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O-Zone: The real reason

Posted May 18, 2014

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Mike from Jacksonville:
We have an idea that it looks like a slow-but-steady plan to develop Blake Bortles. Do you think it’s a similar plan for Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater for their respective teams?
John: It’s possible, but not likely. The Jaguars have been clear since General Manager David Caldwell and Head Coach Gus Bradley assumed their respective positions that they’re trying to build for the long term, and they have been equally clear that they don’t plan to rush Blake Bortles into playing before he’s ready. That takes real commitment that’s not easy or common when it involves a first-round quarterback.
Justin from Rhode Island:
I'm from Rhode Island and I am Duval!
John: I sense the beginning of a “thing.”
Keith from Summerville, SC:
I'm a season-ticket holder from Dorchester County, South Carolina, Section 109. #DTWD works for me, too. #DTWD
John: Yup.
Jerry from Tamarac:
I know wide receivers normally have a long transition into the NFL but what do you think the odds are that both of them – Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson – will be the "Next Best Two” after Smith-McCardell"? And would you be happy if only one of them developed into a top receiver since they were both second-round picks?
John: I think the odds are fairly good Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson could develop into very good receivers. If that happens, they would have a good chance to be better than any two Jaguars wide receivers except Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell. As for your last question, yes, I think it would be good for the Jaguars if one of the two players became a top receiver. That would make that a good second round for the Jaguars. It wouldn’t make me happy, but I’m not an overly happy person.
MrPadre from Kingsland, GA:
Andy from St Johns forgot all the great fans just across the border in Camden County! We are still DTWD!!! Go Jags!
John: #DTWD
James from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Maybe Bortles will make it and maybe he won't, but I wouldn't worry about his throwing motion being quirky. Anyone that's ever watched Phillip Rivers throw knows it doesn't have to be pretty to get the job done.
John: Yeah, the Jaguars aren’t sweating that. They want to see Bortles’ footwork improve, and certainly there are traits that need developing. If there weren’t, he would be starting immediately. But they’re not thinking that drastic changes are needed in throwing motion.
Kevin from Charlotte, NC:
I have lived in Charlotte for 16 years now after growing up in Jacksonville. I'm a huge Jags fan. About a month ago I ordered pizza to my house. I answered the door with my latest Jags hat on and the nice young delivery guy asked "Are you a Jacksonville fan?" I said yes, and as he left he said, "Duval!" True story and it made me feel proud. Just saying.
John: #DTWD
Jon from Durham, NC:
In trying to generalize the Stephen Morris signing and the Matt Scott release, how much time do teams typically give "developmental" players until they show signs of improvement? Both are clearly long shots to make a roster; otherwise, they probably would have been drafted. We had Scott for a year; now we're starting anew with Morris. Is there a time limit teams can stash players on a practice squad? Or is it more a measure of how much one player makes progress versus the potential of a new player?
John: Teams can typically keep a player on the practice squad two seasons. Part of the appeal for the Jaguars in signing Morris was a familiarity with the offense because of his history with Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch, for whom Morris started at Miami in 2012. When I talked to Morris Friday, he mentioned several times that part of his role will be to help Blake Bortles learn the offense. As for Morris versus Scott and the Scott release, it’s probably best described as the Jaguars figuring they had seen enough with Scott to believe it was time to move on and time to give Morris a chance. Sometimes, it’s not much more complicated than that.
John from Green Cove Springs, FL:
Do you think the Jaguars will keep all four quarterbacks or drop to three quarterbacks? I am thinking if we keep all four, then Henne starts with Stanzi as the backup and Bortles as third. Morris would then go to the practice squad to develop. That would allow Blake to observe and learn the game more without being thrust into the game should Henne get hurt. Or do they release Stanzi and go with two rookies behind Henne?
John: This is a question we’ve gotten a lot and likely will continue to get a lot. The answer is we’ll have to wait and see and it likely depends on the development of Bortles. If the Jaguars get an idea that Bortles is close to being ready to play then maybe they don’t keep Stanzi. If he’s a bit further away, then they perhaps keep Stanzi. Either way, I’d guess Morris is at least on the practice squad. How will it play out? Check back after organized team activities and we may be closer to knowing the answer.
Kevin from Jacksonville:
Hey, O-Man. I was at the first day of the rookie minicamp and I have to say I like what I saw from Bortles. Do you have any early thoughts on how long it'll be before we see him starting on a regular basis?
John: When he’s ready.
Rick from Callaway, FL:
Do you think the Jags are expecting playoffs for the 2015 season if these past two drafts are indications of some excellent players?
John: I think 2015 could be realistic if the first two draft classes are as good as many analysts believe. I’ll emphasize, “could be,” because players develop at different paces.
Shannon from Jacksonville:
Hey John, You are awesome...I think? Anyway, James from Jacksonville need not worry about redneckville because his statement confirmed that is where he resides. As far as the jacket I cannot believe that an outfit has caused this much disarray. Geez, I mean look at what JP wears and he is on camera a lot more.
John: Good point.
Ben from Key West, FL:
What defense do the Jaguars run? 4-3 or 3-4?
John: The Jaguars technically run a four-defensive-line, three-linebacker scheme as their base defense with a Leo pass-rusher playing a hybrid linebacker/end position to give the scheme a lot of 3-4 tendencies.
Kait from Duval, FL:
All this Duval/Meester talk is ridiculous. Can we just focus on FOOTBALL and not what call we use or what jacket someone wore? Jeeez.
John:Yes.
Walter from Yulee, FL:
I was watching Luke Bowanko during drills at the rookie mini-camp, and he looked good. I figured he may provide good competition for Brewster at center. Then, he lined up at right tackle throughout practice. What gives?
John: Apparently, what gives is Bowanko was working at right tackle. I spoke to him about this Saturday, and he said he hadn’t played there since high school. He said he worked exclusively at center on Saturday, so he probably was just working at right tackle Friday to make the numbers work in rookie minicamp.
Daniel from Ocala, FL:
True or False. The hype, hoopla, and general cult-like following of Johnny Manziel already exceeds what Tebow had.
John: False.
Walter from Yulee, FL:
I guess there is more to this Storm Johnson character than just the fact that he was B-2's teammate, huh? Dude stood out big time at practice.
John: Former Central Florida running back Storm Johnson did look good in two rookie minicamp practices. That’s not shocking, because the Jaguars liked a lot about him enough to draft him in the seventh round. Running wasn’t what worried the Jaguars about Johnson; rather, it was his pass-protection ability. That’s not something you could really see in rookie minicamp, so we’ll see how he develops there.
Will from Jacksonville:
Which do you think is uglier? Meester's jacket or the Jaguars helmet that looks like someone ran out of black spray paint?
John: I think there was an error in your question. What I think you meant to say is, “Which is more beautifully, fantastically awesome?” And the answer is, “Neither! They’re both great equally!”
Dale from Houston, TX:
Ten and six? What kind of kool-aid are you clowns drinking and where do I get it? You've seen your schedule right? You know you're starting 0-5, right?
John: #DeepsteelSunday
Donny from Jacksonville:
Wow, I can't believe the negativity in regards to Meester's choice of attire at the draft. I'm no redneck, but I thought it was great! Good for him being himself. If I recall correctly, Meester is from Iowa...it was even mentioned as he was being announced (from the University of Iowa...). So was he really representing Jax with that attire, or his hometown/state? Do you think anyone in Iowa is holding their head in shame over it? I would bet not.
John: Though Meester actually attended Northern Iowa, I think Brad Meester wore the jacket because it was cool and he liked it. And I do, too.

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