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O-Zone: Initials to live by

Posted May 11, 2014

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Al from Orange Park, FL:
I was going to ask where Friday night leaves Cecil Shorts III. Then, I thought of Gus Bradley and answered my own question: "Competing." Do you have any feel for how that all will shake out?
John: You’re right in one sense. There will be competition at the receiver position with Shorts, Marqise Lee, Allen Robinson and Ace Sanders. But don’t worry too much about slotting starting positions at wide receiver. Shorts would be the first to tell you he will be better with better receivers around him. You need at least three receivers in the NFL, and it’s good to have four or five. The Jaguars now are a lot close to having those numbers than they were last week.
Aaron from Chehalis, WA:
I know it's all-draft-all-the-time here, but on a side note I'm really starting to like the new Jaguars logo. It is awesome, way better than the last one, and it came at the perfect time. New owner, new GM, new coach, new direction – and I like, nay, I LOVE the new direction! This franchise is building itself anew and I’m just happy to be a fan. Thanks for listening.
John: The new logo is cool. I like it.
Joe from Nowheresville:
For a general manager who keeps talking about wanting to use the draft we sure are trading away some picks. Don't get me wrong: I love what they have done and hope it continues, but would like to see us keep those picks and use them on more talent.
John: The Jaguars selected nine players over the weekend, and while many expected the Jaguars to use all 11 selections with which they entered the draft, Caldwell wanted that many selections because of the flexibility they would bring. He used that flexibility to go get Robinson and guard Brandon Linder and still got nine selections.
Paul from Gainesville, FL:
Brad Meester may not make the Hall of Fame, but that jacket will.
John: #DTWD
Dave from Fukuoka, Japan:
I bet JP gave Meester that jacket. Probably told him it looked good, too.
John: I bet he was right.
Jeff from San Diego, CA:
What was Meester thinking with his clothing choice? He just validated Khan's comments about the difference between folks in Jax and the rest of the world. UGH.
John: Sleep it off, Jeff.
Dane from Jacksonville:
Looking ahead, what kind of impact do you expect Lee and Robinson to have on our passing game? What roles do you predict each will have? Who will have the greater impact? Oh yeah, and Brad Meester is cool. I like him.
John: Yes, Meester is cool. We’ve established that. As far as Lee and Robinson, the Jaguars expect them to have significant impact and likely form the core of the receiving group going forward. Look for Lee to be more of a big-play, breakaway receiver with Robinson being a more physical, red-zone receiver. As far as who will have the greater impact, who knows? The Jaguars liked them both a lot.
Bryan from Tampa, FL:
Is it possible that the Jags only starting rookie this season will our third round pick?
John: That could be, but I’d guess Marqise Lee or Allen Robinson start, too. That’s not unusual, and in fact, it’s what the Jaguars hope will be the case. Caldwell talked a lot in the offseason about getting the roster to a point where they didn’t have to start rookies. It appears the Jaguars are closer to that than a year ago.
Jim from World Golf Village:
I really laughed when Caldwell kidded about sitting Marqise Lee for the season. Good to see his sense of humor come out.
John: There were a lot of memorable moments this weekend. Caldwell’s reference to Blake Bortles after selecting Marqise Lee was prominent among them.
Phil from Boynton Beach, FL:
We go into the draft with a goal of acquiring extra picks and we gave three away when all was said and done. It’s widely believed that this is a team with many holes to fill. Can the Jags afford to be trading away picks? Why has their "acquire-more-picks" philosophy taken a 180?
John: I don’t know that the Jaguars’ goal entering the draft was to acquire more selections. In fact, looking back, I’m fairly sure it wasn’t. Caldwell’s goal was to enter the draft with flexibility, which he used to move up to get players he believed can be starters.
Mike from Jagsonville:
I like it a lot that Dave stepped up to the plate and took a heckuva swing. We won't know for a long time if he whiffed or hit it out of the park. Baseball is such a slow game. What's your metaphor, O?
John: Just throw, meat.
JD from Ponte Vedra, FL:
