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O-Zone: Rumor has it

Posted Feb 17, 2014

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it . . .

Matt from Manassas, VA:
What are the odds that the Jags get the chance to lead the NFL in the culture change in the locker room? With Michael Sam having proclaimed his sexuality in the media and with the Wells report hitting the fan about the misconduct to Martin, you have to wonder if we wouldn’t be a prime target considering the type of coach we have. Gus Bradley comes off as a player-friendly guy, and Shad Khan could try to set the Jags as a household name for the right reasons. Granted, Sam is related to the draft and that’s a crap shoot, but it’s still intriguing.
John: I’d say the odds that your scenario occurs aren’t good, but not because of the off-field dynamics surrounding either Michael Sam or Jonathan Martin. The odds aren’t good because the Jaguars won’t go out of their way to bring in either player just to make a statement; in fact, the off-field situation can’t and shouldn’t factor into how the Jaguars feel about either player. I’m confident in saying either player would be accepted in the Jaguars’ locker room, because of Bradley and because the Jaguars’ roster generally seems to be of high character. But the player acquisition process must be about trying to build a talented roster; leading culture change should be secondary to that. If the Jaguars feel either player could help them, I’m sure they would have no problem bringing them in, but they won’t or shouldn’t bring them in for public-relations reasons.
Garrison from Baton Rouge, LA:
John, here's one fer Tavaris Jackson. He was a competent starter with the Vikings and a very serviceable backup who spent the last two years behind Russell Wilson in Seattle. Bring him in as the backup rather than re-signing Henne. I see some people lobbying for Vick, but Jackson is the better option. He could compete for the starting position as well with whomever we bring in next year. He's got a decent arm and some serious wheels on his feet.
John: OK, one fer Tavaris, and one not fer Vick, but just know that the Jaguars are fer bringin’ back Henne.
Shawn from the Mean Streets of Arlington:
Mr. O, during this crazy, hectic, distracting, busy offseason, do you ever find time to "kick it" with Scobee?
John: The only kicking it I do with Scobee in the offseason is him off my porch. He keeps calling, texting and direct-message tweeting, and at some point, I’d just like some “me” time.
Josh from Kokomo, IN:
If both Clowney and Bridgewater are on the board at No. 3, in your opinion who do we take?
John: If the Jaguars believe Bridgewater is a franchise quarterback, they take Bridgewater. If they don’t, they would likely take Clowney. What people want is to know how the Jaguars feel about Bridgewater; that’s not something we know yet.
John from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
What does Manziel, Bridgewater and Bortles have that is different from what scouts saw in Gabbert when he was drafted?
John: All are different and have different skill sets, but that’s not what you’re asking, I don’t think. If you’re asking if there’s something in Manziel, Bridgewater or Bortles that scouts can see to know beyond a doubt that they will be successful where Gabbert has not yet had success … if a scout could answer that, he’d be considered the greatest scout of all time. All have strengths and all have weaknesses. At the quarterback position, you project the best you can, and if you project well, then you increase your percentage chance of success. Do you ever know for sure? Unfortunately, no.
Mike from Mount Pleasant, SC:
John, Clowney might take some plays off but this Jag fan will gladly take a defensive end that makes 90 tackles, 35 for loss and recorded 21 sacks in his first 2 years in college and that was with mostly with double-teaming and running plays away from him. Even protecting himself last season he still recorded 40 tackles with 11.5 for a loss and 3 sacks. Give me Clowney if he is there at No.3!
John: This isn’t the first fer Clowney nor will it be the last. His statistics are impressive and his highlights are, too. At No. 3, yeah, he’d be hard to pass up.
Patrick from Merced, CA:
So, it looks like Clay Harbor & Will Blackmon are also free agents? Hopefully they aren't going anywhere.. They are both good athletes for this team would be exciting to watch them in the 2014 season.
John: I’d be surprised if both aren’t re-signed.
Tudor from St. Augustine, FL:
I'm not opposed to the London games. I do however take issue with a single team doing it every year. This essentially puts that team at a consistent disadvantage. Wouldn't changing both teams each year via a league-wide rotation make it more balanced?
John: Sure, it would, and I don’t doubt that eventually the league will have a rotating schedule there. For now, Shad Khan and the Jaguars want to expand the fan base internationally, and to do that, you need to be over there on a routine basis.
Austin from Atlanta, GA:
Hey John. Very broad question here. Who do you think that was on the 53-man roster at the end of last season, will not be on it at the start of the season? Or is the list too long to come up with.
John: There likely will be more than a handful of players on the 53-man to end the 2013 season who won’t be around at the start of the 2014 season, though it’s hard to answer your question because so many players finish the season on injured reserve and aren’t really on the 53. I’d expect a few of those players to be released in the coming weeks, but overall, I’d expect upward of 15-20 new players on the opening-week roster.
David from Durban, South Africa:
Jeremy Maclin will be a steal in free agency for the Jags. He is the right combination of youth, proven ability and value for money. Do you see the team targeting him?
John: He indeed is intriguing, but how do you know he’s a good value for the money when we don’t know how much he will cost?
Todd from St. Augustine, FL:
John, just wondering if you had the chance to read the article regarding Myron Rolle from FSU. It was a good read and was wondering your thoughts about the portrayal of the NFL in the story.
John: I did read it, and thought it was a fairly unrealistic portrayal. The story suggested that the Titans and the NFL in general didn’t want Rolle – a Rhodes Scholar -- and were scared to have him around because he was intelligent. That defies reason. Teams don’t release players for being too intelligent; they release players because they aren’t good enough and because they don’t think they can help them win. Coaches and general managers are motivated by winning; the NFL is too competitive and the stakes are too high to leave room for anything else.
Andrew from Jacksonville:
How safe is it to say that we will carry three quarterbacks on the roster this season?
John: I think there’s a very good possibility of that.
Michael from Middleburg:
Two questions... What is the "parking lot incident" and why does this site ask for email addresses when you don't reply?
John: You seem angry and confused. In light of that, I think it’s sort of funny to not answer your question.
Jon from Fort Irwin, CA:
I know that Henne is not elite but I want him back. I won't be mad if he is starting, either. As you mentioned before, giveHenne better protection and some more weapons and he will win games. In all honesty, has Henne ever been on a good team in his career? The answer is no. GM Dave will get the roster better and Henne will win some games. Your thoughts?
John: I think right now that’s a prevailing thought around the Jaguars. I don’t think Caldwell is thinking that he wants to give Henne the keys to the franchise and build the entire organization around him, and I think Caldwell ideally would like to draft a player he believes is a long-term, franchise quarterback. But I also think he knows it’s very dangerous to pick a quarterback No. 3 that you don’t believe is such a player. To do that weakens your team twice. So, the wise option this season could be taking quarterback in the later rounds and building around the quarterback position in free agency and the draft. It’s not written in stone that that will happen, but it certainly is a possibility.
Alan from Jacksonville:
I hear from a friend of a friend who knows a player where you work and was told that each time the player walks by your door they can hear the Culligan commercial playing.
John: That’s Shadrick’s office; mine’s across the hall.

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