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O-Zone: Impressive stuff

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Daniel from Jersey City, NJ:
O'man, do we have any players disruptive enough that teams specifically plan for them or do teams always have players to specifically plan for?
John: Teams always game plan a bit toward specific players on any opposing team. What teams need are players that other teams fear/respect enough that they build the bulk of their game plans around defending those players or preventing them from controlling the game. That forces defenses or offenses sometimes to do things they don't want to do, and that leaves teams vulnerable and creates matchup problems. The Jaguars have not had such a player in recent seasons – perhaps since Maurice Jones-Drew in 2011. One reason the team is optimistic going forward is there are players who are starting to look like such players. You certainly would hope tight end Julius Thomas is such a player. Maybe wide receiver Allen Robinson. Maybe linebacker Telvin Smith. Maybe others. Stay tuned.
James from Columbus:
With all respect to you and Doc, "Love Me Do," while credited Lennon/McCartney, was written AND performed by Pauly, not Johnny.
John: Yes, I know. I was never asked my favorite "John Lennon" Beatles song. But if I had been, I wouldn't have chosen "Love Me Do" for pretty much that reason.
Brett from Green Bay, WI:
John, are Jaguar fans excited about Davon House? They should be, he's a real good player.
John: I can't speak for Jaguars fans, but Jaguars coaches and players are excited about House. They believe he fits Head Coach Gus Bradley's defense well in terms of his ability to play press coverage and they believe he makes the cornerback position significantly deeper and better.
Emiel from Jacksonville:
What's your favorite Woody Allen movie?
John: Zelig.
Justin from Los Angeles, CA:
Do you think that Russell Wilson is worth the money he is demanding? If Blake Bortles struggles next year and Wilson is on the market, do you think Jags should pursue or draft a quarterback?
John: Russell Wilson is reportedly seeking to be the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. I don't believe he's close to being the best quarterback in the NFL, so in that vein, I can't say he's worth the money he is demanding. At the same time, the Seahawks are in a difficult spot because Wilson is the team's franchise quarterback and franchise quarterbacks of teams that go to two straight Super Bowls sometimes are worth being the NFL's highest-paid player. Frankly, if you're Seattle it's hard not to pay Wilson what he wants. We're way ahead of ourselves suggesting Bortles will struggle this season, but if your scenario plays out, I wouldn't pursue Wilson at the price I assume he would command in free agency. He's a quarterback who appears to need a very talented running game and defense around him and it's tough to build those things around the NFL's highest-paid quarterback.
Tudor from St. Augustine, FL:
Not sure Gwen Stefani is in the same genre as Upton and Hayek. Also, Friday Night Lights; definitely the all-time best football movie.
John: On Stefani/Upton/Hayek … hey, to each his own. I can't disagree too, too much regarding Friday Night Lights. #Cleareyesfullhearts
Gator from Gainesville, FL:
I got to thinkin' about the retiring-the-number question. Every baseball team retired number 42 for that Jackie fella; well, I think every college team, and soon pro team, should retire No. 15. Never has there been a better player in the history of sports. I will take your silence on the subject to mean you agree.
John: I agree that Allen Robinson looks like he has a chance to be a good player. I don't know that anyone needs to retire his number just yet.
Dennis from Jacksonville:
Any news at all on Justin Blackmon?
John: Not since the last time there was no news. I went a long time saying I thought there was a good chance Blackmon played for the Jaguars this season. I would no longer say that.
Strnbker from Dothan, AL:
A stat and not a question. First six months of 2015; O-Man has answered 2,606 total questions in the O-Zone. You need a raise.
John: You're right, though I obviously hope for your sake and mine that your statistic is not accurate.
Andy from Tyler:
I can't believe no one has mentioned Cris Collinsworth as a player that switched from quarterback to a different position.
John: I can't, either – and you're right.
Samwise from Shire:
From all of the hype I keep hearing about Allen Robinson's high-point catches, it sounds like he is the reincarnation of the freak (Randy Moss). Can we expect to see some freak-like catches this year? I remember Matt Jones making a diving one-handed catch in the rain during a preseason game against the Falcons and thinking this man will be a beast. Ever since, I am pessimistic about our wide receivers being consistently freak-like.
John: This is probably partially my fault. I have written often in the last month or so about being optimistic about Robinson's potential for this season and the future. I do believe he has potential. A lot of potential. Based on what he did in just over half a season last season I believe he's off to a solid start. Based on what we saw in organized team activities and minicamp last month, it appears he's doing the right things in the offseason to build on that start. He also does show a knack for high-pointing balls and making red-zone receptions. All of that points to improvement. Is he going to consistently be "freak-like" on a Randy Moss level? That's a significantly different question. Let's let him reach normal level first before we compare him with an all-timer.
Terry from Chester, VA:
Watchin' the world go by, surprising it goes so fast.......
John: Well, I made the big-time at last.
Robert from Aiken, SC:
Thirty-second in points; 31st in passing yards and total yards. Nowhere to go but up, or more of the same? Why?
John: It's pretty evident there's nowhere to go but up offensively for the Jaguars. That's been evident for the last few years. And because it has gone on for the last few years, we also know that improvement doesn't happen just because; it must be earned. The Jaguars do appear to be in the process of earning that progress. The signing of Julius Thomas. The potential development of Allen Robinson. The drafting of T.J. Yeldon. The hiring of Greg Olson and Doug Marrone as offensive coordinator and assistant head coach-offense/offensive line coach, respectively. The addition of Jermey Parnell and Steve Wisniewski. The development of Luke Joeckel. The continued growth of Brandon Linder. The improvement of Blake Bortles. That's a lot of potential. There's no guarantee all of it will play out as the Jaguars hope, but there appears a strong chance for a lot of areas to improve offensively.
Mike from St. Mary's, Gat!:
"A day without sunshine is like … night!" This is particularly funny to me since when Gabbert first got here, he looked almost exactly like Sunshine from Remember the Titans. So, ya, I'll take the night please!
John: It was more of a Steve Martin reference, but you knew that already.
Cristiano from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:
And thanks for publishing my question in Portuguese! That was cool.
John: Gracias … wait. What?
Robert from Aiken, SC:
Who decided Toby Gerhart was worth $10 million? What about Davon House and his deal? Is he worth it?
John: The obvious answer is General Manager David Caldwell was responsible for both signings. He makes the final football decisions on that scale. But your question implies Toby Gerhart signed for a lot of money when he joined the team as an unrestricted free agent in 2014. He actually signed for $4.5 million guaranteed. While I would enjoy making $4.5 million guaranteed, it's not absurdly high for a running back who could either start or be part of a rotation. House, a cornerback, signed for $10 million guaranteed. That's indeed high for a player who hasn't been a full-time starter, but the Jaguars like his potential. Look, when you dive into unrestricted free agency, you're going to bathe in some very pricy waters. When fans say, "Use the salary-cap space! Spend! Upgrade the roster!" you must realize that when teams do so, they must sometimes sign players who aren't guaranteed, no-question Pro Bowl selections. That's because teams don't typically allow guaranteed Pro Bowl selections to sign elsewhere. In free agency, if you don't want to sign players past their primes, you must project on future development.
Sandman from Middleburg, FL:
I call out "Scoobee Doobie Doo" !!! On every Josh Scobee field goal !! Have you noticed any weird habits or superstitions the players, staff, or even the owner may have ? p.s...Superstitions is a pretty big word for a guy from the "Burg" huh?
John: I've seen Shadrick do some awfully impressive things to the pre-game food spread on a pretty regular basis, but I don't know that that's what you mean.

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