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O-Zone: Striking similarities

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Augie from Jax Beach, FL:
O-man, everyone compares BB5 to Ben Roethlisberger. He reminds me of Kurt Warner more than BR. Do you think there are similarities to Kurt Warner?
John: Augie, I have to admit this one inspired a bit of a "huh?" response from me. I absolutely agree with many observers that there are similarities between Bortles and Roethlisberger, particularly in the ability to extend plays and the ability to make big plays after they are extended; Bortles does this more with athleticism and mobility while Roethlisberger does it with strength and size. Bortles must turn the ability into the knack for winning big games with clutch performances that Roethlisberger possesses, but the potential certainly is there. As for Bortles-Warner, I guess there is a bit of a similarity. Warner could stand tall and make plays downfield, but Warner was a bit more of a quick-read, read-the-defense and beat-you-from-the-pocket quarterback. That's not Bortles' calling card. At least not yet.
Austin from Jacksonville:
Who will be our No. 1 running back? T.J. Yeldon or Chris Ivory?
John: I'd project Yeldon as the starter – if, that is, you must pick a starter. The reality is the Jaguars' running-back situation next season is going to be far more about rotation than No. 1 and No. 2 Guys.
Jammie from Foley, AL:
How will the Jaguars use T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory in preseason?
John: By rotating them and being as careful as possible not to get them injured.
Dave from Jacksonville:
I've read that many players around the league sleep in hyperbaric chambers to reduce recovery time and heal quickly from injury. Do you know whether anyone on the Jaguars roster does this, and how is it different from doping/PEDs?
John: I don't recall specific instances, but it does seem that Jaguars players have used this method from time to time. It's often something many players do routinely on their own. How is it different than doping and performance-enhancing drugs? I'm no scientist, though I did make mandatory, low-effort and futile attempts at both chemistry and biology across the river at Episcopal High School. What I can do is read the internet, and the internet tells me that hyperbaric chambers are about increasing oxygen intake to promote healing. Doping and performance-enhancing-drug issues are about banned substances. Oxygen to my knowledge is not banned, so that's a fairly fundamental difference.
Malachi from Frazier Park, CA:
John, have you been getting questions like this more often recently?
John: Yes. Wait. No.
Tim from Jacksonville:
I was wondering why the five-week break between minicamp and training camp? Seems like players would benefit from the ramping up of speed and contact from phase-to-phase in succession. If the break was before training began it would also give the rookies a bit more time off before beginning an NFL regimen, something some argue hurts rookies due to the long stretch of college football, combine prep and diving straight into OTAs.
John: Goodness gracious, Tim … players report in July for a season that ends in early January. Should they really extend that time?
Brian from Charlottesville, VA:
Why wouldn't the Jags play Myles Jack in the spot that Johnathan Cyprien plays on early downs? We're talking about a "player" who will play close to the line with an emphasis on stopping the run and who might need to drop back into coverage. That sounds a lot more like Jack's skill-set than Cyprien's.
John: I wouldn't rule that out as a possibility sometime in the future, though I do believe Jack's long-term future is at linebacker. The reason that's not the plan for now is the Jaguars are trying get Jack acclimated to the linebacker position first, after which they can see where they might move him around. The NFL is a different, faster game than college football and even a player as talent as Jack needs time to learn one position before trying to play multiple roles.
Patsy from Jacksonville:
"I hope to see a winning season sitting in my teal chair at The 'Bank this year. I hope to see and hear my friends in my section cheering our Jags to victories as one strong voice when time runs out in the fourth quarter. I hope the January playoff sun is as bright as it has been in my dreams. I hope. Remember "O," hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things and no good thing ever dies. I will be hoping that this email finds you, and finds you well. Your friend, Mandy."
John: Don't be obtuse.
Keith from Palatka, FL:
Do you think Bjoern Werner makes the 2016 Jaguars 53-man roster?
John: I doubt it. I think the Jaguars will keep Dante Fowler Jr. and Yannick Ngakoue as their Leos with Dan Skuta and Ryan Davis available to play a form of the position, too. That should give them the needed depth at the position.
Tym from the Southside:
O-Zone, Tony Brackens or Rashean Mathis? Elliot Harrison claims that Mathis is the Jaguars' best defender ever in his recent article, not even mentioning Brackens as a potential runner-up. Do you agree?
John: This answer depends on the specifics of the question. Do you mean the best defender for a game/short period? If so, then the answer is Brackens. When he was on and in his prime, he was as dominant as any defender in Jaguars history. Do you mean who had the best, most-productive overall career? That's probably Mathis. So, for the sake of answering your question: Brackens by a nose.
Al from Orange Park, FL:
I still think Bortles is going to lose the end of his tongue someday getting sacked. Or, am I being silly? I never played at the NFL level, and I won't bore you with my list of permanently damaged body parts, but I gotta say he's taking a risk. Just in case, do they make a prosthetic for that?
John: Are you serious, Clark?
Alex from Fairfax, VA:
Sometimes when I'm feeling down I think about what it would be like for the Jags to host a home playoff game again, and then everything is good again. Do you think this will happen within the next three years?
John: Absolutely.
Rob from Orange Park, FL:
Who do you think will be the most well-known name to most Jags fans that is on the roster now but won't be when the season starts?
John: This is a popular topic right now, which is understandable. The Jaguars' roster is improving; as such, players who once contributed may not be able to make this season's final 53-man roster. Possibilities would seem to include Denard Robinson, Josh Evans and Demetrius McCray, with Evans and McCray seemingly the longest shots of that group to make the final roster.
Thomas from Fernandina Beach, FL:
O-Man, how have Blake Bortles and the offense improved from last year to this point in the offseason? I understand they were in T-shirts and shorts, but give us hope.
John: I'm struck by the last part of your email saying "give us hope" – as if this offseason hasn't been enough to give Jaguars fans hope. Or as if Bortles and the offense did something in the offseason to not inspire hope. Bortles and the offense did exactly what they needed to do in the offseason: Bortles further developed chemistry with wide receiver Allen Hurns and tight end Julius Thomas, and wide receiver Marqise Lee had a healthy offseason. Wide receiver Rashad Greene also looks like he's improving. As for Bortles, he and offensive coordinator Greg Olson both said he became more immersed and more knowledgeable in the offense. That was the goal entering the offseason. What will all that mean next season? That's what we find out come September.
Fred from Chicago, IL:
What do you think the running back depth chart will look like? I mean, I just don't think Denard Robinson deserves a spot over both Jonas Gray and Corey Grant. Do you?
John: No question Robinson hurt himself with ball-security issues late last season. He also wasn't nearly as productive last season as he had been the season before. At the same time, he did have a stretch the previous season when he was extremely productive and he has been more productive with this franchise than either Jonas Gray or Corey Grant. As for how the depth chart will look, I doubt Robinson will be ahead of T.J. Yeldon, Chris Ivory or Jonas Gray, but could be make the team over Corey Grant? Yes.
Chad from St. Augustine, FL:
I think I am dreaming - did we REALLY get both Jalen and Myles?
John: Yes, and Fowler, too.
Mike from Jacksonville:
Are there times when a tight end might directly work with the wide receivers coach or offensive line coach?
John: Yes, a tight end sometimes will break off and work with the offensive line during parts of some practices. When that happens, the tight ends work with the offensive line coach.
Nameless from Jacksonville:
How are the O-Zone and Energizer Bunny alike?
John: They're both annoying and never seem to go away.

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