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O-Zone: Many, many likes

Posted Apr 24, 2013

JACKSONVILLE – It won’t be all uniforms all the time today, but it won’t be far off. On Thursday, we’ll jump back into the draft.

Busy week. Not enough time for napping.

Let’s get to it . . .

Jim from Section 114 and Jacksonville:
OK, I am a traditionalist and absolutely hate modern uniforms in any sport. To me, it is the brand to which you are loyal. That being said, I strangely LIKE the new uniforms! The helmets being two-toned are, however, uhmmm, uh and can we have a do-over on the helmets?
John: No do-over. That’s the helmet and it’s getting a lot more positive vibe in the inbox than it is pushback. As far as your love of all things traditional, I get it. I feel the same way. I love the traditional uniforms such as the Packers, Bears, Redskins, Steelers, etc. Here’s the thing, though: not every team gets to be traditional and old-school. That territory is taken by older, more-established teams. The Jaguars are not one of the traditional, established teams. That’s not their niche. What the Jaguars can be – and what Shad Khan wants this uniform change to be – is cutting edge and state of the art. That’s an OK niche to fill.
Bryce from Algona, IA:
I do not think they are cool. I do not like them.
John: That’s fair. Not everyone likes the same thing. I used to like to wear burlap underwear and go jogging in dolphin shorts and a cutoff tank top. We all have flaws.
Scott from Atlantic Beach, FL:
So, everything is different. I know Khan wanted to rebrand the team or make it his own, but does he have to do that so drastically and quickly? It's like he has no respect for the 17 seasons of tradition this team had before he got here. It's too much change. It's been four head coaches in three years. Rotating quarterbacks. Two general managers. A new logo, new workout facilities, new locker room. And now an awful new uniform complete with a pooh-colored helmet. It's too much too fast. Change logos and uniforms when the team is at least .500. It all just reeks of desperation. I miss the Jaguars I grew up with.
John: It was expected there would be those who felt as you do. It is understandable that people would balk at the rapidity of the change. At the same time, Khan has made it clear over and over that within every change is a respect and homage to the past. He didn’t eliminate teal from the uniforms. He didn’t erase the former logo. He didn’t change the name. He made moves to update, modernize and give the team a new foundation. It was needed. Khan needed a year to get a feel for the direction he wanted. If the coming year and a half features the same level of change as the first year and a half, then you’re right: too much change. But for now, it’s about a new owner looking for the right mix. It’s fair that he should get to do that. He paid a lot for the team.
William from Savannah, GA:
O-Man, O-Man, O-Man . . . So you think the new uniforms look cool? You totally missed the mark. They look awesome. Cutting edge. Will they make the players play better? No. Will they make your average fan cheer louder? No. Will they draw the interest of children and teenagers who could be buying single-game tickets or season tickets in ten to fifteen years? Yes! This is building a market for the long run. Genius. Easily, the best uniforms since the original. More importantly, an excellent example of forward thinking!
John: Don’t tell that to Bryce.
Will from Jacksonville:
Why does this team continue to do everything they can to drive away fans?
John: Will, stop. Seriously, just stop.
Biff from Jacksonville:
My 18-year old son loves the helmet, saying it is different. I like everything about the uniform change, save the helmet. Is that because I'm 44? Looking at the Miami uniforms I appreciate the simplicity, but NIKE still managed to give the Jacksonville fans a winner, and one that is marketable. But the helmet . . . just pick a color.
John: It is because you’re 44. I’m 46 and I had trouble with the two-toned helmet – at first. Now, I think the uniforms are cool – and the helmet, too. I like them both.
Max from Jacksonville:
Really, O'Man? Can't figure out the last impact rookie the Jags have had? You forgot 2,250 all-purpose yards, 16 TDs and runner-up for rookie of the year honors? Plus, I'm pretty sure you got a good look at MJD even though you were in Indy. You probably wrote about his 300 yards against the Colts that December. Just giving you a hard time, I know we all forget things from time to time. But seriously, O'Man?!
John: Yeah, that wasn’t my best answer. Clearly, Jones-Drew had huge impact as a rookie. I got one email saying it was the biggest rookie impact in franchise history. I’d argue for Fred Taylor’s impact in 1998, but that’s just me. I was focused on first-round selections, but that’s a weak excuse. Jones-Drew’s impact was huge, and yes, I was at the 300-plus-yard game against the Colts. A staggering, memorable performance – except, evidently, to me.
YESSS!!! From Yessville!!:
YESSS! Now THAT'S a cool cat!!!
John: Yes!
Paul from Jacksonville:
I have been curious how the NFL keeps track of all picks in the NFL draft. I suppose it has a top secret encrypted database. But what about before computers? How did the NFL actually keep track of all the picks?
John: They had a guy.
John from Savannah, GA:
The uniforms are OK, but the helmet bugs me. How far off are we from digital helmets that change colors during the game? Or helmets that are one color in sunlight and another color indoors? There is nothing wrong with a plain black helmet as your base.
John: You know what, John? You’re right. There’s nothing wrong with plan black, and I couldn’t be more serious when I say that. I liked the black helmet and I said for years that the best thing about the about the original uniforms was that black helmet with the logo. I liked the old logo, too. I was never the biggest fan of the original teal, but that logo I liked. Having covered the team early, I have an affinity for the origins of this franchise. With all that said, the idea behind this is to change the culture, to establish a new foundation, to provide new direction. That doesn’t mean forgetting the past. That’s why there’s still teal. That’s why the logo still resembles the old one. That’s why the name is still “Jaguars,” but it’s hard to argue this team didn’t need a new direction. It’s hard to argue that the changes being made don’t have a pretty positive feel.
Jensen from Huntsville, Texas:
I LOVE THEM!
John: Point taken.
Jody from Fort Pierce, FL:
You are right they are cool I like them. The sleeves remind me of my old Means jersey. It had the black accent down the sides. Now that we have seen them what do you like about them?
John: Those little doohickeys underneath the thing.
Alex from Austin, TX:
I just wanted to take this time to say how much I appreciate the things Khan is doing for this franchise. He is upgrading the stadium, bringing life to dull uniforms, enhancing the locker room for the players and doing what he can to get the culture change started. Sweeping changes like this are what this franchise needed. Thank you Mr.Khan, thank you.
John: I included this email because it resonated when I read it. There has been the expected range of reactions about the uniform. Many love it. A few don’t. That’s all fine. But when you look at everything Khan has done since taking over – the stadium upgrades, the new uniforms, the new logo, the money spent on players last offseason and the money spent on coaching staff and personnel officials – it’s hard to argue Khan isn’t doing whatever he can to establish a first-class culture. As I have mentioned several times today, he also is doing all of that with a respect for the history of the franchise. However you may feel about this move or that move, that’s the big picture – that Khan is committed to this. Having a committed owner who’s willing to do what it takes, learn from mistakes and do everything he can to do things right isn’t something that every team possesses.
John from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Do you think new uniforms will make any difference in next year's wins and losses? The uni is fine, the helmet is horrible.
John: Of course they won’t make a difference. That’s not the idea. The idea is to have everything possible in the organization be as first-rate as possible. In time, that will include the product on the field, too. As far as the helmet, give it time and let it get on the field. I’m guessing it will grow on you.
James from Orange Park, FL:
So we got sweet new uni's. Now what?
John: Now, we dance.
Robert from Bartram Springs, FL:
Unofficial poll: More likes than dislikes? Count me as a 'like'.
John: Many, many, many more “likes” than “dislikes.” And consider yourself counted.

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