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O-Zone: Critical advice

JACKSONVILLE -- Let's get to it . . . Manning from Calgary, Alberta:
If Mohamed Massaquoi and CS III are lighting it up come Week 5 when Justin Blackmon comes back, does Blackmon get the start based on merit, or would he be relegated to No. 3 until he competes for and earns his Top 2 spot back?
John: I wouldn't spend much time on this one. Cecil Shorts III almost certainly will be starting when healthy. Could Massaquoi earn the job, if he's rolling out 100-yard, two-touchdown games? I suppose, but it's probably pretty safe to assume Blackmon will start upon his return.
Shawn from the Mean Streets of Arlington:
Can you name any quarterbacks off the top of your head who ever came from the practice squad to be relatively productive?
John: Kurt Warner and Tony Romo.
Aaron from Pilroy, PA:
You do realize people refer to LeBron as "Lechoke" right?
John: You do realize people spent years saying Michael Jordan couldn't win a championship, and you do realize they said the same thing about John Elway? People say a lot of foolish things. Criticize him all you want. If I'm starting a team, then I'm picking James and I like my odds of winning multiple championships. And for now, that brings an end to this oddly persistent thread.
April from Pooler, GA:
First, four 'home' games in London. Now, the Jags' latest calendar shoot is in London. The writing is on the wall for the 2018 London Jaguars. If you can't see it, you're not looking hard enough.
John: There's such a thing as looking too hard, too, April. The Jaguars are playing a game in London in each of the next four seasons. The international presence is a big deal for the franchise. Not THE BIGGEST DEAL, but a big deal. Doesn't it make sense to have the photo shoot in London? I mean, even a little?
Bob from Pooler, GA:
There's a reason it's called the Awful Waffle. Tell Glenn there's a Dunkin' Donuts just now open at Exit 109 up the road a few miles. Civilization has come to southeast Georgia.
John: If civilization means no Waffle House . . . well, let's just say I can do without that sort of "civilized," brother.
Blake from Jacksonville:
Blaine Gabbert could probably improve upon his comfort level in the pocket. At the same time, one could argue that there wasn't much of a pocket for Blaine to be uncomfortable in...
John: Yes, one could.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
With the PED issues in Seattle, is there any concern repercussions could follow Gus Bradley to Jacksonville? I know in the pros it's on the player, but I wasn't sure if there was a precedent for coaches to be punished. Kind of like the "lack of institutional control" rule in the NCAA.
John: No, there's nothing like that in the NFL. Coaches in general aren't expected to control the off-field actions of players, and certainly in this case, it's hard to imagine any repercussions following Bradley.
Curt from Fleming Island, FL:
Am I getting this correct? MJD held out last year for a better contract, became injured early in the 2012 season, and allegedly threw one punch for reasons 99 percent of us do not know, and he is now a bad example of a Jaguar. I can't buy into that. I just can't discount his seven non-incident professional years, 11,700 combined yards, 76 total touchdowns, team leadership, and local and national community involvement through charity organizations. I'll wait until all the facts are in and balance out my opinion then.
John: Good for you. People are going to believe what they want to believe about this, and they're going to comment on message boards however they're going to comment. I haven't always come out 100 percent pro-Jones-Drew and as I wrote last week, he hasn't always been crazy about what I've written about him. But until I see something to the contrary, I'm not ready to write him off as a horrible, out-of-control person – and you certainly can't diminish what he has meant to this franchise. He has given 100 percent on the football field and has been paid well for it. That's the contract and Jones-Drew has lived up to it.
Aaron from Fairfax, VA:
Gabbert expectations . . . neutral. Maybe I don't agree with your comment that Blaine is an unknown – we actually have a lot of tape on him and comments from both head coaches with their positive and negative assessments. They both have stated on the record that Blaine has a problem with allowing plays to develop. It's safe to say that all quarterbacks are guilty of that. However not all coaches cite that as an issue for the offense not clicking. You probably would agree that if a coach admits something like this, it must be fairly critical because they are aware of the fan backlash. Here is one for not backlashing and sitting back and seeing if Gabbert can pull this together. What's the worst that could happen, a 3-13 record?
John: Yes, past coaches have been critical of Gabbert at times. At the same time, let's not pretend that coaches don't have their own motivations for being critical of players. The past two seasons were a mess, and when coaches are in the middle of seasons, things get said that may or may not paint a full picture of the quarterback. Gabbert is an unknown because he has yet to be in a stable situation. The hope around the Jaguars is that this year will be that situation. We shall see.
Charles from Section 210 and Midlothian, VA:
I will admit, when it comes to MJD, after last year I'm not the biggest fan. That said, is it me or are people willing to assume the worse and jump to conclusions so fast nowadays? If they were on a trampoline they could make it to the moon.
John: It's always been my belief that people assume the worst and jump to conclusions to fast. That has nothing to do with "nowadays," though the proliferation of the Internet and 24/7 news cycle has made it more obvious and in-your-face. Yes, people are concluding the worst about Jones-Drew right now – that's how people are. In terms of a football story, this one may run out of steam relatively quickly.
Clyde from Jacksonville:
I think the Jags might bring in JaMarcus Russell to push our quarterbacks? Why not, if he's really turning a new leaf?
John: If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet I wouldn't be more surprised.
Keith from Benedict, MD:
With the recent troubles surrounding MJD do you think the front office makes him come back to Jacksonville for his rehab??
John: The Jaguars' front office can't make Jones-Drew do anything. Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, all organized team activities and most offseason work are voluntary. If Jones-Drew wants to train in Alaska wearing skis and a speedo, he could. Jones-Drew and the Jaguars mutually agreed that training in Miami made sense. This incident likely won't change that.
Jon from Nijmegen, Netherlands:
Not a question, but in your response to Roger regarding Brunell I think you left off a major factor: one of the best OCs in the NFL at the time . . . Tom Coughlin. That talent list did not come available until 1997 and we still went to the AFC championship game in 1996. I don't think TC gets enough credit for the potent offenses that were fielded.
John: Actually, except for Fred Taylor, the talent I mentioned – Jimmy Smith, Keenan McCardell, Tony Boselli and Leon Searcy – was there in 1996. But that doesn't diminish your point. Coughlin indeed is underrated as an offensive mind and his contribution to the Jaguars' offensive success can't be overestimated.
Carlos from Calhoun City, MS:
Why don't we give Vince Young a try? What's the worst that could happen? We win two games again.
John: I get emails like this sometimes.
John from Elizabeth City, NC:
We've heard a lot about what fans think and what the organization thinks, but when players get in trouble such as Blackmon and now possibly MJD how do players typically react? In Blackmon's situation he's practicing with the team, but he won't be there for the first four games. Do players have that cold shoulder or some resentment?
John: Rarely. Players typically understand that mistakes they make get magnified. They have more empathy for teammates and peers in that situation than fans do.
Jim from Jacksonville:
I know this may seem trivial to an esteemed sportswriter such as yourself, but what's with sportswriters and fans referring to "a Peyton Manning" or "an Adrian Peterson" or some other player? This stupid sentence crutch only happens in the sports world and as a world-class writer, it's about time you take a stand against it, don't you think?
John: It's not trivial. You darned sure would never see a John Oehser doing that.
Jake from Scott Air Force Base:
LeBron won the game for the Heat in the final seconds of overtime in Game 1 of this series. But I guess that's not late enough in the game for Aaron?
John: Apparently not.
Brian from Staten Island, NY:
John, I'm falling asleep at my desk at work. What do you recommend I do?
John: Enjoy!

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