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O-Zone: Cause and effect

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Zach from Jacksonville:
I was listening to Mike Dempsey on Jaguars Today this week and they were talking about Blake Bortles sitting for a year and how the Jaguars have become a "pioneer" for doing that. Also, the stadium upgrades were talked about and once again, Dempsey praised the Jaguars (Owner Shad Khan, Dave Caldwell, and Gus Bradley) for being leaders on that front. Thoughts on those statements, if you can, please.
John: I didn't hear the comments, but having appeared on the show on Tuesdays for the last month, I know it's a forum for deep, nuanced thought. Particularly on Tuesdays. As far as your questions, we'll take the first one first: It's possible that the Jaguars could be pioneers by sitting Bortles. If he sits a year, for example, then has success, the NFL is enough of a copycat league that you'll almost certainly see other teams do it. Whether or not the sitting is the right thing for other players, other teams will undoubtedly try the approach because it worked with Bortles. If he doesn't have success, the Jaguars will be considered less pioneers and more a curious memory – at least in terms of how they handled the quarterback. As far as Khan and the Jaguars being leaders on the stadium upgrade front – sure, they are. Khan and the Jaguars have a vision for the future, and that's what leadership is about.
Trey from Jacksonville:
Will this column ever be about football again?
John: Ah, a too-many-Duval-questions reference – and yes, this is a legitimate question. The Duval questions started this week and the emails on the topic outnumbered all others five or six to one. We've sort of had a choice the last few days: either talk about the Duval thing or answer two or three questions and head to the beach. It was Thursday and Friday and it wasn't lunch time yet, so I chose the former. You ask. I answer. There's not much more to this.
Tom from Ponte Vedra Beach and Section 106:
Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union reported on Wednesday that the Jags' June 5 Organized Team Activities practice would be open to the public. I've seen nothing of it on Yes? No?
John: Yes. That Thursday, June 5 organized team activities workout at Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields will be free and open to the public, with practice scheduled to run from 10:50-12:50.
Jay from Port St. Lucie, FL:
The whole "he-was on-the-practice-squad-for-a-reason" thing doesn't hold water. Arian Foster was a practice-squad player the year before putting up top running back numbers.
John: Yes, and that means that will happen all of the time.
David from Sweden:
Hey, O-Man! Which wide receivers do you see ending up on the final roster? I get that Cecil Shorts III, Marqise Lee, Allen Robinson and Ace Sanders will be there, but what about the guys after them? Kerry Taylor? Mike Brown? Or any of the UDFA's? A qualified guess of yours would calm my curiosity.
John: I'd give the edge to Mike Brown. It will be difficult for him to be in the Top 4, because the Jaguars look like they could be very strong with Shorts, Lee, Robinson and Sanders. But Brown developed last season to the point that he caught 32 passes for 446 yards and two touchdowns. He also was able to play a variety of roles across the receiver position. His knowledge of those roles and the coaching staff's trust in him hardly guarantees him a roster spot, but it gives him a chance.
Colton from St. Augustine, FL:
Coach Bradley seems pretty confident that he is going to sit Bortles. Is there any chance of him changing his mind?
John: I'd say Bradley is actually confident that he doesn't have any problem with Bortles not playing. He's intent on Bortles not having to deal with the burden of expectations, which means giving Bortles time to work on the areas he needs to develop. Sure, Bradley is open to changing his mind – if Bortles is ready and consistently shows he is the best quarterback on the Jaguars' roster.
Tony from Perry, AR:
Hey John, I've been meaning to say how stoked I am we drafted my boy, Chris Smith. I have high hopes for him. Do you think Gus keeps him as a defensive end or do you see him using him in a Leo-type role? And by the way, Woo pig sooie! And also, Duuuuuuuvvvaaallll! #DTWD
John: ! !!! !! !!!!! Smith will play mostly as a Leo.
Ahston from section 144 and Mandarin:
#Moodachay better not be dead. I paid $28 for a shirt not more than six months ago!
John: Wait! What?
Kenny from Jacksonville:
I think this draft was by far the best since probably 2001. I'm beyond excited for this year and the next few seasons. Speaking of the stadium, I see the live feed, but how close to being done are they? Can't really figure it out, and the pool I never got. What's the purpose of that?
John: The Jaguars' draft appears to have a chance to be a very good one. We'll see in two or three years. That's how long it takes to truly judge any draft class; whatever the hype and buildup surround the Jaguars' 2014 class, it's true of this one as well. As far as the stadium upgrades, there is no indication they won't be done on schedule in late July, and that includes the pools – the purpose for which is to give the stadium a distinct Florida feel that's recognizable at first glance and on television.
Adam from Detroit, MI:
O-Mega, I love reading the interviews with the players. The 'Sanders WR corps' piece Friday was great. You can hear it in these players … man, they are fired up! The confidence and desire to succeed is so evident in this team right now and that is something I feel we haven't had in a long time in Jagsonville. The team, the fan base, the front office; how can one not be fired up!? I'm ready for some Jaguars football baby!!
John: That was an intriguing interview with Sanders Friday. I wanted to find out how Sanders felt about the Jaguars drafting two players at his position. Not surprisingly, Sanders' enthusiasm was real. He and most other receivers understand that the more good players you have at that position, the easier it is for everyone at the position and the more productive every receiver can be. And yes, Sanders is fired up. That's pretty much his daily approach.
Joe from Orange Park, FL:
Beau Blankenship reminded me of Danny Woodhead when I saw him playing last week at the rookie minicamp. Do you think that comparison has any merit?
John: Sure. The styles are similar. NFL success for players of Blankenship's size is rare, so he has a long way to go to make the team. He made the 90-man roster as a workout player, so that's a start. What comes next is harder.
Dennis from Port St. Lucie, FL:
I am against moving point-after kicks back. If they intend to allow teams to move back to the two-yard line to convert a two-point play it will remove a very important aspect of game: the fake kick! There will be no trick play to confuse the defenses by lining up in kick formation and passing or running. Moving the kickoff has limited an exciting part of the game; tampering with the extra point will also limit a part of the game. This seems like meddling more than constructive change. What's your opinion on the change?
John: This change hasn't happened yet, but I certainly understand the concern. It does seem more and more in the last few years that if NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell floats something like this, the floated theory becomes reality sooner rather than later. I don't know that this particular change would dramatically change the game. Fake PATs probably aren't common enough that there would be a lot of guys sitting around high tables in area sports bars eating appetizers on Super Bowl Sunday saying, "You know, I really missed those fake PATs this year." At the same time, your point about meddling rather than constructive change has merit. There have been a lot of tweaks and adjustments in recent seasons, and there is certainly a feeling among some in the league that it wouldn't be a bad idea to let things settle a bit now and then.
JB from St. Johns, FL:
Yeah, it's cool - the Duval thing … but can we please move on already? I come to this website to learn about Jaguars "FOOTBALL." This silly Duval debate, where it originated or why it's significant is getting old. Great, so we want an "Identity Attitude" … but let's stick with football and let the chants, silly slogans, etc. come when we are consistently winning.
John: That was an awesome question.

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