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One nice feature

Let's get to it . . . Rhett from Old Bridge, NJ:
Many across the league think at the end of this season Mel Tucker will have a few opportunities to be a head coach. Do you think Mel will leave the Jags or stay put with a team on the rise and a top defense?
John: I believe Tucker will be a head coach in the next year or so, and I believe he'll be a very good one. He is organized, passionate, connects with players and is an excellent communicator. I also believe he has benefited this year from being around Mike Mularkey, and seeing how Mularkey has in a short time established a different culture than existed before. Tucker took the first steps toward establishing that while interim coach last season, and Mularkey has continued in that vein. Tucker is young enough that he is in a position to wait until the right opportunity comes along, but when it does, I believe he'll take that position. And he should. As someone who likes and respects Tucker very much, I wish personally he'd remain here a while. I don't think I'll get my wish.
Dane from Jacksonville:
How does this year's training camp compare to ones in years past?
John: The difference in organization, focus and intensity is staggering.
Darrick from Jacksonville:
How does a team go about finding a Nate Bussey or any other decent player that may be hidden on some team's roster/practice squad?
John: NFL teams have scouting departments. People in those scouting departments scout other teams in the preseason and regular season, and routinely review game tape to gain a knowledge of every available player. In the case of a rookie who hasn't played much in the NFL, teams often rely on their evaluation of that player while he was in college.
Todd from St. Augustine, FL:
What's Derek Cox's status after the first preseason game? I haven't heard anything since he left the game. Did I miss it in one of the stories you wrote?
John: Cox is expected to miss two weeks. You're killing me, Todd. You're killing me!!
Scott from Chelsea, NY:
Much has been made about the Jaguars' lack of sacks last year. If you look at sacks per obvious passing play the Jags were one of the better teams. If the offense is better and other teams are playing from behind, they'll need to pass more which will yield more sacks. Hopefully a better offense and "Anger Management" will even lead to a safety or two.
John: You're exactly right about sacks often being a result of opportunity. When teams are running the ball in the second half, as often was the case against the Jaguars last season, by definition a team is going to have fewer opportunities. I'll use the season of Jeremy Mincey as an example. Many criticized his eight-sack season by noting that five came against the Colts. But looked at another way, the Colts' games were two of the few games in which the Jaguars held the lead late in the second half, thereby giving Mincey more chances in those games.
Cliff from Callahan, FL:
To all of those who are spazzing out over Gabbert's failure to "stand tall" in the pocket: Think back to Mark Brunell standing tall in the pocket in a preseason game – and suffering a career-altering injury. Seriously, you want Gabbert to risk the entire season on a preseason game?
John: I do not.
Steve from Jacksonville :
I completely "get it" and agree with it. Old, slowing receivers with prima-donna/character issues are NOT what I want on my roster. My question is why would anybody? It seems to be the consensus of those I consider to be the smarter NFL observers, but these guys get a crack at a roster spot on many teams. Are some rosters simply so depleted that these GMs have no choice or are they just frankly incompetent "fanboys" like many message board commenters?
John: It's not incompetence, necessarily. Sometimes, a general manager correctly believes a guy can come in and make just enough of a difference to make the baggage and risk worthwhile. Sometimes, a coach believes it. Sometimes, a guy truly has something left. But yes, sometimes it's incompetence.
Andre from Ocala, FL:
John...up to this point in your career what do you consider the crowning achievement with obviously many more to come? Just curious to see what you are most proud of in your work.
John: Well, there are a couple of Inside the Jaguars With J.P. Shadrick I'm pretty proud of . . .
Rob in Section 205 and Jacksonville:
I'm still a bit puzzled by the Britton move. Why isn't Bradfield moving to guard and leaving Britton in his natural position?
John: I'm struck by how many people are having trouble grasping this. This move is being portrayed as "the Britton" move, and that's the incorrect way to look at it. This move is about getting Bradfield in at right tackle because the team believes he may be really, really good there. It is Bradfield's natural position and Britton is probably better at guard than Bradfield is. It's about strengthening the overall line. This is not a case of the Jaguars saying, "Well, Britton's terrible at tackle, need to put someone at right tackle." It's a case of, "Let's see how good Bradfield might be," and the answer may be, "Very."
Odie from Rochester, NY:
Once we get Session, D.Smith, Cox, Mathis and Lane back for our defense.... Wait, did I mention Alualu? This seems all too familiar.
John: I guess I get your point, but the defense was pretty good last season.
Ed from Winston-Salem, NC:
Do you think the Jags should bring in Plaxico or Jeff Demps? Plaxico's hands and height could help in the red zone and Demps could add some speed to the RBs.
John: Demps makes more sense than Burress. Demps is young and could make sense as a kickoff returner. Burress – well, never say never, but the Jaguars like where they are at receiver. There's no feeling of, "Oh, my goodness – what are we going to do?"
Keith from Palatka, FL:
I couldn't help notice J.P. Shadrick gets on your last nerve by calling you "Johnny." "Johnny" is the diminutive form of John, of course. In the ancient Greek language if an "iota" was placed in front of an ending vowel it made the word diminutive. For example "tekna" means child, but "teknia" means "little" child (thus the diminutive iota). Perhaps you could explain to J.P. that your name is John and that you would appreciate it if he would stop using the diminutive "Johnny" since it seems to diminish and denigrate you. (I hope I'm not being an overly emotional, irrational fan).
John: Keith, right now J.P's not the one on my last nerve.
Justin from Jacksonville:
How bad is the Estes injury? Does it look like it might be long enough of a rehab that Mike Brewster has a good shot at making the team? Before the injury, I thought he would be a practice squad guy but I was worried we might lose him that way. Now I think he might be able to earn a roster spot.
John: The Estes injury is going to keep him out an extended period of time, and it looks as though that might mean the entire season. We'll see. And yes, it appears the injury could give Brewster a very good chance to make the team. Right now, he's running at backup center behind Brad Meester.
Greg from St. Johns, FL:
If a player muffs a punt or fumbles in a game, is there any "hazing" or extra-curricular activities the guilty player is subjected to at the next practice?
John: If by extra-curriculars you mean worrying about making the roster, then yes.
Lance from Jacksonville:
I'm not really too worried about our receivers, but our O-line still looks leaky. You're a big guy. When do you think Gene will sign you to play offensive lineman?
John: First off, no more using the word "leaky" to describe offensive lines that struggle to pass block. Not in the O-Zone. That's a pet peeve. It irritates me and although it's not rational on my part, emails that say "leaky" like this won't be used. I feel the same about "balky" to describe a knee. I don't dislike the people who do use it; it's just irritating, annoying and while I may be being petty, I'm taking a petty little stand. Second off, I like the makeup of this line as it's taking shape. It will take a while because pass-blocking does, but I see it improving and being pretty good. That is, of course, so long as they keep my name – and my bad physique – out of it.
Andy from St. Johns, FL:
Hey John, do you know that on the Jaguars website you can send in questions to this guy called the O-Zone, and he answers your questions? It is a nice feature.
John: I hear that guy just wants more money.

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