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O-Zone: Only possible answer

JACKSONVILLE – Four and counting … Chris from Greensboro, NC:
So far in training camp who do you consider to be a slight disappointment in any position?
John: There haven't been many disappointments in 2015 Training Camp, per se; for the most part the Jaguars look better, deeper and more athletic across the board than they have in several years. Still, let's take this opportunity to pump the brakes a bit and address reality. While it's easy to see improvement on this roster, and while most if not all position groups look improved, this remains far from a perfect roster. I'm still concerned about safety and linebacker depth; and while the interior of the offensive line looks better, the Jaguars still must show they are indeed improved there. And while Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns look improved, the wide receiver position is still in the process of developing; those two players in particular must be very productive early. The pass rush also remains an obvious concern, with Dante Fowler Jr. not playing this season and with Sen'Derrick Marks uncertain for the regular-season opener. This is not to downplay the obvious improvement the Jaguars are making, but there are also reasons we're not projecting this team to go 16-0.
Kevin from Beacon, NY:
Ok, Zone … Aldon Smith was just released ... Granted, he now will have legal issues to deal with, but do we take a gamble and sign him? He can be huuuuugggggeeeee for our pass rush. Your thoughts?
John: No.
Erick from Atlanta, GA:
John, with Ryan Davis seemingly coming into his own after a good season last year and Chris Smith looking the part in camp thus far, would it be too farfetched to say Chris Clemons is the guy on the outside looking in?
John: Yes, it would be far-fetched and just, plain incorrect. Clemons is the Jaguars' starting Leo for a reason. It's because he's a veteran with proven pass-rush ability – as well as proven ability and production in this defense. He played the vast majority of snaps last season because he is the team's best option there. Davis indeed has come into his own, but don't forget: most of his effectiveness has come rushing inside against interior linemen, which is different than rushing outside against offensive tackles. Smith is much the same story. Yes, he has shown potential, but it's not accurate to think he yet is as reliable as Clemons at the position. Let's not make too much out of Clemons' absence. While missing Reporting Day wasn't ideal, this is a 13-year veteran who probably doesn't have too much to gain from training camp/offseason programs. I'd be surprised if he doesn't start at Leo Week 1.
Gabe from Washington, DC:
Who do you think will be higher on the depth chart going into the 2016 season, Rashad Greene or Allen Hurns?
John: It depends on the position. If you're talking about slot receiver, then perhaps Greene would be higher on the depth chart. If you're talking about outside receiver, then it's probably Hurns.
Jake from Section 124:
Why doesn't the media interview Telvin Smith more? He should be one of the voices most heard.
John: I'll pass it along.
Trent from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Can the owner of a team also be the general manager of a team? If so, how could he/she be fired as the general manager?
John: Owner means to "own" something, which means you can pretty much have any job you want. For instance, if Shad Khan wanted to be senior writer … well, let's not talk about that. Most owners have neither the inclination nor time to be general manager or senior writer – or the … er … "self-confidence" to believe they can do the jobs well. If an owner were a general manager, he/she would have to resign the positon if he/she believed a change needed to be made. Ah, see that? Once again, we're back to needing to remember what "owning" something means.
KingMe 904 from DaBank:
So, John ... How is Chad Henne looking? Don't get me wrong; I'm 100 percent Bortles. But I'm wondering "if" Bortles wasn't a No. 3 pick and the quarterback job was wide open right now, would Henne even have a chance. Is Bortles really outplaying him right now?
John: Henne has looked good in camp. It's honestly hard to assess if he is "outplaying" Bortles because they are playing under significantly different circumstances. Bortles has taken pretty much all first-team repetitions and a lot of second-team repetitions, which means he has played a lot more – and against the first team quite a bit. Henne has worked mostly with the reserves and against the reserve units. But I wouldn't worry about this much: Bortles is the starting quarterback because he's the best player at the position on the roster.
Kyle from Clearwater, FL:
Geez John, way to throw Fletcher Cox under the bus in your View of Toby Gerhart. I like the intensity.
John: I wrote that Gerhart was injured when Cox horse-collar tackled him in Week 1 in Philadelphia last season. Did I remember something wrong?
Michael from Jacksonville:
How is my man James Sample? I feel like he is going to surprise a lot of people. Can you send some info our way?
John: Sample is still on the physically unable to perform list because of a broken arm sustained during organized team activities. He could come off PUP around the third preseason game. I suspect he will push veteran Sergio Brown at some point this season. The Jaguars like his aggressiveness, physicality and potential very much.
John from Boynton Beach, FL:
How does this team look in camp compared to the 2013 team from an "eye test" perspective?
John: Faster. Stronger. Bigger. Deeper. Better.
David from Sweden:
Bryan Walters and Bernard Pierce show up a lot in the highlight videos. Both looking good so far? Strengthening their chances for a roster spot?
John: Both are looking good during camp and both are strengthening their chances for a roster spot. I'd still consider Walter a long shot for the final 53, but his punt-return skills keep him in the conversation. As far as Pierce, he runs hard and has made some standout runs. He strikes you as someone who could play well enough in preseason that he's very hard to release.
John from St. Augustine, FL:
Who usually comes off the field when a nickel back comes in ... linebacker? Which LBs do you think the Jaguars would keep on the field in that situation?
John: Dan Skuta and Telvin Smith.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
Why is helping with pass protection when a running back is not involved in a play or it is play action difficult and why is it complicated?
John: Where it becomes difficult for many NFL backs is that they rarely are asked to do it in college or high school. That's because NFL backs were usually good enough runners that their college and high school offenses centered around their running ability. That means backs are being asked to learn and perfect pass protection at the highest level of football and against pass rushers/schemes that are both very good and very complex.
Rick from Chicago, IL:
I've been to several ESPN conferences where Stephania Bell (ESPN's medical advisor) has talked; she says every year that players with soft-tissue issues are always at risk and it won't get better with age. I think this is the fear of fans and myself. It has to be a difficult decision for the organization to continue on with the contract, or cut bait. With the fact he was a high second-round pick I'm sure there are financial investments that would make it very unpopular to cut him. What is the point of draining any more money out of this? This isn't just frustration, but soft-tissue issues aren't going away.
John: The Jaguars aren't going to cut Marqise Lee.
Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Every time Marqise Lee gets his hands on the ball he has a chance to go all the way. In the games that is! The real games! Every receiver goes through this. It will shake itself out in its own time. Marqise Lee is going to be a star player when it does.
John: The Jaguars aren't going to cut Marqise Lee.
Sean from Fleming Island, FL:
Do you see Tyson Alualu getting a shot at a goal-line carry in the preseason?
John: The Jaguars are experimenting with Alualu at fullback, so let's let him get a few blocks in first before we hand him the ball, shall we?
Fuad from Jacksonville:
Hey, John … I'm the one who said you never answer my questions. Who do you think will make the final roster that will be the biggest surprise?
John: I was going to answer this, then I figured … nah.

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