JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Dave from Jacksonville
Wizard, are the Jags going to feature Gardner Minshew II in the first preseason game? See if anyone ups the offer, so to speak? New England was always showcasing the backup quarterback in preseason. Do you think they will showcase Gardner like that?
Your question presumes that the Jaguars have received trade offers for quarterback Gardner Minshew II – and therefore, that there has been an offer to "up." I don't know that that assumption is incorrect, but neither do I know that it's correct. I expect Minshew to play a lot in Saturday's preseason opener against the Cleveland Browns at TIAA Bank Field because he and rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence thus far have split repetitions throughout Jaguars 2021 Training Camp. Coaches were supposed to meet to discuss playing time and repetitions Wednesday and again Thursday, according to offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. Perhaps we'll know more on this when Head Coach Urban Meyer meets the media Thursday. We'll see.
Nick from Palatka, FL
O: Could you please explain how first crack at released players from other teams works? Do the Jags have a time limit to sign them before the next team in line gets a chance? Thanks.
The Jaguars don't currently have first rights to "released" players. They do have first rights to "waived" players. Players with four seasons or less NFL service fall into the "waived" category. Teams put "claims" on waived players, and the claiming team with the worst record at the time gets that player. The Jaguars had the worst record in the NFL last season, so they're No. 1 in the claiming order until the third week of the season.
David from Chuluota, FL
If we did keep four tight ends on the roster, would one of them be Tim Tebow?
I would expect the Jaguars in your scenario to keep the following four tight ends – Chris Manhertz, Ben Ellefson, James O'Shaughnessy and Luke Farrell – on the active roster. That's a guess. That is only a guess.
Mike from Westfield, IN
It appears Jaguars cornerback CJ Henderson might be unhappy in Jacksonville. I would say, "Tough." He signed a four-year contract in 2020 with a nice signing bonus. The Jags front office needs to stop the exodus of first-rounders. The only exception would be if they receive another first-rounder.
Steve from Nashville, TN
We have not talked much about special teams yet. I guess we will find out on Saturday night. Do you know Coach Meyer's philosophy on if starters play on special teams or only backups contribute there?
Meyer considers special teams very important – important enough that front-line players often played special teams for Meyer's college teams. I therefore anticipate some front-line Jaguars players occasionally playing on special teams. I don't know if it will be routine. The need to avoid injuries in the salary-cap, high-contract era of the NFL could make that approach difficult over the long-term.
Diggles from Neptune Beach, FL
With all your knowledge on this team, who besides our a
Man. So close.
Tom from Midtown Fruit Cove
Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny (Big Andrews Sisters smash in the 40s, if you remember). Jaguars defensive coordinator Joe Cullen has said in many ways that this defense is going to "come at you" from everywhere. Many of the players have commented the same thing. I L-O-V-E I-T!!! But I have also read and heard from several other teams that their defense is going to "come at you from everywhere" – etc., etc. Is this a new trend? Is it going to be the latest hula hoop on the market? If it is the newest thing in town and everybody's doing it, will all offenses thus begin developing schemes that will make the fad passe? Probably still boils down to who has the best beef on feet.
I don't know that blitzing heavily is a new trend defensively. NFL teams have been blitzing with unique and exotic groupings for a long time. I do know the Baltimore Ravens take this approach, and that Cullen is bringing a lot of the traits of that defense to Jacksonville. Perhaps that makes the Jaguars part of a trend. I do know that a lot of teams talk about their defenses "coming at you from everywhere." My sense is that the Jaguars are going to do more than talk. We'll see.
Steve from Hilton Head, SC
If my math is correct, a pass thrown from outside the right hashmark to a receiver on the other sideline, 40 yards downfield is 60-plus yards in the air. That's pretty good?!
Yes, it is.
Don from Marshall, NC
It's a problem for these young guys when they get life-changing money. You would not be normal if it did not affect you. No matter how much money you make it will never take you to easy street. Go Jaguars!
I am fully convinced that there is a sum of money that would take me to easy street. Prove me wrong. Pleeeeeeeeeease, prove me wrong.
Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL
Do I really have to ask for a Tebow update?
You absolutely do not.
Steve from Nashville, TN
I've got the Jaguars having 11 former first round picks on the roster. Can you name them?
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence, running back Travis Etienne, cornerback CJ Henderson, outside linebacker/defensive end K'Lavon Chaisson, linebacker/defensive end Josh Allen, defensive linemen Taven Bryan, wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, wide receiver Tavon Austin, wide receiver Phillip Dorsett II, nose tackle Malcom Brown and tight end Tim Tebow.
Jason from North Pole, AK
I hope those fans who criticized former Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash for his "vanilla" defense will keep that same energy when players are running wide open for touchdowns due to blown coverages or risky blitzing. Be careful what you wish for, there's a downside and to every scheme. I do think the Jaguars defense will be better this season, but mostly because of better personnel. Players, not plays.
Steve from Random Locations
Would the signing of Gene blow up the whole idea of a salary cap? We aren't talking veteran minimum here, are we?
Longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette does not work for – nor does he discuss – finances. It is beneath and him. Therefore, to discuss it or work for pay would sully his reputation as a "dude."
WJBIII from Yulee, FL
Is Taven Bryan still on our roster?
Yes. Jaguars defensive lineman Taven Bryan currently is on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
JR from The Squatchlands
O, not counting on injuries, do you have a feel for potential starters from our rookie draft class for this season? I'm sure Trevor will get the start at quarterback and Etienne will get his share of reps as well, but do you expect some of the other guys to earn a starting role at some point this season? I've read a lot about left tackle Walker Little and safety Andre Cisco specifically turning heads and am curious what to expect.
Yours is a good list. I don't expect Etienne to start over James Robinson at running back, but I expect him to play front-line snaps. I don't necessarily expect Little or Cisco to start Week 1, but I would be a little surprised at this point if they don't start some time this season. They are playing at a pretty high level this far and it stands to reason they will earn starting jobs. Who else? Keep an eye on second-round cornerback Tyson Campbell. I would expect him to start at nickel corner. Or outside. One of the two.
Marc from Oceanway
Hey Zone, it's a bit naive for anyone to be declaring CJ Henderson a bust. If he did actually have COVID, especially with this latest variant, it can take several weeks to fully recover, not to mention getting back to the point where you can practice full speed in this heat.
Nick from St. Augustine, FL
Speaking of Wonderlic scores, do you know Gardner Minshew's?
Minshew reportedly scored a 42 on his Wonderlic test in 2010, which puts him the category of "wicked smaaht."
George from Blue Ridge
I agree with John Madden and Pat Summerall but would add Dandy Don Meredith.
You're referencing a recent O-Zone question in which I was asked what past or present announcers I would want calling a game were I relaxing at home. I answered Madden and Summerall. Or Summerall and Tom Brookshier. But Don Meredith, Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford in the late 70s … say, '78 or '79? Say, calling the Luv Ya Blue/Miami game with Earl Campbell thundering down the sidelines? Or Dallas-Washington with Ken Houston stopping the ball at the one in '74? Sure, I'll take that. And for the record, even though this wasn't on Monday Night Football … Mel Gray still didn't catch the damned pass. Not in that era or any other. But I'm not bitter.