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O-Zone: Seriously . . .

Jack from Jacksonville:
I think what has people scratching their heads about the so-called "quarterback competition" is the lack of competition. Caldwell said he would bring in a veteran quarterback or draft one and he hasn't done either, so far. Bradley's talk about competition at every position is ringing a little hollow at this point. Looks like the Jaguars are in for more of the same this season. So much for a new start.
John: There's no doubt that's what has some people scratching their heads. What people are not grasping is the Jaguars didn't draft a quarterback because they didn't feel there was one available in the draft who would improve the competition. They didn't sign one in free agency because they didn't feel there was one available who would improve the competition enough to merit the price. If you're not going to get a quarterback who you believe is capable of being a franchise guy, why spend big in free agency? Yes, you want to add talent, but you also want to do it in a way that makes sense for the long haul.
James from Jacksonville:
Anyone who loves the Jags and follows them religiously can see MJD is not happy in Jacksonville. Whether it is the want for a Super Bowl ring sooner or just true dislike for this type of football town. Do you think despite a good season Jacksonville will deal MJD off next year because of the cap busting contract he's going to ask for? Is he even worth the money for an eight-year running back?
John: Maybe I'm not as insightful as others, but I don't pretend to be able to look into a man's soul and know what he feels. I listened to Jones-Drew on Tuesday night speak for a long time about liking Jacksonville, and it sounded genuine. I spoke to him extensively about his reasoning for training in Miami. It's about getting on the field in time for the season. I don't know what the future holds after this season. Jones-Drew knows this is a business, and there is an element of taking what the market will bear, but I don't believe Jones-Drew dislikes Jacksonville. As far as what Jones-Drew will ask for and what he will be worth, a lot of that will be determined by the coming months.
Sean from Philadelphia:
Who do you think the starting defensive backs will be Week 1? Also, I recently bet a friend $100 that the Jags will win their first Super Bowl before the Eagles will. Do you think I'll win?
John: Dwayne Gratz, Johnathan Cyprien, Dwight Lowery, Alan Ball, with Ball the one on which I'd waver the most. Regarding your bet, sure, why not?
Keith from Palatka, FL:
I am thrilled we have apparently fixed one gaping hole in the offensive line by signing Luke Joeckel. Our line is far from fixed, however. We still have potential problems at left guard. Will Rackley was awful his first year and did nothing to improve his second year on injured reserve. Brad Meester's skill is eroding at center. Uche Nwaneri is nothing special. In short, while the perimeter of our offensive line seems in capable hands, the interior is still shaky at best. Do you think Blaine, Chad, Matt, Jordan, or any other poor slob trying to play quarterback will continue to take a terrific beating behind a line that is less than stellar?
John: Many people share your view that the Jaguars haven't done enough to improve the interior of the line. The Jaguars' approach is that improving right tackle should help the right guard, and that improving one spot on the line can have a dramatic difference on the entire unit. They also have changed coaches, and while Rackley did struggle at times as a rookie, he now has had two offseasons, which should mean improving next season. We'll see how shaky the offensive line is, but on paper at least, it should be significantly more stable.
Richard from Starke, FL:
Please explain to me what a first-year veteran is? It seems a bit like an oxymoron.
John: A first-year veteran is a player who is not a rookie, but who has not accrued enough game experience to be considered a second-year veteran. It's a bit confusing, but that's the distinction.
JAK from Jacksonville:
Oesher everyone has opinions & mine's is that you're a bum of a senior writer who lacks the work ethic to spell check his articles before publishing them. My question is why are you portraying Daryl Smith as an old injury-prone player? Last year was Smith's first significant injury & time missed. Your justifying of the Marcus Trufant signing as a scheme fit insinuates that Smith is incapable of learning Bradley's defense being that Trufant was in Seattle prior to Bradley being DC & had to pick up the scheme. I fully understand the Jags going young & with players having minimal if an injury history but, if they are going to sign a few veterans we hope they are productive ones. How can u resign Brad Meester who was on the field for most of a 2-14 effort @ the center of a bad o-line GROUP and is aged with plenty of mileage but, not consider bring back Smith. Smith when healthy is ranks higher at his position than Meester & Trufant at their positions. Russell Allen started in most of the 2-14 effort. Smith can't compete with him & this stacked LB group of youngsters your raving about?
John: I never raved about the linebackers. I said they could be good, not great and I never portrayed Smith as old and injured. I did note that a reason for Smith not being re-signed could be age and injury, writing that fit the pattern of veterans who had not been retained – and that Smith is in fact a 10-year veteran who missed 14 games last season. I noted this in response to a question about why Smith hadn't been re-signed. Honestly, if it were me, I'd probably re-sign Smith. I like him as a player. I think he's very good, and to listen to Paul Posluszny tell it, Smith was the best player on the Jaguars' defense the last two seasons. However, David Caldwell is putting together this roster right now, and the overall approach is to try to get younger, reliable players who have a chance to be around for a few years. Marcus Trufant stands out as an exception because of his experience in Gus Bradley's scheme. That in no way insinuates anything regarding Smith, but if you choose to read that into it, I can't prevent you. (Incidentally, it's "O-E-H-S-E-R," you didn't need to say "mine's" and "is" back-to-back, "your" in the last sentence should be "you're" and you've got something weird going in with "when healthy is ranks" that I'm too tired to try to figure out. My spellchecker wasn't working, but my grammar-checker was – at least it were for the second.)
Dave from Jacksonville:
You can try to convince everyone about the quarterback competition, but deep down you know as do we Blaine will be the guy this year and he will either focus or fold. Let's not compare Seattle, because it's not even close to the same. They drafted Wilson. Henne was picked up off the street and he will never be "Our Guy." So to suggest he could win the job is way off base. They will never in their right mind start Henne over Gabbert (barring injury). I don't care how they play in OTAs, training camp or preseason. How about you give a truly honest opinion on who you think will start game one? If you give anything less than 100 percent for Gabbert then you are lying straight to our computers!
John: Dave, you seem very upset. Perhaps you should have a soda or an aspirin. Henne was an unrestricted free agent and he has NFL experience, so it's not absurd to think he could start. As for Wilson, he was a third-round selection and it was not thought entering training camp that he would start. As for who I think will start, I wonder how often and in how many different forms of media I need to say that I believe Gabbert will start the opener before it's considered truly honest.
John from Elizabeth City, NC:
I love the get-better attitude Bradley brings and not worrying about the record as much. We've seen it before where one season a team has a terrible season, then makes the playoffs or vice versa. So much can go into a team having a good record that is out of a team's control – such as scheduling and injuries. Do you think most fans get this or just see we made the playoffs or didn't?
John: It depends on the fan. There are many more casual observers who see every season as "playoffs or bust," and that's OK. Not every fan can be completely engaged.
Shawn from the Mean Streets of Arlington:
Mr. O, can I ask you a serious question?
John: Hold on.

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