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O-Zone: Sky's the limit

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Eric from Hanover, PA:
I've heard of college quarterbacks transitioning to other positions in the NFL, but are there cases of other players switching from another position to quarterback when they make it to the NFL?
John: Perhaps there is a case some time or somewhere, but I don't know of any quarterback who has made the transition after reaching the NFL level. Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill sort of came close … but not really. He played wide receiver his first three seasons at Texas A&M, but he competed for the quarterback job early in his college career and played quarterback extensively as a junior. Quarterback is the most difficult position in sports. That makes it complex enough that it's difficult to pick it up and play successfully after reaching the NFL level.
Emiel from Jacksonville:
Who's your favorite Beatle?
John: John Lennon.
Emiel from Jacksonville:
What's your favorite Beatles song?
John: Help!
Jerry from Jacksonville:
Now that Dvorak is retired, will we get a new mascot or will someone else don Jaxson de Ville?
John: Curtis Dvorak indeed announced his retirement as Jaxson de Ville this week. The Jaguars are searching for a replacement for Dvorak, but Jaxson de Ville will go on.
Shawn from the Mean Streets of Arlington:
How does Arena football compare to a minor-league system? You never see guys move from Arena football to the NFL.
John: Never say "never." There have been instances when Arena League players go on to the NFL. Kurt Warner is the obvious example, and there have been a few others – quarterbacks, kickers and some wide receivers, mostly. But it's not even close to a "feeder system." The games are far different, though I've always thought the speed of the Arena League would logically help quarterbacks with decision-making. Another reason is teams keep players they consider developmental possibilities on the 90-man offseason roster. That limits the number of Arena League players considered future NFL prospects.
Mike from Atlanta, GA:
This condescending-tone stuff has not been my experience. Never has water condescended on my monitor, iPhone or iPad when reading O-Zone. I did get a fair amount of condensation when I dropped my phone in the toilet, but that was not your fault. Wait. Did you put Nate's phone in the toilet?
John: Actually, it probably was my fault. Most things are. Just ask my wife and son.
Luke from Plymouth Meeting, PA:
What do you predict the Jaguars' record will be? Also, if Tom Brady is suspended will the Jaguars beat the Patriots?
John: Welcome to the O-Zone. I mean that sincerely. I feel confident welcoming you because regular readers know I'm not a Predictions Guy. I do think the Jaguars have a very realistic chance to make a push for a .500 record this season. I think there's a much better chance of that than I thought last season. I also think a .500 record would be a significant accomplishment and a significant step forward for a team that has won nine games over the past three seasons. If Tom Brady is out against the Jaguars, I still believe the Patriots probably win the game. This is a perennial Super Bowl champion playing at home. The Jaguars would have a chance, but I'd still be surprised if the Patriots lost.
George from Longview, TX:
I'm a little concerned that you're not on the front page of the Jaguar mobile site. I'm very concerned that I can't find the zone on any page. Were you taking a nap during site development? Please help me find you.
John: What's a "mobile site?" (Alex … things 48-year-old senior writers say for four hundred, please …)
Patrick from Jacksonville:
Does Aaron Colvin have a chance to start outside and move inside in nickel packages?
John: At some point, yes. I don't know how quickly it will happen, but I expect that's a real possibility sooner rather than later.
Travis from High Springs:
John, could you please explain the difference between a zone-blocking scheme and a gap-blocking scheme. Also, do you need different type of lineman for each? For example, would you need bigger, stronger linemen for one and quicker more athletic linemen for the other or is personnel pretty universal and it's mostly just different coaching? Thanx, O-Man.
John: As with most thing football/NFL these days, it's not a clear-cut situation where most teams run strictly zone-blocking or gap-blocking schemes. There's usually some overlap with elements of each. In a general sense, zone-blocking scheme is more about offensive linemen blocking an area – or a zone – and gap-blocking is more of a power approach of linemen blocking a specific opponent. You generally would look for more athletic linemen in a zone-blocking scheme and bigger, more-powerful linemen in a gap-blocking scheme. The Jaguars, for example, are moving to a more gap-oriented approach. That's why they've asked the linemen to add bulk and strength this offseason.
Hussin from Jacksonville:
Hey, John. I just caught the video "Camp Battles: Special Teams." As far as potential punt/kick returners, they went down the list … except for Bryan Walters, one of our free-agent acquisitions. Didn't we bring him in for THAT specific fix or did I miss something?
John: I don't know if he's a "specific fix," but he was brought in to compete for the slot receiver/punt returner job.
Tom from Ponte Vedra, FL:
My vote goes for leaving the preseason games just as they are. The team has just spent … what did Gus say? … 61 days in shorts. They only have 10 days of fully padded practices in all of training camp. Take them for what they are - "preseason games," live padded practices. They need every one of those situations for roster evaluation.
John: No argument here.
Shawn from Westside:
JO, if you tore your finger ligaments and were out for the season, who would GM Dave and Coach Gus put in your place? Jeff L, Tony B, Fred T, MJD?? Or some schmuck?
John: I'd dictate, so … some schmuck.
Charles from Midlothian, VA:
The USFL of the 80s, UFL of a few years ago and the Arena leagues have proven there is a desire for Spring/Summer Football. If the NFL could invest a few million in a quality minor league it would sell and televise well. The other leagues do it with little-to-no backing, and with inferior product. If a "minor league" was sponsored by the NFL and players KNEW they would be looked at if they played there, a lot of really good players would come out of it. It would be cheap; an eight-game season would get ratings and regional support from "local" NFL teams would give more support to those teams. ... Have I thought about this too much?
John: You've thought about it enough that I actually had to take out some of your thoughts – so, yeah, you've probably overdone it a bit. One thought I have is that starting a minor league actually probably isn't quite as "cheap" as you might imagine. And if the NFL thought a minor league would work and be profitable, the NFL almost certainly would do it. (Owners "sort of like" profits.) I don't know if that many players would be "found" because I don't think there are all that many NFL level players falling through the scouting cracks. I do think a minor league would help some known players develop. Still, overall, I'm a little skeptical that it will happen any time soon. I don't get a feeling anything is percolating.
Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe from Aachen, Germany:
John, vielen Dank für all die gute Arbeit, die Sie tun.
John: Wenn ich morgens morgen , werde ich der Herr alles, was ich sehen.
Eric from Hanover, PA:
In your opinion, what are the two greatest football movies of all time? If the protagonist team from each of the two movies faced off who would win?
John: North Dallas Forty and Remember the Titans, with a nod of apology to Friday Night Lights. I'd give the edge to Nick Nolte's Phil Elliott over Denzel Washington's Herman Boone, but I probably wouldn't tell Coach Boone. #Sunshiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinne.
Tommy from Jacksonville:
John, recently I accepted a position that will force me to move my family from Jacksonville to Pensacola. It was a conflicting decision to make. Regardless of win/loss record the Jags have been a source of enjoyment for me. I will miss my friends, I will miss the Jaguars and I will miss being at The Bank on Sundays. But I'll be #DTWD from the left side of the state.
John: Moving is never easy. You will be missed, too, but not forgotten. #DTWD
John from Boynton Beach, FL:
In the seventh grade, I once shot a spitball that bounced up into my friend's nostril right as Mrs. Haggerty called on him. It was great. What is your best individual athletic moment?
John: I once had a really cool dunk in traffic playing "dunk ball" on an eight-foot rim at Arlington Elementary.

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