JACKSONVILLE -- Let's get to it . . .
Oot from Silver Spring, MD:
I really hate to say this. I really don't want to believe this, but does it not look like the handwriting is on the wall for Jacksonville to be the eventual team to move to London? I don't see how it isn't, and that would just rip me apart as a lifelong fan.
John: I'll answer one London question this morning and move on. To spend question after question, day after day, on the topic is to feed a fire that we needn't fed. The Jaguars issued this statement in reference to this matter: "The commitment we made to the league is to play one home game in London in each of the next four seasons. That's our plan." I wrote on Thursday there was a chance there could be a second game, but almost certainly not a home game. That didn't mean there was a likelihood of a second overseas game. That didn't mean I thought it would happen. I meant, "chance," as in I wouldn't bet the mortgage that it wouldn't happen, because you never know how things will play out. All of that said, your question is, "Is the handwriting on the wall?" I would say it is not. Shad Khan has said since buying the team that he is committed to keeping the team in Jacksonville, and he has demonstrated that in several ways. He also has said it is necessary to find revenue streams, and to build the fan base, and to do that, it's necessary to think outside the box. The London series is outside the box. People aren't always comfortable with "outside the box," but that discomfort doesn't add up to a new mailing address.
Joe from Jacksonville:
You've got a shirt on that says "college."
John: We were just leaving, officer.
Brett from Jacksonville:
Even though it has been assumed for a while now, it doesn't make it any less sad to lose one of the Jaguars greats. Looking forward to see the number 52 right next to 28 and 71 someday.
John: You're right. Daryl Smith signed with the Baltimore Ravens Thursday, officially bringing an end to the Jaguars career of one of the franchise's best players ever. He almost certainly was the best linebacker in franchise history, and was among the best defensive players in team history. Had the Jaguars been more successful during his career, he likely would have been in multiple Pro Bowls. I covered Smith just two seasons, but thought he was a class individual and he absolutely had the utmost respect from teammates. No doubt he will be missed.
Phil from Duval, FL:
I'm a few days late on catching up on my O-Zone fix. Every time I open the page I end up putting my head down and napping instead.
John: Yes. That's right . . .
Jason from Guam:
Keith from Palatka hit it right on the money. I also remember Troy Aikman sucking it up his first two years, and look at his success story. I think we all need a little more patience and a lot more beer. That's all I'm saying, John.
John: You've jumped back into the Blaine Gabbert question, which isn't surprising because that's where everyone seems to enjoy landing this offseason. As we come to an end of organized team activities, I'd say Gabbert's 2013 offseason story is about where we expected it to be in early June. He has looked good at times in organized team activities, and at times he has looked the part (so, incidentally, has Chad Henne). Nothing has happened in OTAs to make me believe Gabbert won't be the starter. He has to earn the job in training camp, and I believe he will. We can talk about fans being patient all we want, but fans' patience doesn't actually matter too much. If Gabbert wins the job, he's going to get his chance in this new scheme. As for Aikman comparisons, they're valid. There are far more cases of players not developing after starts such as Gabbert has had, and that's what makes people skeptical. But Gabbert certainly has the talent to make an Aikman-type turnaround possible.
Paul from Jacksonville:
You had me at, "I could go on about this topic for much longer than most readers would find remotely interesting."
John: You had me at, "You had me at . . ." WHOA!!
Ron from Guttenberg:
Since going to London this upcoming season is a big deal, who in the Jaguar organization is covered to go – expenses paid? Are you even covered to go? Times are tough and I wouldn't be surprised if you and others (maybe J.P.) will have to hitchhike by cargo ships to get there. What's your plan?
John: J.P. is good to go, first-class, expenses paid. He has that kind of clout around this building. Don't ask me why, but he does. I keep asking about me, and I've wangled a deal that involves me packing myself in a crate with air holes, fending for myself as far as getting out upon arrival and finally walking to the hotel. I asked what this meant in terms of my standing within the organization. I was told they'd get back to me when they figured out just what it was I did . . . so, basically, it sounds like they like me around here as much as might be expected.
John from Jacksonville:
Are the Jaguars rebuilding or just trying to give away prime players? I see the Ravens think Daryl Smith still has a little left in the tank! Now is the time to sign Tebow to beef that QB position up. I hope they don't wait until they are 1-5. That stadium will be empty this year. Is Shad Khan going to step in and demand better play at the QB position, or is he going to let this year slide by? I think if I were paying the Jaguars bills I would have to intervene at a minimum recommend a player who could both motivate the locker room as well as the fan base. Currently I don't think there is a strong desire to watch them this year.
John: Well, at least you didn't ask about London.
Phil from Woodmere, NY and Section Living Room Couch:
For anyone who doesn't understand how we can have a true quarterback competition while one player takes reps with the first team and the other takes reps with the second team, I have one question . . . Have you forgotten 2007 already?
John: We got into this topic a bit on "Jaguars This Week" Wednesday, with my boy, Tony Boselli, taking the stance that a team that didn't know its quarterback right now has a quarterback issue. My less blustery view was that while that indeed is true in the Jaguars' situation, it's not particularly unusual or unexpected that the quarterback would be uncertain. Henne and Gabbert were statistically relatively similar last season, with each winning one game. Gus Bradley has said to anyone who would listen that competition will be a cornerstone belief of the franchise, so to not have that competition extend to quarterback in this situation would be a bit disingenuous. In this scenario, there's really nothing wrong with having them compete – even deep into training camp if that's the scenario. And yeah, it did work in Jacksonville in 2007. Is it ideal? Of course not. Ideally, you want to know your quarterback and have that quarterback be a franchise guy. The Jaguars are not in the ideal mode. They're in the first year of a transition and part of that transition is finding the quarterback.
Sean from Philadelphia, PA:
Tr?egs, Victory, Magic Hat, or Sierra Nevada?
John: And then some.
Joe from Section 217:
When Jaguars players do get a chance to go on national television, how come none of them ever defend the Jaguar fan base and the misinformation about attendance issues?
John: A lot of them probably aren't asked, because that's typically not what shows have players on to discuss. Remember, too, that while players may feel passionately about their fan base, they may not know the exact details of the attendance and revenue. Not that they don't care about them, they just may not know the details as well as local media and many local fans. Put as simply as possible, it's the players' job to play; team officials can defend the fan base and attempt to inform the misinformed.
Ryan from DUUUVAAL:
I'm not buying your theory that NFL Europe didn't succeed because they knew the difference between NFL and NFL Europe. That's like saying MLS isn't successful here because we know we are getting an inferior product. MLS is definitely an inferior soccer product to Europe's and yet the league still seems to be successful enough. Most Europeans could careless and don't know anything about the current NFL product (teams, players, etc...)
Thrill from Section 236:
As someone who works with words for a living, can you identify when so many began misusing the word "impact?"
John: Ah yes . . . as my old high school editor at the Florida Times-Union, Nico Van Thyn, used to say a bit nonsensically, "When you work with words, words are your work." I not only can identify with the whole "impact" issue, I can confess to misusing it myself. I have used it on occasion as a substitute for effect or affect, whichever one is correct. It's lazy. That doesn't make it right, but it does make it sort of expected.
O-Zone: Sudden impact
JACKSONVILLE -- Let's get to it . . .
Oot from Silver Spring, MD: