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O-Zone: Golden child

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it … Roger from New York City, NY:
On the DL, has anyone noticed that the game change to 4:25 p.m. actually helps Seattle? Only one additional market nationally gets this game that would not have. One more may pick it up and that is in your very own state. “Sorry, but we prefer Seattle and a Tennessee team that may actually relocate to you in the playoffs. There are a few other angles we would not like in the national spotlight, too, but we had to throw you a bone since you are good and you do not have any prime-time or night games. Sorry about the A.J. Green thing, too.” I am supposed to say, UH, Duval till your dead here, right?
John: Your question began with at least a hint of clarity, and while I got lost in the haze of conspiracy and accusations, I do understand your point – and I agree that moving the game to 4:25 could help the Seahawks in terms of adjusting to the time difference. I also agree that flexing the game from 1 p.m. to 4:25 p.m. had pretty much zero effect on viewership because it’s still going to mostly Northeast Florida and Northwest markets. So, why was it flexed in the first place? My sense it had more to do with getting a highly-watched game (Dallas-New York Giants) to the 1 p.m. slot than anything else. Remember: the league flexed Dallas-Giants out of the late-afternoon slot into the 1 p.m. slot when it flexed the Jaguars-Seahawks to 4:25 p.m., and I imagine Dallas-Giants because of the two teams/markets will get a heavy viewership at 1 p.m. (yes, heavier than Seattle-Jacksonville) When the league flexed Dallas-New York out of the late afternoon slot, it needed a game to air opposite Rams-Philadelphia. Seahawks-Jaguars became that game. Either way, there is no conspiracy. I’m sorry to disappoint people, but the league has no reason to help Seattle or Tennessee as opposed to the Jaguars. There was no back-room deal. There was no meeting around a board-room table with men in sunglasses and fancy suits. There was no conference call or scheming. None of this happened. But if it helps you sleep to believe it did, hey … believe away.
Brosher from Duval:
Can u bench press Calais? C'mon, give it the ol' college try!
John: This is a common misperception. Because of my chiseled physique, people who know me – and people who don’t know me but who have been fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of me in public – often say, “My, I’m sure John often performs feats of great strength. I’d like to see one of these sometime.” Alas, ‘tis not the case. I could not bench press Calais Campbell. In fact, I doubt I could lift his shoes.
Jake from Spokane, WA:
The Jaguars have been able to pressure the opposing quarterback with just a four-man rush consistently all season. However, considering they are facing Russell Wilson come Sunday, would it make some sense for the Jags to blitz a bit more than usual to force Wilson to get rid of the ball much quicker rather than having him be able to run around Tarkenton-like and buy time for the receivers?
John: I think the Jaguars will blitz occasionally Sunday because it’s best to get to Wilson quickly, therefore giving him less time to escape the rush and make plays with his legs. But the perils of blitzing Wilson are the same as the perils of blitzing any quarterback. The more you blitz, the fewer defenders in the back end. If Wilson avoids the blitz and extends plays, then he’s throwing against fewer defenders. That’s dangerous.
Dylan from Tulsa:
Mr. O, as much I love Telvin Smith and the fire he brings to the defense, it was great seeing Poz out there getting his work. The guy has never seen a winning season since he got here and he deserves this season. Do you think his impact in the game last weekend will result in him seeing the field more?
John: No. The playing time of the Jaguars’ three linebackers – Posluszny, Myles Jack and Telvin Smith – has nothing to do with Posluszny’s level of play. No one around the Jaguars ever thought he was playing at anything but a high level. Posluszny plays in base situations; Jack and Smith play in base situations and nickel packages. When the game situations calls for base, Posluszny will play. When it calls for nickel, he will not.
Jesse from Orlando, FL:
John, I feel the game next Sunday will gauge how much the team has improved. The Seahawks just took down the best team in the NFL.
John: Sunday’s game against Seattle will be huge – and I believe if the Jaguars win, it will be their biggest accomplishment of the season to date. The Seahawks are a veteran team that knows how to win – and they are playing for their playoff lives in a tough NFC. If the Jaguars lose, it doesn’t mean they aren’t good or that they haven’t improved. But if the Jaguars want to prove that they’re a tough team capable of winning in the postseason … yes, a victory Sunday would go a long way toward that.
Nick from Annapolis, MD:
I find it very … frustrating ... that I can't bring myself to be a fan of the Jaguars’ best defensive player – possibly best overall player – in Jalen Ramsey. He comes off consistently as an immature brat and has horrible – borderline embarrassing – media interactions. Do we think this is intentional to keep the media away from him?
John: Nah. Ramsey’s not a bad kid. Is he a little “out there?” Sure. Is he going to say bizarre things from time to time? Sure. Is he going to “spit facts?” and light up Twitter from time to time? Sure. Is he going to have some odd interviews? Sure. You know what? So what? Ramsey in my experience with him is a pretty good guy. I honestly like him and find him entertaining. Remember: If the worst thing someone does in life is have some memorable interactions with the media that are funny to some and rub a few other people the wrong way … well, that’s a pretty forgivable sin in the big picture.
Sebastian from Austin, TX:
If 2015 and 2016 never happened, and Blake was following up his rookie season playing as he is now, do you think there would be less we-need-a-better-quarterback-talk with more young-quarterback-is-progressing talk – or have the improvements we've wanted and have seen this year not been enough to consider him a good young franchise quarterback?
John: If Bortles were in his first or second season, he absolutely would be viewed differently. His good games would be seen as strikingly good and his bad games would be attributed to youth and inexperience. How the Jaguars view Bortles this offseason will be intriguing. Will they see him as a quarterback with four years of experience who should be further along in his development? Will they see him as having played in his first season in his current system and developing in that system – and therefore capable of continuing to improve? We’ll see.
Jags Fan 818 from Jacksonville:
OK, Zone: Here goes. I'm excited to be at EverBank Field at every game! The Seahawks have a great reputation, won the Super Bowl and have RESPECT in the NFL unlike the Jaguars. I give credit to Russell Wilson and his abilities, but I also give credit to the JAGUARS’ defense! I believe we win this game. I also think it'll be a few more years before the NFL gives us the RESPECT it does other teams – even if we go to the Super Bowl and win!!! If the Titans can beat them, so can we! Go Jaguars! You've got this!!!
John: If the Jaguars win the Super Bowl, they will be respected. If they win the Super Bowl and aren’t respected, they won’t care – and I don’t know how much fans will care, either. The ring is cooler than respect.
Nathan from Provo since ’01 I think:
John, I can't remember when there was so much MORE than the O-Zone. I love it. My question is your take on who you see, now, in the AFC big game? It is no longer a new, unfamiliar feeling. Now is now. And I'm watching Jaguars Football get December exciting. Probably will until . . . Who knows? "Win, on this day. Win, on this day". 'Tis odd, being a fan, because I can picture N.O. in the SB. I only picture N.E. and JAX in the AFC big game. I will loose my sh*rt if my Team is in the Super Bowl. Tears will flow before the 2017 Football season ends. And yes, all of us Jags fans will love it. #TheIronBank
John: I have no idea what this really means, and I’m not sure I want to know. But you certainly seem enthusiastic. Stay gold, Pony Boy. Stay gold.

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