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O-Zone: Late-round choice

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville:
Not more than 24 hours had passed, and the press was talking rumors about the Jags going to St. Louis. I know they get paid to print stuff people will read, but take 30 seconds, do a SMALL bit of research and stop sounding dumb. The Jaguars are going nowhere. They may be the little team that tries, but they are OUR team that tries. I just get so tired of the media constantly taking cheap shots at our team. Moving, sheesh … talk to the Stache, man … talk to the Stache.
John: I agree that the whole issue of moving and of St. Louis and of … well, and of all of it …. has become tiresome. Incredibly tiresome. There was talk of Jaguars/St. Louis throughout much of this past week, which was expected in the wake of the Rams' move to Los Angeles being approved Tuesday. Then, to top it all off, a newspaper guy from the Chicago Tribune late in the week actually floated the idea that the Jaguars could become Chicago's second team. I kid not. This was written. In real life. (Sigh) Look, this isn't going to stop for a while. Jacksonville is a small market, and there's an idea out there the franchise is somehow on shaky ground. People who don't take the time to look at – much less, comprehend – all of the facts simply can't understand why Shad Khan would want to have the team here. Therefore, whenever people decide to write about a franchise potentially relocating, they're going to mention the Jaguars – and to them, it makes sense. For fans of this franchise who understand the dynamics – and the truth – that's frustrating, maddening, irritating, annoying and a whole lot of other _-ings. It would be worse if there was any shred of truth to it, but there's not. Khan in four years as owner has made an enormous commitment to Jacksonville. Not just in his own money invested into the stadium, but in enhancing everything about the business side of the franchise. The franchise is on infinitely more stable ground in Jacksonville than four years ago. I could go on and on and on, and I suppose we will talk about this in the O-Zone until there is no O-Zone – and that's fine. The point is it doesn't matter what national people say. It matters what Shad Khan does.
Bo from Dresden, NC:
Do you think we have a few coaches in mind for DC … if so, could you mention a few?
John: The Jaguars reportedly have interviewed former Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo and Atlanta Falcons defensive backs coach Marquand Manuel for the defensive-coordinator position.
Bill from Bushwood CC:
Are scouts who leave a team to join another organization free to share information they have collected on players for the upcoming draft? Even if there were rules in place, it seems like it would hard to enforce them.
John: They can share whatever they want. There's no rule in place because, as you noted, enforcing it would be impossible.
Jim Bob Cooter from Jacksonville:
Do you believe it likely – as I do – that the Jaguars' new defensive coordinator will be a small "name?" You are basically trying to hire someone for a job where your boss, Gus Bradley, may take a large portion of what traditionally would be your main duties. If there is success, he could conceivably get all the credit. If there is not success, this could be a one-year-and-you're-out-coaching opportunity. I imagine this to be a tough sell to a top-notch defensive coordinator. I am a bit shocked the promotion wasn't immediate and from within.
John: I don't get too caught up in the size of name when it comes to coaching hires because I don't believe name size has much to do with success or failure. I believe the new defensive coordinator will be a relative unknown – if it comes from outside the team – because I imagine we'd have heard rumblings if there was a bigger name involved. As for the how the duties will be split, that's something I imagine Bradley is determining through the interview process. There's no one right way to handle play-calling/coordinator duties, and Bradley's task is to find the one that works best for the current situation.
James from Grand Ridge, FL:
When a player is suspended – i.e., Vontaze Burfict next season – how does that affect the salary cap? Will game checks amounts go back on the cap or still count against the cap?
John: Teams get a salary-cap credit for suspended players.
Jason from North Pole, AK:
With Dante Fowler Jr. already on the roster, which is the bigger need in regards to pass rush? Leo, defensive tackle, or strong-side end? If there isn't a quality safety on the board, which position would you address first at No. 5 overall?
John: I would take the best pass rusher regardless of position. If that happens to be a "Leo," I would figure out a way to get two Top 5-drafted players – Fowler and the new "Leo" – on the field at the same time. That's legal under NFL rules.
Nellie from Windermere, FL:
With the complaining about who Dave Caldwell should have signed, don't forget that all but two of the All-Pro first-team members were drafted by their current team. Of the other two, one was an undrafted rookie of the same team and only one was a free agent. More power to Dave and Gus building this team the right way. Draft the core players and supplement through free agency. What do you think, O-Zone?
John: I think drafting core players and supplementing through free agency always is ideal. I think it's even more ideal to do as little supplementing as possible through free agency, but the Jaguars' roster had so far to go in 2013 that supplementing has been necessary. I think over time a lot of the players being drafted will turn into core players, but I think that takes a lot more time than people realize.
Daniel since Day 1:
I agree with your comment about Reggie Nelson. He certainly is better than any free safety we have had since he left. Do you think he's better now because a) They have a better pass rush? b) We didn't give him enough time to develop? Or c) Both? And will we ever quit making that mistake so often?
John: All I said when asked about Reggie Nelson a couple of days back was that he is a good player for the Bengals and he wasn't as good when he played with the Jaguars. He played for the Jaguars before I arrived in 2011 and before the current regime took over, so I don't have a real great feel about what happened when he was here. My understanding is it wasn't a great scheme fit here for him considering what he was asked to do, which is often why players do well in one spot and not in another. As for the final question about "making that mistake so often," I don't know that the current regime has done that a whole lot. Not signing Brandon Marshall (now with Denver) from the practice squad and not retaining Daryl Smith (now with Baltimore) … perhaps … but beyond that … meh.
Troy from York, PA:
Hey, O-Man, what do you think are the chances of us bringing back Pot Roast through free agency?
John: Slim. Defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, also known as "Pot Roast," played here from 2009-2012 and has played for the Broncos and Redskins in three seasons since. He's a good player and has played well since leaving the Jaguars. But with the Jaguars focused on pass rush and in good shape at nose tackle with Roy Miller, I doubt the position is a high-dollar priority for the Jaguars this offseason.
Chris from Crestview, FL:
I have always thought everything starts with the guys in the trenches. Both sides of this need help. We don't have a road grader or good pass blocking. The whole O-line has led to guys like Jennings leaving us to have career seasons. I think what you're saying is that it will be impossible to replace all five without too much money in the O-line. Is that your thought or is it some continuity thing?
John: I've never said it will be impossible to replace all five offensive linemen because all five offensive linemen do not need to be replaced – because all five offensive linemen are not bad players. Brandon Linder doesn't need to be replaced. Or A.J. Cann. Or Jermey Parnell or Luke Joeckel, for that matter. Expect the interior of the offensive line to be tweaked with a new face playing with Linder and Cann in some role next season, but don't expect major changes beyond that.
Jordan from Jacksonville:
What are your draft prospects this year?
John: I'm 49, and while I exercise daily, I lack "suddenness." I doubt I'll go earlier than Round 6.

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