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O-Zone: Location and timing

Posted Oct 20, 2013

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it...

Steve from Section 206:
In response to Kevin's question about obtaining a proven quarterback, I've watched this team pass on Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and, most recently, Alex Smith. I doubt Brees or Manning would have come here, but the lack of effort on the Jaguars’ part was disappointing. We could have very well been in the mix for Alex Smith. No wonder we haven't had a good quarterback since Mark Brunell.
John: A couple of thoughts. One, is while fans understandably and correctly link all of the team’s decisions since 1995 as “Jaguars” decisions,” the people making the decisions now – David Caldwell and Gus Bradley – had nothing to do with what happened before. Second, is while a lot of times acquisitions such as the ones you wish the Jaguars had made are about timing. Is the timing right, or isn’t it? I wasn’t in Jacksonville when Brees went to New Orleans, but I was here when Manning signed with the Broncos. In that situation, Manning was going to sign with a team that had legitimate Super Bowl aspirations. In the 2012 offseason, that really wasn’t the Jaguars. This past offseason, the Jaguars could theoretically have traded for Smith, but the feeling at the time was he wasn’t the quarterback around whom the Jaguars wanted to try to build. The idea was to see if Blaine Gabbert could be the guy, and if not, then to almost certainly draft a quarterback around whom to build. So far, Gabbert hasn’t shown that he’s the guy, and if he doesn’t, it will likely lead to the next step.
Tosso from Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland:
Any truth to the rumor that if I submit an inferior question to the O-Zone using a fake name and outrageous hometown, it will get answered 100% of the time?
John: No way, no how. I am very astute and see through such shenanigans.
Casey from Templeton, CA:
Alright, John: serious hypothetical. We finish 3-13 and are No. 5 in the overall draft order next May. Hundley, Boyd and Bridgewater are all gone. Do we take OLB Barr and try and trade back into the first and grab a high risk/high reward guy like Manziel?
John: Sure. If you think Barr is worth a Top 5 pick and if you think Manziel is that good and will be there, why not? And if the last 10 games of this regular season don’t change anything, why not? And if the next seven months of scouting collegiate players doesn’t change players’ draft stocks, why not? Look, I get that people are pining to talk draft. But the draft is a long way off. A lot will change. Trying to project scenarios is a fool’s game three weeks before the draft. I’m a fool, so I’m sure I’ll fit right in, but I don’t plan to fit in until at least January.
Bob from Jacksonville:
I can solve the Redskins’ logo problem. All they have to do is get rid of the Indian and change their logo to a sunburned girl in a bikini. Then, they will still be the redskins. Moodachay!
John: (No problem) I’ll forward this.
Jonathan from Orange Park, FL:
If Chad Henne wins Sunday or just show more improvement and Gus still decides to named Gabbert as the starter if healthy, that locker room will be divided before this season ends. You can tell these guys plays really hard for Henne and most veterans like Henne's leadership on the field. Gus Bradley won't last past the 2014 season if they keep feeding us this garbage that Gabbert has all the tools... That's the last thing the coaches need. Division and dissension... Gabbert is DONE!
John: You sound like you have it all figured out. That must be an awesome feeling. First, I don’t get any sort of sense that this locker room will divide no matter who the Jaguars put at quarterback. These guys believe in Bradley, and they believe in the direction. The veterans know that a lot of this season is about figuring what parts fit together and figuring what works best, something that can change as injured players come in and out of the lineup. It’s also about putting the players on the field who give the Jaguars the best chance to win. While fans believe they have seen enough to believe with their hearts and souls that that’s Henne, the reality is the Jaguars haven’t won with either Henne or Gabbert and each guy has made enough mistakes to lose. Henne has played better than Gabbert, but neither has played well enough to be named a permanent starter.
Bruce from Gotham, NY:
For every action there is an equal and opposite criticism.
John: And for every criticism there is space in the inbox.
Blaine from the Locker Room:
JO, we took a poll down here and the general consensus is that we don't hate you. We're not exactly sure what you do with your day, but if you could let us know where your secretly take your naps we would join you once in a while. Oh, and I'm feeling better, thanks for asking.
John: Awesome. Meet me in Shad’s office. There’s an awesome space under his desk I can show you guys.
Adam from Dallas, TX:
Two things, O-Man. Do players really dislike you face-to-face? I mean I'm sure there are players that you don't have the greatest relationship with, but do any of them, to your knowledge, outright dislike you the way MJD dislikes Paul Kuharsky? Secondly, when it comes to defensive backs catching interceptions, there's an old saying. "Defensive backs are wide receivers who couldn't catch"
John: Two responses. Most players dislike me face-to-face, but it has nothing to do with them being players. Most non-players around the Jaguars dislike me face-to-face, too. The same is true of family members, casual acquaintances and former schoolmates. Secondly, while the saying is not entirely accurate, of course defensive backs don’t catch the ball as well as receivers. It’s not their livelihood.
Bill from Jacksonville:
When Joeckel is able to run will he be allowed to practice with the team in order to develop or does his IR status limit his activities?
John: He may rehabilitate at the facility, but he may not practice with the team.
John from Jacksonville:
Last Sunday against Denver, there were at least a couple of times the Jags had second-and-long (15-20 yards). Instead of trying two short passes to get the first down, they elected to run into a brick wall resulting in third-and-long. Why was this chosen? Is this the offensive coordinator making the call or Henne making an audible and choosing wrong?
John: I don’t know if Henne audibled into those plays. I do know a draw or run is not uncommon on second-and-long. The theory is if the defense is playing pass you can pick up half the distance or so by running and leave yourself a more manageable third down. The brick wall of which you speak is created by the line not creating enough holes, and yes, that has been an issue this season.
Ryan from Dearborn, MI:
If you were the general manager with the Jags looking at the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2014, either by record or by trading up, who would you want?
John: Right this second, I’d want the best quarterback. That could change in 10 weeks.
Chris from Mandarin, FL:
Failure is possible when dealt a bad hand, correct? Everyone is talented in the NFL. Is it possible that Gabbert is just not good enough? Enough already. It's time to move on.
John: Sure, it’s possible. And I can’t say for sure whether Gabbert will start for the Jaguars again or not. It’s a bit silly to think the Jaguars aren’t studying this issue and evaluating the situation. Remember, the combination of Caldwell and Bradley has no “dog” in this quarterback “hunt.” If it’s decided at the end of the year that Gabbert’s not the guy, they’ll move on. Right now, Gabbert has played three games for these decision-makers. My guess is he’ll get to play a few more in the second half of the season. There’s not much harm in the big picture letting that scenario play out. I understand that reading that makes people crazy and gets their insides all tight, but decision can get made in the next few months and the long-term plan will be perfectly fine.
Tudor from St. Augustine, FL:
I dropped my phone into the toilet while reading the O-Zone following the 2011 Week 17 win versus Colts. #toiletphonesightings.
John: Awesome. This also speaks to something I mentioned recently about other people’s misery being funny. I laughed when reading about your phone. Perhaps you laughed, too, when recalling the story. Quite likely you did not laugh at the time. Even more likely, I would have laughed at the time – provided, of course, I was not in the room. Ah, comedy . . . all about location and timing.

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