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O-Zone: Mistaken identity

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Carl from Tallahassee, FL:
Big congrats to Tony Boselli for making the list of 25 semifinalists for the Hall of Fame for this year. It's obviously well-deserved as we all know here in Jacksonville. What is the furthest Tony has made it in the selection process in previous years?
John: Indeed, big congratulations to Tony Boselli for making the list of 25 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2016. The semifinalists were announced Tuesday, and 15 finalists will be announced in January with the '16 class announced the day before the Super Bowl. This is the first time Boselli has been among the 25 semifinalists. The first step for a non-first-ballot player is to get on the semifinalist list. That means when voters begin studying and discussing players' merits they will study that player; it essentially gets Boselli into the Hall of Fame conversation. After that, the process often plays out over several years with enough voters over time realizing a player's merits – and enough other players having gotten in – that a player is eventually inducted. For Boselli, being acknowledged as a semifinalist was long overdue – really, really long overdue. He was one of the best left tackles in a golden age of left tackles and in my mind he undoubtedly is a Hall of Famer. Here's hoping at some point he is acknowledged as such.
Brandon from Orlando, FL:
You think Tony Boselli will make it this year?
John: No. Semifinalists who aren't voted in on their first year of eligibility sometimes wait a long while before getting in – and there are no guarantees. Being a semifinalist is a big step. I think Boselli's chances will increase over time as voters look harder at and consider more strongly his career, but I think it will take some time.
Kyle from Ohio:
Help me! I truly believe we can actually be .500 two weeks from now. The Chargers have a lot of injuries and have looked really bad this year. We just beat the Titans despite shooting ourselves in the foot in the red zone a lot; if we limit mistakes, we could beat them again. I truly think we can and even should be .500 in two weeks. Am I crazy?
John: Am I crazy, or were you the guy who spent much of Thursday's game emailing me that Blake Bortles was just, plain aaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwful, Ozone!!! OK, maybe I am crazy, but no: you're not.
Jason from Jacksonville:
If Luke Bowanko is inactive on game day, who is the backup center? I believe he has been inactive several times.
John: Tyler Shatley.
Michael from Newport News, VA:
In the playoff picture. Two receivers in the hunt for 1,000 yards for the season. It is a good time to be a Jags fan. However, I still have more than a few coworkers that don't view the Jaguars as a legit NFL team. But I guess after so many losing seasons it is to be expected.
John: It is to be expected because perceptions are hard to change. The Jaguars have lost for a long, long time. Being 4-6 won't change peoples' perception, but you know what? So what? Win, and get in. That's how it works in the NFL. No polls. Perception doesn't matter.
Jassan from Dallas, TX:
Don't look now, but with the Bills' loss on Monday Night Football the Jaguars are now one game out of the second wild-card spot. Sounds crazy with all the talk about the AFC South being historically bad, but it is late November and we have a real chance of making the playoffs without winning the division. What do you think? Go Jags!
John: I think the Jaguars need to focus on winning as many games as they can and let the rest take care of itself. But yeah … if the Jaguars finish well down the stretch – win four or five more games – they might have a chance to keep playing after the regular season. It will be tough to win four or five more games, but making the postseason isn't supposed to be easy.
John from Ponte Vedra, FL:
Just heard about the Johnny Manziel demotion. Kinda sad … makes it hard to see where he will be in five years. On the other hand, Bortles' development has been fairly steady. Given what you now know, which quarterback do you feel has the highest ceiling among Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, Derek Carr – and throw in Jameis Winston for fun. All these guys have talent, but Bortles really looks like the guy you want to build your team around.
John: I'd say Bortles and Winston have the highest ceilings with a slight nod to Winston. But ceilings mean nothing without development and both Bortles and Winston – not to mention every other quarterback on your list – have a lot of developing to do before we know who is the best of the bunch.
Adrian from Inglewood, CA:
Let's talk Chargers. Philip Rivers is Top 3 in passing yards. This concerns me because our D-Line isn't getting as much pressure as we'd like. Even though the Chargers' receiving corps is banged up, if Rivers has all day to throw, we might be in trouble.
John: Yes, the Jaguars must pressure Rivers – and the offense must score points to force San Diego to throw when it doesn't want to throw. If you let Rivers stand with plenty of time to throw it will be a very difficult game to win. He's elite and if he has time he will move efficiently no matter his receivers.
Bud from Waxhaw, NC:
Is Denard still hurt? Why isn't he getting more carries after the show he put on last year?
John: Because T.J. Yeldon is the Jaguars' every-down running back.
Chris from Section 437:
I'm a little worried about the Jags' defensive plan for San Diego. Philip Rivers is one of the league's better quarterbacks and he likes to throw to the tight ends and running backs, two positions the Jags struggle to cover. What are your thoughts on this matchup?
John: I think the Jaguars better cover the heck out of the tight ends and running backs, and I think because of the way Rivers plays it will be tough to blitz him as effectively as the Jaguars have done other quarterbacks in recent weeks. Not to say they won't blitz, but they'll likely have to be more selective. This isn't an easy match-up. It never is when Rivers is involved.
Michael from Orange Park, FL:
Blake needs to 1) have a really good game this week AND 2) take care of the ball. With our current pass defense, I worry the game will devolve into a track meet. What say you?
John: I say Bortles does need to have a good game, and with Philip Rivers involved there's always a danger of the Chargers scoring points. But the Jaguars' defense has been playing better for the most part over the last month and the Jaguars' defensive line versus the Chargers' offensive line isn't a bad match-up for the Jaguars. It's not written in stone that the Jaguars have to allow a lot of points Sunday.
Chris from San Marco:
When was the last time the Jaguars had two receivers in the top 20 in receiving yards? It was 2000, but even then Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell did not have near the yards per reception average that the Allens do. It really is a remarkable sight and should not be lost on anyone...though, I'm not sure it has been.
John: I don't think it has been lost, either, but it's certainly worth noting more than once. The development of Hurns and Robinson has been remarkable and it's absolutely the sort of thing around which you can begin to build on offense. That's important, and it bodes well for the future.
Richard from Jacksonville:
Since we are playing the Chargers this week, do you think anyone will ever break LaDainian Tomlinson's single-season record of 28 rushing touchdowns?
John: Yes.
Al from Jacksonville:
O-Zone, Why is it that all of the Jaguars media is constantly praising Allen Robinson when they should be praising Allen Hurns? Robinson is usually shut down for most of the game and teams let up because they have him in check. Hurns comes through more often than Robinson, but all I hear after the game is about how Robinson finally got open and made a catch. Hurns is the Man! It would be good to see the media give him the credit that he deserves. What do you think?
John: I think we're watching different teams and listening to different media folks. Robinson has seven touchdowns and 871 yards receiving, so I don't know that he has been "shut down" all that much, and the media around here has praised Hurns plenty.
Bryant from White Plains, NY:
Let's talk streaks: When was the last time the Jaguars won three games in a row? How many seasons has it been since the Jags had a 1,000-yard receiver?
John: The Jaguars won three consecutive games in November/December 2013. Jimmy Smith had 1,023 yards receiving in 2005.
Jami from Wye Mills:
John, I really enjoy your insight on the Frangie show each Tuesday afternoon. It makes sitting in the D.C. traffic just a little more bearable. Thanks for all you do.
John: You got the wrong guy.

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