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O-Zone: Feed the beast

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … La Shae from Maryland:
Blake threw four interceptions in one practice. Aaarghhhhhh!!!! Time to jump ship!! Season is over!!!!!
John: Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles actually threw five interceptions in Saturday night's practice on the practice fields adjacent to EverBank Field. His doing so does not mean the season is over. That needs to be said first. At the same time, Bortles didn't look good and he didn't appear to make good decisions. That decision-making has been an issue far too long. Does Saturday mean Bortles will be terrible all season? Of course not. But does it mean he has to look a whole lot better and figure out what went on? Absolutely.
Bill from Jacksonville:
The first practice that mattered – the first one – and Blake was horrendous. Please tell us, John, why this isn't a problem? Thanks. Go Jags!
John: Of course, it's a problem. Why wouldn't it be a problem? Head Coach Doug Marrone clearly wasn't happy after Saturday night's practice and said it's a concern. He's right. It doesn't mean it's not fixable. But it must get fixed.
Jerrell from Columbia, SC:
John, John, John … what will it take for this organization to just cut Blake???? Five picks in practice??? Really??? If they walk this bum out on the field for 16 games, the record will be 3-13 easily. You would think they would have gotten the memo by now.
John: Saturday night was bad. No question.
Different year, same Blake:
So much for that lit fire you said Blake had. If you're in the Jags front office and after seeing that performance and seeing nothing has changed, do you start making alternative plans for the season or do ride it out and have another three-win season?
John: Your question implies Bortles lacks motivation. Five interceptions in practice, while not good and honestly bad, doesn't say he's not motivated. It says he had a bad practice.
Dave from Duval:
Dear, Mr. O: Tell Blake not to sweat it. As the great Allen Iverson once said, "We're talkin' about practice!"
John: OK.
Zac from Coughlinville:
Four INTs in one practice. I can see Coughlin's face now!! Lol.
John: It was five. And no one was Lol-ing.
Jean from Jacksonville:
Why does the media continue to interview Marrone when every one of his sentences begins with "obviously?" If everything he says is so obvious, how is that newsworthy?
John: The media interviews Marrone because he is the head coach and therefore what he says about the team is news. Obviously.
Cliff Lives in The Underworld:
Sorry 'bout your inbox John.
John: Me, too.
Stu from Sandy:
Hi John, Do you think we'll look back at the 2016 season and see it as a critical season for this team? I wonder if we had gone maybe 6-10 would we have had a head coaching change, would the pressure to improve been on Blake Bortles as much and would we have gone running back in the first? I feel if we had gone 6-10 none of these would have happened and the Jags would be doomed to average to poor play for many, many years.
John: I think if the Jaguars had gone 6-10 last season this past offseason would have played out pretty much as it did. I imagine there still would have been a coaching change, and I believe there would have been pressure on Bortles to improve this season. Now, that doesn't mean 2016 wasn't critical. It produced a coaching change, and a regime change. Any season that does that is by definition a turning point.
Josh from Pensacola, FL:
How is Myles Jack looking so far in camp? Any causes for concern and/or optimism?
John: He looks fine. He looks fast. He looks athletic. The pads go on this week and that will matter for Jack and the entire defense. Stay tuned.
Jon from Jacksonville:
I am fan. Hear me roar. I want wins. We will win. We will lose. We will have injured players. We will have cuts. We will have surprises. We will have disappointments. We will have lots of Moodachays. We will have great highlight plays. We will have some lowlight plays. We will have swimming pools. Fans will be respectful. Fans will curse. Fans will complain about London game. Fans will appreciate we still have team. Coaches will work hard. Players will work hard. John O. will work hard. Owner will keep mustache.
John: #DTWD
Aaron from White Hall, AR:
True or false: By the end of the season Allen Robinson will be considered a Top 5 receiver? I say true. What do you say?
John: I say the tricky part to this question is "will be considered." By who? Jaguars fans? Robinson himself? A consensus of fans and media? I think Robinson has a chance to take a big leap this season because I like what I've seen from his focus, intensity and offseason approach. If he takes that step, he will be among the better receivers in the NFL. I don't know who would consider him what, but that would be pretty good.
Greg from Section122 and Jacksonville:
O-Man? You are 51? Wow. You wear it well. I am getting ready to turn the big 50 in a couple of months. Any advice? My wife is already planning a humiliation event (she calls it a birthday party). Does it get better after the 50?
John: Life? No, life never gets better.
Big Dwayne from Miami, FL:
Oehser, TV writers aren't worried about accuracy or research; they're trying to elicit emotional responses from viewers. It's a bigger bonus for them if the response results in praise/complaints in the week following an episode. That comment written into last week's episode did a couple of things: it set up the closing idea of moving a fictional franchise to Las Vegas in the shows story line, and it gave Fins fans in NoFlo a chance to feel a tiny bit better about themselves in the short term. I'd say ol' Greg from the Du' will be coming back for more ... especially once the Jags start laying it down on the rest of the league this year. You smell it Johnny-boy ... you smell it!
John: I smell something. I do know that.
Baby Boi from Jax:
Why do we play the Chargers every year? I love you.
John: The Jaguars and Chargers play every season because that's how the NFL schedule rotation falls. Wait … what?
Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
John, what is the advantage of putting a player on the PUP list at start of training camp?
John: Placing a player on the physically unable to perform list is often a precautionary move. If a player begins training camp on PUP, it allows him to potentially be placed on PUP at the start of the regular season – therefore preventing the team from having to decide whether to keep the player on the active roster or injured reserve. A player on regular-season PUP doesn't cost a team a roster spot and the player can be brought back during a specified window during the regular season. A player on injured reserve often is lost for the season. There's a lot to explain, but the bottom line is you can't place a player on PUP once he practices; if you want that roster protection, you have to place him on PUP. There's also no risk to the move because a player on PUP can be moved to the active roster at any time.
Brian from Gainesville, FL:
Big O, what's wrong with these people? Passes or pass "defensed" is the nomenclature of gridiron football. The system in question – in this case football – gets to decide on its own preferred language. This is not about formal vs. informal or written vs. spoken. There is no debate here.
John: Not from this writer, there isn't.
Peggy from Jacksonville:
Remember that time you scored four touchdowns in one game?
John: I never scored four touchdowns in a game. I played basketball, not football. And while playing the weakest of possible forwards, I did score 16 points in a February '83 loss to Hilliard in the old bandbox gym at Jacksonville Episcopal High School. I started the game on fire – off the bench, obviously – and had 10 scalding points by halftime. I inexplicably started the second half equally hot and had my 16 sometime in the third quarter. My coach, John Howard, and my teammates were undoubtedly perplexed by this sudden outburst from Doctor O. Still, they fed the beast; visions of ascending into the pantheon of the game's greats – and, of course, NBA stardom – danced in my head. Alas, beset by fatigue, Doc's performance inevitably found its talent level and I missed my next two jump shots from the foul line. Having played my streak for all it was worth, Howard pulled me from the game. I sat gasping on the bench, my hot streak now history and my NBA dreams inevitably drifting from my very winded grasp.

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