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For your own good

Let's get to it . . . Mike from St. Mary's GA:
I'm confused by the Mike Thomas comments. Prior to this season, he's been the only decent receiver during his time here, and a natural at the slot position who's done an OK job on the outside when asked. Has he not been very good lately?
John: Thomas didn't have as good a season last season as he did in 2010, and he appeared to struggle at times during OTAs and minicamps. That caused some observers to wonder if he would be here this season. That doesn't seem to be an issue anymore, and I'm not sure it ever really was. He has played better in practice lately, and played very well in the preseason opener. I'm starting to think he can be very, very good this season in the third receiver role.
Dewey from Port St. Lucie, FL:
Just wanted to let you know you're awesome. Loving the videos, too. I can't get enough of them.
John: Just wanted to let you know you're very perceptive.
Bill from Westfield, MA:
I'm beginning to wonder if the idea of Blaine being scared in the pocket will mirror the Fragile Fred mantra. Fred was never really able to shake that perception even after many productive seasons.
John: That's not a bad comparison. People got the idea Taylor was fragile, and that perception indeed lingered far after he proved otherwise. I think the notion that Gabbert is scared has a chance to go away more quickly. Winning and throwing touchdowns can change the perception of a quarterback.
Randy from Jacksonville:
I saw the video of MMm getting the game ball. My question is who has a better six pack? Mathis, T.O. (who looks good with no shirt) or you.
John: There is a major difference between me and Rashean Mathis. He has a six pack he always can be very proud of. About once a week, I have a six pack I'm very fond of.
Bob from Somerset, PA:
In the modern NFL era, 1978 has been considered a year in which the game changed – probably in no small part to the Blount Rule. In your estimation, has there been any other time period since 1978 that has altered the style of play in the NFL, and if so, what change or philosophy would you attribute it to?
John: I absolutely consider 1978 to be the time the game changed, and for absolutely the reason you cite. The rules were changed to encourage passing, and the results were immediate and dramatic. I tend to think of the three-plus decades since '78 as pretty much a steady evolution from that time. I don't know that there has been a particular season or rule change that has had the impact of the '78 changes, but there obviously has been a general trend toward making the league more pass-friendly. Probably the most obvious watershed moment since 1978 was 1993, when free agency and the salary cap came into being. I don't have anything scientific to back it up, but I've always felt that since free agency, the franchise quarterback has become even more important. You get that guy in place and keep him healthy and your organization can withstand years of changes and still have a chance to be competitive. It's always been that way, but maybe a little more in the last 20 years.
Kelly from Greensburg, IN:
Hey Mr. O, I was wondering if people can buy stock in the Jaguars. If so, then where can one find info on how to buy stock?
John: There is one share of stock for the Jaguars. Shad Khan bought it for $760 million. On a serious note, I believe the only publicly held teams in the four "major" sports are the Boston Celtics and Green Bay Packers.
Parks from Port Orange, FL and Section 412:
I wonder what Johnny Cash would have said to Keith referring to him as a "diminutive form".
John: Oh, I don't know. Probably, something like, "There's something in a Sunday that makes a body feel alone." Then, we all would have gone, "Wow," and realized why he was who he was.
Paul from Jacksonville:
What is the progress of Pendleton? I was really excited to hear that we picked a guy up like him in the seventh round and loved his background. Does he have a chance to make the team and contribute this year? Do you see any flashes of greatness in practice yet?
John: Jeris Pendleton has played well and is one reason the Jaguars are very, very deep at defensive tackle. Yes, he has a chance to make the team as a run-stuffing presence on the interior. He shows flashes of real quickness and is uncommonly strong for a rookie. That strength is probably because he's 28. He assumedly is pretty close to his maximum size and strength and the way he plays reflects that.
Justin from Section 122:
If Bradfield ends up being the starter at right tackle and Britton stays at guard, could Rackley get a look at center? Not as the starter this season, but as a possible replacement for when Meester hangs it up? If I remember correctly, he played some center in college and we all know he's a very talented young lineman. I think he's a player to a similar vein to Britton - you want to find a way to get him on the field.
John: As you say, Rackley certainly wouldn't start at center this season. Meester is the starter. But considering the injury to John Estes, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if Rackley got work at center this season. The team currently is working Mike Brewster and Drew Nowak at center some, not to mention Uche Nwaneri. I'm guessing Nwaneri will move there in a pinch at first, but Rackley seems like a logical choice to work at backup center, too.
Manuel from Jacksonville and Section 215:
Excuse my ignorance of football, but why don't NFL teams don't use the same player as both punt returner and kick returner? What are the difference(s) between each position?
John: There are those who do both. Devin Hester and Brian Mitchell come to mind. But in fact, the ideal skills are different for the two roles. Generally speaking, kickoff return requires more straight-ahead speed and a willingness to charge fearlessly into a wall of speeding violent defenders. Punt return is more about making a coverage guy or two miss, then having the quickness to take advantage of a hole.
John from Jacksonville:
I do not think Gabbert chucked and ducked because it was a preseason game. I think he is scared to get hit and he would have chucked and ducked if he was playing in the Super Bowl.
John: I think Eli Manning did the exact same thing in the same game Friday. I think he did it more than once and I think no one cared because he has won two Super Bowls. In fact, I don't think it. I know it. And yes, I think either player would have done it in the Super Bowl. Quarterbacks throw and protect themselves. All quarterbacks.
Trevor from Jacksonville:
I don't have a question, but merely a comment. Curtis Martin during his Hall of Fame speech said he asked his coach (Bill Parcells) if he could come out the game to get his wind back. Parcells reply was, "You never want to come out of the huddle, because you never know who's coming in the huddle." Just a little food for thought for MJD.
John: Bill Parcells knows a lot about football.
Andrew from Tampa, FL:
If there was an NFL official Oehser jersey, I would buy it in a heartbeat. We have the best team site in the league and maybe all of sports. Great job, John, and the rest of the team. I cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate yall's work here in Tampa.
John: If there was an official Oehser jersey, my theory that the NFL makes very few poor marketing decisions would have to be rethought.
Joe from Jeanerette, LA:
Will Maurice Jones-Drew get signed before the regular season begins?
John: The Jaguars signed Maurice Jones-Drew three years ago.
Chris from Jacksonville:
I was impressed with Aaron Morgan during the first preseason game. Is he considered an outside linebacker or DE? This might be a dumb question, but the reason I ask is because he was wearing the number 58.
John: There are no such things as dumb questions, only dumb answers from dumber senior writers. Morgan is indeed a defensive end, and I have been guilty of not mentioning him enough here in the O-Zone. You're right that he has been impressive, and he appears to have a chance to add a pass-rushing element during the regular season.
Andre from Windsor:
I read the power rankings today and it . . .
John: I hate to be rude, but I had to cut you off there. It's for your own good.

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