JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …
Frank from Knoxville, TN:
If I am Gus and Dave I'm pretty upset with Chris Clemons
, regardless of what I say publicly to the contrary. We gave you $17 million and your first impression is to not let us know ahead of time that you'd be missing Organized Team Activities? Really bad idea dude. Hope it's not a sign of things to come with him.
John: Let’s start this Sunday O-Zone by perhaps establishing some perspective here … and perspective is definitely needed. Would Gus Bradley prefer Chris Clemons be here? Yes. No question. At the same time – and here’s where the perspective comes in – there isn’t a whole lot of harm if Clemons isn’t here for every OTA practice. He’s 32 years old, so he’s probably not going to be involved in every training camp or OTA practice – or even in-season practice – anyway. He knows Bradley and knows defensive line coach Todd Wash and knows the Jaguars’ defensive system in detail. He reportedly is a guy who reports in impeccable shape no matter where he’s working out. Yes, the Jaguars would prefer if he were here, but it has reached a point where there’s more angst among the fans about this than there is inside EverBank Field.
Franklyn from Orange Park, FL:
I see you alleviating a lot of worries, concerns and troubles within the fan base. At what point do you just admit you've gone from a reporter that talks with fans to a therapist that brings some news?
John: Hey, the more you can do…
Billy from Woodbine, GA:
I really like the direction of the Jags. I believe Gus and David were THE BEST HIRES since Coughlin's regime. Tom was a good, tough, rugged coach that after several years couldn't get free agents to come to Jacksonville because of his style. That will not be the case with Gus and David due to the POSITIVE NATURE and SUPER ENTHUSIASM. Free agents will want to come to Jacksonville. They are drafting sensibly with a detail to the type of people they want. I don't know when it will happen but it will happen: the Jags will make our dreams come true. Let's stand beside our Jags and remember this day and all the GREAT DAYS TO COME!!!!
John: I’ll start with your point about Coughlin, and I’ll start by disagreeing to an extent. While players didn’t love playing for Coughlin, his style really didn’t scare off free agents. The Jaguars actually lured many of the “premier” free agents at that time the same way most teams lure premier free agents – with lots and lots of money. The Jaguars’ decline after 1999 stemmed not from players not wanting to play for Coughlin, but from players aging and salary cap issues. Now, all of that doesn’t diminish the importance of the point you make about Bradley. His style will help. It will help to a degree drawing free agents to Jacksonville, though money is still the best draw to lure free agents from other teams. Where it will help dramatically is keeping players in Jacksonville once they are here. Players will still go where the money takes them. That’s an everlasting truth. But players who begin their careers playing for Bradley will probably be reluctant to play elsewhere. There aren’t many teams and coaches out there doing it the way he does it here.
Daniel from Grevenbroich, Germany:
In your Artikel about Jerry Sullivan it was mentioned that he teaches technique instead of assignment football. What exactly does that mean? Oh, and one fer Germany in the World Cup!
Let’s not give the impression that Sullivan doesn’t care about assignments and plays, etc. He does. When he said he teaches technique he was talking about the development of young receivers, and specifically in this case he was talking about second-round rookies Marqise Lee
and Allen Robinson
. When teaching young receivers the game Sullivan is a stickler for the details and techniques of route running. He believes the most important thing for a young receiver is to perfect body position, footwork, etc. Once a player masters those, catching the ball becomes a lot easier.
Al from Orange Park, FL:
To Chris - Is Henne Peyton or Aaron? No. But where does Fisch "get off"? If Henne is starting for an NFL team this year, he's only one of the top 32 or so QB's in the world....
Ben from Plattsmouth, NE:
Who will be the MVP of OTAs/Training Camp? I say it's Lee.
John: Sure. I guess. Why not? Wait … is this a thing?
Kevin from Jacksonville:
Since you can't always say what you feel, it would be awesome if you could allow other fans to call idiot fans "Idiots" on your behalf. I’m talking about the ones who don't grasp the concepts of building a solid team, and the ones who don't have the patience it requires to build a solid team.
John: I honestly don’t consider that many fans idiots, especially when their only transgression is lack of knowledge. Many fans don’t grasp the intricacies of building a team, nor should they. Fans need to care about their team winning and want it passionately. That’s it. As for people not having patience of knowledge, this an age of instant gratification, sound bites and often uninformed opinion shaping public perceptions, so it’s natural many people not grasp details and subtleties. I try to explain as best I can to as many people as I can – even, and perhaps especially, to the idiots.
PV Brian from Ponte Vedra, FL:
I always liked European soccer chants at sporting events. I was thinking of starting this one: Ziggy Zaggy, Ziggy Zaggy, Hood Hood Hood! Kinda like #Moodachay but way more cool.
John: Good luck with that.
Jason from Tallahassee, FL:
Johnny O....what will the players do during the veterans minicamp that they don't already do during OTAs … other than having the rookies present?
John: The only difference in OTAs and minicamps is attendance for OTAs is voluntary whereas it’s mandatory for minicamp. Other than that, the rules are pretty much the same – no pads, no contact, no one-on-one drills, team drills allowed but without contact, etc.
Chris from Crestview, FL:
I'm amazed that fans are thinking that 6-10 or 8-8 isn't acceptable. What other options do we have? Can we steal some 49ers or Broncos? Wide receivers have notoriously long learning curves - and often don't contribute. We have a brand new quarterback. The arrow is looking up, but consistent competition is the first step. Can the team catch lightning in a bottle? Possible and that's why we watch.
John: There’s a lot of truth in what you say, but I don’t get a feeling there are a whole lot of fans who consider 8-8 unacceptable. Fans want progress, and 8-8 would be significant progress – you might even call it off-the-charts progress – compared to where the franchise was a year and a half ago. Sure, some fans are expecting playoffs – fans will be fans – but most O-Zone readers, for example, seem to be have a pretty good idea what progress means.
Tyler from Flagstaff, AZ:
How tall are you and J.P ? In that interview you guys did with Mike DiRocco, he looks like a child next to you guys. ESPN has him listed as 6'0, fact or fiction.
John: Mike DiRocco is to 6-feet-0 as I am to earning the admiration of those around me. As you get older, you realize dreams are best left to the young.
Steve from Denver, CO:
O > zero (barely) … Why the verbal jabs at the great Toni Boselli? Is it because he mentioned that there are two types of people, those that attend USC and those that wish they could? Ask Marqise. He'll say the same thing.
John: (Toni with an ‘i.’ Heh, heh.)
Peter from Wuhan, China:
You keep saying the Jags have six Leos and then listing five. Clemons, Babin, Branch, Smith, Davis and...?
The Jaguars indeed have six players working the Leo position. They are Chris Clemons, Jason Babin
, Andre Branch
, Ryan Davis
, Chris Smith
and Gerald Rivers
. I had listed Clemons, Babin, Branch and Davis because they played significant NFL snaps last season and listed Smith because the Jaguars drafted him. But I should have been mentioning Rivers, too. He’s a 6-feet-5, 258-pound defensive end claimed off waivers from St. Louis last December. He is in his second NFL season, having been signed by the Rams as a collegiate free agent following the 2013 NFL Draft. He played in two games for the Rams and did not play in a game with the Jaguars.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
The first preseason game is only 10 weeks away. Is the stadium going to be ready?
Doug from Jacksonville:
I wasn't going to say anything. After all, your Simon Le Bon thing seemed harmless, but now.... I always considered you more a Weird Al without the hair. Quirky and weird, but just enough talent to keep from being a carnie. Keep in mind that is said with all due respect.