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O-Zone: All about speed

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Jack from Jacksonville :
What are the chances of us trading down in the draft, O-Man? And do you think we could go after Jordan Cameron? It doesn't look like he's going to re-sign with Cleveland and he has 229 catches in the past four years. Would be impressive if we paid him with Lewis and Harbor.
John: We've been getting variations on this question a lot since the end of the regular season, and I'm sure we'll get many more between now and the beginning of the free-agency period in March. First, I'm sure the Jaguars would listen to trade offers for the No. 3 selection, but recent history has shown us that discussing trading down often is far easier than actually doing so; there's just no way to predict it beforehand. As far as Cameron – yeah, he seems like he would make a lot of sense. I think the Jaguars will pursue a tight end in free agency and there are reports that the Browns are unlikely to re-sign Cameron. The Jaguars won't tip their hand here, so the coming eight weeks will feature a lot of speculation, but would he make sense? Sure.
Mike from Egg Harbor, NJ:
John, do you think the Jags' general manager and coach are waiting for some playoff games to be over to finalize their offensive-coordinator candidate pool? I see some very good candidates with experience; Rick Dennison, Rob Chudzinski, Greg Knapp come to mind or do you think it will be a rookie playcaller?
John: Yes, I think the Jaguars are waiting for some postseason games to be over before finalizing their offensive-coordinator candidate pool.
Daniel from Windsor, CA:
Maybe it's just me, but I'm pretty wary of trying to sign wide receivers or tight ends who played for Manning/Brady. I can't think of one that left the Colts/Broncos/Patriots and repeated their success to the same level.
John: Pierre Garcon went on to play at a pretty high level after playing with Manning, and Reggie Wayne played well for a while with Andrew Luck after Manning left the Colts … but for the most part, yeah, playing with an elite quarterback has a tendency to make players play better.
Bobby from Draper, UT:
I have seen three different schedules of who we play next year. Can you please clarify who exactly we are playing next year?
John: The Jaguars will play Houston, Indianapolis, Tennessee, Miami, Atlanta, Carolina and San Diego in Jacksonville next season and will play Houston, Indianapolis, Tennessee, New England, the Jets, New Orleans, Tampa Bay and Baltimore on the road. They will play a designated home game against the Buffalo Bills in London.
Chris from Jacksonville:
John, what determines whether a free agent is restricted or unrestricted?
John: A player comes up for restricted free agency after his third season. A player comes up for unrestricted free agency after his fourth season.
David from Oviedo, FL:
O-man, Do you think Ziggy Hood and Tyson Alualu will be on the 53-man roster in 2015?
John: I would have been stunned if Ziggy Hood weren't on next year's roster before Sen'Derrick Marks' injury at the end of the season; now I would be absolutely-floored-take-me-out-and-spray-me-with-a-hose surprised if Hood isn't here next season. I believe there's a good chance Alualu will return but there isn't a hose involved. I've gotten questions about each player since the end of the season, and I suppose it is because neither player started this past season and neither player is a big sacks guy. But they're both good players and it's OK to have good players on your roster who aren't starters.
Robert from Sebring, FL:
I don't mind losing one home game a year to London, because I know it is in the best interest of the franchise, but I do resent having kickoff at 9:30 a.m. I feel like the NFL is giving the middle to the loyal of the Jaguars and the Bills.
John: I must confess that this doesn't bother me – then again, it will feel a lot more normal for those in London. As for it bothering fans, I sort of thought people would like the 9:30 a.m. start … No?
John from Ada, OK:
Hey O-Man, Dick LeBeau resigned as defensive coordinator from the Steelers and that got me thinking. While I am not advocating a change, are coordinators ever dismissed simply because a better coordinator is available? Thanks.
John: It happens, just as head coaches and assistants are dismissed because teams are looking for improvement. You usually don't hear teams say, 'We're dismissing this guy for that guy,' but teams do dismiss coaches for the purpose of hiring someone they believe will be a better fit.
Andrew from Jacksonville:
What's the status on J. Blackmon?
John: Justin Blackmon is under an indefinite suspension by the NFL. Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell said he hopes to receive word on Blackmon's status before the April 30 NFL Draft.
Jesse from Panama City, FL:
I know there are a lot of "big-name" candidates out there for offensive coordinator, but what about Ravens quarterbacks coach Rick Dennison? He has NFL play-calling experience and is an expert in the zone-blocking scheme.
John: I think the Jaguars definitely will try to pursue at least one assistant from a team in the playoffs this weekend. Dennison seems like a logical target. We'll see.
Dave from Jacksonville:
I know he won't have been here long at that point - but why can't our new OC, Mike Smith, perform those duties at the Senior Bowl? I'm sure the players would like exposure to his offensive prowess.
John: I'll pass this along.
Colin from Orlando, FL:
John, I know the typical narrative of teams not letting good players get to free agency, but with the recent re-signings of Brandon Browner and Patrick Chung, it looks like the Patriots might part ways with Darrelle Revis. With an addition like that our defense would go from good to great, don't you think?
John: Bill Belichick and the Patriots historically do a very good job of letting players go when they're no longer in their prime. They also don't usually let player go who can help them. I would still consider Revis part of the latter group.
Ben from Jacksonville:
How do you feel about Kyle Shanahan? He plays a zone-blocking scheme and seems to perform well with young talent over the last couple of years. I think he would be a great fit here, more so then Greg Roman or Trestman.
John: On paper, I tend to agree. Shanahan would seem to be a better scheme fit than Roman, particularly with Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley saying he wanted to stay with the zone-blocking approach. Shanahan's offenses at times have been very effective running, so he believes strongly in an area that Bradley very much wants to improve.
Daniel from Hemmerden, Germany:
What does Allen Robinson mean by practicing to "catch the ball at its highest point?"
John: Receivers are taught from early in their careers to catch the ball at the highest point possible – i.e., to catch with arms extended and stretched/jumping as high into the air as possible. This reduces the chance of a defender intercepting or defensing the pass.
Bryant from White Plains, FL:
No question, just a quick observation. First off, when people hear I'm a Jags fan in New York the first reaction is mainly shock. But then we begin talking and for the most part, at least around here, people really see a bright future for this team. People here definitely have a respect for the way this team is being built.
John: #DTWD
Andrew from Toledo, OH:
Again, I will say it: The 2013 NFL Draft was one of the weakest in recent years. Tell me the stars from that draft? The 2014 draft has some stars in the making already. I think the Jaguars' draft wasn't that good because it was a weak draft. That said, they still got Demetrius McCray, Dwayne Gratz, Johnathan Cyprien and Luke Joeckel – all can play in this league. And Denard Robinson and Josh Evans. These guys aren't bums either.
John: There's a lot of truth in what you say. While it's difficult to judge draft classes for three or four years … well, yeah … there's a lot of truth in what you say.
George from Cranford, NJ:
Draft defense, use free agency primarily on offense to bring in veterans to help score points? Maybe balance out the ages on both sides of the ball?
John: That's a theory that has been put forth, and it's a good theory. Theoretically. If the Jaguars identify a free safety or outside linebacker who could make an immediate impact, I could see them straying from that theory. If they identify a skill player – i.e., a wide receiver – who could make immediate impact, perhaps they would go away from it there, too. We shall see.
Bryan from Jacksonville:
John, Denard? Only because you aren't on the roster, right? You wear modesty well.
John: You're referring to me saying this week that I wouldn't argue if Denard Robinson believed he was the fastest player on the Jaguars' roster. As for me … well, I indeed am what people often refer to as "sneaky fast."

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