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O-Zone: Unforgettable

Posted Jul 13, 2014

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Austin from Jacksonville:
What is the most memorable play in Jacksonville Jaguars history?
John: This could spark endless O-Zone debate, which may have been the intent of the question. There are quite a few plays from which to choose, including Fred Taylor’s 90-yard run against Miami in the playoffs following the 1999 season, David Garrard’s run for a key first down against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs following the 2007 season and Morten Andersen’s missed field goal to put the Jaguars in the 1996 postseason. But if I had to choose I’d have to say Mark Brunell’s first-round converting scramble against Denver in the playoffs following the 1996 season. It was the most memorable play of the biggest upset in NFL postseason history, so let’s go with that.
Sol from Atlantic Beach and Section 211:
I was out running at 5:30 Saturday morning in Atlantic Beach and the video boards were on. They're cool. I like them.
John: Word.
Christopher from Savannah, GA:
With all the new players we have, I see two more wins this season. If Chad Henne plays good, I see the postseason. What do you think, Big John O?
John: I think what I have thought throughout the offseason – that the Jaguars will be significantly better this season than last and it remains to be seen what they will mean in terms of victories and losses. Remember, the Jaguars lost their first eight games last season by significant margins, and their four victories were narrow. If the Jaguars are more competitive in significantly more games this season, that’s a major step forward and that’s what I’ll be watching for early next season. As for how many victories that will mean, that’s hard to say. I continue to say that 8-8 – while perhaps attainable – is a very lofty goal for the Jaguars this season and would be cause for celebration.
Patrick from Oh, My California:
Dear, John: I recall you mentioning the Jags may have another season to go before they're a playoff-caliber team. Has your vision changed by how they have performed in organized team activities and minicamp?
John: No.
Keith from Summerville, SC:
There is no way I am the only one complaining about the web cams being taken down. There is also no way that a low-resolution web cam could spoil the big reveal planned on July 26. Is this political or something?
John: Ah, bold, angry Keith … so, we meet again. I actually have gotten more than a few emails from people disappointed the Khanstruction web cam is down. I also have gotten quite a few emails throughout the offseason who realized that having it was a pretty cool thing. I assure you it’s not a political issue, and I also can assure you that it’s just a matter of wanting to keep some things unrevealed until they are revealed.
Tim from St. Petersburg:
John, the whole "start-‘em-or-sit-’em" debate on quarterbacks drafted early is good for mental gymnastics, and I know we can all use a little of that. There is no way to prove this, but can you think of any quarterbacks who were forced into starting rookie years on bad teams that would have gone on to do well in the NFL had they sat?
John: Wow, we are into mental gymnastics today. Blaine Gabbert. David Carr. JaMarcus Russell. Vince Young. Joey Harrington. All of these quarterbacks have been drafted early in the last decade and a half, and all played early – perhaps too early. The obvious challenge in trying to answer your question is there’s just no way to know how much the adverse circumstances those quarterbacks faced early influenced how the rest of their careers played out. Were they not given opportunities later because of what happened early in their career? Were they so scarred after difficult rookie seasons that they could never get straightened out? Or did they remain on struggling steams and in difficult situations, which in turn led to them continuing to struggle? I always wondered watching David Carr in Houston if he would have been better behind a solid offensive line. And I always wondered how Gabbert’s career in Jacksonville might have been different had the team been better and the coaching situation been solid in 2011. In that sense, Gabbert is fortunate because he may still get another chance, which doesn’t always happen for early-drafted quarterbacks who struggle early.
Jim from Villages:
So far, all I'm getting out of this Dead Zone deal is you hate Jim Kelly and Dan Marino and not once have you mentioned the great Atlanta Falcons running back Harmon Wages. Is this another lack of rings thing? All I got to say is wow. Also, great job with the Culligan ads. Are those bottles heavy or what?
John: I have no idea what anyone’s talking about anymore.
Doug from Jacksonville:
Who will have more touchdowns this season? The defense, special teams or the rookie wide receivers?
John: I’ll go with the rookie wide receivers. Though I’ve long been on record that the transition to the NFL is more difficult for rookie wide receivers than many realize, Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson should play enough to get more opportunities than many rookie receivers. The defense should be able to create more points than it did last season, but you would think Lee and Allen would have more.
Adam from Longwood, FL:
So I was catching up on the last week's Ozone's and I learned the secret to a happy life: gift cards and lots of lotions. I'm going to the store right now. And to the running back theme that's been going on lately: Mike Alstott.
John: Pick me up some turkey pot pie at the store, but Alstott as best short-yardage back ever? No.
Joel from Jacksonville:
For those people spending energy on whether or not the new video boards are the biggest I will say this. I drove across the Hart Bridge early one morning when they were testing them and all I can say is WOW!
John: The video boards are cool. I like them.
Mike from Virginia Beach, VA:
O-MAN... could you please clarify the "rivalry" between you and Boselli.
John: Like most meaningless rivalries that are the figment of a twisted, sad imagination, it’s hard to remember how the bad blood started. It’s just there, and trust me: I know why. Oh yes, I know.
John You’re Wrong from Caught You Ville:
Gabbert was not starter a full season. Luke McCown started Weeks 1 and 2, and Gabby weeks 3-17, excluding the bye (obviously).
John: Yes, I am well aware that Gabbert started 14 games as a rookie, and technically that means he was not the starter the full season. I made the mistake of answering in general terms, and generally speaking Gabbert pretty much was the starter as a rookie. But yes, you’re correct that he did not start the first two games.
Gary from High Springs, FL:
Do you think Blake Bortles gets a chance to start a preseason game?
John: Yes. If he does, it’s most likely he would start the fourth preseason game. That’s the game teams sometimes start backups and keep starters out as the regular-season opener approaches.
Scott from Jacksonville:
OK, well a lot of them (soccer players) need to stop “acting” like sissies then. If one gets his pinky toe slightly stepped on, he doesn't need to lie on the ground writhing in pain for two minutes because he didn't get the foul call.
John: Yeah, I’m not a big fan of it, either. I don’t know enough about the nuances of the game to know why it’s necessary, but apparently a whole lot of really good players believe it is.
Mike from Zzzzzzville:
So have you yet? I know Shadrick hasn't.#Deadzone
John: Actually, Shadrick has. I’m still trying to figure out if I want to invest the time.
Roy from Orange Park, FL:
John, the video boards are very, very wide... but not very high. At least, not in comparison to their height. Why is this?
John: This is the first time I’ve heard concern over any part of the video boards not being large enough. Don’t think of the video boards as one long flat screen television. Think of them as multiple flat screen televisions, all of which are plenty big.
Dave from St. Augustine Shores:
Oh Man, O Man … How much did the electric bill go up at the Bank when the new video boards were installed? And is it true that the lights dim in your office every time they're turned on?
John: I don’t know exactly how much the electric bill goes up with the video boards go on, but suffice to say it ain’t cheap. As for your second question, what actually happens is quite the opposite. When the video boards turn on, my Mirror Madness Party Light illuminates automatically. The shirt goes off, then … then … well, let’s just say those who have seen it don’t soon forget what happens next.

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