JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Brian from Duval County:
What does Poz's future look like after this season? Do you believe he will retire a Jaguar? If not, how many more seasons do you believe Paul has in the NFL? By the way, I still believe Poz is a great character and leader for our team.
John: Paul Posluszny's future with the Jaguars following this season remains to be seen. That's because realistically he is much closer to the end of his career than the beginning – and because it appears as if Myles Jack at some point relatively early in his career will play middle linebacker full time. It seems very likely Posluszny will start this season and play extensively on first and second downs. It's even likely that he will play on third down because his experience there makes him valuable. As for what happens after that, I honestly don't know, but I believe that if he wants to play there could be a role for him with the Jaguars – and I absolutely believe he can play at a high level for a few more seasons.
Dave from Oviedo, FL:
Johnny-O, all the distress about the O-Zone being late reminded me of an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob asks Patrick, "What do you normally do when I'm gone?" and Patrick says "Wait for you to come back." You see, the waiting is the hardest part.
John: Hegh … Spongebob …
Marc from Duval:
Hi John, since you are no longer a crazed football fan, do you root for the Jags – or, for the sake of objectivity, do you remain neutral? If you do root for the home team, how did you feel when working for the Colts? I would think proximity to a team would sway loyalty. Lastly, if I may persevere, how began your Redskins love and what caused it to end?
John: My perspective on this – and the perspective of others who cover teams – is often difficult for fans to grasp. That's because fans see sports through passionate lenses. That's what makes sports fun, but it often doesn't apply to media – or even to people who work for teams. Yes, I want the Jaguars to win because I know and respect many people in this organization who work hard to make the Jaguars succeed and it's only natural to want to see that happen. When I worked for the Colts, I wanted that organization to win for the same reasons. It's much the same way a coach/player/general manager sees things. They passionately want their teams to win, but their passions change when they change organizations. In this job, I also know what the Jaguars' success means to this city and this fan base – so I want the Jaguars to win for that reason, too. As for my Redskins fandom, it began as many fandoms begin. My father had been a Redskins fan since the late 1930s/early 1940s and I began following them when I reached sports consciousness in the early 1970s. That grew into near obsession for a couple of decades and waned when I began covering college and professional sports. It wasn't a conscious decision to lose that passion. It just sort of happened as I began following big-time sports through a professional lens.
John from Ponte Vedra, FL:
I moved to Jax in 1991 from Tampa and was having second thoughts about having moved to "Cowford". This town had a serious inferiority complex and there was not much to rally around. Out of curiosity and blind faith I went to the Landing the night the NFL was to award an expansion franchise. There was a hopeful buzz in the air that evening and around dark the place suddenly erupted and everyone went nuts. It was insane. I'll never forget it. I had to tap out of a bear-hug from a tall, lanky dude someone later told me was Preston Haskell (gratuitous name drop). This town has never been the same since that night. One fer Wayne and Delores Weaver and one for Shad Khan. Fan of both JAX and the JAGS since #dayone.
John: Well put.
The Traveler from Everywhere:
I was crossing the Fuller Warren Bridge when the announcement was made that Jacksonville was awarded the expansion franchise. I remember it like it was yesterday. #DayOneBaby
John: I was in the University of Florida press room. I remember calling my wife with the news and hanging up thinking it could have an impact on my career and our futures. I had no idea.
Travis from Athens, GA:
It is unreasonable how things we have no control over can affect our moods. I have no control over the Jags. I don't play, coach, sell tickets or even work in a concession stand but think of them as "my" team. Well, here we are in the dead zone. What is it this year? We had #mooddachay #Full_consistency #DTWD. What is our Dead-Zone cry this year?
John: #Sleep #rest #lounge
Andy from Pittsburgh, PA:
While I wouldn't say I'm a "Day One" fan because I was five when the Jags were founded, I'll say I'm a Day One fan in my own way. Growing up, members of my extended family all rooted for different teams: uncle a Seahawks fan, aunt a Giants fan, cousin a Jets fan, etc. Being very young, I decided I was a fan of the team with the coolest uniforms, most badass logo – and that won relatively often: the Jaguars. When I got old enough to actually follow football I decided that I'd been rooting for this team this long, might as well keep it up. Well, cue 15 years of an emotional roller coaster and I'm still here. Now that the Jaguars seem poised for success I swear the first person to call me a bandwagon fan is asking for trouble. #moodachay #DTWD
John: We're about ready to move on from the Dead Zone – and thus, this Day-One-Fan-versus-the–world thread of questioning soon will wane. It certainly feels close to running its course, but while that's true it has brought to light a couple of key points. One is that people indeed take their connection to this franchise very, very seriously – not at all a surprising finding considering the passion readers show daily here in the Dead Zone and otherwise. The other key point is that while Day One fans have every right to be proud of their long-term commitment, they in no way define all Jaguars fans – nor do they have a monopoly on the right way to be a Jaguars fan. There's room for many types of passion in a fan base, and this fan base is evidence of that.
David from Oviedo, FL:
O-Man - I told my eight-year old daughter that I got one of my questions answered in the O-Zone. She asked if that made me famous. I had to laugh and explain to her ... yes, it does!
John: I'm not sure what was so funny, but yes … yes.
Dan from Jacksonville:
John, explain the difference between the strong and weak side. Thanks.
John: The strong side of the offense and defense typically is the one on which the blocking tight end lines up. The weak side is the side opposite the strong side.
Jim from Robin Hood Country, England:
O, reading David from Maplewood, NJ's story reminded me of a time last year when I was sat in an upstairs room of a pub in London. When I declared 'Its Oehser!!!' you looked up and came straight to me for the mandatory rock star photo. Thanks John, for proving it's not only the players who are supercool...
John: That wasn't me.
Ryan from Charlotte, NC:
Not to keep the "compare the Allens to X" trend going, but given that they played about the same number of years so far, what are your thoughts on them relative to Justin Blackmon? Blackmon seemed to have a tremendous amount of flash, but it didn't feel as consistent or sustainable as it does with the Allens. Had Blackmon's career not been derailed what do you think his ceiling was?
John: Had Blackmon had the work ethic and dedication of players such as Hurns and Robinson he no doubt could have been a multiple-Pro Bowl type receiver – and who knows, maybe he could have been better than that. With or without high-end speed, the guy's hands and ability to take over a play was impressive throughout the short time he played.
Tom from Jacksonville:
Bulls fan. Bought Jags season tickets on the first day. Have original logo t-shirts. Bought my dad a copy of "Jags to Riches". AND my young daughter was a member of the first class of the Junior Roar. I win.
John: I don't know if you win or not, but you're definitely competing.
Joe from Jacksonville:
Saw you jogging down Baymeadows the other day and said to my wife, "There's Johnny O. I'd recognize him anywhere." My wife responds, "Who's Johnny O?" That made me happy and sad.
John: Did you recognize me before she screamed in a white-knuckled, gut-sickened panic, "Oh my gosh … is that man OK?" Or after?
O-Zone: Shock to the senses
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Brian from Duval County: