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O-Zone: Out of control

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Tres from Gainesville, FL:
John, a lot of your answers regarding personnel decisions made by the front office seem to imply trust them and their decision-making process. I struggle with that, though, because I see nothing to show why we should trust him and this staff. I use "him" since that was the last big shakeup. Tom Coughlin coming in doesn't appear to have changed anything except small things – five minutes early and things such as that. Overall roster talent may be better than when David Caldwell came in, sure, but our record is about the same. That's impressive in a discouraging way. Why should we trust the front office at this point?
John: I always struggle with questions like this. Why should fans do this or that? Why should they believe? Why should they trust? My answers are not intended to tell people to trust the front office; it matters to me not one iota whether people "trust" the Jaguars' front office, and I can't say fans should "trust" the front office. What's to trust? This team went 3-13 last season, 5-11 the year before that and so on and so on and so on. "Trust" must be earned. If the Jaguars win, the front office will earn it. If they lose, people won't "trust" anything. That's how this thing works. Always has, and always will.
Jerry from Hero, FL:
So, John: With the Bears losing their top receiver, what do you think the chances are of a trade where we send Allen Hurns to the Bears for Mike Glennon?
John: Slim – unless, that is, Glennon's contract suddenly isn't $18.5 million guaranteed averaging $15 million a year – and unless, that is, he suddenly isn't starting for the Bears.
Chris from Mandarin:
Given that Doug Marrone stated publicly during the offseason that he did not see Cam Robinson as a guard and did not have plans to play him at guard, why did the team ignore that area of the offensive line? Granted, Caldwell clearly does not evaluate linemen well (given the overall performance of the group since he's been around), other than Linder - though even a broken clock is right twice a day, but Marrone and Tom Coughlin should have known better, shouldn't they have?
John: If Branden Albert had started at left tackle – as was essentially the plan – Robinson was the logical choice to play left guard. His talent, skill set, size, etc., all pointed to that. The team did not "plan" to play him at guard because the team was working him at tackle during organized team activities and the offseason, but had he not beaten out Albert, it's a big stretch to think Robinson wasn't going to start somewhere for this team. And that somewhere was going to be guard.
Nathan from St. Augustine, FL:
I get the feeling the Jags could be making several roster moves after teams make final cuts. I don't see them standing pat with this offensive line. What say you?
John: I think every team studies the waiver wire closely on cut-down day, and the Jaguars are no different. That's particularly true because Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin never has been one to "stand pat" on any roster spot. I would be surprised if the Jaguars found major upgrades going that route, but I imagine they will try.
Hunter from Windermere, FL:
As our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in Texas dealing with the effects of Hurricane Harvey, is there any word on potentially moving the Texans/Jaguars game to Jacksonville and moving the second game to Houston? It would seem to make too much sense as the first responders should be focused on helping the public instead of working a football game.
John: Any change in game time or site is a league issue. The league has yet to address it, and I doubt we'll hear anything until this week's games are played on Thursday.
EJ from Jacksonville:
Mr. O-Zone - regarding Brandon Allen, I can accept the coaches' judgment that he is third behind two mediocre quarterbacks but after he sat/held clipboard for a year (which is the preferred arrangement for young quarterbacks), what is his status? They didn't practice squad him last year because he would have been snapped up but is he worth a roster spot this year?
John: We'll see. The deal with Allen is he has looked better in games then he has in practice. The worry with his game performance is that they have come against third-team players – and there is a big difference between NFL starters and third-team players. Perhaps sometime in the future he will get a look with the ones. That seems a stretch because he got no such look last week when team was trying to figure out who would start at quarterback. But perhaps something will happen to make the Jaguars make that stretch. Time will tell.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
You keep dismissing the team's lack of action at the quarterback position this offseason simply because there wasn't anyone out there worth bringing in. I agree that the free agent and draft market was thin at the position, and there probably wasn't a clear upgrade at the position, but you can't say there weren't at least a couple guys that could have been brought in to provide some competition. That's all we wanted: a real competition, and not a one-week competition with the career backup on the roster. Cutler was apparently available, Kaepernick was there, Kizer was available in the second round of the draft. Mike Glennon, Robert Griffin, Brian Hoyer and the list goes on. I'm not saying any of these guys would have won the job, but there was plenty of competition out there that could have been brought in that wasn't and we were left with a last-minute scramble to try to fix the problem, only to end up with the same ol' same ol'. Hopefully I'm wrong, but I think the Jags missed an opportunity to make the team better.
John: I haven't dismissed the team's lack of action, and I agree that it would have been a positive to bring in competition. I have said before I would have tried to sign Cutler, but I also doubt seriously that he would have signed with the idea of "competing" with Bortles. The team obviously didn't consider Kaepernick enough of an upgrade to be worthwhile and they didn't like the options available in the draft. Players such as Glennon were available, but at $15 million a year? This wasn't an issue of there not being options available. It was an issue of the options not making sense considering the cost. Their play was to go with Bortles. Time will tell if it was disastrous.
Madison from Jacksonville:
Hey John, am I missing something? Why is everyone referring to Brandon Allen as Brad Allen? Did Jerrell start this?
John: This began in early training-camp days. A few readers, juiced up on the perfect of mix of quick-trigger analysis and Twitter bravado, wondered why in the world the Jaguars weren't giving Brad Allen a chance to work with the first team. I considered this and finally decided that yes, if the Jaguars didn't give Brad Allen a chance with the ones they were indeed doing those fans who had studied/analyzed his career so closely and believed in him so fervently a disservice. So, yeah: play the kid.
Steve from Upper Tract, West Virginia:
Since they decided to start Bortles, don't you think it would be better if they allowed him to play more of his style than try to be a pocket passer, which he is not and never will be? It is plainly obvious the only time he's accurate and displays confidence is when he's on the run. #PLAYTHEKID!
John: That's a valid approach, and I think there's a decent chance you'll see Bortles run more this season when his first read or two (and sometimes three) isn't there. That seems to be built into offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett's approach more that it was Greg Olson's approach. There are concerns with that. One is you want a quarterback to be able to win from the pocket, and two is you increase your injury risk at the position. To go along with the injury-risk point, you have the added concern of Bortles being guaranteed $19 million next season if he is injured this season to the point he can't pass a physical next March. But for now, if you're going to play Bortles this season, you can't worry about the $19 million. If the best choice for the offense is for him to run, let him run.
Frank from St. Augustine, FL:
I keep looking for the video of the car interview Shadrick did with Brad Allen when the Jags selected him. Can you tell me where I can find it?
John: It never happened. Brad and Shadrick stopped off at The Fox for breakfast, and the day sort of careened out of control from there.

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