a touch to Boselli, as much as that pains me personally.
Jim from the Villages:
So the reason Marqise Lee hasn't signed is a lack of rings?
John: You’re all over this issue. Stay strong.
Paul from Jacksonville:
I just want to tell you both, "good luck we're all counting on you."
John: Jim never vomits at home.
Ryan from Statesboro, GA:
The cornerback position could become very interesting if and when Aaron Colvin joins the active roster. The buzz is if all goes well with his knee he can become a very good player for a long time. Think of the potential drama. We already have one good corner in Alan Ball. Dwayne Gratz should see some growth with a full offseason and an opportunity to stay healthy. If Colvin turns out to be good or great who would be delegated to nickel/bench/another team? That's just considering those three guys and not Will Blackmon, Demetrius McCray, and others. I sometimes worry about us acquiring more good players and seeing players I'm familiar with leave. Then I remember that is not something I should be worrying about.
John: It’s absolutely not something about which you should worry, and it’s not only a good problem, it’s the sort of problem good teams must face. If Colvin develops as the Jaguars expect, there’s little doubt his competition likely will be Alan Ball. That’s because Ball is a veteran and the Jaguars believe Gratz has a chance to be a building block of the defense. It’s too early to say what Colvin’s development would mean for players such as McCray and Blackmon, but it’s not unreasonable to think that sometime in the near future Gratz, Colvin and McCray could form the team’s top trio at the position. That’s what a team hopes happens when you draft players, and it will be up to players such as Ball and Blackmon to play well enough to be in the mix. Because Gus Bradley’s system is about competition, there’s no way to tell how it plays out until it plays out.
Jerry from Yulee, FL:
One yard, Sam Bam Cunningham, New England Patriots, over the top worked every time!
John: Yes, it did.
Sir from Jacksonville:
Why should we hire you?
John: Because no one else applied. How else do people get jobs?
Tudor from St. Augustine, FL:
Lebron was not as good this year as last. James is very much the Peyton of the NBA. Mind-boggling numbers during the regular season, but he vanishes when it counts. He turned into a ghost against the Mavs, needed an act of god and Ray Allen in the 2013 Spurs series, and couldn't do anything when Wade and Bosh weren't at their best. Rings are the unit of measurement for the "clutch" stat. Big Ben, Eli, Rodgers have it. Peyton, Cutler, Lebron do not. What’s the point of taking the hottest girl in class to the prom if you can't dance on the big floor?
John: There are many who share your opinion, and truth be told, you have the majority on your side. I, for one, believe there are cases when no matter how good the individual is he can be beaten by circumstances, especially when the circumstance is a better team. To me, that doesn’t make the individual less and it doesn’t mean he must be criticized. There are times that the individual made clutch plays to get to the biggest game, but we are a society that wants decisive, quick ultimate judgments, and in that respect, losing the ultimate big game for whatever reason and in whatever circumstance is the ultimate sin.
Brooks from Cleburne, TX:
How's Bryan Anger these days? Haven't heard much.
John: He’s good. He’s entering his third season punting for the Jaguars. I’ll tell him you asked.
Eric from Space:
John, have you ever made a bet where the loser had to eat a football?
John: #Deadzone

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