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O-Zone: Being the Commish

JACKSONVILLE- Lets get to it... Billy from Santa Fe, NM:
John, with almost two weeks gone by, who are some of the surprises of camp?
John: Well, it depends what you mean by surprises. Second-year linebacker Brandon Marshall is playing better than most expected, and rookie free agent linebacker LaRoy Reynolds is better than anyone anticipated as an undrafted player. That makes linebacker deeper than many thought entering training camp. Ace Sanders certainly is playing better at receiver than many believed he could, though I wouldn't say he's a total shock, and I like what Jeremy Ebert has done at receiver the last couple of days. Tight ends Allen Reisner and Brett Brackett have been better than expected by outsiders, and Ryan Davis has performed well enough to push for time at the second Leo position. Veteran cornerback Alan Ball and veteran linebacker Geno Hayes also look like they will be very respectable as starters, something observers wondered about in the offseason when they signed as unrestricted free agents. I also like what Jonathan Grimes and De'Leon Eskridge have shown with Justin Forsett out with a sprained toe. There was a thought before training camp that the Jaguars might need to address running back depth. Because of Grimes and Eskridge, you hear that thought discussed a lot less now.
Joe from Jacksonville:
Would you rather be scatter-brained or absentminded?
John: I don't remember . . . wait, I don't know . . . no, I don't remember.
Adrian from Englewood, CA:
What exactly makes a wide receiver a good route runner? I often read words like "crisp" and "sharp," but what does that really mean?
John: A good route runner does run crisp, sharp routes. That means he breaks sharply, which enables him to separate from the defender and be open. A good route runner also makes all routes look the same, meaning a defender doesn't know until the player has made his break which way or when he's going to cut. Great route runners give few keys that defenders can use to anticipate the play. They're rare, but the best route runners can be effective without great speed and can play longer than fast receivers who don't run routes well.
Jim from Simpsonville, SC:
Regarding the question about why you thought Gabbert was inconsistent, I would remind the asker, consistency is not always a virtue. I would be a remarkably consistent quarterback.
John: Alas, I feel your pain. I have been consistent for a long, long time.
Amar from New Orleans, LA:
Which player do you see getting a surprising amount of reps with the first team this week? I say Egboh and Brown.
John: I don't know how many players will get surprising reps, because it has become apparent that players such as Mike Brown and Ace Sanders, for example, are going to get first-team repetitions Friday. Chris Prosinski will get some at safety, too, and I expect a player such as Grimes or Eskridge could get more reps with the first unit than some might expect. Egboh could, too, although my guess is he works more with the second team on Friday. People expecting Lonnie Pryor to get a lot of first-team reps may be surprised, too; Will Ta'ufo'ou is ahead of him on the depth chart and could get extensive reps with the ones at fullback.
James from Jacksonville:
Since Gabbert and Henne have their own skill set do you think Jedd Fisch will rotate them in and out in games with specialized plays?
John: No.
Dan from Deland, FL:
I looked at the schedule for the first time and saw consecutive West Coast games for Week 2 and 3. Will the team just stay over there for the week or make the flight twice? Do you put a lot of weight in to travel and jet lag for players?
John: The team will stay in California between the Oakland and Seattle games Weeks 2 and 3. I do believe travel and jet lag is a factor, and people who know far more than I do about sports performance – and believe it or not, there are a few such people – believe so, too.
Paul from Lohrville, IA:
Would you say if the quarterback competition ends in a dead heat that Gabbert gets the nod based on youth?
John: These things never end in a dead heat. The NFL is not conducted in a vacuum, but if it were, then yes, I'd say Gabbert would get the nod based on youth, potential and upside.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
Can you describe the style or scheme of defense the Jags secondary will be playing under Coach Bradley?
John: Aggressive, press coverage.
Andrew from Panama City Beach, FL:
Moodachay sounds like "Move those Chains" if you say it fast enough.
John: And so we come full circle.
James from Orange Park, FL:
We won't be able to Moodachay unless we are able to MoodaJO! #MoodaJO
John: Hmmmm . . .
Brandon from Salt Lake City, UT:
ACLs are popping faster around the league than G.I. Joe rubber bands. It seems like these injuries increase year over year. Are players getting too big and too fast for their own good? How do you explain the increase?
John: I haven't seen any hard, statistical data that says ACLs are increasing by the year. It always seems in training camp that there are more injuries during that training camp than ever before, but I suspect that that is more due to short-term, selective memory than any real significant increase. Players get hurt in the NFL, and with the intense fan interest and access to Twitter and the Internet, injuries are more widely report each year. Until I see something to suggest otherwise, I'd say the idea that injuries are up significantly is more perception than reality.
Mike from Jacksonville:
If the quarterback situation continues as it does and no clear No. 1 presents itself, what is the possibility of a Derek Anderson/Brady Quinn situation playing out here? I really hope it won't come down to playing games with a rotation at quarterback making opposing teams guess who they need to prepare for at quarterback.
John: I don't think that will happen. I believe the Jaguars will name a starting quarterback sometime around the second or third preseason game.
Mark from Jacksonville:
I realize it's a tough question to answer, because it's pure speculation, but if you polled all of the guys on the team right now if they'd prefer Blaine or Chad to be their team's starting quarterback, who do you think the majority would pick?
John: I don't have a sense that there is a majority opinion either way, and I certainly don't think this is a case where players are divided. My sense is that players are waiting for the preseason to play out, and that the quarterback story will play itself out pretty clearly during that time.
Patrick from Merced, CA:
Hey John, I've never been to Florida, but if I ever were to fly out there I'd make sure to attend a Jaguars game. Just look for the guy whose T-Shirt says "From California..& I Love John Oehser" You can't miss it!
John: What makes you think that shirt would make you stand out in a crowd?
Marcus from Jacksonville:
You seemed to discount the possibility of Denard Robinson filling several positions on the roster, thereby freeing up spots for increased depth when you said, "I don't see Robinson having that kind of wide-ranging effect on the makeup of the roster." Now that the unofficial depth chart has come out, he is listed at four different positions. I know that it is the first (and unofficial) depth chart, but does that change your opinion at all?
John: No.
John from Jacksonville:
John when you say "Gabbert is the greatest quarterback in the history of football." Is it possible you are being factious you crafty rascal?
John: No, but I am being facetious. I have been accused of being biased in favor of Gabbert, so I just went ahead and declared him the greatest quarterback in the history of football. If you're going to be biased, I always say just go ahead and be over the top.
Clayton from Nashville, TN:
Coming off a two-win season, I'm all for bringing in whatever players may be able to contribute and help the team win. But it seems to me the front office can't go a week without claiming a player off waivers (as the case with Charly Martin). Can you pinpoint the strategy behind this? Will the results come later in the year?
John: This is pretty much the strategy Gus Bradley and David Caldwell laid out when they took over in January. And while Tom Coughlin didn't specify the strategy as such, he took essentially the same approach in the 1995 expansion season. The idea is to create as much competition and look at as many players as possible with the idea that if you can find two or three players to become starters for a few years, it will have been a success. The Jaguars found Ben Coleman with the approach in 1995 and in a sense, they found Jimmy Smith doing that, too. Smith was acquired well before the season, but he was a street free agent. The Jaguars were looking for players wherever they could find them in '95 and they're doing the same now. The Seattle Seahawks took the approach in 2010, when Bradley was there as a coordinator. I don't know when the results will come, but Bradley believes in the approach.
Jared from Madison, WI:
If you were commissioner of the NFL what would you do?
John: Work a year and retire.

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