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O-Zone: Come back here next week

Posted Jun 15, 2013

JACKSONVILLE -- Let's get to it . . .

Dane from Jacksonville:
It seems like the Blaine Gabbert train is losing some steam. A few weeks ago it sounded like he was looking solid in OTAs, but lately I've read that none of the quarterbacks, Gabbert included, have looked good at all. Then, with the Kafka signing came more reports that the staff is losing faith in No. 11. Obviously, we'll learn more when training camp starts, but can you shed some light on whether he has improved, regressed, or looked the same over the past few weeks??
John: I don’t know how much “steam” the Gabbert train has had. What I mean is despite early speculation that the staff was “sold” on Gabbert and despite some reports recently that all the quarterbacks have struggled, the offseason approach always has been somewhere more in the middle – to get the quarterbacks prepared for a competition come training camp. There’s a limit to how much we who covered the OTAs and minicamps can report on what we watched. The team had rules in place restricting the reporting on that. But Thursday’s final practice was open, and Gabbert looked efficient at times and like a quarterback still developing and learning the offense at other times. He, like most of the other quarterbacks, was errant on at least one throw in an early deep passing drill. Minutes later, he came back in a red zone drill and threw one touchdown pass and another would-be touchdown pass that was dropped. Yes, training camp will be when all of this plays out, but in an effort to answer what I can of your question, I believe Gabbert will still win the job in training camp. I’ll have to see what Kafka brings during that time, but it still would surprise me if Gabbert doesn’t start the season.
mike from middleburg:
its great that you can write but pls stay away from the camera you my favorite read are not a actor
John: thats weird because an you my favrte writer probably its attention your meticulous to detail
Awesome Bill from Dawsonville:
I saw a lot of good things at the minicamp Thursday but what I noticed most was for the first time in a long time it looked like our receiving corps has some good depth. Specifically, Mike Brown made consistent plays and a few really nice catches. Where are you putting him on the depth chart come preseason? How likely is he to make it to regular-season rotation?
John: I’ve rethought Mike Brown during the offseason, partly because David Caldwell keeps mentioning him when he talks about the roster and partly because it’s hard to watch Brown and not be impressed. He worked out with Cecil Shorts III early in the offseason in Atlanta and a lot of the same work ethic and professionalism you see in Shorts this offseason you see in Brown. He also has made plays throughout OTAs and seemed to be getting open as consistently as any receiver outside Shorts and Justin Blackmon. I think he’ll be a hard guy to keep off the roster, and it wouldn’t be surprising at all if the early-season rotation other than Shorts was Mohamed Massaquoi, Ace Sanders and Mike Brown. I don’t know that I’d put the group up with the best in the NFL, but if you include Blackmon, it easily looks like the best group since I started covering the team again in 2011.
Brian from Bold City Brigade, Atlanta Chapter.:
"I’ve always thought of myself as having the body type of an early 20s svelte Spaniard, muscles challenging my skintight T-Shirts and brown body glistening when I’m shirtless in the sun." I read the O-Zone at my desk while eating my lunch. In an effort to save my keyboard and monitor from damage associated with exposure to regurgitation, please don't ever do that again . . .
John: I’m not sure I follow.
Nicholas from Fort Lee, VA:
I have a newfound respect for players recovering from injury. While I only had a sprained ankle, it has taken over eight weeks to get to the point where I can run on it. MJD, please take your time in recovering so you can be 100 percent on game day.
John: There is a tendency at times for fans to forget that NFL players are human beings, and as such, sometimes subject to much the same timeframes and difficulties healing as the rest of us. These are not blips on a video game screen. Professional athletes often are built differently, and therefore can sometimes heal more quickly. They also have access to round-the-clock rehabilitation and some of the best trainers in the world, which can accelerate healing. All of that said, miracles are rare and the body often has to just, plain heal. My experience is most of these athletes hate being injured and are highly motivated to return, and are usually far more impatient than the fan when trying to get back on the field. There are exceptions, I’m sure, but the exceptions are not the norm.
Lost Angels, CA:
[John, please] Get away from the drugs you're takin'...!
John: Huh? What?
Cameron from Jacksonville:
Would it be a bad idea to go after Jamarcus Russell? We could get him at a low cost and I heard a radio station saying that a Bears scout actually compared his arm to Joe Flacco’s except he said Russell's arm was stronger and a bit more accurate. I think it could be a good idea and a good story if he were to make a comeback and actually be a solid quarterback, possibly a Pro Bowl-type quarterback?
John: It would be an even greater idea if he developed into a Hall of Fame quarterback and lead the Jaguars to five consecutive Super Bowls. I have been wrong before. Often. But in this case, I have gotten no vibe that the Jaguars are interested in Russell. Caldwell was asked on Thursday about roster moves between now and the start of training camp. While he said the Jaguars obviously would sign a player who became available if the thought was that that player could improve the team, he didn’t make it seem as if anything were imminent. It would just be a big surprise if Russell were signed by the Jaguars.
Erock from Jacksonville:
Beanie or McGahee? (Either to be signed to back up MJD)
John: I’d be surprised if the Jaguars made a move at that position before training camp.
Bryan from Nashville, TN:
Welcome... to the Dead Zone!!!
John: Yes, we’re there, but we’ll keep things as alive as possible on jaguars.com. We’ll have videos getting to know the rookies, live chats and stories periodically throughout the week. We’ll O-Zone every day, of course. It won’t be the 24-7, daily onslaught of razor-sharp wit and insight you’ve come to expect, but we’ll be breathing throughout late June and July.
Bryan from Jacksonville:
Last time I checked, I was not a billionaire so I may be wrong about this. But buying up large chunks of the city doesn't seem to me like the moves of someone who is moving to London. Seems more to me the London games are free advertisement to get people interested in occupying all that property you just bought and making your money there.
John: Yes, it does seem like that.
Spencer from Satellite Beach, FL:
Everyone has been talking about how Cyprien and Lowery are going to be the starters with Evans a possible starter this year or in the next two. But what about Chris Prosinski? I feel like he made huge improvements last year. How has he been looking?
John: He did improve last season, and he appeared to be improving throughout OTAs and minicamp. It would appear safety has a chance to turn into a strong area as Cyprien and Evans develop. I think Prosinski has a chance to make the roster and be a backup and a special teams player.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
I'm getting so sick of hearing about Gabbert's "intangibles!" Every interview I hear from players and coaches it seems like they mention his height and arm strength and his "upside." When are we gonna start hearing about his "tangibles," like completions and touchdowns, you know, the things that win games? I know he has been dealt a bad hand in terms of multiple coaches and systems, and being thrown into the fire too early, but if he can't pull away from Chad Henne in a quarterback competition, than do we have any hope?
John: You keep saying that word, “Tangibles.” I don’t think it means what you think it means. Tangible is a measurable while intangible is something not clearly defined. You can clearly define Gabbert’s strengths. Size. Arm strength. He absolutely looks the part and when you see Gabbert it’s easy to see why he was a first-round selection. Rather, it is the indefinable things – the knack for making a completion in a difficult situation, feeling the rush, playing well under pressure – those are the areas Gabbert needs to improve. As far as him pulling away from Henne, training camp is less than six weeks away. We’ll see who pulls away from who and at what pace.
Tim from Tucson, AZ:
Thanks for the minicamp coverage...it sure was grand.
John: When you come back here next week, I want to see you again.

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