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O-Zone: New Top Five

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Fowler from Cowford

I don't get how Blake Bortles supporters don't get why everyone isn't a blind Bortles supporter like them. I keep hearing them say things like "What does Bortles have to do to win people over?" How about having one come-from-behind win in the fourth quarter? If and when we get back to the playoffs, I have zero confidence he can lead us back if we are behind late. Confidence in him being able to do that is what is missing. Unfortunately, we won't get that until he does it. The fear is the window will start to close while we just sit around, wait and hope that it happens. Hope is never a strong strategy. Here's to a new hashtag for the Jags #progressivelyoldschool

John: We are deep into the NFL offseason, so it’s unsurprising that the Bortles discussion has spiraled to the point that it feels polarizing and perhaps overdone. With nearly three months remaining before preseason, I suppose we’re not yet close to the end of this tunnel. Is there a place somewhere between blind support and hate? Perhaps – and maybe, just maybe, that place between is a reasonable landing spot when discussing Bortles. Dissatisfaction with Bortles on this front is more than understandable. He has not been effective in come-from-behind situations. One thing to consider is that the Jaguars as a whole struggled enough in his first three seasons that it’s difficult to say Bortles was completely at fault for not bringing the team from behind. And while there were reasons it didn’t happen last season, the ability to create come-from-behind magic is a must for quarterbacks. It’s the biggest area in which quarterbacks can make an immediate, real impact. But when you say “the window will start to close while we just sit around,” there’s an implication that the Jaguars in the last two or three years have passed on a slew of sure-fire improvements over a liability. Could the Jaguars haves elected Deshaun Watson? Or Lamar Jackson? Or Patrick Mahomes? Sure. But it remains to be seen if those players really would be improvements – and the Jaguars don’t see Bortles as a liability. As much the last part may frustrate some fans, they just don’t.

John from Jacksonville

Do you ever lose sleep at night thinking about the possibility of your O-Zone streak being ruined by an EMP event? The guilt you might harbor knowing of chaos in the streets with people wondering if the daily O-Zone somehow posted and the daily disappointment of them not knowing the answer.

John: I lose sleep over this all of the time. It’s weird you ask.

Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

John, this may be a dumb question, but in looking at prospects, what distinguishes a player as  a potential safety versus cornerback? Also, what distinguishes an outside cornerback versus a nickel cornerback? Go Jags.

John: Distinctions here are tricky; speed, agility and quickness are needed at both positions – and any NFL player is off the charts good in those areas compared to most human beings. But corners typically need more quickness, coverage ability and ball skills, with more emphasis at safety placed on tackling and the ability to roam sideline to sideline or attack the line of scrimmage to defend the run. Safeties are often bigger and taller, with speed more emphasized at corner. The difference between a nickel and an outside corner is trickier because the difference is even less physical than between corner and safety. While a nickel corner perhaps isn’t the “pure” cover corner as his  outside counterparts, he often must be more versatile and have more awareness before/during the play because he’s covering tight ends or slot receivers with more responsibilities against the run.

Cliff from Everywhere with helicopter

You may be the "Overlord of Funk," but just remember there is aural "funk" and there is olfactory "funk." I'm just sayin'.

John: I am the king of all funk.

Charlie from Ponte Vedra, FL

I'm having a party. Please bring your birthday suit.

John: I am the king of all funk.

Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

As a fan, it’s frustrating to hear other Jaguars fans talk trash about Bortles the way they do. You can understand about it from previous years, but he just led us to the AFC title game and never flinched. Do we really have that many fans who think it’s easy to do what he did? I do not claim to be an expert, but I have been watching football 55-plus years – and if you think Bortles is a bad quarterback you do not know or understand what you got. The Jaguars are lucky to have him. He has not lost a game when the team played well. He has never been a bad quarterback; he has only had bad games. Winning is hard and fragile in the NFL – and after a great year like last year where is the love? Blake is going to be a great quarterback; he is well on his way after last season. How would you feel if he won the next six Super Bowls? Would that be enough for you to root for him? Star player No. 5.

John: Just as Fowler from Cowford’s lack of belief in Bortles a few questions back may have been a little over the top, the all-in belief here also is a bit much. I can’t yet call Bortles a star. I can’t yet say he’s great… well, except for the junior police badge. That was great.

Kardashian fromHollywood, CA

Hey, Oehser: wanna be in the Illuminati?

John: Yes, yes … a thousand times … yes!!

Scott from Woodland Park, CO

We need to ask POZ to come back. Why not ask.

John: The Jaguars would have liked to have had middle linebacker Paul Posluszny return. He made up his mind to retire in early March because he didn’t want his play to slip to a point that he believed was below his standard. I can’t imagine his thoughts having changed in two and a half months.

Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

With all the money the Jaguar players make do you feel sorry for them having to go to training camp with Doug Marrone and Tom Coughlin? You have to really love football to do that. Let’s face it: no team will be working harder than the Jaguar players. I feel sorry for them myself. Mr. T prediction … pain!

John: I don’t feel sorry for NFL players who must work hard.

Yoav from St. Johns, FL

There's a belief among fans that veterans mentor younger players. But for every Calais Campbell there seems to be ten Brett Favres saying, "It's not my job." What's been your observation?

John: Most veterans who mentor other players play less high-profile positions than quarterback. I’ve seen a lot of position players give young players a great deal of help. Most quarterbacks frankly are too busy and focused on playing the position at a high level to worry about mentoring their eventual replacements.

Damon from America’s Finest City

People, fans and the media can trash Bortles all they want, but he was without question one of the main reasons we made it to the AFC Championship Game. The kid is gutsy, tough, one of the best mobile quarterbacks in the league and everyone outside of Jax seems to forget that he goes up against one of the best defensive units in the NFL at practice every day. This last fact alone coupled with another year in offensive coordinator Nate Hackett’s system is why I have faith that Bortles will have a career year and finally shut up his critics. Everyone in Jax needs to chill. Bortles will help take us to the promised land.

John: Hey …. one fer Blake. And Blake’s future.

Josh from Harrisburg,PA

Two questions for the great O: is OTAs too early to start a playoff beard and will you join me in the endeavor?

John: Organized team activities are not too early to start a playoff beard. Actually, OTAs are the perfect time. I will not join you, though. My attempts at beard growth are characteristically pathetic. It’s not that I can’t handle the embarrassment and humiliation. I am well-experienced in both and they scarcely bother me. But no one wants to witness my beard. Trust me on this. I know that of which I speak.

Rhett from Jacksonville

Did you know that they have a beer at Green Room in Jax Beach that is called Myles Jack Wasn't Down? I believe it is an IPA, and it is delicious. The beer is less bitter than I am, as it reminds me of that sad, seasonably warm day in Boston. My salty tears that fell in the beer gave it a unique flavor profile. You should try it.

John: This has a chance to be on my list of favorite beers. It possibly could be No. 2 or 3. It never could be No. 1, though. That spot is perpetually reserved for Beer I Don’t Pay For Because Someone Bought It For Me Because He or She Knows Who I Am. It’s awkwardly named, but always delicious. #freeisme

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