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O-Zone: American beauty

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

John from Lake Asbury, FL

John, the thing that really stood out to me about Blake Bortles on Thursday was just how relaxed he seemed to be. And with him being relaxed, I felt completely confident that the Jags were going to score. They made it look almost easy. Good stuff there.

Here's the thing I keep thinking when considering Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles' performance in Preseason Week 1 – that there was nothing unusual about it to anyone who had been watching him throughout the offseason and training camp. He didn't look spectacular. He didn't do anything stunning to the eye. He indeed seemed relaxed. He seemed poised. He made the right reads. He made a few accurate throws, including one under pressure. He stood tall in the pocket. That's the biggest positive for the Jaguars about how he played Thursday – that there's every reason to think that what we saw against the New Orleans Saints is simply what he has become as a quarterback. And what he is seems to be is a quarterback growing into a consistent, confident player.

Dakota from Dupree, SD

Zone, can you teach me to eloquently converse with others?

No, but I can—

Henry from 215

Our sixth-round draft pick looked like a deer in the headlights Thursday night! Couldn't have been a much rougher start, even within the confines of preseason. Glad Kessler looked like a decent enough backup.

Third-team quarterback Tanner Lee struggled Thursday. Backup quarterback Cody Kessler actually looked significantly better than "decent enough." The second sentence is far more important to the Jaguars this season than the first.

Tucker from Jacksonville

I see mixed reviews on Cody Kessler. If you believe in Bortles, then Kessler is the perfect backup quarterback. He has NFL experience and doesn't cost a lot given our high cap. The guy had a 60-plus completion percentage playing for the Cleveland Browns. Who didn't have any weapons other than Duke Johnson. He's been showing out in camp and I see no reason for us to look for another backup quarterback. He won't be the starter but he could win us a couple of games if Bortles gets hurt.

I don't know that the reviews on Kessler are all that mixed anymore. He had some rough practices during organized team activities and minicamp this past offseason, and the perception of those rough practices caused some to hold their breath a little early in training camp. But the reality is that Kessler throughout training camp has looked better than some initially were reporting, and he has looked more and more consistent as camp has continued. I doubt the Jaguars will be looking for another backup quarterback. Kessler has spent the last four months learning the offense and he appears to be getting acclimated. I don't see why the Jaguars would move to restart that process.

Bob from Jagsonville

With all the opinions about disrespecting the national anthem by players, one cannot help but see people in the club seats, the pool area and the Bud Zone meandering, laughing, hats on and just in general not paying attention. This is very disrespectful to me and probably worse than the players protest. What do you think, O-man? Thanks from the South End Zone.

I think you're not wrong.

Jim from Jacksonville

I know it's a little late to still be talking about the New England game, but let's remember that the Patriots played the second half without Gronk and still won. If he had been in the game, perhaps it wouldn't have been as close. People seem to forget that as an important factor.

I suppose you could do that, and I suppose you could talk about wide receiver Allen Robinson not playing in the game for the Jaguars, or wide receiver Julian Edelman not being playing for the Patriots. You could also talk about Jaguars defensive ends Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue not being 100 percent late in the game, or Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson playing hurt. I'm sure you could talk about any number of New England players playing through injuries in that game, too. Injuries are a factor in the NFL. Always.

Jim from Middleburg, FL

Football teams are profitable because we enjoy watching the players. We do not watch to see the owners. The owners make money and make buckets of money. They deserve it. The people who play are not wrong to ask for big money if their play is big money. As for Jerell and Logan, they good. You're good … what was that guy's malfunction yesterday. BIG JOHN DUVAL: you are therefore named … let it be written … let it beknown to all!

You go, girl.

Don from Ponte Vedra, FL

Teams are not going run on the Jaguars and they are not going to pass on them. Every trick play you have ever seen will be used against the Jaguars this year. Go Jaguars!

You go, too, girl.

Bill from Ponte Vedra, FL

Although I understand the wide receiver-by-committee theory, it wouldn't be bad to have a go-to guy, the first-option in the clutch. My choice: Dede Westbrook. Your opinion?

Westbrook has been good in camp, but why force this? Marqise Lee has been making plays in camp, as has Donte Moncrief. Keelan Cole made a bunch of huge plays for this team last season. And rookie DJ Chark Jr. is proving impossibly hard to keep out of the lineup. The thought here is that the offseason obsession over this team not having a "No. 1 receiver" may prove to have been a colossal waste of mental energy. We'll see.

Stephen from Gatlinburg, TN

Josh Lamo's performance last season along with a good start to this preseason makes me wonder what was the reason San Diego let him go. The Jaguars sure got lucky that he was available right when the team needed a kicker. Have you any insight(s), venerable and sagacious one?

Not really. I was too busy laughing at "Josh Lamo…"

Mark from Waverly, GA

Some people will never except Blake as our QB, will they?

Probably not, though there are acceptions.

Johnny from Jacksonville

Hey again, Zone. I am curious why the NFL decided to interfere/manage/mandate/whatever the team websites? Is it only a way to make a few more dollars on ad space or something? I mean, it seems like they fixed what wasn't broken. Thanks for your answer about replay review on penalties, but I still feel like it's more important to get it correctly called than to worry about, well … anything else. A bad pass-interference call can literally affect home-field advantage or cost a team a playoff berth. To paraphrase Aaron Rodgers: "...throw it deep and hope for a PI call." When teams use the refs as a "twelfth" man, the call's gotta be right.

We remain hopeful the situation will improve – and while I understand fans' desire to have pass interference reviewable, I've never gotten a sense that that will happen. The reason isn't that the league doesn't believe getting pass interference right is important. Rather, the reason is that reviewing the play won't necessarily fix an incorrect call. It's very conceivable that two officials could look at the exact same play and disagree over whether the call was interference. That's much less likely on reviewable plays such as the ball crossing the plane of the goal line or whether a receiver was in bounds on a reception.

TJ from Orlando, FL

I accidentally kept scrolling down and found myself in the comments section. I may need to take a couple days off to recover. The horror. The horror ...

Bad move.

John from Centreville, VA

This Jags team seems to have an interesting dynamic on offense. Our third, fourth and fifth receivers – however they shake out – should be better football players than most teams' third and fourth corners, creating matchup advantages in our favor. However, lining up four and five wide is the antithesis of what our offense wants to be. So, my question is: How often do you foresee the offense lining up in four- or five-wide sets when down and distance don't dictate it to take advantage of those matchups, or will we most often concede that matchup advantage to remain true to our offensive philosophy?

I appreciate your enthusiasm, and I agree that the Jaguars have five good receivers. I don't know that they create such stunning matchup advantages on third and fourth cornerbacks that the Jaguars will want to reshape their entire offense. The group has looked good in camp and in the preseason opener. Let's let them keep doing it before the Jags redesign the playbook.

Billy from Section 213

Enjoyed the game except for this minor detail: The radio feed was about 10-15 seconds behind the live action. Please pass this on to your geeky pals to fix.

I am one of the beautiful people, Billy. We don't have "geeky pals."

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