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O-Zone: Are we done?

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Chris from Mandarin, FL

Would you say the combination of Jaguars cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye on defense is equal to the level of wide receivers Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell on offense of yesteryear?

It’s a good comparison; time will tell the better duo. McCardell and Smith never had quite the single season Bouye and Ramsey had last season; the only time either Smith or McCardell made Associated Press All-Pro was when Smith made the second team in 1998-1999 whereas Ramsey was first team and Bouye was second team last season. But before saying emphatically that Bouye/Ramsey is the better duo, remember: Smith/McCardell formed perhaps the NFL’s best receiving duo for a half decade. If Bouye/Ramsey maintain last year’s level for a while, then they’ll be better – but it’s easier said than done.

Logan from Green Cove Springs, FL

In December I wanna be able to look back at this and say that I called it. Blake Bortles is going to be a Pro Bowler this year. Mark it!

Hey, one fer Blake … and one for Logan markin’ it.

David from Orlando, FL

O-Zone: The San Francisco 49ers were 1-11 when Jimmy Garoppolo became their starting quarterback last year. With Garoppolo in the driver’s seat, the 49ers won the last five games, which included beating three playoff teams: the Tennessee Titans, the Jaguars and Los Angeles Rams. At the start of the 2018 season, Tom Brady will be 41 while Garoppolo will be 26. It will be interesting to see how much Brady has left in the tank compared to the career trajectory of J.G. If you were the general manager, would you have decided the same – to ride Brady to the end of the tracks – or would you have hitched your wagon to Garoppolo?

This indeed was the dilemma faced last year by the New England Patriots, who eventually decided to trade Garoppolo and continue with Brady at quarterback. As a general manager operating in a theoretical vacuum, I would have really wanted to go with Garoppolo. As a general manager having to deal with the realities of an owner who reportedly wanted to keep Brady – and knowing that having Brady on my team gives me a good chance to go to the Super Bowl – it would have been hard if not impossible to make the switch. So, I probably would have stuck with Brady. I would have known I probably would eventually regret it, but I probably would have done it.

Rick from Franconia, VA

O, Andrew Norwell not making the NFL Top 100 Players of 2018 list got me comparing the first- and second-team Associated Press All Pro list to the NFL Network Top 100 list. Six of 45 All Pros not including special teams did not make the Top 100 list. All six were offensive linemen, which is over half of the All-Pro offensive line group. Did the NFL Network completely bury the lead when they rolled out the Top 100 list this year or what? Which headline should they have used: (1) “NFL Players believe 16 of 32 NFL starting quarterbacks are Top 100,” or (2) “NFL Players believe the 16th-best quarterback is better than the best player in the league at two other positions?”

Remember a couple of things about the NFL Network’s Top 100: it never purports itself to be inclusive or representative of positions – and more importantly, it is voted upon by players. The second matters because players when they vote on these sorts of things are very much like most fans/observers – i.e., they vote for who they have heard of and probably don’t spend much time researching the list. Offensive linemen usually will get the short end in such polls because they don’t have statistics and are discussed less than most positions. Is it a little odd that a first-team All-Pro selection wouldn’t make a list of the NFL’s Top 100 players? Perhaps, but the nice thing about the honor is that it’s like most such honors in that it’s fun to discuss in June and means little in October.

JagsMavs from Virginia Beach, VA

With all the television technology now, it seems someone with access could stitch together all filmed angles of the #MJWD play to show a 3-D presentation. Then everyone can see what we already know.

The angles as available already have decided this. The official blew the play dead. While unfortunate for the Jaguars, there’s nothing else to be discovered.

Dan from Jacksonville

As I read questions/statements from fans, some seem to reach deep left or right but utilizing some power that translates into a voice of reason, you finesse them back to the center ... at first I figured your wife was writing those responses, but then I realized that wives don't reason, they dictate ... so what's the secret? Cigars, feeling superior to the dog? For the sake of all that is holy, enlighten us Yoda of the writer world, enlighten us.

Jaguars 2018 Training Camp Begins July 26. Players report July 25.

Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

How are teams going to attack against the Jaguars? My guess is teams with a power running game and a balanced passing attack sort of like the Jaguars offense would have the most success.

Teams will attack the Jaguars based on what those teams do best offensively, but I don’t know that a power-running game is the cure-all formula against this defense. After acquiring defensive tackle Marcell Dareus the Jaguars were very good against the run last season. The key to beating the Jaguars’ defense? Be good enough to make plays despite the Jaguars playing very well.

Cristiano from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

It really is the dead zone: I read sitting in Lambo instead of limbo...

It took me four tries to spell “Janeiro” right when I wrote it after your name. This isn’t at all uncommon when you write. Thanks, Cristiano. Thanks a lot.

Nate from St. Petersburg, FL

Hey buddy, to piggy back onto your response regarding improved special teams, doesn't it almost feel as if the team is treating that area as a third "starting unit?” Past couple of offseasons they've zeroed in on free agents (Lerentee McCray, Donald Payne, Audie Cole, Josh McNary, Cody Davis, Niles Paul, Don Carey) and specialists (Logan Cooke) that they feel can fill specific roles. I kinda love it and actually have to stay in my seat to watch punts to make sure I don't miss anything now. One fer DeCamillis!

Hey, one for special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis – and yes, the Jaguars take special teams very seriously. Their hope is that the free-agents signed this offseason (Paul, Davis and Carey) are collectively better than last offseason’s group. It’s an area they want very much to improve in 2018.

Mike from Cocoa Beach, FL

You recently said in your article what I have been talking about since the draft. Wide receivers are going to be the surprise position. My questions are with so much talent how are they all going to get play time, and if they do amazing how do you keep them??

The reality is all of the Jaguars’ receivers probably won’t get enough snaps to keep them all happy – at least not every week. That’s good for the team and not great for the receivers individually. I expect the respective roles of the receivers to be a key training-camp storyline; and while I expect Marqise Lee, Donte Moncrief and Keelan Cole to be the top three receivers entering the season, I also expect Dede Westbrook and D.J. Chark to be good enough to force their way into schemes early and often.

Chris from Norfolk, VA

Honorable mention, Evil Dead 2. I wanted to get your take on the “if” of Edelman just coming out and saying, “I’m 32 coming off surgery and I needed this HGH to prolong my career.” I really do believe that most don’t care. I could be alone here but then again, podoys nerfect.

I don’t believe Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman will say that regarding his suspension. As for how many fans truly care what supplements players do or don’t take, I have no idea. I do know some are against league rules – and until that’s not true, the league, teams and fans will care a lot.

Jerry from Jersey

So, Zone: I did a little research and the longest known ongoing Q&A column was by Ezra Lukman Moises Algebrae, the longtime blogger during the building of the pyramids. Most of the questions consisted of “You want us to do what?” and “Are we done yet?” and “How do we get down when we’re done?” It is believed his record number of consecutive day entries was 2,345 before he liked the symmetry and decided to stop. Have you surpassed his record? Are you better the Ezra? Are you desperately wanting that record?

I laughed at this, particularly: “How do we get down when we’re done?”

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