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O-Zone: Healthy living

Posted Jun 18, 2017

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Gary from St. Augustine, FL:
Zone, Pat Flaherty says the Jaguars will be able to run block this season. What makes him think this? They haven’t been able to run block in years.
John: You’re referring to one of the highlight moments of the Jaguars’ assistant coaches’ meeting with the media Thursday on the final day of 2017 minicamp – or at least it was a highlight for me. I asked Jaguars offensive line coach Pat Flaherty if this line would be able to run block, noting that it had struggled in that area in recent seasons. “Oh, we’ll run block – no question,” was his reply. “I’m not stuttering. We will run block.” Flaherty is a tough-looking sort, and on this day he had had lost a tooth coaching. Considering my lack of agility honestly earned by three decades of hops and idleness, I wasn’t about to accuse him of stuttering, but he made his point. Flaherty talking confidently and tough, of course, doesn’t mean the Jaguars will magically be able to run effectively next season, but the focus without question is there. The Jaguars acquired Branden Albert to play left tackle for that reason, and they drafted Cam Robinson from Alabama in part because he has a brawling element that should help in that area. The Jaguars also believe they improved as a run-blocking unit late last season, and the addition of Leonard Fournette – not to mention the addition of Doug Marrone as head coach and Flaherty as offensive line coach – certainly reinforces the idea that this team better run block next season. So, will the Jaguars be able to run block? If not, it won’t be for lack of emphasis. And Flaherty doesn’t stutter.
Ryan from Durham, NC:
I SWEAR if I hear or see the words SunPass again, I'm going to scream!!! Aaaarghhhhhhh. Make it stop!!!!
John: SunPass.
Ryan from Durham, N.C.:
Will the flex field be ready in time for training camp?
John: The flex field adjacent to EverBank Field and the Daily’s Place Amphitheater is scheduled to be ready by mid-July, a couple of weeks ahead of the beginning of training camp. #SunPass
Frankie from Mean Streets of Ponte Vedra, FL:
Can you let Blake know that we, the fans, are sick and tired of being sick and tired?
John: Everyone who has been around the Jaguars for any length of time knows this. It’s not a secret or a mystery.
Jake from Illinois:
Coach Wash mentioned three stacked backers (more traditional 4-3?) the other day. Does this mean slightly less nickel or was he talking about base downs only?
John: You’re referencing Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash talking about the linebackers in the team’s scheme, something he discussed Thursday on the final day of minicamp. He was talking about the Jaguars using more three-stacked linebacker sets next season, and he indeed was talking about the team’s base defenses. The crux of what Wash was discussing involved Paul Posluszny and the strong-side linebacker position. Whereas the Jaguars’ strong-side position in recent seasons has been known as the Otto – with the player pass rushing and playing close to the line of scrimmage as sort of a hybrid end at times – Posluszny will play a more traditional strong-side linebacker role.
Sam from Orlando, FL:
I’m worried, Zone: I get that the Jaguars have two great cornerbacks – A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey – but they are thi-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-n at corner after that. Bad, planning, Zone. Bad planning.
John: I agree this is an area of concern entering the offseason. The Jaguars are comparatively strong not only at starting corner with Bouye and Ramsey, but at nickel corner with Aaron Colvin. While Ramsey underwent core-muscle surgery Thursday, and while Colvin missed offseason on-field work with an unidentified injury, I expect both to be ready in time for the regular season. The situation gets much thinner after that, though Josh Johnson got some experience and made some plays for the Jaguars last season. The Jaguars are actually pretty deep at safety with Peyton Thompson and Jarrod Wilson behind Tashaun Gipson and Barry Church, but cornerback is a different issue.
Gator from Gainesville, FL:
Once bitten and twice shy … I keep my distance but you still catch my eye … Tell me baby do you recognize me? … Well it's been a year, it doesn't surprise me … I wrapped it up and sent it … With a note saying "I Love You" I meant it … Now I know what a fool I've been … But if you kissed me now I know you'd fool me again. You want to make fun of WHAM! still? Those lyrics are deep.
John: Jaguars 2017 Training Camp begins in late July.
Zac from Jax, FL:
#WinToday sounds very similar to Chip Kelly's #WinTheDay when he was at Oregon ... Jags continue to disappoint even integrity marketing efforts.
John: Thanks. I’ll write that down.
Steve from Tampa, FL:
Are you serious, Clark? Are the Jaguars really going to go into the season with Paul Posluszny playing strong-side linebacker and Myles Jack playing the middle? Why take Posluszny away from what he does well? Why?
John: This will be an area to watch during preseason and training camp, and I believe it’s the Jaguars’ third most important issue entering next season behind the development of Bortles and the development of a pass rush. The Jaguars decided entering the offseason that Myles Jack was going to move to the middle and be a three-down linebacker. This move was made to get an ultra-talented player (Jack) on the field more – and in a position where he can make a greater impact than he did at strong-side linebacker. That necessitated moving Posluszny to a smaller role. We’ve covered the risk in this space quite often – that the Jaguars are losing a lot of experience and reliability in the middle, and they’re also losing the knowledge of the defense that Posluszny was able to pass onto teammates in real-time situations. Jack must continue to develop and grow quickly, because those are important on-field, real-time elements that he must begin bringing quickly. The reviews on Jack late in the offseason were positive, and there’s a lot of confidence that he will thrive in the role.
Aaron from White Hall, AR:
I know Aaron Colvin hasn't practiced much, but if healthy do you expect him to make an impact this season as the third corner? We got him for what we thought was a steal in the draft so I'm just wondering if this year it will all come together for him.
John: I do expect Colvin to make an impact this season. He has played well in two-plus seasons, particularly at nickel. The one thing he hasn’t done is force turnovers, which is an area he must improve – though it is not an issue that makes him much different from everyone else on the Jaguars’ defense.
Craig from Jensen Beach, FL:
No chance we go after Kap?
John: Nah … probably not.
Jeremy from Bossier City, LA:
Not gripping the laces when throwing a football isn't that big a deal. You can throw a nice spiral with or without the laces. What matters is that the ball is accurate and on time. If everything looks pretty then great. Not all of Peyton Manning's throws were perfect spirals.
John: True that.
Nelson from Jacksonville:
Can the Jaguars win with Blake Bortles?
John: I liked what I saw at times from Blake Bortles in the offseason. His mechanics looked improved enough that I believe he’ll be accurate enough next season for the most part to play the position effectively. Those mechanics need to hold up through the season so Bortles doesn’t have as many of the “oh-no” moments that hampered him at times last season, particularly through the midseason. Can Bortles show enough of a command of the offense and field awareness to eliminate the long stretches of three-and-outs that have plagued this team in recent seasons? Can he reduce the game-turning, momentum-crushing interceptions? I continue to believe that those latter issues will form the key storyline around Bortles and the Jaguars this season.
Dylan from Tulsa, OK:
Who would win: every known Sith in the Star Wars extended universe using any means necessary but at sea level, or Obi-wan Kenobi standing on Mount Everest? Asking for a friend.
John: What’s “Star Wars?”
DUVAL DOOM from Section 217:
Bob Sanders, Bob Sanders, Bob Sanders. Why don't you just gush about J.J. Watt, or post video eating mayonnaise straight from the jar while you're at it, ya quack?
John: Hold on …
Mark from College Park, MD:
Let's play a "what-if game." If you could add any one player from any team to add to the Jags’ roster knowing that quarterbacks are off-limits. Who would you chose and why?
John: I would add a healthy J.J. Watt because you can’t have enough big defensive linemen who can be disruptive. I would not add a video of myself eating mayonnaise straight from a jar.

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