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O-Zone: Standing united

Posted May 2, 2014

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it…

Quinn from Tampa, FL:
Do NFL analysts outside the organization have any real impact on what Dave Caldwell thinks? You hear of players flying up and down the draft boards from Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, but is there any value to that? Or does each organization create its big board from scratch?
John: Analysts generally have little impact on draft boards of general managers – David Caldwell or otherwise. The draft boards of the great majority of NFL Draft analysts are reflective of what analysts are hearing from NFL personnel people – not vice-versa – with reports of players flying up and down draft boards far more about the media learning what personnel people are really thinking than front-office types wavering on prospects. Mike Mayock of the NFL Network is perhaps the most respected “media type” when it comes to talent evaluation, and general managers probably would be more apt to listen Mayock in a football discussion. Still, I doubt Mayock’s list of top players holds a lot of sway over Caldwell or other general managers. Personnel departments work year-round scouting players to put together draft boards and plans. They’re presumably capable of doing those jobs without input from the media.
The Culligan Girl from Jacksonville:
Wait? The Big Day is Friday, right? A thousand consecutive days with an O-Zone? That’s wooooondeerfulll?
John: Well, yes – Friday does mark 1,000 consecutive O-Zone days-ish. Other than that I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Hunter from Jacksonville:
You are a Customer Retention Representative for the Jaguars, as well as being a senior writer. You need to know that and they should never forget it. I am "more" of a fan because of you and I'm sure I don't stand alone. In fact, I would say that I... I... I... #STANDUNITED.
John: Oh, yeah? Who are “they,” Hunter? Just who do you mean by “THEY?!”
Joe from the Mean Streets of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
The Jags are definitely taking a franchise quarterback in next year's draft. Do you think the Jags will be scared away from drafting Winston because of some off-the-field youthful indiscretions?
John: I have no idea how the Jaguars will feel about Jameis Winston off the field. I do know Caldwell doesn’t automatically eliminate players from consideration because of the smallest of issues. One thing about your premise, though: it seems to indicate that the Jaguars absolutely, positively will go full-on into the 2015 draft vowing to take a quarterback early no matter what. I don’t see that being the case. First, the Jaguars may get their Franchise Quarterback in *this* draft. If at the end of this season they determine that they have not found that guy they’ll reassess and determine when it’s best to take a quarterback in next year’s draft. But I don’t think you’ll see them force the idea of taking a Franchise Guy in a round where they don’t think one is available. It just doesn’t feel like that’s a tact this team is going to take.
Austin from Jacksonville:
Hey John, curious who you think has the edge at the fullback position going into the new season? Is Will the guy still?
John: I’d say it is indeed Will Ta’ufo’ou. As of now, he and third-year veteran Bradie Ewing are the lone fullbacks on the roster.
Andrew from Jacksonville:
The Jaguars’ franchise has been cultivating a strong base that grew up watching the team. The theory is that one day, when they get old enough to purchase season tickets, they will be there for the long haul. I have been a huge fan since ‘98 when I first learned the rules of football and have said my whole life once I get my first real job I will buy season tickets with my first paycheck. Well, I was hired full-time a few weeks ago and will be cheering from section 245 this year and for the near future!
John: Wait a minute … people are hiring full-time? Where? When?
Doub from Harrisburg, PA:
What do Emmanuel Smith, Matt Jones, Bryan Anger, and Marcus Stroud have in common? We selected them before Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks (Brady, Rodgers, Wilson, and Brees).
John: I understand that this is a ritual in which fans love to partake, going through past drafts and playing, “What if?” It not only makes for interesting reading, it stirs emotions of people wanting to blame this executive, that general manager or some past misstep for a team. The reality is many, many teams pass on quarterbacks every year – and, in fact, many teams passed on the quarterbacks you list. The Jaguars stand out because they didn’t draft a quarterback in those drafts, but even if they had there would have been no guarantee the career paths would have been the same in Jacksonville as they were for other franchises. Look ahead, Doub … not back. Face the future with bright eyes and a full heart.
Robert from Jacksonville:
In regard to David's question recently about the Jags moving up into the late first round to nab Bridgewater, what is the process there? Let's say the Jags contemplate doing this, and then they decide to do it...what happens next? Do they, like, move to a different table or room in the draft room? I think it's awesome that the league allows the Jags to just move right on up into a round, so long as they first contemplate it...is this some special gift we got from being an expansion team back in '95?
John: Usually, you gotta know a guy.
Antony from Columbia:
The Jags brought in an older defensive player last year from Seattle to play in Gus Bradley's defense. Even after the Jaguars drafted three corners, I didn't see Marcus Trufant's release coming. Do you foresee the same thing happening to Clemons should the Jags go with Clowney or Mack in the first and another pass rusher later in the draft?
John: No. Marcus Trufant was brought in at or very close to a minimum contract with the idea that he would have to compete for a roster position. Clemons obviously will have to compete as well, but he signed a more lucrative long-term contract with a significant signing bonus. To cut him would mean having to pay a player for never playing for the team … but honestly, we’ve actually already put too much time into this. Clemons, barring something dramatically unforeseen and unexpected, will play for the Jaguars this season.
Ken from Celebration, FL:
And the No. 1 reason for a free agent to come to Jacksonville...no state income tax.
John: You’re continuing a thought from Thursday’s O-Zone about why a free agent would sign with Jacksonville. I posted a few photos of Jacksonville, but yeah – the state-income tax thing … it sure doesn’t hurt the cause.
Jason from Perry, FL:
John, I wasn't game-ready when I got married. But after 20 happy years of marriage I think I did fine.
John: Happy? Why the hell should you get to be happy?
Ryan from Clyde, OH:
Do you think we will hear any news of what the Texans have decided to do with the first pick before the draft starts? Or will they keep it a secret until they are on the clock?
John: Teams take different approaches on this. If they are absolutely sure on a player they sometimes will say so. My guess this year is the Texans will not announce early. That way they can gauge interest in a trade while they are on the clock on draft night.
Mike from Jacksonville:
How much influence does proven veteran have on younger players? I would think there's a big learning curve on "what it means to be a pro," especially in the day-to-day approach to training. Is this as big a phenomenon as it's made out to be?
John: It is in many cases. A rookie who is eager to learn can learn not only from listening to a veteran, but by watching how veterans approach day-to-day business. A lot will rub off from the rookie simply being around the older player, but certainly an older player with a professional approach can have a huge impact on a rookie who truly wants to learn the ways of the NFL.
Tom from Jacksonville:
Do you know if any of the OTAs are going to be open to the fans this year? Oh, and I just want to say the LIVE show you guys do on Wednesdays is great, and the other stuff from inside EverBank as well.
John: The Jaguars’ organized team activities are not open to the public, but the two-day rookie minicamp on May 16-17 is open, as is the June 19 practice of the team’s veteran minicamp in June.
Terrell from Jacksonville:
John can we strengthen out o-line please and keep blaine healthy. All these QB's need to do what they did in college run!!! The all can run when the play is not there. they all can be dual threats.thats what got them in the league! As you saw in the home game with Houston what henne did with his legs. Also we need a more agressive defense.
John: Here we go, Jaguars. #Standunited

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