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O-Zone: A matter of trust

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it . . . Tim from Jacksonville:
Is Johnny Manziel really a first-round talent or is the intrigue driving up his stock in the public arena more than amongst scouting departments? I am curious how he will turn out as a pro, but I can't help but draw comparisons to another great college quarterback whose pro career was short-lived.
John: This is a legitimate question, and you make a legitimate point. Manziel right now is generally considered a Top 10 talent, and it's difficult to untangle the web of reasons that make that the case. Would he be a first-round talent simply on his physical quarterbacking abilities? Perhaps. Would he be a Top 10 talent based on those? More likely it's the combination of his abilities and his "Johnny Football" Magic that make him a Top 5 consideration. That leads to the question, "Will his Johnny Football Magic translate to the NFL?" That's a question that won't be answered until he gets to the NFL, which is what makes him such a tantalizingly dangerous and exciting pick. If it does translate, then he's magic. If it doesn't, then he's average. Magic is worth selecting in the Top 5. Average is not.
Brad from Tallahassee, FL:
I'm about the same age as you … who were your favorite 80s bands … songs … super models?
John: The 80s was a long, strange decade – about 10 years long, as best I recall. It began for me on the mean streets of Arlington with Charlie Daniels and '38 Special. I moved into a Billy Squier phase, then screamed into my punk days of the Ramones, Elvis Costello, Clash and the Sex Pistols. I moved into a hardcore punk stage where I offended those around me by listening to a variety of bands whose names aren't fit for public consumption. By the mid-1980s, I was feeling very "new wave" and rocking an out-of-day Flock-of-Seagulls haircut, vibing to R.E.M., Lloyd Cole and the Commotions and the Housemartins and obnoxiously looking down on everyone who didn't share my oh-so-cool and detached outlook on culture and life. This attitude thankfully vanished upon the realization that I actually would have to work for a living. As for supermodels, Christie Brinkley, Kathy Ireland and Paulina Porizkova. Who else? It was the eighties, baby.
Kris from Copenhagen:
Now we have been hearing a lot about the draft, especially concerning quarterback and defensive end. To change it up a bit, is there a complete shutdown corner in this draft? If so who?
John: Almost certainly not. While there are good corners, true shutdown corners are rare and usually come along once a decade – if at all.
Spencer from Satellite Beach, FL:
Khalil Mack is by far the best fit for the Leo position. The question then is, is he worth #3 overall?
John: My, that is a good question.
Carlos from Mexico City, Mexico:
Let's kill some time, O-Man. How about some picks for Championship Sunday? Who do you like and why?
John: Seattle over San Francisco. Denver over New England. It's very tough to win in Seattle or Denver, and Seattle has been the best team in the NFC pretty much all year. It feels like the Seahawks'year. As for the Denver pick, it's a toss-up, so go with the home team.
Pwil from Pooler, GA:
When will the NFL announce how many compensatory draft picks each team will receive? Feel free to make an educated guess on how many the Jags will tally. Pwil says three making a baker's dozen picks!
John: Compensatory selections are usually announced at the NFL Owners Meetings in March. It probably won't be as many as a lot of Jaguars fans are hoping. I'd guess the Jaguars get one, maybe two. They lost Terrance Knighton and Derek Cox, but while Knighton has played well, he wasn't a big enough contract to guarantee a compensatory selection by himself. The loss of Daryl Smith and Rashean Mathis won't count for the Jaguars because they happened after June 1, and losses such as Rashad Jennings probably won't help the Jaguars as much as you might think.
Joe from Orange Park, FL:
Johnathan Cyprien seems like he'll be a good player for a number of years here, but I have heard a lot less talk about rookie cornerback Dwayne Gratz. How do you think he fared this year? I saw a corner who occasionally shut down receivers, and occasionally got burned. A lot of promise, in my humble and meaningless opinion.
