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O-Zone: Almost here

JACKSONVILLE – Quarterbacks, rookies and first-year veterans report to Jaguars 2016 Training Camp on Monday. This is Sunday. That means one more day of the dead zone.

We're almost there. Almost. Have a good day.

Let's get to it …

Cameron from Orange Park, FL:
Who is predicted to play strong-side linebacker at this point? Dan Skuta was decent at best last year and Ryan Davis is new to the position. Why won't we see Myles Jack at the position instead of backing up Paul Posluszny in there?
John: Rookie linebacker Myles Jack's role and playing time are sources of great angst and perhaps more than a little misunderstanding as the Jaguars prepare for training camp. So much has been made of Jack's talent and potential that it's incomprehensible to many that he hasn't been inserted into the Jaguars' starting lineup – and there might even be a few fans upset he isn't in the Pro Bowl yet. This will play out. Jalen Ramsey's immediate role will play out, too. Both of those players almost certainly will play key roles this season. It's quite possible and even likely that they will be in the traditional "starting" lineup relatively soon. It's almost certain they both will play key roles in passing situations almost immediately, which means it's almost certain both players will be key to the Jaguars' defense immediately. For Jack, does that mean a role as a starting strong- or weak-side backer? Does it mean playing mainly in the nickel initially and therefore possibly being in on 65-to-70 percent of defensive snaps? We'll see. Remember, Jack essentially has participated in three unpadded NFL practices; Ramsey hasn't even done that much. It's not a ridiculous approach to have them work out in pads, participate in a week or two of meetings and do some other "NFL stuff" before deciding on how much and where they will play as rookies.
Edward from Los Angeles:
I jumped on the Jags' bandwagon during the team's 1996 playoff run when I was 11. I guess that makes me a Day 1,124 Fan.
John: Yeah, right around there.
Marius from Stutgart, Germany:
So Brandon Linder just made the transition to center. Why don't we teach some other lineman to long snap and cut Carson Tinker? Would be one more spot on the roster for another, imo more important position.
John: The reason you don't just "teach some other lineman to long snap and cut" the current long snapper is simple: long snapping is a more difficult skill to master than many people realize. That's why teams consider the position very much worth its own roster spot. This may seem silly until you look at NFL rosters and realize almost all teams have a long snapper who just long snaps. As far as other positions being more important … yes, long snappers often seem unimportant. Until they're not. Then they have a tendency to seem strikingly important.
Gamble from Jacksonville:
If I've been following the team since Touchdown Jacksonville, am I a fan since Day Zero? In all seriousness, can't wait to watch the boys hit the field this training camp. I haven't been this excited for summer practices since probably '99. Thanks Johnny! Try to stay out of the heat in the coming week …
John: #DTWD
Steve from Jacksonville:
So, what you're really saying is the "weekly media event" (and no doubt associated ruckus) that is Hard Knocks would very likely disturb your nap time. I respect that.
John: The way you say it, it's almost as if you're implying that the reason I don't the idea of Hard Knocks is. .. oh. OK.
Steven from Woodbine, GA:
I was a lifelong, diehard Cowboy fan until they signed TO. Dropped them like a fly and went all in on the Jags. If they sign Greg Hardy, I will be compelled to do the same. I haven't missed a Jags game in 20 years, but signing Hardy will suck all the air out of the room. I know that it is all about the talent and winning, but there must be a point where you draw the line. That man doesn't deserve to be in the NFL. He was found guilty by a judge in North Carolina, but it was thrown out for a jury trial but since she didn't show up to testify … probably bought off or scared to death, the case was dropped. Don't do it Dave, you have made way too much progress, don't go backwards!!!
John: There are many, many Jaguars fans who feel the same way. Many, many fans.
Shawn from the Mean Streets of Arlington:
I may be in the minority, and by no means condone Greg Hardy's past actions, but if David Caldwell signs him I will support that decision.
John: There are many fans who feel this way, though not as many as who feel the other way.
Matt from Orange Park:
Can we please not sign Greg Hardy? Character issues abound. He left the Panthers; they went to the Super Bowl. He went to the Cowboys; they lost 12 more games. There is a reason he is not on either of his former teams' rosters. Let's keep him off ours.
John: I've got to be fair here, and what's fair is that it's wa-a-a-a-a-a-a-y too simplistic to credit the Panthers' success last season to Hardy's absence and wa-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-y too simplistic to blame the Cowboys' struggles on his presence. Remember: Cam Newton had a pretty good season for the Panthers last season and Dez Bryant and Tony Romo were kinda sorta hurt for the Cowboys. Still, I won't argue that Hardy's a tough case. He really is.
Andrew from Washington, DC:
OK, stepping beyond the question of whether Greg Hardy is a choirboy or a bad person (of which most evidence points STRONGLY to the latter and I am not thrilled the Jags are even considering him), I don't get how this would help the football team on the field, either. Remember last year? He showed a few minor flashes on the field but overall was incredibly forgettable AND was a locker-room cancer and general pain in the rear. Is someone with this track record really who the Jags want around their younger players? Keep in mind the Cowboys have almost no players at defensive end currently and THEY gave him a hard pass. I don't get how this makes sense from any perspective. Is this really worth a few sacks?
John: First off, the Jaguars haven't signed Hardy and there's no guarantee they will do so. But if you're asking why they would consider it, the simple answer is it is a low-risk, low-cost acquisition of a player who potentially could help the roster. From that perspective, it's a tempting proposition for a general manager. It's also smart from the standpoint of having information on a player who might be an option in the future. Remember: Hardy wasn't in an NFL offseason program, so it's not a bad idea to have seen him in person in July if he becomes an emergency option in August, September or October.
John from Orlando:
John, do you see the interest in Greg Hardy as terrible as people are making it seem? I don't see any harm in signing him to a no-BS, prove-it contract to see if he is as disruptive as he was in Carolina. If he causes problems, just cut him loose.
John: I don't see it as the sky-is-falling scenario many do. If you separate Hardy off the field and Hardy on the field, it makes sense because of the low-risk nature of the possibility. That's easy for me to write because I don't see the Jaguars through the emotional lens of a fan – and I tend to downplay the locker-room cancer angle of players. Generally speaking one player doesn't destroy a team if the team has a strong locker room and culture. Still, if you're asking if I understand why people are upset at the possibility of signing Hardy … Considering his background? Considering the image of this player? Yeah, I get it.
David from Jacksonville:
John, this may be old ground but did the Jags try Denard out at corner or safety? Thanks.
John: No. You're welcome.
Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
John, a Pokemon Go Event at Everbank? Is this how the Jaguars get credibility in the NFL? Green Bay, Chicago, Pittsburgh have got to be laughing at us. Whoever thought of this genius move should be F-I-R-E-D. Thanks for listening. Sheesh!
John: No, a Pokemon Go Event at EverBank Field is not how the Jaguars get credibility in the NFL. It's how they allow fans to enjoy themselves and last I checked, that's not a crime. Oh and this.
Mat from Hudson, FL:
Man, can you believe it? Less than a week left until training camp. It's getting real. I'm getting more excited by the day. Alrighty then. I'm going to crawl back in to my corner until Friday.
John: Training camp begins Thursday. Quarterbacks report Monday. It's almost here. Here we go.

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