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O-Zone: Absolute reality

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it . . . Steve from Nashville, TN:
How does the coach feel about the Seahawks' victory?
John: Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley was pleased with and proud of the Seahawks' victory, which makes sense because he had close relationships with many of those players for three or four seasons. Many Jaguars fans have been excited about the Seahawks' victory, believing the Jaguars are following that model. How much that will be the case remains to be seen, and it's important to temper that enthusiasm; teams can rarely mimic another's process. But Bradley's happiness is on a more personal level, and as a coach, how couldn't he be happy with his former players' success?
Esko from Finland:
Forget those big ugly men you're constantly talking about and tell us something that really matters: Is Whitney going to be a Jags' cheerleader in '14 season, too?
John: I have no idea what you're talking about.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
Looking at the 2014 away schedule, with only one game west of the Mississippi and of course, London, the wear and tear on the team will be a lot less than 2013?
John: The wear and tear should be a bit less next season. The team won't have to stay a week in Fremont, Cal., between road games, so that should give the '14 season a slightly more normal feel. But in terms of wear and tear, you can't discount the London game. Even with the game coming just before a bye, it's a long trip that is just plain different from a normal road game.
Darrell from DWTD and Section 204:
Had a blast at the fan forum Thursday; got to meet and get pics with Dave, Gus and, most importantly, you. Really class job by the team. Thank you. The multimedia PowerPoint delivery seemed like something he would do with the players, too. As far as you've seen and heard on the inside, would that presentation we saw (the energy, the anecdotes, the slides, etc.) also be how he usually brings his message to team meetings?
John: Yes. Bradley's a big PowerPoint Guy, and he uses the format to communicate with the team.
Brian from Mandarin, FL:
I just wanted to start the draft talk with kudos to Cameron Bradfield and Austin Pasztor. Both exceeded expectations by far. Undrafted FA kudos to Gene Smith and David Caldwell. Thanky.
John: You have to have players develop who you didn't obtain in first-tier free agency or early in the draft. Pasztor certainly fits the profile, because he's projected to be the Jaguars' starting right tackle next season, and Bradfield appears to have the ability to be at minimum a solid NFL backup tackle. So, yeah, kudos on those two.
Marcus from NYC via Jacksonville:
Austin Pasztor is an exclusive rights free agent. So I know the Jags can keep him around fairly inexpensively. Should we expect to see that done in the next few weeks? Will they pay him as little as possible or according to his performance?
John: An ERFA is not technically under contract, but he also is not allowed to negotiate with another team. In fact, an ERFA is so far from a free agent that they are rarely discussed as such. His team can make an offer at the minimum salary and he must sign or not play the following season. I'd guess that Pasztor will sign in the next few weeks.
George from Savannah, GA:
Appreciate the Fan Forum by the Jags and their staff for allowing those of us out of town to keep in touch with current events. Great job!
John: Thanks. I deserve a lot of credit, but I got a lot of help.
Joe from Jacksonville:
The fan forum was great. Man, can Gus take over a room or what! Now, Dave said he would entertain moving back for picks, give us an idea of what someone might offer and can the offer be for say two years down the road?
John: It's impossible to answer your question because what people would offer would depend on where they are in the draft. It's a dramatically more expensive proposition to move up from say, No. 20, to No. 3 than it is to move up from No. 4 to No. 3. The former might cost a team a future first-round selection or even two whereas moving up one notch might earn no more than a third or fourth-round selection during the current season.
Phillip from Brunswick, MD:
With MJD being allowed to test the market, could the Jaguars being looking to do a little shopping of their own?
John: They undoubtedly will be doing some shopping at some position in free agency. I highly doubt if they are in the market for a free-agent running back – unless it's Jones-Drew himself.
Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
There is no reason to keep dragging Blaine around as a total bust. He is smart, works hard, and has extreme arm skills. He can get better and all is not a lost cause. All the coaches, scouts, players, and people who work with never say bad things about him. Maybe a fresh start would help. I hope the team keeps him though! He has so much talent to let walk.
John: Hey! How about that? One fer Blaine!
Andy from St. Augustine, FL:
Can we puh-lease stop with all of the comments about the fact that we passed on Russell Wilson and took a punter instead? While taking a punter in the third round is a very debatable selection, it's not as if Wilson was a can't-miss prospect. EVERY NFL TEAM passed on him and selected someone else - not just once but twice and in some cases three times. The draft is not an exact science - you can redo it every year and say we should have taken this guy or that guy (I'm partial to that guy myself). No matter where he was selected, Bryon Anger is on the team and is a Jaguar - let it go people!
John: Well, it's "Bryan," but aside from that, "Yes!"
John from Elizabeth City, NC:
I keep hearing parity is the NFL's goal, and while there is far more of it than other major sports, I can't think where the parity really is? The playoff teams are typically the same year in and year out. Occasionally you get a team that sneaks in there but they all have a very good quarterbacks and there are only about ten teams with said quarterbacks.
John: I'm not one who sees all that much parity in the NFL, either. You have a lot of years when teams reel off eight or nine victories in succession, and when that happens, it's not parity. When the power teams such as Denver and Seattle played the weaker teams this past season, it was tough to imagine the weaker teams winning – especially if the weaker team lacked a franchise quarterback. Compared to say, EPL soccer, where it's assumed that one of a handful of teams will win every year, yes, there's parity in the NFL. But in terms of every team having a realistic chance to make the playoffs or compete with the elite teams, no the NFL is not about parity. And that's OK. Parity, frankly, can be sort of boring.
Myles from York, England:
Don't get me wrong: I like the Seahawks. But there is certainly something to be said for the decorum with which previous teams and winners have conducted themselves, the Green Bay Packers being a prime example. You're in/just won the Super Bowl why attention-grab and trash-talk? Or indeed conversely, in the case of Marshawn Lynch, why refuse to do an interview? Why is he so special that he should be exempt from the normal rigmarole of being an NFL player? And at that, a player who was about to play in a Super Bowl? There is a lot to be said for the balance that previous teams have found.
John: I don't have a real heartfelt answer on this one. The Seahawks'behavior rubbed some people the wrong way, but the Seahawks have every right within league rules to act as they want. If they get outside those rules, they get fined, so that's NFL's way of dealing with it. I wish I had a better answer, but player behavior just isn't something I worry about a whole lot either way. These guys are performers on a stage and the world asks them to entertain us and hold our interest. Some guys and teams do that in different ways than others, and we can choose to watch or ignore at whatever level we like.
Kyle from Riverside:
Just remember that a guy making $5 million a year with the Seahawks is gonna make a hell of a lot more money in endorsements than a guy making $10 million with the Redskins.
John: As is the case with many bold statements of absolute nature, this one is not necessarily true.

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