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O-Zone: Weeping and begging

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Lance from Jacksonville:
Another brutal stretch to make that bye week. I guess it doesn't matter. I'll enjoy watching the Jaguars continue the role of being jobbers yet again.
John: The Jaguars' schedule, which was released along with the rest of the NFL's schedule Tuesday night, indeed is difficult at the beginning of the season. They have back-to-back home games against Carolina and Miami to start the season, and with six of the next seven games away from EverBank Field – including a home game against Buffalo in London – those first two games are crucial. But you know what? Schedules in the NFL aren't supposed to be easy. The NFL isn't easy. The Jaguars have four home games in a five-week stretch in the second half of the season. If the Jaguars negotiate the first half of the season close to .500, that second half of the season could look awfully interesting.
James from Socorro, NM:
So, 6-1 heading into the bye, then?
John: No doubt.
Jason from Dallas, TX:
John, I get it. London brings business. London brings revenue. It brings fans. But what about the fans at home? Jaguars fans in Jacksonville will see their team play at home once in eight weeks thanks to that "home" game in London. That's one game in half a season!
John: Yeah, it's not ideal, and the London home game does sometimes make it feel as if the Jaguars go long stretches away from home. But the London game in reality is an eighth home game and because it's not going away any time soon, the Jaguars need to see it as such. I guess the best way to frame it for Jaguars fans in Jacksonville is while there's only one game in eight weeks at EverBank Field there are two in two weeks at EverBank Field to start the season and four in five weeks in the second half of the season. That one game in London helps assures that those sorts of stretches will happen at EverBank Field for a long time.
Bob from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Looks like we are starting 0-4 again.
John: Not if you believe the Jaguars are improved it doesn't.
Cameron from Jacksonville:
Honestly, I like Greg Jennings enough to bring him on any team but ours. He's talented, and would bring a lot to this team. But I really feel like if we brought him he'd steal playing time from at least one of our bright receivers' futures. Every one of our receivers showed a lot of light going forward. How do you feel about this?
John: I think in today's NFL you can find time for three or four receivers to all play a lot. Also remember, it's rare for any position group to go through an entire season without injuries. There usually is time and opportunity for capable players to play on most NFL teams.
Gabe from Washington, DC:
Who's the backup for Roy Miller?
John: Abry Jones.
Joe from Port Charlotte, FL:
Johnny O, are you surprised our nationally-televised preseason game is actually the third preseason week – the one game that usually is the most game-like of them all? Jacksonville is definitely in the spotlight.
John: I confess to not spending too much time thinking about the preseason schedule, but as preseason games go, the third week is more high-profile than the others, so yeah – I guess I'd be a little surprised.
Jim from Jacksonville:
Hi, Zone. This news of Philip Rivers leaving the Chargers should be disturbing for the Jags. In my opinion, Leonard Williams is a no-brainer at No. 3, but if Rivers goes, the talking heads say he will most likely go to Tennessee or Cleveland. Hopefully, it's Cleveland, so Tennessee will be forced to take Marcus Mariota leaving Williams on the board at No. 3. Your thoughts?
John: I think maybe I'm old and maybe I'm tired and I think maybe too many draft-scenarios confuse this tired old mind. If you're worried about the Jaguars not getting Williams, then yes, a Titans trade for Rivers indeed is a concern. At the same time, if Williams goes off the board at No. 2, by definition that would leave a top-rated quarterback. That could lead to a trade, and that could be beneficial to the Jaguars, too.
Andy from Jacksonville:
What's in the future for Toby Gerhart? With possibly five running backs on the roster after the draft, wouldn't he be more useful as a fullback?
John: It's possible Gerhart could get some work next season at fullback, but I doubt he becomes a fullback in the slam-bam, bruise-the-line-of-scrimmage sense. But could he do some short-yardage stuff in the traditional "H-back" sense? Yeah, that could be a possibility.
Just Do It from Boselliville:
Drafting Todd Gurley with the third pick is fine with me. We took Fred Taylor with the ninth pick and that worked out pretty well.
