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O-Zone: Matter of taste

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Bo from Dresden, NC:
John, the draft is right around the corner … with your best guess, who do you think we will take?
John: Ah, the mysterious, marvelous calendar … which always seems to feel different to different people. To some, "right around the corner" might mean tomorrow, while to others it might mean two-and-a-half months away. Because the 2017 NFL Draft is in fact two-and-a-half months away and therefore perhaps not in fact "right around the corner" my best guess is probably a lousy guess. But right now I'd guess the Jaguars in the first round select defensive lineman Jonathan Allen of Alabama because it appears he might be the best available player at No. 4. But remember, my good friend: much can change very quickly when it comes to the NFL draft – whatever the calendar may say.
John from Jacksonville:
Can you clarify the rules about penalties and the game clock? There were two occasions [in the Super Bowl] that I noticed the clock starting after a penalty and before the ball was snapped for the next play. One example was with a delay of game at the end of the third quarter with a few seconds left before a punt. Instead of the punt happening after the penalty, the clock started and the quarter ended. I thought the clock stops after a penalty until the next play starts. In the example on the punt play, the offense was able to drain extra clock time. There was a holding penalty in the fourth quarter with the same result.
John: According to NFL rules, if the game clock is stopped after a down in which there was a penalty, the clock will restart after the penalty is enforced or declined except in the final two minutes of the first half, in the final five minutes of the game or if a specific rule states otherwise.
Ed from Ponte Vedra, FL:
Please explain to me why on earth mock-draft experts think we will draft a running back at No. 4. Even if he is BPA, it does not make any sense to me.
John: Running back at No. 4 for the Jaguars actually makes sense from a mock-drafter's perspective. There's a perception nationwide that the Jaguars need to improve the running game, and this also is a year with two running backs – Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook – who potentially could go in the Top 10. Add to that the perception that Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin all value a strong running game and you have a perfect formula for mock drafters mocking running back to the Jaguars. Now, none of that means that the Jaguars will actually select one of those players at No. 4, but is it logical for some to mock the position there? Certainly.
Paul from Southern Cal:
Hey John, with all of the talk about Tony Boselli the past few weeks, being that Tony played left tackle with a southpaw quarterback, does that not diminish his perceived dominance? Also, the fact that Mark Brunell was very mobile and escaped out of the pocket quite often. What I mean is, how does one determine value or greatness in a tackle when one is watching the blind side of the quarterback, and one is not? Is there that much difference between the two tackle positions to declare one more important than the other based on which side of the quarterback they play? If so, doesn't this diminish Tony's appeal? Thanks O.
John: No, the fact that Brunell was left-handed doesn't diminish Boselli's "appeal." No matter what hand a quarterback uses to throw, the left tackle position is the premier position on the line because most teams line up their best pass rusher on the right side of the defensive line. That was even truer when Boselli played than it is now. As far as how to determine Boselli's dominance … I don't know … maybe listen to coaches who coached then, or players who played then? Or maybe watch tape of Boselli? All tell the same story of a guy who was as good as anybody in that era and pretty much any other.
Frank from Jacksonville:
What are the chances we see the Jags shuffle Poz to the strong-side linebacker, getting Myles Jack more playing time at middle linebacker? Poz is surely stout enough at the point of attack to play the SAM and it would better utilize Jack's speed and coverage ability, especially if the defense shows more two high-safety looks next year. Seems like a win-win and it gets your best 11 on the field, so to speak.
John: This is something worth exploring, and it's an idea that makes sense. One factor to consider is just how much pass rush you're going to want from the strong-side linebacker position. That's because while Paul Posluszny has been effective as a blitzer at times with the Jaguars, he's probably not a player you're going to ask to put his hand on the ground and get after the passer on every play. Not that Myles Jack is that player either, but it's still a question you must ask before settling on your defensive approach.
Daniel from Honolulu, HI:
Hey John, what is the rule on overtime in the Super Bowl? What happens if the time expires in overtime? How the winner is determined?
John: The overtime rule in the Super Bowl is the same as it is in the rest of the postseason – that is, they keep playing until a winner is determined. The regular-season rule is that a game still tied after the first overtime period ends in a tie.
Chris from Mandarin:
The problem with Blake Bortles and Jay Cutler is that they are essentially the same player. They're both pretty streaky players, going hot or cold for significant stretches, with high-yardage totals and a metric ton of interceptions.
John: This may be true statistically, but Cutler also has one of the strongest arms in the NFL – if not the best. And when Cutler is "on," he is a very, very good quarterback capable of winning from the pocket and winning a lot of games. Bortles has yet to prove he is that. Now, it's just as true that the downside of Cutler has the potential to be very down with a lot of costly interceptions. But I have trouble classifying Bortles and Cutler as "essentially the same player."
Ryan from Dearborn, MI:
John, Jimmy Garropolo has two Super Bowl rings while Blake has none. Obviously, we should make a trade with New England.
John: I'll pass this along.
Paul from Temecula, CA:
"Pass rush is not more important than quarterback, but it is the second-most important element to winning in the NFL." I've also heard "You win by running the football and stopping the run." These theories on winning in the NFL are so confusing.
John: You can't win if you can't stop the run. That's one truth of the NFL, but there are a lot of truths. The biggest is that if you're going to contend consistently for the Super Bowl, it sure is easier to do with an elite, franchise quarterback.
Aaron from Jacksonville:
I must say that I have been very impressed with Shad. He's been incredibly patient with the team as well as empathetic toward us fans who have been suffering through a decade of perpetual losing. But what makes me even more proud of my owner is his recent statement about the immigration ban and how our country was virtually built on inclusion and immigration. And he's been the only owner to date to denounce it and speak up. Never been prouder!!! #SKTWD
John: #SKTWD
Jaguar Pete from Tallahassee, FL:
I wonder what the possibility is of Tom Coughlin and Doug Marrone instilling a two-back set with a fullback as our running attack. A fullback was very helpful when we ran Fred and MJD. If that possibility exists, or even if it doesn't, Dalvin Cook looks too good to pass up. The kid will be good.
John: The Fullback Issue isn't something I've seen Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett discuss publicly yet, but I would be surprised if the Jaguars don't carry a fullback next season. Hackett used one in Buffalo and there's little question Hackett and Marrone will want to emphasize the run. Does that mean Dalvin Cook at No. 4? I don't have a great feel for that yet, but I wouldn't rule it out.
Tim from Jacksonville:
How did booing Roger Goodell become a thing? Is he a terrible person? If so, how did he get his job? I don't see any reason for all the hate, other than it being an NFL tradition. If it's just a tradition it seems to me to be in poor taste.
John: Poor taste unfortunately is no longer a deterrent to the action of the masses. If indeed it ever was.

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