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O-Zone: Panic attack

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Ned from Springfield:
With all of the roster turnover the last few years, isn't it difficult to get consistency? Most successful teams have a core of superstar-like players and then role-players. I see a lot of role players on this team but not superstars – at least none that have developed yet. Winning teams (Super Bowl contenders) seem to have five-to-seven star players and the rest seem to be capable role players. I still think this team is a few years from TRULY competing to be a playoff team. DTWD!
John: Your question actually addresses a couple of points, so I'll give a couple of answers. First of all, there's no question it's absolutely difficult to achieve full consistency with the sort of roster turnover the Jaguars have had in the last two or three offseasons. It's far better to have a core of star players and build around them, but if you don't have that core you must keep adding players and making moves until you get it. Second, it's hard to say exactly how many core star players versus role players are on the Jaguars' roster. You're right that there are none now, but players such as Allen Robinson, T.J. Yeldon, Julius Thomas and Telvin Smith have a very good chance to be special players. There are other players that I feel have a chance, too. How quickly they reach that level – if they indeed reach it – will play a huge part in determining how this team fares over the next few seasons.
Jordan from Clovis, CA:
I want Bortles to do good and think he can be great. But if that is not the case, when should we draft another quarterback?
John: You draft another quarterback when you determine the one you have isn't going to be the one who can lead you where you want to go.
Ryan from Apopka, FL:
Hey John, did you hear about the article on that rated the top 32 team senior writers? Somehow, you were No. 1 on that list. What are your thoughts on that? Do you think you were rated too high?
John: Shadrick must have written it, because I didn't. Sometimes he likes me so much it's embarrassing.
Neil from Gloucester:
John of Ozone... Do the Jaguars and the people of Jacksonville have any idea how big the UK fan base is getting for the Jaguars? It seems to be getting overlooked. All the talk seems to be about revenue. Isn't it about the fans? Shout out to all UK fans. LTWD. London Till We Die!!
John: It's about fans and it's about revenue. As the next few years go on it's going to be about more and more people realizing what many already do – that it's OK to have more than one country be part of the fan base supporting a franchise.
Scott from Jacksonville:
So what'd you find out?
John: I'm waiting to hear.
Keith from Palatka, FL:
I know it's way too early to predict, but I see the Jaguars winning between six-to-eight games this year. While the overall talent on the roster is better, and the young players seem to be progressing, there are still needs that have to be addressed. Do you think my prediction/assessment is in the ballpark?
John: Yes, and I think if they reach the high end of that ballpark it's a heck of an accomplishment for a team that won seven games the past two seasons. I also think it would be a huge step in a positive direction.
Sandman from Lake Asbury, FL:
Is this the year the Jags produce some All-Pro players? Possibly Thomas, Robinson or Telvin Smith? Do any players stand out as a possible All-Pro in your opinion?
John: I would caution that there is a difference between All-Pro and Pro-Bowl players. All-Pro players are the absolute best of the best, whereas multiple players are picked for the Pro Bowl at each position. I think there are a few players on the Jaguars who could start getting Pro Bowl recognition soon. If things go right, could a player or two ascend to All-Pro level? Perhaps. As far as lists go, yours is a good start, but don't overlook guard Brandon Linder. If he continues to progress as he has I'd be surprised if he's not a Pro Bowl player sooner rather than later.
Steve from Denver, CO:
O- Has anyone ever confused semi-bald J.P. and Todd Wash ?
John: Steve, Todd Wash is a broad-shouldered barrel of a man whose aura commands a room and demands respect – so, to answer your question … yes.
Patrick from Merced, CA:
Hey, John … Is Clay Harbor still on the roster? I'm assuming he still is, but I haven't heard much about him. If so, what kind of tight-end role will he have now that Julius Thomas came about?
John: Yes, Clay Harbor is on the Jaguars' roster, although he has missed much of the offseason program with a calf injury. His role almost certainly will be diminished with the addition of Julius Thomas, but he should have a role as a reserve. It's OK to have more than one "move" tight end on a roster. The Jaguars will go without a fullback next season and that could give an additional roster spot to what is now a crowded tight end room.
Ed from Ponte Vedra, FL:
I know it is early, but if you had to name one player that you predict will give us a WOW! this season, who would it be?
John: Allen Robinson.
David from Ystad, Sweden:
How is Bryan Walters looking? Haven't heard a thing, which is pretty strange considering he returned a lot of punts for the Seahawks last year. Is he out of the return conversation?
John: Walters has been limited with a hamstring injury much of the offseason. I expect we'll discuss him much more during training camp.
Andrew from Rosamond, CA:
For those who still haven't figured it out, here's how writers generate those "ranking" articles: 1, Regardless of subject, start with the year's draft order; 2, Move some teams up or down a few slots; 3, Make stuff up to justify the position; 4, Add cool pics and twitter screenshots; 5, Send article to editor with four or five different titles so it can be republished as many times as a different ranking list.
John: Close enough.
Matt from London, England:
Hey John, if you could add any current player in the NFL to the Jaguars roster who would it be? Salary cap isn't a factor. Thanks for your work!
John: I'm a quarterback guy, so I'd say Aaron Rodgers. Take quarterback out of the equation, and I'd say J.J. Watt. Since those are pretty obvious, let me add Earl Thomas. Free safeties with his skills are rare, and free safety is key in this defense. This is not to say the players the Jaguars have at those positions don't have potential, but with Rodgers, Watt and Thomas you're talking about the elite of the elite.
DUVAL DOOM from Section 217:
I wallow in the misery of other fan bases. It makes me smile, but I was glad the league listened to the pathetic Cleveland fans about their team. My wallowing only goes so far, and I never want to see a city lose their team. It sucks. I don't think ANY team should get to "take" their history with them. That should belong to the fans who paid for it. I always hated that the Colts sell Unitas gear in Indy. Those aren't his fans, and I always wondered if it bothered him.
John: I get your point about history of a team staying with the fan base, though as a member of the media I find it far easier to keep track of thing such as franchise histories and records if they stay with organizations rather than towns. As far as the Colts and Unitas gear, I never saw a lot – if any – gear featuring past greats being sold around Indianapolis during my 10 years there. There were pictures of Colts players from the Baltimore era on the hallway walls, but beyond that, the team didn't overemphasize the history of the team before the 1984 move to Indianapolis. It was acknowledged, but certainly not shoved down people's throats. I never spoke with Unitas about the issue, but I know many of the Baltimore-era Colts disliked anything about the Indianapolis era and my understanding was that Unitas was among that group.
John from Las Vegas, NV:
Do you even keep track of the streak anymore?
John: I never did keep track of it, actually. I do know the day it started and look it up occasionally when asked about it. And there was the time Lamping walked by my cubicle, smirked at the size of it and asked about some sort of streak. I started to answer, forgot the question, got panicky and started to cry. As far as I could tell, he thought nothing of it.

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