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O-Zone: Dream scenario

Posted Apr 16, 2013

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it...

Mr. Sir from Orlando, FL:
Do you know the two players Caldwell is considering? Would you pay him to tell you? Let me guess. DJ and Fisher, right?
John: Those guesses are as good as any. There will be people who have an “idea.” There will be rumors. Some will be right. Some will be wrong. Some will know for real. Some won’t know. I don’t know. Or maybe I do. No, I don’t. Yet.
Jamie from St. Augustine, FL:
Do you have an arch enemy?
John: I do.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
There is a widespread belief in this NFL era that the premium positions are quarterback, left tackle, defensive end, and cornerback. For the Jaguars' No. 2 pick QB (Smith), LT (Joeckel, Fisher), DE (Jordan, Ansah) and CB (Milliner) have been discussed. However, Milliner has been essentially ruled out by many because corners are not taken historically with a Top Two pick. If corner is a premium position in today's game and it is assessed that Milliner's talent is worthy of the pick, why should anyone be hesitant to select him that high? I don't clearly understand the argument against the Jaguars selecting Milliner with the second pick. Would you please explain?
John: Corners historically have been ruled out at No. 2 because if all things are equal, you would rather have a pass rusher, quarterback or left tackle at the spot. Usually, teams selecting No. 2 need players or player at one those positions, and it stands to reason there would be one worthy of falling in love with so high. The closer you get to the draft, the more you wonder if this is a rare year in which there’s not a quarterback or pass rusher to fall in love with at No. 2. That makes Milliner *perhaps* a bit more of an option at No. 2. But to answer your question, usually the idea of rushing the passer trumps getting a guy to cover one side of the field.
Ray from Jacksonville:
I would imagine that Dave Caldwell is not saying who his preferred two guys are so that every team behind them has to consider the possibility that the Jaguars will take a guy they covet. This might help make a more robust market for the No. 2 pick and increase the return if the Jags trade the pick.
John: Yes, it might. I don’t know how realistic a trade is at this point, but around the draft the less other teams know the better.
John from Jacksonville:
Just an example: I think that everyone would agree that Fred Taylor was a core player for the Jaguars, yet he was only voted to the Pro-Bowl once.
John: Ya think?
Andre from Ocala, FL:
How in-depth does "due diligence" get when scouting a player? Do they interview high school coaches and such?
John: There could be cases when they interview high school coaches, though that would likely be either an early-round selection or a guy who had some off-field issues. Going back as far as high school would often be a case of trying to dot “i”s and cross “t”s rather than part of the regular scouting process.
John from Saint Augustine, FL:
Conservative in regards to the draft means not taking unproven guys who have a lot of upside potential, at least in the early rounds. Conservative is NOT taking Matt Jones in the first round.
John: That’s probably a good way of putting it. I would put that sort of decision into the overall draft process, and say that would be a reason for not taking a player or moving him down. We’re probably talking about two versions of the same approach. I probably naturally lean to the more conservative approach in the first round, and I know former Colts President Bill Polian – under whom David Caldwell worked from 1996-2007 – believed in a “no big hits and no big misses” approach. That scares some people, because they associate it with not drafting for big-play players. It’s not that. It’s just being smart about your first-round players, because you better not miss there.
Mark from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL and Section 215:
Interesting that Tom from Melbourne, FL, challenged Tom from Melbourne, Australia, using a quote from an Australian movie (Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome) and another quote from Highlander that was directed by Russell Mulcahy from Melbourne, Australia. I was reading all of this while watching Adam Scott from Australia win the Masters. I think the Ozone is the nexus of the universe.
John: I used to really drink a lot of Foster’s. Sometimes, I still do.
Matt from Manassas, VA:
With all the names thrown out for the Jags to pick at No.2 either being Geno or a tackle (offensive or defensive), wouldn't it make sense to improve our interior line which has been a problem for just as long with Chance Warmack? If the draft class has no clear top guys does it really matter drafting a guard that high?
John: The issue again goes back to the value of the position – not to mention the need to look forward and not back. Yes, the Jaguars should improve the interior of the line. At the same time, you should be able to have effective interior line play without spending premium picks. Teams have done this for years because you generally need to spend premium picks on other positions to get quality there. The argument I often hear is, “Well, the Jaguars have struggled on the offensive line doing it that way.” Yes, at times they have, but that’s where the need to look forward and not back comes in. You must operate correctly and follow your philosophy. You can’t change things based on what happened here in the past.
Jody from Fort Pierce, FL:
Down to two picks? So do you think one of them is a QB? If so wouldn't it be the same as Gene did and reached for a QB? How'd that work out so far?
John: When did Gene Smith reach for a quarterback? Blaine Gabbert was projected by many as a Top 10 selection. Whatever has happened since, let’s not rewrite history and say that everyone at the time thought that was an awful selection.
Ryan from St. Johns, FL:
I am hoping the Jags go with something cool for uniforms. The way I look at it is, “Let's be the Oregon Ducks of the NFL uniforms until we can get a real contender.” It seems to have really improved their brand, as most kids now even in Florida seem to like the Ducks. Go crazy on new uniforms.
John: The new uniforms are cool. I like them.
David from The Island:
I don't how to "rate" Russell Allen, but my opinion of him changed significantly while making a tackle during one of the last plays of the year. The game was essentially over and Tennessee was running out the clock. Allen went into the hole, blew up the fullback and tackled the back for a loss. Then gave some lip to the fullback after schooling him. It was awesome. I re-wound that play several times. Anyone that does that is a bad man in my book.
John: Russell Allen is cool. I like him.
Trey from Jagsonville, FL:
So do you like the new uniforms? Are they cool? Thanks!
John: Eh, they’re all right.
Brian from Staten Island, NY:
John, were you big into the "hair" bands of the 1980s? Did you have your hairspray and spandex?
John: No. I was a punk/new wave guy. I started on Costello and the Ramones, moved onto the Clash and Sex Pistols, then dabbled in Black Flag, Fear, Minor Threat and – this almost goes without saying – the Blaine Crews Band in the Chris McFall/Steve Steve Bauknecht era. In an effort to get in with the girls, I moved to an almost prerequisite YAZ/Depeche Mode stage with the Smiths and New Order thrown in. I considered REM “my band,” and loved the Housemartins, Fine Young Cannibals and BoDeans at times. I was never into hairspray and only in recent years have I gone heavy into spandex.
Jeff from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Do you like the new uniforms? Are they cool? Thanks!
John: Why do you ask?
David from Monterrey, Mexico:
This is not a rhetorical question or anything. I truly want to know. If you have to play for just one play in the NFL and in said play you would be directly involved, which position would you choose? Wide receiver having a pass thrown to him would be an example, or the cornerback covering that wide receiver.
John: I suppose I’d picture myself as the quarterback throwing the deep ball to the post for a beautiful 80-yard touchdown. More realistically, the play would be an intentional safety, with me as the punter stepping out of the back of the end zone.

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