Let's get to it . . .
We're closing in on a punter-free O-Zone day. When it happens, the heavens will part and children will laugh and dance in the streets. The day will come, and it will be good.
Today is not that day.
Let's get to it . . .
Dave from Jacksonville and Section 412 :
I saw the dead horse flinch, so I'll beat it some more. I get the Anger pick because I believe punting cost the Jags at least one game last year (Carolina!). I just feel Peyton Manning and Tom Brady view their kickoff team as their weapon of choice for flipping the field, not their punter. Saying this guy will have great impact in turning the field around is saying you are counting on punting a lot. Having the mindset and team to score every time makes your kicker and not your punter a friend of the defense.
John: The premise is not based in fact. Manning and Brady may view their kickoff teams as weapons of choice, but that doesn't mean their teams never punt and it doesn't mean they don't want to punt well when it's time to do it. You strengthen your team where you can when you can. The Colts were a very good offensive team in 2008 and drafted Pat McAfee in the seventh round in 2009 for oone reason – to improve field position. The Colts started the following season 14-0 and made the Super Bowl. McAfee wasn't the main reason, but he helped because even the best teams don't score every time. It doesn't matter how you see yourself. You're still going to punt. Sometimes, punts will come in important situations. To believe otherwise is to be arrogant in the face of reality, and that's stupid.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
Bryan Anger punts the ball so high his hang time racks up frequent flyer miles. Bryan Anger can field his own punts. A player once tried to block one of Bryan Anger's punts and ended up with a broken arm. Bryan Anger attends anger management classes just to tell people he can't be stopped. Bryan Anger hates domed stadiums simply because he thinks they question his power.
John: I wasn't lying in the lead in. We're very close to an Anger-free day in the O-Zone. I didn't want to start that before posting this.
Harvey from Austin, TX:
Just watched the NFL Films Jaguars 1999 season. Put a tear to my eye. I'd do anything for our team to be that good again.
Joe from Aurora, IL:
Newsflash to Stuart - if Chuck Bednarik and Truth or Daryl Smith got into it, Chucky would wake up in a garbage can, upside down floating down the St. Johns. Ever hear of Darwin's theory of Natural Selection? The football players of tomorrow will always be better than the football players of today and yesterday.
John: Newsflash to Joe from Aurora. In many cases that's true. In some cases, it's not. To paraphrase Swayze from Dirty Dancing, no one puts Concrete Charlie in a garbage can.
Robert from the Westside:
I'm having trouble figuring out why the Jags cut a pair of priority free agent receivers (Rosario, Boykin) for a couple non-priority guys (Brown, Forcier) who don't even play the position. Especially since the first two had strong careers at D-I schools and the latter two were all over the map – based on what, a couple days of chaos in shirts and shorts?
John: The Jaguars thought Brown and Forcier were better. There was a lot of buzz among observers about Rosario and Boykin, partly because they went to big schools. I can tell you that when I talked to Jaguars scouts about names to watch on the free agent list those two weren't among those mentioned. When teams sign free agent rookies, the ones they get excited about are ones with a strong measurable – usually speed – that makes them think an otherwise "undraftable" player can develop. Usually, receivers you've heard of in college – i.e., productive, big-school receivers – who go undrafted do so for a reason. The cases of those players going on to productive careers are relatively rare. Remember the mantra: strong careers in college do not necessarily mean strong careers in the NFL – even if we're more familiar with the school name.
Mark from Jacksonville:
I just saw the Jags waived wide receiver Jarett Dillard. From my understanding, Gene and former coach Jack Del Rio were nothing but positive about his potential and role on the team. So why would we sign rookie wide receivers and not keep one we drafted who has great potential?
John: At some point, it becomes time to move on.
Andrew from St. Augustine, FL:
If Kampman and Chick do not recover from injury well, do you foresee the Jags bringing back Matt Roth (if he is available) to insert into the DE position?
John: I do not. (See previous answer for details).
Alex from Austin, TX:
No question in here but I felt it needed to be said. The Jaguars aren't the popular team of the NFL. This is no surprise. Maybe I'm delusional but it makes me feel as if when I meet a fellow Jaguars fan, they are a REAL fan. I'm proud to be a Jaguars fan and proud that our fair-weather fans seem to be at a minimum. In some sense when I meet a Jags fan it almost feels like were part of some kind of brotherhood. I Hope everyone else feels the same way.
John: It seems we have reached that point in the off-season when fan loyalty and passion are becoming subjects. That leads me to believe we may be nearing the time for weekends off, but that's not written in stone. As it happens, I've been thinking about the fan loyalty stuff in the last couple of days, and national perception to the contrary, I don't see interest or loyalty as being a big problem in Jacksonville. The hardcore fans of Jacksonville have remained loyal and have been at the stadium in recent seasons. They have done this through some tough times and have proved at least or more loyal and resilient than fans in many NFL cities. That's impressive considering the problems and the record of the team in recent seasons – and considering the economy in this area. The Jaguars need to win to have a long-term sold-out stadium and demand for tickets. That makes them similar to well more than half the NFL teams. The Jaguars haven't won consistently lately. When they do, I have no doubt sellouts won't be an issue.
Christopher from Callahan, FL:
I get tired of the statement, or sentiment, that Estes is our center of the future after Meester. They have basically the same measureables, at least as height and weight are concerned. If a three-year pro at 25 is not able to beat out a 35-year old in competition, he is not our future at center. With all due respect to Meester, who has been a good player for us, he is not a Hall of Famer. Estes is at best a stop gap, or he would have already won the job.
John: I agree with your first point in that I don't think anyone has penciled in John Estes as a 10-year starter at center. I find your second point off-base and uninformed. Just because a 25-year old has the same measurables as a 35-year old doesn't mean he should beat out the player. In fact, at a position such as center I'd give the 35-year-old an edge because of what experience and technique mean at the spot. I've actually taken more time answering this than it probably merits. Estes may nor not be a long-term player but to think that him not being able to beat out Meester is an indictment on his future is pretty silly.
Nick from Annapolis, MD:
What is the highest compensatory draft pick a team can receive? I thought it was a third, but cannot find an answer anywhere.
John: It is a third.
Mike from Section 122:
Do you think Shorts has a bright future here in Jacksonville? The Jaguars signed Robinson and Evans and drafted Blackmon. We also have a very good slot wide receiver in Mike Thomas. I heard many good things about Shorts in terms of being talented. Do you see him being the odd man out and never given a fair chance because of all the high profile wide receivers we have now?
John: Shorts will get a fair chance, and I'd expect him to be significantly better this year than last. Players often improve from Year One to Year Two and I get the idea Shorts will flourish under new receivers coach Jerry Sullivan. Shorts showed potential early in training camp last year. I don't know if that regression was coaching or being overwhelmed by the NFL or whatever, but I do know people around the Jaguars believe he still has a bright future. Sullivan is one of those people and that bodes well for Shorts.
Scott from Honolulu, HI:
Alright O-Man, it's all you now until training camp. I'm done with the national media until then. It's officially my offseason except for my daily O-Zone. No pressure though, maybe you can suggest a good book.
John: I just love books with the star of the movie on the cover. That always guarantees a good read.