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O-Zone: Tell everybody

Posted Mar 15, 2014

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it . . .

Chris from Philadelphia, PA:
With all the defensive line/Leo additions, how would a guy like Jadeveon Clowney or Khalil Mack fit into the rotation? With Clemons, Babin, Big Red, Ziggy, Alualu, Miller, Marks, Branch, and Watson, it seems like there aren't too many more snaps to go around in so-called Sacksonville.
John: First, I’m not ready to dive into this whole “Sacksonville” thing. Not yet, right? I’d rather have this group actually get a few sacks together first. Second, if the Jaguars do draft Mack or Clowney– and that very definitely could still happen – something tells me they could find a way to get the player into the rotation. Football coaches tend to do that with good football players.
Camron from Orlando, FL:
Can I get a "one fer Dave"?
John: Hey! Yes! One fer Dave!
Mike from East Moline, IL:
Chris Clemons is 32 years old. I'm not saying I dislike the signing. He was signed partly because he can play in Gus' system. Is the other main reason he is here because it gives Caldwell flexibility in the draft? I am just wondering if he is better than Andre Branch, and how many productive years he has left. I suppose it won't hurt to have Clemons in the rotation at Leo and in the lightning package.
John: It perhaps gives Caldwell a touch of flexibility in the sense that the Jaguars now have two legitimate, experienced pass-rushers on the roster in Clemons and Babin. But it certainly doesn’t mean the Jaguars won’t be taking a pass rusher at No. 3. I don’t get the sense it means that at all. Clemons also is more than a pass-rusher. He is very good against the run, which means the Jaguars now have some pretty good defensive linemen against the run. Alualu. Miller. Clemons. Bryant. That should help get the Jaguars in better pass-rush situations.
Robert from Moorpark, CA:
I'm a little too excited to see what draft day brings us now. Maybe DC should slow down a bit. I can't handle it.
John: Deep breaths, Robert … they help.
Malosi from Santa Clarita, CA:
When do you think Caldwell will address Marcedes Lewis' contract? Is there a certain day that his salary becomes guaranteed? He'll be the second-highest paid tight end as is. I like him, but not for $8.25 million.
John: You know how some people worry about things for no reason? This might be that. In fact, it is that. The Jaguars have plenty of room under the salary cap, so there’s really no great need to restructure Lewis – not that he would have any reason to restructure, anyway. Should he be the second-highest-paid tight end in the NFL? Who knows? But he’s going to be playing for the Jaguars next season – and most probably at that salary.
Todd from Jacksonville:
That Culligan commercial has a special place in my heart. I would (and probably have) watch that over a great live play on the field.
John: I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Earl from Middleburg:
Free agents’ thoughts during ride-a-long with J.P. "Where is this guy taking me?? Will I ever see my family again??”
John: Free agents have figured out fairly quickly that the ride-a-longs are what is known as a “high-risk, low-reward endeavor.”
Cody from the 508:
Do you know if Gerhart is taking his Vikings number? I know it’s supposed to be just a number but seeing 32 and not Jones-Drew over it feels weird. I know it’s not retired, but still just wondering.
John: Toby Gerhart will wear No. 21.
JB from Jacksonville:
Whoever is in the backseat is pretty stealthy. My guesses are that it is: 1. You #stowzone 2. Shadrick's Handler 3.Nameless/Faceless IT guy.
John: It’s …
Logan from Wichita, KA:
Bradley and Caldwell are doing a great job so far. Here are my three big questions, though. 1. How many more roster spots do we have for defensive linemen? 2. Why do I get the feeling we are becoming the Seahawk retirement home/recycling plant? 3. What do you think the odds are that we pick up Knowshon Moreno?
John: Three answers. 1. As many as are needed to get a bunch of good players there. 2. The Seahawks are very good and it’s OK to have a few veterans from there as the team transitions to a younger roster. 3. Slim-to-none.
Chris from EverBank Stadium Parking Lot:
Rolling through stop signs in the parking lot with Chris Clemons riding along. #Shadricksighting
John: You saw that, too?
Wallace from Jacksonville:
Wow! Caldwell has been wheeling and dealing in free agency like we haven't seen in these parts in over 10 years. Do you think the preponderance of free-agent signings on defense is a sign that Dave and Gus are committed to fielding a stalwart defense in 2014? Knowing you can't fix everything at once, it looks like Dave and Gus are focusing on "fixing" the defense first considering last year's draft and free-agent signings coupled with this year's free-agent signings. Your thoughts?
John: I think you’re pretty spot-on and here’s a hint: I think you might see some offensive players’ names come up when the Jaguars are on the clock in early May.
Andy from Roswell, GA:
I like this column. You do a good job. That's all.
John: You are phenomenally perceptive. That’s not all, but it’s enough for now.
Kenny from Jacksonville:
People seem to hate the signing of Toby Gerhart, but I love the guy and what he brings to the Jaguars. What do you think?
John: I think my eyebrows raised at first glance, too. Then I glanced again and thought about it. You’re getting a guy who has been very, very productive in limited opportunities and you’re also getting a guy whose body hasn’t taken much punishment. You’re also getting a guy with enough experience that he may not have the learning curve many rookie NFL running backs experience, a learning curve you’d have to live with if you drafted a running back. You’re also getting a guy who seems to be a smart guy – he’s the one who went to Stanford; not me – so it stands to reason he can pick up offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch’s offense quickly. That second glance made me see a guy who might be a pretty good signing.
Benjamin from Jacksonville:
Obviously, you can't address every position group in a single offseason, but would you say Caldwell built a young secondary last year without adding much to the pass rush as a sort of "trial by fire" for the young group? Having passed the test last year, it looks like those young guys are going to have some help up front this year. Do you see that as being part of the plan or am I reading too much into it?
John: You’re probably reading too much into it. Caldwell addressed the secondary last offseason because it can take longer for players to mature and begin playing together in the secondary than other positions. There was a feeling of, ‘Let’s start here, because this could take a while.’ He certainly didn’t say, “Hey, let’s roll with a weaker pass rush to test these guys.” That would have been just, plain mean.
JJ from Jacksonville:
Any chance that one day we could see Soggy Hood on the Pride of the Jaguars next to Boselli, Brunell and Freddy T?
John: I’d be stunned if this doesn’t get serious consideration someday. Absolutely stunned
Sandro from El Paso, TX:
With the recent players added to our D-line and re-signing of Jason Babin, does it seem more likely for the Jaguars to trade down in the draft even if Clowney is still there at No. 3?
John: The events of this week won’t influence the Jaguars at No. 3. They can still take quarterback, defensive end or receiver – whatever player they think is best.
Benjamin from Jacksonville:
I get the impression the coaching staff isn't really looking at Mike Brewster as a potential starter at center. How does a guy like Brewster start every game for four years at center for Ohio State, go undrafted, then get pushed aside when an opportunity opens up to start at his natural position? I just haven't heard anything at all and I'm having a hard time figuring it out.
John: Being a college starter doesn’t mean automatic entry into a starting position in the NFL. Brewster will have a chance to compete on the interior of the line next season. Centers often develop three or four years into their careers, and perhaps that will happen with Brewster. He still needs to improve to become a starter in the NFL. That’s not a knock. It’s true of a lot of young players and a lot of young players do just that.
Chris from Columbus, GA:
Could the Jags' organization hire Aloe Blacc to walk behind David Caldwell and sing "The Man" for an entire day?
John: Well, maybe you can just go ahead and tell everybody.

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