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O-Zone: Skinny Bruce

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Logan from Wichita, KS:
Luke Joeckel played left tackle his entire life until he was drafted by the Jaguars. He flopped hard at right tackle and thus was given the title, "bust." That is on the coaches. Fast forward to now and we draft another pure left tackle; rather than letting him take the left-tackle job or sit and learn for a year (which is actually OK, since he is a second-round pick), we want to move him to guard ... that is like hiring an electrician to do your plumbing or an accountant to do your landscaping. You are setting him up to fail. And when a young player fails, his confidence gets blown up, and now when you give them a chance at something they actually are good at they are so paranoid they are going to fail. Why the hell do the Jaguars never learn from their mistakes? I guess the motto is "I'm not surprised that you keep shooting yourself in the foot; I'm surprised at how good you are at doing it."
John: The Jaguars haven't moved Cam Robinson from left tackle to guard yet – though I do believe they will take that route next season. But I fear that your main points – that playing Luke Joeckel at right tackle as a rookie caused him to be a bust and that therefore any offensive lineman playing a new position as a rookie is an inherently flawed plan – may miss the point. Joeckel played just four games at right tackle as a rookie and started one game at left tackle before being injured; at that time, he hadn't played close to enough to be considered a bust. Considering his short stint at the position, it's also a reach to say that those four games changed his career trajectory. Also, there are plenty of cases in which left-tackles-to-be played guard in the NFL briefly before moving to tackle. I have no idea Robinson's NFL destiny. I do know the idea that he might play guard for a season before moving to tackle should in no way prevent him from becoming a premier left tackle if he is capable of reaching that level.
Donald from Orange Park, FL:
Once the Jags' offense turns the ball over, the Jaguars are on defense. So the whole "defensive-scoring" statistic is accurate in my book. Just sayin' ...
John: OK, as long as you were just sayin'.
Marc from Oceanway:
We all know why you left Emmitt Smith off your all-time great running backs list and it is the same reason Roger Staubach will never make any of your all-time great quarterbacks list. #redskinsfan #oldgrudge
John: This is incorrect, though I understand how people could think this. I indeed hold a grudge against Roger Staubach for quarterbacking the Dallas Cowboys in the 1970s. The grudge runs deep and it's real. Part of me remains convinced Staubach, Drew Pearson, Tony Dorsett and anyone else who played for those Cowboys teams are among the worst people ever to walk the earth. This obviously is explained by my then being a Washington Redskins fan. I remained a diehard Redskins fan until the mid-1990s, but while Smith and the Cowboys ascended to elite status during that time, the importance of the Cowboys-Redskins rivalry for me had begun to fade. On occasions when I see Troy Aikman, Smith and Michael Irvin, I harbor no ill will. But say "Staubach" in my presence …
Miyagi Lee34 from San Diego, CA:
I see Leonard Fournette to win offensive ROY!! For the Pro Bowl, I see three defensive players getting there!! Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye and Myles Jack all making their first shot!!
John: #DTWD!
Mike from Smithers:
Would you rather have a 39-year-old Tom Brady or a 25-year-old Blake Bortles?
John: A 39-year-old Brady has shown every sign he will continue to play at a high level for the foreseeable future, so I'd rather have him.
Scott from New York, NY:
I'm a little afraid to ask but ... why does Shadrick deserve our respect?
John: You're right to be afraid.
Dennis from Palm Coast, FL:
John, it seems the fan base believes Gus Bradley as head coach was solely David Caldwell's decision. But wasn't he chosen by a selection committee? And wasn't Bradley Caldwell's first choice?
John: Though Jaguars Owner Shad Khan obviously has final say over such matters, Bradley was very much Caldwell's decision – and his first choice.
Micky from Jacksonville:
Why not just roll with "Pretty in Pink?" Let's try again knowing you could choose "Back to the Future," "E.T.," "Die Hard," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "The Shining," "Ghostbusters," or "Caddyshack." Now that you are reminded of some great flicks, do you still want to roll with "Sixteen Candles?"
John: I was aware of your list when making my choice.
Scott from Jacksonville:
Ferris Bueller did not have "Long Duck Dong." Regardless, "Better Off Dead" shames 'em both.

