JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Nathan from Provo, UT:
"Blake Bortles must develop into a franchise-level quarterback?" We can't yet say that the Blake Bomber is elite? Read season stats on all the Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks. Compared to Bortles' 2015 stats ... anyway, it just sounds like I'm the only one who is stoked with our quarterback. #2016#1offense
John: Saying Blake Bortles isn't yet elite isn't a criticism; rather, it's acknowledgement that although Bortles made enormous strides in his second NFL season, there remain significant strides to be taken. We can say he very definitely has the potential to be elite. We can say it appears likely he can reach that level. We can say he gives the Jaguars hope for the future. We can say he improved in Year Two. But he's not yet elite. He must improve decision-making, increase efficiency and lead the Jaguars to more victories – a lot more, actually – to become elite. Look, everybody – fans, observers, people within the organization – is "stoked" about Bortles, but let's not call him something now that he still must become.
Ross from Jacksonville:
If you were there on Colt Fever Night … yeah, you were definitely there "Since Day One." Was that before or after the visit from Bud Adams and the singing of "the Jacksonville Oilers, Jacksonville Oilers, Jacksonville Oilers number one!"?
John: Before. Adams' discussions with Jacksonville were in 1987. Colts Fever was in 1979.
Otis from Duval, Raines High School:
I see talk about Colts Fever Night, but let's take it back a little. Do you have any stories about the Jacksonville Bulls?
John: The Bulls and the USFL came well after Colts Fever Night, but I actually I have very few stories about the Bulls. I was in college at the time and therefore far more concerned about trading in my old records for "new" used records at Hyde and Zeke's – that, and figuring out where my next beer was coming from. My Bulls stories are therefore personal ones. One involved attending the game in the Gator Bowl in 1984 when the Bulls beat Herschel Walker and the New Jersey Generals. That game was cool; I liked it. The other involved former Bulls safety Don Bessillieu renting a house from my father for a while in '85. Mostly, I remember hearing stories from writers who covered the league about what a cool, memorable experience it was and wishing I'd come along a little earlier. It's a largely forgotten league that mattered a lot and came really close to mattering a lot more; it would have been cool to cover it.
Ernest from Rockville, MD:
Hey John, ending Tuesday's O-Zone with a discussion of Rasberry Beret was pretty cool. Prince describes his work ethic on the job with the very cleverly written line, "seems that I was busy doing something close to nothing..." I couldn't help but think of you. Now that the Dead Zone has started I'm sure you'll be in rare form until training camp. Thank you John for being a shining example to us all!
John: Honestly, I'm really not sure I like your kind.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
Why should the Jaguars really entertain the idea of keeping three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster this year? With very few exceptions, aren't most non-franchise and backup quarterbacks a dime-a-dozen type players?
John: The Jaguars would keep three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster this season for three pretty simple reasons – that Blake Bortles is the starter, that Chad Henne is the best option right now for the backup and that Brandon Allen's potential is such that it makes it worthwhile to keep him/too risky to release him. It remains to be seen whether the Jaguars will in fact keep all three players – and whether they do or not largely depends upon Allen's development – but those would be the reasons for doing so.
John from Nowhereville:
Hey, O! After seeing the question related to how much Rashad Greene will be on the field, it made me think of the five-wide package. How often do you think the Jaguars will employ Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, Marqise Lee, Julius Thomas and Greene on the field at the same time? That seems like it would difficult to stop with Blake Bortles tossing the ball around. I can't wait to see that option with them pushing against the defense. Provide some insight, Mr O.
John: That's actually a four-wide-receiver package – although Thomas has a lot of wide-receiver traits as one of the league's better move tight ends. You could see that package some on third downs, though I wouldn't expect to see it much as the team's base formation. That formation will make pass-blocking difficult and also will make running a little more difficult. You might see it but it probably will be more of a wrinkle than a staple.
Ron from Jacksonville:
Do you see many similarities between Jerry Rice and Allen Hurns?
John: I suppose, but only on a very small level. That level is work ethic because Rice was known for his and Hurns certainly has a strong one as well. Beyond that, I can't rightfully say there are similarities. That's not a knock on Hurns; rather it's a statement about Rice, who not only was the greatest wide receiver in NFL history but quite possibly the greatest player regardless of position in league history. Rice so dwarfed anything any other wide receiver has accomplished that receivers really don't consider breaking or even approaching his records. He caught 224 more passes than anyone else in NFL history and has 6,961 more yards receiving than anyone else with 41 more touchdowns than anyone else. Those are some pretty important things to be a lot more than anyone else, and even that probably doesn't accurately reflect his greatness. There's Rice on one level and everyone else on another when it comes to wide receivers, so asking about similarities between Rice and a third-year player really isn't fair to either player.
William from Savannah, GA:
O-Man: Rebellion is the keystone of rock-n-roll. As such, Steppenwolf's "Born to be Wild" may be the definitive work in the genre. Just my opinion ... I could be wrong ... but I'm not!
John: Try not to fire all of your guns at once.
Tommy from Pensacola via Jacksonville:
It's that rare Saturday when you're lounging around watching some TV. You land a movie of such nostalgic value nothing is going to pull you away to another channel. What movie is it? For me, The Goonies and Hoosiers.
John: Remember the Titans.
Scott from Section 432 via Brooklyn, NY:
I too have been following the Premier League more than MLB, NBA, and NHL. My favorite team is Arsenal. Do you have a favorite team?
John: Not yet. While my son favors Manchester City, I watch the Premier League for the spectacle right now. I'm assuming at some point I will have a favorite team, so for now it will remain pretty much whoever is really, really good.
Donald from Orange Park, FL:
Yo, O! Cam Newton has been voted No. 1 of The Top 100 Players of 2016. I love the selection. I also wouldn't have been surprised to see Antonio Brown or Aaron Rodgers take the "crown." I was curious about your thoughts now that the voyage has been completed. #NowProveItOnTheField! #SeptemberTakingItsSweetTimeToGetHere!
John: Cam Newton is as good a choice as any for the No. 1 player on the NFL's Top 100 Players of 2016. He was the Most Valuable Player of the 2015 season, and deservedly so. He had an outstanding year, and while I would take Rodgers No. 1 if starting a team, Newton had the better year last season and led his team to the Super Bowl. As for my thoughts on the "voyage," I suppose you're referring to the entire list. I don't suppose I have that many thoughts I haven't already shared. It's good viewing for the offseason. It's a cool list. A lot of people like it.
Bryan from Section 244:
Season-ticket holder from Day Three Thousand Six Hundred and Twenty One. Does that make me less of Jaguars fan than the Day One season ticket holders? #latetotheparty
Weston age 11 from Greenville, DE:
I am confident that we will do great this year and the players seem to be confident, too. What do you think our record will be and do you think we will do well? With all the new additions I think our record will be good.
John: I do think the Jaguars will be good this year, Weston. I think they will be better than you likely will remember unless your memory from when you were really, really, really young is really, really, really good. Does that mean being above .500? Yeah, it could, so let's say 9-7.
Pedal Bin from Farnbrough, Hampshire:
Never mind the greatest Rock 'N Roll song ever Mighty O Man. What is the GREATEST song ever? (I'll give you a clue: it is Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb. If you disagree, well sorry you are WRONG).
John: This is actually pretty easy.
O-Zone: Wake up
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Nathan from Provo, UT: