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O-Zone: Righteous, dude

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Toby Gerhart reminds me a lot of John Riggins. The Diesel was a little taller. Riggo moved on from the Jets same as Toby left the Vikings. I will not say Toby is headed to the Hall of Fame but I think John had 30 carries at age 38. Give me some of that. That was one tough running attack. Slow death – three or four yards at a time. Fun to watch that style. Hope to see some of that from Toby!
John: You're not going to hear me comparing Gerhart or anyone else to Riggo, but that's because if there was a favorite player – an icon, if you will – to me growing up, Riggo was it. So, there's a special place there to which I will not compare. But yeah, there are some similarities in style. Will he be as effective as Riggins? For as long? We're a long way from that, but the Jaguars like how Gerhart could fit this offense. They like his style and his versatility and if the offensive line improves as expected, the running game could improve significantly.
John from Georgetown, FL:
Can you shed some light on the injuries to Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee? Maybe I'm overreacting, but I'm a little concerned this is already happening in organized team activities. Plus the fact Lee has a history of injuries. I'm really not being pessimistic; I'm just having an "Oh-No" moment. Please put this in perspective for me and calm me down. Please???
John: Players get hurt playing football. It happens. Also remember, rookie players arrive with their new teams in May having not had a true break physically since the previous summer. They go through their training camps for their college season, play the college season, and then immediately train for the NFL Scouting Combine and Pro Days. The training for the combine and Pro Days entails a lot of sprinting that can lead to tweak and leg injuries. Bottom line: don't panic over this. It's June 5.
Tom from Virginia Beach, VA:
Injuries seem to be picking up and this is a repeat of prior years! Is the turf the problem? Is the team concerned of what looks like a trend?
John: Players get hurt playing football. It happens. Also remember …
Adam from Jacksonville:
The disconnect seems to be that some fans believe that any injury - especially non-contact injuries - can be totally avoided with proper training, conditioning, and stretching. Sadly, this is not the case. Muscle pulls can still happen - even if you stretch "properly" and do it for hours. Twisted ankles (or other joints) can happen no matter how well-conditioned you are. Serious injuries - like torn ACLs - can happen with no contact and regardless of the level of training. It's ludicrous to suggest that these players are sustaining injuries because the trainers are not doing their jobs. Injuries just happen - even in non-contact drills.
John: Players get hurt playing football. It happens. Also remember …
Kit from Jacksonville and Section 436:
In light of the recent Comcast article all but announcing the London Jaguars, if Shad Khan is fully committed to Jacksonville, why doesn't he come out and emphatically close the door on the move? Until he does, this issue cannot and will not go away.
John: I didn't see a Comcast article, though I did see at least one story that did what so many websites seem to do these days – take a quote from somewhere, piece together a lot of assumptions, put a few photos together … and, Voila! Produce a story guaranteed to cause angst and get page views while containing very little truth. I'm really not sure what more Khan can do to show commitment to Jacksonville. Investing in the community. Exploring more ways to invest in the community. Invest in the stadium. Make moves in the front office to improve the franchise. Promote the city of Jacksonville overseas. That's emphatic – really, really emphatic. The issue is brought up by people with no/little knowledge of the facts, and no matter what Khan says or does, those people won't stop bringing it up. History and the nature of the Internet tells us that much. Emphatically.
Dwayne from Jacksonville:
I'm with John; sometimes you change my hometown, name and even my question! I can barely recognize my own post.
John: What … is that wrong?
Ron from Jacksonville:
I think it's time for the NFL to start considering an expanded roster for teams. If they want to reduce the number of injuries, it could be very beneficial for individuals to rotate more to reduce fatigue. Obviously our team is taking advantage of that idea with the defensive line to keep them playing fast but I believe that fatigue is a large contributor in the injury department, especially when it comes to joint injuries as the muscles around the joint weaken. Rule changes for safety are always met with derision but put in place for the sake of safety. This is something that could be done without really messing with the game, it seems like a slam-dunk.
John: I'm not going to say there's no merit in your thought. Reducing reps by definition reduces wear and reduces injury risk. At the same time, how many roster spots do you add? One at every position? Twenty-two to ensure every starter has one additional backup? I don't know that two or three roster spots will significantly address the problem, and remember: every couple of roster spots you add is probably about $1 million per team. As much as you want to say, "Well, the owners can afford it," teams aren't going to add costs willy-nilly.
Grant from Macclenny, FL:
If someone is not upset about the Duval chant or the fact that our players get injured, there's always something else we can complain about. Like why is JP Sharick wearing arm floaties in a public pool? #DTWD #Shadricksighting #Moodaychay oh and #Poundsand
John: #Poundsand. #Sharick
Ed from Danvers, MA:
Hanging around the player's exit lane from the Florida Blue practice fields hoping to be asked for an autograph. #Shadricksighting.
John: The perception of some of our readers is truly frightening.
Patrick from Jacksonville:
You see Tyson Alualu as a lock to make the final roster? I don't know John, stiff competition along the defensive line.
John: Everyone's entitled to opinions. Accuracy is not a prerequisite.
Steven from Fernandina Beach, FL:
I am not necessarily a "one fer Chad" guy. Obviously the brain trust does not view him as the long-term quarterback solution. But has Chad ever had a good supporting cast to work with? We know that Jacksonville, to date, has not provided this. What about his time in Miami? With the right system and weapons, I have a feeling he can be the "next Alex Smith."
John: That's certainly the Jaguars hope. Henne is playing in the same offense for a second consecutive season for the first time since he joined the Jaguars, and he has started 50 games in his NFL career. He also should have the best offensive line he has had in Jacksonville. He's at a point in his career when experience and ability should meet, and the Jaguars hope that placed with an improved line and receivers, that could mean the best season of his career. The next Alex Smith? Sure. Stranger things have happened.
Tommy from Jacksonville:
Thanks for answering my question about the Opportunity Period. You do a great job. Seriously. Have a one.
John: You had me "great," you perceptive son of a gun, you.
Mark from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
The graphics on Mattel Electronics Football were righteous, dude.
John: For the youngsters among us, Mattel Electronics Football was a handheld electronic game in the late 1970s and the graphics … well, they weren't exactly state of the art. The graphics were lighted blips that represented players and there were two versions that mattered: the first was "Mattel Electronics Football I," which had a white case and in which there was one play – a running play that consisted of the offensive player shifting around the backfield until there as a hole and then running until one of the defensive blips "tackled" him." The second version – cleverly titled, "Mattel Electronics Football II" – came in a green case, and featured the same blips with the added element of passing. Of all the football games I had in the 1970s and early 1980s – and my father used to joke not-all-that kiddingly that I must have had them all – this was the one that mattered. I was introduced to the original version when my friend, Ray Christiansen, brought it to Jacksonville with him when he and his family visited from Seattle. I wore the thing out to the point that the adults took it away so they didn't have to hear the constant blipping noise. I recall feeling guilty for not hanging out with him, but also recall simply not being able to stop playing. In retrospect, my defining character trait – an ability to ignore those around me while focusing on my own wants and wishes – seemed to be formed at an early age. So, yeah – kids today no doubt would recoil at the simplicity of it, but were the graphics of "Mattel Electronic Football" righteous? Darned right they were, dude.

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