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O-Zone: Are you experienced?

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Richard from Orange Park, FL

I just want to know why a team would keep a long snapper? I love Carson Tinker. Don’t get me wrong; he's great in the community. But everyone always says the more you can do … Does he do other things I just don't notice? I just feel like a lineman or fullback should be able to do that job. Please educate me why a team would in my opinion waste a roster spot.

While it's certainly nice to know you “feel” a lineman or fullback should be able to long snap, the reality is it’s a difficult skill to master. And while Jaguars long snapper Carson Tinker indeed is good in the community, to think that that’s the reason he’s on the team is to show a gross misunderstanding of how seriously NFL teams take long snapping. Could a team have a position player do it? Sure. Could that position player do it OK a lot of the time? Sure. But remember: a mistake by a long snapper typically leads to disaster – often a game-changing disaster. NFL teams typically want to avert disaster when possible, which is why almost all NFL teams now carry a player whose only job is to long-snap.

JB from Jacksonville

Why did Will Grier leave the University of Florida? Will looked really good Saturday playing for the West Virginia University.

I haven’t the foggiest why Grier left the University of Florida. I might have a significantly better idea if I covered, well … you know …

Howard from Homestead, FL

I respect the rights of NFL players to speak out on issues and even to protest by kneeling during the anthem. That being said, I was volunteering in my community recently and overheard multiple conversations from former diehard fans who have given up pro football over this. Do you think players understand that protests mean fewer customers which means smaller television contracts in the future? Again, I’m not leaving. I support the players. I just want to know your opinion. Do they realize the price they are going to have to pay?

A couple of thoughts on this. First, whatever your beliefs on this issue, it’s beyond dispute that there is a disconnect between why the players say they are protesting and why many people believe they are protesting. This appears to be an unbridgeable disconnect – and while it’s not one I want to try to explain yet again in this space, it’s unquestionably the reason for much of the emotional conflict over this issue. Second, you’re asking if “players” realize the price they’re going to have to pay. The question implies that all players are thinking in intellectual unison over an extended period. That’s not how the world works. These players protesting now are doing so for their own reasons. Could it have long-term ramifications? Perhaps, though honestly it’s assuming a lot to think that it’s going do the sort of long-term damage your question implies.

Dave from Oviedo, FL

Johnny-O, I was going to ask you if Mrs. O reads the O-Zone, but then it hit me: if she wanted your opinion, she would give it to you.

Pretty much.

Jim from Glass

Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles’ critics seem to have a bad case of the jitters. The Miami Dolphins won a SUPER BOWL with a dynamic running duo and a game-manager quarterback who could not run. I am also pretty sure they had a great offensive line, but still not as good as the line we have this year. That quarterback was a great intermediate passer. Bortles’ intermediate game is very much on the uptick. Do I really believe that the Leonard Fournette/Corey Grant duo may outperform Larry Csonka and Larry Little or Mercury Morris? Yes. I do think these running backs with the line can do it. This defense is so much better than the Dolphins. This offense will be on the field longer than the defense, I think. #DTWD

While I appreciate your knowledge of NFL history, it’s difficult if not impossible to compare teams a couple of decades apart – much less nearly 50 years. I wouldn’t be so quick to discount some of the members of that 1972 Dolphins team, though. Quarterback Bob Griese is a Hall of Famer who proved at various times in his career to be more than a game manager, and the Dolphins’ running game that season was one of the most productive in NFL history. I would say this, too: The 1972 Dolphins went unbeaten and won Super Bowl VII. Until the Jaguars at least make the Super Bowl and approach something similar, there’s probably not a need to go down the list of the many ways they’re superior to that Dolphins team.

Scott from New York, NY

Every year we fans worry about players getting cut at the deadline getting picked up by other teams. This year, not a single Jaguars player was picked up after roster cuts. Maybe the brass know what they are doing?

That’s not the only reason, but yeah …

Edward from Los Angeles, CA

I don't see the Maurice-Jones-Drew-to-Corey-Grant comparison at all. Actually, the way Grant glides when he runs reminds me a bit of Fred Taylor. Not to say he's that good – for he lacks Freddy T's lateral agility. But that glide is as if he's on ice.

We’re a bit lost in the weeds on this idea of comparing current Jaguars running back Corey Grant to past Jaguars running backs. Here’s the reality: Grant is a completely different kind of player than Taylor and Jones-Drew. Taylor was one of the NFL’s best few running backs of the last couple of decades, and Jones-Drew was a three-time Pro Bowl selection who led the NFL in rushing in 2011. They were different players, but both were complete, every-down running backs. Grant is a phenomenally dangerous player in the right situation/packages, and he’s very important to the Jaguars’ offense. Let’s just leave the conversation there for now.

Alex from Los Angeles, CA

Not to break Tyler's bubble, but many, many teams use Bro Hymn ... first being the Anaheim Ducks who use it for all their goals in the city where Pennywise is from. But still, fun tradition: yes. One fer Bro Hymn.

Sure. Why not?

Chris from Section 437

Back to the new helmet-to-helmet rule: It looked like our punter made a pretty good shoulder-to-shoulder tackle, but was flagged for it. Fifteen-yard penalties on clean tackles will be very concerning, especially if they make the difference between a win and a loss. How much impact do you think this will have on games?

I agreed that Jaguars punter Logan Cooke’s hit against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday for which he was flagged could have been ruled a clean hit. And this emphasis on the lowering-the-head penalty without question is concerning. My thought is that it’s not going to change the outcome of nearly as many games this season as many observers fear. Still, it’s going to change the outcome of some games. When that happens, the reaction is going to be loud and widespread.

Mark from Prescott, AZ

It's game week ... finally. The preparations are done. The white noise stops. Time to play ball and let's see what you've got. Go Jags; wishing you guys a little luck to go with all that talent!

DTWD

Chris from London, England

Mighty O: I’m not going to lie. As a big fan of yours I don’t like your answer regarding Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey and all he is doing is talking!!! It might be a cultural thing on this side of the pond, but over here you should always try and have bit of decorum and dignity; if you don’t, you should be rightfully reprimanded. As a journalist you should very much be aware the word is mightier than the sword. I would much rather have a smack in the face than all my deficiencies pointed out to me by a greater rival!!!!

It wouldn’t be surprising if Ramsey’s propensity for speaking his mind is seen differently in different cultures. Does that make him an American Original? Perhaps. Let’s be clear: I’m not saying Ramsey talking as he does is ideal. I wouldn’t love it if I were a head coach. It might make me a bit nervous if I were a fan accustomed to more conventional athletes. My point regarding Ramsey is while you may not like it, his public comments are strikingly low when it comes to possible reprehensible actions on the part of a professional athlete. Is he unconventional? Perhaps. Does it make him evil? Does it make him a bad guy? Does it hurt the team? Nah.

Steve from Duval

I apologize to all the fan of O-world and hope I don't get blasted from the O-Zone community, but what is a Jerell?

This can’t be answered with mere words. You must experience it.

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