Is there an expectation that Linder will come in and start right away at guard? What is a realistic expectation for a third-rounder at a position of need?
John: I do expect Linder to start a lot sooner than later. The Jaguars traded a fourth- and sixth-round selection to move up to take Linder. They’re not handing him the starting position without competition because that’s not what this team does, but I’d be surprised if he’s not starting quickly.
Nick from London, England:
I went for lunch with Denard Robinson, Johnathan Cyprien and Dwayne Gratz in London this week. What a credit to the franchise they are. I must have thrown 100 questions at them and they were happy to sit and answer them all thoroughly. Until I asked their views on John Oehser, that is. "John who?"
John: Robinson, Cyprien and Gratz are indeed credits to the franchise. At least, I thought so.
Matt from Bloomington, IN:
It actually makes so much sense that Caldwell would pick Bortles. As fans, we all wanted a player that would have a huge immediate impact on the field that would translate into more wins now. Caldwell has been nothing if not consistent in his mantra that he is going to build this team for long-term success. He thinks he has found a franchise quarterback of the future, so not starting Week 1 or even year 1 is inconsequential to building the franchise for the long-term. All we can do now is sit, wait, trust, and pray. #StandUnited
John: Yep.
Kevin from Jacksonville:
Great pick by Caldwell/Bradley/Khan for a future quarterback. Knowing that Caldwell and Bradley have a plan for bringing Bortles along, how much flack do you see them enduring from the instant gratification crowd?
John: A lot, which is why general managers can’t make decisions based on – or worry much about – the instant-gratification crowd. Instant gratification in the NFL does not lead to success. Having a plan and sticking to the plan regardless of immediate response – that’s the best hope a team has for success.
Keith from Summerville, SC:
Seriously, no more one fers …
John: Hey, one fer staying in your lane!
Ric from Jacksonville:
Do you think that general managers take into account the possibilities within the next draft when making selections in the current draft? If a team needs a defensive end and a receiver, and they know that there is a high chance of the following draft having an abundance of high-end receivers, are they more apt to select the defensive end? Does that type of consideration come into play at all?
John: It does, though there’s a limit to how specific a team can get when making such evaluations. Caldwell did say this week that he liked Bortles more than any of the quarterbacks in this year’s draft or next year’s, so it was a factor there. That’s probably the best way to describe it – as a factor, but not realistically the overriding reason for making a selection.
Sage from Orlando, FL:
I take it Caldwell wasn't impressed with next year's quarterback draft class enough to wait.
John: Wow. Hot topic. That’s perhaps part of it, and Caldwell indeed mentioned that part of the reasoning behind taking Bortles was that it was difficult to find a comparable prospect in either the 2014 and 2015 drafts. At the same time, let’s not paint this as Caldwell taking Bortles because he didn’t like the ’15 class. Caldwell and the Jaguars liked Bortles. They believe in Bortles. They took him because they wanted him.
Ian from Los Angeles, CA:
During that post-first-round pick presser with David Caldwell, he stated that at one point in last season, he and presumably the personnel department were preparing to be picking at No. 1. It sounded like he then implied that it was at that point that they started looking at Blake as their pick. Which would imply that even at that point, they valued Blake over Clowney and others. Am I making this up, or did these seem to be implications that Caldwell made?
John: David Caldwell indeed started really, really liking Bortles as the selection early last September, and yes, Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said the team likely would have selected Bortles over Clowney.
Joe from Jefferson City, NJ and Section 124:
I was there when Khan picked up the tab in New York Wednesday, and it was amazing. Thirty-one other teams aren't doing this for their fans. The Jaguars and Bold City Brigade are something unique, and I love being a part of it. I live a thousand miles away, but I felt like I was truly home this week with all those Jaguars fans. Big thanks to all those involved.
John: #DTWD

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