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O-Zone: In-depth analysis

JACKSONVILLE -- Let's get to it . . . James from Socorro, NM:
An article posted at Pro Football Focus looked at quarterback-responsible sacks, and quarterback rating when throwing after more than four seconds. Blaine ranked 27th in quarterback-responsible sacks (very good) and ninth in quarterback rating when throwing "late." From this data, it looks like the fault lies with the offensive line rather than Blaine's decision-making and ability.
John: Those numbers are somewhat telling, and they're yet another example of statistics that indicate we don't yet know exactly how Gabbert's story with the Jaguars will end. Anytime we discuss a statistic such as this it is met by the expected chorus of, "WHOA!! WHOA!! YOU'RE DEFENDING BLAINE GABBERT!!" There is evidence that all that has gone wrong in recent seasons may not necessarily be solely on him. People read this as an excuse and that's fine, but it's partly because of such analysis that the Jaguars want to make sure they know what they have in Gabbert. At some point, perhaps soon, the time will come to make a decision in that area. Considering his talent and considering the investment made, isn't it reasonable to be sure you're sure before making a final call?
Robert from Jacksonville:
Mr. Oehser, do you feel Lonnie Pryor is the right guy to replace Greg Jones at the fullback/beastly triceps position?
John: I'm not on the roster, so sure, why not?
Jack from Jacksonville:
Maurice Jones-Drew is doing his offseason conditioning in Miami. Is he stealing a page out of Fred Taylor's playbook?
John: Yes, and his own, too. Jones-Drew will be conditioning and rehabilitating in South Florida for the next couple of weeks – through June 11-13 minicamp, it appears. He is working with Pete Bommarito at Bommarito Performance in Miami. The name should be familiar to Jaguars fans. Jones-Drew has trained with Bommarito since early in his career – at the recommendation of Taylor, who also worked with Bommarito extensively.
Nick from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I know Maurice Jones-Drew is working on getting healthy again before the season starts, but he seems to be isolating himself from the team. Obviously, with an injury a player won't be seeing much action even in practice, but what's the deal? Does he not like Coach Bradley's coaching?
John: Jones-Drew has no problem with Bradley's coaching, and Bradley has no problem with Jones-Drew, who was in Jacksonville from the start of the VOLUNTARY offseason program until this last weekend. This is an issue about Jones-Drew rehabilitating and getting into shape, and it's about him and the Jaguars feeling the best place to do that is with Bommarito. Let's not turn it into something it's not.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
Do you think MJD's timetable for coming back would be any different if the Jags had drafted a running back in one of the first two rounds?
John: No.
Jeff from Jacksonville:
I read your comment about open competition at quarterback and I do not agree. We drafted Gabbert No. 10 in the first round. Even though this regime did not draft him I am sure they are going to allow him to start the season to let him finish out the first-round experiment. If he falls on his face, we will be in a great position to draft the "man" next year. The organization needs to fully complete the Gabbert era.
John: I get that this is the lens through which many are going to view this issue, and it makes sense for it to be seen that way because it's the easy way to see it. But to see it as the Jaguars trying to "complete the Gabbert era" is to ignore that the people in charge now have no ties to Gabbert. It's also to ignore that the coaches look at Gabbert and see a player they believe has a very real chance to be good. It's not about letting Gabbert fail to get a great draft pick. It's about looking at your roster and trying to get the most of out of all the talent that is available.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
Is there open competition for the senior writer position?
John: Goodness gracious, I hope not.
Bobby from Doboy Island, FL:
"Newspapers are the rough draft of history." I like that.
John: I do, too. I can't remotely take credit for it, and as the following link indicates, the origin of the line/concept is something of a mystery in journalism circles. But there's a ton of truth to it, and it extends to news on the Web. We who cover teams/events and attempt to analyze immediately often struggle to provide context when context can only really be achieved with benefit of time. Indeed, we journey on, some of us doing all we can and others doing enough to get by.
Andrew from Orange Park, FL:
I don't know what it is with all these people bashing the new helmet design. The Jags are the first to try something; always with that there will be hesitation, even rejection. They aren't trying to fit in, they want to stand out. If in 10 years it starts to become a trend with helmets everyone would praise the Jaguars for thinking outside of the box. We haven't even seen them on the field, so let's wait till then to form an opinion one way or the other.
John: Aww, Andrew . . . what would be the fun of that?
Dane from Jacksonville:
The helmets are cool. I like them.
John: Me, too.
Phil from Belleville, NJ:
Obviously, everything isn't going to get better, at least not right away. So my question is: if you had a football genie and he could grant you a Pro Bowl player who will play for the next ten years at a high level to replace one player on the Jaguars roster (with the exception of QB because we all know that will be everyone's choice and is too easy) what position do you pick and why?
John: Pass rusher. A pass rusher can disrupt an offense throughout the course of a game, but perhaps most important, he can close out a game late. Plus, a pass rusher can disrupt a quarterback and therefore influence an entire offense rather than just taking away one side of the field or another.
Earl from Las Cruces, NM:
Not a question - just a compliment. The Jaguars draft and analytics attracted this long-term Bears fan to monitor the Jags. It is you and your column that are making me a strong fan. Would love to buy season tickets, except the commute is difficult. Enjoy everything you write.
John: You are one of the wisest, most perceptive people on the planet. Congratulations.
James from Jacksonville:
I predict a 10-win season. With the all the good picks and the "can-do" attitude, I see the Jags getting the majority of those wins in the late part of the season after the team "gels." It really seems everything is coming together. Unlike years past, our new coaching staff has picked up quality players with every pick. Coupled with the fact that our playbook will be under the radar for at least the first year. Ten wins? Ya think?
John: I'm not here to douse your enthusiasm, but I can't quite predict 10 victories for the Jaguars. Do I blame Gus Bradley for not discounting that possibility? Of course not. If everything broke right could it happen? Sure. A head coach should never put limits on what a team can do. I'll continue to say that this bunch looks like it's forming a good core. It looks like they will remain motivated throughout the entire season. It looks like there's going to be a clear vision for what Bradley wants. All of those things matter and all of those things can lead to improvement. Eight victories would be a dramatic, memorable turnaround, and that's probably the high end for my predictions.
Alex from New York, NY:
Halfway serious helmet question: I was under the impression quarterbacks, when scanning the field for receivers, look for the helmets of the players (perhaps I'm interpreting a figure of speech too literally?). Do you think there's any way the new two-toned helmet could cause problems for our QBs?
John: Totally serious answer: I don't think it will be an issue.
Nicholas from Fort Lee, VA:
A few days ago you were criticized for saying the helmets only look good when they are all facing the same direction. Doesn't every play start with everyone looking the same way? Doesn't that mean we should look pretty about 120 times a game?
John: I'm worn out on the helmet topic, but I will say I never said they ONLY look good when facing in one direction. I said something to the effect that that's when they look the coolest. Look, I get it: some like them, some hate them. Some couldn't care less. They're the helmets, and they're not changing. I'm not sure what else there is to break down.
Sean from Fleming Island, FL:
Your one- or two-word answers to some questions are not providing your loyal readers much insight or value.
John: OK.

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