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O-Zone: It sho’ was grand . . .

Posted Jun 14, 2013

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it . . .

Randolph from Macon, GA:
I saw where Shad Khan is considering investing in the Shipyards. What’s up with that, and would that silence all this London talk?
John: Shad Khan was asked about the Shipyards possibility while speaking at an event at EverBank Field Thursday, after which the Jaguars released the following statement from Khan: “I’ve said all along, Jacksonville has great potential. Developing the north bank of the riverfront would go a long way toward achieving our potential. The shipyards are the front door to our home, EverBank Field, as well as the entire Sports Complex. A new life for the Shipyards would be good news for the Jaguars, EverBank Field, the Sports Complex and all of Downtown Jacksonville.” Khan’s interest in the Shipyards obviously says much about his commitment to Jacksonville, as has his continued significant investment in the team’s locker room, training facility – and, oh yes, the city’s NFL franchise. As far as “silencing” the London talk, I wouldn’t hold your breath. Silencing that sort of national speculation and assumption often takes time, but forget – please – worrying about what people are “saying.” It absolutely would be another sign of Khan’s commitment to this area, and that’s what matters.
Patrick from Some Coffee Shop in California:
Last year, I went to see the Jags play for the first time in Oakland, where I witnessed an upsetting loss. I'm going again this year. Do you think we could beat the Raiders this time around?
John: Yes, if they play well. No, if they don’t.
John from Jacksonville:
OK Jaguars . . . Willis McGahee is available time to pounce on it. I'd probably sign both Beenie and Willis! Just for a year to see how it works out. Go ahead, John, John, John, John . . . The object of all this is to score more points, win more games get to the postseason and win the big one right? It's so easy piece of cake, but you have to pick the right players to get you there.
John: Consistency is key. John, you are nothing if not consistent.
Alex from Jacksonville:
Denard Robinson=Darren Sproles 2.0
John: We shall see. Robinson certainly has speed and explosiveness, though I don’t know that it’s fair to compare anyone with Sproles in that department. He has breakaway ability on par with about anyone to play for the last couple of decades. Sproles also came into the NFL perhaps more polished as a runner and returner, having played those roles extensively in college. Robinson has a ton of potential, but an issue early will be finding the right role and him getting polished in the fundamentals of pass-catching and returning. It can be done, but he has work to do in the area.
Rick from Miami, FL:
If this team cuts Chad Henne for Mike Kafka, then we already know this GM and coach aren't going to make it in the NFL.
John: So sayeth Rick . . . so SAYETH THE FLOCK!!!
James from Jacksonville:
It seems lately that more offensive coordinators are turning the plays on the field over to their quarterbacks, letting them call audibles at will. In my opinion, that’s a good thing. My question is, “Does Jedd Fisch approve of this approach and do you think Henne has a leg up on Gabbert, if so?”
John: Yes, Fisch approves of it. Not only that, it’s at the core of what he believes as an offensive coordinator. He believes the quarterback must “own” the offense, and he also believes the quarterback is in unquestionably the best position to get the offense into the right plays and out of the wrong ones at the line of scrimmage. A lot of offensive coordinators give this lip service. Fisch swears the quarterbacks will have real freedom at the line, and the promise of that freedom is what has both Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne excited about the scheme. To answer the second part of your question, no, the approach doesn’t give Henne an advantage. Fisch likes a lot about Gabbert’s approach and his grasp of the offense, and if Gabbert’s the starter, he will have the freedom Fisch promises.
Chris from Norfolk, VA:
There was/is no quarterback from the draft we thought would be worth it. We loaded up on D, waiting for one of the awesome quarterbacks next year. Is this that hard to grasp? Plus, the jury really is still out with Gabbert.
John: Yes, that apparently is that hard to grasp. And yes, the jury is still out on Gabbert.
Joe from Palm Coast, FL:
Hey John, saw you at practice Thursday. I've never seen anyone lather on as much sunblock as you do. I guess that's how you keep that nice pink baby skin, huh? BTW, about suggesting to Dave Caldwell that the fans might appreciate him better in a Jaguars hat.
John: Pink baby skin is a priority in my life. I’m touched that you noticed. I’ll mention the hat thing to Caldwell, but be careful. He’s sensitive to wardrobe comments and is even tougher than he looks. He may take you down. J.P. Shadrick spends much of his time as a bouncer on the weekends, and even Shadrick does not mess with Caldwell.
Brian from Orange Park, FL:
So O-Man, I attended Thursday's practice. Nice crowd. As I'm standing along the fence I notice JP Shadrick with Jeff Lageman and I called out "JP." He was nice enough to come over and spend about five minutes talking with me about the Jaguars, jaguars.com and your choice of footwear. Shortly after our conversation ended, you strolled by and I called out "O-Man" to which I got the royal snub treatment. Broke my heart. So the growler I had in my car for you went home with me. Thanks! Question - how do you manage to stay so pale white in all this Florida sun? Thanks for all you AND JP do! -Brian
John: I would have come over, but didn’t. As far as my skin, I’m frankly shocked at the “pale, pink baby skin” references. I may need to rethink some things. 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. No? Anyone? Anyone?
Hogfish from Mayport, FL and Section 411:
Besides playing in it, is there anything coaches can do to get players accustomed to the heat? I'm thinking of someone like Marcus Trufant, who played high school, college and professional football in in Washington and just moved to Florida. Also, please wish Austen Lane all the best for us, the fans. He was a pleasure to watch on the field, see in the community, read on Twitter, and a great guy the couple of times I have met him in person. I hope he has great success.
John: The best way for players to become accustomed to the heat it is to live in it, practice in it and play in it. There is time in training camp and the preseason for that. As far as Lane, absolutely fans and those who knew him should wish him the best post-Jaguars. He was, as you say, a pleasure to work with and cover, and an easy player for fans to support. Whatever happens in his football career, my guess is he will be a success. And yes, he will be missed.
Nicholas from Fort Lee, VA:
Last night I had a dream the Jaguars had completed their fourth preseason game and had their final roster. I guess even my subconscious is getting tired of all the drama that is the off season.
John: I worry for you, Nicholas.
Jake from State Farm:
How has JD Griggs been performing? Did his emergence cause the releasing of Austen Lane?
John: Griggs has impressed enough to earn a chance in training camp. As a rookie free agent, I don’t think it’s fair to expect him to be more than a developmental player early. It’s really tough for an undrafted player to learn the intricacies of rushing the passer quickly enough to contribute significantly as a rookie. Lane’s release was more about fit than anything. The Jaguars want to play bigger ends along the lines of Tyson Alualu on one side with Leo – hybrid end/linebackers – on the other. As David Caldwell aptly put it Thursday, Lane kind of got caught in the middle with that combination.
Dave from Grafton, VA and Section 115:
No question, just wanted to applaud the "What's Your Name" reference.
John: It seems that one of the crew had a go with a one of the guests . . .
Sam from Section 106:
I'll find my limo driver mister, take us to the show.
John: . . . oh, yes.
Rob from Green Cove Springs, FL:
No question, Johnny O., I just wanted to thank you for the Skynyrd reference! Have a great day!
John: Can I get you a taxi home?

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