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O-Zone: Time's a wastin'

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Max from Las Vegas, NV:
Hey John, there recently was an article about which of the 32 general managers had the most success with rookies. Dave Caldwell was the worst. Now, I know this isn't true, but is it fair to base drafting success off of All-Rookie team players? Also, I thought Brandon Linder was really close to that last year. Did he fall short?
John: I don't know what fair or unfair means when it comes to offseason "ranking" articles. I suppose if you're going to rank something involving rookies, basing the articles off All-Rookie teams is as good a means as any. All of that said, rankings stories of any kind spark conversation but mean very little. Jaguars guard Brandon Linder had a good rookie season last season and so did linebacker Telvin Smith. I saw them mentioned – rightfully so – as being top rookies at various times, though I have no idea if either made any All-Rookie teams. More importantly that that, I expect a lot of the players from the Jaguars' last two draft classes will start playing better this season and start forming the core of the team. That means much more than offseason ranking stories or All-Rookie teams.
Chris from San Marco, FL:
How much of the Jaguars' 'local revenue' is attributed to playing in London?
John: Enough to make it worthwhile. The Jaguars have increased their local revenue by 25 percent each of the last two seasons. That's not all London revenue, but it helps enough to be significant.
Robert from Jacksonville:
An easier way to answer Roger from Valdosta's question as to his difficulty understanding how building the team's fan base internationally benefits the Jaguars in Jacksonville would be to simply say, "The Jaguars make more money that way, and money stabilizes a franchise, giving them little reason to want to relocate." Word.
John: I liked my way better.
Tom from Virginia Beach, VA:
Defense is playing faster/or is the offense playing slower! Or is the offense getting better because the defense is improving! August and preseason can't come any sooner.
John: I understand the yearning for training camp and preseason, and I guess coverage of unpadded OTA and minicamp practices can get mind-numbing. But overall, I don't think the coverage at has gotten all that wrapped up in which unit is playing better during OTAs and minicamps. I say that because while the offseason is important it's a little foolish to say one unit is "outperforming" the other in unpadded June practices. The general theme of OTAs and minicamp has been that the defense is playing fast and looking pretty good while the offense has perhaps been a bit slower. That's not surprising considering the defense is in its third season and the offense is in its first.
Deric from Jacksonville:
I know every team hopes to draft that "lightning-in-a-bottle" player who makes a difference right off the bat. This of course is especially true of the quarterback position. Why have we seemingly given up on getting a good free-agent player for running back and wide receiver and AGAIN fallen back on the "build-through-the-draft" mentality after not getting DeMarco Murray? Greg Jennings would have brought some leadership and knowledge to a young receiving core and there are still other free agents out there, none of which we seem to be in a hurry to pursue. Many of them, seemingly, would improve our team. I's hard to watch us be under the cap and NOT try to get more playmakers.
John: We're far from lockstep on this one. First, while teams certainly would like to draft lightning-in-a-bottle players, most teams don't reasonably expect rookies to dramatically change their fortunes immediately. That's especially true of quarterbacks. As far as the Jaguars' approach to running back and wide receiver this offseason, they pursued DeMarco Murray and Randall Cobb, believing Cobb could make a dramatic difference at the slot positon and believing Murray would be an upgrade. Once those players signed elsewhere, they opted to not sign veterans who they didn't believe were marked upgrades from the players already on the roster. As for "falling back on building through the draft," that's not how the Jaguars see it. They see building through the draft as their primary building mechanism.
Joe from Boston, MA:
Hey O-man, I know your opinion of national polls, and I usually totally agree. However, did you see Sporting News' rankings of NFL head coaches? I don't mind Gus Bradley being ranked 23rd, but I do mind that the picture they put up isn't even of Gus Bradley, but is of Todd Walsh. Thoughts?
John: My thoughts are I have no idea who Todd Walsh is, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone ran a picture of Jaguars defensive line coach/run game coordinator Todd Wash instead of Bradley. Wash gets confused for Bradley sometimes. Apparently, all bald people look alike.
Hunter from Jacksonville:
Any news on Blackmon? Like, since yesterday?
John: I'll ask.
Gabe from Washington, DC:
Have any of the coaches mentioned seeing an improvement in the play of Johnathan Cyprien? I know the pads aren't on yet, and I know he wasn't as bad last year as a lot of fans think, but he was a second-round pick and I think it's important that he starts playing like one of the building blocks of the team. Thoughts, O?
John: Jaguars defensive backs coach DeWayne Walker mentioned a couple of times during OTAs that Cyprien appeared to be playing faster and cleaner in the offseason. Cyprien does need to play better next season, and playing faster and cleaner once the pads come on would accomplish that.
Emiel from Jacksonville:
What sound or noise do you hate?
John: The sound of my voice, which makes it just one more thing my wife and I have in common.
Brian from Gainesville, FL:
Big O, every so often we hear stories around the league of offensive lines doing everything together as a unit. Lift weights together. Eat together. Socialize together. And so on. This seems productive in that one can think of a successful O-line as a singular, complex organism, or as a sort of special ops unit. Do the Jaguars conduct themselves thusly? If not now, have they ever? Do you think the line should do so?
John: The Jaguars' offensive line spent a significant amount of time together this offseason. Most of the members of the line were around EverBank Field all offseason and they were commonly seen eating together and lifting weights together. I also know a lot of the linemen socialize together. Should an offensive line do this? I suppose, but honestly, it's usually something that happens on its own.
Greg from Jacksonville:
John, do you think the Jaguars have what it takes to make it to the playoffs?
John: I think they have what it takes to improve. I can't predict playoffs just yet.
Jeremy from Section 230:
As a long-time reader and fan, I am excited about the switch from an outside zone to more of a gap-scheme, inside-zone running game, which I believe will certainly rejuvenate Toby Gerhart and the Jaguars' running game. There were too many times last season Toby was asked to run sideways, which was definitely not to his strength. Now with new scheme and T.J. Yeldon added to the backfield, do you feel our running game should be much improved or am I being too optimistic?
John: The Jaguars certainly believe an inside, downhill running game will play to more Gerhart's strengths. Couple that change with Gerhart being more productive late last season and you have a combination of reasons the team believes he'll be more productive this season. I think the Jaguars' running game will be improved this season. While the change in scheme could be a factor I'd say the maturation of returning linemen, addition of new ones and the addition of Yeldon will be the primary reasons.
Nick from Copenhagen, Denmark:
Having been part of the Danish football world for about nine years, I feel compelled to chip in on the Olympics discussion. Although an eight-team playoff tournament would be dominated by America, it would be enormously beneficial for the sport outside it. There is a thriving international environment for football, and I believe the Olympics could help it even further. Plus being an Olympic sport helps funding, which is always important. Have I been heard?
John: Yes, you have.
Samwise from Shire:
I never see anybody asking you about fantasy football. They must not trust in your analysis of our players. Which sleeper would you draft on your team? (Aside from J. Thomas, A-Rob, and TJ Yeldon).
John: I have no idea if people trust my fantasy analysis. That's because I rarely, if ever, answer fantasy football questions. It's not that I dislike fantasy football, but I don't play it and don't have enough knowledge regarding the various rules or various leagues to talk intelligently about the subject.
Brad from Roanoke, VA:
On average, about how much time to you take to answer each O-Zone question?
John: However long it takes to type as fast as I can without thinking.

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