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O-Zone: Obligatory ending

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Kevin from Charlotte, NC:
Two games in, John … what would you say is the most positive thing you have seen so far?
John: This is a tough question. With the performance against Washington last Sunday being as bad as it was, it's tough to see very many positives. But the defensive front for the most part played well against Philadelphia in Week 1, and there are signs that the young wide receivers – Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee – will develop into very good players. That last part is significant. When I look at rookie receivers, I expect very little the first year. It's a very difficult position in terms of learning and implementing the subtle route-running skills needed to be productive in the NFL. But you can often see signs of skills that will allow receivers to develop; Hurns, Robinson and Lee have shown such signs.
Scott from Aurora, IL:
Do you charge for these sessions?
John: How much you got?
Griffin from Duval County:
Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Mark Sanchez, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Andy Dalton, Russell Wilson … what do all these guys have in common? Yes, they all made the playoffs as rookie quarterbacks. It has happened before and doesn't necessarily need to happen in Jax this year. The possibility is there, but by just playing meaningful games in November and December this would do wonders for the team as a whole and the fan base that I have been a part of since Day One. It starts with playing No. 5.
John: Sure, it has happened before. I would say that in all those cases you were talking about rosters more developed than the Jaguars' roster right now, though the Colts in Luck's rookie year were a remarkable story on that front. The Jaguars for now don't believe playing Blake Bortles would change the equation around him enough to make a difference in winning and losing. If they did, they would play him. No. 5 will play, and I think it will be soon. But not right now.
Greg from Hammock Beach, FL:
Johnny … love the O-Zone especially the times when you post the emails that end with, "I'll bet you don't post this …" (See what I did?)
John: Wait. What?
Brian from New Hampshire:
Do you see the secondary or the offensive line or the defense getting right first? The offensive line takes time to gel but other than the defensive line, the defense just looks bad really bad minus the first half of the Eagles game.
John: I see the defense getting right first. It's more experienced, and with safety Johnathan Cyprien coming back Sunday, that should help. And while the group obviously struggled in a big way against Washington, I didn't think the defense against Philadelphia in the second half was all that bad. The Jaguars allowed 34 points, but seven came on an Eagles defensive touchdown, and the Eagles also got a late field goal after gaining possession deep in Jaguars territory. That leaves 24 points. That's too many, but aside from two long touchdowns, the group played pretty well. That's not winning football, obviously, but it's also not a case where the entire defense is so weak that it can't improve and be a strength.
Preston from Waterbury, CT:
You said before the season that 8-8 was a lofty goal. When I looked at the schedule I wasn't convinced that the first two games were sure wins by any means. Do you think the schedule plays in the favor of a young and inexperienced group? It seems extremely front heavy in my opinion.
John: It seems you're asking if the Jaguars will be better as the season continues, yes. What I meant by lofty goal was that I thought it would be very difficult for the Jaguars to finish 8-8 this season. If you're asking me if that has changed, no.
Jefferson from Phoenix, AZ:
So, according to our most learned contributors to the O-Zone, the oldest thing on the roster is the statement that it's "Young and Developing," eh?
John: That's about right. People don't like hearing about "Young and Developing." I get it. People are tired of building. And losing. I get that, too. But I don't know a better way to build a long-term, competitive roster than to draft and develop, and drafting and developing takes time. Is it old? To the fans of this team, perhaps. But it's how it is.
Jay from OkC:
Can you give us a status update on Aaron Colvin, and do you think it's possible he could take over for Winston Guy playing safety at some point?
John: Aaron Colvin appears to be progressing nicely, and his status for this season will be determined in four weeks when the clocks starting ticking for the Physically Unable to Perform list. At this point, I don't see Colvin as a starting safety. The Jaguars drafted him with the idea that he could be a very good starting cornerback and nothing has happened to make them give up on that idea.
Kevin from Jacksonville:
What's the dealio with the scoreboards? Every day when I drive home from work and pass the stadium they are on and running. I assume testing is over. Do the stadium operators need the practice? Just seems a bit odd is all.
John: The team that operates the boards does need practice in a way. There is a lot that goes on each week in terms of planning the game-day experience, and ensuring that what goes on the boards goes there in a timely, correct fashion. That's what's going on there.
Chad from Jacksonville:
Without Harbor and Lewis at tight end, who starts? Mickey Shuler? Or Jensen or Egnew? And do you expect us to promote Egnew and Jensen from practice squad?
John: Marcel Jensen was signed to the active roster earlier this week. Micky Shuler likely will technically start, but with the Jaguars running so many two-tight end formations, who starts really isn't a huge issue. Shuler and Jensen each will play quite a bit.
Vince from Canton, Ohio:
This is so simple … draft superstars who never get hurt, sign free-agent superstars and start Blake Bortles (but trade for Aaron Rodgers as a backup, just in case) and call some great plays. Why doesn't Management get that, O-Z?
John: Note to self: Text Dave, Gus. Schedule meeting to discuss "Vince Plan."
Jesse from Somewhere in the Panhandle:
Someone said the only players on this team now are a bunch of kids, and I agree they are young. But young doesn't mean they can't learn to block, tackle, run routes and learn the basics of football. They made it to the NFL, so they should have some of these skills now. WHAT gives?
John: They do have some of the skills. Many of them have a ton of skills. There's a huge difference on average between a skilled rookie and a skilled second- or third-year veteran. Play a rookie or two and you're going to have hiccups now and then. Play a lot, and the hiccups get a whole lot worse.
Matt from Austin, TX:
I know Justin Blackmon is pretty much done in Jacksonville, and probably the NFL, but with the new revisions to the drug policy does he have a better chance of getting reinstated?
John: All of the details on the drug policies are not yet clear, but it does not appear that the new policy will have an effect on Blackmon's situation. I don't expect Blackmon to play for the Jaguars or any other NFL team this season. I don't know what the future is after that.
Scott from Section 137 and Ponte Vedra, FL:
Simply put, don't you think we would have had a better offensive line if we had kept Eugene Monroe and Luke Joeckel versus the fourth- and sixth-round selection for Monroe? It seems to me you keep the big guys who are playing well and build from there.
John: I've received this question a few times this week, and understandably so. When you allow 10 sacks in a game and struggle to run, the line is going to be questioned. Yes, it would seem there's a good possibility that Eugene Monroe would help the offensive line this year. But the Jaguars are trying to build the roster for long-term, sustainable success and they didn't see Monroe last season as a player that they believed would be worth the cost to re-sign him to a long-term deal. They believe they will be a strong offensive line moving forward. Time will tell how that plays out.
Peter from St. Johns from Section 242:
Is it me, or is the O-Zone starting to sound an awful lot like Groundhog Day? How many times can the same question be asked and answered?
John: I think we all know what's next …
Peter from St. Johns from Section 242:
Is it me, or is the O-Zone starting to sound an awful lot like Groundhog Day? How many times can the same question be asked and answered?
John: … moving on.

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