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O-Zone: Don't be fooled

JACKSONVILLE – Game-day O-Zone. I'm looking forward to this one. I doubt I'm alone.

Let's get to it … Tyler from Jacksonville:
If a team drafted a quarterback in the top of the first round, wouldn't it help to hire that quarterback's quarterbacks coach as an offensive assistant? I would think that could help the quarterback as a translator of sorts, or a personal tutor. It seems like it wouldn't take much money to lure those guys into a low-level NFL assistant role, like a quality control coach. Is this done often and if not why?
John: I suppose it would help to hire a quarterback's collegiate quarterback coach so long as the coach was good. And so long as he was qualified. And so long as he knew the NFL game. The problem with the approach is that while both are called "football," the NFL is a dramatically different game than the college game. This is less the case for players from schools that run pro-style offenses, but it's true on some level across the board. If you draft a quarterback from a school that runs a spread offense, for example, there's a process of getting that player acclimated to the NFL game. In that case, the collegiate quarterback coach is less ideal than a quarterback coach who understands dropping back, reading a defense and getting the ball out to receivers.
Jason from Colorado Springs, CO:
I think it would be impossible to win the AFC Central this year, even if Tom is in charge! I say that even if a team started out 2-0! I couldn't help myself. But in all seriousness ... watch The Bandwagon get pretty full if the Jags win this weekend, which I fully expect will happen. T.J. Yeldon will be huge out of the backfield on third down! Get em boys!!
John: #DTWD
Chris from Birmingham, AL:
Poz will be an asset this week due to the duo of Titans running backs, but it sure would be nice to have Myles Jack mirroring Marcus Mariota to prevent him from scrambling. Decisions!
John: This actually isn't a decision at all. Myles Jack is not coming off the field for Paul Posluszny and Posluszny is not subbing or coming off the field for Jack. Remember: when Posluszny comes off the field in nickel situation, he will be replaced by nickel corner Aaron Colvin. And vice-versa. As for Posluszny and Jack, they are not playing the same position. At all. Jack is playing strong-side linebacker and Posluszny is playing the middle in base situations. Jack and Telvin Smith are playing linebacker in nickel situations. If the Titans are in base formations, then Posluszny will be in the middle with Jack on the strong side and Smith on the weak side. If the Titans are in three-receiver sets, Jack and Smith will be on the field and Posluszny will not. Remember: Jack and Smith both played 100 percent of the plays last week and Posluszny played about 10 percent. The playing time of one has nothing to do with the others.
Dave from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Jason Myers missed 28 percent of his kicks last Sunday. I think if Calais Campbell blew 28 percent of his plays, it would definitely be noticed.
John: Eh. Maybe.
Craig from Sacksonville:
During last week's game, I felt like the Jags controlled the tempo. One stat that surprised me was time of possession. It was a lot closer than it felt. Can you explain how it ended up so close even though it appeared we dominated?
John: I always have a tough time explaining other people's feelings. This might be because they are feeling them whereas I am … not. The Jaguars did dominate the game against the Texans in Week 1, but remember: the Jaguars scored two of their touchdowns directly off turnovers in the first half – and one of those touchdowns came on a fumble return. Also, the Texans were trailing throughout the second half and had several possessions when they were driving trying to get back in the game. Perhaps those felt shorter than they actually were. I'll try to be more in tune to everyone's feelings against Tennessee Sunday. That's just the sort of person I am … you know, thinking of others.
Daniel Since Day One from Jax:
This week's game is absolutely the most important game ever this week!!!
John: It's big.
Dave from Duval:
I like to go on opposing fan sites and read their comments for entertainment when their team has just gotten taken to the woodshed. Like this nugget of wisdom: apparently someone in Texans nation thinks their team was getting "speared" all over the field and that Myles Jack had a reputation in college for spearing players and has brought this tactic to the NFL. It's nice to see that other teams have fans that are detached from reality, too.
John: All fans fan, not just Jaguars fans.
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL:
With the current defensive packages, Paul Posluszny is seeing less time on the field. Could this possibly serve to extend the length of Posluszny's career? Do you think longevity factored into the decision to move Myles Jack to the middle?
John: Posluszny is playing in the middle in base situations, with Jack on the strong side and Smith on the weak side. The rest of the details you can read in the answer above, but while the situation may serve to extend Posluszny's career, the moves weren't made with that in mind. The moves were made to get the best players in the best situations more often than not.
Bill from Folkston, GA:
Do people placed on the injured reserve that can return after Week 8 count on the team 53-roster or will someone have to be released when/if they return?
John: A player must be released in that scenario.
Bruce from Gotham:
Mr. O, I thought the main concern with Mr. Boselli getting into the Hall of Fame would be whether the bust of his head would fit or not? He may need a room to himself and maybe the Hall is not ready for that?
John: It's a concern.
Tony from Richmond, VA:
How do you think A-Rob's injury hurts his shot at an extension, if at all? After up and down years, this seemed like it would be the tie-breaker and shot to prove he is a top-flight, true No. 1 receiver. Now he doesn't have that opportunity.
John: It's probably unrealistic to say Robinson's injury won't affect his contract situation at all. The Jaguars – or any team – could understandably be hesitant to pay full-market value before Robinson returns to full strength, and Robinson could be hesitant to sign a deal for less than what his full-market value would have been before the injury. My sense is this will be more of a delay than anything else. I doubt it will take very long for Robinson to return to full health, and I doubt he will be limited much when he does return. He's not dependent on quick-twitch quickness and the aftereffects of the torn anterior cruciate ligament won't hurt his ability to high point the ball and out-physical opponents.
Scott from New York:
I can taste it. This is the game where the Jags show they have turned the corner. I'm not predicting that we win or lose, but the key to being a playoff team is beating the bad teams and keeping all the rest of the games close.
John: This is pretty spot on, and I do think it's an important game for exactly the reasons you cite. But know this: this is a tough matchup. Don't get sucked in by the one-sided nature of the Jaguars' victory over the Titans on Christmas Eve last December. Or by the Jaguars' one-sided victory over Houston in Week 1. Or by the Titans' 0-1 record entering Sunday's game. This is a different beast than the Texans team the Jaguars beat in Week 1. The Titans functioned well throughout much of the game against Oakland and bogged down in the red zone a few times. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota looked really close to hitting a couple of big plays that would have made a difference, and he showed few of the aftereffects of the injury that sidelined him in the last game or so of last season. The Raiders pulled away in the second half last week with some precise plays against the Tennessee defense, with Raiders quarterback Derek Carr showing why he's becoming one of the NFL's best. From this view, the Raiders' offense was functioning at a higher level last week than the Jaguars' offense needed to function against the Texans. This is not to say the Jaguars can't beat the Titans, but any feeling of assuming that this is a Game "The Jaguars Ought to Win" because of the record or last December's results? Nah. This game ain't that. This would be a huge victory for the Jaguars. To get it, they need to play as well or better than they did in the season opener.

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