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O-Zone: The wisest of readers

JACKSONVILLE -- Let's get to it . . . Brian from Orange Park, FL:
If Justin Blackmon injured himself during minicamp, why did he wait a few weeks to have the surgery? As it stands, it's questionable he'll be ready for training camp. Seems if he would have had the surgery promptly there would be no question as to availability. Who ultimately makes the call when surgery is needed - the player or the team doctor? By the way, I like fried chicken.
John: I've seen Blackmon's groin injury reported a couple of ways, with one being that he injured himself on the final day of minicamp. That's not completely on point. Blackmon had been dealing with groin tightness throughout much of organized team activities, and had missed multiple workouts as a result. He indeed missed the final day of minicamp, but this had been a lingering issue. Groins don't always need surgery, and in this case, the initial thought was apparently to allow it to heal with rest. He had surgery less than three weeks later, and reports are he may be back for training camp. Injuries aren't always precise if-then scenarios. In this case, it wasn't apparent surgery was needed until a few weeks after minicamp. As for who makes the call, it is the player's body, so he makes the call – with input from the team doctor, of course. Lastly, I'm not a big fried-chicken guy; I'm skeptical of any dish that requires peeling things off bones.
Shawn from The Mean Streets of Arlington:
John: What? What!!? Shawn!!! WHAT!!
Keaan from London, UK:
With Shad Khan looking to expand the Jacksonville Jaguars brand – and thereby, fan base – to London and the United Kingdom, how confident are you that there will be a noticeably large UK fan base for the Jaguars a few years down the line? I'm proposing this question given that us Jaguars are simply not an attractive team for UK fans to support if we're noticeably one of the less-prestigious teams in the NFL with bad regular-season records and most UK fans feel comfortable supporting their own favorite teams like the Patriots for example, from the comfort of their own armchair.
John: Your question assumes the Jaguars will continue to be one of the less-prestigious teams. If the Jaguars indeed remain that, then certainly it will be more difficult to build a fan base in the UK – or anywhere else, for that matter. The plan around here is for the Jaguars to improve on the field. If that happens, you'll see the energy around the franchise rise and the fan base will increase accordingly – on both sides of the Atlantic.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
On Saturday, you inferred that MJD reads the O-Zone. How do you know this and why would he?
John: Don't forget, I also on Sunday "inferred" that J.P. Shadrick showed up in Jacksonville last year carrying a duffel bag and a white rose.
Stephen from Tampa, FL:
Since the operators of the dome in St. Louis are at a stalemate over stadium upgrades leading to a potential departure, do national media start talking about them moving instead of the Jags – seeing as Shad Khan and the city seem to be working so well together? Also, living in Tampa, I love wearing my teal in a city that has blacked out so many games over the past few years. It makes me even more proud of my hometown of Jacksonville.
John: I can't guarantee what the national media will write about or predict. Remember, a lot of what the national media writes or talks about is based on speculation and perception rather than facts, so there may not be an immediate shift of conversation. Still, if uncertainty lingers in St. Louis, then the Rams without question will get their share of "move talk." The best advice I can give on this topic is to continue to focus on the actions of Shad Khan and the city and to continue to support the team. Khan has continuously said he's committed to making the Jaguars work in Jacksonville, and as long as the fans support the team, he has no reason to change his course.
Josiah from Jacksonville:
Where have you been on "Jaguars This Week?" You missed this past one and I can't stand listening to Boselli sharp shoot Lageman anymore. You need to throw your thoughts in there, man. I get tired of listening to Boselli disagree with everything anyone says. I listen to every show and love it; need more O-man and Shadrick.
John: Tony Boselli is a fine human being and not only one of the greatest football players of all-time, one of the greatest people in the world. I was unclear on this for a time, and then I spoke with him about it.
Tom from Jacksonville and Section 106:
I don't recall the Broncos doing a lot of naked bootlegs in their zone-blocking offense. But, the Texans sure do. Any idea which offense the Jags will more likely look like?
John: A lot of how much zone-blocking teams use naked bootlegs depends on the quarterback. The Broncos actually used to use a lot of bootlegs and rollouts in their zone-blocking offense, particularly in the 1990s when Mike Shanahan and John Elway were involved. Gary Kubiak, a disciple of Shanahan's, utilizes the bootlegs extensively with Matt Schaub in the Texans' offense. I don't know that you'll see that heavily incorporated in the Jaguars' scheme in the early going. I'd expect the emphasis to be on getting the ball out of the quarterback's hands and playing as up-tempo as possible. That doesn't preclude rollouts, of course, and bootlegs, etc., could be incorporated in time.
Shane from Section 242:
I get that the "move the chains" chant in no way hinders our offensive timing. However, it is dated and lame. It is embarrassing to see fans from the opposing teams make fun of it. Thanks for keeping us entertained in the down time, O-Man.
John: Don't worry so much about what other people say. If I worried about that, I'd never leave my office.
Carl from Jacksonville:
As long as we're talking about it, I always thought the problem with the "Move the Chains" chant is that it sounds like a bunch of drunks slurring and shouting "Moodachay, Moodachay, Moodachay!"
John: I laughed out loud at this. Then, I read it again and laughed out loud again.
Dustin from Jacksonville:
Do you know why I don't give any credence to media articles from trolls who don't know this team? Woody Paige, January 4, 1997.
John: That's one reason. A bigger reason is while stories from the media are entertaining and while people read them – thank goodness – the big picture is they just never, ever matter in reality. That's not to say they're not worth reading. Sports are entertainment, so media types – and idiots of questionable talent who do mailbags and ridiculous videos – have a place on the entertainment side of things. But what the media says simply has no bearing on the outcome of games. So, if you're one who gets in a tizzy about the latest media troll or the latest anti-Jaguars post from Mike Florio, Don Banks, Jason La Canfora and so on and so on, realize this: they are entertainment. Sometimes, they're wrong. Sometimes, they're right. But you hardly ever know in advance which it's going to be and their effect on reality is minimal at most.
Mark from Jacksonville:
Did I just read Tim assert that it's a bad thing that Jaguars fans cheer a lot when their team makes a first down? Wow...
John: Yes, wow.
Bryce from Algona, IA:
Another way to answer Eric from Boone, NC: Speed does not play as big of a role in the zone-blocking scheme; rather a one-cut, downhill runner with patience and vision is what is most important to making the ZBS effective. Thank you, that is all.
John: And yet another way to answer him is to pick up the phone and shout, "WHO IS THIS? MOM, IS THAT YOU?? WHERE'S MY POPSICLE? THE ANTS ARE TOO BIG TO GET BACK IN THEIR HOLES!!" I do this when telemarketers call, and I am able to get taken off calling lists remarkably easily. In answer to your question, yes, quickness and the ability to make the proper cut and commit to the offensive philosophy key the true zone-blocking offense. Remember, when we talk about zone-blocking scheme people automatically think "Texans" now and "Broncos" late 1990s, and those without question are effective schemes. You can also work a zone-blocking scheme around different style of runners. That's what good coordinators do – they adapt scheme to help make players successful.
Stephen from Abiquiu, NM:
John, I know you read my emails and I don't care (mostly) whether or not you post them. What I want you to know is that, for a long-distance fan, this column means a lot. Respecting your opinion is one thing . . . knowing that you respect the reader's opinion (well, most of us) is another. I'm a fan of the Jags... 365 days a year. I love the game and the tension building up to a new season... even each game. I'm 60 and I still learn from you and others. Ain't that cool?
John: It's always an honor to hear from my fan.

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