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O-Zone: Unreasonable expectations

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Dennis Green formerly from Glendale, AZ:
Loved your view from your O-Zone on Marquise! Especially good to know Yeldon has that skill set to make defenses "plan around him" and "draw double teams." I'm glad he is who we thought he was after one training camp practice #CrownHim
John: First off, "Dennis:" there's no "u" in Marqise. It's M-A-R-Q-I-S-E. And secondly – and more seriously – of course saying that T.J. Yeldon is going to draw double teams and make defenses plan around him after one non-padded training camp practice is crowning him too soon. In just about everything I write for during training camp and the offseason, I make every effort to use a phrase something like "while we can't tell everything about said position in non=padded work …" So, that has been pretty well-established. The point I was making if I remember correctly was at this early stage it appears the Jaguars' offense has a legitimate chance to have a few more playmaking skill players than has been the case the past several seasons. From where I sit, it appears Julius Thomas, Allen Robinson and T.J. Yeldon have a chance to be such players. I'm pretty sure I also have written on this website in recent days that there's a very good chance that not all of these players we're talking about in such high regard are going to be as good as we believe; that's the nature of player acquisition at the NFL level. So, no – no one's being crowned. At the same time, I will say this: if Yeldon isn't good – and I mean really good – I'll be really surprised.
Ivan from Hollywood, FL:
It will be interesting to see if the Patriots' offense is not as efficient playing with regulation footballs. More fumbles, more dropped passes would be the basis for a pretty strong argument that deflated balls were a significant factor in the team's long-term success. Your thoughts.
John: My thoughts are that this will be something a lot of people monitor. I sort of doubt there will be a significant statistic to make people go, "Hey, Hey, HEY!!! SEE!" But we'll see.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
Jared Odrick has 16.5 sacks over 65 games. How will he improve the Jags defense this year?
John: Is that how many sacks Odrick has in his career? I honestly didn't know, because I don't really care. It's not that I'm not a big admirer of Odrick's work on field and on screen, but his sacks total is very close to irrelevant when it comes to his impact on the defense. I expect his biggest impact to be teaming with Otto linebacker Dan Skuta and even middle linebacker Paul Posluszny to significantly upgrade the Jaguars' strong-side run defense. That in turn will benefit the pass rush by putting offenses in more obvious, longer-yardage passing situations. The added bonus is that Odrick has pass-rushing moves and he should contribute in that area, but what he does there absolutely is a bonus and not a necessity.
Brett from Glendive, MT:
First off, bold prediction of the preseason: Jags 4-2 in the division, 9-7 overall (lose to Colts twice but actually win the AFC South with a Colts collapse). Now the question (of sorts), why does it seem like a surprise that Marcedes Lewis is making plays and should be a big part of the offense still? He only has been slowed by injuries; barring that, he has been the best option at the position for the last nine years and should really complement Thomas and provide a mismatch for defenses.
John: It's a surprise because a lot of people thought Lewis might be released in the offseason after the team signed Julius Thomas. But you're right that it shouldn't be a surprise. He's a talented player, and I have a feeling he's going to "surprise" a lot of people this season.
Jason from Oakland City, IN:
Living in a state of one of our division rivals (Indianapolis), it's a rare sighting to see a fellow Jaguars fan. But we are still yelling #DTWD! Just a shout out to the other fans rocking teal and black in Indiana; you're not alone! Also what's your opinion on Tuel? Will he make it past camp and be more than a camp arm? #Jagsnation #DTWD
John: I will be surprised if Jeff Tuel is on the active roster.
Jason from Jacksonville:
Two questions here: One, Chad has looked excellent so far. Has his name come up in any trade rumors perhaps? Do you think at any point during the coming year Chad could get traded? He's a definite starter on some teams. Two, is there still concern with Bortles? The video I've seen so far is that some of the passes are still quite wobbly, and some inaccurate. Is there plenty of progression? Or am I looking into it too much?
John: I don't think the Jaguars should or will trade Chad Henne; he's a quality backup quarterback and there's nothing wrong with having good players in backup positions. (Good teams in fact employ this strategy quite often). As far as Bortles, don't lose sleep or waste time waiting for him to look all-world in practice. He's not going to be a perfect practice quarterback. He's going to throw errant passes in practice and it's not going to be a picture-perfect spiral in practice. The Jaguars have seen what they wanted to see thus far. There is progression. A lot of it.
Tyler from Jacksonville:
In response to people questioning Chris Clemons, let's not forget that these guys are actually human beings. Personal days handling personal matters should be left out of public questioning, regardless of how much you like the football team he plays on. #moodachay
John: I think this is usually true, but I also think it's understandable that fans would question Clemons' desire to be here. While organized team activities and most offseason work are voluntary, they are still team-related events. When Clemons opted not to attend those the past two offseasons while all other teammates participated, he used up a lot of the equity and benefit of the doubt he might have received from fans. Now, I doubt Clemons really cares all that much what the fans say about this subject – and if he doesn't, that's more than OK. But had the player missing Reporting Day been Sen'Derrick Marks, Roy Miller, Paul Posluszny or the like, I doubt anyone would have made a big deal out of an 18-hour absence. That doesn't make Clemons a bad guy, but it does mean that him missing Reporting Day was news.
Tyler from Jacksonville:
Training camp is starting....Is it too late to get a new offensive coordinator?
John: Cute, but this topic has been played out already. Greg Olson is the Jaguars' offensive coordinator, and whatever your opinion of that, the reality is the Jaguars' improvement offensively is going to depend far more on the players' development – particularly that of Blake Bortles – than on Olson.
Jason from Falling Waters, WV:
How is Roy Miller progressing, and will he be ready for Week 1?
John: Miller progressed steadily after knee surgery early this offseason and he is practicing early in training camp. He appears to actually be ahead of where he originally was expected. Miller initially was expected to begin practicing limited with the team carefully watching his repetitions. The team undoubtedly is still monitoring his reps, but he has worked with the first team a lot during the first two days of practice and Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said Friday he appears pretty much 100 percent.
Sam from St. Louis, MO:
I'm a bit terrified of Goodell right now. He dealt out one of the harshest penalties in the history in the NFL simply because a single player was "more probable than not" to be "generally aware" (directly quoted from the Wells Report) that a player was involved in an offense that had previously only received a letter as punishment. (Example is when the Vikings were caught heating the balls) I'm straight-up terrified of what could happen to the Jags. It's not unreasonable for the Jags to be "more probable than not" to be "generally aware" of something in the future. What happens when we lose a first-round pick and one of our best players misses out on a quarter of a season for that?
John: Well, if that happens then it happens. I don't pretend to be privy to all of the information and behind-the-scenes goings on of this case, but I also don't remotely believe that Goodell woke up in January and said "I'm going to go after one of the NFL's best franchises and one of the faces of the NFL for no reason." But this is not a court of law. The NFL and NFL Players Association collectively bargained for the commissioner to possess these powers, and these powers he indeed does possess.
Nate from Golden, CO:
I had a hard time listening to what Marqise Lee was saying in his interview. I was too distracted with how bad that hat looked on you. I expect better from a man of your caliber.
John: Do you, really?

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