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O-Zone: Dripping in knowledge

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Mike from Des Moines, IA:
I don't expect Ramsey to be instantly great. However, cornerback is a position where rookies can be good. Desmond Trufant was drafted 21st overall by the Falcons. He had a good season by any measure. I think PFF ranked him in the Top 10 at his position. The learning curve won't be a barrier for him; Ramsey can be as good as he wants. He will get excellent experience starting Week 1.
John: Just how good will Jalen Ramsey be as a rookie? How good will Myles Jack be? Those are sure to be O-Zone questions in the coming weeks, and similar comparisons to the ones you make will just as surely be made. The reality is all players are different so all players need different amounts of time to adapt to the NFL. Desmond Trufant indeed excelled as a rookie in 2013 and has emerged as a Pro Bowl player. Marcus Peters of the Kansas City also had a very good season as a rookie corner this past season. Patrick Peterson of Arizona made the Pro Bowl as a returner as a rookie, then improved significantly as a corner from Year One to Year Two. However good Ramsey is to start out, remember: if he's not at a Pro Bowl level in the first month of the season, don't panic. That's not unusual. What would be unusual is if there's no learning curve and if he doesn't get a lot better as time goes on.
Al from Orange Park, FL:
I enjoy it all on some level ...
John: You're a lucky guy, Al.
Brian from Duval County:
I know it's not Wishful Thinking Wednesday but is it too outrageous to believe Yeldon won't have a 1,000-yard rushing season? Side note: how has he looked during OTA's, does he look more impressive than last year?
John: It may be difficult for either of the Jaguars' running backs – T.J. Yeldon or Chris Ivory – to reach 1,000 yards in 2016 because they probably will be splitting carries. But it's not nearly as important for Ivory/Yeldon to reach statistical milestones as it is for them to be effective enough as a duo to give the Jaguars the threat of a running game. Too often last season that wasn't the case.
Brian from Staten Island:
Do you think if the Jags signed a player and got another player at no additional cost they would both play the BOGO position?
John: Well done.
Blues Man from Saint Johns, FL:
I wouldn't have classified Peyton Manning as having a cannon for an arm; he seemed to be a very cerebral quarterback, possessing the ability to dissect defenses. I've read he was a voracious film-study guy. Do you feel Blake Bortles is putting in the same effort Manning did - film study, that is? In your opinion, what was it that set Manning apart from most other quarterbacks? And, does Bortles have the same characteristics (mentally and film-study) as Manning? I'm not asking you if he'll be as good as Manning ... I'm just hoping Bortles puts in that extra effort that separates good quarterbacks from great quarterbacks. Thanks for all your reporting - you do a great job!
John: I can't accurately compare Bortles' film study and work ethic to Manning's for a couple of reasons. One, it's hard to compare how two players work unless you're in the film room, in the meeting room and on the practice field on a long-term basis with both players and no one ever has been in that situation with Manning and Bortles. It's also not fair to compare Bortles to Manning because the latter's work ethic was on an other-worldly, all-time level. It also was honed over years of offseasons and regular seasons. Manning had a routine and an approach that worked for him, and one that was built over time. What I can say is that Bortles is by all accounts from coaches and teammates a football junkie who takes his craft seriously in the offseason and the regular season. He studies, asks the right questions and shows the desire to improve by immersing himself in the offense. He wants to be great and puts in the work to achieve greatness. That's all you can ask of a young quarterback and he has that trait. That bodes extremely well for his future and that of the Jaguars.
Travis from North Dakota:
You answered Stephen's question recently by saying you thought Josh Evans would be Tashaun Gipson's replacement at safety, but wouldn't Jalen Ramsey be a better replacement if Gipson were to get hurt?
John: In theory, yes … but if you do that, you would be moving Ramsey from corner to safety – and therefore moving two players to address one position. That does make sense in that you could move Prince Amukamara or Aaron Colvin into the starting corner position in your scenario. Still, for now, the Jaguars want Ramsey to focus on the cornerback position. They believe that's important for his development. So, for the short term I don't know that you would see Ramsey move to safety in the event of an injury. Now, once he gets acclimated and masters cornerback …
Ryan from Apopka, FL:
So, I just read an article on the best player drafted by the Jaguars? It's pretty much between your favorite Jaguar of all-time, Tony Boselli, and Fred Taylor. Who would you pick?
John: I've long said I considered Tony Boselli – despite our well-chronicled personal distaste for one another – the best player in Jaguars history by a fraction of a nose over Fred Taylor, so I'd pick Boselli in this one by a fraction of a nose over Taylor.
Eduardo from Ponte Vedra, FL:
The most discouraging thing about last year's team was its tendency to self-destruct. Dropped passes on third down. Untimely penalties and interceptions. Missed field goals to win the game, missed extra points to lose it. Center-quarterback exchange issues handing the opponent a touchdown. Opposing quarterback 85 yards for a score. The list goes on. In your opinion are those things because of youth or coaching? What is it going to take for us to become a disciplined, precise football team that knows how to win?
John: Maturity and talent. The things you listed are what usually separates winning teams from losing teams because the things you listed are big mistakes at key moments. Immature teams that aren't good enough to win make such mistakes. The Jaguars are getting more talented and more mature; as that continues, the events that cause them to lose games should decrease.
Brian from Duval:
Has anybody stood out so far much like Allen Robinson did last offseason – or is it, we won't know till the pads come on, big O?
John: Allen Robinson indeed had an impressive offseason last offseason; through a week this offseason no Jaguars player really has matched that. But, remember: it's far more common for a receiver/skill player to standout in non-contact work than for a lineman or a linebacker to do so. Dante Fowler Jr.'s athleticism and Malik Jackson's size are impressive. Those two things were noticeable in Week 1. But it's still early. We have two more weeks of OTAs and a three-day minicamp after that. There's time.
Jason from Suffolk, VA:
Yesterday's Ozone cost me $1,000,000,000 to read. I will need my refund in cash only! Please and thank you! #DTWD
John: Cool. I'll need a verified receipt and we're all set.
Shaun from Macclenny, FL:
What up O? Just wondering what your thoughts were on the fact that having more talent at Leo could help in developing Luke Joeckel. It has had to have an effect on him in the past going against guys in practice who aren't as good as guys he's playing in games. Just as the improved secondary has got to help Blake Bortles. I'm sure he was getting away with a lot of those passes in practice that ebbed up being picks in the game. What are your thoughts on this subject?
John: I'm not a big believer the competition level in an NFL practice has a mammoth effect on immediate, next-Sunday performance. That's particularly true for linemen, where the nature of the practice work isn't all that comparable to the intensity level of games. Still, it certainly can't hurt.
Jeremy from South Korea:
Maybe we could have a FROTO position? Like a Free Safety/OTTO hybrid? Whatever happened to the days of calling positions by their, you know, position (I.e. Defensive End)?
John: I don't know, but I'm sure starting to miss those days, too.
Kyle from Ohio:
Well, obviously you didn't understand, so let me try again. Why is Dwayne Gratz ahead of Demetrius McCray? It is physically impossible that the coaches believe Gratz is ahead of McCray. If they truly believe Gratz is better, that would certainly explain the record.
John: OK then …
T.J. from Orlando, FL:
Bored. So bored. I need this summer to hurry up so I can see some live football. What do you do to survive these long stretches?
John: I answer questions about weird, made up position groups. I also answer questions from people dripping with football knowledge. How about you?

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