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O-Zone: Man in the mirror

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Renee from Section 104/Jacksonville/20-year season-ticket holder:
John!! Did ya see the start of the first game of the 2014 NFL season? The unveiling of the Super Bowl banner for the 'Hawks made me jealous. I yearn to stand in EverBank Field and scream when the Jags unveil our first Super Bowl banner. Remind me to enjoy the ride. Remind me that the building blocks are going in place one at a time and patience is a virtue. Hey, can you suggest to Chad and Blake to end every interview with "GO JAGS!?" Go Jags!
John: Sure, enjoy the ride, and the building blocks are indeed going in place one at a time. But while patience is a virtue, don't worry about that. Fans aren't supposed to be patient. They're supposed to look at other teams' Super Bowl celebrations and be so jealous that their guts hurt. Can I promise a banner? Can I promise that one day there will be a season-opening celebration at the 'Bank? Of course not. But I can tell you that there's an awful lot of good going on that should give the Jaguars a chance to have a chance. That's where you start.
Mike from Harrisburg, PA:
Any advice for a loyal Jags fan attending the game in Philadelphia Sunday?
John: Go big or go home.
Nathan from St. Augustine, FL:
It's finally time for games that count! Go Jags! You have covered the AFC South as long as anyone. What are your thoughts on the division this year?
John: I think the Colts will win the division, because they have the best starting quarterback. I also think there's a chance they could win it by a fairly comfortable margin of two or three games. None of the other three teams have rock-solid situations at the quarterback position, with the Texans particularly uncertain there. The team with the best quarterback doesn't always win a division, but it gives the team a huge edge. In this case, I don't know that any of the other three teams have enough outside the quarterback spot to finish ahead of Indianapolis.
Paulo from New York City:
Hey John, I might be too early here, but any thoughts on who the Jags would pick in the 2016 and 2017 drafts?
John: Hold on. I'll ask.
Chris from Crestview, FL:
After watching the Seahawks take a bite out of a pretty good Packers team on Thursday I came to the realization that it probably doesn't matter. If the Seahawks are the yard marker we got a bit of a ways to go. I can see the patience in the team and that's a great thing because you can't rush getting talent, really. You only get seven picks each year, and a few free agents, and our pantry has been clean for a decade.
John: You seem to say the Jaguars' season doesn't matter because the Seahawks are very, very good. If all that matters is winning the Super Bowl, then, no, this Jaguar season probably doesn't matter because it's unlikely they win the Super Bowl this season. I thought we had established that a while back, but if we're on the subject, we may as well confirm: the Jaguars are not Super Bowl favorites. But there is a building process for teams toward elite status that also matters very much. The Jaguars appear to have a chance to be better than last season, and they're doing it while getting younger and building a foundation. It also appears they may have a pretty good young quarterback. That doesn't mean a immediate Super Bowl, but it means having a chance to get on the road toward it.
Jon from I'm Still in Korea:
John: What?
Tom from Williamsburg, VA:
Coach Fisch said, "Sometimes we huddle or sugar huddle." I give up. What's a sugar huddle? As far as I know there are only two Jag fans in Williamsburg, and she doesn't know either. We read your column daily and do not miss a game. Great job, John. Keep up the good work.
John: A sugar huddle is when a team gathers between plays to quickly call a play without having all 11 players actually come to a standstill and gather in a closed group. It's a way to call a play not at the line of scrimmage and still have the offense moving at a quick tempo.
Steve from Denver, CO:
If we hold McCoy to under 80 yards rushing, can we pull an upset?
John: Yes.
Wallace from Jacksonville:
Why, oh, why couldn't Seattle have drafted Bryan Anger and Gene Smith drafted Russell Wilson? Makes me want to cry every time I see Seattle play....we got a punter for crying out loud and they have a unique quarterback talent. I know, I know...what's in the past is in the past and Blake Bortles could very well be a Pro Bowl-level quarterback one day, but the missed draft picks by past general managers sure have made it hard on us fans. Dave and Gus are doing a great job considering the virtually empty cupboard they found when they were hired. Just venting, John....Bear with me, but oh would we have loved having Russell Wilson playing quarterback for the Jags.
John: I understand the frustration, and I suppose the O-Zone will get a question like this for as long as there is an O-Zone. I guess I just never spent much time wringing hands over past draft picks, particularly the Anger-Wilson thing. The Jaguars were never going to take a quarterback early that year with Blaine Gabbert on the roster and having just been drafted No. 10 overall. I know how laughable that sounds, and sure, in retrospect the Jaguars should have selected Wilson. To think anything else would be laughable. At the same time, had Wilson been drafted into the situation that existed at the time who's to say how he would be playing. A great quarterback has to be able to make the situation around him better, but the foundation around him has to be at least somewhat solid, and in retrospect that wasn't the case in 2012. The best thing I can tell you when that acidy feeling slips into your belly and you're ruing drafts past is to realize that no general manager can stand up to past-draft grading and that a lot of the draft is fortune and circumstance. If you want to know how dead-on the Seahawks were about Wilson and how certain they were he would turn into an elite player, then just remember they waited until the third round to select him and selected Bruce Irvin and Bobby Wagner ahead of him. Those guys are good players. No doubt. But they're not franchise quarterbacks.
Chris from Niagara Falls, Canada:
The Ramones or The Misfits?
John: Ramones.
John from Jacksonville :
Just wanted you to know that the preseason turned out fine for me without injury. I was able to view the television clearly without family member obstruction, maintain a beverage of choice without issue (glass always half-full), move the lamp six inches to the right to avoid it falling again during the Moodachay, and wasn't too sore when getting out of the chair during commercials because the breaks were so frequent. I'm ready for Sunday!
John: #DTWD
Greg from Jacksonville Beach:
Yo......Zone, I went to your sellout website to purchase some Moodachay shorts and it appears you forgot to foot the website bill? How's a brother supposed to get some Moodachay?
John: Whoops. The Moodachay shirt concept was of a special time and special place. If there's demand for that or something else, we'll work something out. Until then …
Greg from St. Johns, FL:
The city of brotherly love is neither brotherly nor lovely when it comes to visiting fans. While at the game, Timmy will literally be showered with all the goodies the Linc has to offer (peanuts, empty bottles, chunks of mustard covered pretzels). In the event of a Jags victory, his manhood will be challenged every step of the way out of the stadium.
John: Yep.
Chris from Mandarin, FL:
I've picked a new nickname for Cecil Shorts III. Fair or unfair, it's Peanut Brittle. We can also go with the Walking Dead, since you know, his body parts are falling off.
John: Yes, that's entirely fair for a player who has missed all of five games over the last two seasons, and who played through a significant groin injury to lead the team in receiving last season, and who caught the game-winning touchdown pass in Cleveland last season while at something close to half-speed … Yes, brittle indeed …
Shane from Atlanta, GA:
O-man, I have a problem. My softball team made the playoffs; however, they are at 1 on Sunday.... Should I skip so I can watch my Jags play?
John: You're the one who has to look in the mirror every say, and God knows I know how difficult that can be.

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