JACKSONVILLE – Ah, the Friday before the Memorial Day weekend.
We're days from organized team activities, and the football talk will be fast and furious once they begin. So, with that said, what better time of year to talk a little, "DUUUUVVAAAALLL!!!!"
(Editor's note: There is, perhaps, a skewed, sliding-off-the-icy-road-in-the-dark-feel to this O-Zone. That doesn't necessarily distinguish this from other O-Zones. We just thought you should be forewarned).
Let's get to it …
Jerry from Tamarac, FL:
I think what we need to understand first is there are different versions of "ready" for quarterbacks. I would assume coaches believe sitting a quarterback until he's "ready" means looking for him to get his mechanics down. Does the coach also need him to get other things "ready" as well or is that it?
John: Mechanics are a big part of being ready. An in-depth understanding of the offense, and a grasp of how NFL defenses might approach defending the offense, is part of it, too. A better understanding of the speed of the game also is part of it. You can't get versed in all of these things from the sideline, but you can certainly gain an understanding of what the NFL is about and you can get your head around the complexity of the game while attending meetings, studying video and playing a role as a backup. That can't last forever, but it can help in the short term.
Beer Dude from Jacksonville:
Is Ricky Stanzi still on the roster?
Eric from Fruit Cove, FL:
I left Jacksonville for St. Johns County? Can I still be Duval?
John: Yes. Duval isn't a place. It's a state of mind, an attitude. It's also evidently a hot-button issue, which we're all about to find out.
Jim from Jacksonville:
From the stupid Duuuuuval cheer to the annoying #DTWD. It's the Jacksonville Jaguars, not the Duval Dimwits. Can I get one NOT fer #DTWD?
John: If you want to risk it, sure.
Baron from St. Augustine, FL:
One thing I haven't seen discussed with moving back the extra point is where will the team line up if they want to attempt a two-point conversion? Great column, keep up the "hard" work!
John: There's no hard, fast answer on this yet. In most reasonable discussions the two-point conversion would continue to start at the two-yard line.
Ed from Ponte Vedra, FL:
Well, I guess this Duval crap is not going away. At least we don't have to buy the T-shirts - all you need is to get arrested and it will be on the back of your orange suit.
John: I don't think the T-shirts are that expensive. But gloriously enough, your approach works, too.
James from Jacksonville:
Do teams have to sign a player they draft? For instance, if Jacksonville drafted a player that looked good in college but was a bust in training camp, can the Jaguars just release him without offering a contract?
John: Yes, they can, but it's almost certain no team would do such a thing. That always has been true, but it's especially true now that players sign quickly after the draft. You wouldn't release a player after two or three days of a rookie camp. Well, you might – if you wanted to get released yourself.
Craig from Holly Springs, NC:
John, you have to tell Dean from Rochester to go to a game against the Saints where they chant, "WHO DAT … WHO DAT IS!" They even have buses with that printed on the side. Seriously, who gives a hoot if our fans chant Duval? It's fun. Sporting events are supposed to be fun.
John: And for the vast, vast, vast majority of people, that's just what they are.
Chris from Philadelphia, PA:
Just so that his time in Jacksonville (DUVAL??) wasn't in vain, can we implement a "Matt Scott Rule" wherein no questions about the undrafted free-agent rookie quarterback are allowed until performance in some significant way dictates otherwise? This can also apply to Beau Blankenship and all other UDFA/camp invitees.
John: No way, no how, Chris. Look, it's fine to ask questions about anything, though there certainly was an oddness to the Matt Scott Phenomenon, with an inability/unwillingness on the part of some to accept that there was a reason he was on the practice squad and not in the starting lineup. But that's fine. There's nothing wrong with questions, even if a lot of times people don't want to accept the answers.
Scott from Honolulu, HI:
Official weekly attempt at making the O-Zone! #DTWD in Honolulu, HI! That is all.
John: Well done.
