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O-Zone: Grand illusion

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … John from Elizabeth City, NC:
Here's the problem I see: This team more than likely will be competitive and around 6-10 to 8-8 – and to the loyal fans that would be a success. Unfortunately, right now there aren't enough loyal fans to fill the stadium. When or if this team isn't in the playoff hunt those fans will revert back to, "This is the same old Jags." Unfortunately, the Jags need those fans to keep this team in Jacksonville. So, it's hard not to worry.
John: Goodness. That's a lot of worry, and anyone with knowledge of the NFL will tell you that in the long term any team needs to fill the stadium and maximize local revenue. To say otherwise is to ignore reality. But the phrase, "to keep this team in Jacksonville" attaches a do-or-die-right-this-very-minute tone to the conversation that simply doesn't exist right now. The Jaguars have made and continue to make great strides locally, and they continue to make significant commitment to the local community. There is constant, significant work to be done to make the NFL work in Jacksonville, but the Jaguars are committed to doing that work.
Jim from Neptune Beach, FL:
Would you let the audio/video personnel know in many of the interviews they put on the website, questions asked of the interviewee are not audible. For example, in Coach Bradley's interview, most of the questions are barely audible, so a question/answer sounds like a reporter saying: "mumble, mumble, mumble?" Coach Bradley: "Yes, we worked on that. Good question. I think we'll be fine! We're really pleased with that!" Huh??? Unless I turn the volume up all the way, and that lets everyone in my office know what I'm doing, I have no idea what the questions are. #whatdidvitosay
John: This is a question I address now and again, because it is a question I get now and again. When we at stream a press conference of a player or coach, there are indeed times when the questions are less audible than others. Reporters asking questions are often away from the podium and away from our cameras. We make every effort to make things as audible as possible, but there are limits to how many places we can all be at once. Hence, the choice is sometimes to either run the press conference with some inaudible questions or to not run the press conference at all. We choose the former.
Brian from Orange Park, FL:
Lots of awesomeness emanating from … thanks. Question: How do I avoid Injury anxiety? Seeing the Cowboys Sean Lee go down on the first day of OTAs, and then hearing Marqise Lee jammed his wrist on our second day, scares me. Ugh. I can't bear the thought of another injury to Luke or Brew and what that could do to our O-Line. I'm officially losing sleep over this. See ya June 5.
John: Hey, I emanate what I emanate. Sometimes it's awesome and sometimes it's something else. I'm sorry you're losing sleep, but injuries are part of the NFL. That's really true when players are hitting in pads, but it's true whatever the time of season or offseason. That answer doesn't help you, but it's how it is.
Biff from Jacksonville:
Playoff fact or fiction: NHL > NBA? I need to know you know enough to know the truth.
John: NHL. Why? Was someone saying it was close?
Chip from Jacksonville:
Hey O - Is dampering a portmantaeu?
John: I think it's a Chardonnay.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
Does Jeff Lageman still have a role with the Jaguar game broadcasts?
John: Yes, he is broadcasting the games along with Tony Boselli and Frank Frangie. This means there are two people in the booth I respect and admire very much.
Chris from Mandarin, FL:
I get Henne's role. I get that there are very few rookie quarterbacks that could play to Chad Henne or even Kyle Orton's level for that matter. That being said, where does Jedd Fisch get off saying that Henne is a really good quarterback? He's never been a really good quarterback. For one thing, he's never thrown more touchdowns than interceptions and he's been to the playoffs once, largely on a great defense and powerful running game. Why all the coach speak and adulation for a guy that really is not that good? Still, I like what he can do for Blake Bortles' development this year.
John: Where does Jedd Fisch get off saying that? Is that what you said? Are you as upset as that sounds, and if so … really? I guess he gets off saying that because he's the offensive coordinator and the guy's boss and his coach and is responsible for coaching him – and because the organization made a decision to have Henne as the quarterback, and they wouldn't have made the decision if they didn't believe it. Besides, what in the world else is he supposed to say? And when you think about it, where would he get off saying anything else?
Todd from Jacksonville:
I personally am very concerned about the center position. Whenever it's brought up I hear Brewster's name and the other undrafted guy's name. What about our sixth-round pick, Bowanko? Is he not in the competition? I would have thought a guy worth drafting may have the talent to challenge two undrafted guys for the job. What do you think?
John: Yes, Luke Bowanko will have a chance to be in the mix at the center position, though remember: it takes time for rookies to develop, particularly later-round selections. But I don't necessarily think there's automatically a huge difference between a sixth-round selection and an undrafted player. Quite often there's not. Remember, too, that while Mike Brewster went undrafted he has been in the NFL two seasons, and that maturity and added size doesn't hurt.
Carrie from Pooler, GA:
I recently watched a show that featured the late legendary writer and director John Hughes of Home Alone and Ferris Bueller fame to only mention two of his classics. You remind me of him in terms of looks and demeanor. Do you get that often?
John: No, that's a new one. I got Simon Lebon a lot when I was younger, Drew Carey a few times lately, and I once knew a girl who said I looked like I ought to get the heck away from her— and in retrospect, I probably was out of line.
Frank from Knoxville, TN:
What is the deal with Josh Evans waiting until May 20 to have surgery? With him fighting for his starting job with Winston Guy, why would he put himself behind the Eight Ball by waiting to have a surgical procedure done right before OTAs? Seems like a bad move on his part that may hamper his ability to keep/win the job and open him up to someone else taking his reps away. Kinda concerning, no?
John: Life isn't always perfect. Evans ideally would probably have had surgery right after the season, but bone spurs are a rather non-specific injury. Evans figured at first the situation would heal and when it continued to bother him, he opted to have surgery so it wouldn't hamper him during the season. The human body works that way sometimes. It's not always clear cut.
Eric from the Bold New City of the South:
I can most likely only make one game this season. Flying to London would be amazing but a man can only eat so much Ramen. What game do you think would be best? Steelers? Titans? Texans? Any other?
John: I always struggle with this line of questioning – probably because it's so difficult to know good or bad a game might be so far in advance. I'll say, "Pittsburgh," because the atmosphere figures to be intense that day, but we'll see.
Quinn from Tampa, FL:
Who do you think will see more action in preseason between Bortles and Stanzi? My gut says Bortles. Will that have any implication as to who will replace Henne in case of injury?
John: I think Bortles will see more action in preseason than Henne. I honestly don't know yet what that will imply. I don't know that the Jaguars yet have a definitive feel for who will be the backup. It's something that after the draft they believed they had time to let play out, and we're three days into that process.
Kevin from Orange Park, FL:
Are players actually trying out for roster spots as early as OTAs? Or is this more of a situation where they are getting an opportunity to learn the system prior to training camp? Also, do position battles begin this early? Don't want to sound like an idiot but I've always been curious.
John: Players are always competing. That's true in the NFL, and it's particularly true with a team coached by Gus Bradley. But the most meaningful competition – the time when you will see real and perhaps permanent changes on the depth chart – typically come in training camp. That's when pads go on, and when coaches start making detailed decisions.
Buddy from Jacksonville:
Winning is all that matters. The General Manager and the coach have their guy now. If it is a sub-.500 season heads are going to roll and hopefully with the change of guard a winning attitude, not a rebuilding attitude. If they don't put Bortles in there, everybody's job is up for grabs. There is no time for sitting on the bench a season and then seeing what happens next year. This is a playoff season, or else! Don't you agree?
John: Buddy's back.

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