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O-Zone: Holiday crisis

Posted Dec 25, 2013

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it . . .

Bryant from Las Vegas, NV:
Paul Posluszny deserves to make the Pro Bowl team this year. Do you think coaches, and fans around the league will vote him on the team?
John: No. How’s that for a nice Christmas answer? But serious, I think Posluszny indeed is deserving of consideration. He has played better the second half of the season than the first, and he played pretty well in the first. But I think he’ll be hurt playing on a team that many believed was the league’s worst for much of the season, and a team with a record that remains deep in the bottom half of the league. In that situation, it’s difficult for a player to get voted to the Pro Bowl. I hope I’m wrong, but even if I’m not it doesn’t diminish what Posluszny has meant to this team this season. He has been a model of consistency, leadership and production and a big reason the defense improved dramatically after the bye.
Maggie from Annapolis, MD:
Merry Christmas, Mr. O, to you and your family. Peace to all the Jag nation.
John: Indeed.
Darrel from Kissimmee, FL:
Sounds like Roy Miller played through some pretty serious pain this year. Are kudos in order?
John: No doubt. Miller played in enough pain that he probably could have shut it down at least a month earlier. Sen’Derrick Marks said this week it’s hard to overstate what he meant to the run defense, and just as hard to overstate the amount of pain Miller was playing through on a given week. He played until last week when it became a matter of just not having enough strength in the shoulder to play effectively.
Oliver from Jacksonville:
Best Christmas Ever?
John: Sure, why not?
Chris from Jacksonville:
With the Jaguars making so many roster moves I got to thinking: “Where does the players height and weight come from?” Is that what they weighed at the combine? Does their weight get updated every year? Is it updated when they are signed by the Jags? Give us some insight O-man.
John: It’s typically what they weighed and how they measured in their previous team’s media guide, which usually comes from the team’s previous media guide and so on and so on. So, yeah, the height and weight from the combine often pretty much sticks with most guys their whole careers. Under this system, I right now am 6-2, 180. And irresistible to women. Obviously.
Brian from Round Rock, TX:
All of the injuries hurt us this past week. I was hoping that having a younger roster would allow the team to finish strong. I suppose our lack of depth is showing.
John: Actually, having a young roster is more of a reason not to finish strong. Youth often catches up with teams as injuries inevitably mount and lack of experience shows through. That often happens late in seasons, when nagging injuries that players have played through all season finally force players out of the lineup. That has happened this season with players such as Cecil Shorts III, Miller and Geno Hayes. And yes, being without those sorts of players is going to hurt. Injuries hurt teams. Starters start for a reason. It’s because they’re usually better than the guy backing them up.
Mike from Jacksonville:
I was fortunate enough to have a pregame sideline pass for the Titans game last Sunday. I was amazed to see the enthusiasm of Gus Bradley and the entire coaching staff as they moved through the team while they were doing stretching exercises on the south end of the field. Every coach and staff member, led by Gus, went to every player and shook hands, high-fived, greeted and spoke with everyone. The response from the players was amazing! I wish that every fan had to opportunity to see this coaching staff - player relationship in person. Gus Bradley has an infectious winning attitude and it is going to pay off in the future!
John: The culture change is significant around here. The coaching staff high-fiving and speaking to players before every game didn’t create that, but that positive energy? Yes, it’s very real.
Mark from Archer, FL:
O-man, you’re awesome, so I wanted to ask. For a player like Percy Harvin who has had a history of medical issues – missing games for various reasons – do teams typically build safety nets into the contracts so they do not have to pay the player as much? I mean, Harvin has never played a full season yet. But for some reason he was given a big contract, which confuses me unless something like that is typical done in those sorts of cases.
John: Harvin was traded to the Seahawks this offseason and in March he signed a contract with $25.5 million guaranteed. And if you wonder why the Seahawks were willing to do that, remember: Harvin is a very good player who figured to be in high demand if/when he became a free agent. When a player is in demand, teams are in less of a position to demand that players agree to safety nets. If you’re Harvin why would you agree to such a thing if it wasn’t necessary?
Sean from Candler, NC:
The pass for Brad Meester could not have fit his time with the Jaguars any better. He wasn't the big hero with a score, but instead he got a key first down inside the red zone. And the team would have had a much harder time scoring a touchdown without his pass on that drive. Brad has always been really good and really key to keeping the team moving forward. We will miss him more that we know. And he does deserve a place in the Pride. And special kudos to which ever coach/player/equipment manager/senior writer, etc. who came up with the idea for that pass. Just a very classy move. Bodes well for the Jaguars future...
John: It’s Look Ahead Wednesday, but it’s also Christmas and it’s still fun to talk about the play. I don’t know if it symbolized his career or not, but … sure. Yes. And I appreciate the kind words. As with most things around the Jaguars, I didn’t get nearly enough credit for the play. But that’s OK, I toil happily in thankless anonymity.
Jeff from Starke, FL:
I know it's a bit silly to talk draft before the season is even over, but I see a few mocks that have us taking Derek Carr. SBNation was one that had us taking Carr, and they said that in the bowl game, it was apparent that he was a strong-armed pocket passer who was tentative against the blitz. Sound familiar? I'm no scout and I love the direction we're going, so I trust that they'll make the right call next May, but boy, did those words make me shiver a bit.
John: Don’t sweat mock drafts issued in December or even for a few months. The draft is in May. No one has the first clue who’s taking who right now.
David from Maplewood, NJ:
It's been a long year. Some good, more bad, but the good seems to be increasing. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May 2014 be the best year ever for you and your family!
John: It probably won’t be, but I appreciate the sentiment.
Logan from Jacksonville:
One more FER Johnny!!! I could see him being the Russell Wilson of the Jags except not a third-rounder. Both are not very big. What’s the difference between Russell and Johnny?
John: One has done it at the professional level and one hasn’t. That’s obvious, but when discussing quarterbacks of that size and style, that does matter. Wilson also seems a little more controlled in the pocket, and that’s a positive. Manziel’s eyes-in-the-back-of-his-head, back-out-of-the-pocket-and-scramble-every-which-way approach scares me a little bit. That’s a way to get hurt and hit in the NFL. But hey, as I’ve said: Manziel’s intriguing. He’s dynamic. He’d be a lot of fun. I’m also starting to think he might be a pretty good NFL quarterback, which of course is the most important thing within our conversation here.
Michael from Section 133:
Not a question but more an observation. O-Man, I saw your segment recognizing the events celebrating Meester and I saw that faint twinkle/glistening of emotion in your eyes. The armor down and unabashed appreciation for a true warrior of this sport heading off his home turf battlefield for the final time. Class emotion John and worthy of your professionalism. Stand United!
John: I actually just wasn’t feeling well that morning, and my voice was sort of throaty. But if you see Brad, sure, tell him I was crying. He’d think that was pretty funny.
Tommy from Jacksonville:
Merry Christmas, O-Man. I came down there with a six pack of my favorite local brew for you, but security turned me away saying something about all food and drink must be in clear containers. Sorry. I tried.
John: I’ll meet you. Text me.

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