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O-Zone: Funny guy

Posted Aug 8, 2014

JACKSONVILLE – Three and counting – time to turn the page. Let’s move on to four.

Thanks for reading.

Let’s get to it …

Ryan from Charlotte, NC:
All of the injuries designated day-to-day have become tough to keep straight. I know the team doesn’t release official injury reports until the regular season, but what is the general timeline for guys coming back? More specifically, are Cecil Shorts III and Allen Robinson on track to play in the second preseason game? I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I can’t wait to start seeing what the regular-season offense will actually look like.
John: This is a lot of projecting and a little guessing, but I’d be surprised if you see Shorts and/or Robinson before the third preseason game. It’s possible they could be nearing full health next week, but I don’t know that you want to push either of them back too quickly. I would guess you’ll see Toby Gerhart against Chicago in Preseason Week 2, though. He seems closer than the two receivers.
Scott from Atlanta, GA:
Which would you rather have: a back rub by a squad of ROAR cheerleaders in the pool zone while watching the game, or the ability to actually call a fourth down and goal play run by the team when it counts?
John: It sounds like you assume I don’t have both.
Andrea from Robecco Sul Naviglio, Italy:
Do you see the newest "major point of emphasis" on the five-yard-contact rule and rules pertaining to pass interference and illegal contact hampering the development of the secondary Gus Bradley has been putting together up until this point? He's following the plan that brought the Seahawks defense to the levels we've witnessed in the last few seasons by utilizing big, physical cornerbacks. Jammers. That's exactly what the league seems to discourage with the new rules. Do you see that forcing the Jaguars to change their plans in the future and seek more "mirror" technique corners instead, that would in turn force a change in scheme? Could that change in direction slow down the building of this defense? Thank you and have a great day, O.
John: This is something to watch, without question. When the league mandates that officials emphasize defensive backs making contact with receivers, it usually does lead to an increase in illegal contact and interference penalties – and the Jaguars do emphasize physicality from defensive backs. That said, the officials that have been in Jaguars camp have told the defensive backs and coaches that the Jaguars’ approach is within the rules and there haven’t been a whole lot of penalties in this area. So far, so good. Either way, I don’t think you’ll see the Jaguars’ scrap their approach to secondary play. They’ll just have to continue to be aware of the rules.
Aaron from Fairfax, VA:
How likely is that Henne makes it at least to the bye week as the starter?
John: Very.
Chad from Jacksonville:
So, what wide receivers will play in Friday’s preseason opener?
Redmond from Jacksonville:
I'm worried about the injury to Tony Gerhart than the wide receivers. He is supposed to be bell-cow back, but he is still unproven as a starter, has missed a week of practice and won't play Friday. Do you think that this opens the door for Jordan Todman to take the starting job? All I have heard is good things about Todman this camp.
John: Jordan Todman has looked good during this training camp. Gerhart’s injury does not open to the door for Todman to be the starting running back.
Stephen from Philly:
Two questions: Craig Loston and Johnathan Cyprien. That would be a duo that would strike opposing players with fear: "Welcome to Duval, prepare to be hit." Am I wrong? Second: Is Bowanko getting a look at center? I've seen Brewster play and he has been horrible. Even if Bowanko is playing like a sixth-round rookie, Brewster is playing like an UDRFA.
John: While Cyprien certainly is getting to a fear-striking stage, we’ll have to wait and see on Loston. The same is true of Bowanko, who has yet to get the sort of repetitions at center that would make you think he’s getting a serious look at starting any time soon.
Mike from East Moline, IL:
I am worried that Bottles was so snackbitten by Soggy Hood, that Bottles would bite his tongue off when throwing. So, we figured out the rookie quarterback's nickname, learned that injuries are the face of the franchise, and invented a new verb. We have had a productive offseason here in the Ozone.
John: I think you’ve pretty much got it.
Mike from St. Mary’s, GA:
I've read a few times now that Caldwell and Bradley will name Bortles the starter when it becomes apparent that he gives the team a better chance to win than Henne. I guess my main concern, would be that he is named the starter, reverts to old habits because he's focused on trying to do all the other quarterback stuff, and continues the rest of the season that way. That being said, I have no way of knowing if that's really a concern or not. What do you think?
John: I think you shouldn’t worry so much. Bradley and Caldwell got this.
A concerned reader:
John, I have serious concerns that you may be losing your ability to be lazy. I have noticed lately that the O-Zone has been appearing early every day (sometimes even before...GASP...8am). Please tell us that you haven't contracted the worst disease of all...a work ethic.
John: You needn’t worry, either.
Marcus from NYC from Jacksonville:
Any known timetable on Dekoda Watson's recovery/return to the field? The rash of injuries at WR have understandably been getting some press, but I don't recall seeing anything for a while on Watson
John: The projection for Watson entering training camp was a possible return for the regular-season opener. There has been no indication that’s not the goal, and with a month remaining, it’s attainable.
Terrence from Jacksonville:
I lived to see Wayne Weaver bring the Jaguars to Jacksonville and I have now lived to see Shad Khan transform the Jaguars into a marketable team. Without knocking Weaver who made the NFL a reality in Jacksonville, why weren't stadium improvements such as the recent Khanstruction done during his tenure? We knew we inherited an older stadium and needed to keep up with the times. Why so late on the improvements and done an owner later?
John: Major stadium improvements are very expensive and typically done in increments. The Jaguars had a pretty significant improvement in 1995 – essentially a new stadium – and another set of renovations for the Super Bowl following the 2004 season. Weaver sold the team in 2011, so going seven years from the Super Bowl renovations until the sale really isn’t unusual. When Khan bought the team it infused new life into the organization, and Khan started the renovations himself with the locker rooms in 2012 and other renovations including the training facility the following year. But on your last point, it’s not accurate to say Weaver inherited an older stadium. The renovations to the current stadium in 1995 essentially made it a new stadium, and for a while, it brought significant revenue to the organization.
Courtney from Jacksonville:
Will the game Friday night be televised?
John: Yes.
Jordan from Jacksonville:
Tyson Alualu has been getting into more little "fights" lately. He's always been one of the easiest-going guys and never seemed like one to fight in any capacity. Why do you think this is? And do these fights in training camp mess up in team chemistry? Are they personal?
John: Alualu always has been competitive. The fights don’t mess up team chemistry, and the fights are hardly limited to Alualu and the rest of the field. No, they’re not personal. It’s football. It’s hot. It’s competitive. Fights happen.
Quinn from Tampa, FL:
If this were Week 1 approaching, which of the injured receivers do you think would play? #suckitup
John: Cecil Shorts III, Allen Robinson and Tandon Doss would not. Allen Hurns almost certainly, too, and so would Mike Brown.
Jerry from Ponte Vedra Beach,FL:
Do you know if we have the system to pull the moisture out of our practice fields like they have at the TPC Stadium Course? I bet if we did it would reduce the number of hamstring issues due to our soft fields.
John: The Jaguars do not have that system. I bet you’re wrong.
John from Jacksonville:
I guess there's the option of the quarterback throwing the ball to himself and deciding to run with it if he doesn't find himself open for the pass...but not sure how many plays that would work before the opposing defense catches on.
John: Why would they do that in preseason when there are a ton of healthy receivers? Those healthy receivers aren’t front-line guys with the exception of Marqise Lee, but they’re better options than a quarterback throwing to himse… oh, you made a FUNNY!!!

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