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O-Zone: Tall tales

Posted Mar 27, 2014

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Johnny Football Throwing Day…

Let’s get to it ….

Goose from Denver, CO:
Twelve-to-14 picks ... that’s a lot of new faces. I would hope that we would be using some of those to move up instead of drafting 12-14, with many being in the later rounds.
John: Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell ideally would love to have that many picks, with one reason certainly being the freedom that so many selections provide. Is there a chance he would package a few of those selections to move up if he loved this player or that player? Sure, but the guess here is that Caldwell uses most of the selections with which he enters the draft. The Jaguars are trying to build this roster, and the more young, draftable players on the roster the better the chances a bunch of those young, draftable players turn out pretty good. If you’re going to move up you better be darned sure the guy you’re getting is better than the two guys you’d get if you didn’t move up. The draft is about taking your cuts, and the guess here is that Caldwell wants as many swings as possible.
Charlie from Dayton, OH:
What's your take on banning the goal-post dunking? To me the touchdown celebrations are more for the fans and fun. If you take that away, it's not fun for the fans – and it's not a passion for the players; it's a job.
John: I tend to agree with you. One of the reasons cited at the league meetings this week for banning the goalpost dunk was that it increased the chance a player would hit the goal post and knock it out of position. I suppose this could happen, and it probably has been an issue at some point. But it doesn’t seem like one that is common, and I also don’t know that I remember too many games when out-of-position goal-posts cost a team a game. Whatever. It’s not going to end anything or ruin the game to take away the goalpost dunk after touchdowns. And I don’t think it will ruin many players’ passion for the sport. As far as the fans, I agree: There are some who probably don’t like it, but there are others who find it fun, and do I think this is one more example of taking some fun needlessly away? Yeah, I probably think that.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville:
Picking a quarterback at No. 3 must be a daunting task. In today’s NFL, any quarterback picked that high will be expected to start Day One. But from everything I have read and seen none of the quarterbacks look like Day One starting quarterbacks. Do you see any of this quarterback class being ready Day One of the season? Does this kind of expectation impact the Jags direction with that No. 3 pick?
John: I doubt any of the quarterbacks in this class will be ready to start Week 1 – if by what you mean by “ready” is to come in and play immediately at a competitive level. The Jaguars certainly have reservations in that area, which is why they are insistent that even if they select a quarterback No. 3 that that player likely won’t start immediately. That really was the reasoning behind re-signing quarterback Chad Henne before free agency, doubts among some fervent Jaguars followers to the contrary. I don’t think any of that would influence the direction the Jaguars go with the selection. The Jaguars are drafting for the long term. Not for three weeks in September.
Al from Gainesville, FL:
What's the link to that water cooler ad?
John: All right, Jags!
Kevin from Richland, WA:
Over the last several years as the NFL has become more and more a league of parity, I have watched with great interest how Super Bowl-winning teams seem to struggle the year after their win. Being a Seahawk fan and a Jaguar fan I see how the salary cap has worked through both sides: the Seahawks with limited cap room; and the Jags with a great deal of cap room. What do you think of the idea of giving the winner of the Super Bowl an extra 10 percent bump in their cap as an incentive? I like the idea of letting teams ride out a good run more than the up-and-down nature that we've seen the last ten years or so. What are your thoughts on that?
John: It’s an interesting idea, though one that I doubt will take hold. First, it would have to be passed by a vote of the NFL and the NFL Players Association, and the difficulty of getting it passed probably would prevent anyone from seriously pushing the concept in the first place. Most struggling teams certainly wouldn’t vote for it for obvious, selfish reasons. And in general, it would fly in the face of parity and sort of defeat the purpose of the salary cap. This one’s almost certainly a non-starter.
Kevin from Jacksonville:
With all the questions about the "Face of the Franchise", don't you think that adds a great deal more pressure to whomever is the individual that gets tagged with that moniker?
John: THERE IS NO MONIKER! THERE’S NO TAG. THIS … DOESN’T MATTER!!!!
JP from Jacksonville:
Yo, what was that, Oehs?
John: Face of the Franchise Fatigue. It’s a killer.
Bryan from Jacksonville:
The Seahawks winning the Super Bowl is probably a not so good thing for Jaguars fans. Many fans try to compare this build to theirs and they (Seahawks) made it to the playoffs in the second year of their build. The reality is that it is different general manager, head coach and owner. I am a fan that is waiting for this leadership to team to prove their worth, but this is not Seattle.
John: The Seahawks actually made it to the postseason in the first year under Head Coach Pete Carroll – 2010 – with a 7-9 record, and then missed the playoffs with the same record the following year. The second season was a difficult year, with the team starting slowly and fans and observers questioning the approach. It wasn’t until the third season that the full improvement began to show on the field. That’s the background, but you’re right that you can’t make the comparison. Not only are the decision-makers different, but the circumstances in the draft and in free agency are different every year. Are there a few comparisons to Seattle? Sure, but every team builds its own way in its own circumstance. You can take good practices and approaches from other franchises, but you can’t copy their circumstances.
Paul from Jacksonville:
I like Khan, I really do. I think he's made some brilliant moves since he took over the franchise. I have been a season-ticketholder since 2012, but when I see a tweet that reads "London is a very, very important thing for Jacksonville." I can't help but get nervous about the future of this franchise. Please help alleviate my nerves, O.
John: No problem: read the whole story and not just the tweet. When Khan says London is important for Jacksonville, he’s saying, “Jacksonville” for a reason. He’s including not just the team, but the entire community. He believes the team’s presence in London will help the team and the Jacksonville community and therefore help make the entire combination stronger. The long-term viability of the Jaguars in Jacksonville depends on an international presence. The team and city will grow together. That’s Khan’s vision.
Michael from Ponte Vedra, FL:
With the Jags having 11 picks going into the draft do you think it's reasonable for them to move back a few spots in the first round to acquire a couple more picks? More picks means more depth on a team that is obviously rebuilding and it can only benefit us.
John: We’ll address this again coming out of the owners’ meetings because my thoughts on this have changed a bit based on listening to Caldwell speak in Orlando this week. I don’t think Caldwell’s thoughts on trading have changed much. He sees this as a very deep draft and seems to believe the Jaguars have pretty much the same chance of getting a really good player at say, No. 7, as they do at No. 3. For that reason, he would very much like to move back for more picks – as he has said all offseason. But after hearing him in Orlando, I think he believes there is a realistic chance of a trade back actually happening. Last year, for example, Caldwell would have liked to have traded back out of the No. 2 spot and had no sniffs. This year, it seems possible he’ll get a few sniffs.
Rudy from Baldwin and Connecticut:
Why are the national media guys so little?
John: They’re not. J.P. Shadrick and I just happen to be seven feet, eight inches tall.

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