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O-Zone: Still the same

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Jared from Pensacola, FL:
How is Julius Thomas doing? A report said he was held out of OTAs but I do not see anything reported on
John: Tight end Julius Thomas indeed was held out of a couple of organized team activities practices last week because of tightness in his calf. I believe we reported this on at least once, but really, it's not our habit on to provide a blow-by-blow breakdown of every minor injury/absence in every voluntary offseason practice. If it's an injury of significance – as was the case with Marqise Lee's knee or James Sample's arm – it will be reported.
David from Orlando, FL:
O-man, during the draft, there was some talk that the Jags wanted to trade back into the first round. Do you think if Todd Gurley or Melvin Gordon had been available at the bottom of the first, they would've attempted to make that trade?
John: Yes.
Andrew from Sampson, FL:
Any chance Jaguars sign Red Bryant to a reasonable one-year contract even with Jared Odrick penciled in for his replacement and with the loss of Fowler?
John: I never say never – or rarely, anyway – but let's call this highly, highly, highly doubtful. The Jaguars re-signed Tyson Alualu to rotate with Odrick and released Red Bryant around the same time. That's the direction they want to go on the strong side. Fowler's injury, while certainly unfortunate, would have no effect on the situation. He's a Leo defensive end and the other players we are discussing play the strong side.
Jake from Section 124:
Hey O-man, why haven't we heard anything about Rashad Greene?
John: Rashad Greene has been discussed some during OTAs, though not much. Not every player gets discussed during non-padded practices, particularly rookies whose first task is to learn the system and get acclimated to the NFL. I've heard nothing to indicate that Greene isn't doing fine.
J. Hooks from Orange Park, FL:
I grew up in the Florida Keys, and as a musician, used to hang out in one of the local studios. The guy that ran the joint used to build custom Class A guitar amps. Warren Zevon was crazy about the sound and purchased one. While the amp was being built, Warren was there frequently, so I got to know him quite well. He was a great cat: laid back and really passionate about music, art and life. Unfortunately, he passed just before his amp was completed. We were devastated. Looking back, I wonder if that was a joke he pulled on us cuz he had us constantly tweaking that thing! Thought I'd share.
John: I think on some level he would have found the joke funny.
Steve from Ponte Vedra, FL:
It was reported last year that Clemons and Red Bryant were close. Does Clemons not showing up for OTAs have anything to do with Red getting cut so soon after last season? Also, did any team sign Red?
John: Clemons to my knowledge hasn't spoken to the media while away from OTAs, so I haven't heard that he has said exactly why he's not present – other, of course, that the rules say he doesn't have to attend. That said, I have no reason to think that Bryant's release upset Clemons to any unusual degree. To answer your final question – no, Bryant has not signed elsewhere.
Jared from Section 116 and Cantonment, FL:
Other than depth at linebacker and maybe a couple other positions, I see this team as set at most all positions offense and defense. While 7-9 or 8-8 may be what people are shooting for, if this team exceeds 9-10 wins I will not be surprised.
John: While I hesitate to the use the word "set" for a team that underwent significant roster turnover for a third consecutive offseason, there's little question the Jaguars' roster appears to be in significantly better shape than the past several offseasons. David Caldwell's plan when taking over as general manager in January 2013 was to build the roster through the draft in the first few offseasons, let those players grow and determine the strengths of the roster. After that, the plan was to supplement that build through free agency in the third offseason. The Jaguars did that, and the result is a roster that indeed seems to have fewer glaring holes than in the past. I've said often this offseason that I see the Jaguars being significantly improved and that they have a better chance to push for six or seven victories than I thought they had last offseason. I would be surprised if they won nine or 10 games, but I've been surprised before.
Matt from Gainesville, FL:
Hey, O: How is practice-squad eligibility calculated?
John: The rules are a bit confusing and wordy, but here are the basics. A player is practice-squad eligible if he has not accrued a season of NFL experience or if he played fewer than nine regular-season games in his accrued season. As of August 2014, teams also can sign up to two players with two or fewer accrued seasons. A player can be on a practice squad for three seasons.
Roger from Valdosta, GA:
"Build the team's fan base internationally" … How does this help the Jaguars in Jacksonville? I just can't make sense out of the idea. It's kind of like owning a business and hoping that you're supported locally but spending your money for supplies, goods, etc., out of town???
John: It helps the Jaguars in Jacksonville because the stronger the franchise is everywhere the more stable the franchise is everywhere. It's OK to have fans outside the city; in fact, it's encouraged.
Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
John, a football thought away from the Jags: Why do most football people go crazy about Chip Kelly and his "revolutionary" methods? What has he won in college? Nothing. What has he won in NFL? Nothing. I just don't get it.
John: I wouldn't sell Chip Kelly quite as short as you. He hasn't won championships, but winning a championship is hard. Usually only one team in every league does it every season. Kelly has been successful and he is unusual in that he has been successful doing it his way. In what often is a cookie-cutter league, doing things your own way stands out and seems very revolutionary.
Ryan from Apopka, FL:
So, since we are almost in the dead zone and getting random questions about football in the Olympics and what if all of our quarterbacks on the active roster get injured in a game, figured I could ask this question: How come when teams move like the Rams, Raiders, and Cardinals franchises their history goes all the way back to their beginnings, but when the Browns franchise moved to Baltimore, it became a new team and their beginning only goes back to 1996?
John: When the Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens, the outcry from the city of Cleveland was loud and immediate. It became apparent quickly that the league would expand to create a team in Cleveland that again would be known as the Browns. The decision was made to leave the Browns' history in Cleveland and start the Ravens as a new franchise with its own records. That was the case even though the entire franchise – coaches, players, etc. – moved to Baltimore. It was strange and essentially done to appease fans after an unpopular move.
Mark from Reno, NV:
I have noticed some teams have announced three-day practice sessions with other teams – i.e., Washington/Texans. Any news about the Jags doing the same?
John: There are no plans for the Jaguars to practice with another team during this training camp. Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley was asked about this earlier this offseason. He said while he's not opposed to the idea, the circumstances have to be right. It usually involves getting with a team you're playing during the preseason, and Bradley said it also helps if the teams have similar practice routines. It didn't work out this offseason, but it could happen in the future.
Abe from Fairfield, CT:
Why do you keep answering Justin Blackmon questions? There are only so many ways that you can say, "The team can't know anything until anything is able to be known" before it gets a little boring. Until the answer changes, no sense moving those questions to the front.
John: Thanks for the help. While I understand there are people who read the O-Zone every day, I learned long ago that this is not true of all readers. As long as people ask questions I assume that there are people who want answers to those questions. As such, I'll try to answer them best I can.
Johnny from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
What's the difference between OTAs and minicamp?
John: The rules are essentially the same, with the only real difference being that minicamps are mandatory and the final minicamp practice is open to the public. Other than that, the rules are the same in all "Phase 3 work" in that teams cannot hold one-on-one offensive-versus defense drills but can hold 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 work. All practices in OTAs and minicamps are non-contact with helmets and no pads.

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