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O-Zone: Name game

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Jake from Jacksonville:
If Poz struggles early in the season at Sam, who do you see on the roster that could fill that position?
John: I'm getting a version of this question quite a bit in recent days, and I find it a curious one. While the transition to strong-side linebacker indeed will be an adjustment for Paul Posluszny after a decade playing NFL middle linebacker – and while he has called it the toughest challenge of his career – that doesn't remotely mean he won't be able to do it. He's not going to be asked to put his hand on the ground and rush the passer. I guess the coverage aspect of the position has people concerned, but he's not going to be a pass-coverage specialist; besides, he's far better in coverage than most observers seem to want to believe. He's going to play a heavy run-defending position, one that's on the field far less than the middle-linebacker position he has played before. Will it be easy? No, but he's a smart, dedicated player. I don't know why he wouldn't be able to make the transition. Who would play it if he can't do it? Hayes Pullard, I suppose. Or possibly Blair Brown in a pinch. I doubt that will be necessary.
Ricky from Fairport, NY:
Regarding the 90-man roster you said: "This is a positive change for teams, because it allows them to keep 15 additional players for the final preseason game that normally would have been released the previous week." There's nothing "positive" about benefitting preseason games.
John: Wow. Little benefits or thrills me more than when people quote back to me prose I penned just hours before – for without such a reminder, I surely would have forgotten my well-crafted words. But alas … while fans may see no benefit in preseason games, I assure you teams will benefit from having more players available for the preseason finale.
Gabe from Washington, DC:
I had the same thought regarding snaps for Brandon Allen versus Chad Henne in the preseason. Then something occurred to me: If Henne is better right now, does the team need him taking snaps with the second team to determine how good everyone else is? It's probably my not fair to the receivers (or coaches) to be judged on their performance with a lesser quarterback. Or nah?
John: The issue here probably won't be as much wanting to judge the second group of receivers as wanting to get your backup quarterback preseason repetitions. If Henne indeed is to be the backup quarterback, then Henne needs preseason reps to prepare for the regular season. Because he is an experienced veteran, he doesn't need to play every snap of every preseason game, but you don't want him on the sideline the entire time, either.
Chris from Mandarin:
Okay, John, what are the circumstances that prevented Gus Bradley from being successful? Was it his inability to hire competent coordinators to run the offense and defense, or was it the inability to put players in position to be successful, such as having Julius Thomas block way more often than should have been considered OK (and this is only one of a myriad of examples so don't latch on to it) or maybe it was lack of comprehension of in-game situations that caused poor clock management? Perhaps none of these things were of Bradley's control and that is why you do not think he was a bad coach. Uh no, John, Gus Bradley was a poor head coach. Maybe he will be better if he goes on to be a head coach elsewhere, but if he does I imagine he will change his approach.
John: Believe me, I understand that this is one way to look at the issue …
Roger from Houston, TX:
Cliff from Washington, DC: As head coach of the Browns, Bill Belichick was 36-44, and 5-11 in his last season with the team. I suppose that makes him a bad coach.
John: … and there's also another way.
Joe from Fleming Island, FL:
Happy Memorial Day weekend. It would seem that a player, or players, who miss voluntary workouts in May is highly unlikely to a significant effect in September. However, does it not show a little bit of unprofessionalism or immaturity not to contact the team and inform them of plans or intentions. I taught my kids that it is common courtesy to keep people around them informed. Shouldn't it be expected for professionals making millions of dollars to take the five minutes to make a phone call?
John: I think it's safe to say that in the case of Jalen Ramsey not attending the first day of organized team activities that Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone would have appreciated a call. I also think it's safe to say I'd be surprised if this issue ranks highly on the myriad of issues on this team in the coming months or even weeks. Or even days.
David from Orlando, FL:
I'm disappointed that Denard Robinson is still a free agent. He's a great young athlete with elite speed, and I don't think he got much of a chance to shine here. In my opinion, it appeared the coaches wanted him to be the "run-full-speed-to-where-the-hole-should-be" guy, not the patient "use-your-instincts-to get-into-the-open-field" guy. Here's hoping someone takes a chance on him and that we haven't heard the last of Denard Robinson. Can I get one for D-Rob?
John: I don't know when or if the NFL will hear again from Robinson, mainly because I don't know that he is enough of a position fit to get a serious long-term look after his rookie contract. I hope I'm wrong, because I like Robinson a lot. So, yeah … one fer D-Rob.
John from Jacksonville:
I think we might tempt the Patriots for what could become known in media as "CampGate." Yes, the Patriots are very interested in gaining intelligence on the Jags for an advantage in the preseason and beyond.
John: You make a valid point.
Brett from Jacksonville:
I know at one point there was discussion about the amphitheater also being an indoor practice facility. Was that idea abandoned, or is it just not being talked about with the excitement of the concerts?
John: The flex-field portion of the Daily's Place project is scheduled to be completed this summer. The amphitheater portion will open Saturday.
Kyle from Riverside:
O-Man, you're right! I completely agree. The talent is better since David Caldwell took over four years ago. However, you could have improved the talent on this team by blindly throwing darts at a draft board (which some believe out there is what really happens in the Jag War Room).
John: OK.
Ray from Jacksonville:
John: Two comments on Wednesday's column. I suppose Mike Mularkey was a bad coach here and is now looking to be a good coach in Tennessee. Oh yeah, he now has a good quarterback. As to hits and misses, Byron Leftwich is considered a "miss," but he had a better first three years than our current first-rounder.
John: Ray: Two comments on your comments. Yes. OK.
Damian from Appleton, WI:
I realize we are dedicating to the run and we know you want great run blockers on the field such as tight end Marcedes Lewis. Who do you think will be the No. 1 tight end? Do you suspect multiple tight-end sets? Is Lewis the starter? What do you think about who plays what roles as our current group of tight end?
John: I think Mychal Rivera will be the No. 1 receiving tight end with Marcedes Lewis the No. 1 blocking tight end, and I think Neal Sterling and Ben Koyack essentially will be the backups at those positions. And yes … I do think the Jaguars will use a lot of two-tight end sets. That's the most balanced formation, and therefore a very tough formation to defend.
Jon from Brentwood, UK:
John, just been listening to Poz on Jaguars Live and his emphasis that it will be reps that help him increase his confidence and familiarity in the new role. How much of a hindrance are the CBA rules on offseason/preseason OTA /practice restrictions to someone who is suddenly thrust into a new and unfamiliar role?
John: Not too, too much. NFL teams have 10 organized team activities and three minicamp practices. They then have an entire training camp of practices in late July and August. While teams will always want more practices if they can get them, that's a pretty fair amount of offseason work.
Jon from California:
Hey O-man, you know how the media always use to refer to the Vikings as "Adrian Peterson and the Vikings" as if Christian Ponder wasn't even there? Do you think we will be "Leonard Fournette and the Jaguars" on Sundays or will Blake Bortles come off enough as the leader of our team to the media? Thanks.
John: I haven't thought about this, and I hope I don't have to start.

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