John: Taylor entered the NFL with no history of ACL injury and did so in a different era – an era when running backs were taken in the Top 10 far more often. It's not completely out of the real possibility to think Gurley could go early, but it's just hard to see at No.3.
KC from Miami, FL:
With McCray and House starting and Colvin at nickel, where does that leave Gratz? Would he stay as depth at cornerback or would a try at free safety not be farfetched?
John: Yes, in that scenario Gratz would back up McCray and House. It's possible Gratz eventually could get a look at free safety, but I don't see it happening immediately.
Bernard from Tucson, AZ:
What if I told you that Dave Caldwell structured Alex Mack's contract NOT for last year but for NEXT year? He set it up so that Mack CAN'T be franchise-tagged again, and he'll be free next year. It makes sense with the Stefen signing. He pushes Bowanko this year so DC can see whether to stick with Bowanko or to go after Mack again. I mean, if Bowanko is not good enough, why pay multiple years for Stefen as center when you can have Mack. Just saying. #conspiracytheories #awesomegroundwork
John: I'm tempted to let this go unanswered because people like conspiracy theories – and because it's a theory I hear floated from time to time. It's a big reach to believe Caldwell last offseason approached Alex Mack, set up a contract with the idea of him not being able to play for the Jaguars, planned for Mack to play two seasons with the Browns, planned to play two seasons without a long-term solution at center, put clauses in the contract to allow Mack to be free two years later, planned for Stefen Wisniewski to be a free agent and not sign long-term somewhere … (deep breaths) … ah, who knows? Maybe Caldwell is that smart. I'm certainly not.
Ray from Jacksonville:
John: The defense of the hiring of the offensive coordinator from the only offense worse than the Jaguars' unit was that he did not have any talent to work with. Now, the team is bringing in players from the Raiders. Maybe MJD is available, too.
John: The Jaguars didn't "defend" the Greg Olson hiring, and they don't need to defend it. They hired him because they believed he's the right coach for the offense. They signed Wisniewski for depth and roster flexibility. Maurice Jones-Drew retired following last season.
Marty from Jacksonville:
O-man, why do people persist with the idea that we would sign veteran players to tutor or mentor younger players? Players play. Coaches coach. We don't sign players to be coaches.
John: True that.
April from Rincon, GA:
Okay John, talk me down from my ground-floor window, I'm panicking about the possibility of trading back into the first round (and giving up a pick or picks in the process) to take Gurley or Gordon. Please say, "I wouldn't worry about that." Dave Caldwell knows better, right?
John: We'll see. I'd say the best chance for a trade into the first round would be if the Jaguars trade back out of No. 3. In that scenario, I could see the Jaguars trading out of the No. 3 selection and gaining multiple picks to move down to a spot later in the Top 10. They could then use one of the selections obtained to move from the top of the second round into the first. I'm not saying that's a direction the Jaguars will go, but that's a scenario that could get you into the first round without sacrificing your draft.
Shaun from Jacksonville:
How would you view the situation if the Jaguars traded for Adrian Peterson as some reports suggest? It seems ridiculous to give up a draft pick and pay that ridiculously high salary when we could have just offered more for Murray. Not to mention this is a deep draft at the running back position.
John: Your scenario is indeed ridiculous if you think DeMarco Murray is as good as Adrian Peterson.
Peter from Maribor, Slovenia:
I renewed my BCB membership and just finished ordering New Era 2015 draft hat with Jville skyline. Both purchases are international - which means more expensive - and the hat will even be charged with the import tax. As an experienced, long-time husband, you can give me an advice. How to present it to my wife when the receipt comes up next month? I've been pretty much a prefect husband and father but I'm afraid all is forgotten when it comes to women understanding men's love for the sports. John? John? ... Anybody?
John: Do what I do when making a ridiculous purchase. Throw the receipt on the dining room table, roll up your T-Shirt sleeves so that your shirt looks "sleeveless" and say to the wife, "I run this household. Live with it." I either do that or weep and beg for forgiveness; I can't remember.

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