Let's get to it . . .
Blake from Jacksonville:
I've heard what you said regarding the possibility of Tebow coming to the Jags, and I hope you are right. The 2012 season will be the final season of my 30/30 plan and about two weeks ago I requested another 30/30 contract for the next three years. There's very little chance I sign and return that contract if Tim Tebow somehow ends up on the Jags, because that will imply that appeasing a certain faction of the fan base, not winning, is the primary objective. All that said, I don't buy into the reports, just looking for a little confirmation.
John: I'm not buying into the reports, either. While there theoretically may be some level of draft pick – late round, perhaps – that would make sense to trade for Tebow, my sense is it's not something that will happen. Most of the reports over the weekend were presumptions, speculation and re-reporting of one unattributed, national report. I have yet to see a report from someone who covers the team that indicates the Jaguars are considering it, and I never have gotten an indication from anyone in the building that trading for Tebow is something they would want to do. Yes, I know what Shad Khan said about Tebow recently, but there is a difference between speaking in an interview forum about what you might have done in the draft two years before and making a trade in the present. Could it happen? Yes, anything could happen, but I don't get the sense it will.
Bob from Section 102:
Love your work. It dismays me to hear rumor that the Jags are positioning to trade for Tebow if Manning goes to Denver. Tell me it isn't so. This will only be a further regression for the Jags. Filling seats is one thing, and I'm not convinced that he will. Winning football is what we need.
John: Be not dismayed. My sense is you're safe.
Gil from Atlantic Beach, FL:
I want to know if you think Marcedes Lewis will be any better this year than last year. It seemed like the backup tight ends made more plays for more yards than Lewis did.
John: I do think Lewis will be better this year than last, and while we're on the subject of Lewis, let's make something clear: people around the Jaguars – i.e., the coaching staff and personnel people – aren't nearly as down on him as fans and observers. Lewis didn't have as good a year receiving last season as he did in 2010, but he remained an elite blocking tight end and the new coaching staff agrees with personnel people that Lewis is critical to the team's future on offense. A "struggling" Lewis is still better than a lot of NFL tight ends.
Michael from Prescott, AZ:
It looks like the free-agent crop of top-tier wide receivers is going to be small and highly competitive. Maybe that is what Gene was referring to when he indicated not being quite as active in free agency when compared to last year. Defensive free agents were easier to pick-up last year.
John: Defensive free agents were a bit more available last year, and the Jaguars did a good job targeting players who fit needs and acting quickly once those players were available. Paul Posluszny was a perfect fit for the Jaguars and the Jaguars scouted him well, signing him quickly when there were some around the league – his former team included – questioning whether he was worth what the Jaguars gave him. The Jaguars were right then, and they'll need to be right with who they target this week. Then again, needing to be right is pretty much the nature of free agency.
Karl from Richmond, VA:
I know you will never have this question on the O-Zone, but do you see the Jaguars going after a quarterback that will push Gabbert? I think Henne will be the perfect fit, and I really like him.
John: I think the Jaguars will try to improve their backup quarterback position, and wouldn't be at all surprised if something happens relatively quickly in free agency. If Gabbert plays to his potential, there won't be much pushing, but I'd expect to see a veteran backup capable of playing well for a few starts .That's about what you realistically expect from most veteran backup quarterbacks. Henne's not actually a bad thought in that area. We'll see what happens.
Justin from Jacksonville:
Hey bro, with all these good cornerbacks in free agency and in the draft, do you think we should get one even though we re-signed Rashean Mathis?
John: I do, and I think they will.
Andrew from Orange Park, FL:
How do you see this Manning saga playing out?
John: If you're asking which team, I don't know, although I think Arizona and Denver make the most sense – and Denver seems more and more like the favorite. If you're asking the set-up, I think it will be something like this: Manning goes to a team with at least one former Colts teammate and perhaps more. What I mean is I think at least Reggie Wayne and maybe Dallas Clark and/or Joseph Addai go with him. My gut is the Cardinals have a better chance than many might believe because I have to think the idea of playing with Larry Fitzgerald and Wayne is appealing, but the news this weekend that Tennessee is interested gives me pause. I can't believe Manning wouldn't give that a good listen.
Craig from Valhalla, NY:
Wow, the Redskins gave up a lot to get RGIII. I'm never one to advocate giving up so many picks, but the Redskins haven't had a possible franchise quarterback in forever, so why not? They have been so bad for so long, they might as well go for gold with this trade. What do you think about details of the trade? They gave up more than the Falcons did last year to get Julio.
John: They gave up more than the Falcons did last season and they gave up more than anyone expected. Their motivation obviously was as you say – they have been down a long time and obviously felt like this was a chance to shape the franchise for years. It is intriguing that we've had two such all-in trades in the last two seasons. If they work, you'll see more teams do it. If not, you won't see this kind of trade for a long, long time.
Mark from Jacksonville:
Just in from the Denver News sports desk: As John 'Two-Faced' Elway was giving Peyton 'Horse Face' Manning a tour of the Bronco's training facilities he spotted Tim Tebow and dutifully kicked him in the teeth. Now for a real question. If the Manning to Denver deal does not go through, what does this do to Tebow as a player for Denver this season? Knowing that the Two-Faced GM will trade you like a Chevy with a bad transmission as soon as he can find a QB that fits his mold. Sure, I'd love to see Tim as a Jag, RB, TE, Wildcat etc....
John: Anyone who has read the O-Zone will know I don't bend over backward praising Tebow. I'm not sold on him as a long-term solution at quarterback, and I would have some reservations for any team acquiring him. That said, I wouldn't have as much of a concern about what you mention as many people might. Tebow has dealt with adversity pretty well over the years, and I don't think a little more is something he can't handle.
Doug from Jacksonville:
I do not claim to be a GM like many of these fans, but for the life of me why do they always want to jump on these players who have been CUT by their teams? Not referring to Manning but the Dallas Clarks, Hines Wards and TOs of the world? They have been deemed of no trade value and released, so we are supposed to jump up and sign them. Good grief. If the "fans" were in charge we would have Tebow throwing to Owens and for good measure trying to sign Lynn Swann and Barry Sanders.
John: Fans understandably get excited about familiar names, but as is the case with any transaction, each move and each available player must be considered separately. Terrell Owens and Hines Ward are older players who seem done. Dallas Clark is entering his 10th season and I'm not sure he's as done as the other two players, but clearly a team can't go around signing every available player. That's one more area where teams have to be careful of following the wishes of the fans.
Michael from Section 122:
The NFL media and Jaguars fans feel need to address the RT position. Britton only had an infection, nothing serious and when he's on the field he's a very good OT. Do you see the Jaguars looking for a RT early in the draft?
John: I doubt it.
Matthew Doomsayer from the Desert of the Real:
NOOOOOO!!!!!! THE FATED DAY HAS ARRIVED! The O-Zone has departed from our presence. Repent, all ye who for love of the O-man wouldst beckon him to return, and blacken your faces wherefore by pity updates might return. My coffee has turned cold and bitter. My morning vigil for naught.
John: Fear not. The O-Zone didn't depart. It was just posted later than usual. We had some content management system issues early, resolved them later and posted around 4:40 in the afternoon or so. Sorry for the delay, and now we should be back to normal.
Back to normal
Let's get to it . . .
Blake from Jacksonville: