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O-Zone live: A.J. Cann

Posted Feb 16, 2017

Jaguars RG A.J. Cann Thursday on O-Zone Live on Facebook: 'You’re going into a new year with a new coaching staff …You don’t know what to expect … All you can do is hope for the best'

JACKSONVILLE – This is a time to prepare, and a time to wait and see.

That’s how it is for a lot of Jaguars players during a 2017 offseason of transition and change – and that’s how it is for A.J. Cann, too.

Cann, the Jaguars’ starting right guard who will be entering his third NFL season next season, appeared on O-Zone Live on Facebook early Thursday afternoon, answering questions from fans on a variety of topics. Among them:

Just what is the atmosphere around EverBank Field right now, less than a month and a half after Tom Coughlin’s hiring as executive vice president of football operations and Doug Marrone’s official hiring as the head coach?

“You hear so many different things, but you don’t know what to expect,” Cann told senior writer John Oehser Thursday. “You’re going into a new year with a new coaching staff, and all of these types of things. You don’t know what to expect.

“All you can do is hope for the best and hope everything goes as planned.”

Cann, a third-round selection by the Jaguars in the 2015 NFL Draft, was part of an offensive line group that improved dramatically as a pass-blocking unit in 2016. After allowing 71 sacks in 2014 and 51 during the 2015 season, the Jaguars’ offense allowed 34 sacks in 2016.

That total ranked 15th in the NFL in fewest sacks allowed after the Jaguars allowed the most sacks in the NFL in 2016 and the fourth-most in 2015.

The Jaguars finished 22nd in the NFL in rushing in 2016 at 101.9 yards per game, but improved significantly in that area in the final nine games under offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.

“When we were down in some games we had to pass the ball a lot more,” Cann said. “I guess that allowed us to work on that because we were repping it so much and getting experience throughout games. When we ran the ball, it was here and there. We were able to build confidence in the passing game and I guess the run game was up and down.

“As an offense and as a team, we have to be able to keep that lead and be able to be consistent in what we do in running and passing the ball.”

Cann said from a personal standpoint he must improve consistency.

“There were some games I saw improvements,” Cann said. “But in some games it can fall off and not be as good as it was when it improved. I need to work on consistency.”

Cann said toward that end he is working on core strength this offseason.

“As an offensive lineman you have to have a strong core to be able to sustain blocks and have control over defensive linemen,” Cann said. “So, since the offseason started I’ve been working on a lot of core to try to make my core as strong as I could be to improve on that. …

“Sometimes I feel I can be on a block and a guy can slip because I’m not controlling him good enough. That’s why I feel like I can work on that core and be able to sustain blocks so much better than I did last year.”

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