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O-Zone: Everyone's accusing me

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Eric from New York City:
O-Man … Seriously, what the heck is up with Mr. Lee and all these injuries? I just don't get it. How can someone continuously have injury flare ups like this? I don't care how much potential talent is there; the best ability is availability. Here's to hoping this is just another minor setback.
John: The Jaguars, too, certainly hope Marqise Lee's setback is minor. And at this point, there's no reason to think his hamstring injury sustained Wednesday is serious. As far as how to put Lee's injury issues in perspective, that's tricky. You're right that it's frustrating and a concern. On the one hand, he has missed three NFL games. That's not unusual and it's not as if his career has been defined by injuries. Aside from three games missed with a hamstring issue last season, the angst and anxiety fans have felt over Lee has been about offseason and organized team activities – and there's really nothing to indicate those absences have set him back. At the same time, until Lee stops having these injuries, these questions will get asked and fans will be frustrated. So, we wait and see. This may well be a blip that's barely remembered during the regular season. But for now, it's enough of a trend to be a worry.
Derek from Orlando, FL:
Hey O, can I please get a shout-out for my Mom who passed away too young Tuesday? She's the reason I've been a diehard Jags fan since the beginning, and she was a longtime season-ticket holder. Games just won't be the same without her this year.
John: Absolutely. RIP, Mom.
Reginald from Gatorproof, AR:
Can you explain why Storm Johnson and Chris Clemons are not practicing? With Clemons' worrying talks with Gus, are we waiting on a suspension? He's missing first-team reps with no timetable. Odd to say the least.
John: Johnson will return to practice Thursday. I don't see Clemons being suspended. I suspect he'll start practicing in due time and I don't worry much about him in the meantime. He has been playing professional football a long time. He hasn't forgotten how.
Austin from Atlanta, GA:
I've come to expect nothing less but quiet production from him, but how has Demetrius McCray looked early in camp?
John: Quietly productive.
Steve from Jacksonville:
In the spirit of "how they look in camp so far," how's J.P. looking in camp so far? Any progress reports?
John: Think Demetrius McCray and think way away from that. Like polar opposite.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville:
Given the amount of money and talent these players have, why would someone put that in jeopardy by messing with illegal substances? Look at Blackmon and now Sanders … I just can't fathom how you would not be able to recognize the sheer blessing you are gifted with in playing for the NFL. Millions of dollars a year or a few hours of pleasure abusing a substance. Seems pretty simple to me. What's the draw?
John: To you, it's simple. To many people, it's simple. Evidence in and out of professional sports clearly shows that to many people the issue of substances – illegal or otherwise – is not nearly as simple as you suggest.
Tony from Palm Coast, FL:
If you had to pick one player on our defense to take a step into the Pro Bowl this year, who would it be?
John: Aaron Colvin, though I think he might be a year away from the Pro Bowl.
Patrick from Jacksonville:
Again, John? I thought Marqise Lee would be 100 percent coming into camp? Can we just allow Allen Hurns to grab a hold of the No. 2 spot and never let it go?
John: First, Lee was 100 percent entering camp. Second, why on earth would you want to "just allow" Allen Hurns to grab the No. 2 receiver spot? At the expense of Lee – as in, quitting on Lee? Look, I understand that fans get anxious and upset when players deal with injuries. What I don't understand is fans' anger over the issue or the quickness with which they tend to venomously write players off. If you're a Jaguars fan, you can get frustrated and angry all you want, but you need to pull for Lee to stay healthy. He's a dynamic player who can change field position and games in one play, and that's something this team needs.
John from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Is Arrelious Benn just a guy in camp or does he have a legitimate chance to make the roster? He appears to have a tremendous amount of athletic ability but he has not been able to stick with a team.
John: It was easy during the offseason to think Benn was just a camp guy. I thought the same thing for a while. But he continues to make plays, and when you look at his resume you see NFL size, speed and second-round talent. You also see that injuries have hampered him throughout his NFL career. You start combining the resume and what you're seeing on the field and you start thinking he's a lot more than a camp body. You also start to realize he has a real chance to make the team and perhaps even contribute. Right now it looks as though he'll do just that.
Jack from Jacksonville:
Just to mess with people you should change the name of the segment to "Jags of the Square Table" and film it in front of a round table. You're welcome.
John: Why's that?
Brett from Mason City:
So who on the schedule besides Indy (maybe) and Baltimore (maybe) can't we beat... just sayin #DTWD!!
John: #DTWD
Duane from Tallahassee, FL:
Can you please ask the Jags to sign Ray Rice? He is available. I know he has baggage but we need him bad.
John: My first thought was to answer this question, "Do they?" I didn't, because I don't want to be snide. At the same time, I look at the Jaguars' running back position and see a deep group that they like a lot. I'm not sure Ray Rice makes much sense for this team right now.
Tom from Ponte Vedra Beach and Section 106:
What did you think about the line play now that the pads were on? From what little I could see, Joeckel looks big, strong and tough; Parnell looks mean; Bowanko looks intent to keep his job; Thomas looks like the real deal.
John: I'll include what I saw Sunday in my thoughts; the Jaguars practiced that day in shoulder pads. Yes, Joeckel looks bigger and stronger, but I'm not going to say after two practices that he looks dramatically improved; let's let it play out. Right tackle Jermey Parnell absolutely looks like a really good signing and right guard Brandon Linder continues to look very good; it looks like the Jaguars have something on the right side. Overall, the line has looked better early, particularly run blocking. The group looks really aggressive there. After two days.
Jarrell from Columbia, SC:
Lee is another Cecil Shorts. Good but not available.
John: Fair point. I wouldn't write off a player who has missed three NFL games as chronically injury-prone and unavailable, but until Lee doesn't have these soft-tissue injuries these are things people have every reason to believe and say.
Trace from Jacksonville:
Just wanted to say - I loved your Tabmok Seltrob reference yesterday
John: Some of us are very easily amused. I am thankful for that every day.
Dave from Oviedo, FL:
O-man, savior of the universe, I am really digging the Jags' three-headed monster at running back, but I'm not feeling this talk about Toby Gerhart being the third-down receiving back? It seems that Yeldon and especially Robinson would create greater mismatches for defenses. Why Gerhart?
John: He's good at it; he played well in the role at Minnesota and late last season. But I wouldn't necessarily pigeon-hole Gerhart into a third-down receiving role. He's running well early in camp. The Jaguars believe he can be effective running this season, too.
Matt from Stroudsburg, PA:
What is the benefit of having Colvin in the slot during three-wide receiver sets as opposed to staying outside? Generally, a team's best wide receiver will stay outside the numbers. If Colvin is playing well outside against a team's better receivers, why take him off on third down and give the wide receiver a better chance to convert the first down?
John: Because the slot/middle of the field has become more and more important in the NFL and it is hard to find a corner with all of the skills to play well in there. Colvin can not only cover man to man he is a very good zone player and can blitz. Those are skills needed inside, and the Jaguars believe he can be very effective there.
Biff from Jacksonville:
Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us!!! Gabba Gabba Hey!!! Gabba Gabba Hey!!!
John: I just met a nurse that I could go for.

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