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O-Zone: Roster management

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Marcus from Jacksonville:
I believe more and more the Jags will take a wide receiver at No. 3. Dave Caldwell recently said two things that made me believe this even more. First, he said the team never made progress in talks with Greg Jennings because they wanted to see how the draft played out before signing a veteran receiver. Then, after months saying Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson were outside receivers, Caldwell talked about how they (and Allen Hurns) were versatile enough to play inside as well, leaving No. 1 receiver a viable option in the draft. A month or so ago, they were pursuing Randall Cobb because he was a great slot receiver to complement Lee and Robinson, who are outside guys. Now he's talking about how beneficial it could be to have those guys inside to create mismatches. I know I'm probably reading into it way too much, but I'm starting to believe that a wide receiver might be the pick in Round 1.
John: Actually, you're not reading too much into this at all. I don't know realistically how much Jennings' situation has to do with Jaguars' decisions in this week's draft. You don't change first-round strategy based on a double-digit veteran. And while the roles of Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson matter in the discussion, the decisions for the Jaguars at No. 3 are really about the players available there. The quality positions this year at No. 3 are quarterback, pass rusher/defensive lineman and receiver. The Jaguars aren't taking a quarterback, and while pass rusher/defensive end are very possible, Kevin White and Amari Cooper are absolutely good enough to go to the Jaguars at No. 3.
William from Jacksonville:
In regard to discussion about whether the Jaguars should have released or traded Marcedes Lewis after signing Julius Thomas: Lewis isn't an All-Pro receiver, but he is not a bad one. He is still a good blocker, and by all accounts, Thomas isn't. With both Lewis and Thomas in the game, wouldn't it create more uncertainty for the defense about whether a run or a pass is coming?
John: Yes.
Seth from Prosper, TX:
Not sure which is worse: one more week of draft speculation, or the impending doom of the Dead Zone to follow …
John: It seems there are readers who worry about the Dead Zone far more than I do. There actually are remarkable few weeks/periods that are dry for NFL news discussion. The last couple of weeks of June and early July are a bit slow, but after the draft, there are rookie minicamps, veteran minicamps, organized team activities and the like … it ain't the regular season, but it beats pre-draft speculation as far as I can see.
#IsItSeptemberYetRichard from Lincoln, RI :
I listened to talk radio this week and most talk-show people are "penciling in" the Jaguars game as an automatic win for the Pats! A couple of years ago I went to Jacksonville to see the Jags come close to beating them with Chad Henne at the helm. Please tell me they have no clue about this team?
John: If I were a Talk Show Person in New England, I'd probably pencil in the defending Super Bowl champions to win at home against a team that won three games the previous season, too. And no, I wouldn't anticipate a Talk Show Person in New England to have any clue about the Jaguars. I think the Jaguars will be better next season than Analysts, National Guys and Talk Show People believe, and I believe they'll play good teams tougher. I believe they'll play the Patriots tough. Whether that's enough to pull an upset of that level, we shall see.
Rob from Brunswick, GA:
Any chance on getting the NFL to schedule us two London games a year, one home and one away? It wouldn't require giving up a home game for us, and the league is already playing games there anyway. It would help us in building a fan base in London and in national recognition at home. Of course I can understand if the other London "home" teams want a more popular opponent. What say you?
John: I say I would be surprised if this doesn't happen at some point relatively soon.
Bryant from White Plains:
Hypothetically, if the Jags traded with the Browns and got the 12th and 19th pick, do you think the Jags would take a running back at 19 or is that still too high?
John: I would think No. 19 would feel like a very good spot to take a running back if that running back is Todd Gurley. Hypothetically. That being said, after listening to David Caldwell speak at the pre-draft luncheon on Friday, I wonder if he wants to slide back to No. 12 and lose the chance to select in the Top 5. We'll see.
Chris from Norfolk, VA:
Two things real quick … are we questioning a self-made billionaire? And people, please stop your ridiculous Tony posts. None of you saw him bowl a perfect game with a marble like I did so stop.
John: You made a couple of pretty good points pretty quickly.
Will from Jacksonville:
How big is local revenue for an NFL team when you look at the big picture? Doesn't much of the NFL's revenue come from television, which is shared equally? My understanding is merchandising, with some exceptions such as sales from the team's internet site or items sold within the stadium, are also shared equally. It largely leaves ticket sales, but a third of that is shared equally. You also have to consider that profitability isn't just about revenue, but costs. I fully understand that any business wants to make as much money as possible, but I have trouble understanding the questions regarding the Jaguars financial sustainability. Am I missing something?
John: Yes, shared revenue is important, but local revenue is extremely, extremely important. Ticket sales matter in the equation, but local sponsorship does, too. Yes, revenue is shared, but in the two decades since the Jaguars joined the NFL they have gone from near the top of the NFL in local revenue to near the bottom. It's probably not possible to return to the top any time soon, but it's critical they improve their standing.
Steve from Denver, CO:
O, best rock-and-roll verse of all time: "When in walked a man with a gun in his hand and he was looking for you know who …"?
John: I don't know about the best but … well, yeah, maybe.
Marty from Jacksonville:
Here's the answer. The Jaguars make a lot more off that one London game than they make off of any one home game in Jacksonville. So add the money from that one game in London to the money from the seven games in Jacksonville, and you have a lot more money than they would have gotten from eight games in Jacksonville. Therefore, with that one game in London, we make enough total revenue to survive in Jacksonville.
John: I thought I'd written that … a lot. If I hadn't … my apologies. But I swore I did .. I thought. And you're right … definitely.
Cliff from Jagsonville:
Last year, I picked them to pick Bortles, but everyone was so shocked. This year I pick Gurley to be the first-round pick by the Jags. It just screams the DC thing to do … and the Jags would be a much better offense for it. Whatcha think about that, Mr. O?
John: I think if you're talking about Todd Gurley at No.3 then your streak of accurately predicting the Jaguars' first-round selection – while admirable and obviously a point of pride for you – is going to be short-lived.
William from Savannah, GA:
O-Man: In the spirit of misdirection, is there a reasonable chance that the Jags actually take Mariota with the No. 3 pick of the draft if he is available? He appears to be a playmaker, per the Caldwell requirement, and would increase competition at the position. I ask because years ago, the Jags passed on Big Ben R. because we had Byron in the fold.
John: I don't know if your streak is shorter, longer or equal to Keith's, but I'm pretty sure yours isn't going to last much longer, either. You don't take highly-rated quarterbacks to create competition at the position. There aren't enough training camp/organized team activities/minicamp repetitions to go around to adequately allow two high-profile players to "fight it out." Beyond that, I don't know that Caldwell would be crazy about taking either Mariota or Winston at No. 3. He said pretty clearly upon drafting Bortles last offseason that he considered him the best quarterback prospect in the '14 or '15 class and I don't believe that has changed.
Roger from Jacksonville:
John, didn't the Packers play home games in Milwaukee in the early 80'?
John: The Packers actually played two or three games in Milwaukee until the early 1990s.
Herbert from MidState Office Supply Accountz Receevable:
Any chance the Jags opt to start Henne who is more familiar with Olson's system? I know this will be Blake's second year but he is essentially a rookie after the clock resets with the new coaching staff.
John: That's weird. For a minute there, I thought someone asked if the Jaguars might start Chad Henne over Blake Bortles next season.

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