Long Live Lane Meyer.
Jarret from Crosby, ND:
Zone, my memory may be fading, but didn't Jim Brown and O.J. Simpson both comment they thought Fred Taylor was one of the best running backs they'd ever seen? Hmm ...
John: I've never seen Simpson comment on Taylor, though perhaps I've missed it. I do know Brown talked highly of Taylor throughout Taylor's career, calling him at times the best back in the NFL.
Glen from Orange Park, FL:
I don't think it is completely fair to judge a general manager on his first year in the position. Let's look at Dave Caldwell's decisions in his second year as general manager. We drafted Blake Bortles, Marqise Lee, Allen Robinson, Brandon Linder, Aaron Colvin, Telvin Smith, Chris Smith, Luke Bowanko and Storm Johnson. All nine players are still in the league. Seven are still Jags. Five would start for nearly any team. Two (Bortles and Bowanko) have questions, but likely have a high floor and will at least be solid backups for a long time. Allen Hurns was also signed as UDFA. A passing grade?
John: Yes.
Frankie from London, UK:
Mr O! I have thought after the past few years the Jaguars too frequently have accepted mediocrity on the roster because they are nice guys or other reasons. I now feel so much better about the Jaguars' organization because the talent is there and the coaching staff (plus Tom Coughlin) will not put up with mediocrity. I'm looking forward to seeing the Jaguars at Wembley this year, and hopefully one day I will come to EverBank Field. Yannick Ngakoue for double-digit sacks next season. #DUVAL
John: Being a "nice guy" never has been a requirement for making the roster. That's not to say mediocrity didn't happen, and it's not to say that they failed to achieve even mediocrity at times, but "being nice guys" wasn't a factor.
Shawn from the Mean Streets of Arlington:
Hey Mr. O: No question here, I just thought I'd share I think J.P. Shadrick is a fine, upstanding member of the staff and he deserves – nay, commands – our respect. I'd appreciate it in the future if the people who write in remember this.
John: Fair point.
Joe from Saddle Brook, NJ:
Any news on progress towards a contract extension for Telvin Smith? Do you think he will be extended before the season begins?
John: There has not been news on a contract extension for Smith or any of the other players selected by the Jaguars in the 2014 NFL Draft. I don't expect any of those players' contracts to be extended before the season, though that's not out of the question. I do expect players such as Smith, Linder, Robinson and Lee could be extended late in the season or early in the offseason. The reason for the timing? A lot changed around the Jaguars this offseason. While many decision-makers are the same, many more are new. It makes sense to see how the aforementioned players fit in and produce with this regime before extending contracts.
Dave from Oviedo, FL:
O-Zone – I just saw U2 on their 30th Anniversary Joshua Tree tour at Raymond James Stadium, and it had the best quality sound and visuals of any concert I've ever attended. What was your best concert ever?
John: My best concern ever has nothing to do with quality sound or visuals and everything to do with its place in my memory: Bruce Springsteen, Jacksonville Coliseum (February, 1981). I saw R.E.M. at the Bandshell in Gainesville and later in Jacksonville. I saw the Ramones and Elvis Costello twice each. I saw Foreigner (Cars opening), Boston, Styx and Heart at the Coliseum in the late 1970s, and mixed John Denver, Debbie Boone and the Bee Gees in there, too. R.E.M. at the Bandshell was the Reckoning Tour. Stipe still had long hair and because early R.E.M. remains my favorite R.E.M., that show always will hold a special place. But Springsteen on the River Tour played two sets and a four-song encore – and it seemed he played forever. This was skinny Bruce, before he got in shape and before Dancing in the Dark. That show is No. 1. In perpetuity.

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