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O-Zone: Welcome to life

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Jeremy from South Korea:
The mantras of being patient because the offense doesn't become good overnight, it takes time to improve, and they'll be improved from last season could have been (and were) used last year, and the year before, and the year before ... So, here's hoping this year it proves true because the record is definitely broken.
John: I'm really not emotionally or mentally ready to talk about "mantras" or "patience" yet. Can we wait on those until a few weeks into the regular season – or at least until a preseason game or two has been played? I understand fans being tired of waiting for the offense to be productive, and I understand it has been said before. Boy, do I. I also understand this truly is a new offense with players who are still young and learning the NFL. In that respect, I can only write and say what I believe is true – that there will be some growing pains and it should be an offense that improves as the season continues. I expect the offense to be better this season. I don't expect it to set league records for scoring offense. I do expect it to be able to score in the red zone and threaten from further out on the field, and I think those things will give the Jaguars enough offense to feel noticeably better by season's end.
Christiano from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil:
People will only have peace of mind when they finally accept that Joeckel is not (and will never be) the new coming of Boselli.
John: I doubt that will give many people peace of mind, though you do speak the truth. The other truth to remember when speaking your truth is there aren't any left tackles in the NFL right now who are the second coming of Boselli. Or Walter Jones. Or Orlando Pace. Or Jonathan Ogden. Boselli was one of the best – maybe the best – left tackle of a special era, and it feels like it will be a long time until we see the likes of it again. As far as Joeckel, there have been struggles in camp and there have been better moments. If that sounds like last season, it's because it is like last season. But there's time for him to work through that. We'll see if he does.
Andy from Pittsburgh, PA:
John, I just started a Bold City Brigade chapter here in Pittsburgh. I'd appreciate it if you published this in the O-Zone and helped spread the word. Thanks! #DTWD
John: Wow. You seem very, very excited … I'm not sure why, but it seems … I don't know … like maybe you're a little too excited? Like maybe you're forgetting something …
Andy from Pittsburgh, PA:
I was so excited in my last email that I forgot to mention that anyone interested can reach us on Twitter @BCB_Pittsburgh. Thanks, erhm, again.
John: Cool.
Seth from Boulder, CO:
What are the chances the Jaguars could discuss a trade scenario involving Scobee for a future draft pick? A bit premature, but assuming Jason Myers lights it up for the whole preseason, do you think the Steelers would make an offer for Scobee? This would free up cap space for the Jaguars and maybe land them a late-round draft pick to boot. I'd hate to see him go, but this is a young man's game ...
John: This isn't a bit premature; it's wa-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ay premature considering there hasn't been a PRESEASON game played yet. One point to make here is the Jaguars have little reason to be making decisions or even to be worrying about freeing cap space. They have ample room under the cap. If – and it's still a big if – this competition intensifies and leads to the scenario you suggest, I suppose I wouldn't rule out a trade for a draft selection. It just feels like a long shot.
Tim from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Jason Myers did look good. It should be interesting, though, to see him react to actual game pressure instead of the friendly faces at scrimmage.
John: Yes.
Jim from Duval:
Sir O. Please tell me that "depth chart" just posted is only temporary? The "co-starter" stuff doesn't sit well with me and I'm sure doesn't sit well with the players, either. What's the coach's angle with this idea?
John: Jim, the depth chart was released two days before the first preseason game. It's an unofficial depth chart, so the phrases "take it for what it's worth" and "take a deep breath" come to mind. There are four preseason games to sort out who's starting at what positions, and besides, it's safe to say all of those guys listed as co-starters – Tyson Alualu/Ziggy Hood, Denard Robinson/T.J. Yeldon, Luke Bowanko/Stefen Wisniewski and Demetrius McCray/Aaron Colvin – are going to be on the team and play a lot. You need more than 22 starters in the NFL. It's starting to look like the Jaguars are reaching the point where they have a few more than that. As far as Gus Bradley's "angle," maybe he's … I don't know … trying to create competition?
Steve from Jacksonville:
Two thoughts. How does a player like Allen Hurns (who set significant records at Miami) slip out of the draft and come in as an undrafted free agent? Is he now a player the Jags might want to lock down long-term for his true value? Or is it too soon?
John: Two answers. One, Hurns lacked any one obvious physical trait for which scouts look – blazing speed, physical size, etc. When that's the case, a wide receiver is going to slip in the draft – and sometimes out of it.Two, while Hurns indeed shows every sign of being a solid, long-term player there's no hurry to renegotiate. He had issues with drops at times last season and he's still a young player; it's OK to let young players prove their worth for a couple of years before renegotiating. And even if the Jaguars were so inclined, players can't renegotiate contracts with teams until they have been in the NFL for three seasons.
Fuad from Jacksonville:
How early do you think Hurns would have gone in the draft if teams knew what kind of numbers he was going to have his rookie year?
John: Fourth or fifth round – maybe third.
Michael from Tucker, GA:
Hi John, I guess I'm going to have to be one to say this, but Toby Gerhart has been outplayed by every running back on the roster. Even Storm and Corey Grant looks better than Toby. When do you think the general manager will admit this experiment with him was a mistake and cut ties? #DTWD
John: When he agrees with you.
Richard from St. Augustine, FL:
With Aaron Colvin's skill set, might the Jaguars consider just assigning him to the opponent's top receiver wherever he lines up?
John: That's not a ridiculous idea in the least, though Colvin hasn't quite proved he's ready for that. And let's take it one step at a time. Right now, Colvin is dealing with a lot playing outside corner and nickel corner. The Jaguars want him to play nickel because he's a weapon there. Once he gets comfortable there, then maybe the Jaguars look into letting him follow a receiver from side to side for a while.
Mark from Jacksonville:
I just wanted to recognize and thank the entire Jaguars organization for the awesome summer they gave my eight-year old son Sebastian. Together we attended the skills camp, scrimmage, Splash Bash, and a number of practices. He has a cap full of autographs to show for it, pictures with his heroes (Scobee, Linder, Sen'Derrick, etc) and a pair of Poz's gloves which he carefully tucks away next to his bed every night. I think the players and Coach Bradley have really gone out of their way for all of the kids at these events. These memories are going to last and we'll be at EverBank Field on opening day for Sebastian's first ever game to make some new ones. I believe the Jaguars have a new a fan for life just like his dad :-)
John: #DTWD
Tom from Jacksonville:
Hard to improve a roster when you only seriously practice less than 30 days a year? For those of us who work our asses off every day, it's a joke.
John: I understand fans feeling NFL players don't practice enough, but to say players don't work hard is incorrect. Teams in the salary-cap era don't risk injury with full-contact work as they once did, but the NFL is far more of a year-round game than it was decades ago. There is offseason conditioning and players are always under pressure to perform to keep their jobs. No, they don't put in 40-hour work weeks 50 weeks a year, but you know what? They're professional athletes who have talents the rest of us don't; people are willing to pay them a lot of money for those talents. On that front, they're not unlike celebrities and yes, their schedules are different than mine. Welcome to life, I guess.

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