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O-Zone: Reaching a consensus

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it... George from Duval, FL:
Every year, I get hyped about my JAGS – this year seems to be more so. What about you, John?
John: It's May 31, and I have a lot of napping to do before training camp, so I don't know how hyped I am yet about anything. I do believe it's going to be a fascinating season. With a first-year general manager and a first-year head coach, a franchise always is going to have the feel of a new direction. That is particularly the case this season around the Jaguars because of the significant roster turner – and the force of Gus Bradley's personality. If you're around the Jaguars at all, it's impossible to not feel a significant cultural change. As I've said before, I don't know what that will mean in terms of record, but in terms of it being a good time to be a fan of this team . . . and in terms of it feeling like the start of something . . . it does feel like that's true, hype or not.
Nicholas from Fort Lee, VA:
Did you watch the any of the Spelling Bee? As the senior writer for the Jaguars, will you incorporate any of the words into your future articles?
John: I mite use a few. We'll see.
Nelly from Section 132:
I am hearing talk about LeBron being a good fit in the NFL. Some say he will be a good quarterback. I don't think so! He is a big guy, but I bet that defensive line rushing at him is bigger!! Hypothetically speaking, I think he is more of a tight end. He would be more of a Megatron. What do you think?
John: I guess this started with Joe Theismann's comments this week that he could turn James into a quarterback. That's silliness, and Theismann certainly knows this. There are fundamentals and defense-interpreting issues that would take too much time for James to learn. Now, could James have been a big-time quarterback had that been what he chose to do early on? Yes, I believe he could have. He is a special athlete with phenomenal court awareness and intelligence, attributes that could well have translated to the quarterback position. If James were to pull a Michael Jordan this offseason and inexplicably want to try another sport, and if that sport were to be football, it's no reach to think he could be a tight end or wide receiver. Realistically, of course, it would take far too long to make the adjustment for it to be remotely worth his while.
Zeleznoc from Jacksonville and Section 207:
Never quite figured why you post nonsense comments like Clyde re: JaMarcus Russell turning over a new "leaf." Yes he has turned over a new LEAF, as in "Ryan Leaf." Like Leaf he is and will be a flop and no way Jags will look at him. He was overrated and will never be an NFL quarterback. Despite having size and a big arm, he lacks the brains and accuracy.
John: I post questions like that for the same reason I post a lot of questions: they amuse me.
Scott from Jacksonville:
That Q&A with Fisch finally got me feeling excited for the upcoming season. It's been a long road, but I am declaring my mourning period for last season's disaster officially over! Thanks for that!
John: Welcome back. When I sat down with Jedd Wednesday, I wanted to get right into the Gabbert-Henne stuff. Jedd held up his hands and said, 'No, O-Zone. First, let's talk about Scott from Jacksonville. How do we get him back? I'm thinking Q&A.' Glad we could help.
Matt from Jacksonville:
I know when a player is picked off someone else's practice squad he has to be added to their active roster, but does the original team get the chance to "pull him back" and add him to their roster? Also, could Marcedes Lewis be a salary cap casualty? He hasn't done jack since signing that new contract.
John: The practice squad doesn't work exactly like that. A player on the practice squad is similar to a free agent in the sense that any team can sign him to its active roster with the current team having no recourse and receiving no compensation. What the original team can do is offer the practice squad player a chance to sign. In that scenario, the player often will choose to stay with the original team because the player is more familiar with the offense/defense or the situation in general. The other thing to remember about the practice squad is a team signing a player from another team's practice squad must retain the player on the active roster for three weeks. As for your question about Lewis, no he's unlikely to be a cap casualty. While he hasn't been as productive the last two years as in 2010, Offensive Coordinator Jedd Fisch and Gus Bradley each said in recent weeks they like how Lewis can fit into the offense. This could be Lewis' best chance at a big season since 2010, when he made his only Pro Bowl appearance.
Stephen from Cork, Ireland:
"If Jones-Drew wants to train in Alaska wearing skis and a speedo, he could." Thanks, John. That's an image I could've done without!
John: I was going to use the same line with JP Shadrick and me training for the Iditarod, but . . . oh, never mind.
Tudor from St. Augustine, FL:
Please do not mention LeBron in the same conversation as Jordan. As a loyal and diehard Bulls fan, I take offense to this. James will never be as good as Jordan.
John: LeBron/Jordan, LeBron/Jordan, LeBron/Jordan, LeBron/Jordan, LeBron/Jordan, LeBron/Jordan, LeBron/Jordan, LeBron/Jordan, LeBron/Jordan . . .
Andrew from Mazar-E-Sharif, Afghanistan:
I feel that there's some perverted competition going on here to suggest the most moronic quarterback for the Jaguars to sign.
John: Well, I don't know if it's perverted.
Joe from Jacksonville:
If you had a mustache that could talk, what would it say? Also, I'm guessing you don't have facial hair cuz you think it's gross.
John: It would probably make a joke about Boselli, but my attempts at facial hair usually start out nobly, show few significant results, then fade out in messy, scraggly tuft of failure – sort of like my career.
Matt from Jacksonville:
I saw that Kyle Bosworth signed with the Giants. I didn't realize he was a FA.
John: Yes, he was.
John from Section 105:
So, what happens when Gabbert goes from underwhelming with some flashes to just plain whelming and some flashes this season? I think he's really got to put it all together this season, or else Dave Caldwell will be getting a new quarterback.
John: No doubt Gabbert has to improve. I don't know what "put it all together" means, but it stands to reason he needs to show over the course of extended games that he can play at a high level. It's a big year for Gabbert. Absolutely critical.
Gary from Broken Arrow, OK:
Wives are all very similar I think. Mine doesn't like me very much and I bet yours wouldn't like me very much either.
John: Why should she feel differently about you than she does me?
Dave from Jacksonville:
I didn't go back and read, but I'm pretty sure you have said you think Blaine Gabbert will be the starter this year and a main reason for this is because of the constant change of head coaches, offensive coordinators, and of course the lockout. While I agree with this, you have also said this could be his put up-or-shut-up year (in my own words). So my question is: Why is this year any different? Wouldn't this year fall under this same line of thinking? While I wouldn't say never, I'd be willing to bet a lot of money that Gus and Jedd will be here next year as well. Wouldn't year two of the same system be a better judge of a quarterback? I just wonder why you seem to be in agreement that this could be his final test yet you also defend him when describing why he may get the chance this year?
John: I believe Gabbert will start this year, and I've discussed the fact that Gabbert has been hindered by a revolving door of coaches – and losing an offseason because of the lockout. But I have not said that those are reasons why Gabbert will start. I believe Gabbert will start because he will perform well enough in training camp and preseason to earn that job in the eyes of coaches. As for the whole put-up-or-shut-up-year thing, things in the NFL aren't always that cut and dry. No doubt General Manager David Caldwell and Head Coach Gus Bradley will keep a close eye on the quarterback position, as anyone in their positions would. I don't know that there's really a certain statistical line Gabbert must clear. He just has to show that he should be the quarterback, and that decision will be a result of ongoing and pretty constant evaluation.
Scott from Jacksonville:
If I was a cheerleader, I would love to go to London for the calendar shoot. Too bad I'm so fat . . . and hairy.
John: I agree. That is too bad.

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