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O-Zone: A wink and a smile

Posted Jul 11, 2013

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it...

Fred from Naples, FL:
I would like to preface this comment by stating I personally do not believe Shad Khan is planning a move to London at any time in the future and that he has shown time and again his commitment to the Jacksonville community. That being said, his attempt to acquire the Fulham Soccer team in London is going to do nothing to quiet those who say differently.
John: No, it won’t. But you know what? Khan’s motives and his commitment to Jacksonville have been questioned by many outside the city since he purchased the team, and that probably won’t change whether he purchases Fulham Soccer or the Putnam County Panthers. Those who use his reported interest in Fulham as evidence of intentions to move the Jaguars are missing the point just as much as those who have used other events as evidence of the same. The bottom line remains this: Khan looks at this situation from a different perspective than national media and other observers. His is the perspective that matters. He continues to invest in Jacksonville, and continues to be a huge proponent of the city and its growth. He also wants the team to have an international presence, and purchasing Fulham would tie into that nicely. There has been nothing to suggest he is anything but genuine in his interest in making the Jaguars and the city of Jacksonville a long-term partnership. Until his actions truly suggest otherwise, and I don’t expect they will, little else matters on this issue – no matter how loud the noise is otherwise.
Alan from Jacksonville:
How surprised were you to see Denard Robinson gracing the cover of EA Sports NCAA Football 14? To me, it reinforces the idea maybe he represents a pretty good value for a fifth-rounder. I don't imagine too many players drafted 135th have had the same honor. Last year was Barry Sanders and RG III. I see Robinson is rolling out and is ready to toss the ball. Maybe if Coach Bradley plays the game he'll get some ideas?
John: I can only assume you’re putting me on.
Nick from Jacksonville:
I asked last week about home-field advantage against the 49ers in London this year, and I further stated that I doubt that would happen with Kaepernick at quarterback. You dismissed that having a hot young quarterback doesn't mean home-field advantage. I disagree. Hot young quarterbacks bring fans, and fans cheering are what give you home-field advantage, not additional money in the offseason. If we go to London the next four years and get trampled, what fans do you think we'll have left over there? We'll just be known as the team that everyone goes to London to have a three-hour long practice that you get a win against. We'll get money; they'll get the win and the fans.
John: We have different definitions of home-field advantage and that’s OK. You’re entitled to your view, however wrong it may be. Differing opinions can be fun. And I’ll grant you that Kaepernick could be the most-known player in the game come October. He quarterbacked in the Super Bowl last season, and with that has come fame. However, you have gone from that very logical view to the Jaguars getting trampled for four seasons. That’s a stretch. The Jaguars are playing a game a year in London over a four-year period. That makes it a long-term initiative, and a lot changes over the long term. The 49ers, for example, went 6-10 in 2010 and now they’re the team guaranteed to be the first “tramplers” in the London series.
Gino from Jacksonville:
I guess you hammered the nail in the coffin, at least thus far – in OTAs and minicamp – about Cecil Shorts III. Word has it in the streets that he is showing out at Larry Fitzgerald Camp. Your thoughts, sir!!!!
John: I’m not surprised. He has looked good enough this offseason that even I can’t miss it.
Jim from Nottingham, UK:
So where are they putting you up in London? Travel Lodge? Premier Inn? Franks B&B?
John: The Jaguars’ policy on overseas regular-season road trips is to book accommodations based on importance and in-team status. Gus Bradley and David Caldwell are in a castle on the picturesque English countryside. Word is they have me at a Super 8 as far away from the castle as I can get and still get a cab – or as you might say a “hackney carriage” – to the game.
Ian from Boston and Section 140:
I attempted to order #Moodachay last night at the restaurant, but the waiter said it was only served on Sundays at the ‘Bank.
John: Give me his cell. I’ll take care of it.
Satchel from Jacksonville:
I was confused when I heard the Jaguars were considering drafting Evans in the third if they did not draft Cyprien. Clearly, the team had a third round (or better) grade on him. So if he’s available in the fourth and fifth round, why did they wait until the sixth round to actually pick him?
John: They selected Ace Sanders in the fourth round and Denard Robinson in the fifth. That sounds like a smart-alecky answer, but it’s not. They selected Cyprien in the second round, then Gratz in the third. At that point, they had taken care of a couple of positions at which they needed starters. They also wanted to add speed, so they went Sanders/Robinson in Rounds 4 and 5. Once they got to the sixth, the grade was too high on Evans to pass up.
John from Jacksonville :
Moodachay has given new meaning to my existence. Thanks Carl.
John: “New” meaning?
Mike from Jacksonville:
With what you are saying . . . Blackmon probably a 1000-yard receiver, Cecil Shorts III probably a 1200-yard receiver, Mojo (if healthy) 1,000-plus yards . . . maybe we improve to close to .500 season. Those kinds of numbers don't usually exist on teams with losing records do they?
John: Perhaps. Blackmon, of course, will have a lot of work to do to reach 1,000 yards. I said he’ll be a 1,000-yard type of receiver, but it will be a difficult number to reach in 12 games. And it remains to be seen if Jones-Drew can be healthy enough to reach 1,000. I believe he can, but it does remain to be seen. If all of those things happen, yes, the Jaguars’ offense will be dramatically improved. Will it be improved enough to get close to .500? There are a lot of moving parts, including the defense needing to get a whole lot better, but close? Yeah, that could happen.
David from Monterrey, Mexico:
I was having a very bad day until... Moodachay!
John: #Moodachay.
Keann from London, UK:
How concerned are you with the cornerback situation at the moment? I'm sure you don't need any reminders, but Dave and Gus' 'laissez-faire' approach to retaining either Cox or Ross puts enormous pressure on a rookie, Gratz, to perform. I do wonder if Dave and Gus are holding out a bit too long to wait for their prototype aggressive cornerbacks and not making the best of what they have.
John: Loosely defined, laissez-faire means indifferent. Caldwell wasn’t indifferent to Ross. He released him and didn’t wait long to do it. The concern over Cox was ability to stay healthy, but we’re going over old ground. The Jaguars’ cornerbacks probably aren’t as good as they’re going to be in a year or two, but if it’s a group that is healthy and available all season, it can be as good as, if not better, than last year’s group.
Kait from Jacksonville:
Since preseason is looming, of course I start to think back to last preseason . . . Gabbert looked great, and the chemistry between he and Blackmon was at the time undeniable . . . and we all know what happened in regular season. I know better than to think of preseason wins as a sign of the regular season to come . . . and yet, I still do. I'm nervous, O-man! #moodachay
John: You think you’re nervous? I wrote that it was OK to be excited.
Phil from Belleville, NJ:
Talking too loud? Get away. Committed a sin? Go and pray. Going to Hawaii? Get a lei. April 31st? Must be May. Have a horse? Buy some hay. You were sailing along? Yea on Moonlight Bay. Wait who sings that song? Doris Day. You don’t say? But above all else.....MOODACHAY!!!
John: Congratulations on your free time.
Sue from Jacksonville:
Is Denard now the best OW in the NFL? When his rookie contract is up can we save money by hitting him with the franchise tag?
John: I suppose he is it the best “OW” in the NFL, due in part of course to him being the only “OW” in the NFL. We’re a long way out from franchise tags and free agency with Robinson, but for now, he would probably be officially designated a running back. That’s still going to be his meeting room.
Winston from Orlando, FL:
What do I do if I run into your henchmen?
John: Wink, smile and make fun of them as if you’re “in on the joke.” Henchmen love this.

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