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O-Zone: Shallow shells

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Ben from Section 101:
Sometimes the fans, including myself, seem to forget the bigger picture. Mr. Khan is investing long-term, which means WE MUST BE PATIENT. Would you agree?
John: Somewhat, though you won't find me preaching patience in the O-Zone. You also won't find me angry with fans for being angry with the team – or at the very least, I try to keep that to a minimum. Fans aren't supposed to see the big picture. That's the job of Shad Khan, David Caldwell and Gus Bradley. That trio isn't patient, exactly. But those are the people running the team. As such, they want to win as much as possible as quickly as possible, but they also do understand this building process started from a very low point. Therefore, it takes time, and quick-trigger decision-making and panic are not the answers.
Ben from Section 101:
I was looking at the 2012 roster, and I noticed that most players on that team are no longer in the NFL. Now, I see why this rebuild must not be rushed.
John: That's one reason, yes.
Mike from Jagsonville:
O-Dewd, here's how we take different paths through the dark forest. I don't see the team as Weaver's Jaguars or Khan's or Tom Coughlin's or Jack Del Rio's or Mike Mularkey's or Bradley's. It's just the Jaguars. It's been a long time since there was success.
John: I understand your path, and I understand that fans don't really care who's running the show or drafting players or coaching them. In that light, it has been a long time since there was success. But when I'm answering questions, I try to answer with as much context as possible. When people ask why the build is taking so long, the only proper context is to note that this build and approach began in January 2013 when David Caldwell and Gus Bradley took over. That doesn't help with the frustration, but it does provide the proper time frame for what's happening.
Michael from Port Orange, FL:
Why can't you stick with football and franchise questions and stop playing with the cutesy, rude or foolish questions? I read to know about the team, since we get little or no information where I live. Just Bucs and Dolphins and we are supposed to be the secondary market for the Jags.
John: I write the O-Zone 365 days a year, Michael, and I write other stories about the team the vast majority of days. On days when I'm feeling particularly enterprising, I'll throw Shad Khan a bone – and … Hey! Write more than one story in day! We also have numerous live shows on, and when our crack video department of Dave "I'm Worn Out on Your Act , Ozone" DeCandis and Patrick "PKaaaaaaaav" Kavanagh aren't focused on lunch, they post videos to the tune of about 40 a week. I list these things not to prove how hard-working and diligent we are here at, but to show that there are many, many places on this website to get information about the team. Almost all of those avenues are what most people would call straightforward, dealing with predominately football and franchise questions. Within the O-Zone, we also mix in cutesiness, rudeness, foolishness and other elements because the O-Zone is a forum where it's appropriate. Some people seem to enjoy it. Some don't. That's OK. Not everyone has to enjoy the same things.
Weston from Greenville, DE:
When do you think we are going to have a winning season?
John: Soon.
Jesse from Duval:
I expect the same improvement that happened last year after the bye; to me, that's the sign of a team getting better and developing players. It's been a tough year, but if we win a few games and the young, core players develop, fans have to feel good heading into the offseason, right? Also, what do you think about Denard Robinson? He has shown quite a spark the last few games, but I still think a running back will be added in the first three rounds of the draft. Your thoughts? DTWD!!!
John: I think you'll see the Jaguars play better after the bye, although it will be tough to match last year's post-bye success. Winning four out of five games in any situation is a tall order in the NFL. As for a running back being added in the first three rounds of the draft, I'd be a little surprised. I think the Jaguars will go pretty heavy on defense in the draft, and I think that emphasis will begin in the first three rounds.
Quinn from Tampa Bay, FL:
If I could punch one quarterback in the face it would have to be Aaron Rodgers. There's just something about that guy...
John: If by punch in the face you mean, "Will you come play for my football team and make them instantly better by your presence and walk into the Hall of Fame five years after you retire and maybe go on the Rushmore of All-Time Great quarterbacks …" then, yes, I feel you, Quinn … I feel you.
Jerell from Columbia, SC:
Watch the Rams versus Denver and that's a young up-and-coming roster. They have talent and youthful talent – not just a bunch of guys like we do. The Rams are about beating teams – not being close in a loss. Just saying. What you say, O man?
John: I say you're exactly right that the Rams are a young-up-and-coming roster. The Jaguars are about beating teams, too – and they haven't done it enough. You can make a strong case that the Rams are a year or so – at least – ahead in their building process. The Jaguars started at a very low point in 2012, and I think by next year you'll see them "beating teams" and not being close.
Charles from Midlothian, VA:
The heck with how the fans or the ownership feel about the coaching staff … do you think a 1-15 season would work with the players? Are a few of them as equally tired of it?
John: If you're asking if players would be tired of 1-15 … yeah, they'd be tired of it. If you're asking if they'd be tired of the coaching staff … no, I don't get that feeling.
Mark from Middletown, NJ:
If you had to give an MVP of the Jaguars award who would you give it to so far through 10 games of the season?
John: I'd give it to Sen'Derrick Marks, with a nod to Roy Miller.
William from Savannah, GA:
O-Man: It's the bye week. Let's say goodbye to moanin', and complainin' for a few days. Give me your predictions about which teams are going to make the playoffs this year, and which teams are going to make deep runs. Are there any really good teams that are going to miss the playoffs, like the 49ers, or Packers?
John: From the for what-it's-worth department, I see the Patriots, Colts, Broncos and Steelers winning their divisions in the AFC with the Chiefs and Bengals also making the playoffs. I'll go with the chalk and surprise no one when I say I think it will be New England and Denver in the AFC Championship Game. In the NFC, I see Philadelphia, Green Bay, New Orleans and Arizona winning their divisions with Detroit and Dallas making the playoffs. That leaves Seattle out, so yeah … that's a surprise. I see Green Bay and Arizona in the NFC Championship Game. For what it's worth.
Chris from Between a Rock and Hard Place:
Swami, John … If the season ended today, what position would you draft first to most improve this team for next year? I guess I am leaning towards offensive line with strong consideration for linebacker.
John: I think defensive end/pass rusher, with a nod to linebacker. I don't see linebacker in the first round, but a second- or third-rounder at that position could make immediate impact.
Austin from Jacksonville:
If I win the 'Ultimate Gameday Experience,' then I want to meet you, and so would my grandmother.
John: If it plays out that way, we probably would need to call it something else.
Doug from Jacksonville:
What I find ironic is the people screaming for coaches to be fired and players to be cut cite teams that are successful as examples. What is lost on them is those teams are usually "stable" and have little turnover. Pittsburgh, Green Bay, New Orleans, etc, etc. The teams like Oakland, Washington, Cleveland have had lots of changes and turn over. Currently, the Jags are still in that turnover period. Next year with no major changes will be year three … some stability … utilizing the talent they put together for their philosophy. Why would you want to fire coaches and cut a No. 3 overall pick already?
John: Because fans gonna fan.
Andrew from Panama City Beach, FL:
Practice-squad questions. Who coaches the players? Do they report to position meetings? How is their life different than roster players? How are they paid? Do they get cable TV?
John: Practice-squad players follow pretty much the same schedule and report to the same meetings, workouts and practices as players on the 53-man roster. They get paid far less than players on the 53-man roster, but they make at least $6,000 a week, which means while their lives are shallow shells compared to "active players" they are undoubtedly far superior to my own.

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