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O-Zone: Match-making

Posted Jan 11, 2014

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it . . .

Jim from Jacksonville:
Is it actually true that running quarterbacks get hurt more often in NFL? Are there stats to support that claim? Brady and P. Manning both were out for an entire season and neither are"running" quarterbacks.
John: Stats are difficult to find in this area, because you must clearly discern between running quarterbacks and pocket passers, and there often are gray areas. But it’s pretty obvious staying in the pocket has benefitted Manning and Brady in terms of availability over the course of their careers. Yes, they missed entire seasons with significant injuries, but each has sustained almost no “game-to-game” injuries. Aside from missing 15 games in 2008, Brady hasn’t missed a game since taking over as the starter in 2001. Manning missed the 2011 season, but those 16 games are the only ones he hasn’t started. It’s hard to imagine such sustained stretches of availability for a running quarterback.
Jody from Fort Pierce, FL:
Tre Mason to the Jaguars … make it happen, John, make it happen. I wanted Maurice Jones-Drew and we got him in the second round, so let’s do it again.
John: Hey! One fer Tre!
Dennis from Orange Park, FL:
Can you tell me why we draft No. 3 in the first round andseventh in Round 2, sixth in Round 3 and so on?
John: Yes, the Jaguars had the weakest strength of schedule of five teams finishing 4-12 last season. That meant they select No. 3 overall, with the other four teams selecting Nos. 4-7 in order of weakest strength of schedule. In Round 3, the Jaguars go to the back of the line, then they move up one spot in Round 4 and so on and so on.
Andy from Indiana, PA:
What's Mel Tucker up to these days? I remember when he took over for Jack Del RIo a lot of people thought he'd be head coach of a team by now but I haven't heard anything about him in quite a while.
John: He’s the defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears.
Kim from Section 130 and New Snyrna Beach:
O Man, I can only hope that this time next year you are not answering questions about the draft!! Moodachay!
John: Hey! #Moodachay!
Bryan from Tampa, FL:
When is Justin Blackmon eligible to apply for reinstatement to the league and when do you think the Jaguars will know if he is reinstated? This information could have a huge impact on the upcoming offseason.
John: It’s not yet known when Blackmon will apply for reinstatement. He is expected to be able to do so before next season. The exact date that is to occur is likely to be an area of mystery for a while. But I don’t expect that information to have a huge impact on the Jaguars’ offseason. The Jaguars are moving forward treating Blackmon as a luxury. If they have him, great; but they’ll draft and acquire players as if he’s not on the roster.
Ryan from Clyde, OH:
Do you think there is any chance that we could see a free-agent quarterback starting (at least for a few years) for the Jaguars next season?
John: Sure, there’s a chance. Those are conversations taking place right now as David Caldwell studies the draft and the free-agent landscape. I wouldn’t say there’s a good chance, but there is a chance.
Tucker from Nashville, TN:
Did anybody watch the Texans this year? They have JJ Watt and look at their record. Jags take a quarterback over any pass rusher.
John: This theory is directly from the school of thought that quarterback is important enough to trump all else. I believe strongly in that school of thought, too. But you can’t just fly blind with that school of thought. A general manager must scout and determine if a quarterback can play at a winning NFL level or not, but if he can, then, yeah, passer is more important than pass rusher. No argument here.
Scott from Aurora:
Do you think Justin Blackmon could end up having a career like Cris Carter's? Although Carter was supremely talented, the Eagles parted ways with him due to off-the-field issues. He then got a wakeup call, got his act together and had a Hall-of-Fame career.
John: Of course that could happen, but there’s no reason it must. Let’s back up here a moment: judging from the inbox, it seems there is an assumption by many that Blackmon won’t be with the Jaguars next season. This assumption is much, much different than the feeling I get from people in the Jaguars’ organization. Caldwell said it best last week when he said the Jaguars are approaching Blackmon as if he’s a luxury, meaning they must plan as if Blackmon won’t be here. That’s not saying Blackmon won’t be here, and it’s not close to saying that. If Blackmon is reinstated and if he stays clear from trouble after that, there’s no reason he won’t be with the Jaguars. That obviously isn’t a guarantee that he’ll be here long-term, but it’s sure not a guarantee that he’s getting released anytime soon, either.
Andrew from Panama City Beach, FL:
Do you think he would be willing to change his name from Johnny Football to Johnny Jaguar?
John: Who do you mean?
Chris from Crestview, FL:
Running quarterbacks take more hits and some out-of-the-pocket hits are downright vicious. That said, I think a quarterback like RG3 must stay in the pocket and throw to win a championship. What say you - can you build a roster of all run-option quarterbacks and win a Super Bowl or will the strong-arm pocket quarterback reign forever?
John: I don’t foresee a time in the near future when the pocket quarterback isn’t dominant in the NFL. For all of the appeal of the read-option, there is still a premium on being able to stand behind the line of scrimmage, read the defense and deliver an accurate pass to the right receiver. This style has the added benefit of being the best chance for a quarterback to play at a high level for a long time because the injury risk is less than that of a running quarterback. That’s not to say there won’t be read-option, running quarterbacks who win in the NFL. Colin Kaepernick nearly won a Super Bowl last season, and Russell Wilson – if it’s fair to put him in that category – could win this year. But over the course of time, I still believe the passing quarterback will reign.
Joseph from Jacksonville:
I am noticing a lot of fans inquiring, talking about and mentioning Manziel. I can recall Jedd Fisch saying on more than one occasion that they don't want to be "Ordinary" or "Normal" I forgot the exact term. With a lot of the playcalling I saw towards the second half of the season, I can't help but think that Manziel might actually fit this team quite well and itssetting up nicely for him to thrive here. Here's to hoping the Jaguars draft Manziel. His competitive spirit alone is worth drafting him for.
John: Hey! Another fer Johnny!
Jared from Pensacola, FL:
I was wondering exactly what was happening at the Senior Bowl? Are fans allowed to watch at all or anything like that? I am just curious because I would like to go see.
John: The Senior Bowl is pretty much practices and meetings during the day, then meetings with NFL personnel people and players in the evening. The practices are open to the public.
Patrick from Merced, CA:
I’m with Mark from Green Bay on the helmet issue … I tried to like them by season’s end, but they are atrocious!!! Especially on a team that I love. Hate to say it John but … I hate them.
John: The helmets are cool. I like them.
Jared from Cantonment, FL and Section 116:
Anybody ask u about trying Ace Sanders at quarterback? He is perfect right now.
John: The O-Zone is a place for all types of questions, even for ones I don’t remotely understand.
Jesse from Panama City, FL:
O-man, I don't really see a clear-cut top QB in this draft like the year RG3 and Andrew Luck were drafted. What I do see is two major pass rushers (Clowney/Barr). Barr seems to be a "Gus Bradley" type guy. I wouldn't be upset if we went that direction.
John: One fer Barr.
Rudy from Baldwin, FL:
All of this talk about drafting or signing a player to sell tickets drives me crazy! I'm glad our GM isn't one of them! But are there a percentage of general managers who try to do just that? Are any of them successful? I just don't see making decisions like that being a successful business model in sports.
John: I wouldn’t say there are many general managers who set out with the idea that they will draft to appease fans, but certainly you can see scenarios where public pressure and sentiment could influence decisions. A general manager has to stay strong and keep a steady hand. That’s not always easy.
Josh from Fernandina Beach by way of Fort Lauderdale:
O-Man covering Manziel on O … The possibilities are endless ...
John: One fer O coverin’ Johnny!

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