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O-Zone: Bronze is not free

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Tim from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Even though media drama makes interesting reading, I don't believe [Jaguars Owner] Shad Khan is sitting in his office thinking [Head Coach] Gus [Bradley] needs a winning season or else. I believe he's thinking more along the lines of, 'The plan is on track and we're going to have a winning season.' It would be ridiculous to think we're at the point of this rebuild where "shoot-from-the-hip" decisions should be made; a tweak here and there is all you should do. The original plan was presented and implemented. The last thing this team needs is for Shad to hit the reset button.
John: I imagine your view is pretty close to what Khan is thinking entering the offseason, and I imagine that's what he'll be thinking entering the regular season. A lot of what has happened in the first three seasons of this building process has gone according to plan – and as such, I don't think there's a lot that has shocked Khan. That includes improvement on the field this past season, when the Jaguars were far more competitive than the past two seasons. If the Jaguars improve as they believe they will next offseason then the plan indeed will be on course. Time will tell.
Bruce from Gotham:
In this day and age where rumor has become truth and opinion has become fact, I think of the old saying that actions speak louder than words. When you take the time to look at Mr. Khan's actions, they speak louder than any rumor or opinion. As a Jags fan, the thing I am more thankful for than anything (besides you, of course) is the owner and leadership the Jags have … when I think of that, it takes the sting out of the garbage that is out there. We as JagNation know what is happening in Jax and soon the rest of the nation will, too.
John: Well put. #DTWD
Colton from Emporia, KS:
Hey, John! Who do you think the Jaguars would jump on if he hit the open market in free agency? Someone realistic. Thanks … you da man.
John: Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin and Miami Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon make some sense. They're realistic. Now, let's see what the next seven weeks bring.
Bryan from Jacksonville:
John, I'm sure you don't keep track of this sort of thing, but you smoked Mr. Sexton in playoff prognostication at the end of the most recent Jags of the Round Table.
John: Yeah, that sort of thing will happen.
Ed from Ponte Vedra, FL:
Do you think the Panthers are playing well enough to beat the Patriots?
John: Without question. Cam Newton makes the Panthers very difficult to defend, but perhaps more importantly, their defense puts enormous strain on the opposing quarterback. That combination makes Carolina tough against anyone, including New England.
Justin from Charleston, SC:
Zone, were the Jaguars really THAT bad in attendance?
John: This year? Last year? The year before that? No. No. No.
Is there any realistic opportunity the Jaguars make a change to their helmet in the next two years?
John: No.
Neal from Gloucester, UK:
Sir John Of O-Zone … I recently read an article about the Patriots' offensive line this year and all of the injuries and patchwork of lineups. It got me thinking: could it be the coaching that's an issue? They had the great Dante Scarnecchia and now his protégé. Or, don't tell me – it's that Brady bloke again.
John: Scarnecchia definitely was one of the NFL's most-respected offensive line coaches for a long, long time and I don't doubt the Patriots continue to be well-coached. Their offensive system – emphasizing quick passes that get the ball out of quarterback Tom Brady's hands in a hurry – also helps the offensive line not allow a lot of sacks. And does having a veteran quarterback who knows when to get rid of the ball and how to avoid pressure help? Always.
Jakob from Hawthorne, NJ:
Relocation fever is going around … are the Jags in any real danger of a move?
John: The only danger is if Shad Khan has the fever … so, no.
Jami from Wye Mills, MD:
After watching the playoffs the past two weekends, it is obvious the Jaguars were not ready to compete at the level of the teams that made it – even Houston. I got excited when they got close; I got mad when they failed to win with the division right in front of them. With the season a couple of weeks removed, the emotion has subsided and it seems clear last season may have just been a teaser of things to come. It was certainly better than the previous three years.
John: Well, no, the Jaguars were not ready to compete at a playoff level; had they been ready to do that, they would have … done it! They need to become more efficient on offense and need to rush the passer better. When they do those things, they'll make strides toward being ready for the playoffs.
Mark from College Park, MD:
So, with the other expansion team one game away from another Super Bowl appearance, is it safe to say the O-Man is pulling for Arizona Sunday?
John: I'm sort of pulling for Arizona because I like the way Arizona plays. Carolina being the other expansion team … I don't know … I guess that doesn't resonate as it once did.
Don from Ponte Vedra, FL:
This offseason I am going to go out and buy me a Luke Joeckel jersey! He had a couple bad games, but he is very young. Do you think it's just a fad to bash him? I think he is going to be a star player!
John: I don't know that it's right to call it a fad, and the bashing is understandable. Joeckel has struggled at times, and he really struggled in the regular-season finale. That leaves a bad taste not only for fans who "bash," but for Joeckel, too. Joeckel has some significant improvement to do before he becomes a star player; right now, what he needs to become more than anything is a more consistent one.
Jeff from Atlantic Beach, FL:
The rumors of Manning's demise were greatly exaggerated.
John: Peyton Manning clearly isn't the same player he once was physically; the velocity on his passes tells you that. As far as the ability to manage and control a game from the line of scrimmage … yeah, he can do that as well as anyone ever.
Zain from Orlando, FL:
If Caldwell knew a younger running back with limited mileage – say, Lamar Miller or even Doug Martin – were going to available in free agency, do you think he would've drafted T.J. Yeldon? I'm not saying Yeldon won't be better than either, and I'm certainly not disagreeing with the pick. It just seems in our current situation, the currency of draft picks is more valuable than free-agent dollars. What do you think is the ideal way to allocate those dollars, positional speaking (if all positions had equal depth in free agency and in the draft, given our needs, which positions would you try to sign versus draft?). That being said, it's probably also invaluable to have an offensive core with the running back as the youngest member given how quickly they accumulate mileage.
John: The Jaguars' building plan calls for allowing the core group of young players to grow and mature – and to be playing at their peak for an extended period of time. A free-agent running back might be as productive as Yeldon in the short term, but probably wouldn't grow and be part of the core for the long-term. Yeldon surprised the Jaguars with his ability to be an every-down back. Provided he can stay healthy and play to his potential, a second-round selection isn't too a high a price to have paid.
Mike from Middleburg, FL:
What about a backfield with Henry and Yates as a 1-2 combo?
John: Sure, why not? That's provided you can get Derrick Henry in the third or fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft – and provided the Jaguars sign or draft a running back named Yates sometime this offseason.
Holger from London, England:
As we approach the draft, what do you answer critics that point out that college football is a revenue-generating machine but the players see none of it and very few go on to earn big money in the NFL? And it's certainly not all about a scholarship for these athletes.
John: It's not my job to answer critics of college football and I really as I have no vested interest in college football. As someone with a child in college, my personal opinion is I have no problem with players not getting paid to play sports. A college education is expensive. Not having to pay much for it would be cool. I'd like it.
John from Boynton Beach, FL:
So when Boselli makes it into the Hall of Fame, will they make his bust the same size as the others, or will they make it the size his head swells to after he's voted in?
John: I assume bronze is not free. This makes me think that if and when the time comes to make his bust – and I believe that time will come – they'll have to make Boselli's head a bit smaller than it is in real life.

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