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O-Zone: No worries

Posted Nov 13, 2013

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it . . .

Billy from East Northport, NY:
How is it that the NFL has a drug policy and suspends violators on the premise that they're supposed to be "role models?" Yet, there is no hazing policy in place. In fact, it’s often featured on Hard Knocks. What kind of example does that set for college, high school and youth players?!?
John: First, I don’t know that there’s a “role-model” premise involved. Second, there is a difference between mild practical jokes and true hazing, as most players who played in the NFL – some of whom are reasonable, mature individuals – can attest. Third, because the line between those two is very difficult not to blur, I expect you’ll see a policy in place at some point in the not-too-distant future.
Jim from Section 114:
During the television broadcast of the Titans game, the announcers said if the player who downed the ball at the 1-yard line (LaRoy Reynolds) let his foot break the plane of the goal line it was a touchback. I thought if the player actually stepped into the end zone or touched the goal line it was a touchback. It is a similar situation to going out of bounds. It did appear we broke the plane, but the ball was placed at the one, which eventually led to a safety which was the difference in the game. The break-the-plane does not apply to downing the ball on punts does it?
John: No.
Dane from Jacksonville:
I had the same sentiment about the defense as you. The Jaguars played very well early defensively, but tailed off drastically at the end – likely due to a lack of pass rush. I felt for sure we would lose the game in the last minute because the defense couldn't close out. Still, with some difference-makers on passing downs, I feel our defense is very close.
John: My comment Tuesday about yards allowed at game’s end wasn’t a criticism of the defense. Teams often give up more yards at the end of games when leading than early in the games. But yes, a lack of a pass rush is going to show up more at close-it-out time at the end of games than any other time.
Chris from Ohio:
If we end the year tied for worst record in the league what is the determining factor for the No. 1 selection in next year’s draft?
John: Ties in draft order are determined by strength of schedule. The team with the weakest strength of schedule picks first.
Les from DUUVALLL:
Is it just me, or does Chad Henne have a disproportionate amount of passes batted at the line of scrimmage? It seems he had nearly a half dozen passes batted at the line Sunday. Is this because our offensive line is allowing too much pressure and penetration, or is it a mechanical problem on Chad's part?
John: It’s not you. Henne typically has a lot of passes tipped, and it’s something that has followed him throughout his career. I asked him about it earlier this season, and he said he has studied it, too. He doesn’t believe it’s a mechanical issue. The pressure allowed by this line can’t help, but it appears it could have something to do with passing lanes as well.
Bryan from Jacksonville:
Coach Bradley gives a lot of nicknames. Does he have one for you (that you can share)?
John: “Hey, you.”
Eric from Boston, MA:
Has enough time passed to evaluate whether Bryan Anger is worthy of his third-round selection? He had one of his better games this past Sunday. However, I always fall back to the whole we-could-have-snagged-Russell Wilson-instead point.
John: Anger’s selection never will hold up to the Russell Wilson argument. You obviously would rather have Russell Wilson than just about any player in that draft, Anger included. But one year after selecting a quarterback No. 10 overall very few teams would have taken Russell Wilson in the third round. It doesn’t make it easier for fans to accept, but that was the case at the time.
Donny from Jacksonville:
In your opinion, are we done seeing Blaine Gabbert under center in a Jags uni barring injury? Is it possible the coaches are just giving him time to watch from the sidelines in hoping it will help the game slow down for him, before giving him his last chance?
John: With seven games remaining, it seems unlikely Gabbert will start again for the Jaguars barring injury. No, I don’t believe the coaches are just waiting to give him another chance.
Robert from Orange Park, FL:
The linebackers as a unit played their best game of the season. With Poz out this week, who will take his place in the lineup? I also noticed a couple of new players on defense. Numbers 22 and 53, I believe? Can you speculate?
John: The Jaguars’ linebacker as a group indeed may have played their best game Sunday, and that was particularly true of outside linebacker Geno Hayes. As for Paul Posluszny, he hasn’t been ruled out for Sunday with the concussion he sustained near the end of Sunday’s game. If he doesn’t play, I’d look for Russell Allen to move inside with John Lotulelei playing outside in Allen’s place. The coaches want to get a look at Lotulelei there anyway and he got some repetitions in place of Allen on Sunday. Lotulelei wore No. 53, so that’s that part of your second question. No. 22 is Winston Guy. He played free safety along with Josh Evans Sunday.
Rob from Fleming Island, FL:
No disrespect intended but assuming the team moves forward with a new quarterback, is there trade value for Blaine or would he just be released?
John: Under your scenario, he likely would be released.
The Grabster from Jacksonville and Section 216:
Will Blackmon has done nothing but impress me since he was signed by Caldwell. Even before his game- winning strip and touchdown Sunday, he was a nice cover corner with a penchant for being physical and making plays. How long is his current contract and do you expect him to be a significant part of this secondary going forward?
John: Will Blackmon becomes a free agent following this season. He has expressed interest in being with the team moving forward. He certainly has played well enough that you would think he has a chance to be around as a reserve corner or a nickel back.
David from St. Augustine, FL:
Fans place too much importance on the No. 1 draft pick. While there is value in having no one pick in front of you, it is much more important for there to be a solid system for players to enter once selected. The Jaguars took a big step forward for the system Sunday and each and every player drafted next year will be a better player because of it.
John: Yes.
Brent from the Southside:
Thank you for my new favorite word. "diddly-hoo" It's cool. I like it.
John: No worries.
Austin from Atlanta, GA:
After all the talk Denard would get more carries, I believe he actually had less than Todman. Not complaining or anything, but wasn't he put as No. 2 on the depth chart for a reason? Was this just because of the way the game was unfolding or was it something else?
John: The first-quarter fumble didn’t help.
Jeff from Jacksonville:
Not getting the first pick in the draft does not mean that the Jags will not get a franchise quarterback. Remember what round Tom Brady was picked in. Play to win, and then trust the judgment of Gus and Dave to find the best players in the draft.
John: Yes. Remember, the NFL is not like the NBA where there often is a player who obviously stands out as a can’t-miss player. The NFL had that situation two years ago when Andrew Luck looked can’t-miss, but that’s pretty rare. Most years, as is the case this season, it’s a matter of picking the right player. Now, do the Jaguars want to be in good draft position come next May? Yes, but that draft positioning will take care of itself.
Grant from Baton Rouge, LA:
What happens with Cam Bradfield and Austin Pasztor after this year? Both of them have played extremely well and could start in the future, but on the other hand, there's certainly no way Caldwell/Bradley will decide to bench their first-round draft pick of 2013, Luke Joeckel. Does one move to guard, or do they just go with depth at the tackle spot?
John: It seems the most likely scenario is Joeckel starting at left tackle, with Austin Pasztor having a chance to start at right tackle and Cameron Bradfield having a chance to be a reserve behind both. I wouldn’t say that scenario was anywhere close to set in stone, but it could play out that way.
Andy from St. John’s, FL:
Are you going to do another funny video at the fair again this year?
John: We’ll probably do a video. I can’t promise it will be funny.

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