JACKSONVILLE -- Let's get to it . . . Scott from Jacksonville:
I expect the lowering-the-helmet rule to have little or no effect on MJD at all. I don't recall ever seeing him drop down and drive his head into anyone in the open field. If he ever did that, it was between the tackles while he was trying to make a hole, and the rule doesn't apply there. Now, Earl Campbell, he might have had real trouble with the new rule . . .
John: I tend to agree with you in terms of Jones-Drew. As with any new rule that requires players to alter what they have done for a long time, I expect there will be a period early in the season when penalties get called and I expect those penalties to be accompanied by a furor on and off the field. Jones-Drew plays physically, so it's possible he could be in the middle of such an issue – possible, but probably not likely. As you say, I don't think his style outside the tackles typically has been to use his helmet as a battering ram, so it shouldn't hurt his overall effectiveness much at all.
Tommy from Jacksonville:
Obviously, you work for the Jaguars and are not privy to the inner workings of other teams. But the Jags have really embraced the idea of expanding their fan base both locally and abroad in London. Are other teams playing abroad reaching out like the Jaguars have? I'm just curious as to the overall presence of the NFL in England. Have other teams embraced it like we have? I'm excited about it and have started saving for the trip next year.
John: The Jaguars are pretty far out front in terms of trying to establish a fan base in London. That makes sense, because they're the only team that has committed to playing there four seasons. They have a salesperson devoted exclusively to sponsorship in London, and team officials are spending time there in the offseason preparing for next year and the rest of the series. That's the sort of commitment to be expected from a team with a multi-year plan.
KC from Jacksonville:
I wanted to express my optimism over this coming season. David Caldwell seems brilliant and I love that he seems very interested in interacting with the fan base, as does Coach Bradley. I, for one, believe we will overachieve this year and contend for a division title. Out of curiosity, is there a link to the post about which training camp practices will be open to the public? I plan on attending, and possibly getting one awesome senior writer's autograph :)
John: Here's the link. As for the autograph, you may have to wait until the Jaguars hire an awesome senior writer.
Lou from Section 101:
Orange Park, Florida, was not mentioned as one of the cities visited on the Jags Caravan tour. Shout out to Orange Park, Florida.
John: ORANGE PARK!!
Josh from Neptune Beach, FL:
In my opinion Mike Sims-Walker is way too talented to not be playing in the NFL. He wouldn't be expensive and we would have another weapon back who has proven himself with us. Blackmon, Shorts, Sims-walker, Ace, Denard, Shipley sounds good to me. What you think, O-man?
John: I think the ability to move your mouse and fill out that little box where it says to ask the O-Zone a question is a wonderful thing. Most of the time. There are also other times.
Tim from Jacksonville:
The problem with the move-those-chains cheer is it prevents us from trying a quick-play offensive strategy. The Patriots have the ability to move down the field quickly because their fans don't make so much noise between plays like Jaguars fans do. I have seen our offense move quickly (on rare occasion) and when that happens, the move-those-chains cheer often annoyingly drags on into the next play, affecting momentum. It's a cheer I think should be left behind. We need something new.
John: If I understand correctly, you believe the Patriots move the ball down the field quickly because their fans are quiet between plays and that the Jaguars don't do this because their fans chant, "Move Those Chains" between plays.
Scott from Jacksonville, FL:
No question . . . Just an observation.
John: Well put.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
If London is a financial windfall for the team, what benefit do you see this extra money doing for local Jaguars fans?
John: I don't know that the fans will see much immediate benefit. Not if you mean a sudden lowering of prices or refund cash money in the mail. The benefit is that there is expected to be significant revenue from the London game. That helps local revenue streams, which helps the team to be stable in Jacksonville. In the long run, it also allows the team to keep ticket prices lower in Jacksonville.
Tudor from St. Augustine, FL:
Prediction for 2013: Jags start slow due to tough road tour but pick up speed in second half to finish 10-6. They qualify for the playoffs, win wild card, and knock off Denver in the divisional round. With me, loyal for life, at Mile High to see it in all its glory. Watch the magic unfold, Mr. O.
John: I'm with you at least part of the way. I'd say there's a very good chance the Jaguars could get better in the second half of the season, and considering they're a young team with a new coach, they could well struggle with a first-half schedule that features a lot of out-of-time-zone travel. Is there enough talent at enough spots to put together a 10-6 season? That would surprise a lot of people and the odds aren't in the Jaguars' favor. But that's the view from here on July 6. Let's see how it looks in September.
Eric from Boone, NC:
The Raiders and McFadden blames his down season on switching to zone blocking; they say he is a power back and doesn't have the speed needed for the zone block. What makes the Jaguars think MJD can have success in the zone-blocking scheme – isn't he a power back without speed as well?
John: I can't wait until Jones-Drew reads that last line. He's all about people questioning his speed. He just loves it.
John from Jacksonville:
I've been seeing a lot of negative noise lately on MJD about what-if trading scenarios, his training in another city, etc. Personally, I can't emphasize enough how many thrilling moments he has contributed on the field both alongside Fred Taylor and following the Taylor era. MJD has been an outstanding contributor to our team and I'll be saddened the day he leaves the team for whatever reason. There is something priceless when the crowd roars "DREWWWWWWW."
John: I haven't heard a huge amount of negative noise regarding Jones-Drew in the last couple of weeks. Maybe that's because JP Shadrick and I are spending our offseason on a caffeine-sugar buzz under the Dames Point Bridge. Whatever the reason, the talk about trading scenarios and training in another city surrounding Jones-Drew is fine talk-radio/message-board fodder for the offseason, but it has little to do with reality. The Jaguars aren't trading Jones-Drew and he has trained in Miami throughout his career. He'll leave the team someday, of course; all players do. But it's hard to imagine it happening this offseason or season.
Kyle from Jacksonville:
Johnny, why do I drink so much?
John: Because you "get it."
Earny from Springville, AL:
Nice try, sir! I work in IT and I can say that the blame game won't work. The old saying, "GARBAGE IN GARBAGE OUT" would apply in this case. We don't mind the playful humor now, but when training camp starts, we'll look for more in-depth "stuff" about the Jaguars and the young guns.
John: Wow! What a coincidence! Training camp, last I checked, is when things start happening on the field and when storylines begin to change! That just might – might -- be when we shift the percentages back a little more in the favor of football here in the O-Zone.
Etheric from Space:
If you could change your name to anything, what would you change it to?
Joel from Jacksonville:
You seem very good at keeping yourself sane and the rest of us almost so. However, the double email joke is wearing thin. And the double email joke is a lame attempt at humor. By the way, the double email joke was funny the first two or three times. I am not sure because I can't count.
John: Oh, I think it was actually pretty thin all along. The nice thing about a joke here in the O-Zone that doesn't work is there is no paper wasted and really nothing lost – except my time, which really isn't worth that much (THAT IS NOT A REQUEST FOR A RAISE, BY THE WAY). Lame attempts at humor cost the reader nothing, and one day turns into the next and we try another joke that doesn't work. It's a nice, lame, harmless little cycle in my lame, harmless little world.
O-Zone: My lame little world
JACKSONVILLE -- Let's get to it . . . Scott from Jacksonville: