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O-Zone: Just riveting

Posted Nov 23, 2013

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it...

Kurt from Jackson Bill Jaguars:
Compete > Win?? I'm a big Gus fan, but is the message of competing versus winning hurting the Jags?
John: First, Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley hasn’t said competing is more important than winning, and he certainly wouldn’t say that’s the case in the long term. He has said what team is focused on right now – for this season, certainly – is competing, with the idea that the winning will take care of itself if you do that. As for whether the message is hurting the Jaguars, the team as a whole clearly is playing better now than it did early in the season, so it hasn’t hurt too much.
Rob from Fleming Island, FL:
As a big fan of Mojo D, sad to see he appears to lost his MoJo. Assuming the Jags elect not to bring him back, which teams do you think would still give him a shot?
John: As for your first question, I don’t think that’s an automatic assumption. As for your second, I have no idea.
James from Socorro, NM:
Looking at cumulative grades for the year so far at Pro Football Focus, four of the five defensive players for the Jaguars that have scored "green" (positive) are players (Jaguars General Manager) Dave Caldwell brought in this year: Will Blackmon, Sen'Derrick Marks, Alan Ball, and Dwayne Gratz (Jeremy Mincey is the only Gene Smith player that has scored positively this year). That says something.
John: It does. I’d always caution people that PFF’s grades – like many measures of a player – are tools and not necessarily a definitive, end-all assessment of a player’s value. But the three veterans you listed – Blackmon, Marks and Ball – all have played enough to get a pretty accurate assessment of their value. They haven’t been franchise-defining players, but they have been solid, productive signings by any measure. That does say something, particularly considering all three were short-contract, medium-priced signees.
Mark from Middletown, CT:
Just a Steel Town guy on a Saturday night, lookin' for the fight of his life. #ShadrickSighting
John: Right.
Nicholas from Fort Hood, Texas:
So how much is Big Buck Hunter and "Madden" paying to be in your videos?
John: I’m still waiting to hear back.
Richard from Starke, FL:
Another story about a team in London as soon as 2017 with the Jaguars being the top candidate. What gives?
John: What gives, in this case, is a story that reads like a story about the Jaguars heading to London in 2017. It reads a little differently when you learn that the author later said on Twitter said he was writing that the Jaguars were a “viable candidate” but that that was “circumstantial.” That’s all I’ll say about this. I’m not big on criticizing other writers’ stories. I’m sure I unintentionally wrote misleading stories when I was learning the business. It happens.
James from Jacksonville:
The Colts went from being 2-14 to being a playoff team in one year and will probably be the division champs after two years. That's getting better pretty quickly. And, I really don't think there's a valid argument that the reason they got better is that they drafted Andrew Luck.
John: You’re right. One probably has nothing to do with the other.
Duval Doom from Jaguars Twitter:
Please let Darius from New Milford, NJ, know that on behalf of the entire Brigade, we'd like to invite him to the Tailgaters Lot at Duval & Bryan streets half mile east of the stadium at any point before kickoff. Circle Ups start at 9:30 p.m., and the first beer is on me.
John: Can John Morgan come, too?
Steve from Section 216:
Well, we've kind of survived the L.A. rumors and now with another three games scheduled in London, Fox News is reporting our very own Jaguars could be playing permanently in London's Olympic Stadium. What are we to think?
John: Think that the actions of Shad Khan speak more loyal than the words of this particular story.
Dakota from Dupree, SD:
I agree with Steven from Fernandina Beach. Veteran free agents should be able to have a quicker impact than a rookie but just like the draft, you must "hit" on your picks. I am off base?
John: You’re not off base, at least not in theory. A lot of logic tells you that veteran free agents should contribute and that it should be easy to identify veterans who will make an impact as free agents. The problem is that the theory doesn’t always play out in reality, and as many free agents are disappointments as successes. You’re often signing players that other teams didn’t want, and because you’re signing older players, you have a greater risk for the player either being past his physical prime or at an age with greater injury risk. That’s not to say free-agent signings never work out, but to think you’re going to reverse the fortunes of a franchise with a free-agent based plan is usually incorrect.
Mike from St. Mary’s, GA:
With just two out-of-division games in the Jaguars final six, do you think the NFL is maybe pushing the division games too far back?
John: I have no problem with division games late in the season, and I don’t see the balance changing. The emphasis on late-season division games was part of the NFL’s effort to ensure late-season games are meaningful – and to avoid the annual outcry over teams resting starters after clinching postseason positioning.
Andy from St. Johns, FL:
Are letters to the editor about football personnel issues common league-wide or are they unique to Jacksonville? It seems like every day you can open the Times-Union and read about TimTebow and how the Jaguars should sign him – in the Metro section's Rants & Raves column, or on the Op-Ed page with a "Letter to the Editor." I enjoy the T-U sports coverage of the Jags, but it just seems odd the amount "football" discussed outside the Sports section.
John: It’s pretty unique to Jacksonville and Tebow, and I can’t explain much about it beyond that. You would have to be dim not to be aware of Tebow and the phenomenon that surrounds him, but in terms of explaining the whys of him or the T-U’s coverage of him, I can’t do that. Neither interests me enough to try, honestly.
David from Section 123:
Have the free agency fanatics not been paying attention to the Dolphins' season?
John: No.
Steve from Denver, CO:
The Jags’ second-round pick will be crucial. After grabbing Teddy (Bridgewater), what position do you think we will look for as the biggest area of need?
John: Defensive front seven. That’s because I believe the Jaguars already will have addressed the interior of the offensive line in free agency.
Brian from Orange Park, FL:
When do the fans get to see what Stanzi or Scott can do? I understand the company line that, right now, Henne gives us the best chance to win. Quite frankly, that's unacceptable …
John: You wrote a lot more. Not all of your points were bad ones. This is well-covered ground, but the questions pour in daily, so it’s worth addressing. Call it the company line or call it unacceptable or call it whatever you want. I don’t see the Jaguars playing Stanzi or Scott barring injury. This seems to be frustrating to some fans to the point of pulling their hair out or asking and re-asking the question daily, but those frustrations aside, the answer probably isn’t changing.
Daniel from Jacksonville:
Your answer to Jack about being excited at watching the team rebuild explains a lot to me. After watching nothing but rebuilding failure for so many years, and seeing the definition of rock bottom lowered every year, I just can't appreciate the thrill. My wife asked who the likely playoff teams are this year, and I realized... I don't have a clue. And I don't care... Boy have things changed. I'm goin fishin this weekend, that will be EXCITING!
John: Yeah, I get the frustration. The team gets the frustration. Gus Bradley and Dave Caldwell get the frustration. At the same time, they also know that trying to patchwork this thing by high-priced free agents would lead to a longer cycle of the very frustration of which you speak. I wish something could speed up the Jaguars’ rebuilding clock, but these decision-makers can’t change the past. They can only focus on making the future better.
Bryan from Jacksonville Beach:
John from Jax Beach should set up his own second sight and take his spellchecker with him. If you were to make a different site for me and the rest of the dimwits, we'd never find it and would simply hang around the newly intellectually stimulating site until we debased it to where it is now.
John: Yeah, I kind of thought that’s what would happen.
Dane from Jacksonville:
The "why not start this person" debate is getting a little tiresome. I'm sure you're also starting to get a little bored as well...
John: Actually, I’m riveted.

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