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O-Zone: Staying golden

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Jerry from Italia:
John, sometimes growth is measured by the articles the Jaguars aren't in. It was interesting to see the Jaguars only listed as honorable mention in the "Weakest Offensive Position Groups" on NFL.com. Progress? I think so!
John: My thoughts on offseason ranking stories – and most other ranking stories, for that matter – are pretty well-documented. The stories are entertaining. They generate discussion. They generate page views, clicks and all sorts of other things that didn't used to be all that important but of late have become more so. And I'm fine with all of the above. I really am. But the rankings are also meaningless as far as anything relating to on-field reality. For that reason, I will stop short of saying growth is measured by such articles, but I won't stop short of saying, "Happy reading. Enjoy."
Mac from Neptune Beach, FL:
So, last year I feel like Chris Clemons' absence from OTAs was presented as being for personal reasons. This year we find out that throughout his career he has always skipped them. What gives O- did you lie to us?
John: I really don't care enough about Chris Clemons' absence from voluntary workouts to lie about them. He missed the first week of OTAs last year. Personal reasons were cited. He has missed the first two weeks of OTAs this year. Again, personal reasons have been cited. Personal reasons can mean many things.
Bill from Dansville, NY:
I am not retired and have better things to do but I am OZTWD!!!!
John: Bless you and your skewed priorities.
John from Jacksonville:
Bortles' style of play reminds me of Mark Brunell.
John: I suppose there may be similarities in the sense that both players showed mobility early in their careers. Aside from that, I don't see it. But I watched Brunell a long time and have watched Bortles for one season, so I'll give it time.
Chuck from Summerville, SC:
I am not from Jacksonville or Duval County, though I did live there when they first got the team. I live in Summerville, South Carolina, and am a season-ticket holder. The Jags are not the Summerville Jaguars. They are the Jacksonville Jaguars in Duval County. I'm proud to say "DTWD"!!!
John: #DTWD
Grahamm from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Why don't Jags games start at 4 p.m.? It would be cooler and also more fans would show up. A 1 p.m. start cuts into the whole day.
John: Teams don't decide start times; the NFL does. The answer, as it often is in the NFL, is very simple: television.
Redmond from Jacksonville:
I think the majority of us fans would sacrifice Bortles' longevity if you told us that we got eight years of Steve McNair's style of play and success.
John: I wouldn't dismiss McNair's success. He was a co-NFL Most Valuable Player in 2003 and played in a Super Bowl. He was phenomenally durable considering his style – and if you were told you could have McNair's career, you would probably take it. At the same time, there's a lot to be said for a quarterback playing a style that preserves his body for the short- and long-term.
Ryan from Las Vegas, NV:
I had no idea there were this many fans of Robert Duvall. #DWTD
John: He's popular in these parts, strikingly so. I've yet to figure out why.
Ron from Virginia Beach, VA:
Any word on if A.J. Cann has signed his contract? I didn't think there would be any kind of leverage for rookies.
John: Cann hasn't signed yet, and while that puts him in the minority, he's not alone. Because of the rookie wage scale, there's indeed little leverage anymore for rookies when negotiating contracts, but there are still sometimes delays because of issues such as timing of payments, bonuses or how the contracts are paid out. Those issues are minor enough that it's rare to see holdouts, but they're sometimes significant enough to delay signing a few weeks. But the reality is it's a non-issue. Cann and all other unsigned rookies can participate in the offseason. The only way it's an issue or a concern is if the delays extend into training camp, and that's extremely unlikely.
Jason from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Am I out of line to say it's ridiculous that A.J. Cann is still unsigned? It's a slot system for crying out loud.
John: I wouldn't say you're out of line, exactly. You're entitled to your opinion. You could make an argument that you are a tad overenthusiastic over an issue that's not nearly as big as you make it sound. Cann almost certainly will sign well before training camp. If he and his agent feel the need to push for a few details, it's a small enough deal to even be considered not a deal at all.
Patrick from Merced, CA:
I'm so glad Tom Brady won't be playing in Week 3; more of a chance for us to get a W (hopefully). Aren't you glad, John?
John: Sure, why not?
John from Boynton Beach, FL:
Your vendetta list continues to grow...Boselli, Shadrick, Scobee, Sexton and now Frenette! You are one black pony tail and tasseled suede blazer away from reaching Steven Segal tough guy status!!
John: Gene's on a list all his own. I'm not the only keeper of that list.
Mike from Eberton, GA:
Reading the O-Zone isn't so unproductive and sad. Now, trolling the comment section under it, that is a whole other level. You ever venture into that abyss O-man?
John: I've never claimed to be all that smart. I do know better than that.
Austin from Atlanta, GA:
What do you think about the Michael Bennett situation for the Seahawks? If this happens with a Jags player, I would be livid, considering he got a new contract … last year.
John: I'm never one to get too, too upset with a veteran player who misses organized team activities in the interest of pursuing more money. That's absolutely within his rights because OTAs are voluntary. I'm even OK with a player missing training camp if he is willing to pay the fines associated with holding out, though that area is grayer. A player has a short time to maximize his earning potential, so he has to use whatever means necessary to try to get what he wants. Realistically, the players almost always show up for the regular season, because that's when the paychecks start, so if he wants to make an offseason point, that's his right. At the same time, it's the team's right not to renegotiate and that's typically what happens. That's even more true with a player who is early in his contract such as Bennett.
Samwise from Shire:
John, you look fly in your headshot without your glasses. Why not always go with the two-eyed look?
John: You're right; I do look fly with no glasses. That's why I don't always go with the two-eyed look. There is a danger of me being so fly for so long a period that it inspires rioting. For the greater good, I go glasses.
Troy from Anaconda, MT:
Mr. O, if the Jags don't have a winning season are Gus and Caldwell on the chopping block?
John: The Jaguars expect to improve this season. When I say "Jaguars" I include everyone from Shad Khan to us Bradley to David on down to the lowest, most outlying member of the organization (/raises hand…) I don't know what improvement means in terms of a number. I don't know that there is a number, but if there was, I would assume it's probably more than four or five and perhaps less than 16. That's not specific, so to come at least close to answering your question I'll say if the Jaguars improve I expect David Caldwell and Gus Bradley to continue to run the football side of the organization. Khan realized from the start this was a long process, and if there is progress, I doubt he will be compelled to make a change.
Trace from Jacksonville:
Hey John, around this time of year (or closer to training camp), you start to hear the phrase "installing the offense." What exactly does that mean?
John: Installing the offense is the process of introducing and reviewing the offense with players, a process that begins in meetings, continues with film/playbook study and heightens when players are reviewed on the practice field. It's heard most often around teams with new offensive coordinators.
Doug from Jacksonville:
You have helped me more than you will ever know! Whenever my boss catches me reading O-Zone at work instead of finishing up those pesky TPS reports, he says, "Don't you have something significant you should be doing?" On those days I get caught by the boss and I go home to finish reading the O-Zone, my wife says, "Don't you have something more productive you should be doing?" To both I always wanted to say "No," but didn't have the nerve. Your affirmation of my importance has given me the strength to tell them both "Nope!" #OZTWD!!
John: Stay golden, Pony Boy.

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