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O-Zone: Tuning out the noise

Posted Oct 3, 2013

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it . . .

Nathan from Portland, OR:
Yesssss!!! Blow this team apart! I love this move by David Caldwell to trade Eugene Monroe. Multiple picks for a guy who we all know wasn't going to be here next year, anyway. Now, if we can somehow get something for Mojo we will be in business.
John: There are some fans who see it this way. And yes, the trade of Eugene Monroe on Tuesday was very much about trying to build for the future. David Caldwell has said since he was hired that he planned to build through the draft and to do that, what do you need? Draft selections. I would caution against thinking the Jaguars are going to get too much for Jones-Drew – if anything. He’s coming off foot surgery, and while the line has not played well in front of him, he has averaged 2.4 yards per carry. That’s a tough trade for another team to make.
B’Bub J from Riverside:
Good column, John. Can we please do away with the #moodachay and J.P. Shadrick garbage, though? It's pretty distracting and not at all professional. Remember, opposing teams’ fans come here and we don’t need to look like a bunch of hayseeds.
John: I’ll give this some serious consideration, B’Bub J.
Manuel from Jacksonville:
Jogging in Speedo attire, chest up, wide smile, and waving at babes along the Beach. #shadricksightings
John: Heh-heh.
Mark from Middletown, CT:
Do you think we received enough value for Eugene Monroe with a fourth- and fifth-round pick? Would have liked to see at least a third.
John: The Jaguars would have liked that, too. They would like to have gotten a first. Shoot, they would have liked to have gotten two firsts. They got what the market bore. Eugene Monroe had 12 games left on his Jaguars contract. He wasn’t coming back. They got selections for him. In the long term, that’s more than they would have received had he played out his contract.
Gavin from Jacksonville:
"The Jaguars are committed to trying to give him some level of stability and solid play around him to better determine just what he might become."- You don't create stability trading the best player on an already bad offensive line. To me this is a sign the Jags are done evaluating Blaine.
John: One has nothing to do with the other. I understand that people are making the connection, and I understand the logic – to a degree. But Blaine Gabbert is probably going to get most of the rest of the season to show he can be the franchise’s quarterback. That’s true whatever moves the team makes.
Joe from Fleming Island, FL:
John, do you think next years starting center is currently on the roster?
John: I doubt it, because I doubt Brad Meester plays another year. Mike Brewster could conceivably be a starter, but he needs to develop.
Greg from Mims, FL:
Ok, Mr. O - the offensive line is an area of concern for the team. How do you spin the trade of Eugene Monroe to Baltimore? Wait til next season?
John: There’s really no “spin” involved. The Eugene Monroe trade is fairly self-explanatory. The Jaguars didn’t believe they were going to be willing to pay Monroe what he was going to seek on the open market. They had a choice between letting him get to free agency, and receiving one compensatory draft selection in 2015 or receiving two selections from the Ravens. They chose the latter. Does it weaken them for 12 games? Perhaps, though there is a feeling around the team that you might not see a huge drop off in overall play in his absence. Does it strengthen them for the future? That depends on how they use the selections.
Fred from Heaviside, FL:
Are you telling me that the BEST we could get for arguably the team's BEST player is a couple of middle-round draft picks? Looks like the Wizard of OZ schooled the young Caldwell quite well.
John: No, it does not. The Ravens get Monroe guaranteed for 12 games, then must renegotiate with an unrestricted free agent. It would have been very difficult to get premium selections for any player in that situation.
Princefigs from Jacksonville:
So, Richardson (a mid-tier talent running back) is worth a first-round pick....but Monroe (a top 10 LT) is worth two mid-round picks.....All faith in Caldwell is gone now. I am not sure I can be a fan anymore.
John: Trent Richardson had nearly three seasons remaining on his contract at the time of the trade. Monroe had 12 games. Therein is the difference. It may or may not seem like a dramatic difference to you. Within league circles, it very much is.
Austin from Atlanta, GA:
With Monroe gone from the left, Luke will move to that spot. With little to no depth as it was, what will our front five look like?
John: Luke Joeckel at left tackle, Will Rackley at left guard, Brad Meester at center, Uche Nwaneri at right guard and Austin Pasztor at right tackle.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
How come they don't let you break stories (like the Monroe trade) on Jaguars.com first? Several times I have heard or read about a Jaguar-related deal or injury elsewhere, visited this site for confirmation, only to find no mention of it until many hours later. I figured you'd get all the scoops O-man. what gives?
John: Team policy long has been to not officially report a trade such as that involving Monroe until the deal is official. There are also other cases that arise where policy prevents us from reporting on a story until it is official. It’s not always ideal from a content standpoint, and it’s sometimes confusing to readers. We follow policy.
Matt from American Fork, UT:
A quarterback in the NFL has to be able to trust that his receivers are going to fight and catch the ball. That little devil in the back of Gabbert's mind is telling him that every pass has to be perfect. When I was a pitcher in Little League there was one solitary girl that played on another team. I tried so hard not to hit her with a pitch, that I hit her with a pitch...twice.
John: Way to go.
Jeff from San Diego, CA:
There is a consistent downward spiral with Gabbert I've noticed. He usually starts out games pretty well. He's more accurate, hangs around in the pocket and delivers some pretty good passes. However, it seems the first sign of trouble he loses all that confidence. A few drop passes or a few heavy pass rushes and he just loses whatever confidence he had and starts playing worse and worse as the game progresses.
John: That indeed has been an issue for Gabbert. Like many of the topics that get discussed when discussing Gabbert, it doesn’t trace entirely to him. The performance of the entire team often dropped rapidly after the first quarter last season whoever was the quarterback. The team’s struggles this season have been pretty much throughout the games, but overall the trend you notice with Gabbert indeed is something you’d like to see change.
Keith from Palatka, FL:
Do the current Jaguars realize that with Dave Caldwell and Gus Bradley in full rebuild mode that they are auditioning for next year's roster and are putting lots of film together to either stay or go?
John: Yes, players are always aware that they are auditioning for their current roster or some other team at all times. Therefore, players are always conscious of what they put in video. If they aren’t, they should be.
Jerry from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
It appears that the tight formation with narrow line splits is playing right into the strength of the defense. Do you expect with Blackmon back and some of the other receivers getting healthy the offense will spread things out?
John: I don’t think the health of the other receivers is a big factor, because the other receivers aren’t respected enough yet around the league to change how defenses play the Jaguars. I do think that Blackmon being back will force teams to play him and therefore not over-defend Shorts as much. And I do think that overall will help the Jaguars’ offense.
Leon from Virginia Beach, VA:
When a punt returner lets the ball go and the kicking team huddles around the ball and the ball stops why touch it? Is there anything bad that can happen by just letting the ref blow it dead?
John: There are a couple of things. One is that the punt returner can run through the crowd of players, pick up the ball and return it. It’s rare, but it happens. Another is that the ball can actually roll back in the opposite direction. It’s rare, but because of the shape of the ball it can happen. When it does, it’s usually doesn’t roll far, but that’s why you down the ball.
Aaron from Fairfax, VA:
Whenever Boselli says "Listen...." my mind tunes out. Ever had that happen to you?
John: What?

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