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O-Zone: Good advices

Posted Jun 12, 2014

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Robert from Orange Park, FL:
Which second-year player do you expect to see improve the most from Year One to Year Two? Also, who is an undrafted rookie in camp that you see promise in?
John: I expect second-year offensive tackle Luke Joeckel to improve dramatically. That’s an easy choice, because Joeckel didn’t play nearly as well at right tackle last year as he should at left tackle, and because he really didn’t have time in five games last season to show the improvement you would expect from the No. 2-drafted tackle. But Joeckel has the talent to make a significant jump. I expect to see significant improvement from cornerback Dwayne Gratz, too, but I’ll stick with Joeckel as the top pick. As for the undrafted rookies, there are quite a few with potential. Safety Craig Loston, cornerback Rashaad Reynolds and defensive tackle DeAndre Coleman have gotten a lot of mention, but keep an eye on wide receiver Allen Hurns and defensive tackle Ricky Havili-Heimuli. Those players show some promise.
Sean from Fleming Island, FL:
Will the pools be heated for the November and December home games?
John: Yes.
Eric from Flowery Branch, GA:
Are the Jaguars going to go back to Flowery Branch this year to scrimmage the Falcons? Figured Dave (Caldwell) would be all over that and now that I moved here I’m hoping to go catch it.
John: No. The Jaguars aren’t scrimmaging or practicing with another team this preseason. It’s something they could do in the future, but it won’t be this year.
Rick from Amelia Island, FL:
One fer crack staff.hearing the questions id a game changer.
John: Indeed it id.
Ryan from Jacksonville:
I somewhat resent and resemble the remark that those of us who partake in the O-Zone on a daily basis are less sane than those who don't. I feel like we are living a much more fulfilled life than those who do not bask in your intellect, wit, and wisdom each morning.
John: Point taken.
Mike from White Plains, GA:
Hey, one for boom mics. You guys are great.
John: I must defer to Video Producer Patrick “P-Kav” Kavanagh or Kavanaugh or Cavanaugh (it’s Kavanagh), who heads up our video department. Making the press conferences more viewer-friendly and easier to hear has been something we’ve wanted to do for a long time. We have added some resources at jaguars.com, and it has enabled us to improve that area. One fer P-Kav.
Patrick from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
A very big deal for the Jacksonville area I haven't seen a lot of discussion about is the chance for us to host the US National Men’s Soccer Team. There were only three "warm-up" games prior to the World Cup this week, and only one of those was against another World Cup team and we had it! Was there a big buzz in the Jags’ organization about this chance?
John: Yes.
Tim from Geoje-Si, South Korea:
Larry from Tallahassee had a valid question – all because YOU started it John. You yourself stated that this wasn't the year to expect the team to go to the playoffs; that the team was still rebuilding; that we should expect significant improvement. The man asked what areas will the team be looking at to draft next year. You started it, tag...you're it!
John: I have been pretty clear in my time at jaguars.com that I begin discussing that year’s draft in January, after the Senior Bowl. During the season and early in the offseason, I am polite and measured while explaining this. If asked about the next year’s draft a month after the last one, I am not so measured and do not consider the question remotely – to use your term – valid.
Marty from Gainesville, FL:
Is the construction on schedule at the stadium? Just seems like there's a lot left to do by the end of July.
John: There is a lot to do by the end of July. It will get done.
Troy from Salt Lake City, UT:
I heard the Jags will play Justin Blackmon if he is reinstated. How much time and patience really goes into a player with the problems he has had? Is it because they don't see Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson contributing right away? Or because they still believe he can turn this around and be a major contributor of the future? I hope he does turn this around because with Lee and Robinson and Blackmon on the field, it could be a dangerous wide receiver corps, especially if Bortles develops.
John: It has nothing whatsoever to do with Lee and Robinson. Circle that in red and write it down. The Jaguars have no plans to release Blackmon for the simplest, most-logical of reasons – they have no incentive to release him, and gain nothing by releasing him. He is not costing them money this season. He doesn’t count against the cap. If he comes back in 2015 or some time and plays, it’s better for the Jaguars if he is contributing for them than some other team. I don’t know the percentage chance of Blackmon playing for the Jaguars again. I’d admit I’d be surprised if it happens. Really, the team doesn’t know either. But at this point, they lose and risk nothing by keeping Blackmon’s rights.
Daniel from Gainesville, FL:
With the national media just realizing we're going to have a pretty awesome stadium, how long before you think the city of Jacksonville puts in a bid for the another Super Bowl to showcase the pools and those ungodly video screens? I was a teenager when we hosted the Super Bowl. I'm not really sure where the city was at with its hosting capability that made people dislike it, but I feel that the city has improved its local capacity capability within the last decade. I guess we just need to host the National Championship game sooner rather than later to show if we can support another Super Bowl.
John: This is one of those one-step-at-a-time answers. The first step will be to get the video boards, pools and cabanas in place. The next will be allowing some time for people nationally to realize these things – and EverBank Field – are actually pretty cool. The next probably will be for some additional improvements such as those that are beginning to be bandied about – i.e., roof, shipyard development, etc. – and yes, the last may be hosting a national championship game. I’m not sensing any immediate Super Bowl bid, but if those steps start being taken, then there may be steps afterward, too.
Jeff from Monticello, FL:
Do players ever give a reporter the cold shoulder after comments the reporter has made about the player. i.e. Ryan and Ace? It would seem unprofessional but yet...
John: Reporters and players are human beings, so sure, relationships often ebb and flow based on things said or written. I don’t see that remotely being the case with O’Halloran and Sanders. O’Halloran didn’t write or say anything critical of Sanders; he merely said he might be on the bubble for making the roster next season. I doubt it turns out that way, but we’ll see.
Joe from Port Charlotte, NC:
Due to the fact the Jaguars are still the newest team along with the Panthers in the NFL our uniforms haven’t really changed through the years. If they ever do a retro uniform game, they could recreate those USFL teams. Do you agree? Donald Trump would agree.
John: The Houston Texans probably would not agree, and they probably would have disagreed since 2002, when they entered the NFL seven years after the Jaguars and Panthers. But your point about the USFL throwbacks is well-taken – at least from my perspective. I love throwback uniforms and jerseys, and seeing a Bulls uniform in action would be really cool. I can’t see it happening, mind you, but it would be really cool.
@DUVAL_DOOM from Section 217:
I just have a quick question? It's nearly twenty years later. So much has changed at the Bank. Do they still have "donut time?”
John: Someone’s been reading Jags to Riches, but no – to my knowledge “Donut Time” isn’t a thing.
Buddy from Jacksonville:
Are the Jaguars still a nondescript team?
John: It depends on who’s doing the descriptin’. From a national point of view, many people probably would say yes because they’re unfamiliar with the vast majority of Jaguars players or even Head Coach Gus Bradley. From a local point of view, and to fans who are following this closely, my guess is most people are starting to see more compelling players and storylines developing.
Leo from Gilbert, AZ:
Has Oehser outperformed his contract?
John: Shockingly, no.
Mike from Jacksonville:
With contracts being slotted for draft picks. Why haven't our top three picks signed yet?
John: Because even with slotting, there are still details to be negotiated. And because there is nothing to be gained or lost from signing in June compared to July 11. This is a non-story. For real.
Gator from Jacksonville:
Do you ever sit around and think about how cool I am?
John: I usually think about it while jogging.
Shane from Atlanta, GA:
Any words of advice now that I am finally 23!?
John: Yes, stop calling me. I mean … c’mon.

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