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O-Zone: Respecting the ACL

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Sam from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Wayne from Orlando has a point that Dante Fowler may be a better fit for our defense. Finding a guy to be a big, bruising defensive end is a lot easier to find in my opinion than a stud pass rusher. Leonard Williams isn't a huge sack guy. Fowler is, or at least certainly was at the college level.
John: Your point is correct – in theory. If Fowler and Williams are on the board when the Jaguars select at No. 3, then the choice comes down to just how much you like each player as opposed to a philosophical stance on the relative importance of the positions. There are those who consider Williams a player of special ability. Think of J.J. Watt's ability to make an impact from multiple positions. Now, I'm not saying Williams is the second coming of Watt; Watt is a once-in-a-generational player whose impact will be very, very hard to duplicate. But if you think Williams is that kind of player then he's more than a big, bruising defensive end. It also makes sense to take such a player over a stud pass rusher.
Gamble from Section 104:
I hear a lot of talk about Paul Posluszny and Marcedes Lewis not coming back next year – or at least not at their current pay rate. I also was told by a friend that teams cannot renegotiate with players unless they are up against the salary cap. Is that true and if it is then would we have to cut those two and have them make it through waivers before resigning them to new deals? How would the process work? (Disclaimer: if this is not true then my friend is an idiot...)
John: No, teams can renegotiate with players if they're not against the cap.
Bart from Springfield:
Why would someone trade draft positions with the Jaguars for a quarterback? This is the scenario that I commonly read. Neither Jacksonville nor Oakland is any threat of taking one. Are there any other players that warrant a trade at No. 3 that the Jags wouldn't take themselves?
John: You don't trade with the team that wants the quarterback. You trade with a team early in the draft to prevent the team that wants the quarterback from getting him.
Matt from Orlando, FL:
Who do you think will have a better NFL career? Blake Bortles or Jameis Winston?
John: I have no idea. I've never seen Jameis Winston play against an NFL player.
Scott from Wichita, KS:
Okay, I'm trying to figure this out. Why are so many talking about Philly trading up to the Jags to get Mariota? Do you think Oakland will take a quarterback? I don't think they will but they might, I suppose. Washington? Maybe, I guess. The Jets will absolutely take him if he's there. So I guess the question is what are Del Rio and Co. going to do? If they're happy with Carr, then that's where the trade is going to happen. Philly needs to get in front of Washington and the Jets. What am I missing?
John: First, I'm not so sure the Jets absolutely take Mariota, but that's not the point of your question. Why trade with Jacksonville and not Oakland if you're wanting a quarterback? Because if you trade with Oakland to get a quarterback, then someone else might trade with Jacksonville to get the same player.
Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
If the Jags want to draft every pass rusher they can get their hands on it would be fine with me unless for some reason Todd Gurley is there in the second round. The defense will decide how good this team will be.
John: Pass rushers and Todd Gurley. Got it.
Guy from San Antonio, TX:
O-man, I have been aboard the Leonard Williams train for a while, but after seeing Kevin White run a 4.35 at 6-feet-3 I want to believe the Jaguars are taking a long, hard look at picking up a wide receiver with the third pick. Your thoughts?
John: I think the Jaguars will take a long, hard look at Amari Cooper and Kevin White, and I think they will take a long, hard look at a whole lot of pass rushers and Leonard Williams. I think they will take Leonard Williams if he's there at No. 3 and I think they'll take Dante Fowler, Jr., if Williams is not there. I also think it's February 25, which means the draft is more than two months away and I also think I didn't think the Jaguars were taking Blake Bortles last offseason, so I think what I think should be seen in that light.
Michael from Longwood, FL:
I don't want to sound crazy, but there are multiple reports that Adrian Peterson has said he won't play for the Vikings again. If that's true do you think it's possible David Caldwell would make a move for the best back in football, in spite of his age?
John: Anything's possible, but I doubt this happens.
DUVAL DOOM from Section 217:
Man, I wasn't here until 1989, so I guess I missed its heyday, but where were the offices & condos & public parks at the Landing? Just curious.
John: They weren't there, but whatever … unless they were within eyesight of the bar at Fat Tuesday's I wouldn't have seen them anyway.
Dwayne from ShadKaynsville, FL:
Are you still writing about football? All these puns, I Kahn't kahncentrate of the article kahntent.
John: You indeed seem to be facing quite a Khanundrum.
James from Jacksonville:
Other than a few great drafts, what do you feel will push the Jags to a winning season. I don't care about the playoffs; I just want a winning season.
John: The development of Blake Bortles, improvement on the offensive line and the elevation of the defense to a Top 10 or 15 unit.
Charles from Bangalore, Indiana:
As the CEO of a real-estate company deep into the development of $6 million square feet of an office, retail, and residential town center I believe I am qualified to say the only valid comparison between the Shipyards project and the Landing is they are both on the St. Johns River. One is a retail project at the end of its life cycle; the other is a visionary project that defines Jacksonville's national presence. And Khan is the man that can get it done.
John: Yes.
John from Jacksonville:
I'm often reminded of how I don't like the measuring stick that boasts or insults a team's offense and defense ranking based on total yards alone. In today's sophisticated world with endless technology and statistics, surely they can come up with a much better measuring stick to determine overall offense and defense rankings. Who do I contact with the NFL to apply for the task force to solve this?
John: I'll pass your name along (I won't really do this; I'm just answering a question), but I wouldn't hold your breath. There has been discontent with the practice of ranking teams by yards for some time, but hardly enough to make a change. Besides, there are enough metrics and rankings and websites out there to rank things that you can probably find one to your liking. My advice: use the ranking as a gauge, not an absolute. If a team is last in the NFL in total yards, the offense probably isn't very good. If it's first in the league in total yards, it probably is good. Most of all, if the team is winning games, something's probably going right.
Chris from Philadelphia, PA:
Do you think Brooks Reed could play the Otto in Gus Bradley's defense?
John: Possibly.
Tino from Sarasota, FL:
Let's say we fail to get an impact offensive lineman in free agency. Do you think it would force the Jags to go offensive line at No. 3, being how deep this draft is with pass rushers and how light it is with offensive lineman?
John: I don't know your definition of impact, but I'd be very surprised if the Jaguars don't sign a right tackle in free agency capable of being the starter. So, to answer your question … no, I don't think the Jaguars will take a right tackle at No. 3 in the draft.
DeAndre from Jacksonville:
What do you think of Jermaine Gresham as a possible free-agency target? He's a big, physical guy who can block and has enough speed to create mismatches in the passing game. Plus, he's only 26 and all reports say he doesn't want to stay in Cincy.
John: I like the idea. I think Charles Clay and Niles Paul might be a little more realistic as possibilities, but Gresham is intriguing.
Nate from Golden, CO:
O-Zone! What's your obsession with always saying anterior cruciate ligament instead of ACL? I'm just perplexed as to why you do this when the abbreviation is much easier to say, type, and read. You might actually be the only person in the sports world that refuses to acknowledge the existence of the "ACL."
John: Ease has nothing to do with it. Not every reader knows every abbreviation. I acknowledge the existence of the anterior cruciate ligament by correctly identifying it, and I'm quite sure ACLs everywhere appreciate the effort.

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