JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it…
Confused fan from Jacksonville:
John: last year I asked you what was wrong with being happy with the Jaguars winning some games and enjoying it with my kid as opposed to tanking for an unnamed quarterback and you said, ‘Nothing at all.’ We ended up with a different quarterback and everyone seems pretty happy about it. How about that? So I'm guessing it's still OK to root for wins in 2014?
John: I’m sorry you’re confused. Being confused can be … well, confusing. There was nothing wrong with rooting for the Jaguars to win last season because there’s never anything wrong with rooting for your team to win. It’s professional sports and the idea is to win. This past weekend’s draft showed why there’s usually little to be gained from losing at the end of seasons. While Jadeveon Clowney was considered by many the best player in the 2014 NFL Draft, by the time the draft rolled around there was no guarantee he would go No. 1 overall and there were teams near the top of the draft who might well have gone a different direction had they had the No. 1 overall selection. You play to win in the NFL because with rare exceptions one player isn’t worth losing for. There are exceptions, but they’re rarer than in other sports.
Tudor from St. Augustine, FL:
Hey O-Bro, what is the name of the song you use as your background beat to the O-Zone Mailbag Videos?
John: “I Am the God King.” No, wait. That’s wrong.
Tucker from New York, NY:
Matt Scott's release should serve as a reminder to the more zealous fans that practice-squad players are such for a reason, and we should try to avoid getting our hopes up, even when we've seen a given player succeed in college. *cough* Stephen Morris
John: I’m not going to cough on Stephen Morris. He doesn’t deserve that. Like any other rookie in camp, he will get a chance to develop and grow into a role. But yes, there are typically reasons practice-squad players aren’t in the starting lineup.
Steve from Jacksonville:
But seriously. Do you think Brunell will be OK playing as fourth string behind Henne, Bortles AND Leftwich or is the first backup spot still wide open? Can Garrard make that comeback?
John: OK, now you’re just being mean.
James from Jacksonville:
It's happening, John. We are becoming a true NFL city with true blue Jags fans. I can feel it more every day. I want the college football atmosphere in EverBank on Sundays. I want Seattle's type fan base here. I feel like were headed in that direction. It's a great time to be a fan. #DTWD
John: It is a very good time to be a fan, and to be around rookie minicamp it only feels like it’s getting better. It felt, in fact, like it’s nearing great. Time will tell.
Ryan from Valdosta, GA:
Tell James from Jacksonville that Brad Meester is actually from Iowa. It may sound crazy but had he never lived in Jacksonville I'd go out on a limb and say he would still wear that jacket. That's all.
John: I don’t know many things for certain, but I’m pretty sure you’re right. That is all.
Andy from St. Augustine, FL:
Where are we at with the backup running back spot? I assume they want Gerhart to sit the year so is Fred Taylor now Mojo's backup?
John: I think Stacey Mack’s in the running.
Scott from Honolulu, HI:
James is entitled to his opinion. Me, I applaud the Jags and Brad Meester for embracing what the Jacksonville area is; a working class, honest, football-loving region that doesn't mind putting on a little Mossy Oak once in a while. I spent 10 years in Jacksonville (actually Middleburg, Orange Park, then Jacksonville). Now, I'm in Hawaii the last four and oh how I miss living with the "Rednecks.” Also, I knew several of these "Rednecks" who are pretty dang good businessmen.
John: This …
Andrew from Duval (once and forever):
At the risk of beating a dead horse (or whatever wild game Meester happens to bag in his exquisite draft jacket), some people still don't seem to get it. All of the criticisms of Jacksonville, the Jaguars and the fans have become the fuel for our brand and our culture. All of that national criticism has pulled us closer together, rebelling against those that tell us how we should be and embracing what makes our team and city unique (good or bad). We aren't the Midwesterner cheeseheads of Green Bay and we don't do things "The Patriot Way". We're Duval til We Die, baby. #DTWD
John: … and this!
George from Canton, OH:
Johnny-O, after watching one rookie practice you can already answer everything that could be asked about Bortles, right?
Almost, and I’m sure I’ll be just about there after Saturday. Ah, but we kid … On a serious note, there’s not a tremendous amount to be gleaned from watching Bortles on Friday. He had some crisp intermediate throws to Marqise Lee
, he had some passes dropped and he was errant at times on his long passes. None of which means anything much, because this is a rookie quarterback throwing mostly to other rookies against other rookies. It’s hard to know what routes are being run well, what miscommunications are happening and really, it’s hard to know much at all.
Jay from Port St. Lucie, FL:
The Texans call, and offer Andre Johnson to the Jaguars for the rights to Justin Blackmon
if/when he is reinstated – and a 5th rounder. Do we take the deal? I would. I'm over Blackmon and his childish antics.
John: I wouldn’t worry about other teams crushing the Jaguars for an opportunity to trade for Blackmon. That’s not to say I have any idea of his NFL future, and he may well fit into the Jaguars’ plans somewhere in the future, but teams aren’t generally in the market for epic uncertainties and right now, Blackmon is very much that.
Bryce from Algona, IA:
I am not a Chicken Little running around screaming the sky is falling, but I have noticed that Bortles' throwing motion looks a bit quirky. Has that been brought up by Dave Caldwell or by any of the coaching staff? Any concerns there at all?
John: They haven’t mentioned it specifically, and it was good enough for Bortles to be a Top 5 selection. Bortles is in the process of working on several fundamentals. There are things that he used in offseason workouts that were new to him, and that he knows he must continue to perfect. He’s a guy who from all reports is very intent on polishing any flaws there may be in his game. I don’t get the idea that the Bortles you’ll see in the coming weeks will be the same one we see at the end of the season and certainly not this time next offseason.
Whooo-buddy. He put me in my place. My bad. Anyway, thanks for the O-zone video Bold City tribute. Appreciate the love. #DTWD
John: There’s always room for epic.
Michael from Orange Park, FL:
The story about the workout invitees made me start thinking about all of the opportunities collegiate players have. Draft, UFA, then workout invitees. Granted, the workout invitees are not long for the team, nonetheless,"... so, you're saying there's a chance.”
John: It is true that most collegiate players who deserve a chance typically get a chance to get in front of NFL personnel people on NFL practice fields. That’s not to say that all of those players make it or even that all of those players get judged equally. It’s tougher for an undrafted player to make a roster if all else is equal. Sometimes, it’s tough for the undrafted player to make it even if he’s slightly better than a drafted player. But there is opportunity and no way is the door closed to a player just because he doesn’t get drafted.
Dane from Jacksonville:
What are the different attributes to look for in a prospective SAM linebacker vs. a prospective WILL linebacker?
John: A “Sam” is a strong-side linebacker and a “Will” is a weak-side linebacker. Generally speaking, you want your Will linebacker to be faster, a little better in pursuit and in coverage and you want your Sam linebacker to be stronger against the run and able to fend off blocks from the tight end at the point of attack.
Bryan from Tampa, FL:
Those who can't get behind "DUUVAAL" are probably the same ones who thought Moodachay was stupid. Some people just don't get genius.
John: Fun is not illegal. In fact, sometimes it’s fun.
Steve from Jacksonville:
I had a vision of you and JP in plush bathrobes lounging by the new pool, umbrella drinks in hand, flanked by the cheerleaders and being waited on by the "Culligan girl" whilst doing a live online Ozone Q&A. Don't even try to deny you haven't considered it. #Ozonebythepool
John: It’s my life. I’ll suffer through best I know how.