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O-Zone: The price you pay

Posted Dec 31, 2013

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it . . .

Robert from Orange Park, FL:
If we had won Sunday, people would be upset about our draft position. No one ever really is satisfied, I guess. I didn't enjoy the game, but I'm not going to lose sleep over a pointless season finale. When do you think Dave Caldwell will address the media concerning our free agents?
John: There was some irony in the reaction to the loss Sunday. You got the sense that a lot of the fans proclaiming it a disastrous loss would have been equally upset had the Jaguars won and cost themselves a spot or two in the draft. There was little lost Sunday, and because of the Jaguars’ injury situation, a victory would have been a fairly Herculean feat. As for Caldwell discussing free agency, he is scheduled to meet with the media along with Gus Bradley Tuesday, although it’s very early in the offseason to expect much detail regarding free agents.
James from Stillwater, MN:
Watching Austin Pasztor Sunday, he had a huge task, and he did have an issue with the speed rush against Robert Mathis. But overall, how is he looking going forward?
John: Pasztor did have some problems with Mathis. He joins a long list of offensive tackles who can say that. Overall, Pasztor played well enough in his first full season as a starter to have a real chance to start next season.
Alex from Chester Springs, PA:
I am the most diehard Jaguars fan. Can you please tell Gus and Dave to draft Manziel next year? I will bet my life he will be our franchise quarterback. He has "it." He's a truly special football player and I know he will turn this franchise around. It will be the pick I wanted the most since I've ever been a fan.
John: One very, very fer Johnny.
Pete from New York, NY:
One, I thought it was hard being a Jags fan and the ribbing I took for it lately; at least we aren't the Browns... wow. Two, do you think MJD's day versus the Colts (39 yards) will hurt his contract negotiations? It will be the last impression Caldwell has...
John: The Browns’ firing Chudzinski surprised me, too, but nearly two decades of being around NFL organizations have taught me that you never really know the inner workings of a team unless you’re inside the organization. As for Jones-Drew’s negotiations, no, Sunday won’t hurt. You don’t base such decisions/negotiations off of one game.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville:
Thanks again, Brad, for 14 seasons. You will be missed. Watching your post game O-Man, it was like saying goodbye to a bunch of good friends. Who knows which of these Jaguars will move on after this season? Feeling kinda down. Am I too attached to this team?
John: No, you’re a fan. And that’s appreciated.
John from Jacksonville:
OK, John, you must agree that there is no way to spin it or deny it … it was another end-of-season collapse for the Jags. There was a spark of hope after the bye in November but we ended similar to many seasons past. Similar reasons/excuses of lesser talent, key injuries, etc. I hope we can overcome this better than before as my confidence has been shaken (again).
John: Yeah, I really couldn’t disagree more. You’re completely basing your feeling on the final three games, and that’s understandable because you’re judging on winning and losing. That is the ultimate goal, but within the context of this season what was needed was improvement. The Jaguars were not competitive early in the season and struggled in many areas. What you wanted to see in the second half of the season was the Jaguars be in games at the end and you wanted to see them functioning better offensively and defensively. During the first seven games after the bye, they absolutely did just that. No, they didn’t beat Buffalo or Tennessee here at EverBank Field, but like the first five games after the bye, those two games were decided late and the Jaguars were competitive. Considering this was the first year of building the roster, that’s as much as could be reasonably expected. Over the final three weeks, injuries caught up and eventually the Jaguars did have an admittedly bad game against the Colts in the regular-season finale. But stepping away from the aftermath of Sunday and looking at the big picture, there’s little question that the Jaguars in the final half of the season looked like a team going in the right direction. They looked like a team making progress. Pieces still must be added – a lot of pieces. But as for collapse … no, I just can’t call it that.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
After doing some research, I have found that of the 10 teams that have the highest payrolls, five are out of the playoffs. Four of those five weren't even close. Three of the five will pick in the Top 10 in the draft, and one holds the No. 1 pick. So, I have come to the conclusion that spending is obviously an indicator of a team's success. We should spend like crazy! #spendunited
John: Go Jaguars.
Casey from Templeton, CA:
After checking out the invitees for the Senior Bowl next month, I was very impressed. Is it realistic that David Caldwell selects at least half of this year’s draft class from the players Gus coaches for that game?
John: That’s probably a little high. Caldwell won’t go into the draft worried about selecting a certain number of players from the game. Where it will help is getting a clearer picture of the players in the game. In some cases, it may help the Jaguars eliminate a player from consideration, which could be just as important. Whatever the case, information is key when it comes to the draft, and the Jaguars figure to have a smidgen more information for having coached the Senior Bowl.
Andrew from Jacksonville:
Houston and St. Louis are picking in front of us, and we know about the quarterback situation in Houston – that the Texans will most likely draft a quarterback. What about in St. Louis. Do you think that Sam Bradford is done there, or do you think they'll nab a quarterback with the second pick?
John: If I had to guess right now, I’d guess St. Louis trades the No. 2 selection. We’ll find out sometime in the next four months.
Giakat from Jacksonville:
We lost Sunday. On NFL Black Monday, as of 1:46 PM we have five coaches gone and a general manager to boot. I think, “Take a moment, reflect, realize that we improved did, let the Big Wigs do their job off season, and we come back in August ready to roll.” I say right now, you did good kid. You did real good. #Standunited
John: #Standunited
Tudor from St. Augustine, FL:
I think Aaron Rodgers proved yesterday why he is the best quarterback, not Manning.
John: Aaron Rodgers is really, really good. I wouldn’t argue your point very vehemently.
Sean from Fleming Island, FL:
Why are there so many coaches getting fired – seemingly by owners with very little patience to give a new staff time to develop players? Do you see Mr. Khan as being a patient owner?
John: There are so many coaches getting fired because we live in a reactionary time and the NFL is a reactionary league. There was a time when development of a franchise was something that took place over four or five years. For many franchises now, that timetable is two years – or even one. I don’t know how good or bad that is, but it’s reality. As far as Khan being patient, I think he will be when patience is merited. He changed the general manager and head coach following his first season because after spending a year as an owner he determined he wanted a different direction. He hired David Caldwell and Gus Bradley with the idea that time would be needed to build and because of that, I think he will be patient with the process.
Mike from Jagsonville:
Now that all that silliness of games is over, and before the silliness of draft guessing takes over, please tell me about the little bands some players wear on their arms, and to a lesser extent, their legs.
John: I actually took time to walk down to the equipment room to research this question. Jaguars equipment manager Jimmy Luck tells me that there’s no purpose. They’re smaller versions of wrist- and sweat bands. Some players like them and some players don’t.
David from Jacksonville and still in the Nog Zone:
After further research, I have come to a conclusion: egg nog is available year-round. And the best news is … I think it's financially doable!
John: I’m glad you’re happy. I’ve got to let you go alone on this one. I Egg Nogged Christmas Eve and Christmas last week. Was it awesome? Yes. But I’m still running it off.

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