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O-Zone: Keen insight

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Clint from Section 106:
Given that it takes a season or two to see the results of a draft and David Caldwell saying the rebuild is over, it would be realistic to expect a winning record (or .500) this season and going forward. Knowing he had a plan coming in and seems to be following that plan, how long did Dave Caldwell tell Mr. Khan it would take before we would consistently be above .500 and in playoff contention? It would seem like a terrible waste if Mr. Khan started acting like certain other owners cough Haslam … with a new general manager and/or head coach every year or two.
John: I don't know that Caldwell ever said exactly that the rebuild is over – and I don't know that it's completely correct to portray it that way. In fact, I'd say it's more accurate to say the Jaguars are now deep into what in time will be viewed as a four- or five-year process. Now, that's not to say improvement shouldn't be expected this season. That absolutely should be the case and that's the in-house expectation. At the same time, while the Jaguars are now at a point where they appear to have solid starters and good competition at all positions, they're still a ways from having established, front-line players everywhere around the roster. It appears they're building toward that. They appear much closer to that than earlier. But they're still progressing. The Jaguars appear likely to have around 10 new starters next season. It's hard to say the "rebuild is done" when that's the case. As far as what Caldwell told Khan, I don't know exactly, but I know the overall thought is that it's easy to see the roster is improved and therefore it's OK to expect to see improved results on the field. I believe improvement would be to push for a .500 record and to see the Jaguars again be more competitive against top-tier teams than in the past two seasons. That's not the same as a giddy prediction of playoff contention, but that's by design. That's not where the Jaguars are yet. Where they are is a lot further than two offseasons ago – and that's a good thing.
Adel from Jacksonville:
I know everyone's draft buzz is well … abuzz. But I'm not as high about this draft as others are. The reason? I just don't see T.J. Yeldon worthy of a high second-round pick. Not explosive enough for me to warrant that selection for a guy who likely can't break off big runs in the running game. I thought the slot receiver role needed to be someone quicker with good speed, and although I loved Rashad Greene in college, and his value in the fifth, this position should have tried to be addressed earlier at some point if they were able to.
John: Instead of what?
Jerell from Columbia, SC:
John. I looked at the roster three years ago compared to this roster and it's not close. IMO there is no reason this team shouldn't finish at least 7-9 or 8-8.
John: Who are you? What did you do with Jerell?
Jonathan from Ellington, CT:
What do you plan to do with your current quarterback situation? Is Bortles going to continue to be the No. 1? Also, what are you going to do to beef up your linebacker corps?
John: The Jaguars drafted Blake Bortles No. 3 overall in 2014. They have spent the offseason improving the offensive line, wide receiver position, running back position and tight end position around him. I think he might win the starting job next season. Just maybe. As far as the linebacker position, Paul Posluszny will start in the middle with Telvin Smith at weak-side linebacker and Dan Skuta at strong-side linebacker. There probably won't be much in the area of upgrading beyond that this offseason. The linebacker position was weak in the draft this season, and over the long run upgrading depth in that area figures to be a priority.
Daryl from Uniondale, NY:
How many more losing seasons will the Jaguars have until they find their franchise quarterback?
John: Blake Bortles starts at quarterback for the Jaguars. If he develops as the Jaguars expect he will, he will be the franchise quarterback.
Stephen from Glorieta, NM:
John, first of all "WHEW"... glad the draft is behind us. My question is: "How much energy and effort is put in to finding out what kind of young men we draft, character-wise and temperament? The Jags have done well to not have much negative headlines other that unfortunate incident prior to last season. So, how much work did they do to KNOW these guys?
John: A lot.
Jeremy from Wise, VA:
I want training camp to start RIGHT NOW! I HATE the Dead Zone
John: Sorry. There's a rookie minicamp Friday and Saturday and organized team activities and a veteran minicamp yet still to be held. Nothing's dead yet.
Earl from Middleburg, FL:
What's the deal with that silly trade with the Jets? One spot? What were they thinking?
John: It wasn't silly. The Jets swapped the No. 104 selection for the Jaguars' No. 103 selection – sending the Jaguars the No. 220 selection in the deal – to acquire Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty. The Jets reportedly did this because the Cleveland Browns also were trying to trade with the Jaguars to get to 103 to select Petty.
Robert from Richmond, VA:
I saw the Ramones at Englewood High School in 1986. No opening act. At least I think it was Englewood High School … I'm a little hazy on that part.
John: I once watched Big Velvet Elvis – or maybe they were the Evil Maracas by then – rehearse in a warehouse a block off Riverside Avenue. There are condominiums there now – or some sort of thing that might be called a boutique or something. The warehouse was cooler.
Sam from Boulder, CO:
Love the draft. Love Yeldon. Only question is how the backfield situation will play out in terms of the roles of each guy. Obviously Denard has earned at least a decent share of carries as a change of pace, but will Gerhart or Pierce have any significant role? And is there really a chance that Storm Johnson says on the roster? Thanks!
John: We'll see.
Brian from Ponte Vedra, FL:
Is this what turning the corner feels like?
John: This is what setting yourself up to be better and having a chance to turn the corner sometime soon feels like. Turning the corner is when a 3-13 team starts pushing for .500 and inches above it on its way to the postseason. I think the Jaguars are closer to being that sort of team than they were a couple of years ago. I also think it's a long process.
Redmond from Duval:
I see a lot of excitement for the Fowler pick from fans and coaches. Would it be fair to expect at least 30 sacks in his first four years?
John: Fans can expect what they like; it's all fair. I look at Fowler like this: as an edge rusher, it's his job when he develops to be disruptive and good enough to be a factor when the other team wants to pass. If he's drawing double teams and the quarterback is getting rid of the ball sooner than is ideal because he's on the field, then he's doing his job. It's very fair to expect him to have that sort of an effect on games. I put it this way because sacks are often beyond a player's control. Thirty sacks in four years certainly is not out of the question. Fowler appears capable of that, but he's also capable of impacting a game without a specific number.
Brandon from Duval:
John, is there anyone on the roster prior to free agency and the draft that you thought would be a guaranteed starter but after you're wondering if they're even going to make the team?
John: No.
Jordan from Jacksonville:
I think the Rashad Greene pick might be my favorite. A humble player that loves the game and was Winston's safety valve. I have a feeling he'll be very productive for us.
John: Greene looks like he could be a very good addition. He's a fifth-round receiver who is said to be coachable and who wide receivers coach Jerry Sullivan believes has skills to succeed in the NFL. Can he contribute immediately? Let's let him get on the field for a minicamp practice before we make that sort of prediction.
Zach from Jacksonville:
John, not so much a question as a thank you. I've been studying in India this past year and have been unable to watch games or the draft. However, and the DeskSite feature have been supremely helpful in keeping me up to speed. Your coverage is as good or better than any other site in the league... just like the team itself. Go Jags! #DTWD
John: Your studies are paying off. Your insight into the comparative quality of team websites is as good or better than any I ever have seen. Ever.

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