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O-Zone: Begging and borrowing

Posted Sep 14, 2013

OAKLAND, Calif. – Let’s get to it . . .

Clayton from Jacksonville:
Can we take a second and applaud Dave and Gus for the draft picks and rookie free agents selected (even though it’s early). All those Jags fans who were impatient and wanted Geno Smith No. 2 overall hopefully watched the New York Jets-New England game. I'd rather hold out for that Luck, RG3 prospect and not settle for a Geno . . .
John: Week 2 of a rookie season is far too early to applaud or pat anyone on the back for selections made the previous April. The Jaguars didn’t believe the quarterbacks available in this past April’s draft were a significant enough upgrade from those already on the roster to choose one. That has been made pretty clear. But while Geno Smith didn’t play well late against New England, it’s not fair to bury the guy after one game. Not every quarterback is perfect as a rookie.
Logan from Wichita, KS:
Is there any way to force the Jaguars to take Aaron Murray with the No. 1 pick? Everyone is saying the Jaguars will take Teddy Bridgewater with the No. 1 pick overall. Teddy Bridgewater is a joke!!! He will be worse than JaMarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf and Vince Young. If we pick Bridgewater #1 this next offseason we are even more ruined than we already are.
John: #StandUnited
Keith from Palatka, FL:
The offensive line is better with Luke Joeckel. He is a vast improvement over Cameron Bradfield. The interior of our offensive line is still a mess (center and left guard). Meester is way past his prime and Rackley is just not very good. Who in the offseason for heaven's sake said that our line would be a strength? Anyone who watched any games last year knew that we were bad at center and left guard. Why is there such denial of reality?
John: I’d go easy before completely hammering Meester for Sunday. No one on the line played great, but although it has been vogue this past week in some circles to write Meester off, talk within the team was he performed better than many believed. You’re better off with him in the lineup right now – by a long shot. Look, the interior didn’t play well Sunday and it’s a concern, but improving at right tackle and being solid at left tackle should enable the line to play better. We’ll see if that plays out this season.
Keith from Palatka, FL:
If the Jaguars go through another offseason and do not fix the interior of their offensive line (center and two guards), I swear by everything holy that I will not spend my hard earned money to watch another year of futility. Enough is enough. A blind man with a one-eyed dog could tell a mile away what our problem on offense is and it's not the coordinator, quarterback, cheerleaders, or anything else. It's the interior of the offensive line stupid.
John: So, wait a minute, Keith – are you saying the offensive line is an issue?
Greg from St. Johns, FL:
You're married. So, you're wrong way more often than right.
John: Yes, in the sense that always is a lot more than never.
James from Jacksonville:
I stayed up watching the game Thursday night and it is clear that even Tom Brady needs receivers that can run routes and catch passes.
John: Well, yes. I got many emails along these lines Friday morning and I am struck by how many people came to the realization that, yes – wait for it – a quarterback needs people around him to play well to succeed. This is obvious reference to Blaine Gabbert. I’m not saying that Gabbert has shown a lot, but the people around him – the receivers and offensive linemen – too often haven’t played well, either. That doesn’t mean Gabbert’s great. It means it’s still difficult to judge exactly where he is in his development.
Texanna from Burleson, Texas:
Moodachay makes sense in a strange sort of way. By the way, I find your column very interesting.
John: So, you’re the one.
Nicholas from Fort Lee, VA:
Tom Brady seemed pretty fired up on the sideline when mistakes were made. It would be nice to see that attitude with the Jaguars. If you can't be champions, you can at least act like them.
John: Yes, yelling on the sidelines and acting emotional is awesome. Look, Brady is a great player, and he leads in his way. He has been known to be fiery. Ray Lewis was fiery. When players are fiery, it makes for great television and as a result, is often discussed a lot. The Patriots haven’t won in recent years because Brady yells on the sideline. I once watched Brady yell a lot in the second half of a one-sided loss to the Colts and the yelling didn’t help that night. The Patriots win because Brady is really, really good and the Ravens won last year because they were really, really good. If players want to yell and be fiery that’s fine. But I’d rather have them be focused and good.
