Slumbering like a newborn

Let's get to it . . . Tyler from Jacktown:
Wondering if you could shed some light on what goes on at a Pro Day that would make it even worth the time. I'm really tired of hearing of players looking "impressive." What could a first-round NFL prospect in a controlled, rehearsed setting without pads or any sort of opponent do that wouldn't impress?
John: A Pro Day is essentially a day at a college campus with players going through the same physical drills they do at the combine, with the athletes at a particular school going through drills for gathered scouts, personnel people and sometimes position coaches or head coaches. Pro Days have gone on a long time and like many aspects of the pre-draft process, they have increased in visibility in the last decade and a half or so. As a result, their hype in the media and public often exceeds their actual value in the eyes of scouts and personnel people. A Pro Day is what the combine is – another chance for scouts, coaches and personnel people to get their eyes on a player and see how he performs and behaves in a pressure environment. There is value to it, if only to allow the teams to gather a bit more information to go with the overall package of information on a player. I'm with you in one sense and that's that more and more this off-season I've had to laugh when I've read on my Twitter timeline about this or that prospect having a great Pro Day and improving his stock. I'm not sure I read more than one or two accounts of a player not having a great Pro Day and improving his stock. If everyone improves their stock doesn't everyone stay about the same? And yeah, you're right – these are elite-level athletes. They're supposed to look impressive when they work out. If I had a great Pro Day – now, that's news.
Spence from Utah:
At this point, I think the best pick would be Floyd. He is big, strong fast. Our defense was sixth last year with a ton of injuries. We were dead last in passing. Mularkey needs more weapons for this offense. With the seventh pick it is looking more like Floyd should be that guy.
John: Many people feel that way. I have my doubts that many people in the Jaguars' front office are among them.
Mike from Section 238:
O-Man, so who is more unfairly picked upon by our fans - Monroe, Alualu or Mathis?
John: These days it's a toss-up between Monroe and Alualu. Mathis played well last season, and perhaps most importantly he played well on national television against the Ravens. The commentators said nice things about him, and as a result, many fans finally saw what had been true for a while – that the guy was a good cornerback all along. I really have a tough time choosing between Monroe and Alualu when deciding who gets more unfairly criticized, but I guess I have to say the criticism of Alualu has been a bit more unfair. He has played at a high level despite a knee injury and was a big reason the Jaguars' defense improved last season. Really, as I think about it, I don't know that I would discern too much between the two in terms of criticism. Each has played well despite public opinion to the contrary.
Chad from Middeton, RI:
I was wondering if you have heard anything on the report that the Jags traded for Dwight Freeney? I really haven't seen much on it wondering if you had any inside information?
John: The report was an April Fool's joke by a blog. No truth to it.
Hal from Dayton, OH:
Giants, Saints, Ravens, Falcons... sounds like an opportunity to start the season off on a good note by proving that the Jaguars are as good as we expect them to be! Seriously-- what's with the fans complaining (less than twelve hours after the preseason schedule is announced) that it's too tough? Or even worse, declaring that we can't possibly win? I get that we had a rough 2011, but past performance is only a perfect indicator of past performance.
John: People are complaining that the preseason schedule is too tough? And that the team can't possibly win the games? I haven't heard these complaints, and while I don't pretend to know everything about everything I do know I don't worry much about how a team plays in the preseason and I worry even less about the difficulty of a preseason schedule or victories and losses during August.
Carl from Jacksonville:
It's probably a rare occurrence anyway, but do one-day contracts factor into the five-year Hall of Fame process? Case in point: Torry Holt. He didn't play at all in 2011 and just now signed a one-day contract with the Rams. Does his Hall-of-Fame eligibility start five years from now or is it just five years from the last time you played?
John: It's five years from the last time you played.
Brooks from Tallahassee:
I, too, think the Jags' needs don't match up well with value at the seventh pick. What have you heard and what do you think about the Jaguars drafting Nick Perry out of USC? I've watched his tape and, although he may not be an elite run-stuffer, he is impressive at getting penetration and harassing the quarterback. Unlike Ingram and Upshaw, his arm length will allow him to avoid getting engulfed by NFL tackles. He also stated during an interview at the combine that he prefers playing with his hand down as a 4-3 defensive end (in spite of most analysts projecting him as a 3-4 OLB).
John: If Nick Perry's tape was as good as his combine, he would be a Top 10 selection. I've heard of people in the league who saw him at the combine and came away very excited. After reviewing the tape and seeing inconsistency, that excitement cooled. He likely will be a first-round selection and will get a chance to prove those opinions, but that's sort of the file on him.
Sean from Philadelphia, PA:
Hey John, I went back in the archives to see if you were telling the truth about only promising the daily O-Zone's for no blackouts in the 2011 season, and you were. However, in that same O-Zone you stated that you weren't exactly doing labor-intensive work, which holds true. I will feel as heartbroken and lost as the day Ric announced his plans to move to Green Bay if you end your streak. It's not that you don't deserve a break, it's just that we the readers need your daily input to hold together our fragile sanity. If you ever have doubts as to whether you'll be able to continue, just watch this scene from your favorite movie for a little motivation?
John: I'm intrigued by your first sentence, which somehow implies that you expected me not to be telling the truth, and no, I've never overblown the whole streak by acting as if I was setting some sort of new standard for self-sacrificial labor. As for your efforts in researching this email, I mean this in the nicest way possible when I say you need a hobby. Try knitting, or perhaps gardening. I've heard it's therapeutic.
Laurie from Neptune Beach, FL:
"What if Kampman comes back stronger than ever? John: He would be very, very happy." I know a few thousand Jag fans that would be happy as well.
John: The number actually might be higher than that. I answered that question Thursday with some levity because I recently wrote a story on Kampman for jaguars.com and I've answered several O-Zone questions lately on him. I'm not sure what more there is to say. If he returns and plays at the level at which he is capable, then he's a huge addition and the Jaguars are pretty darned good at defensive end. Time will tell if he does that. He believes he will. Many fans are skeptical and it has been a year and a half since he played at a high level. That's the situation until it changes and that won't happen until August.
Brian from Jacksonville and Section 320:
"As for how many quarterbacks have reached that level, it's a handful, at best, so once in a lifetime – yeah, I'd say that's fair." I think you forgot what "once in a lifetime" means.
John: There's that argument. There's also the argument that in my lifetime only one player has won four Most Valuable Player awards. But yeah, I get your point. If we're talking once in a lifetime, then the number is zero.
Andrew from West Palm Beach, FL:
I hate to think it, but as a BAP team, if Richardson falls to 7, Smith has to take him right? Would the real trade value be not breaking the heart of the fanbase?
John: Smith doesn't have to take him, and if there's a trade-out option I doubt he would. But if you talk to people around the league, Richardson is a talent that would be hard to bypass. Personally I'm not a running-back-in-the-Top 10 guy, but that's me personally.
Jonathan from Lazi-Boy Chair:
Relax, fans. The reason John is able to post a new O-Zone daily is because he spends all of Monday-Wednesday doing all seven days at once. It is genius and it allows him to take those much-needed naps throughout the day. I like your style Mr Oehser, but I am on to your scam.
John: Oh, to be so organized and cunning as you say. While – as you say – I am indeed given to shorts bursts of genius when it comes to the pursuit of laziness, I am in fact too lazy to be diligent enough to stick to such a schedule. I tried it once, and by the day's second O-Zone I was indeed slumbering like a newborn, forehead on my laptop, keyboard beeping and drool puddling in my lap.

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