Ryan from Boynton Beach, FL:
I would like to congratulate your very dear friend Tony Boselli on being elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. I hope one day we can celebrate him being elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as well.
John: Agreed – and agreed.
Todd from Not From Duval County:
I agree with Dean.
John: Agreeing with Dean in the context of this week's O-Zones means you dislike the whole concept of, "Duval." That's OK. People are allowed to dislike things.
Jordan from Duval:
The Jaguars are a young team. One of the youngest in the league, I believe. The truth is we don't have much of an identity yet. That's expected and OK. We don't have as many traditions as teams such as the Steelers, Packers, and many other historic teams do. So yea, I don't mind if we chant "Duval" or ring a bell before the fourth quarter. We're Duval. We're the fan base and team that has a chip on its shoulder and you know what, we like it that way. #DTWD
John: This is OK, too.
Jack from Coeur d-Alene, ID:
Do all the players get free Jags gear or are they responsible for buying their own shirts, shorts, hats, etc.?
John: They get most of the gear free. They get it from the Free Gear Guy, and if you don't get there early, you're most often spending some time in line behind Shadrick.
Cole from Jacksonville:
John, please allow me to school the uninformed about the origins of 'Duval' and why it's so important to Jacksonville. It began innocently enough during the late 90s by DJ Easy E, the morning DJ on 92.7 'The Beat Jamz'. He would constantly assert "DUUUUUUUVAAAAAALLLL" to all his loyal listeners. Fast forward to 2001. Grad Night, Disney World, Orlando, Fl. The ride was Big Thunder Mountain and the line was long and tensions began flaring between a group of us from Jax and a group from Miami. The Miami guys were yelling "305 what, Miami what, Dade County!!" Then, out of nowhere, our 6'6" 300 pound future University of Wisconsin offensive tackle shouted "Screw Miami, it's all about Duval!" Then we all started yelling "DUUUUUVAAAALLLL!" The Miami kids were befuddled, stupefied, and frightened so they shut up. True story. Ask Alfie from BCC, he was there. #DTWD
John: I don't know if it's completely true, or if it's sort of true or if it's only part of the story, but I do know it's a cool story. I like it.
Gary from Vista:
There's nothing Hick or sad about Duval. I'm the type of person that could care less of what others think of me or the people and things I hold dear. People have chanted the Duval cry since I was a child and I'm 31. Rappers like TI, Lil' Wayne, and Petey Pablo reference the county of Duval in their songs going back over a decade and they're not even from Jacksonville, and if they ever expressed a problem with it they can kick rock like the rest of you haters. Tell Dean from Rochester to root for another team since he cares so much about what others think of Jacksonville or Duuuuuuuuvaaaaaaaaal. #DTWD.
John: Now, now, now … let's just all be nice.
Brian from Surprise, AZ:
From the home of the Royals and the Rangers Spring Training. DDDDUUUUVVVVAAAALLLL!
John: Here we go, Jags.
Mario from Miramar, FL:
I was born in Ecuador but my family is Chinese and when I moved to the US and started watching the NFL I became a fan of the Jaguars and I've been a fan since 98 and I am #DTWD!
John: Yes, you are.
Bo from Dresden, NC:
Can the Jaguars have any insurance built in to the contract they gave Colvin? Or because he was drafted is it buyer beware?
John: I guess the best answer is it's buyer beware. There's not too much a team can do to insure itself, but there's not a tremendous amount of reason to do so, either. A player can be released at any time during a contract, so the only real risk – beyond the investment of a draft pick – is the signing bonus. In the case of any rookie outside the first round, it's relatively minimal compared to the amount a team pays out annually in salary.
Sean from Arlington, VA:
Admit it John. It bothers you that #DTWD has taken flight but #Moodachay has been left behind like an R. Jay Soward jersey.
John: #DTWD took flight long before #Moodachay and I'm getting the distinct feeling it will soar long afterward.