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O-Zone: Boss man

Posted Apr 23, 2014

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Craig from Holly Springs, NC:
I just read a short article on Russell Allen having to retire. If that article is true about his on-field stroke, then we wish him the best from Jaguars nation. A father and husband, you hope it is nothing life-threatening. He was the consummate professional while with this organization.
John: Indeed he was. Working with Allen the past three seasons always was a pleasure. I join you in wishing him the best.
Steve from Jacksonville:
How tough is it for a guard or tackle to make the move to center? Aren't there more than a few examples of players successfully making the switch – including recently retired Brad Meester if I'm not mistaken? Is this a possibility for the Jags?
John: It’s a possible scenario for now for the Jaguars, because it appears third-year veteran Mike Brewster has a very real chance of starting at the position next season. He’s the roster player first in line, and while he played mostly guard his first two NFL seasons he was an All-America center at Ohio State as a senior. As far as making the switch, it usually helps if the player has had some experience snapping, which is the case for Brewster, Will Rackley, Jacques McClendon and Patrick Lewis. All are currently on the roster, and all could get a chance to get work there in the coming weeks and months.
Hunter from Orlando, FL:
Do you generally answer general yes-or-no questions with a "sure?”
John: Yes … no … sure. (Maybe.)
Stephen from Mandan, ND:
My draft prediction, and my only prediction for the coming football year, is "A.J McCarron will have the most successful NFL career of any of the other quarterbacks coming out of this year’s draft class."
John: Who knows? You could be right. I liked McCarron in college and think he could be effective in the NFL. Watching him in Alabama’s Sugar Bowl loss to Oklahoma, he seemed to have problems when facing pressure in obvious passing situations. It made you wonder if he faced those situations in college a lot playing on a very good team for a very long time. That doesn’t mean he can’t play in the NFL, but it could be a concern.
Eric from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
With the new pools in the stadium, is nude swimming allowed? Would be refreshing to sit on a cocktail combined with some wonderful football. All while in the buff. I am serious.
John: #DTWD
Peter from Maribor, Slovenia:
At No. 3 overall, you must hit a starter. I know there are no guarantees in the NFL but there are some positions not likely to turn into busts – i.e., offensive line. As we are a team with many needs, we should take offensive tackle at No. 3. It may not be the impact player, but it can mean we don't have to worry about that position.
John: I’m the first one to say you must hit on first-round draft choices. Generally speaking, if you get production from first-round selections – and if you get quality quarterback play – you have a chance to be a sustained winner. At the same time, I also believe it takes premium equity to get positions such as wide receiver, quarterback and pass rusher. You usually have to draft those positions early.
Dave from Jacksonville:
I have to disagree, but respectfully, with your opinion. I don't get too excited to watch another team other than the Jags – let alone another player – but I can't wait to watch Johnny Football play in the NFL. Wherever he goes that team's ratings just went up by one household, for sure. Here's one fer still hoping we get him!
John: I appreciate and deserve the respect, but I’m not sure we disagree as much as you think. While I doubt the Jaguars will take Manziel, and while I am skeptical about how his game will translate, I, too, can’t wait to watch him. I think he will be a fascinating story and a must-watch whenever he plays.
Noah from Jacksonville:
Nothing against Ricky Stanzi, but I honestly think we should trade him for an extra draft pick if Matt Scott is coming to play this year. Do you agree or do you have a different opinion?
John: I’m not sure if I agree or not. Should the Jaguars trade Stanzi for an extra draft selection? I guess. Sure. Here’s the thing: Stanzi was selected in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft and was claimed off waivers by the Jaguars last season. He may or may not eventually develop into a backup or starting quarterback, but right now he doesn’t have much trade value. And while there are those who will say – BUT, BUT, BUT BLAINE GABBERT WAS TRADED FOR A SIXTH-ROUND PICK!!!!! – Gabbert was the No. 10 overall selection in the 2011 draft and has physical tools that intrigue NFL general managers. That’s a different enough circumstance from Stanzi that you really can’t compare the two.
Frank from St. Augustine, FL:
I'm still not convinced the Jags should take Clowney if he's available at No. 3. He had the chance to be the "Andrew Luck" of this draft and he failed to do so. Even his head coach called him out during the season and didn't give him a glowing recommendation during his Pro Day. One not fer Clowney!
John: Hey! One not fer Clowney, but if he’s sitting there at No. 3 he’ll be very, very hard not to take.
Hank from Pompano Beach, FL:
The power you wield! The infatuation with Matt Scott was borne out of your statements regarding Scott at draft time. Those complimentary comments were misconstrued by fans as the kid is the next coming of Joe Montana. When in fact, he may be the next coming of Blaine Gabbert!
John: I believe I wrote something to the effect that some analysts had projected Scott as a mid-round selection before the draft, which was true. I find it hard to believe I wrote much more than that, but maybe it was misconstrued. I rarely pretend to be an expert on incoming rookie free agents or to be able to project their NFL abilities or futures, and would be surprised if I did so with Scott. I’ve been surprised before, but doubt I will be this time.
Rob from Janesville, WI:
If the league says Justin Blackmon can't rejoin would the Jags get any sort of compensation?
John: No, they would not receive compensation in your scenario.
Chris from Jacksonville:
We have Henne, Scott and Stanzi, and expect to draft maybe two quarterbacks. Come September a lot of quarterbacks are gonna be out of a job. Are the Jags more apt to keep this year’s draft picks or last years?
John: I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking, but yes, two quarterbacks in your scenario likely will not be with the team – although one in theory could be on the practice squad. If all things are equal – which they rarely are – teams typically keep rookies over second-year players.
Dave from Oviedo, FL:
In the age of Maylock, Kiper and McShay, is it really necessary for teams to employ 10 or so full time scouts? I submit, if you drafted the best available players from Maylock's list, you could do no better.
John: I laughed out loud at this, but I will say that while I’ve never heard of that Maylock guy, he must have a heck of an eye for talent.
Scott from Gilbert, AZ:
I’m getting the sense there are three, maybe four players – Clowney, Watkins, Mack, and quite possibly Bortles – a team might covet enough to make a move for. I am comfortable knowing we are in line to get an impact player at a position of need with the third pick, yet am even more optimistic that the phone will ring with an offer too good to pass up.
John: I think David Caldwell would like that very much.
Scott from Jacksonville:
Marino also had one of the quickest releases in the history of the game. I've heard Mettenberger's is a bit slow.
John: From what I’ve seen of Mettenberger – and this is from a few highlights and a few games – his release seemed adequate, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s not Marino’s; then again, few releases ever have been on the level of Marino’s.
Tudor from St. Augustine, FL:
Sadly, we missed Day 1,000 by a big chunk already. Your first O-Zone was February 15, 2011. Since you're a boss and did weekends too, it has been 1,162 days as of today. Sorry we missed the big 1,000. So on behalf of all Jags fans, HAPPY BELATED 1,000!
John: While I do see your point that I am indeed a “boss,” that really isn’t the issue at hand. I believe the recent questions have been in regard to “consecutive” O-Zones rather than overall O-Zones. That number as of today is 990. Or so.

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