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O-Zone: Honing the craft

Posted Jul 16, 2013

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

Jim from Jacksonville:
The relationship between the Jaguars and FFC London should provide amazing synergy on both sides of the "pond." Youth soccer is hugely popular, so the excitement here will be huge. Jaguars practicing at the Cottage and the Whites playing exhibition matches at EverBank will be exciting. This may even influence an NASL team coming to JAX. What say you?
John: I say I have a few thoughts. First, since the announcement Friday that Jaguars Owner Shad Khan had purchased the Fulham Football Club, response among readers of this column – yes, both of them – has been overwhelmingly positive. They seem to get the spirit of this issue, and that’s that Khan purchasing Fulham is not about moving the Jaguars to London or in any way jeopardizing the team’s future here. The second thought is there are a lot of Jaguars fans who seem to have been interested in following the English Premier League, and many seem ready to adopt Fulham as their team. Finally, the overall reaction to the move just seems to be that the time is right for it. Perhaps not all Jaguars fans are quite versed in EPL, but the majority seems to see it as another part of the dynamic of a forward-thinking, international-minded owner. As for an NASL team coming to Jacksonville, we’ll see. There seems to be more of a legitimate interest in that possibility than I ever imagined there being, and it’s not out of the question that this could be the impetus for such a happening.
Eric from Jacksonville:
Point-oh-nine score years ago, my city pride began an exponential increase. The teal, black, gold are synonymous with relentless effort. The rumble in the jungle gave birth to a chant. Although no one truly knows its origin, "Moodachay" can be heard from the mouths and felt in the hearts of thousands and thousands of eager fans. This was my response when my girlfriend asked me what Moodachay meant.
John: Oh, boy.
Josh from Kokomo, IN:
Since Dwight Lowery spent time as a corner when he was in New York, could he play there? He’s 5-feet-11 and 210 pounds, which is ideal for a corner in Bradley’s system. We also seem very high on both rookie safeties.
John: There always is a tendency among fans to want to move players when there is a perception of surplus at a position. That’s why it hasn’t been surprising that I’ve gotten two emails in the span of a week about moving (first) Josh Evans then (second) Lowery to corner. The reasoning is sound, since Alan Ball hasn’t been talked about as a rock-solid lock to start at corner. While the talk of moving Evans or Lowery is understandable, I don’t sense it’s something that will happen. The team likes each player very much at safety, and in the case of Evans, certainly, it may be best to let him prove himself first at safety before you talk about moving him to a position he hasn’t played since early in his college career.
Mike from Atlanta, GA:
It's not called a Leo defense. It's 4-3 under you neophytes. I think Cecil Shorts III will have some big numbers this year, like maybe 1,300 yards and 10-plus touchdowns. Do you think Caldwell is going to pay him the type of salary his market value will command?
John: There’s no reason to think Caldwell won’t pay Shorts market value if he performs to that level. As for the name of the defense, no, it’s not called a “Leo defense.” All we’re trying to do is ask and answer questions here. There’s no reason to embarrass anyone by nitpicking definitions. But all that aside, why would they call it the “4-3 under you neophytes?” That seems wordy and a bit obscure.
Darrick from Jacksonville:
Hearing that Cecil Shorts III and Blaine Gabbert are going the extra mile this summer really gives me a warm fuzzy. If only Justin Blackmon could have been there as well. I know this guarantees nothing, but it sure sprinkles a little more hope on the upcoming season.
John: Let’s not turn this into a who-was-there-who-wasn’t list. It’s great that Cecil Shorts III, Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne, Mike Brown and Jordan Shipley were at Larry Fitzgerald’s camp. It’s an indication that they are focused and doing whatever it takes to be ready for the season. I like the idea of one’s profession being on one’s mind to the point where doing extra work isn’t “extra” at all, but second nature. Still, let’s not extend the issue too far. Just because they were there and Blackmon isn’t doesn’t mean Blackmon’s not dedicated. Players prepare for seasons in their own way, and there’s no indication that Blackmon isn’t just as motivated as the players who went to Minnesota.
Tudor from St. Augustine, FL:
