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O-Zone: Rumor central

Posted Jan 4, 2014

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it . . .

Keith from Palatka, FL:
The honeymoon is over. David Caldwell and Gus Bradley must realize results are what count. Yes, we got better, but the "feel-good" stuff only lasts so long. Winning IS important. To win, Caldwell in particular must make the right decisions. This offseason is the real test. Will he fix the interior of the offensive line? Will he fix the pass rush? Will he fix the quarterback situation? If he does not, will he see empty seats where former season-ticket holders used to sit? Time will tell. I will not renew my season tickets until I see what he is going to do. I have waited long enough for the interior of the offensive line to be fixed, a pass-rusher to be acquired, and a franchise quarterback to be selected. I am out of patience.
John: I appreciate your email, Keith. For the rest of us standing in the sand, we now can see your line in it. Here’s the thing that must be remembered during this building process. It must be done the right way. Caldwell knows the interior of the line must be addressed. He knows the pass rush must be fixed. He knows the quarterback situation must be improved. He and Bradley also know results are what count. At the same time, if he looks at the quarterbacks available and there is no franchise player, is he supposed to take one at No. 3 for the sake of taking one? He was criticized by many last year for not drafting one, remember, and I’m not sure that can now be classified as a bad decision. I expect interior offensive line to be addressed this offseason.They will look for a pass rusher and a quarterback. I expect they will acquire at least one. Can it all be done in one offseason? Can it be done to satisfy you? Time will tell.
Aaron from Jacksonville:
Am I the first person in 2014 to ask you a Tebow question?
John: Unfortunately, no.
Ray from Jacksonville:
What is everyone's fascination with Matt Scott? Have you ever received more emails about a player about whom fans know so little? I realize the team has a big need at the position, but what has he done to generate such interest?
John: You’re right that Matt Scott Mania has been a bit much among Jaguars followers. He was projected to be selected in the draft last offseason and wasn’t. That made people believe he would have a chance to start last season when he didn’t. I don’t post all of the emails about Scott, and I try hard not to be facetious about the emails, because Scott is a good guy who’s working hard and who has shown some potential. His situation is not one to be mocked. But the interest has been extreme and doesn’t match where he is in his development.
Mike from Moline, IL:
If we are moving forward with the approach that we aren't assuming Justin Blackmon will be part of the team, we need another receiver capable of starting on the outside. Typically receivers like that are drafted in the first few rounds, if not where Blackmon was selected. How do you expect Caldwell to fill this need? Will we see Caldwell get a receiver in the first wave of unrestricted free agency? Also, a FA will know that Blackmon is talented enough to be able to come and take his spot in the lineup back. I really like Justin as a player but he hasn't helped this organization.
John: I expect there’s a good chance the Jaguars could take a receiver in the first three rounds of the draft.
Martin from Jacksonville:
O-man, as far as the Jags not having any contact with Blackmon, couldn't they hire private investigators and find out how he's doing? Would that violate the rules?
John: I suppose in theory they could bug his bathroom, tap his phones and set up a permanent Skype around his house, too. The Jaguars laid out their approach in this area pretty clearly this week. They see Blackmon as a luxury, not a necessity. They will support him and do whatever they can to help and promote his well-being, but not to the point where they depend on him on the field or to the point where he becomes an organizational obsession.
Camron from Orlando, FL:
Wait, how is Poz the wrong guy to pay? And how is he overpaid? It's not like he is one of the Top 3 or 4 middle linebackers in the league. It's not like he's held down our D, making adjustments at a rate that Peyton would if he were a backer. Yeah, overpaying for him … Caldwell, retain this man. He is our best player on D.
John: I wouldn’t sweat this issue much. Posluszny will make a lot of money next season, but he also has played very well and has been exemplary in many, many ways the past three seasons. He was critical to the defense and to the locker room last season. He’s the sort of player teams and general managers don’t mind paying because he earned the contract. Caldwell was pretty clear this week there wouldn’t be an issue with bringing Posluszny back.
Jess from Section 106:
What are your Conference finals predictions and how about a Super Bowl winner?
John: AFC: Denver-Cincinnati; NFC: Seattle-Carolina. Seattle over Denver in the Super Bowl.
Redmond from Jacksonville:
Since the middle of this year I've heard you say the Jags will be more active in free agency this year than in years past. Does this mean we will actually sign a free agent who is a playmaker? For example, Greg Hardy?
John: I didn’t say the Jaguars would be more active in free agency than “years past.” I said I think they will be more active in high-profile, first-tier free agency than “last year.” That means I think the Jaguars probably will sign one player during that time, and at the very least they will seriously explore it. That wasn’t the case last year, when they didn’t want to get involved because they were in the first year of the building process. I expect they will pursue an interior lineman in that phase. Whether they will pursue a “playmaker” or not depends on availability and fit, which will be very hard to determine until we know who is available.
Lee from Duval County:
Any pick outside of Manziel or Clowney would be a huge mistake on the Jaguars part. Happy New Year and what do you think?
John: Happy New Year and no doubt: there are no college football players who have any chance to be remotely as good as Manziel or Clowney. Not just this year. Maybe in the history and future of the sport as well.
Bruce from Gotham:
The website spotrac.com has evaluated MJD's new contract to be in the four-year, $30 Million range. They based this off the recent contracts of D. Williams, R. Bush, F. Gore and S. Jackson and compared performance. I think it may be more in line with four-year, $25 million range. I think there will be teams willing to give him this. Do you think the Jags are one of them?
John: I would be surprised if any team gives Jones-Drew that contract unless it is very incentive-based. I would be shocked if the Jaguars do.
Fred from Jacksonville:
We've all heard the story about a reporter saying to Babe Ruth "Babe you made more than the president!" and the Babe responds "I had a better year!" Now, I know Poz is going to make 20 times what the President made but … he had a better year. My vote is to pay Poz. Free agency is a gamble. Poz is as close to a sure thing as you will ever have. He knows the D scheme, he is a leader AND a player. You are very open and honest about the futures of other players...what about Poz?
John: I think Posluszny will be with the Jaguars in the 2014 season.
Christina from Section 123 and St. Augustine, FL:
I will trust whoever Caldwell selects because I believe in him. However, if Manziel is his pick at No. 3 (or even if we are lucky enough to trade down as far as 10) I will be extremely fearful of the future of our quarterback position. I cannot envision his style of play working in the NFL without some serious injuries. There are arguments that "but he can be a pocket passer" and "all he needs is a line.” If that's the case you're suggesting Caldwell draft him to change the way he plays so why not just draft a prototypical pocket passer to begin with? I get the excitement but I just can't see past the risk.
John: One not fer Johnny.
Rob in Section 205 and Jacksonville:
I'm tired of hearing about Johnny Manziel. He's the reincarnation of Michael Vick. How'd that work out?
John: Another not fer Johnny.
Steve from Jacksonville:
Any truth to the rumors of Green Bay moving to L.A.?
John: No. Indianapolis, Cincinnati or Jacksonville, either.

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