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O-Zone: Stating his case

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Christian from Titusville, FL:
Hi Big O, you hit the nail on the head answering my recent question about Chad Henne and his future. When I asked, I didn't realize he was only 30 years old, thus wondering if the Jags would entertain a younger replacement at some point soon. Anyway, I think Chad gets a bad rap when people look at his stats here ... those teams weren't exactly laden with weapons around him.
John: Henne is a very good NFL backup quarterback, and his re-signing with the Jaguars Thursday made perfect sense for both sides. He wasn't going to find a team assuring him a starting job – and while he could have signed somewhere to compete to start, it probably would have been with a team drafting a quarterback in the first round. In that case, his reasoning was it was better to remain in Jacksonville in a good situation than go elsewhere. From the Jaguars' point of view, they re-signed a player they trust and who works well with – and whose presence helps – Blake Bortles. It's win-win.
Ivan from Duval:
Since you covered the Colts during his prime, do you think Marvin Harrison should have been inducted into the Hall of Fame ahead of Terrell Owens?
John: I do. There are plenty of receivers and players as good as Harrison and plenty as deserving of being in the Hall of Fame, but the argument against Terrell Owens that reportedly dominated discussion in Hall voting early this month is strong. When was in his prime, the teams for which he played routinely and habitually wanted – and allowed him – to play elsewhere. That has to matter.
Xcontre from Savannah:
When can we win some championships?
John: Sooner than many think, though perhaps not as soon as many want.
Ryan from Durham:
Hey O-Zone, I think who we are targeting in the second and third rounds is more intriguing than the first round. I think we either draft Joey Bosa or Noah Spence in the first, but the next two picks interest me more. Can we have you guys discuss this more on the radio or give some insight on who the Jags could be pursuing and/or the positions they could be targeting?
John: We certainly will discuss this more in the coming weeks and months as the draft approaches. The problem is your percentages of being right or discussing a player the Jaguars actually will select drop dramatically the deeper in the draft you go. I believe the Jaguars will address speed on defense, interior line and backup running back after the first round. I'm sure we'll mention names and discuss possibilities, but to list specifics at this point – particularly before the combine – is akin to throwing darts at a board.
Matt from Fort Worth, TX:
O-baby! You gotta solve the riddle on how to get the Jags to the Super Bowl ... When a round table appears, their opponents the Jags will smear. Above .500 they will clear and a Super Bowl is near. What is the key to a winning record?
John: Rush the passer better. Run better. Get more efficient on offense. Play better defense on third down, so … rush the passer better. And run better. And …
Dan from Ormond Beach, FL:
I believe you may have misinterpreted Julian's question. On draft day BEFORE the Tennessee Titans make their first selection, Dave will have someone number rated No. 1 on his board. When it is the Jags turn to pick at No. 5, will he be able to draft THAT player, or will that player already be gone?
John: Oh. In that case, there's probably about a 33 percent chance that player will be available at No. 5. I would guess Laremy Tunsill, Joey Bosa or Jalen Ramsey would be the top three non-quarterbacks in the draft; there's a good chance Caldwell's board will look something like that. I think there's a good chance at least two of those players will be gone at No. 5.
Christian from Titusville, FL:
Hi John, with the discussion of Myles Jack, does the fact that we have a budding star in Telvin Smith who seems to have similar skills maybe make us think twice? I mean, I wouldn't put either of them on the strong side where they have to deal with tight ends, etc. They are both great in coverage. Are they too similar?
John: It's something to consider, but you also must consider what else Jack can do – and the style of football being played in this era. Third-down, passing situations are very important in the modern NFL – as evidenced by the Jaguars' season-defining struggles in them last season. If you can draft Jack – who reportedly has elite-level coverage skills – and have him and Smith both on the field in passing situations, is that not appealing?
Anthony from Duval:
Is Tashaun Gipson a serious play at free safety? He's younger and also led the AFC in interceptions for two years.
John: We shall see.
Tim from Jacksonville and Section 213:
I thought of this question while watching Michael Strahan: A Football Life. Who on the Jaguars would win in a brawl? Who is the most vicious, strongest, intimidating built-like-a-Mack-truck player? If there was one player you'd be afraid to interview lest you ask him the wrong question, what is his name? I will assume this man-among-men plays defensive line, but I could be wrong.
John: There's really not a player I'm scared to interview (these guys want no part of this man), but it's always interesting to wonder who would win in a steel-cage, last-guy-out brawl. My Final Four: Roy Miller, Brandon Linder, Jermey Parnell and Tyson Alualu. And of course, Carson Tinker. Watch out for that guy.
Peyton from Denver, CO:
Hey, Johnny O-Babe, remember me? I was a huge fan of yours when we worked together. I might have some free time soon and was wondering if you might need an assistant? I would love to come be a gopher for you and that guy PJ Shadrock. (He's so cool - wasn't he on the Flintstones?). Please let me know if you have any openings. Omaha my brotha.
John: P!?? 'Sup?
Ian from Detroit, MI:
So, with the news that Eric Weddle is more concerned with winning than money, do you think this greatly lessens the Jaguars' chances at signing him? Should he sign elsewhere, do you have any insight as to who the Jags are considering to fill the free safety position through free agency?
John: First, we don't truly know whether or not the Jaguars are interested in Weddle. Any speculation about any free agent right now is just that – speculation. Second, when the negotiating window opens March 7, Caldwell will contact free agents; if last offseason is any indication, he won't have trouble getting free agents to listen. The Jaguars have a better reputation among football people nationally than some believe. That's a roundabout way of saying I wouldn't rule out Weddle or any potential free agent before the signing period begins; what the Jaguars offer here has appeal.
Dave from Orlando, FL:
Johnny-O, Stefen Wisniewski is PFF's top-rated free agent center this year. In your professional opinion, does he stand any chance at being re-signed?
John: Yes, Wisniewski has a chance to be re-signed. I think the chances are greater that the Jaguars try to go another direction, but there's always a chance.
Frank from Potosi:
In the draft, if both Bosa and Ramsey are available who do the Jags take?
John: I'd lean Bosa because pass rush.
Frankie from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Why did the Jaguars put playing time incentives in Henne's contract? Why would you want your backup quarterback on the field?
John: They wouldn't, but the thing about negotiations is both sides have input. If Henne spends two seasons as a backup and playing sparingly, he will make backup money; the incentives are in place so that if Henne starts he can be paid more accordingly.
Scott from Gilbert, AZ:
Zone, there have been worse NFL careers than Daunte Culpepper's (UCF). He was on his way to being all-world with his historic 2004 season in which he set a single-season record, since broken, for the most total yardage produced by a quarterback in NFL history (5,123). If Blake can get close to 5,000 total, with T.J. rushing for 1,300-plus, I'd be good with that. Go Knights!
John: Scott, believe me: I spent many hours Friday listening to this same argument from Video Whiz Dave DeCandis, who alerted me of overlooking Daunte Culpepper in Friday's O-Zone not only by an early morning text, but by alertly and nimbly scampering a bull rush to my desk upon my daily noon arrival. Clad in UCF footies, clutching an absurd-looking wizard statue of some kind and curiously dragging a mobile whiteboard behind him, he eagerly and charmingly outlined/reviewed/slobbered over the glorious NFL career of Culpepper before concluding by saying, "Remember, O-Zone … Blake went to UCF, too!! He did! Really!!" So, yeah … go Knights.

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