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O-Zone: First one in

Posted Feb 2, 2014

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it . . .

Bill from Jacksonville:
John, you often have said if the Jags feel a franchise quarterback is available where they are drafting, they will take him. And if it doesn't work out that way, they won't. That's fine and all, but it sounds really close to the guy or girl who waits for the "the one" for years, only to have some great options pass them by. The stars will not always align. The Jags can't wait on the next Andrew Luck. Sometimes you have to take chances. And yes, I mean in the first or second round. Sorry for the long comment. Thanks for all you do. Go Jags!
John: Bill! How are you! Yes, you have touched on the great dilemma facing a general manager in search of a franchise quarterback. If the general manager believes in his heart a quarterback isn’t worth an early selection, there is a school of thought that he must pass. He was hired, after all, to put the best possible players on the field. And taking a player early who doesn’t contribute sets the franchise back on many levels. At the same time, any general manager will tell you that the accompanying school of thought is you can’t wait forever to find a guy. At some point, you have to pick a guy and go. On such decisions do careers and reputations hinge.
Josh from Kokomo, IN:
I've heard knocks on Bridgewater because he didn't play in a better conference against better competition. I've also heard people questioning and A.J. McCarron because they say he had a lot of talent on his team. Just seems a little contradicting.
John: Welcome to the pre-draft process.
Adam from Fleming Island, FL:
I just read what Renaldo Wynn said at the Super Bowl Friday. A lot of times I feel silly for how much I let football affect my emotions, but if Gregg Williams really did have our playbook in '99 – and that can be proven – he should no longer be a coach in the NFL. I literally feel sick to my stomach; a Super Bowl was stolen from us.
John: Former Jaguars defensive tackle Renaldo Wynn indeed said Friday that Williams – then the defensive coordinator at Tennessee – told him he had the Jaguars’ playbook before the Titans beat the Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game following the 1999 season. Wynn said Williams told him this when the two later were with the Washington Redskins. It’s hard to know initially just what to make of this story. My sense is it will be difficult to prove so many years later, so I don’t know that there will be any punishment forthcoming. As for how much the Titans having the playbook helped Tennessee, that’s hard to say, too. No doubt having the playbook would have been an edge for Tennessee, but would the Jaguars have won otherwise? Many Jaguars fans will say yes, and Jaguars players from that era undoubtedly have a right to be upset. Unfortunately, we’ll never know how things would have played out.
Robert from Jacksonville:
I think your (yawn) answers (which I really like) would have even more impact if you simply wrote out the yawn and left out the parenthesis. This way you are verbally speaking to the reader the word yawn (rather than actually yawning), and Ithink that approach better gets your point across. Thoughts?
John: (Zzzz).
Jason from North Pole:
What is your take on the way Marshawn Lynch handled Media Day? It's ironic that people criticize Richard Sherman for talking too much then criticize Lynch for not talking. Are players required to do a certain number of interviews during the season to avoid fines? Have you ever covered a player that avoided interviews like the fruit of the Dead Sea?
John: I actually didn’t hear a lot of people criticizing Lynch for not talking this week. But maybe I missed it. I think most media understand there’s going to be the occasional player who just does not want to talk and generally speaking, there are enough players on an NFL team that that doesn’t prevent media from doing their job. Yes, players are required to talk during the season once a week, and if they decline they can be fined. When I was in Indianapolis covering the Colts, Marvin Harrison rarely spoke, doing perhaps one or two “media availabilities” a season. The media covering the Colts generally didn’t push it. Harrison usually was so reserved he didn’t say much anyway, so they respected his wishes. Harrison did talk when the Colts went to the Super Bowl following the 2006 season.
Ken from Jacksonville:
What do you think the chances are that Ricky Stanzi will be on our roster next year?
John: Slim.
Josh from Kokomo, IN:
What do you think the plans are for Matt Scott? Dude seems to have size and talent. Also had great stats at Arizona.
John: I think Matt Scott will have a chance to compete to be the third quarterback next season. I’d be surprised if he starts or is a backup, but I’ve been surprised a lot in my life.
Frank from Knoxville, TN:
Since the free-agent discussion has been kicked up a notch lately let me throw my two cents in. Mack obviously makes the most sense of all the centers with the talent and age syncing nicely. As for defensive ends, I get the fans wanting Michael Bennett since he has played well in Seattle and all, but how about Michael Johnson out of Cincinnati? He's younger, more explosive off the edge, bigger built than Bennett and may come cheaper as he's less of a known quantity. Put me down fer him instead of Bennett.
John: One fer Michael Johnson.
Dave from Oviedo, FL:
Could you make the argument that the Colts should have stuck with Peyton Manning?
John: You can argue anything, but the Colts had little choice when they parted with Manning. They were at the time an aging team. Had they kept Manning they likely would have had a very difficult time putting a competitive team around him because of his salary. As it turned out, this was one of the rare situations that benefitted both player and organization. Manning is getting a chance to remain an elite quarterback with a quality team and the Colts have a franchise quarterback, Andrew Luck, for the foreseeable future.
Jeff from Starke, FL:
You may have gotten responses like this about the kickoff ... but I think we're missing the point of the original suggestion. It was not to move the kickoff up to the 50, but to move the gunners up to the 50 while still kicking from the 35. Then gunners could only move once the kicked-off ball passes the 50 yard line. I actually thought that was a decent idea. Although it might not be the easiest thing to determine when the airborne ball crosses the 50... as a player or as an official. But not a bad idea at all.
John: I did miss the point of the original suggestion, and you’re right – that’s not a bad idea at all.
Jared from Pensacola, FL:
When I see Pete Carroll interviewing during this Super Bowl week I see a less enthusiastic Gus Bradley. I feel like Gus Bradley's verbage is like Carroll's and Gus has the added ability to be enthusiastic. I feel like given two-to-three years we will have a Super Bowl-appearing team at least if not a Super Bowl-winning team. Do you feel the players will buy into his program and when we find our franchise quarterback we have a valid chance for a Super Bowl run?
John: I chuckled at the notion that Carroll’s not enthusiastic. He is, in fact, one of the NFL’s most-enthusiastic coaches, but you’re right – compared to Bradley, Carroll’s not quite *that* enthusiastic. Then again, most coaches pale in that area compared to Bradley. As far as the Jaguars’ Super Bowl plan, the future is impossible to predict. Much has to go right for any team to build into a Super Bowl contender, but the plan you laid out is the Jaguars’ plan. Now, it’s up to Dave Caldwell to get players and Gus Bradley to coach them.
Steve from North Haven, CT:
O-man, I really enjoyed your 2013 reviews. I was reading intently and much enjoying it since up North In Connecticut we don't get a chance to see for ourselves. My question is, “What happened?!?!” I read about the quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, offensive line, the offense, then finally the defense in review? Wow, talk about cheated. Where is thedefensive backs, the linebackers, the defensive line … While you're at it, I'd like to see one on every special teams position as well. Thank you!
John: It’s a long offseason, Steve. Good things come to those who wait.
Ken from Jacksonville:
Who's going to be first in the new EverBank pools, you or Shadrick?
John: My money’s actually on Gene Frenette. He’s “sneaky wild.”

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