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O-Zone: Honoring persistence

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Lee from Jacksonville:
With our inexperienced quarterback, should I be concerned that Julius Thomas thinks the offense is difficult to learn?
John: I can't control what concerns you, but yes, the learning curve for all offensive players with this new offense absolutely will be a storyline to watch during training camp. A major theme during OTAs and minicamp was that the offense had made remarkably few errors during the initial on-field offensive install. As Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley noted in an upcoming question-answer piece for, that's about as much as can be expected at this point in the installation process. Bradley said later in the piece that much of training camp will be about getting through the preseason offensive struggles that likely will come with a new offense and ironing them out before the regular season. That's not to say the offense can't be productive next season. It absolutely can. But learning it and mastering it to some degree aren't simple tasks and those tasks must be done relatively quickly.
Eric from Portland via Jacksonville:
That subtle insert of FULL CONSISTENCY into the answer to Ned from Springfield … #FULLCONSISTENCY #Moodachay
John: #Moodachay
Cameron from Ottawa:
Do the Jags have two first round picks next year?
John: No. Though some O-Zone readers have commented that because of Dante Fowler Jr.'s injury it could seem as if the Jaguars had two first-round draft selections next offseason, they in fact currently have one.
Homer from Springfield:
You answered a question from "Ned" from Springfield. How could you, O? Are my questions not good enough? Here's one: what is your favorite work-day snack to eat while slacking off? I like to steal pink donuts from the break room and then sneak off to Moes. Heehee! Sometimes I read your column and imagine the "O" in O-Zone is a donut. Mmmmm...donuts. P.S. Screw Flanders!
John: Please direct all future snack-, slack-related questions to James "J.P." Shadrick.
Jim from St. Augustine, FL:
Hey John, I think you need a hat. Maybe one like Vito wears.
John: I have a hat. It cost $18. It's big, has a wide brim and Zane Beadles wants one just like it. That's good enough for me.
Rabbit from Jacksonville:
Referring to the email from Jordan from Clovis, California, about when to draft another quarterback, I would have to disagree with you. I think next year the Jaguars should draft a quarterback in the third-to-fifth round. Not trying to diss Blake at all – I think he will be a good player – but it allows for more competition and gives the new drafted quarterback a chance to sit and learn the offense/culture of the team. Also, next year, we won't have as many holes to fill in the draft. What say you, almighty O-man?
John: I took the question to mean, "When do you start pursuing another franchise-level, early-drafted quarterback?" My answer was that you searching for one when you believe the one you have can't get it done. So, yeah, if you're looking for a player in next year's draft to be a backup and develop, then sure … if the right guy is there in the later rounds, take him. As for "competition," a fourth-round quarterback isn't going to compete with Bortles. He's the quarterback until he proves that shouldn't be the case.
Caleb from Casselberry:
Does Jacksonville look better and more improved from last season?
John: Yes.
David from Monterrey, Mexico:
I just watched the LIVE segment with Allen Robinson. Wish he has the best year possible. I'd love for him to finally break that 1,000-yard barrier. Also, he says "you know" quite a bit. You know?
John: Robinson is an easy player for whom to root. He appears to be maturing rapidly on and off the field, and he's quite likable off it. I'm on record saying I believe he has a real chance to be an important core player for this offense. After this offseason, I think he has a chance to be that sooner than I originally believed. I didn't notice Robinson saying, "You know" a lot, though. When you have as many flaws as I do, you worry more about those than what others might be doing.
David from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
No mention of Allen Hurns, what's the deal?
John: Haven't mentioned Hurns? I wrote an entire "View from the O-Zone" on Hurns on June 4. While I don't keep a checklist of who I discuss in the O-Zone, on Inside the Jaguars or on Jaguars Today, I feel quite certain he has been discussed there, too. Hurns is doing fine. I'd be surprised if he's not very productive next season, and I'd be surprised if he's not one of the Jaguars' top three wide receivers.
Pradeep from Bangalore, India:
Hey John, could you tell us about the progress made by Allen Hurns?
John: I could, but apparently I never mention him on this website.
Shane from Atlanta, GA:
NO star players!? Sure hope Scobee doesn't read the O-Zone ...
John: I imagine Scobee reads the O-Zone on occasion. He probably won't do it as much for the next few weeks. Now that OTAs and minicamp are over, he won't have nearly as much free time.
William from Savannah, GA:
O-Man: streak? Are you planning on streaking? Say it ain't so, O!
John: Some things you don't do even when the public is clamoring.
Dane from Jacksonville:
BroZone, I'm back! Just want to point out how nice it is to hear the term, "crowded," to describe a position on our roster. The tight ends sure look good on paper and it seems like we are seeing stronger competition at every position across the board. The arrow is definitely pointing up.
John: Welcome back. Were you away?
Joe from Jacksonville:
John: Can players that stay in town during the dead zone still interact with coaches?
John: No. The rules that say players may not have football interaction with coaches between the regular season and offseason are the same for the period between minicamp and training camp.
Jerry from Tamarac, FL:
When a player is rehabbing from an injury, does the medical staff along with the workout personnel monitor his workouts to make sure he's not over or under doing it? How does that work?
John: Trainers, strength staff and team physicians work together to make sure players follow rehabilitation schedules and return-to-play protocols.
Matt from Stroudsburg, PA:
Was Dante Fowler at OTAs and is he at minicamp? If so, does that energetic personality show up on the sidelines during team work? He seemed to have a quality about him that would fire up a defensive unit regardless of his own situation.
John: Fowler has been around the facility, though not on the practice field. I expect him to be in meetings regularly next season and around the team. And yes, he does have a quality that is endearing to teammates, though I don't know how much of a factor he can be in keeping a team or unit "fired up" for an entire season.
Camron from Orlando, FL:
This may be a stupid question (yeah I know, there are no stupid questions, only stupid people) but I'm asking anyway: How do bye weeks get determined? Do teams have any say in the matter? Does the league have a NBA-lottery type drawing? Do they consult our reptilian overlords? Help me out, Johnny O.
John: Byes are decided by the NFL's schedule-markers. It's not random as much as a matter of the schedule-makers figuring a schedule that works for 32 different teams.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
I have always thought that the preseason should be reduced to just two games. I understand it's a player evaluation and team-building phase but maybe you could add a couple games to the regular season. I mean, if our players are going to risk injury, let's make it count for something. Am I alone on this?
John: You're not alone, but we're not on the same page. While many fans and even the NFL Commissioner seem to favor moving to two games, I don't see that as a good option. The player-evaluation aspect of the preseason is real. If you cut it to two it will be very difficult to get front-line players the repetitions to prepare for the regular season and the players competing for jobs enough reps to prove their roster worthiness. I dislike preseason games as much as anyone. They can be tedious to cover and the preseason can seem to linger forever, but in this case, they truly are a necessary tedium.
Chris from San Marco:
I had the opportunity to chat with J.P. Shadrick at Aardwolf Thursday for a bit about the depth at linebacker. I was curious about how the team views Jeremiah George as well as some of the others. Has anyone a made a mark yet in the offseason outside of he and LaRoy Reynolds and how have they looked?
John: You saw Shadrick at Aardwolf? Are you sure it wasn't the statue they erected of him in the tap room?

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