JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Phil from Boynton Beach, FL:
Is it my imagination or is Gus a little more business-like at the podium? He seems to be a little more serious than the past two years. Your thoughts?
John: This is one of those questions that probably interests fans a bit more than me, but that's because I don't put too much stock in how a head coach is perceived to be acting when speaking to the media. Still, here goes: I suppose Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley has laughed with the media a little less in his five podium appearances after Jaguars organized team activities practices this offseason. I wouldn't read much into it as far as a conscious decision to be more business-like, though. It may just be the media hasn't said anything he finds all that funny. If you've spent as much time as I have around Gene Frenette, you know that's entirely possible. Either way, I certainly wouldn't draw the conclusion that Bradley is somehow taking things more seriously or feeling more pressure or urgency than before. However he's behaving at the podium, he was serious before and serious now. To think otherwise is to miss what he's about.
Scott from Jacksonville:
"Still, I can say without fear of repudiation that not all of them have significantly better, more productive things to do with their time than read the O-Zone." Kinda sad, isn't it?
John: Yes. That was what I meant.
Roger from Jacksonville:
Scott from Aurora doesn't seem to understand that the money flows from the owners to players, not the other way around.
John: Your statement is in reference to a question Tuesday about why players don't demand the right to walk away from their contracts in the same sense that a team can cut a player before a contract expires. As far as your point … yeah, you're right.
Any reason they stopped playing that water commercial before every video? Something special about that drum music.
John: I did like that drum.
Tucker from Nashville, TN:
What gets me hyped about Blake Bortles is he gives us a chance to win at the end. He did it against Tennessee and Houston. Scobee gets the field goal blocked and Shorts drops a touchdown pass on first down. I hope he continues making plays when we need them.
John: That's one of the attributes the Jaguars like about Bortles. He makes plays and has a leadership quality and playmaking ability late that gives the team a chance to win. There clearly are fundamental and mechanical issues he needs to improve; he is aware of this and working on them. But the "quarterback" stuff – i.e., the leadership and playmaking stuff – is hard to teach and if he can combine those things with the fundamental things … well, that would be a very good thing for the Jaguars.
Redmond from Jacksonville:
To answer Jon's question I think Bortles most favorably to Steve McNair in playing style.
John: Your question refers to a recent question comparing Bortles' playing style to other prominent quarterbacks. McNair? Maybe a little, but Jaguars fans should hope not. As enjoyable as it may be to watch a quarterback run over people and use his physicality to his advantage, the style can lead to injuries and dramatically decrease longevity.
Mark from Ponte Vedra Beach and Section 215:
If you want an example of how players really feel about short-term, high-salary contracts then look no further than the franchise tag. Players usually hate the tag because it only guarantees money for that year and there is no signing bonus. Even though the salary is consistent with some of the highest at the position, it is only guaranteed for one year. Players prefer a longer-term contract including a signing bonus with upfront money. Players are protected in case they are injured by taking the money upfront. Teams are protected from injury or lack of production by being able to cut players in the middle of their contract. It works for both sides. The players who are complaining about their non-guaranteed contracts usually have already taken their signing bonus and other guaranteed money.
John: Good point. In the NFL, it's all about guaranteed money at the front of the contract. That usually means the signing bonus and the first year or two of the contract.
Bill from Jacksonville:
John, instead of asking if you think the reason Greg Olson hasn't been "successful" is because of the talent he has been given, I'll ask this: Is he bringing the dink-and-dunk offense with him that he deployed in Oakland last season? Thanks. Go Jags!
John: The exact nature of Olson's offense remains to be seen – and, like most offenses, will somewhat depend on circumstance, production and talent. If the line struggles to block and there's no time to look downfield, then I suspect there will be more short passing than fans like. If the line creates holes for the run game and the quarterback has time to throw, I suspect there will be less dink-and-dunk and far more daring throws downfield. Olson has made it clear since being hired he wants to build this offense around Bortles' strengths and it's clear Gus Bradley wants to run the ball effectively. If those things work in tandem, then I think you'll see more deep passing. At the same time, one of Olson's priorities is getting the ball out of the quarterback's hands to avoid sacks and bad down-and-distance situations, so there probably will be some short passes mixed in now and passes to the back out of the backfield mixed in, too.
Mark from Charlotte, NC, and formerly of Duval:
Warriors or Cavs?
John: I have to admit: I'm a sucker for the LeBron-returns-to-Cleveland-and-wins-the-title-in-his-hometown story. Cavs.
Hunter from Orlando, FL:
Until he proves otherwise, Bortles absolutely deserves to be near the bottom of any quarterback ranking. Why is that so hard to some to see?
John: You're referring to the discussion that bubbled up Tuesday regarding a recent Bleacher Report ranking of Top 50 quarterbacks. Blake Bortles was somewhere near the bottom of a list that inevitably did what website offseason rankings do in that it made people angry and most likely generated good page-view numbers. And you're right that if you're looking objectively, Bortles will be low on such lists. He struggled last season statistically and otherwise, and while Jaguars fans for the most part understand there were legitimate reasons for those struggles, people who make such lists don't and shouldn't take those factors into consideration. And yeah – when he plays better, he'll move up such lists. And that list will matter as much as this list, which is to say not very much except to people who enjoy such lists.
John from Duval and Jacksonville:
John I am retired so you are correct. I have nothing better to do then read O-Zone. It's you or online code cracker. But some days it's go to the gym and watch women work out. Life is good.
John: Good for you. #Duval
John from Jacksonville:
I've seen a lot written from various writers and fans about Bortles that is careless and premature. This coming season will be a true litmus test of his skills and I firmly believe he will be top 10 in the league. Last season, he was put on the field earlier than what was planned and we got to see him develop. He threw a lot of interceptions early on but cleaned that up. He wasn't fully ready but he is being judged in that way. Let's see what happens this season and then fairly rate him.
John: I think Bortles in the Top 10 after this season is probably a bit premature and a reach. I believe Bortles in the Top 10 at some point in the next few seasons is an attainable goal.
Ed from Ponte Vedra, FL:
Why are you being so stubborn to understand that Duval – besides being a sucky county – does not represent the Jag Nation? I can understand a few wanting to make it sound, but you supporting as strong as you do is what I do not understand. FIRSTCOASTTill we die!
John: I can't control what you don't understand, Ed, and I can only explain so many times that as far as I can see, #Duval and #DTWD are about fun, inclusion, passion, pride and a bunch of enjoyable, positive things. I suppose when I stop enjoying writing #DTWD and stop seeing people enjoying themselves and taking pride in saying it and being a part of a group that seems to want to bring people together rather than keeping them apart I'll stop writing it. Until then … ##DTWD – and for that matter, #FCTWD, too. They are, after all, one and the same.
Noel from St. Augustine, FL:
I DO have better and more productive things to do with my time, but I still choose to read my daily O-zone instead...#OZTWD!!!!!!
John: I imagine Ed won't like this one bit.
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Phil from Boynton Beach, FL: