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O-Zone: Defining awesome

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Groggo from Jacksonville:
It's pretty simple, John: Marqise Lee is a Ferrari. Fast and explosive, but reliable? Not so much. You're 100 percent correct … enjoy him when he's healthy and have an F-150 (Hurns) in the garage for the times he's not. Now, for the people who say you are an Edsel, I take umbrage with that....
John: I'll ignore your "Edsel" comment – in part because I don't want to start the day in chippy fashion and in larger part because I'm sure a lot of readers don't get the reference anyway. As for Lee, while I truly love being 100 percent correct, I'm not sure I ever put it so cavalierly as to say "enjoy him when he's healthy" … but whatever. Look, I understand the handwringing over Lee, and he must stay healthy for an extended period before people let this go as a topic. He absolutely has to earn that for that to happen. But even with this latest flare up it's still too early to say this will be a career-defining issue. He's young. He has had some injury setbacks. But he also still has more than enough time to get this right.
Jim from Bondi Beach, Australia:
Alualu as a fullback - has a nice nasty ring to it, doesn't it? I'm intrigued!
John: The Jaguars are indeed looking at using Tyson Alualu as a fullback on offense in addition to his duties at strong-side end and three-technique tackle on defense. It's not something that's set in stone yet, though it sounds like they'll test it during the preseason. It's a move that makes sense with the team not carrying a fullback offensively. Alualu is athletic, smart and physical, so putting him on offense periodically could work.
Allo from Jacksonville:
Hey O-man, I wanted to beat you and your colleagues up about comparing Lee to CSIII when it comes to injuries. But you corrected yourselves. Question? Where does the rookie Green fit into this equation now when the wide receivers are healthy and with the monster we have at the tight end position, not to mention Ace Sanders?
John: I'm glad you're not going to beat up me or my colleagues; if you were doing that, I'd have less time to decipher your question. So, here goes …. I guess you're saying we compared Cecil Shorts III to Marqise Lee; because I never did this, I'll let this topic slide. I'll let your final topic slide, too, because Ace Sanders no longer is with the Jaguars. As for how Greene fits in, he's competing for a role as the slot receiver. So far he hasn't stood out too much, but that's not unusual for a rookie so early in training camp. With Lee out and Hurns playing outside in Lee's place, Greene will get ample opportunity in the coming weeks, so this will be a key time for him.
Jordan from Jacksonville:
Do you foresee the day when running nickel is the base defense for some NFL teams and running a 43/34 is a sub package?
John: I don't know that teams will call it that, necessarily, but the day is pretty much upon us. Every team has a nickel package – and in many cases, it's on the field as much as the base defense. And if your nickel package isn't as good as your base … well, good luck.
Brian from New Hampshire:
Is it possible to see House play free safety at any point – like a package; not so much full time unless someone gets hurt? His best games in Green Bay were at free safety. Colvin and McCray on the outside and Cyp and House at safety looks really good on paper.
John: Never say never, but for now I expect Davon House to play mostly outside, press corner for the Jaguars – a lot of it. I've gotten quite a few emails lately from people wanting to move House and/or Aaron Colvin to free safety. They're cornerbacks, and I don't think they're moving from there any time soon.
Matt from Richmond, VA:
Johnny O … just bought tickets for my Dad's birthday for us to make our first trip to Duval for the Miami game! The one and only Jags game we have been too before was in Pittsburgh in the playoffs. Here's to hoping this game and season will be as memorable as that one!!! #DTWD
John: #DTWD
Pedal Bin from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK:
Chewing out a rhythm on my bubble gum; the sun is out and I want some …
John: Blasting the disco on the radio …
Ed from Gil:
Have you been able to see T.J. Yeldon's ability to catch short passes? Could he be a threat like young MJD used to be?
John: Yeldon had a drop early in camp, but that wasn't indicative of his skill in this area. He has soft hands and should be effective out of the backfield. A bigger question is his pass-blocking ability because this wasn't something he was asked to do much at Alabama. He has looked fine in this area so far, but we'll see. I don't know if Yeldon will be the threat out of the backfield that Maurice Jones-Drew was when he was younger; Jones-Drew was otherworldly explosive there for a while. But Yeldon can be good in this area.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
Would it be safe to say the Jaguars have one of the deepest tight end groups in the league? Clay Harbor averaged over 11 yards a catch last year.
John: It is a deep group, and one that can make significant impact. I expect the Jaguars to play a lot of two tight-end sets. The most obvious duo will be Julius Thomas and Marcedes Lewis, but Harbor and Thomas as a pair of move tight ends playing at the same time is an intriguing possibility.
Phil from Coral Springs, FL:
John, I may be old, but I seem to remember a guy that played that had the nickname "Fragile Fred" ... I seem to remember he was a pretty good player for a long time. I'd suggest that we give the young man a break. Just a thought.
John: Good memory. Good thought.
Fred from Naples, FL:
I find it amusing to a point regarding everyone's comments about Marqise Lee and him being injury-prone; as if he does this on purpose. Fred Taylor was called "Fragile Fred" early in his career … how did he turn out?
John: One phenomenon of increased, 24-7 NFL news is there is a tremendous amount of focus day to day on the NFL. An uncontrollable, perspective-altering amount, actually. That has caused a lot of immediate reaction/assessments that perhaps wouldn't have been quite so widely circulated decades ago. That's not to say Lee's issues aren't an issue, but the massive reaction does tend to skew perspective. Also remember, this time last year people were gnashing teeth about Allen Robinson and Cecil Shorts III not being able to avoid soft-tissue injuries, too. This doesn't seem to be much of an issue with Robinson whereas it indeed lingered with Shorts. The point is it can go one of two ways and it doesn't mean Lee never will get past it.
Rufus from Jacksonville:
I attended last Saturday's practice and the one player who stood out was Julius Thomas. He looked much bigger than the other tight ends when catching every ball, and appeared to have more hustle than any other player on the team. I've always been a fan of Lewis, but No. 80 appeared (at least on this day) to be in a different league all together. He just looked like he is going to be the playmaker Jax needs.
John: He has looked that way on a lot more days than just last Saturday. In fact, he has looked that way most days.
David from Jacksonville:
Of the rookies drafted by the team this year, who's the one (or two) who has stood out through the first handful of training camp practices? What specifically has stood out about this player(s)?
John: Of the rookie class, T.J. Yeldon has stood out – and A.J. Cann also has begun to stand out. Yeldon appears to be exactly what the Jaguars thought he was – a smooth runner with good vision who has a chance to be a feature back. Cann also is looking like what the Jaguars hoped he would be – a physical, brawling guard. It's a little tougher to say Cann has stood out. There only have been a few padded practices, and players only get a few one-on-one opportunities per practice. But so far, so good.
Tom from Charleston, SC:
You keep referring to Lee as having missed only three games last year. What you are failing to recognize is he had similar injury issues in the preseason last year and was way behind in learning the routes and development. This year with a new OC is there reason to believe he is in a better situation? For a second-round pick, "we want more." To this point it is safe to say he has disappointed.
John: You know what's awesome? When people say I fail to recognize things that I recognize. That's what's awesome. That's one thing that's awesome, anyway.

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