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O-Zone: South of San Diego

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it... Mack from Santa Rosa, CA:
O-Man? Who won the scrimmage? Henne or Gabbert?
John: It's still way too early to declare a winner, but if I had to choose, I'd say Gabbert looked a little better. He started off very well and had two very good throws for touchdowns. That's not saying the much-anticipated "separation" took place. Henne had a very good stretch in two-minute work, but overall, I thought Gabbert looked pretty good for some stretches Saturday and maybe looked a bit better.
Michael from Altamonte Springs, FL:
O-Man! It seems the last time I heard Andre Branch's name mentioned it was in the interview you did with him where he said he would be a better fit in this defense. I feel like in the context of training camp, no news is not good news, so what's the scoop? Has he been pedestrian, on the verge of being good, or flat out awful? Oh, and MOODACHAY!!!
John: Andre Branch hasn't been much discussed thus far in training camp. That's not entirely unusual, because with limited contact, the early part of camp is typically about offensive players and defensive backs. The time for defensive linemen, offensive linemen and linebackers is the preseason games. Branch honestly is a player who probably needs to play better than he has thus far, and that needs to happen in the preseason games. He needs to start standing out because the Jaguars need to find pass rush outside of Jason Babin. Oh, and yes: #Moodachay.
Tim from Jacksonville:
How have Scobee and Anger looked? Haven't heard much about that group, but I'm hoping no news is good news.
John: It is. When a kicker and a punter are solid in their jobs, there isn't much to report in camp. If there was real competition, it would be an issue, but that's not the feeling right now.
Renee from Jacksonville and Section 104:
John, Mexico? Veiled threats? -- Are you inferring that JP has Mafia/Cartel connections!?! You better be careful, he may make you "an offer you can't refuse!!!" Go Jags!
John: I'm not inferring anything. I was just noting that there's darkness to Shadrick's past and it is sometimes best not to dig too deep.
Nick from Jacksonville Beach:
Let me preface this by saying I hope I'm wrong. I went to training camp Thursday and Friday, and the scrimmage. Cecil Shorts III is my favorite player on our roster and nobody hopes he excels more than me. But it seems he may be pressing a bit, and in doing so isn't living up to his full potential. I'm not worried about the fumble play, but more so about his drops and route running. There were at least three catchable passes he missed at camp, and I didn't see his name being called much in the scrimmage. What say you on these matters?
John: I say don't overanalyze a small sample size. Shorts caught a two-point conversion on Saturday, and had a nice catch early, too. If you look at the entirety of training camp, Shorts is far and away the best route runner and most consistent playmaker. He'll be fine.
Dennis from Port Saint Lucie, FL:
If the quarterbacks have not been able to get separation from one another, could the final decision be made by how they deal with pressure in the pocket?
John: That will be a part of it, but only in the sense that how they deal with pressure in the pocket will affect how they play. I'm getting a notable amount of questions about how the quarterback position will be decided, and people tend to want an exact percentage breakdown of factors. The decision won't be mathematical. It will be about Gus Bradley, Jedd Fisch and David Caldwell putting their heads together and figuring out which quarterback has earned the job.
Marek from Orlando, FL:
Hey John! What part of Gabbert's game would you say needs the most improvement? I know he is learning a new system, but is he having trouble with mechanics? Accuracy? Reading the defense?
John: Gabbert's issue in camp has been consistency, but let me say immediately that consistency is an issue for many, many quarterbacks in the first part of camp. There's a lot of installation going on, and receivers and quarterbacks are trying to figure out the details of the offense. Gabbert has had some decent stretches in camp, as has Henne, though neither has separated from the other. We shall see what preseason brings.
Craig from Jacksonville:
John, can you recall an NFL team in recent history that had such turnover in players and coaching staff from one year to the next? Throw in a second year of a new ownership, it has been a pretty dramatic transformation for an organization.
John: The Colts had dramatic turnover last season, changing nearly the entire coaching staff and a significant part of the roster. They didn't have the ownership change, but the makeup of the team is dramatically different. Your point is well taken, thought – the Jaguars are a drastically different organization than two years ago or even last year. It feels as though the changes are for the better. We'll see what the future brings.
Sage from Orlando, FL:
The NFL can't seriously be entertaining the idea of female refs unless they want them to get trampled by a bunch of big guys . . . Would be as wrong as female sports broadcasters (that cover men's sports).
John: Wow, Sage . . . the 1960s called. They want their outlook on life back.
Renee from Section 104:
John, can you pass on that the ladies who sang The National Anthem @ the scrimmage were awesome. It would be cool to see them during the regular season. GoJags!
John: #Moodachay
Sean from San Bernardino, CA:
Okay John, We know that the competition is fairly level at this point and maybe that way because of Gabbert's injury. My question is, when it comes to the tangibles, arm strength, accuracy, speed, and the deep ball, how does each QB fair against the other? Who holds the advantage in each category based on what you've seen?
John: The tangibles typically go to Gabbert, because physically he has a lot of tangible strengths. His arm is stronger, and he is fast when he leaves the pocket. Henne probably throws a better deep ball, but when Gabbert connects it's a thing of beauty. Henne probably is a little more accurate – at least he has been during training camp – but I wouldn't say he has a wide edge.
Satchel from St. Louis, MO:
Why did Joeckel play left tackle at practice with Monroe absent? Since he's switching positions, shouldn't he get as many reps at right tackle as possible?
John: Joeckel played left tackle with Monroe absent because the Jaguars wanted to get him reps there in case Monroe isn't available at some point this season. He will get plenty of reps at right tackle before the regular-season opener.
Bill from Jacksonville:
I know speed is what it's all about and the Jags have attempted to address that need this year. However, there was a time when the Jaguars were known as a team that could beat you physically with the likes of Boselli, Taylor, Darius, Stroud, and so on. Does this Jaguar team have a chance to be a physical team and if so, what players would fit that role?
John: Johnathan Cyprien, Paul Posluszny, Roy Miller, Kyle Love – those are four physical guys, and not coincidentally they make up the interior of the Jaguars' defense. The team will be physical up the middle – maybe not as physical as the teams you remember, and maybe not as physical as it will be in a year or two, but it will be physical.
Josh from Neptune Beach, FL:
I tend to forget Justin Blackmon is even on the team when I'm trying to figure out myself what we're going to look like on offense. After serving his suspension do you think he will immediately be a solid part of the offense or will he have an adjustment period?
John: I think he will contribute immediately.
Patty from New York City:
Shootin out the wall of heartache....
John: Bang, bang.
Beau from Jacksonville:
With the Jaguars having some questions at linebacker what do you think about LaRoy Reynolds getting a chance to start? I was watching tape on him and I believe he is an absolute steal. I like him a lot.
John: Reynolds is a guy people around the Jaguars are starting to talk about. I don't know about a starting role immediately. That's something that will have to be earned in the coming weeks.
Eric from Gettysburg, PA:
O - Sorry if this question was already asked. I was watching the latest View from the O-Zone video and noticed the dollar posted on the wall. Is there a story behind it? #moodachay
John: It has to do with a trip JP Shadrick and I took to San Diego just out of college. We crossed the border, and spent a day in Tijuana that, for me at least, turned into a week. We got separated and lost track of one another until we were hired by the Jaguars, and neither of us speak of it today. I can't repeat what happened except that when we left for Tijuana we were roughly the same age, and now I am nearly a decade and a half older. But do we remember? Oh yes, we remember.

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