JACKSONVILLE – It apparently was a stressful, worrisome Saturday for some loyal readers. That's OK. Sometimes it's good to overcome adversity.
Let's get to it … Doug from Jacksonville:
Say it ain't so, John … say it ain't so!!! Please don't let June 28, 2014 be the day it ends. First, my dog runs away, then my wife comes back and now no O-Zone?!?! This day couldn't get any worse!
John: Doug! Doug!!! Breathe!!!! OK!!?! Cool. You sent this Saturday afternoon. I don't know if your dog returned Saturday night, or if The Wife Plan, v. 1.0 we discussed and outlined "off-air" worked (Godspeed, Doug), but by the time you read this, your world will be relatively normal. The O-Zone posted later than normal Saturday, but it indeed posted.
Mike from Middleburg, FL:
OK. I am worried. Where are you? It's late. Where is my OZONE?
John: All right, here in Question No. 2 of The Day After the Day the O-Zone That Almost Wasn't, we'll take a step toward catching everyone up. The O-Zone on Saturday didn't appear until nearly 7 p.m. This caused some over-the-top concern among readers and Streak Watchers that the streak might end at 1,055ish. Alas, it did not.
Fred from Naples, FL:
Don't worry about it. Even Cal Ripken Jr.'s streak came to an end. Here's to your next 1,000!
John: Your condolences, though appreciated, were alas unnecessary. But because this concerned so many, we'll share the cause of the delay. The O-Zone typically posts between 8 and 9 a.m. (Ish.) Our professional, highly-trained, tech-savvy jaguars.com team (Shadrick) spends hours (he does it in a matter of minutes while checking email, Twitter and "Hot or Not" in his corner booth at the Fox) ensuring it's posted and presented in aesthetic, timely fashion (he hits the button that says, "Publish," during coffee). But jaguars.com runs on the NFL's "platform" (a technical word that Shadrick and I drop a lot in office conversation but don't really "get"). Our tech-savvy team was prepared to post as scheduled on Saturday only to find the league was rebooting the content management system (see: "platform"). The reboot took most of the day, and the O-Zone posted upon its conclusion early Saturday evening.
Nicholas from Fort Hood, TX:
Feel like I missed out on the early morning khanstruction. Is there a schedule posted that lets us know when something interesting will be happening or can you add a video showing the highlights of yesterday morning?
John: Jaguars.com has provided a live feed of the stadium construction. This live feed apparently has caused some to become somewhat obsessed with the Khanstruction process. But as far as a schedule and highlights, no … the Khanstruction obsession, while understandable, is something you must feed – as well as schedule – on your own.
Nick from Jacksonville Beach and Section 149:
#NoDeadZone day 2. What dynamic do you think is most important in our defense? Is it the corner's press-coverage ability? Is it end's ability to disrupt the quarterback's timing? Or the defensive line's job in general to collapse the pocket and not let the runner get through?
John: They're all important, of course, but in this defense, the ability of the secondary to press and play physically in coverage is paramount. It sets the timing and pace for everything else to follow. That's particularly true of the pass rush, which benefits from the extra time provided by a secondary that disrupts timing of opposing quarterbacks and receivers by making it more difficult for receivers to get off the line.
Joe from Jacksonville:
What does this button do?
John: Don't PICK at it!!!
Eric from Boston, MA and DTWD:
O-Man, I haven't been able to keep up with my squad as closely as I have in years past as I am preparing to take the BAR at the end of July. These-15 hour library days seem endless. With that being said, can you give me some insight on how are second-year secondary boys looked in mini-camp? Specifically, Josh Evans, Demetrius McCray, Dwayne Gratz?
John: Josh Evans missed minicamp and organized team activities after undergoing surgery in May to address bone spurs, but McCray, Gratz and Johnathan Cyprien participated. Gratz looked very good during the periods of OTAs and minicamp open to the media, and continued to show a knack for the ball and the ability to defense and intercept passes when the opportunity is there. That seems to be his defining quality thus far. McCray also appeared fine, though not yet on Gratz's level. Cyprien showed what Jaguars coaches hoped and expected, which was a continuation of the growth and development he showed in the second half of last season.
Charles from Midlothian, VA:
"One, neither Khan nor any other owner – or any that I know of, really – enjoys paying people to NOT work." So the question begs to be asked: how do you keep your job? Is it your effervescent personality, killer looks and superior writing ability (when you do work)?
John: Duck and cover.
Jonathan from Jacksonville:
I wanted your opinion on the NFL roster size. I feel the final roster number of 53 and the game day 46 is too small for the greatest professional sports league in the world. Especially during this heightened awareness of player safety. I think adding two roster spots and making the new limits 55/48 would make a lot of sense. It wouldn't cost much more because these extra two players would be league minimum types. I know the coaches would go for this and I think the NFLPA should push for it. It is just crazy that college teams get 85 scholarships but the NFL only has 53 spots with 46 active on game day. At the very least it would certainly help give a couple more starters breaks from playing special teams and may prevent some injuries in the future. Why is there no discussion of this ozone?
John: There's no discussion because there really isn't a push for it. Yes, coaches would welcome two additional roster spots, but they also would welcome 10 or 15 more roster spots. Coaches will take what they can get. The owners haven't and likely won't push for it because it would add salary, and while the NFLPA would welcome anything that creates more jobs there are other issues that concern the organization more. There is some minor movement on the game-day numbers, with the NFL reportedly considering allowing teams to have 49 players active on "short weeks" – i.e., games played on days other than Sunday or Monday. An issue with Thursday night games is that it is difficult to play on just three days rest, and the theory is a few extra players would alleviate that somewhat. I don't know that adding players to the 53 or 46 would do much to prevent injury, though if the league thought it would that would certainly give the idea some traction.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville:
I am totally with you on keeping it light, O-Man. We got five weeks to chill out and do non-football stuff. Hey married guys, here is a hint. Get your honey-do list out of the way now so it doesn't interfere with FOOTBALL SEASON! #cleaningoutthegarage
John: I didn't suggest cleaning out the garage or working around the house. #justfortherecord
Tony from Switzerland, FL:
What are the chances that Blaine Gabbert can win the starting job over Chad Henne? Since Blake Bortles is not going to play in his first year.
John: I reread this many, many times and I swear, I just don't know where to go with the answer.
Zach from Orlando, FL:
When is the appropriate time to wear shades in Florida that isn't all the time? I think that other John guy is a little jealous of your ability to rock the Aves.
MC from Jacksonville:
What do you think will be the most intriguing battle of training camp...Right side OL, Wide Receiver or Kick Returner and why?
John: I think it's a toss-up between right side of the offensive line and wide receiver. The right guard battle will be intriguing because it's a true battle for a true starting spot and whoever wins the job – Jacques McClendon or Brandon Linder – figures to be the starter and play pretty much every down. That's the nature of offensive line play. The wide receiver battle figures to be more about how the depth chart will play out and who among the top three or four receivers will play what roles. I think Cecil Shorts III, Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee and Ace Sanders will be the top four, with Mike Brown and Tandon Doss at five and six. But how Robinson and Lee will be used, for example, and what strengths they will bring to the offense will be a critical storyline as training camp plays out.
Gwen from Anchorage, AK:
You're all a bunch of FRUITCAKES! John, do you have a memorable quote from a teacher you had?
John: Yes! "You all are a terrible, awful people, but that Oehser kid – I see greatness there."