Kevin from Jacksonville:
It’s not all that funny when you pick on fans who have poor spelling and grammar skills. "Chad from Liberty City: Why would the Jags not hirer Tebow? It would make since to me. John: It wood?" Maybe Chad was a kid. Those are cheap laughs for people with no class. That includes you. Keep it up, wise guy.
John: I thought about it, and thought about in the context of the question and in the context of what we do here in the O-Zone, the way most people sort of get the joke and know that I know I’m not perfect, and none of us are. But you’re right, making fun of people’s grammar is not funny. Wait. That’s wrong. I still sort of think it was funny . . .
Aaron from Milroy, PA:
The Jaguars need to hire Tebow. I think he would be a good adishin.
John: Heh.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
I accidently sent my email address as my name in a previous message. Please do not post this information. It was a mistake.
John: OK.
Ryan from Clyde, OH:
Correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t the best way to sack a scrambling quarterback be to contain him in the pocket and try to make it collapse on him? If you blitz, wouldn’t that lead to open running lanes on the field?
John: Yes. That’s why I don’t necessarily think you’ll see the Jaguars with a whole lot of exotic, all-out blitzes Sunday. You likely will see some delayed rushes, as well as defenses designed to keep the secondary looking forward into the backfield instead of chasing receivers. This is a game in which you need to make Pryor prove he can beat you throwing rather than letting him play to his strength, which is running when pressured.
Will De Sot:
Dear Sir: I have hit rock bottom. My family has disowned me saying I have brought them disgrace for the last time. But, John, I just had to get that white O-Zone #Moodachay T-Shirt. Why can’t they understand me? Sniff.
John: Welcome to my world. Thanks for joining me. Please, sit down.
Herbert from MidState Office Supply Accountz Receevable:
Do practice squad members generally travel with the team for away games?
John: This varies from team to team. Gus Bradley’s policy usually is that practice-squad players do not travel with the team. Because the Jaguars will practice in California on this trip, practice-squad players are on the trip.
Mike from Atlanta, GA:
So is Cyprien going to be the spy for Terrelle Pryor? That's a good idea and should be exciting to watch. Do you think Poz has the wheels to spy Pryor? Also, I think Gratz' absence will be obvious. It would be good to have him back sooner than later.
John: Actually, I said Cyprien could be an option. There are other options such as Geno Hayes, or perhaps Posluszny in certain situations. Let’s not take a suggestion in the O-Zone that something might be an option and turn it into, “THE JAGUARS ARE DEFINITELY GOING TO DO THIS.” The coaches have enough on their plates. They don’t need to be reading the O-Zone for coaching tips. God help them if they are.
Steve from Jacksonville:
Guard IS a premium position if the ones you have are turnstiles.
John: This concept continues to befuddle people. Yes, guard is a premium position if the ones you have are struggling. But when a general manager is building a roster, he must try to build it with the idea that you are only going to have a finite number of first-round selections – particularly early first-round selections – over a five-or-six-year span. The general belief is that if you’re going to get elite pass-rushers, quarterbacks, offensive tackles, cornerbacks – even receivers and defensive tackles – you need to select those players early in the first round. There are exceptions to this, just as there are exceptions to everything, but when you’re roster-building you try to stick to certain values. The other part of this discussion is that historically you can get good guards and even good centers well outside the first round. I’m not saying the Jaguars won’t want to get quality players on the interior of the offensive line next offseason. It’s quite possible they will. I’m just saying they may not need to take players in the Top 50 to get them.
Bryan from Tampa:
Drinks the last cup of coffee in the break room, but leaves just a little teeny bit so he doesn't have to make another pot. #shadricksightings
John: Shadrick is innocent of this. He makes coffee. I’ve seen it. He may be the only one around here who does.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
Borrowed a nice pair of jeans and returned them to me as jorts. #shadricksightings
John: He is not innocent of this.

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