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O-Zone: Nailing things down

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Bobby from Section 201 and Jacksonville:
Even though I know it may be a distraction, I selfishly want Hard Knocks to come to Jacksonville. I think it would be really fun to watch how Coach Gus handles the team behind the scenes and I think it would draw eyes to Jacksonville in a very positive way.
John: And therein lays the dilemma facing every team when it comes to Hard Knocks. There's no question it's a distraction and at the same time, there's even less question that it's really, really cool for fans. Hard Knocks absolutely would benefit fans and would probably make Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley more popular than he is already, but coaches and general managers inherently dislike distractions, and Hard Knocks never will not be one.
Morgan from Arlington:
In response to Frank … I tell my boss when I know I am going to miss work, but sometimes things come up (Family !?!?!) and they are last minute and the last thing on your mind is, 'Hey, I should tell Gus about me missing this voluntary workout.' It's as if people think he intentionally dissed the Jags... Sigh
John: Sigh.
Derek from Arlington, VA:
Do you think there will be any chance of Stephen Morris playing quarterback?
John: It is by definition a long shot. Morris was signed as an undrafted free agent in the same year the Jaguars drafted Blake Bortles No. 3 overall, so Morris would not only have to make the team over Ricky Stanzi but find a way to get ahead of Chad Henne and Bortles. The Jaguars are two weeks into OTAs, so I won't insult anyone's intelligence by saying Morris has had time to do anything to change his status. Check back in training camp.
Jared from O-Town:
Hey John: I've seen on other social sites that there is a general confusion as to what a "sellout" of a stadium means. I researched it and noticed that a new policy was set where there is percentage of full capacity that each team can set prior to the season starting that will be considered a sellout for blackout purposes, and that there is a monetary penalty paid to the league if capacity exceeds that set percentage. Can you help explain this a little better?
John: The NFL relaxed its blackout policy before the 2012 season, meaning home teams now have an option of being able to avert blackouts if they sell 85 percent of game tickets. Teams are allowed to set their own blackout threshold between 85 and 100 percent of seats sold. If attendance exceeds that threshold, team must share additional revenue. The idea behind that last idea is to prevent teams from setting the threshold unreasonably low.
Keith from Summerville, SC:
If Justin Blackmon never returns to the NFL, did he actually get away with the millions of dollars in signing bonus from the Jaguars? Is there any way for the Jaguars to get any of that money back? I can't understand how the NFL can be set up in a way that a player can be signed, then given millions, and decide not to play.
John: The Jaguars almost certainly could not recoup Blackmon's signing bonus, but it's really not a matter of the league being set up in a certain way. A signing bonus is just that – a bonus. It's guaranteed money and the guarantee is a guarantee.
Matt from Manassas, VA:
I get the feeling that some of these questions about third-string quarterback and "how will Alualu survive?" are a result of paying attention to Madden player ratings rather than watching the games. Just a theory.
John: As theories go, I've heard worse.
Steven from Detroit, MI:
Has Denard Robinson made any strides as of late? I know it's way early but he can be a game-changer and seems to me he has a great work ethic. Thoughts?
John: To hear coaches tell it, Robinson is making strides in organized team activities. You get the idea the Jaguars would love to be able to use Robinson as a weapon as a runner and receiver out of the backfield. He has special speed if he can work out the ball security issues that troubled him last season.
Shadmark fromFreebeerandraisefortheOzone:
Yeah right, you say you don't pay attention to where the origins of your emails come from!
John: You come from a wonderful place that, alas, exists only in dreams.
Seth from Omaha, NE:
Does Boselli spending a chunk of his career playing left tackle for a left-handed quarterback hurt his Hall-of-Fame case? Or did he play on the right side with Brunell? I was too young at the time to pay attention to the offensive line, or at least too young to remember. I'd also like to add that having two players in the Pride of the Jaguars is a joke and embarrassing. Are we not proud of Brunell, Jimmy, Keenan, Darius, Hardy, Brackens, Brady, Hollis, Meier, Stroud, Henderson, Mathis, Gabbert (kidding), Garrard, Meester? And eventually MJD, Poz, and Scobee should be there. What's the point of a pride with a few players? I for one have spent nearly 20 years being proud of more than two Jags.
John: Boselli played on the left side, but Brunell being left-handed isn't what hurts his Hall-of-Fame chances; rather, it's having played only six full seasons. I believe he should be in the Hall of Fame, with one reason being I believe he was the best left tackle in the Golden Era of NFL left tackles, but me believing that doesn't necessarily mean it will happen. As far as the Pride goes, the Jaguars were proud enough of Brunell that they put him in last season. And though I certainly admire your passion on the subject, I sense that the team might be a touch more discerning in this area than yourself.
John from Jacksonville:
Don't get me wrong. I am excited about Blake Bortles, but what if Chad Henne puts together a nice year where we are fighting for a playoff spot at the end? I always hear that we know what Chad Henne is. But the guy has been around just as much inconsistency as Blaine Gabbert; including his time in Miami. I'm looking forward to seeing him in the same system, two years in a row, with a few more weapons.
John: The Jaguars are, too – and if your scenario occurs … well, let's just call it one of those really good problems.
Gator from Gainesville and My Couch:
Im with Dwayne and John. You either 1, dont post my insiteful questions or 2. edit them so i look stoopid. Sometimes I feel like the #15 of the O Zone...all that talent and promise but never a reel opportunity to shine. If you posted all my questions the O Zone would be huge and the Stadium would be full every game!
John: I would hate to think I had something to do with you looking stupid.
Trent from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Are all NFL playbooks totally different from one another, and do they differ based on the head coach?
John: All NFL playbooks differ to some degree. Some are similar if the offenses are run by coordinators who have worked together, and some are complete opposite if the coordinators come from different backgrounds and different beliefs.
Scott from Satsuma, FL:
What are the chances in your mind that Toby G. is moved to fullback? With his size and speed he could be a great weapon at fullback where the running back or the fullback can run the screen or the ball.
John: The chances of the Jaguars moving Gerhart to fullback are slim to the point that they are basically none. The Jaguars signed Gerhart to be a running back and paid him as such. He may look like a fullback and he may in fact run at times like a fullback, but he ain't going to be a fullback.
Redmond from Jacksonville:
When will the Jags release the first depth chart?
John: During training camp as they prepare for the first preseason game.
Austin from Atlanta, GA:
I know it's tough to tell without pads, but how does the O-line look in comparison to last years? That's what is going to cause this team to sink or swim in my completely unimportant opinion.
John: Your opinion isn't completely unimportant and it also isn't wrong in this case. The offensive line is critical, and as important as it is for the Jaguars to improve it in the short-term, it's just as important to get the foundation set. It appears the team has taken significant steps toward that, with left guard Zane Beadles and left tackle Luke Joeckel theoretically in place for the foreseeable future. As for how the group is playing in OTAs, you're right that it's tough for us to judge from the sidelines without pads, but Chad Henne, Toby Gerhart and Gus Bradley all said this week they liked the progress made in the area the first two weeks in the run game. That would have to be considered a start.
Dave from Section 410 and Jacksonville:
The O-Zone is no place for wimps and cowards. If you can't take the heat then keep the hay out of the barn!
John: You hit the nail on the bed with that one.

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