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O-Zone: The Modern World

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Seth from Denver, CO:
I don't presume to know how to evaluate the potential of an offensive coordinator's impact on a team, but I sure hope Coach Bradley doesn't pick Adam Gase. I think Peyton Manning makes ANY offensive coordinator look good, not necessarily the other way around. Players, not plays, right?
John: To a degree, yes. It would be foolish to think a Jaguars offense coordinated by Gase next season would match what the Broncos have done the past two seasons with Gase and Manning working together. No question Manning's presence makes Gase's job easier; all-time great quarterbacks have that sort of effect on an offense. At the same time, Gase is well-respected in NFL circles and well-respected by Manning, who is quite demanding of position coaches and coordinators. So, no, you wouldn't want to hire Gase simply because he has worked with Manning, but you don't want to eliminate him just because of that, either.
Tommy from Jacksonville:
Does the Rooney Rule govern coordinator and front-office positions as well as head-coaching positions?
John: The Rooney Rule applies to head coaches and general managers. It does not apply to coordinator positions or other assistant coaches.
Sonny from Melbourne, FL:
Is there anyone in-house that was considered or could get the job of offensive coordinator?
John: No.
Stephen from Dublin, Ireland:
As a Bears fan growing up in Ireland I one day heard of this new team on my Madden NFL game and decided how cool it would be to support a team from the start of its NFL career. What a great decision it was, loving every year as a Jags fan but this one most of all; I got to see my beloved Jags in an NFL game at home – well, Wembley Stadium – but it was amazing and I'd like to thank everyone involved in the club and the fans for an amazing show. It's a great idea bringing the Jags to England for growing the fan base; also it is a chance for me to see the Jags. Do you think this will continue after the 2016 season and do you think I will ever see the Jaguars in Ireland?
John: I do believe the Jaguars will continue playing a game each season in London for a while following the 2016 season. Jaguars Owner Shad Khan has said he wants the team to continue in the International Series in London and I see no reason the league wouldn't make that happen. As for the Jaguars in Ireland, who am I to predict the future? #Dublintilwedie
Chuck from Tennessee:
Do you think Jack Del Rio will be more successful in Oakland than he was in Jax? Do you think he keeps MJD around?
John: I have no idea. Not for very long.
Peter from Maribor, Slovenia:
John, you were with the Colts during their better days so can you explain to younger Jaguars fans how the week of preparation between playoff games is different than regular season? Hopefully we'll be talking about the subject in January soon enough rather than trading out of Top 5 in the draft. GO JAGS!
John: The preparation for players and coaches is almost identical. That's their objective, anyway, and with the exception of sometimes having to adjust a day in the schedule for a Saturday game, it's pretty easy to keep practice and meeting schedules the same. The challenge is for teams that win conference championship games; there are a few days after qualifying for the Super Bowl that are very hectic and chaotic with travel arrangements and players and coaches dealing with family, friends, etc. The entire Super Bowl itself is actually very different with the travel and media requirements, etc. – but playoff games? The preparation actually is pretty similar to a regular-season week.
Ben from Indianapolis, IN:
I realize this is extremely unlikely and the Jags would like to take advantage of having their last Top 10 pick for a while (hopefully), but theoretically what kind of package would it take from the Eagles to move up to #3 to pick Marcus Mariota if he is still available?
John: Almost certainly much, much too much.
Tom from West Palm Beach, FL:
What are your thoughts on the idea of drafting Dante Fowler at No. 3?
John: If he's the best player available, I'm all for it. Right now I like the idea of Leonard Williams of Southern California there – but that's because I like what I have seen from him in very limited viewing.
Dwayne from Jacksonville:
As a senior writer, is being less consistent one of your goals?
John: I don't see how that's even possible.
James from Jacksonville:
What are our biggest needs in this year's draft?
John: A couple of thoughts here. One is you won't be able to answer that until after free agency, because I believe free agency will alter the starting lineup at least somewhat on both offense and defense. At that point, the Jaguars likely will have at least one area where they need to improve the starting lineup and there would be a good chance they would draft that spot early. Ideally, you want the Jaguars to not draft based on need, particularly after Round 1. They're closer to that being the case than they have been the last two offseasons, though they're probably not there yet.
Nathan from Richmond, VA:
I tried grating a road once, totally ruined THAT kitchen utensil.
John: Yeah. Point taken.
John from Ponte Vedra, FL:
Can you please clarify Mike Brown being signed by the Carolina Panthers from the Jaguars' practice squad? I thought once the season was over it just reverted to a 90-man roster. Does that now mean he still has to be on the active roster when the Panthers start the season? Does this mean anyone can just sign any other team's players that finished on practice squad?
John: Once the season ends, teams have the opportunity to sign players not on their roster to what are known as reserve/futures contracts. Those are contracts that allow those players to spend the offseason with the team and to go to mini-camps and training camps to attempt to make the roster. Quite often teams sign their practice squad players to these sorts of contracts. The Jaguars didn't sign Brown to such a deal when this past season ended; the Panthers did.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
Do you think we can get a prime-time game in 2015, not counting the Thursday game that everyone gets?
John: No. The NFL and the networks puts teams and games in prime time that they believe will draw nationwide interest. Teams that finish 3-13 and 4-12 in back-to-back seasons are generally not perceived to be teams that will draw nationwide interest. When the Jaguars get better, prime-time games will follow after that.
James from Jacksonville:
Good morning Mr. "O." I'm not very astute on the whole "zone-blocking" scheme. I would like to know if any other teams use it and have they been successful with it?
John: Yes. Yes.
Christian from Orlando, FL:
What sort of skill set and/or characteristics are the Jaguars looking for with the OTTO position?
John: The Otto should be a bigger, more-physical linebacker than the weakside linebacker, though perhaps not as fast. Realistically, it might be best to think of the Otto sort of as strong-side linebacker with pass rushing ability. Good players who fit that mold are rare – then again, good players are tough to find whatever the position.
Keegan from Lancaster, PA:
Simple question: Do you think we'll get better as a team next year? I was thinking we would at this point last year, but by the record we got worse.
John: Yes, I think the Jaguars will get better again next season. They got better this past season, though their record was not as good as the previous season. I believe they will improve again next season and I absolutely believe they'll have a better record, something I wasn't nearly as certain about this time last offseason.
Redmond from Jacksonville:
Do you believe that having a quarterback such as Brady/Manning makes the offensive coordinator's job easier as compared to if he had Tannehill as his quarterback?
John: Why in the world would anyone believe that?
Greg from St. Johns, FL:
Tell me how realistic my wish list is: Mike Iupati G, Bryan Bulaga RT, Suh DT, Rolando McClain LB … too much? Too wishful? Two (too) much of head cases (Suh and McClain)?
John: Of course it's too much. Of course it's too wishful. Every free agent list is too much and too wishful this time of year. I wouldn't be overly fearful of "head cases," though. David Caldwell has been pretty clear he isn't looking for choirboys, and he has been pretty clear that the Jaguars will stop at little to upgrade the roster this offseason. Will all those players you listed be available? We'll see. Do players such as Iupati and Bulga make sense if available? Yep. I like the idea of the first two – especially Bulaga – but I don't know how much the Jaguars will pursue McClain. We'll see.
Gary from Centerville, OH:
X-Box? What's that? Is that anything like my Intellivision? And get off my lawn!!
John: Go away. I'm playing Pong.

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