JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Chad from Yulee, FL:
As excited as I have been since the draft, I am now just as worried Sunday will yield a similar result as so many games in the past. It has been the same story around here for a long time with losing these games far more than winning them. A loss this week won't ruin the season but a win would sure go a long way to changing that here-we-go-again feeling that frankly I am sick of feeling at 4:30 on a Sunday afternoon.
John: I'm getting this vibe from many O-Zone questions in recent days – and indeed, there seems to be some Packers Fear among the fan base as Sunday draws nigh. A lot of this seems to stem from pre-game nerves – that, and the fact that after a hype-filled offseason, Sunday's game suddenly is here and very, very real. Some seemingly stems from the Jaguars' struggles in the first half against Cincinnati in Preseason Week 3. Then there is the fact the Jaguars haven't beaten good teams in a long, long time; until a team has success it's difficult to picture it happening. Probably the biggest reason for the nerves, though, is that the Packers are a good team that has been established for a long time and the Jaguars are a young, ascending team that has yet to prove itself against established teams. That's a tough matchup on paper and it's a difficult matchup in fact, too. Sunday won't be easy. Fans aren't wrong to be anxious and to wonder how the Jaguars will fare. How will they fare? Perhaps the best way to say it is that Jaguars are capable of competing in this game. Now, they prove they actually can do it.
Jay from Duval:
Hey O, do you think keeping four tight ends is a sign Julius Thomas or Marcedes Lewis might not be back in 2017?
John: No, keeping four tight ends is a sign the Jaguars want to play four tight ends in games this season.
Matt from Easton, PA:
What changed between organized team activities/beginning of training camp and now regarding the utilization of Paul Posluszny? At that time, it was said over and over he would likely be coming off of the field on passing downs, especially with the addition of Myles Jack. Now, he's going to be a three-down linebacker? What caused the change of thought?
John: Many people – including myself – assumed that Posluszny would come off the field in passing situations this season. That assumption was a mistake. The reality is that Poslusnzy is a very good player who almost always is in the right position and is better player – yes, even in passing situations – than many people realize. The reality, too, is Jack isn't yet ready to play the all-important middle linebacker role as well as Posluszny. Remember this when you hear criticism of Posluszny. There is a difference between that criticism and reality – with the reality that he is a key member of this defense and not just in run situations.
Michael from Port Orange, FL:
Want a little help? Let me help with your stress doing the O-Zone: don't answer questions that are not football related, preferably Jaguar questions! Keeping with that thought I really don't expect to see this question make the page!
John: This input is of critical importance to me! I'll get on it immediately or whenever.
Rob from Miami, FL:
Dear O-man, how are the Jaguars doing with respect to the cap as far as the rollover and what is available cap going forward now that the roster is set? How constrained is Mr. Caldwell with respect to acquiring additional free agents in the short term after the flurry of moves this offseason?
John: The Jaguars are fine on salary-cap space – more than fine, actually. In order to remain that way, they must continue to make wise long-term decisions. That sometimes means not overspending to address perceived short-term needs.
Donny from Heathrow, FL and Section 132:
I could not care less what the Doom guy, Adam or Carl have to say about the Jags before the team has at least played a couple of regular-season games. Can we let the season start before we read about "fans" whining, complaining or threatening to not support the team because they disagree with the decisions David Caldwell and Gus Bradley made – or your insightful thoughts? You're wasting some of the reasonably informed fans' time reading this negative stuff before there's any evidence to have an informed opinion yet … is that too much to ask?
John: Yeah, probably.
Gator from Gainesville, FL:
I have a favorite NCAA team ... and an all-time favorite player. I have been a fan of three NFL teams: Denver, the New York Jets and the Patriots. I'm also about to be an MLB fan.
John: Well, it certainly sounds as if the Kannapolis Intimidators might be selling at least one extra jersey next season.
Dan from Jacksonville:
I get people are excited about Myles Jack. Telvin Smith has flash, too. I don't understand how this turns into Bash Poz. If you love football and watched this team the last few years and walk away saying, "Run Poz outta town," your perception is off base. I'm not saying Poz is going to the Hall of Fame, but on a defense that has been really bad – especially against the pass – the last few years, ripping Poz is unfounded and way off base. There have been times he was the only player making plays. When he left for injury last year the drop off was noticeable. If you want to blow a horn for Jack, let her rip, but lay off Poz. The one guy the coaches don't worry about is Poz. If you were on the field with him, I promise you would want him next to you. Here's one for Poz.
John: Hey, one fer Poz!
Jeff from Jacksonville:
I know players have set off days that are mandated by the league during the regular season. How often do players come in on their "off" days for extra work, medical treatment, etc.?
John: NFL players have one mandated day off per week during the regular season. For the vast majority of teams that is Tuesday during normal game weeks. Quarterbacks usually come in on that day to get familiar with the game plan and injured players almost always come in for treatment.
Bill from Jacksonville:
John, why is Gus Bradley saying Myles Jack will be primarily playing special teams this week and isn't sure where he "fits in" with the defense? A guy who was basically a Top 5 talent in the entire draft and has been all over the field throughout preseason is going to be covering kickoffs? Is this some sort of sick joke? Please tell me there's something I'm missing, John. Thanks! Go Jags!
John: What you're missing is Jack is still learning the defense. He has looked very good at times in the preseason but still may not be ready for a starting role. This is not unusual for rookies in the NFL – even talented ones. Jack will be on the field in a defensive role when he's ready. That may or not be this week. We'll see.
Aaron from Chantilly, VA:
O-Zone ... you really slice and dice with the best of them … not to mention you keep it above the belt ... I love this column. It's rich and classy.
John: Hey, one fer O-Zone!
Conrad from Richland, WI:
Did the Jags make any attempt to sign Josh Sitton? If not, I'm curious as to why? I know Joeckel is our newest guard but I can't help but think the addition of a Pro Bowl-caliber guard would be nothing but a positive for this young offense. Am I missing something here?
John: The Jaguars considered Sitton in the same vein they consider pursuing many players. He signed with the Bears for $10 million guaranteed. That was not deemed to be a market in which the Jaguars wanted to be involved.
Michael from Dumbfounded in FL:
How many "Ask John's" do you get a day? I'm curious because I would like to know if you just randomly select them or just like taking the time to answer these idiotic questions that people write in. I wish we knew the numbers on how many people have actually played any "real" football besides Madden. I read and read some of these questions on a daily basis and it just flat-out annoys me. That's why I'm hoping you tell me they are chosen at complete random. Unless you just flat-out make a ton of money, I do not know how you do it.
John: I do make an ungodly sum of money – as in, it would make you sick to your stomach if you knew how much I make (I know it does me). People who know me well know there are certain clothes and European lotions that simply must touch my skin on a daily basis – and these things do not come cheap. As for how and why I do it … I love people, Michael. I do it for the love.
O-Zone: What I did for love
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Chad from Yulee, FL: