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O-Zone: Seriously, not funny

Posted Sep 27, 2013

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it . . .

Mike from St. Mary’s, GA:
I read your article saying CS3, Ace (Sanders) and (Jeremy) Ebert were working at wide receiver with Matt Scott in practice on Wednesday. Are they looking at Scott possibly becoming a receiver, or was it just completely a case of needing someone with speed who knows the routes? Also, I was wondering how practice works with Denard; does he solely work with the running backs, or does he participate with the receivers as well?
John: Scott practicing as a receiver this week was a numbers issue. Justin Blackmon still isn’t practicing, and Stephen Burton and Mike Brown were out with injuries, so the Jaguars needed players who could run the plays and enable others to practice. As for Robinson, he works at running back, Wildcat quarterback and receiver depending on the situation.
Mr. Sir from Jacksonville:
John, are you BAD, really B.A.D.? (Bored And Depressed)
John: I’m awful.
Ryan from Vidalia, GA:
Who is this "Vito" guy Coach Bradley responds to so often in his interviews? He asks the most questions during every interview. Does he work for the Jags? He seems to be the only media personal that Gus replies to by name.
John: He is Vito Stellino, of the Florida Times-Union. He is “The Man” among the Jaguars’ media corps and possesses special powers. He does not work for the Jaguars, though he probably aspired to do so at some point to the level of “obsession.” I could say more, but it wouldn’t do him justice.
Doug from Jacksonville:
Do you expect Stanzi to be cut now that Gabbert is healthy? It is a shame as this kid has a cannon and is very disciplined. Would have been interesting if he had been here in camp to compete.
John: I don’t expect Stanzi to be cut. I expect he’ll be the Jaguars’ third quarterback for a while.
Brosnan in Kabul, AF from North Jacksonville:
I wonder what SPIN you're going to put on this horrific Blaine Gabbert performance postgame.
John: I haven’t budgeted out the stories for Sunday yet. But I’ll probably do what I normally do, which is to try to best explain what happened in the game without overreacting, generalizing and reacting in quick-trigger fashion. Some people hate when I do that, no doubt, but that’s the plan.
Peter from Maribor, Slovenia:
Out of the Top 10 picks in the NFL 2013 draft there are possibly three players living up to expectations: Joeckel, Mingo and Austin. Why do fans believe tanking is good when you can't get a no-brainer even in the Top 10?
John: I wouldn’t be so quick to judge Joeckel or the other players in the Top 10. We’re through Week 3 of their careers, which is absurdly early to judge an NFL player. A rookie making an immediate impact of significance is relatively rare, and a rookie living up to pre-draft hype is even more so. I covered Fred Taylor, Reggie Wayne and Dwight Freeney as rookies. I can remember hearing people call all three “busts” at some point in their rookie seasons. They may not all be in the Hall of Fame someday, but it wouldn’t be absurd if any made it, either.
Eric from Jacksonville:
I know there is more to it than this, and you don't like to seriously answer Tebow questions, but why not sign Tebow as a stopgap until we find a quarterback? As a starter he has better yards/play, more wins, more 300 yd passing games, more TDs/game, more explosive plays per game, less turnovers per game, less sack yards per game, and a better clutch win percentage. Also, he has shown to be an effective leader. Just sayin.
John: Oh, as long as you were “just sayin.” Here’s the biggest reason I don’t seriously answer Tebow questions: because the Jaguars seriously aren’t signing him. Also, the debate is like politics and religion and whether I answer seriously or not, there is no listening to reason from either side – that, and the most reasonable answer only sparks more questions and anger from people who don’t want to understand the answer.
Royce from Jacksonville:
“It’s a performance-based business. The Jaguars are ranked 32nd in the NFL in passing offense and 32nd in overall offense. Anyone associated with the offense is feeling heat.” This is an answer you gave to an email in November of 2011...and you say fans should be patient.
John: I said fans should be patient? Really? When was this?
Daniel from Section 146:
Why do we want Caldwell fired? A) Inexperience; b) he fired all the coaches after one season; c) he let many of the team’s best players leave, many of whom are starting for other teams; d) THE TEAM IS WORSE THAN WHEN HE ARRIVED. What's not to understand?
John: This was a real email.
Corey from Jacksonville:
Why won't the Jags look at using Denard Robinson in the slot like Wes Welker is used?
John: He’s not good enough at it yet.
David from Kingsland, GA:
Why do so many struggle with the concept that you don't have to draft interior offensive linemen early? It's not that it isn't an important position, and it isn't that these guys aren't worthy, but if no other team is drafting them in the first round, why wouldn't you wait until the second or third rounds? It's a wasted pick if you could get the same guy in the later rounds. It's that simple, isn't it?
John: It’s more complicated than that. Really, what the issue is . . . no, wait . . . actually, you’ve got it.
Bob with Jacksonville:
Enough with the #Shadricksightings. It's getting as bad as the Tebow questions.
John: Or as … “AWESOME!!!!”
Tom from Mandarin:
Enough with the shadricksighting junk, please. Use the space to answer real questions. If you have to play games, do it on your dime.
John: I’m sorry for having fun, Tom – or as you call it, “playing games,” and I’m sorry for overcharging you for this website. I imagine you are probably sore from scrolling down. Get well, soon.
Chris from Boring, OR:
If you could sell your life, how much would you sell it for?
John: It would probably sell for exactly how much Tom pays to read this site every day.
David from Durbin, South Africa:
I read that a team never looks more inept than when its offensive line is overwhelmed. Is that not the case with the Jaguars? The offense looks worse than it is.
John: Two things can make a team look really bad – when the offensive line can’t block well, and when the defense can’t stop the run. The latter makes it look like a team isn’t giving effort and the former, as you say, just makes things look inept. That’s particularly true when it’s the interior of the line, because the quarterback winds up scrambling outside, runs get stuffed, plays end too quickly and things just look out of sorts.
Sean from Jacksonville:
Unfortunately, it's becoming more and more obvious that Gus Bradley does not have what it takes to be a Head Coach in this league. He coddles Gabbert and is hurting the team for the sake of seeing if Gabbert can even play in the NFL. Henne showed he can at least move the offense and honestly he's the only one who can at this moment. I can see why Blaine Gabbert's nickname is Blame Gabbert because if he was on a real team, he would have either been cut or benched by now.
John: There are occasionally people who write in and tell me something I wrote was funny. My words rarely have been as funny as your first sentence.
Sebastian from Poland:
Can you please explain why you think Caldwell and Bradley will not get fired regardless of what happens this season if Mularkey and staff were? I say give any staff you hire three years if you're rebuilding so I guess Khan must not have liked what he saw in the previous staff. Is that fair to say?
John: Remember, Khan hired Mularkey within two months after buying the team and was working with General Manager Gene Smith, who had been the general manager for three years before Khan’s arrival. Khan spoke often this offseason of feeling far more comfortable with this tandem, in large part because he had had a year of experience as an NFL owner to get a better feel for what he truly wanted from the two positions. Khan also said he had a clearer idea of the state of the franchise coming into this offseason and regular season. The previous regime operated with the idea that they were a piece or two from being a playoff team, therefore the 2-14 record came as a surprise. This regime understood that it was at the beginning of a building process and it would take time to get the desired results. That’s not to say they wanted to lose. Far from it. But there is an understanding on the part of management and ownership that the team should be significantly better in a few years than currently is the case.
Austin from Atlanta, GA:
How well does Gabbert have to play to prove he can be 'the man?’ Playing well seems to be open for debate.
John: He has to play a lot better than he has. He probably doesn’t have to play as well as Peyton Manning. Not to be vague, but we’ll know it if we see it. So far, we haven’t seen it.
Chris from Stratford, CT:
Say you have an early pick and you have two guys on your board who are both dynamic: a potential franchise QB and a three-down pass rusher whom offenses will have to game plan for? Which would you pick?
John: You take the quarterback.
Dave from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Stealthily scooping up all the change in the take-a-penny, leave-a-penny dish at the Kangaroo station. #Shadricksightings
John: /(Giggling)
Andrew from Panama City Beach, FL:
Sighing in disappointment when she sees the headlights pull into the driveway #mrsozonesighting
John: /(Not giggling).

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