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O-Zone: Persistent questions

Posted Aug 28, 2014

JACKSONVILLE – From the FYI front, we’ll start getting Twitter questions involved in the O-Zone soon. Not yet. Not today. Soon. I tell you this now so you can look for it, and so we can all be prepared for this ground-breaking social-media opportunity.

Let’s get to it.

Ronnie from Jacksonville Beach and Sec 119:
So, if Chad Henne blows an ACL on the second series against the Eagles, then Blake Bortles is suddenly ready enough? This seems illogical to us laymen.
John: This is one concept I, too, have struggled at times to grasp. I indeed see the point when people ask, “If Bortles is ready to be one snap away from being The Guy, why is he not ready to be The Guy?” The logic for Bortles backing up Henne is you go into the season with your best players starting and you back them up with the next-best players and so on. The Jaguars believe Henne is the best quarterback on the team right now, so by that logic, it stands to reason Henne would start and Bortles would back him up. But I also see the argument that if Bortles isn’t yet ready to start, then why not have another veteran on the roster who is ready? The answer there is you only have so many roster spots and there are rookies who back up a lot of positions. That’s the way of the NFL. Bottom line: I get the laymen’s argument. And it has a lot of merit except for the Jaguars truly believe Henne is the best option to start and that Bortles truly is the second-best quarterback on the roster right now.
John from Nashua, NH:
I don't really have a question. I just want to say how excited I am for this season (and the future) for the Jags. I figure you get enough negative e-mails. Go Jags!
John: Wait. What?
Adam from St. Johns, FL:
Great job dealing with these idiots every day. We salute you!
John: Being a father and husband is an honor and a privilege. I don’t need to be lauded for it, and you needn’t salute me.
Redmond from Jacksonville:
Since preseason is winding down I would like to ask what is your prediction for the Jags’ final record for this year?
John: I think they’ll go 6-10 or 7-9. I also think they’ll be significantly more competitive in significantly more games than last season, and I think the combination of two things would be a marked improvement over where the franchise was at the end of 2012.
Andrew from Toledo, OH:
Will the Jaguars please scrap these helmets? It is the only thing holding back the identity of this team. At least make them black and teal instead of gold. Do you think they will consider a change after the season? The helmets are awful!!!
John: The helmets are cool. I like them. And they’re not changing for at least four more seasons.
Renee from Section 104/20-year season-ticket holder:
John, the more I see of Denard Robinson, the more I like him. How do you see the Jaguars utilizing his talents and getting him some touches?
John: I think they’ll hand him the ball, pitch him the ball and throw him the ball. And I think they’ll have him catch the ball when players on the other team kick balls off tees.
Daniel from Minneapolis, MN:
So what percentage of your inbox is people asking/whining about the Henne-Bortles situation?
John: Large.
Brian from Round Rock, TX:
All things considered, I could make a good argument that Blake Bortles is the best player on the team (talent, draft position, playing position). Planning to not play the best player on the team seems like a bad plan. Yes, I think I'm outraged. I'll support the team, but this is a major ding on coaches’ performance so far. Caldwell still gets an A . Bradley is probably a C (this is his most important decision so far). As you've pointed out, I'm aware my opinion is meaningless; thanks for the reminder though.
John: Your opinions are in no way meaningless. Not even close. An opinion having meaning doesn’t mean that it has enough merit to be factored into the Jaguars’ football decisions.
Mark from Jacksonville :
I think you need to write it in Spanish or some other language, because people don't seem to understand it in English. Chad Henne is starting the season.
John: Ddlfflf dlddldl isfof otot dd Chad Henne. NxSxxx. Sosos. Blake Bortles xxxxx safff xxxdd.
Bruce from Jacksonville:
O-Man, I am interested in who you think on this team is destined for the practice squad?
John: Some practice-squad decisions will depend on last-minute roster machinations. For instance, kicker Kasey Redfern could be kept on the practice squad if the Jaguars have concern over Josh Scobee’s availability for the opener. I’d project players such as cornerback Rashaad Reynolds, Redfern, quarterback Stephen Morris, perhaps quarterback Ricky Stanzi, running back Storm Johnson, defensive tackle DeAndre Coleman, tight end D.J. Tialavea ands safety Craig Loston as possibilities.
Jerry from Tamarac, FL:
Why is it that defensive linemen can move after they put their hand in the ground but offensive linemen cannot?
John: Because that’s the rule.
Charles from Midlothian, VA:
Hypothetical: We are losing and Henne is flustered. Henne goes down with a mild sprain. Bortles comes in and we win the game with Bortles playing heads-up football. Henne’s foot is fine and taped up for Week 2 … Who starts?
John: I think Bortles would continue to start in that situation. Once he plays well in a regular-season game, it will be hard to go back.
Bucky from Jacksonville:
If it wasn’t for the Bortles-vs.-Henne questions, would we even have an O-Zone?
John: We did before.
David from Sweden:
Do you think there's a chance Mike Brewster might not even make the final 53 now that it seems he's out of the center battle? And on that note, which players do you think will be on the make the roster on offensive line?
John: I do think there’s a chance Brewster doesn’t make the team, which I hate to see because I like Brewster a lot. I’d say Luke Joeckel, Zane Beadles, Luke Bowanko, Brandon Linder, Austin Pasztor, Jacques McClendon and Cameron Bradfield make the roster with strong consideration given to Drew Nowak. I don’t know that any of tackle other than Bradfield or Pasztor make it, and you could see the team look for a short-term fix off the waiver wire until Pasztor returns from injury.
Ross from Jacksonville:
It's hard to call Jacksonville a good football town when all the fans seem to do is dis their starting quarterback and they are only interested in seeing a rookie play. I'd be more worried about my team’s lack of a run game, lack of an offensive line and defense before I worried about who starts at quarterback. Henne is a good guy who plays hard and gives back to the community. He was also the best player on the team last season. Jags "fans" though seem more interested in talking about how he sucks. To me, that just says most Jaguar "fans" are under the age of 10.
John: Nah, it just means they’re fans.
Ryan from Toronto, CA:
I, too, believe Bortles has the ability to mature into a solid starting NFL quarterback. I bring up the dropped interceptions merely as a counterpoint to the "START HIM NOW!" movement. I believe that Gus has the right approach to start this season and that as it stands today, Henne gives us the best chance to win.
John: The Jaguars absolutely believe that. I don’t know how long they will believe it, but I do know they believe it now.
Scotty from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Does a team have to announce its starting quarterback prior to the game, or can they start whoever they want at game time?
John: A team can start who it wants wherever it wants regardless of position.
Jerry from Tamarac, FL:
I feel like Telvin Smith has not been discussed as much here as he should have been. Has he gotten big enough where the coaches want him or will that take another season and do you see him having a major role this upcoming season?
John: Goodness gracious. He’s a reserve linebacker who we seem to mention a couple of times a week. It’s merited, and I think he’s going to be a very good player, but how often should we mention him? Smith’s growth will take place next offseason and as for now, he is starting in the nickel package, which is a major role.
John from Albany, NY:
I am curious, have you ever thought about coaching? I feel that sports journalists are more savvy viewers and process the game better, but I wonder how this knowledge transfers over to effective coaching.
John: I’m often asked about coaching, particularly by coaches here at EverBank Field. One of the most oft-heard questions around EverBank is when coaches happen by the desk on the day after a game and say, ‘Hey, O-Zone, what would you have done?’ in this situation or that situation. My guy, offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch, is particularly “persistent” on this front. Security often gets involved.

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