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O-Zone: All good things

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Steve from Nashville, TN:
Media members talk about a team's window (to make the playoffs) closing. Some team's windows seem to be perennially open (Patriots) while other teams have no window (Jaguars). Do you see our window opening a crack this year and for how long can we keep it open?
John: Considering the Jaguars won five games last season, it's still a bit premature to talk about their playoff/championship window. Those open when teams win enough to open them. Still, I would say the Jaguars enter 2016 with a chance to begin prying their window open. If they do so, then the window becomes about quarterback Blake Bortles. As long he plays at an elite level, or at least at a consistent level, the window is open. Tom Brady is the primary reason the Patriots' window has remained open for a decade and a half, just as the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos had open windows for as long as Peyton Manning was playing at a high level. A franchise's window of opportunity isn't all the quarterback. Pieces have to be put in place around him. But having an elite guy at the position helps keep it propped open longer and more consistently than otherwise would be the case.
Chad from EverBank:
It sure would be nice if No. 11 was meant to be a good thing. I'm sure he's deflated, too, but really?!? He can catch the ball, but he needs to catch a break. On a positive note, that's why you finish college until you get your degree. I'm proud of you for that, and hope to be proud of you for your on-field actions, too. Get healthy.
John: You're referring to the hamstring strain sustained by wide receiver Marqise Lee in practice Thursday, an injury that kept him out of practice Friday. Because of Lee's injury history, this latest issue understandably has caused some concern among fans – and has caused many fans to take a here-we-go-again approach. That's fair because Lee has missed enough offseason time in his three-year career that it has prevented him securing a prominent role in the offseason. And it's true that a lot of the things Lee and Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said when discussing the situation Friday probably sounded familiar – that the team is being cautious, that this needn't be a crisis, etc. Probably the best way to address it is this: this doesn't feel like Lee's injuries from past seasons. When talking to him Friday, he genuinely seemed unconcerned and seems confident it's indeed precautionary. That's the vibe you got talking to him and everyone you talk to around the Jaguars indicates this is minor. We'll see.
A.J. from Kalispell, MT:
Regarding Marqise Lee's constant hamstrings injuries at what point is it going to be considered a pattern and let guys like Arrelious Benn and Tony Washington step up based on availability and not draft positioning?
John: That will happen when Benn and Washington do enough to show that should be the case. Your question makes it seem as if Lee's issues have somehow limited other players from having key roles, or from having opportunities or from developing into productive players. That's not the case. And it's not Lee's draft positioning that the Jaguars like: it's his potential to be a play-making, difference-making wide receiver. It's rare. Why in the world would you give up on that?
Joe from Fleming Island:
At the press conference, Gus Bradley said of cornerback Prince Amukamara, "He plays with length." I assumed length referred to height. Am I wrong, or is he saying he jumps well. Please explain length in a defensive back. Thanks, keep up the good work and avoid the heat as much as possible.
John: Length in a cornerback refers to how "long and tall" a player plays, which is a combination of height, leaping ability and arm length.
Ric from Jacksonville:
I had a chance to meet Jimmy Smith one time. I was standing outside the stadium one week day catching the players as they were leaving practice and grabbing their autographs. Jimmy came out and stopped to sign a few things for fans. As he was signing the football I had, I told him, "You're having a great year. But I think they could throw to you even more. I might be crazy but it just seems like you are open on every single play!" He handed me my ball back, got a great big grin, placed his hand on my shoulder and said, "Of course I am," and walked away. One of my top three all-time favorite players.
John: The irony is Keenan McCardell probably was right next to him pretty well-convinced he was open on every play, too.
Chris from St. Louis, MO:
John, thanks for all of the hard work that you and everyone at do for the fans! It was awesome getting to see some shots from the first day of training camp. Living in a different state, it is pretty much impossible to ever get to attend things in person so that was cool! You guys all do fantastic work!
John: I have no idea who this "everyone at" is that you're referring to, but I appreciate your kind words.
Sean from Fleming Island:
I think it is good for the team and city to have the "Primetime" Sunday Night Football game for Preseason Week 3 versus the Bengals as Preseason Week 3 is as close as it gets to real football before the season starts.
John: OK.
Rob from Brunswick, GA:
John, was there anything that stood out to you about the first few days of camp from a non-gameplay perspective? Things that wouldn't show up in the official reports (related to team chemistry, energy etc.)?
John: A few people were sniping at Shadrick a little more than usual. I didn't investigate, because I assumed it was about people envying his "Southern Gentleman, Hangin'-With-the-Ladies" lifestyle." Other that, nah … all systems seemed go.
Mike from Des Moines, IA:
After seeing a very limited sample size, how do Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack look? Cornerback is a position where people come in and produce much more quickly than other positions. Does Ramsey have the look of someone ready to compete against the pros? What does your gut tell you, aside from the jalapenos on the burrito were too much?
John: Jalen Ramsey has looked good – strikingly good, in fact. We're only two days in, but it's hard to imagine him not starting the regular-season opener – and it appears he could not only start on the outside but move into the nickel role in passing situations. He has the athleticism and demeanor of a star. As for Jack, he's working at second-team middle linebacker. He has looked athletic and fast, which is how he was expected to look. You'll know more about Jack once the pads go on and the games start. It's more difficult for a linebacker to shine in practice than it is for cornerbacks because the hitting and live contact is kept to a minimum.
Steve from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I totally agree with your disagreeing with Mathis (if ever) vs MoJo and/or McCardell.
John: OK.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville:
O-man, the fact that we are in the middle of a historic level heat wave and the Jaguars are practicing in it bodes well for us. If anything, it should help test and beef up their endurance for this weather where as our competition won't be ready. Seems even the weather is on our side this year.
John: The heat may bode well for the Jaguars, but as someone spending each day from 10 a.m. to 12:30 meekly, pathetically and constantly seeking shade, water and the guy with the big fan I fail to see it as all that positive. I suppose it does have one positive, though. It allows Sexton to work on his tan game, which I can report has reached a level of bronze best described as distracting. #tangame
Benjamin from Jacksonville:
Agree or disagree: former Jaguars to be inducted into the Pride of the Jaguars in this order: 1. Tom Coughlin; 2. Keenan McCardell; 3. Rashean Mathis; 4. Maurice Jones-Drew.
John: I'd go McCardell, Coughlin, Jones-Drew and Mathis, but it's a good group of four and I'm not beating the table on one over the other.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
I started saving the Florida Times-Union sports pages that featured the Jaguars when I was five years old – in 1996. I had all the stories written by you and your colleagues about that miraculous playoff run. I kept up my collection for several years. Then one day, I found that my dog had torn up half of the newspapers I saved and peed on the rest. Having memories is nice; your dog can't chew or pee on them.
John: Wow. It turns out we have much in common. Most of the good things that have happened to me have been ripped to shreds and peed on, too.

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