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O-Zone: The big picture

Posted Jun 24, 2014

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Bo from Dresden, NC:
After seeing the fullback question, do you think teams will just utilize a high-bred tight-end to take the place of the fullback position?
John: I think teams will use the tight end position to do some of the things they have historically done with the fullback position. I think this has been going on for years, and while I don’t think it will get to the point of every team doing it, I think the practice will continue. But I don’t think breeding has anything to do with it.
Tom from Ponte Vedra Beach and Section 106:
Guy at the CWS in a Jaguars shirt. Guy at the World Cup in a Bortles Jersey. John, have we become America's, nay the World's Team?
John: Sure.
Jack from Los Angeles, CA:
Do you expect the entire draft class to make the team Week 1 (except Aaron Colvin, knee).
John: Yes, the Jaguars are still at the stage the entire rookie class can be expected to make the team – and perhaps multiple undrafted free agents. And really, I don’t know that you want to get to the point where that’s not true. You might have one or two rookies not make the team at some point down the road if you are a really, really stacked roster, but for the most part, you want rookies to make your team. If all else is equal, you keep a rookie over a fourth-year veteran because it keeps your cap clean and keeps your roster young, too.
Wallace from Jacksonville:
So, Blake tends to do a "Michael Jordan" and stick his tongue out. Wouldn't it be good for him to wear a mouthpiece anytime he's practicing throws? I'd hate to see his accuracy compromised because he can't stick his tongue out in games!
John: #Tonguegate! And after just one weekend, I sense we have our first 2014 Dead Zone theme.
Rick from Rio Rancho, NM:
Hey Big-O … During the recent on-field reports, Jeff Lageman and JT seemed to be the only guys to subscribe to the Coughlin Rule. You know that wearing shades is FROWNED UPON in this establishment..... I realize he's in New York, but his rule stands for ON-CAMERA appearances. Or should I turn to Colbert for attribution?
John: I refrained from sunglasses on air for a while and now I don’t. There’s one reason for this – namely, that I look really AWESOME in them. I realize this may lead to a certain amount of criticism and mocking cast my way, but if you’ve seen or spent any time with me, you’ll realize I got used to being the subject of criticism – nay, out-and-out scorn – long ago. And by the way: I just love that you called him, “JT.” That’s muy delicious.
John from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I recently read that Alex Trebeck was recognized by the Guinness World Records for the most game-show episodes hosted by the same presenter. Are you going to ask for a World Record for most consecutive columns? Do you know the current record? How cool would that be?
John: I was going to say that I thought Guinness only kept track of things that mattered then I reread the first part of your question.
Steve from Denver, CO:
O- Do they keep stats as to who committed the most lining-up-in-the-neutral-zone-penalties? I bet last year Babin was in the Top 10.
John: According to nflpenalties.com, Babin had four offsides penalties last season and although that website doesn’t list it, he was credited by Pro Football Reference with one neutral-zone infraction. According to nflpenalties.com, the four offsides penalties indeed tied him for fifth in the NFL. The leader was Chris Clemons with six. The lesson is one most coaches have known for a long time, that you’re going to get a few offsides penalties with elite pass rushers. One thing to note about Babin, though: he drew a lot of penalties early last season, and after Bradley and coaches addressed it with him, he reduced it dramatically. He had eight penalties before the Week 9 bye and just one afterward.
John from Cape May, NJ:
I think a very reasonable and attainable goal for the Jaguars this year is to have a winning record against our division foes. To me there's no reason that the Jags can't go 4-2 in the division, and that, along with staying competitive against everyone else, will be a successful season.
John: That’s a very admirable goal, and if you start doing that every year you are darned sure on your way to being competitive each season.
Brett from London:
I get that quarterback is the most important position, but can we interview someone besides Henne and Bortles? I like hearing from others, too.
John: My first instinct was to throw up one of these and my second was curiosity, because we just finished up four consecutive weeks of organized team/activities in which Brian Sexton, J.P. Shadrick and myself peppered the website with editorials, spotlights and features on players of all positions. Then, I realized you’re probably referring to the open locker-room videos, which are indeed very quarterback-centric. Those will probably stay that way, I believe. When people ask about not making the O-Zone “all-football, all-the time,” I explain that the entire website is about football and that there’s nothing wrong with veering off on some tangents now and again. The same sort of applies to the open-locker room segments. There’s a lot of varied content – and a lot of interviews with a lot of players – on jaguars.com. If you’re not finding what you’re looking for in one vehicle there’s a good chance it’s somewhere else or will be relatively soon.
Sam from Orlando, FL:
Favorite Seinfeld moment? " Jerry, it's Frank Costanza, George is dead. Steinbrenner is here. Call me back.
John: “Do you ever yearn?”
Dude from Jacksonville:
So Bortles can be like Air Jordan and stick his tongue out when he throws a touchdown!
John: And the beat goes on. Look, Bortles is hardly the first athlete – or even the first athlete since Jordan – to stick his tongue out when he plays. I used to stick my tongue out when working on a project, and I distinctly remember my father mentioning it when I was making a homemade serape in the third grade at St. Andrews when we were studying Indians. I didn’t bite off my tongue when coloring the serape, Jordan didn’t bit his off when beating the Jazz and I’m sure Bortles will be fine, too.
Keith from Jacksonville and Section 436:
Maybe G didn't like Mattel Electronic Football? Maybe she saw you play it and didn't want to become a football widow at the ripe old age of 12.
John: Yes, yes … let’s go with that.
Dane from Jacksonville:
I believe the plural of Leo is "Lea." Or is it "Leon?" I can't remember... Never mind I need a nap.
John: ‘Night.
Jared from Pensacola, FL:
John, with the wide receivers that looked good because of injuries, how many do you think we will keep and who do you think they will be?
John: I’m not sure who you think looked good, so I’ll just tell you the wide receivers I project to make the team: Cecil Shorts III, Marqise Lee, Allen Robinson, Ace Sanders, Mike Brown and Tandon Doss.
James from Atlantic Beach, FL:
I don't know why people are having problems understanding the release of Jason Babin. When compared side-by-side with the new kids in training camp, it became a simple matter of younger, faster and cheaper. It's an edge game, and young guys have the edge.
John: I actually haven’t sensed a tremendous amount of confusion on this issue. Maybe I just missed it but I think people get it.
Caitlin from Jacksonville:
With all the new receivers and with multiple running backs, who do you see as the Punt Returner/Kick Returner? I personally think it should be Jordan Todman or Ace Sanders. Thoughts?
John: You probably won’t see one player handling both roles. More likely you’ll see Ace Sanders or Tandon Doss handling the punt return role, with the kick return role a lot more wide open. Todman handled it well last year, and that ability will make him hard to release. I’ll pick Sanders and Todman for now, with the idea that both players will have to earn those roles in training camp – and with the idea that both players should be motivated to earn those roles. Being able to return kicks would go a long way toward ensuring that Sanders and/or Todman will be on the 53-man roster.
Calen from Port Orange, FL:
We had a great visit with the Jaguars in Port Orange. I especially enjoyed my visit with JP Shadrick. My wife says he looks younger in person, taller and more handsome. You see him in person and on TV also, what’s your opinion?
John: Opinion on what?
Jonathan from Stationed-stuck in Korea:
So then why do you do it?
John: The money.

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