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O-Zone: Avoid the toaster

JACKSONVILLE – We're on the field for Jaguars Organized Team Activities No. 7 later this morning at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness practice fields. Two weeks down in the offseason program and two weeks remaining.

We're halfway there.

Let's get to it … Kris from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Big O! What kind of linebacker rotation will we be seeing this season? I would assume the starters will be Telvin Smith, Poz (Paul Posluszny), and (Dan) Skuta. But what kind of sub packages or pass-rushing groupings could we see? We have a promising rookie in Thurston Armbrister. Not to mention (Jeremiah) George and (Khairi) Fortt. (Defensive coordinator Bob) Babich has said that Skuta has been playing a pass-rush role with the second team and looks good doing so. I would love to see even more pass rush this season!
John: The Jaguars want more pass rush, too, and the hope is that Skuta indeed can bring an element of that. As for the linebackers, you almost certainly have the starters right, but beyond that, not too much has been said publicly about the Jaguars' plans for the position next season. They do like how LaRoy Reynolds has looked in the offseason and they continue to like what they have seen from Jeremiah George. I would expect those two players to have a reserve/special teams role next season. Beyond that … well, beyond that, organized team activities are closed to the public and media are prohibited from reporting on the on-field goings on. So, theoretically I could tell you about the backup linebacker rotation, but it would have to be in double-secret invisible code; and even then, the walls have ears and "they" might not let me (whoever "they" may be).
Bill from Jacksonville:
John, there may be a simple answer to this, but I can't think of it. Why hasn't the NFL added live streaming for all games? They could charge $50 per game and even keep their television package. If people want to pay to stay home and watch, you may as well let them. Thoughts? Thanks! Go Jags!
John: I'll answer this with a similar answer to a live-streaming question from Sunday. The NFL for about five decades now has grown stronger and reached greater financial security largely because of television revenue. If you're going to do anything to add, detract or distract from that, you do it with caution. It seems obvious that at some point live streaming will be part of the NFL's strategy to deliver games to the consumer. It also seems obvious that streaming the Bills-Jaguars game in October is the first toe in the water. How quickly the league jumps all in and what form that will take remains to be seen.
Bob from Dellwood:
There seems to be a quiet roar from you and your compatriots concerning the "big picture" being improved to a much more noticeable extent than the last two preseasons. Is my inference correct?
John: Yeah, pretty much. It's pretty well-documented that I'm not huge on improving dramatically via free agency, but there seems little doubt that the Jaguars will be better at multiple positions, likely including right tackle, tight end, running back, strong-side defensive end, Otto linebacker and possibly a few other positions. I think they also will see what I consider the best kind of improvement – i.e., the development of young, drafted players from Year One to Year Two and Year Three. Those are the sorts of improvements that give you a real chance to improve on the field.
Dakota from Dupree, SC:
C'mon O, you know you can't resist the urge to scroll down into the abyss that is the O-Zone comments section. You know you do...
John: I honestly don't.
Hunter from Orlando, FL:
After listening to the most recent jaguars.com live segment, it was obvious Jason Cole was dubious as to Bortles' ability to maintain significant changes to his throwing and footwork mechanics when the live bullets began to fly. My question to you and the readers is how many quarterbacks have successfully made the significant and lasting changes Bortles is attempting? I can certainly think of some quarterbacks over the years who were successful with unconventional mechanics, but with Bortles it just feels like his success hinges on being able to change and maintain improved footwork and a revised throwing motion.
John: I have no idea how many quarterbacks have changed their mechanics as Bortles is doing, or if anyone has done so successfully or unsuccessfully. That's primarily because most quarterbacks don't talk publicly about such things. I do know that the ability to maintain, tweak and improve mechanics is important to various degrees for most – if not all – NFL quarterbacks. As for Cole, I didn't get the idea that he was so much dubious as he was just stating a fact that maintaining mechanics during the regular season is very different from doing so in the offseason. That has been pretty plainly stated here and elsewhere. Will Bortles be a great quarterback? That remains to be seen. But I will say his approach, willingness to address areas of weakness and put in real work to improve those areas is impressive. It also should give him a chance to take the necessary steps.
William from Section 231:
There will be a small, wood, round table being delivered to EverBank Field. I think you know what it's for.
John: Quarters?
Jeremy from Jacksonville:
No matter how fly you are, or how much damage it causes, the word 'riot' (and it's derivatives) is no longer politically correct and has been all but completely replaced by 'demonstration' in the AP lexicon. Just an FYI; wasn't sure how often you were able to study your AP Bible. I'm a copy editor. You think you have a thankless job?
John: I study the AP Bible very seldom. I must admit the idea of "rioting" being politically incorrect is new to me. I'll remember that at my next demonstration.
Cole originally from Louisville, KY:
Hey John, any thoughts on the historic Triple Crown victory? I wasn't born when the last one occurred and seeing so many great contenders come so close, only to lose the final race at the Belmont, made the victory so sweet. It made me realize how incredible it will be when the Jaguars finally capture their Super Bowl victory someday.
John: I didn't watch the Belmont Saturday. That wasn't out of some protest or dislike of horse racing. I just wasn't all that compelled by the drama. I guess my thought was, "Good for Pharaoh's Crown." I didn't see his post-race interview, either. What did he have to say – I mean, aside from, "Ne-e-e-eigh?"
Dave from Duval:
O-Zone, just wanted to tell Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, "Welcome Aboard"! Duuuvvaall!!!
John: I'll pass it along.
Al from Fruit Cove, FL:
While it's sort of cool having the Jags as part of the first NFL stream-cast, I have to think that a major factor in this was CBS not wanting to cancel its lucrative Sunday morning political talk shows for a game that might draw embarrassingly low numbers, not to mention minimal attention on the West Coast where the start time will be 6:30 AM. It's always about the money, isn't it?
John: You're overthinking it. Live-streaming is in the future of the NFL, and the league is clearly experimenting with that – and with using one of the London games for unique broadcasts. This wasn't about "avoiding" anything.
Jason from Tallahassee, FL:
I was walking on the beach in Destin last weekend wearing a long sleeve shirt...I heard someone yell Duuuuuuval!
John: This sounds like a good Dylan song. Sort of like Positively 4th Street. No, wait - that was a great Dylan song.
Tony from Belleville:
How is Corey Grant doing? Do you see him making the team and is he as fast as they say he is? Also how many interceptions have Blake thrown these OTA's? Thanks for answering.
John: Grant appears to have a legitimate chance at the kick return job, and yes, he is really, really fast. I don't know how many interceptions Bortles has thrown during OTAs – and even if I did, media can't report on the specifics of OTA, so if I was going to write it I'd have to use the double-secret code.
Kyle from Clearwater, FL:
John, you need to see the movie "Office Space" to understand Pete from Initech's question. You also need to see it so that hundreds of pop-culture references don't fly over your head. There is a bit of foul language, so you'll need to watch it with an adult. It's just like making a bowl of cereal; I know you're not allowed to do that unsupervised.
John: I've seen Office Space. I'm not passionate about it. As for making a bowl of cereal, I am allowed to do that unsupervised. It's the toaster I'm not allowed to use when home alone.

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