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O-Zone: Human interaction

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Wallace from Jacksonville:
Looking at the remaining schedule, it's looking like the Jaguars are going to have a tough time matching last year's win total of four unless some of the other teams catch the injury bug in a big way. Which games do you think the Jaguars have the best shot at winning? After the Texans and Titans at home, no other games look winnable.
John: I honestly have no idea which games the Jaguars have the "best shot at winning," and I'm not a big "Winnable Games" guy anyway. That's because NFL games are played when they are played – not beforehand and not on paper. That answer will frustrate, I'm sure, but when I look at the NFL, I don't look far ahead and don't play the game of, "This team beat this team, so they will beat that other team because some other team beat another team." How the Jaguars fare the rest of the season will depend on … the Jaguars! They must get better. They must start growing. They must start maturing. They must start developing. I don't know how quickly all of that will happen, and I don't know in which games they will play their best. But if the Jaguars are starting to play better – and I believe they are – they will have the opportunity to win games. How many of those games they will win remains to be seen.
Armand from Jacksonville:
John, when will people realize that this is Year 2 of the rebuild, not Year 12?
John: As is the case so often, those who get it … get it; those who don't … well, they probably never will.
Fritz from Berlin, Germany:
What are the chances of Aaron Colvin playing this season?
John: I think there's a very good chance Jaguars cornerback Aaron Colvin will come off the Physically Unable to Perform list this season sometime after the window opens. There is a five-week window beginning next week when Colvin can begin practicing, and there is a three-week window that begins when he practices for the team to decide if it wants to activate him. Considering that he is coming off January anterior cruciate ligament surgery and hasn't practiced since, I anticipate it taking some time for Colvin to be ready to play significant repetitions.
Bill from Murfreesboro:
Hey O-man, all things considered, do we draft offense or defense heavy next year? Just asking ...
John: Defense.
Chad from Naples, FL:
All I have heard since Jerry Sullivan has come to Jacksonville is "what a great receivers coach he is." Well, it still seems our receivers don't catch the ball consistently. Some drop the ball more than others, but they all seem to have their drops. Can you explain to me why Mr. Sullivan is such a good coach if he can't teach them how to catch?
John: First off, receivers drop passes – yes, all receivers. Just as all linemen miss blocks and all quarterbacks throw incomplete passes. Perfection is a goal few achieve, though I am fortunate enough be read by some of those few. Sullivan is considered a very, very good receivers coach because of his ability to teach young players and veterans alike the details and subtleties of route-running at the NFL level. There is a significant difference in what it takes to get open at the NFL level than college, which is one reason you see many talented receivers fail in the NFL. Teaching wide receivers to catch is part of a coach's job, but not nearly as big a part as teaching them to get open. Teaching people to have good hands is tricky; there is technique in catching – hand placement, how to attack the ball, etc. – but there also is an element of a guy just needing to be able to do it. As far as Sullivan's credentials, don't ask me; ask Larry Fitzgerald, an All-Pro receiver who also isn't perfect but also isn't bad. He swears by Sullivan, and tried to get Sullivan to Arizona before he came to Jacksonville. If it's good enough for Fitzgerald, it's good enough for me.
David from Maplewood, NJ:
What was your take on the comments Gus made about losing not being acceptable? I know it's just semantics, but a clear deviation from his usual talking points. He said "it needed to be said." Was it needed for the players, the fans, ownership or some combination of the three?
John: It was mainly a message to the players, though I'm sure fans liked hearing it. Bradley's point to the players was that while the overriding goal is to continue improving daily – and while that is the core of his philosophy – there is another level that needed to be reached and that the end result of winning still must occur. As far as ownership … no, I don't think Bradley was sending a message there. Ownership has a clear idea of what's going on with football and doesn't need to be sent messages through the media.
John from Boynton Beach, FL:
Is there a do-not-post-their-question list and am I on it?
John: Yes. No. Wait …
Terron from Jacksonville:
OK, with the Blackmon situation let's consider Cris Carter. Cris Carter was cut by the Eagles because of issues with alcohol and drug abuse. What happens if we release Blackmon and he goes on to make a Hall-of-Fame career elsewhere...wouldn't that hurt?!?!? I say keep Blackmon and support him. Do you believe?
John: The Jaguars haven't released Blackmon. They have gone about building the roster as if he won't return, and that's the practical, prudent approach. But they have not given up on him, and everything they have said is that it's their hope he gets the help he needs to address his off-field issues. I believe if Blackmon plays in the NFL again, it will be for the Jaguars, so I don't see this being a Cris Carter situation in that respect.
You're Duke from Jacksonville:
Why do you disrespect the rookies calling them kids? There isn't one "kid" in the league.
John: Yes, Alex … I'll take "Overthinking It" for 300 please. Thanks.
Jake from Jacksonville:
The Jags are putting a D-Squad team out on the field now and we are to believe this team is better than last year's? This team has 0-16 written all over it. No quality players and no veteran leadership will do that. Oh, and a franchise quarterback doesn't throw six picks in two-and-a-half games. A bust does that.
John: #DTWD
Al from Orange Park, FL:
Assuming all are totally healthy, what would be your wide receiver depth chart for THIS week? Running back?
John: Both positions are sort of practicing lately by committee, and I expect there to be an element of that in the game Sunday. I'd say the Jaguars stick with Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson starting at wide receiver because they have been practicing and playing full in recent weeks. Then, if Marqise Lee and Cecil Shorts III are available – as appears is likely going to be the case – I'd say they're three and four with Ace Sanders fifth. At running back, Toby Gerhart is out, and if I had to guess, I'd say Jordan Todman starts with Storm Johnson getting most of the carries. I'd guess Denard Robinson is in the mix, but not as much as Todman and Johnson.
Steve from Woodbine, GA:
I just read where Calvin Johnson will be a free agent at the end of the year. Do you think David Caldwell will try to sign him?
John: I get that Calvin Johnson's cap number will be tricky for the Lions. I get that he has been injured. I just don't get the idea that he will be available in free agency. It will just be hard for a team to let a player of his talent, production and stature go. If he's available would the Jaguars be interested? Sure. Who wouldn't be? But this is a long, long way off and probably not worth fretting over just yet.
Chris from Mandarin, FL:
The situation with Shorts is a really delicate one, obviously. Do you think he'll start if he plays this week even though he's the most experienced receiver? Would it not make sense to give him roughly 20 plays rather than 40 or so that he may as a starter? I say bring him along slow if he's going to play...
John: I doubt Shorts will start Sunday even if healthy, if only because he has practiced just a couple of times in the last two weeks. And yes, I would say they would keep his plays down a bit until he gets going full speed. Shorts is ready and eager to play a full game, but it seems as if he might be curtailed at least a bit at first.
Earny from Springville, AL:
Could you please ask Bob Babich to avoid drumming on the desk during his press conference? Very distracting.
John: The Jaguars are 0-5. The defense is starting to look better after a tough start, but still needs to play well for the Jaguars to have a chance. The team has a road game Sunday and didn't know most of the week who the opponent will start at quarterback. But yes … I'll sidle up to Babich on the charter Saturday and bring up your point. I suppose that will go about as well as a lot of my interactions with people.

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