Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

O-Zone: Always and forever

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Zac from Austin, Tejas

Looks like as long as the Jaguars get close to .500, the NFL media machine won't be too surprised since we aren't even IN THE TOP TEN OF POWER RANKINGS? I know it's clickbait, but it still wears me out. It can't be that easy for players to ignore the noise.

There's a decent chance it took you longer to peruse whatever list you read, throw your phone at a window then collect yourself and slap this question to the O-Zone than it took the list-maker to make the list. Score one for the list-maker, then, because the list had its desired effect. You cared and he/she barely had to try. Do players care about the noise? Sure. But it's the NFL in the social-media age. It's mostly lists and noise.

Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville

On the subject of the "guardian caps," I get the purpose in practice. It makes sense. But in a real game, this is just getting stupid. It's a violent game and people are going to get hurt, if you want to take the risk of injury out of it then just make it flag football. Bottom line this is a direct descendant of the Roman gladiatorial arena where people were entertained with violence. Taking that out of the game defeats the purposes of the game; it is WHY the NFL is the popular sport. At least in the United States. The rest of the world might have evolved beyond us a while ago. But bottom line there needs to be time to say, "Enough is enough, you play the sport, you assume the risk." Otherwise the sport suffers and the popularity will deteriorate.

I don't know if the Guardian Caps ever will be used in regular-season games, but the NFL has said that statistics show they reduce head injuries. Maybe the caps will be used in the regular season. Maybe they won't. Maybe they will evolve and a modified version will be used. But seeking to find a way to make the game safer is hardly "stupid" – and I certainly wouldn't rule out the league moving forward in this area.

Jeff from Atlantic Beach, FL

Forget Rourke, bring back Cap Capi!

Good eye.

Jimsure from DBS

If we have a player on our practice squad that we really like and want to keep, when another team comes after him can we move him to the regular squad or is there another option to keep him?

Practice squad players are essentially free agents. There are restrictions to this and teams can protect players in the short-term on given weeks, but the spirit of the practice squad is that players on it usually can sign with any team. So, yes … if a team tries to "poach" a player off a team's practice squad, the player's "own" team can sign him to the active roster. It would be up to the player at that point to decide which team to join.

Mark from Jax

What was the last year (if any) the Jaguars had as much roster depth?

It has been a while. At least a dozen years. Maybe more.

Bradley from Sparks, NV

It's pretty obvious the Jags will win the weak AFC South by a wide margin, but do you think they would still win it with C.J. Beathard or Nathan Rourke at quarterback?

Assume weakness of a division or team in the preseason at your own peril. The Tennessee Titans, remember, were a fumble return for a touchdown away from winning the AFC South last season with their defense decimated down by injuries late in the season. Would the Jaguars win the AFC South with Beathard or Rourke? It's hard to predict that happening. It's a quarterback-centric league and no matter the talent around him, the Jaguars are a Trevor Lawrence-centric team.

Paul from Lake City, FL

It's so nice going into the year without any doubts as to who QB1 is. Not so long ago, people wouldn't have been calling for Rourke to be the backup.

Yep. Times have changed around the Jaguars, and I don't expect the Rourke-Beathard talk to last much longer. If it's a topic much longer, something's gone terribly awry.

Anita from Springfield

In soccer, PSG recently did what you've suggested NFL teams do to their star player Kylian Mbappe. They sat him, refused to let him walk for free and now he's back with the team and negotiating in great faith. People talk about NBA players' takeover of their league influencing other leagues like the NFL and the modern player movement era. Could you see PSG and their handling of Mbappe presenting a counter narrative that helps restore some team control, and limit stuff like Jalen Ramsey/Jonathan Taylor/etc.? (Hopefully all that made sense)

Realistically? Probably not, though the thought here is it would be a positive step. Players should make as much as the market will bear and when young players play out their rookie contracts, they should have a chance at unrestricted free agency – or at the life-changing money of the franchise tag. This is a violent, dangerous game and players who earn contracts should be paid as such. Once the contract is signed, or until the player reaches the end of the rookie contract, players should play for the contract. That's how this old man feels. Many will respond to this with, "Well, players should have the right to demand a trade because the NFL rarely gives guaranteed contracts." The guaranteed money in NFL contracts is the early part of the contract and the signing bonus. All agents realize this and it's fair to expect players to know this, too. It's not a guaranteed-contract league and except for quarterbacks, salaries aren't as big or secure as many other prominent sports. There are a lot more players in the NFL, so the money is split between more plays. That stinks for NFL players. But it doesn't mean teams shouldn't hold players to contracts. Now get off my lawn.

Michael from Ponte Vedra Beach

Hey, John. Looking at the wide receiver logjam, no one seems to be talking about Elijah Cooks though he has shown range and the ability to catch in a crowd. How does K. Austin stay in the picture when Cooks and Harris have shown special skills?

By playing well.

Sue from Omaha, NE

John, doesn't it make sense keeping Elijah Cooks? He gives the Jaguars a different type of receiver who would be tough over the middle. I'm almost always right!

The Jaguars like rookie free-agent wide receiver Elijah Cooks. They also like veteran wide receiver Jacob Harris, who has a similar build to Cooks. I expect the Jaguars to keep six wide receivers on the 53-player roster, including the following five: Calvin Ridley, Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, Jamal Agnew and Parker Washington. I expect the final spot to come down to Cooks, Harris, Kevin Austin Jr., Seth Williams and Tim Jones with blocking and special teams making the difference. Cooks' size could play in his favor.

I think I'm a moth from the dark

Technically Rourke is a rookie. But he earned a master's degree with honors in the CFL. He'll never clear waivers.


Marcus from Jacksonville

Do you think that the decision on if and how long to play starters in the preseason is at all affected by the opposing team's plans to play their starters? I realize that the starters having time to play together in a game situation is valuable, but I have to imagine there are diminishing returns if those starters are playing against backups. Also, I would think that the potential for injuries might be higher if you're playing against guys fighting for roster spots, because they're desperate to make plays and show what they can do. I've heard that the Jags are planning on playing their starters for the first half (give or take) on Saturday, but do you think if the Dolphins came out right now and said they're sitting all their starters that Doug would change his mind, at least on the amount of time he plans to give the starters?

I think Pederson wants the Jaguars' starters to get a certain numbers of in-game repetitions so the starters get used to playing at game speed and intensity, or something close to it. Pederson didn't alter his approach when the Dallas Cowboys played no starters in Preseason Week 1, and I don't expect him to alter it Saturday in Preseason Week 3 against the Miami Dolphins.

Daniel from St Johns

While I agree Rourke looks good, I'm stunned that so many doubt our No. 1 reason for success. Our head coach – Doug Pederson – not only beat the GOAT, in the Super Bowl, with a backup quarterback … but if I recall correctly HE WAS A BACKUP QB for 10-plus years right? How could anyone second guess his decision???

Fans fan. It's what they do.