No channelling

Let's get to it . . . Steve from Nashville, TN:
I remember in '98 we sent both Mike Hollis and punter Bryan Barker to the Pro Bowl. It would be nice to have the opportunity to do that again.
John: It's possible with Josh Scobee and Bryan Anger. Scobee has yet to sign his franchise tender, but I expect him to be with the Jaguars for the foreseeable future, and obviously he has a chance to be in the Pro Bowl conversation most seasons. Anger must perform on the field, but indications are he has Pro Bowl talent. I don't know if they'll ever make the Pro Bowl together, but it does appear the Jaguars have a chance to have one of the NFL's best kicking tandems, and that's more important.
Armand from Jacksonville:
Has Gabbert been throwing to any of the Jags' receivers during the off season?
John: He has since the Jaguars' off-season program began in April.
Brandon from Chicago, IL:
Do you think signing Justin Blackmon will be a problem? Also what do you think his contract will look like?
John: I don't think it will be a problem, and I think it will look like a little more than the No. 6 selection and a little less than the No. 4 selection. I think it also will look like a touch more than the $18.5 million cornerback Patrick Peterson received from Arizona last year. Rookie contracts are slotted in the rookie salary system under the new CBA, so there's not a lot of uncertainty – or a lot of reason to hold out.
Ron from Asheville, NC:
When comparing Blackmon to another player, Anquan Boldin most often comes up. Boldin came into the NFL in 2003, and caught over 100 passes with close to 1,400 yards receiving. That was on a 2003 Cardinals roster that had Jeff Blake starting at quarterback and a receiver opposite Boldin that most people would not recognize. I don't expect Blackmon to reach that production in his rookie year. I just want to know what has changed to make it so difficult for receivers to make that sort of impact right away? Jerry Sullivan was the receivers coach, by the way.
John: Not much has changed since 2003, to be honest. If anything, teams throw a little more now than in 2003. What Boldin did was very unusual and difficult to do. If Blackmon can do it, it's terrific for the Jaguars. I'll continue to say I'd be surprised if he has quite that sort of statistical season, but we'll see.
Brian from Mandarin, FL:
How is Vince Manuwai? Any chance he is healthy enough to try again? When he was healthy he was very good.
John: Vince Manuwai is with the Atlanta Falcons.
Mark from St. Augustine, FL:
Who's your favorite rookie so far, among all the workout invitees, drafted players and UDFAs who have been signed?
John: I don't know that I have a favorite, although I will say I was very impressed talking to wide receiver Kevin Elliott Sunday afternoon. I'll be writing about him for jaguars.com in the coming days, and I'm looking forward to passing along his story.
Ken from Summerville, FL:
As a counterpoint to James from Charlottesville, how many rings do Tarkenton, Fouts, Marino and Kelly have? ZERO. All HOF quarterbacks. Football more than any other is a team sport. I get tired of hearing about a players greatness being defined by the RING. Your thoughts?
John: I get tired of it, too. I was just answering a question.
Sean from San Bernardino, CA:
Are we going to be getting weekend O-Zones for every week we avoid blackouts like last year?
John: I haven't decided yet. I'm thinking about going through August to make it a year, then taking a year off, starting it up again the following year and just sort of going with that as the pattern.
Paul from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I hope Anger understands the faction of the fan base unhappy with his selection doesn't direct ill feelings toward him. If you're being honest with yourself and us, it has to be admitted that based on this year's draft and the drafts that came before, drafting a punter in the third round was an Inspector Gadget go-go gadget arms reach. In the fifth round, Bryan is a potential steal and good value for his draft selection. If GM Gene really put a third-round grade on a punter than he lacks the competence to be a general manager.
John: I love emails with phrases such as, "if you're being honest, then you have to admit" that proceed to say something that I don't have to admit at all. As far as Anger's feelings toward the fan base and the criticism, he can handle it and I don't think he's particularly concerned. Having spent some time with him Saturday, I think he's as confident and well-balanced as you could imagine. He knows he's good, knows he must keep working to get better and knows there are those who criticized the selection. I'm sure he would like to be loved by the fan based and I don't doubt he will be. If he's not, I don't see it bothering him much. As far as where he was drafted and how he was graded, from what I've seen this weekend, I doubt Smith was the only general manager with a third-round grade on Anger. And I doubt he would have been available in the fifth round. I understand how hard it is to accept that a punter is worth a third-round selection, but in terms of talent, Anger has a lot of it and could be good enough to change some minds.
Henry from Jacksonville:
How would you rate Donovan Richard from South Carolina State as making the 90-man roster?
John: I think he has a good chance.
Jake from England:
I'm really excited about this year's drafted players. But I'm even more excited about how Gabbert and Blackmon are going to develop together. Just wanted to ask your opinion on whether you think it's going to be a quick and noticeable development or a slow, gradual one?
John: I'm always one to expect gradual development, especially from young players. I think Gabbert and Blackmon will be good enough this year to make the Jaguars' passing offense not only better, but to make it an element teams have to worry about while game planning during the week. I don't know what that will mean in terms of statistics, and I imagine the development will be slow enough to draw criticism at times. What I'm watching for is this: at the end of each month being able to say we noticed improvement and feel better about each player than we did at the beginning of the month. If we say that all season, it bodes well for the future.
Renee from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
The excitement about the Jags in the community is palpable. I am having engaging conversations with family, people at work and just out and about. The theme is it's going to be a fun season and the Jags are going to be good. Many are hoping for a push to win the division, I just want good football. Are you getting that vibe too?
John: Yes, people are excited, and they should be. The Jaguars have a solid coaching staff in place and they appear to be doing things right. I kind of like the vibe this off-season in the sense that there's not a fever pitch of wild-eyed predictions and post-season talk. If anything, few outside Jacksonville believe in this team or pay much attention to it. If you look closely, there's a lot to like and there are lot of reasons – real reasons – to expect improvement. Such is the real formula for improvement, not a splashy off-season filled with national notoriety.
Mike from Albany, NY:
The one question people are not asking in regard to the battle at the center position is if Brad Meester is actually battling Brewster for a roster spot. What say you?
John: I say it's one of the easiest answers I've had in a long time. No, he's not. Brewster is a rookie free agent hoping to make the roster. Meester is a starter who is closer to the end of his career than the beginning, but who is still a valued player. Brewster looks very good on paper. Let's see how he looks on the field before we have him beating out Meester.
Robert from Moorpark, CA:
There hasn't been any news of Blaine Gabbert during his first offseason. What has he been working on to improve his footwork, and accuracy?
John: He has been working with quarterbacks coach Greg Olson and offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski. He is still working and will continue to do so throughout the off-season. He's been doing what quarterbacks do to improve those things, doing drills, watching film and correcting mistakes. As opposed to last season, when he had no off-season program, he has been doing it with coaches in his ear daily. How much improvement will he make? That's a question that can't be answered until training camp, preseason – or maybe even the regular season.
Josiah from Fargo, ND:
A lot has changed since I last asked a question, but I need advice. I signed up for the Army National Guard and my basic training date is May 8. Any tips on how to handle drill sergeants?
John: I don't doubt that there might be a drill sergeant or two who read the O-Zone. Some may even find the O-Zone funny. I doubt I have any advice that would remotely help, though, and I don't know that juvenile humor is the best course for you this week. My advice: do not channel the O-Zone tomorrow.

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