Bradley looks just like a life mentor I had when I was younger. If his personality and drive is anything like the guy I know, the rankings will change drastically. That is all.
John: JP Shadrick had a life mentor. I think it explains a lot.
Satchel from St. Louis:
Can the Jaguars scout other teams’ practice squads during the year? When a guy is signed off of a practice squad do they know a little bit about the player or do they have to rely on preseason film?
John: They can’t attend other teams’ practices. When a player is signed off another team’s practice squad, it is usually based on a combination of the players’ preseason film, any regular-season game action the player may have had in the NFL and what the team’s scouting department knew of the player’s college careers and pre-draft workouts.
Dean from Rochester, NY:
It is now clear to me what Moodachay is, even beyond its original meaning, and even beyond the new Zen meaning. It is a sign for readers who clearly aren't reading the O-Zone daily. Not knowing Moodachay is like a badge of dishonor.
John: #Moodachay.
David from Section 123:
For the record, as season-ticket holders my friends and I were actually excited about having three games in December, because that's three games we won't be baking in the sun.
John: Scheduling, like many other things, is impossible to do perfectly. If the Jaguars had three home games in September, there would be those who complain about the heat, and others worried about not having enough December home games. My experience with schedules is that all of the preseason analysis sounds great through the preseason, and once the season gets going it’s usually about good teams winning games while negotiating whatever lies before them.
DL from Jacksonville Beach:
So I have been living in Qatar for 10 years now. A country mostly made up of Expats from all over the world. Had a cookout with my European friends last night and actually had a long conversation about Jags Football due to the purchase of Fulham. The few Fulham fans at the cookout already committed to the Jags, as they have just been waiting for such actions to help them follow a team. Even other European Club fans were very intrigued and now know the Jags more than any other NFL Team. KHAN YOU ARE THE MAN!
John: What was for dinner?
Ryk from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Sam. "Moodachay" is when you go to Main Beach just before dawn and the break is primo. You paddle out just as the Sun God caresses the livid pink sky and you catch the perfect wave.
John: #Moodachay.
Duran from Rapid City, SD:
The big national media guys were right on their predictions of our talent level, even though hopes were high. I can't help but think they are going to be accurate or their accusations of the team moving to London. I don't question Khan's dedication to the city. Can Khan's hand be forced to make the move by the owner’s committee or any commissioner-type people?
John: No.
Steve from Jacksonville:
How unusual is it for an NFL owner to own more than one team? Do other owners own franchises of other sports?
John: It’s not common yet, but it’s happening more. Malcolm Glazer owns both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Manchester United, while St. Louis Rams Owner Stan Kroenke also owns the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rapids and Colorado Avalanche.
Andy from St. Johns, FL:
Hearing about the extra work Blaine, Chad and the wide receivers are doing is encouraging. These guys are true professionals, putting in the extra work to master their craft. That got me thinking: What are you and JP doing this offseason to put in the extra work? For example, when you go home at night, do you answer every O-Zone question you get every day – you know, just to practice your writing? What would JP do to master his craft?
John: I indeed write practice answers every night, mostly focusing on rebuttals to the people who write in to tell me #Moodachay is stupid – even stupider than Uncle Otto and other “Dead Zone” jokes and storylines. I mostly stick to the “Sorry for the Subpar Content on This Free Website” tact, although I do slip on occasion, ironically criticizing them for things they do in their line of work that I know little about. I also of course, nap three or four times a week in the offseason just to stay in in-season shape, and I sneak out early at least twice a week even on offseason weeks when Mark Lamping is out of the office – just to make sure I’m ready for the “stretch run.” As for JP, he indeed works tirelessly every day mastering his craft. And has he? Well, let’s just say this: what the man can do with a television remote and a Spotify app . . . truly dazzling.

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