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O-Zone: Cartwheels in the Bud Zone

JACKSONVILLE -- Jaguars off the clock.

Let's get to it . . . Strnbiker from Dothan, AL:
Shad is the Man! Finally, the right people in the right position. Draft: Boom, boom, boom. Outstanding picks in the right direction. So excited I might need first pair of Depends! How you doing?
John: It's striking the excitement level fans are feeling over the draft, and that's obviously good to see. One reason for that, of course, is that Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell on Saturday drafted from a lot of big schools and drafted a few players with whom many fans are familiar. That gets people excited and gives them a comfortable feeling on Draft weekend. It remains to be seen how those players develop, but as to your bigger point about the selections seeming to be in the right direction – yeah, no question. That's how it feels. As for the Depends and how I'm doing . . . well, let's just say I've got some stories to tell.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
Given the selection of five defensive backs by the Jaguars in this year's draft, do you think at some point in the season the starting secondary will be comprised entirely of rookies?
John: No. Not if Dwight Lowery is healthy, anyway.
Daniel from SPM, DR:
I was wondering what a Compensatory Selection is, and how does a team get one?
John: A team receives a compensatory selection as compensation for free agents lost the previous offseason. For the 2014 NFL Draft, for example, it's conceivable the Jaguars could receive compensatory selections based on the losses this offseason of defensive tackle Terrance Knighton and cornerback Derek Cox. The selections are determined through an unknown formula by the league office. Essentially the more free agents you lose the more and better compensatory selections you receive, and the more free agents you sign the worse your chance for a compensatory selection.
Shaun from Jacksonville:
All of these secondary picks, but no pass-rush help for a team constantly ranking at the bottom. Was there really no one worth bringing in or are the coaches really in love with what we currently have?
John: David Caldwell on Saturday said he believed the Jaguars needed both an elite pass rusher and an elite pass protector entering the draft. To get either one, you need to invest an elite draft selection. They used that this offseason on left tackle Luke Joeckel and once they did that, there were other needs to fill around the roster.
Morgan from Starkville, MS:
Love your sense of humor and what you have done for Thank you.
John: Thank you. I do a great job.
Dave from Fukuoka:
John, I agree with Tiler from Jax about wanting one page with all the selections like before. Everything else was top-notch, as usual.
John: No problem. But click here.
Kevin from Jacksonville:
For his own sake, Dave Caldwell better be right that all the quarterbacks he has passed on in this draft turn out to be busts. This franchise never learns. We are in hell because we've neglected the quarterback position draft after draft. Here we go again. Unbelievable. Unbelievable.
John: Yes, he better be right. That's the goal for the great majority of NFL general managers.
Jared from Jacksonville:
I doubt I'll read the response to this but why, oh, why did we not draft a quarterback to bring in competition? I thought we would get Barkley in the fourth, which would have been an awesome pick. I just don't understand it, maybe you can elaborate?
John: This is difficult to understand, and I get that. There was a ton of pre-draft speculation about quarterback, much of which was fueled by Caldwell talking about bringing in competition. But in the end, it's obvious the Jaguars did not believe any of the quarterbacks were good enough to warrant a draft selection. Let's repeat that: they did not believe any of the quarterbacks ware good enough. Could they be on the roster? Yes. Could they have competed? Perhaps. Caldwell and Bradley didn't believe any of them were good enough to win the job, and that meant they believed they would help the roster more by adding players at other positions.
Bill from Jacksonville:
John, why are the Jags just now going to be able to get an "honest, legitimate read on Gabbert?" Was the offensive line a problem? I seem to remember you telling fans last season the line wasn't as bad as people were letting on. Now it was the line's fault Gabbert played poorly? It's one or the other John, it can't be both. Care to clear this up? GO Jags!
John: I never said it was the line's fault when Gabbert struggled. What I said was that having an improved line will give the Jaguars an honest, legitimate read on Gabbert. There were many problems last year. With a 2-14 team, that was sort of obvious. The line struggled at times. So did the quarterbacks. Sometimes the struggles of one unit contributed to the struggles of the other, and sometimes there were just struggles. Football is not an if-then scenario and as much as people long to assign 100 percent blame on one area or the other, things are rarely that simple. That's probably not clear. In football, as in life, things often aren't.
John from Jacksonville:
Hey John, If we could get more coverage of Vito asking Caldwell questions, well, that would be great. Thanks!
John: On it.
Scott from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Not to argue with you, but you said many times previously we would be unlikely to draft a left tackle since we had a proven one with Monroe. Those differences aside, what basis will the coaching staff use to decide whether to place Joeckel or Monroe at left tackle and shift the other one to right tackle? Can Monroe even play right tackle or is there a certain skill set that makes it hard to interchange the positions? Thanks.
John: You can argue all you want. That's part of what this forum is about. Yes, for a long time I doubted that the Jaguars would take Joeckel or Fisher. It seemed there were other needs. It was tough to know which way the Jaguars were leaning in the weeks leading to the draft because this was Caldwell's first draft and we had no blueprint for how he thinks on Draft Day. This past Monday, Caldwell provided a little more insight into his pre-draft thinking and it became a little more evident that he liked the idea of two elite pass-blocking tackles and that he planned to use the draft to address glaring needs. The basis for this season will be about what combination makes the Jaguars the best offensive line, and it seems the early thought is to keep Monroe on the left side where is used to playing. The skill set is more interesting. Historically, one side has been more of a pass-protect and perhaps more athletic (left) with the other side more of a brawler (right), but Caldwell indicated this week he prefers the two be interchangeable.
Who from Jacksonville:
Have you ever ordered a thousand burgers at a drive thru, or dialed the operator and asked him/her help cleaning your house?
John: Get off my porch. I'll call the cops. I swear I will.
Devin from Glenn Dale, MD:
When so many veterans were allowed to walk away or cut I didn't really understand. I just trusted in the staff and didn't complain much. Now I can see why that was necessary. In the first two days this team drafted 3 guys that may start opening day. Without a vet with a high bonus in front of them, it truly is an open competition for their positions. There will be no politics involved in making the decision or crow-baring a guy in because of his salary. Just go out and bust your behind to win the starting job.
John: Yes.
Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Everyone knows that drafting a quarterback is a risk regardless of who it is! The biggest risk though is not taking one. Every big gold rush was started by chance!
John: Not if you're sure they can't play.
Terrelle from Jacksonville:
How do you feel about having a predator such as Cyprien in the secondary? He will be very interesting watch at strong safety this year.
John: It's awesome.
Jeff from Middleburg, FL:
Why not CORNERBACK? Denard Robinson is not a polished player at a position and will have to learn whatever position you put him at. He can leverage his knowledge playing quarterback to play against the quarterback.
John: David Caldwell made it clear discussing Denard Robinson that he liked everything about the guy and believes he will make the Jaguars better. He joked about putting Robinson at corner, but it sounds as if he will start at running back with some receiver and kick returner mixed in.
Micah from Philadelphia, PA:
Gus Bradley is fired up!!! And frankly so am I.
John: So are a lot of people. I saw J.P. Shadrick doing cartwheels in the Bud Zone Saturday morning, so we may have to curtail things a bit. But overall, it's a fun time to be around the Jaguars.

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