John: Your opinion, while accurately described, also happens to be correct. Gratz indeed occasionally shut down receivers and he occasionally got burned. That's basically what you expect from a rookie cornerback. Gratz also missed six games, so the body of work isn't as extensive as you might like. The Jaguars like Gratzand feel he's going to be a key part of a good, young secondary.
Billy from Orange Park, FL:
John, why is it so important for the center/quarterback to point out the "Mike?" Doesn't everyone on both sides of the ball know where to look for and find the "Mike"? It all seems so silly!
John: A lot about football is silly. A lot of what Peyton Manning does at the line of scrimmage is silly, but a lot of it's real, too. The quarterback and the center point out the Mike because that often is the blocking responsibility for the center. That allows the players around the center to know their blocking assignments. As I believe I remember my friend Mike Gordon once saying,"It all starts with the Mike."
Tudor from St. Augustine, FL:
You're being sarcastic right? You would really give up the third overall for Romo??!! Ridiculous.
John: OK.
Brent from Valdosta, GA:
If you could be reincarnated what animal would you be and why?
John: A cute puppy. Because I'm all about spreading joy.
Sean from Fleming Island, FL:
Is Luke expected to be ready to participate in OTAs?
John: Yes, right now Luke Joeckel is expected to participate in organized team activities.
Seth from Omaha, NE:
How do you pick what questions you answer? You never pick mine and they're good, albeit long. Yet you answer a question about Mel Tucker that could have been easily looked up on Google. And that's not even the stupidest one you've answered!
John: Self-confidence is a good thing. If your opinion of yourself matches your opinion of your questions, you're probably in line for a very happy life.
Joe from Orange Park, FL:
I like Manziel's game. He reminds me of a smaller RG3 with (much) better leadership skills and confidence, and I think his play will transition well to the NFL. My biggest concern regarding Manziel is the media firestorm that will accompany him. I'm not sure it would be great for the team to be constantly put under a microscope. The Jags would go from the basement of league popularity to near the top overnight, and I just prefer to be a sleeping giant. Thoughts?
John: I wouldn't sweat this. If Manziel is a special player, if he is that Franchise Guy, then all of your other concerns would seem pretty incidental. If he's not, then the team will have bigger problems than too much unwanted attention.
Michael from Las Vegas, NV:
Hey O-Zone, I noticed recently there have been a lot of one's not fer the new helmets, and I just want to say u can count me as a one fer the helmets. I think they are bold, unique and forward thinking! #StandUnited
John: One fer creative thinkin'!
Jason from Navarre, FL, and section 204:
Ozone, What's with all the helmet talk? I love the new uniforms AND the new helmets! #StandUnited
John: Hey! Two fer creative thinkin'!
Jimi from Bondi Beach, Australia:
O-Man, What are your thoughts about Seattle banning California from ticket sales for this weekend? Shows a lack of class and fair play wouldn't you agree? And why would a team in the future not ban Washington from sales for playoff games?
John: A lack of class? Nah. The Seahawks just want to keep 49ers fans from buying tickets. They're a privately-owned enterprise, so they can do what they want in that regard. Actually, I think it's a pretty funny, entertaining story and that's what the NFL and sports are about. In reference to your last question, yes, I would think San Francisco at some point will respond in kind? And you know what? From such "controversies" do the best rivalries spring.
Dennis from West Memphis, AR:
John, what are the chances Mr. Caldwell would take McCarron? He plays solid ball, and doesn't make mistakes with the football. I would vastly prefer him over Manziel.
John: I certainly wouldn't discount this as a possibility.
Reek from Duval:
Do you think Uche can be one of the guys on the roster who can play center if Caldwell doesn't want a rookie center with a rookie quarterback.
John: He "can" play center, but I don't see that as the way the Jaguars will address that issue.
Tommy from Jacksonville Beach:
John: I read in an article that the Jaguars are in the top five of most trusted organizations. Do you know what exactly they may be referring to? Also, what do you think this means to players?
John: I don't know exactly what "Top 5 Most Trusted Organizations" means, but certainly the Jaguars are a trustwor … wait, was that article written before or after the team hired J.P. Shadrick?

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