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O-Zone: Easily offended

Posted Jul 29, 2013

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it . . .

Joseph from Yukon, OK:
The Jags would have to be crazy to not try Denard Robinson at quarterback. They should at least try him there, don't you think? He could be the next Michael Vick.
John: You wrote of Robinson, “They should at least try him there (at quarterback), don’t you think?” No, I do not. As I said often during the offseason, Robinson is a gifted athlete who is entering his first NFL training camp trying to find where his strengths and weaknesses lie. So far, he has had issues with ball security in training camp and on Sunday, he fumbled during his first play taking the snap from the Wildcat formation. Robinson, while well-known and popular, is still a young player trying to find his niche in the NFL. The Jaguars need to do exactly what they are doing with him – let him work in the backfield and in positions around the offense until they find the role at which he will excel. That doesn’t include putting him permanently in a full-time role at quarterback.
Josiah from Jacksonville:
Yo, John, when is the scrimmage? I've never been to it and want to attend this year.
John: The scrimmage is Saturday at 6:45 p.m. and it’s open to the public.
Charles from Orange Park, FL:
Had such high hopes for D.R. Looks like a wasted draft pick . . .
John: We’re not there yet, Charles. Work in progress means just that – work in progress. Just as Robinson isn’t a star-right-out-of-the-box just because he’s fast doesn’t mean he’s a wasted draft pick just because he has had a few issues holding the ball. A fifth-round selection is a developmental player. Let’s let him develop, shall we?
Blake from Carbondale, IL:
How does a team decide what positions to use for special teams guys? For example, could a player like Mike Brown, who looks decent but has other players looking better than him, get a roster spot for special teams coverage to start until he gets better in the passing game? Or is it always defensive backs that cover special teams?
John: Special teams players can come from anywhere on the roster, as long as they are good on special teams. It’s not uncommon for wide receivers, running backs, defensive backs, linebackers and even defensive ends to have special teams roles.
Adam from Jacksonville:
I'm not buying the excuse of having to spread practice across the three fields because they need to use those fields between now and January. There are MANY practices that are not open to the public. During those practices, use the far field as much as you want. I don't understand the point of opening practice to the public, then holding practice as far away from the public as you can get. If it's important on a given day to use the far field, then just don't open that day to the public.
John: Um, Adam? It wasn’t an excuse. It was an explanation and an attempt to answer your question. Teams rotate the use of their practice fields all around the NFL throughout the course of camps and the season. The Jaguars can use whatever field they want whenever they want, but as I expected, after using the far field for much of the practice on Day 1, they indeed have used the nearer fields the past two days. I do understand that some fans were disappointed that practice was on the far field on Day 1, but this organization honestly is one of the most fan-friendly franchises in the NFL. I can assure you it spends far more time thinking about such issues than many teams, and over the course of time, I think most fans would tell you that’s the case.
John from Napa, CA:
Checking out . . . can't take the mood whatever crap. Peace.
John: That’s on me. I do know scrolling past things you don’t like in free internet content is difficult. My apologies. Peace.
Jim from Jacksonville:
Where can I get one of those jags moodachay shirts?
John: Email John from Napa.
Dirk from Neptune Beach, FL:
John, to me the team looks much faster. Are you seeing that also?
John: The Jaguars do look faster. I noticed it particularly during a late drill in Sunday’s practice when the offense ran two reverses/inside handoffs in succession. Mike Brown ran one way, and if memory serves, Ace Sanders ran the next play the other way. Each time, the receiver used speed to reach the corner. Those are the sorts of plays you probably will see from the Jaguars’ offense early this season as the team moves toward its offensive identity. The offense is going to search for ways to use the speed of players such as Sanders and Robinson. Their speed – and the speed of the youth all around the roster – is starting to show. Look for increased speed to be a theme in the coming seasons. It’s a huge priority for General Manager David Caldwell.
Aaron from Fairfax, VA:
Looks like Henne has the early leg up on Gabbert. I guess it’s really way too early to tell, but I like the competition despite who wins! #Moodachay
John: The second part of your email is probably more accurate than the first, which speaks to why it’s necessary to keep in perspective what happens on a single day in training camp. Henne indeed seemed to outplay Gabbert by at least a bit on Saturday, and I thought for a while he was on his way to doing the same on Sunday morning. Henne looked very good in seven-on-seven Sunday, and then Gabbert came back and threw two very nice touchdown passes to Cecil Shorts III and Mike Brown. By practice’s end on Sunday, it felt like Gabbert had played much better than he had on Saturday and that the two quarterbacks were about even for the day. I expect that same sort of back-and-forth competition for a while, and if you’re looking for a clear winner a few days in, it’s probably not going to happen. #Moodachay
Brian from Arlington:
So, what kind of car are you getting? #Moodachay
John: Oh, if I could only afford a car . . .
Josh from Neptune Beach, FL:
I don't remember a receiver looking as good as Cecil is early in training camp. Do you think this can be over-exaggerated or do you believe this is actually something to be excited about?
John: I always wonder about people who ask if it’s OK to be excited about something. This is the NFL. It’s sports. Above all else, it’s fun. Shoot yes, get excited. Why not? On a less philosophical and more specific note, it’s certainly OK to be excited about Shorts. He has looked very good in training camp and his practice Sunday was something for the archives. He was energized to the point where you almost wished you had it on film for posterity so you could go back and see and hear just what happened. He had two touchdowns, and a 40-yard reception on which he made a big-time play on the ball. If there is player on the Jaguars that looks like he’s ready to move into the elite category, Shorts is it.
David from Durbin, South Africa:
Is Boselli the type of guy that looks at himself in the mirror in the morning and smiles gently to himself?
John: No, but he has been known to like what he sees so much that he takes the mirror off the wall and carries it with him all day so he can show people the pretty picture.
Mark from St. Nicholas:
My apologies John, I haven't kept up with the O-zone. What is moodachay?
John: It’s a feeling. No, it’s a movement. No, it just is.
Bo from Dresden, NC:
How do you see the o-line shaping up? Does Luke look like the real deal?
John: The offensive line is shaping up as follows: Eugene Monroe at left tackle, Will Rackley at left guard, Brad Meester at center, Uche Nwaneri at right guard and Luke Joeckel at right tackle. On paper, it’s as strong an offensive line as the Jaguars have had in many years, in large part because of the presence of two Top-10 tackles – Monroe and Joeckel. You also have an experienced center in Meester capable of making timely, correct line calls, with two guards – Nwaneri and Rackley – who should be fully healthy for the first time since 2011. An issue is depth, and that’s a priority in training camp. As for Joeckel, it’s going to be intriguing to watch him Wednesday when the Jaguars move into full pads, but yes, he absolutely looks like the real deal.
Chris from Boring, OR:
Do you get offended if your son to his friends refers to you as "my old man"?
John: Not if he doesn’t get offended if I refer to him as “that kid I’m going to stop giving money to pretty soon if he doesn’t go out and find a job . . .” Wait. What? Who said that?

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