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O-Zone: Dream on

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Graham from Dundee, Scotland:
O-Man, Myles Jack's knee surely can't be that much of issue. Otherwise, David Caldwell wouldn't have traded up for him. Also, getting three-to-five years of production out of a top-level talent before he gets surgery - if he needs it, that is. Then, there's the possibility of him coming back after. Surely, for a second-round draft pick that's worth the risk? People seem to forget that another of our second-round draft picks had micro-fracture surgery and came back to play. A certain running back who wore No. 32.
John: All true, and it honestly feels like it's close to time to put the Myles Jack Knee Issue to rest for a while in the O-Zone – at least until it needs to again become a much-discussed topic. Look, Jack's knee is an issue. There's no reason to ignore it, hide from it or sugarcoat it. It's going to be a topic – or at least it's going to be somewhere in the air around him and the team – for as long as he plays here. The Jaguars knew this when they drafted him, and it was part of the equation. It's something the team will watch. They'll do what they can to prevent an injury occurring. They'll certainly monitor it. It will be a worry/concern on some level. But in the short-term there's every chance he will be fine and play at a high level – and there's every chance that will be the case for the long-term as well. There always will be a possibility it will be a problem at some point; if it's a problem, there's a strong possibility it will be a big problem. Players do return from micro-fracture surgery—and as you mentioned, Maurice Jones-Drew is among such players – but that doesn't mean it's not serious and players are rarely as good after that surgery than before. The Jaguars are going into this well aware of all of that. They believed the risk was worth taking. Now, we'll see how it plays out. Also, stop calling me Shirley.
Marc from Assure Club East:
WOW! I loved reading your Q&A with Kelvin Beachum. What a great attitude and addition to our team. Have you ever interviewed a more confident player?
John: Yes.
Jacob from Palmyra, PA:
Why do you promote cautiousism? Why aren't you telling your fans to get excited? It's been way too long since 2007, and if I was in your position, I'd be amping people up … not telling them to settle down.
John: Maybe you're new 'round these parts, Jacob. If so, welcome. Enjoy yourself. Here's the thing about the O-Zone: I don't promote cautiousism – or any other -isms, for that matter. That's not the job. The job is to answer questions about this team, try to tell people what's going on and maybe entertain now and again. #Moodachay. #DTWD. #Stealtheshow #stayinyourlane
Naim from Port Orange, FL:
Zone, I know all these defensive linemen will not make the cut. Do you see any of the rookies pushing any of the veterans out of their job?
John: Very possibly.
Dan from Jacksonville:
Been a Jags fan for a long time. With the Jags having a good young quarterback and a few good young wide receivers it sure makes the whole drafting thing easier. Those are probably the hardest positions to find. When you're trying to find other positions, the stakes aren't nearly as high. No one can predict success, but would you agree this greatly improves the odds of draft picks working out?
John: I wouldn't say the stakes aren't high at other positions. Any time you're taking a player in the Top 5 the stakes are pretty high – and finding defensive ends/pass rushers is pretty important in this league. But to your bigger point … yes, a lot of building a roster and drafting well is about the quarterback. When you have a franchise quarterback, that player makes everyone else around him better. It makes your offensive line and receivers better, and it makes it easier to run. All of that makes your offense better, which in turn makes your defense better. It makes the entire team better. That's why the position is so important.
David from Oviedo, FL:
Johnny-O … an amazingly useless, but interesting fact: you and Gus Bradley were both born in July of 1966, as was I! #bdaybud
John: I'm sorta weirded out right now, and it has nothing to do with Gus Bradley.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
I understand the tempered expectations on the rookies, but I think fans expect so much because of how much is riding on this season. If the Jags fail this season and Gus Bradley loses his job, we could be in for yet another rebuild. If there is a new coaching staff in 2017, it is generally expected that the first year could be rough. Then, after that first year, the contracts of many of our core players run out. Guys like Blake Bortles, A-Rob, Telvin Smith, Brandon Linder, Paul Posluszny, Sen'Derrick Marks, Marqise Lee and more. If some of those guys choose to not return for one reason or another, we're looking at starting from scratch, especially if we have to begin the search for a franchise quarterback yet again. I know we can't expect too much of a turnaround this year, but we have to expect enough to keep this team intact, otherwise we're in trouble.
John: I can't control expectations, and while I understand fan angst over this, I honestly don't know about any numbers, cut-off lines, make-or-break points or anything of the like. I do know that you may be overstating things a bit; a coaching staff change doesn't necessarily have to mean all players leaving and a complete rebuild. But I also don't know that we're ready for this topic yet. Something that has gotten lost in all of the What's Going to Happen to the Coach Talk this offseason is that the culture that Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley has created is very real and unquestionably has had a positive effect on the organization. A reason the Jaguars feel good about the future, and the reason draft picks wanted to play here – and the reason free agents wanted to sign here – is because the approach here is special. Bradley is a big part of that. Actually, he is the major reason for that. I don't know what the end of this season will hold. I do know that I've never gotten a feeling that Jaguars Owner Shad Khan is looking for a reason to get rid of Bradley or this coaching staff. In fact, I've always gotten the feeling that quite the opposite is true. The thought around the Jaguars is they are on the cusp of seeing significant improvement no matter what contributions they get from rookies. If that happens, then a lot of this conversation about Magic Numbers in retrospect will seem very premature.
The Riddler from Gotham:
Riddle me this, riddle me that … if Gus goes 1-3, does he come back from London a cat???
John: Yes.
Dave from Section 149:
John, I enjoyed your Q&A with Kelvin Beachum. I just do not think he will be the starting left tackle. In order for that to happen the Jaguars would have to have been wrong with the first round (No. 2 overall) selection from the 2013 draft and replace him with a seventh-round round 2012 selection of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Luke was a junior coming out and should be just now hitting his stride. If he is beaten out three years later by a player coming off an ACL injury it would have to bring into question every draft pick from this Caldwell era, including this draft. I am not ready to do that, I just don't see it happening.
John: I lean toward your thinking. I think many fans have an assumption that Luke Joeckel won't start next season at left tackle, I think that assumption could prove very premature. At the same time, whether or not Joeckel starts this season has absolutely nothing to do with any other draft selection of the David Caldwell era. That's categorically inaccurate, categorically speaking.
Scott from Jacksonville:
Where do you think Dante Fowler Jr. would have fit into this year's draft? Do you think he would have been the top defender taken over Joey Bosa? Do you think he was considered a better prospect than Bosa or the other defensive prospects this year for that matter?
John: Joey Bosa, Jalen Ramsey, Leonard Williams, Dante Fowler Jr., Myles Jack and players of that ilk are elite players. The best prospect out of a bunch like that often depends on the team selecting. I don't know that Fowler would have been clearly above Bosa or Ramsey or Jack, but he would have been in the same conversation.
Scott from Aurora, IL:
Fine, but when they are 2-0 and staring at 16-0 I'm calling 'em a dream team! You can't stop me!
John: OK.

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