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O-Zone: No fun at all . . .

Posted Nov 1, 2013

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it . . .

Daniel from Johnston, IA:
This question isn't about the Jags, specifically (though some might take it that way). Do you see the NFL splitting a franchise between London and a U.S. city? Four games over there, four games in the U.S.? London has done a great job with attendance, but it’s one thing to fill seats for one or two games a year; a whole season seems more daunting.
John: This answer isn’t about the Jags specifically (though some might take it that way). I can see a team playing a game or two a season over there at the most, not as much because of attendance but because of travel and logistics. As someone who was on the team plane flying back Monday, I can tell you the 10-hour flight from London done 10 times a year or even five times a year would be brutal. I don’t know that a team could overcome it. Now, to do it once or twice a year? Packaged around a bye week? That would be tough, but it could work. The most likely scenario seems to be this idea that has been reported in the last week about the league playing eight games a year in London, with teams rotating in that series. That makes more sense than a four-four split.
Josh from Jacksonville:
Home alone, lights off, not answering the door and eating all the Halloween candy. #shadricksighting
John: Yes.
York from Jacksonville:
You sound like Obama, trying to make excuses for our Overpaid Football Team. When something does not work, give other players a chance to get some reps – like Stanzi. He cannot do worse than the rest of the team. The Jags will be going 0-16 this year. You have to really try very hard to convince me otherwise.
John: First, as for giving players a “chance to get some reps,” I understand that impulse from fans. At the same time, from a coach’s perspective, you also need to have at least some semblance of continuity to try to build toward being good on one side of the ball or other. To simply move players in and out of the lineup en masse each week goes counter to establishing continuity. You want to give players a chance, but there’s a balance between those two aims. As for the Jaguars’ record, I have no idea what it will be – somewhere between 0-16 and 8-8 is my best guess. I can’t predict the future, and while this may shock you, it’s not my job to “convince you otherwise.”Therefore, I don’t have to “really try very hard to do that.” I write to try to inform people about the Jaguars and to allow people to have some fun along the way – not to convince you of the Jaguars’ final record.
Cliff from Callahan, FL:
I just don't get the angst over not seeing the Cowboys or 49ers play here. I've never, ever gone to a game because I wanted to see the *other* team. That just makes no sense to me. I just want to beat the stuffing out of *whoever* is on the other sideline. I don't give a flip who it is.
John: Now, *that* I get.
Wallace from Jacksonville:
I truly feel for you. Trying to put lipstick on this ugly pig and telling us the Jaguars will be better is a tough, tough sell. I've been watching NFL football for about 40 years and this squad has a real shot at gaining recognition as the worst ever. I'm to the point of just not even caring to watch the Jaguars. It's just too painful.
John: While I appreciate you saying this, there’s no reason for pity – at least not because of questions I answer. I haven’t said the Jaguars are good this season, and I really haven’t spent much time trying to tell people they’ll get better this season. In terms of victories and losses, the Jaguars may not get dramatically better this season. Now, will they improve in ways coaches, players and the front office can see? Yeah, I expect that. But I don’t see it as a tough sell that the organization is on a path to improve over the long term. The plan is sound and the people running the organization have no plans to deviate from it. While there are no guarantees in professional sports, that gives the Jaguars a good chance of success and that’s all you can ask.
John from Jacksonville:
I know much of your mail is centered around complaints and that you thoroughly enjoy reading those complaints, but I have just one more. There isn't enough positivity coming from Jacksonville. I love this team regardless of what happens. It’s time for everyone to fill Everbank on the 10th and give this team a home-field advantage! Go Jags!
John: Oh, you complainer, you.
Corey from Jacksonville:
The only reason I will continue to attend games is if Khan stays this course. He made us build from scratch, and I hate every bit of it. But as long as he continues to support Bradley/Caldwell, I will continue to support the Jaguars.
John: You have nothing to worry about.
Michael from Las Vegas, NV:
Though this season has been tough to endure, one of the few bright spots has been your O-Zone mailbag. Are they as fun to make as for us to watch? Keep up the great work!
John: Every day of my life is stuffed to the gills with not only fun, but high wages, personal and career satisfaction and fine wines and cigars from around the world. Making the O-Zone mailbag is just part of that mosaic.
Bobby from Doboy Island, GA:
“You really don't want to be big in pro free agency," (Gene) Smith said recently. "That's not where you want to be. You want to be big in the draft. Pro free agency, that's just to supplement your roster." Everyone talks a good game. We'll only know if (David) Caldwell is the right guy if he sticks to that and more importantly he drafts well. We'll learn in the next couple of years if Caldwell is the guy.
John: This has become a hot topic in the inbox lately, trying to pick apart the words of Gene Smith and David Caldwell, and finding similarities or differences in each – as if that will determine whether or not Caldwell’s building plan will work. You’re exactly right that the plan will work if Caldwell drafts good players, and if they are supplemented well in free agency. That’s the whole key – and, of course, good quarterback play.
Kevin from Charlotte, NC:
Do you long for the day when the questions will be about winning the next game instead of London, quarterbacks, terrible staff, comments from the media, respect, and on and on?
John: I have a very good job that I enjoy, and not just because of the wine and cigars. A lot of it has to do with Shadrick taking a lot of “personal days.” I answer questions, inform when I can and entertain when I can. A lot of people like what I do for the website and a find me annoying. At home, pretty much every one finds me annoying, so I don’t complain too much about my job.
Fred from Naples, FL:
Don't get me wrong: I love Gus Bradley's enthusiasm and hope he does well long-term. But some guys make better coordinators than head coaches. I believe a major reason the Jags succeeded in their early days was the discipline, demeanor and attention to every detail Tom Coughlin gave them. As we are basically starting over like an expansion team wouldn't we have been better served with a Tom Coughlin-like coach rather than a "glass half full, rah-rah" guy?
John: Don’t overreact, Fred. You’re better than that. We’re eight games into what is a building season.
Kyle from Camp Buehring, Kuwait:
I think I know the reason why people are suggesting taking aquarterback in the second round, instead of the first. A lot of fans are worried of taking that first-round-bust quarterback. It’s just hard to handle. I mean, we took Leftwich over Roethlisberger, Matt Jones over Aaron Rodgers, and you can't forget, Blaine Gabbert. Fans are just a little scared O-Man.
John: That’s understandable, though the Jaguars actually took Leftwich a year before Roethlisberger came out. But your point is taken. Here’s the thing, though: whatever people are suggesting really matters not a bit. David Caldwell is the one who has to figure out whether to take a quarterback in the first round next May. He’ll make that decision based on whether there’s a quarterback there worthy of being selected so early, and he won’t be influenced by anything in the Jaguars’ past.
Mark from Palm Coast, FL:
Fun Fact: Scobee has scored four more points himself than the rest of our offense combined.
John: You and I have different ideas of fun.

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