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O-Zone: State of the O-Zone

Posted May 15, 2014

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it…

Aaron from Fairfax, VA:
I know we just drafted two wide receivers, but there are still a few highly talented wide receivers in free agency available ... would you suspect there are any other positions Caldwell would be interested in picking up that weren’t a addressed in the draft and earlier free agency?
John: No. Not to say that the Jaguars won’t make any more transactions, but I wouldn’t suspect that they are going to pursue any profile free agents at this point.
Andrew from Florence, SC:
Lots of future #Moodachay in this year's Jaguars draft, John. The Jaguars draft picks are cool. I like them.
John: What’s, “Moodachay?”
Debs from Jacksonville and Section 150:
In regards to the draft, I FEEL LIKE I JUST WON THE LOTTERY!!
John: You are not alone. Many fans feel the same way. The Jaguars believe this is a good draft, meaning it has a chance to produce four or five starters. Time will tell.
Scott from Chelsea, NY:
O-man, Shad bought everyone a drink in New York. Any chance he repeats the feat next year and that you fly up for the free beer?
John: Well, to be perfectly honest, Jaguars Owner Shad Khan bought all members of the Bold City Brigade a drink for an hour at a New York establishment last week. Buying “everyone” a drink in New York – though certainly within his means – would be best described as excessive and could perhaps be interpreted as “showing off.” I have no idea if he’ll buy people drinks in New York next year, though if he does it the night before the draft, I won’t be flying up. I’ll more likely be in Jacksonville preparing for the draft.
Brad from Jacksonville:
If you're the face of the franchise, what does that make J.P.?
John: A credit to his generation.
Justin from Jacksonville:
During the State of the Franchise, it was mentioned making the Jaguars a more "regional team." Has there been any discussion of having the Jaguars potentially do training camp or a preseason game in Orlando after the Citrus Bowl renovations are done?
John: I haven’t heard any serious discussions along these lines. In terms of such significant fan outreach moments domestically, it’s my understanding that the Jaguars want to continue to focus on the local market first.
Kevin from Jacksonville:
What does wide receiver Jerry Sullivan think of our wide receiver additions?
John: He likes them very much. He, like Head Coach Gus Bradley and General Manager David Caldwell, was split between Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson as the second round approached. Like Bradley and Caldwell, he didn’t imagine the Jaguars could get both. He believes they will come into the league raw – as is the case with the vast majority of wide receivers – but he believes they can turn into big-time players.
Shannon from Brunswick, GA:
Have you ever noticed how cool J.P.'s voice is?
John: Only when he points it out.
Cliff from Orange Park and Section 218:
John, listening to the ads for the stadium improvements, they make it sound like the pools are open to anyone in the stadium that wants to take a dip. However, my understanding is you have to purchase Cabana seats to have access. This disconnect could cause some bad will. Can you enlighten us?
John: I haven’t heard an advertisement that makes it sound like the pools are open to anyone in the stadium. I’ve heard advertisements that make it sound like there are pools and that it will be possible to be in them. The pools, like many other stadium improvements, are premium seating and part of the creative way the Jaguars are trying to increase local revenue. I don’t get the idea there is disconnect on that front.
Michael from Fruit Cove, FL:
What would you say is the biggest difference between this regime and the previous one? Two years into Gene Smith's rebuild, everything looked great. People loved his drafts. He had a plan and was sticking to it. He was building "the right way." I see a lot of similarities between where we are now and where we were then. The hard part is still to come. What should give me hope this time compared to last time?
John: I get questions like this – “What should give us hope? How should we feel? Why should we believe? – and because I try to deal in reality, I never know how to answer them. The Jaguars are building under Caldwell with a smart, steady plan. He is trying to build through the draft with free agency as a supplement and a bridge to a point where they have largely a drafted roster. They are sticking to the plan. If the players drafted in that plan develop, then they will have success. If they don’t, they probably won’t. So far, it appears they have a chance to develop. Beyond that, I don’t make promises and I don’t know how to give you hope. This is professional sports; not reality television. I can’t control or predict the future. I do know the Jaguars’ approach will give them a chance to improve. That’s the focus now.
@DUVAL_DOOM from Section 217:
James from Jacksonville needs the Bold City Brigade, John. The point of Meester's jacket was "WHO CARES!? I'LL DO ME." Duval ‘Til We Die means you don't give a crap what people outside the area think. Also, why is he friends with so many people NOT from Jacksonville? Seems suspect.
John: Valid points, all.
Will from Jacksonville:
Do you really believe the Jaguars might resign Cecil Shorts III? I just assumed this was another Joeckel/Monroe situation where we drafted the replacement one year ahead of them becoming free agents.
John: As for your question, yes, I do. As for your assumption, I believe you were wrong to assume that.
Dan from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I am sure that every team in the NFL feels that they are now better as a result of the draft. Since all teams have improved, what do you think is the X factor that some teams make such a significant jump in the standings?
John: Significant improvement from players in their second and third seasons.
VP from Jacksonville:
I'm intrigued by the Jaguars’ decision to sign Stephen Morris as an undrafted free agent. Obviously, Blake Bortles is intended to be the quarterback of the future for the Jaguars, but I think Morris may have a real opportunity to develop into a solid backup over time. He's reunited with Jedd Fisch, under whom he had his best year in college. Do you have any insight regarding that signing?
John: Jedd Fisch likes Morris and believes he has a lot of potential. Morris reportedly had a chance to sign with the Miami Dolphins but chose the Jaguars, presumably because of Fisch. I don’t have much insight beyond issuing the standard caution that collegiate free agents take time to develop and that they’re free agents because they weren’t drafted. That often means they’re weak enough in at least one area that it makes it difficult to be a high-impact player. There are exceptions, but I prefer for the most part to let rookie free agents play and practice their way into a story before speculating too much.
Ryan from Dearborn, MI:
Of the rookie free agents we just signed, who do you think has the best chance to be a starter at some point this season?
John: I have no idea. I thought I’d let them find the stadium first.
Tom from Saint Johns:
I know this will probably be futile, but I'd like to see this passed on to management. I have a problem with the whole "Duval" thing, which came to a head for me when Dave Caldwell told one of the new draftees "Welcome to Duval." The Jags are trying to become a regional and international brand. I don't live in Duval County. I don't want to be chanting the name of some county I don't live in. …
John: You wrote a lot more and your points weren’t invalid. Think of “Duval” less as a locale and more of a mindset. By saying, “Duval,” fans aren’t trying to exclude people who live in St. John’s or Clay, but trying … oh, forget it: just read @DUVAL_DOOM’s email. #St.Joooooooooooohhhnnns!!!!!!
Robert from Jacksonville:
Considering how productive he was when playing, and what a star he potentially could be, why all the secrecy surrounding Justin Blackmon? Months ago we assumed he'd be back this year, and now that seems unlikely, but there hasn't been one specific word as to why. Why?
John: The secrecy is about privacy issues. Those are a huge concern with the NFL and the NFL Players Association when it comes to suspended players in the league’s substance-abuse program.
Brandon from Salt Lake City, UT:
What's the state of the O-Zone? Do we get a speech?
John: It’s hard to call it a speech. It’s more like a weaving, slurring manifest of right and wrong in which I search for the moral high ground and settle for something close to logical. Shadrick calls this “a good little Saturday.”

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