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O-Zone: Barely hanging on

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Dallas from Jacksonville:
Do you see us cutting more than 22 players Saturday so we can claim players from other teams? I can see us picking up an offensive lineman or cornerback from another team that is deep at that position – or maybe Cooper Rush from the Cowboys if he gets cut. He was on fire during preseason.
John: I absolutely can see the Jaguars claiming players from other teams this weekend – most likely on Sunday. I could see this happening along the offensive line, as well as at tight end, interior defensive line, cornerback and even linebacker. I doubt it will happen at all of those positions, but the team certainly could have serious interest in multiple offensive linemen and/or cornerbacks. I'm not thinking they will claim a quarterback, but that would depend on what's available. Either way, the Jaguars won't have to cut beyond 53 active players by Saturday to do that. I would expect the Jaguars to cut to the 53-player limit Saturday, then release and sign players as warranted on Sunday. And Monday. And so on.
Marcus from Melbourne, FL:
G'Day, O-Man: Do you think now that Brock Osweiler has been released we will look at bringing him in? I have been waiting for the Browns to make a decision on him as I feel he would be a better backup than Chad Henne and a better option to start if Blake Bortles struggles. What do you think?
John: Meh.
Mike from Eagle River, AK:
I think it's somewhat clear what will happen if Blake Bortles does really awful or really well this year, but what happens if he is super average? I'm talking true mediocre: nothing special, but nothing too bad. I imagine that would be a good thing short-term with the emphasis on the run game this year, but would we still try and draft a quarterback high and move on at that point? #BrandonAllenforpotus
John: I think it's safe to say Bortles needs an obviously super-above average season for the Jaguars not to pursue at least one quarterback next offseason. Or two. Or three.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ:
At the end of the day, if we WIN the game, it doesn't matter how many interceptions were thrown. Brandon Allen won the game, so Brandon is the man.
John: You're right. Winning the fourth preseason game is all that matters.
John from Jacksonville:
Question about the NFL this time of year. Each team will be releasing 37 players that know their team's playbook, install, checks and audibles, etc; a significant number of those will end up with other teams and possibly division rivals. Is there an unwritten code, or is it just a free for all of information that may change hands this time of year? What if one of our (or any team's) released receivers ends up with their Week 1 opponent and already knows a significant part of the game plan. Is that info shared?
John: When a player is released, he is free to share anything he knows, believes or senses about his former team with anyone he so chooses. But remember: teams scout opponents tirelessly and have every play of every preseason game on video, so the value of a team's playbook when game-planning for an opponent is minimal. There would be value to having a team's checks and audibles, but those can be – and often are changed pretty regularly.
Glen from Orange Park, FL:
Doesn't Abry Jones wear number 90? Doesn't that make him accountable for whatever number 90 does in a Jags uniform? I think you're letting him off the hook a little too easy.
John: Abry Jones wears No. 95.
Graham from Reading, UK:
I can see Allen Hurns missing out, which I really think would be a sham as he always has a big play in him. How do you see the wide receiver roster looking?
John: Like this: Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee, Hurns, Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook and Arrelious Benn. There has been speculation that Hurns could be traded, and I suppose that's possible if the deal is right. But it's tough to project a trade. Barring one, I see Hurns on the final roster.
Derek from Centreville, VA:
O, in your opinion, who are our best five offensive linemen? Granted, I'm biased because I went to high school with Luke Bowanko and to college with Earl Watford, but I'd go Robinson, Watford, Linder, Bowanko, Parnell. What do you think?
John: I'd go Cam Robinson at left tackle, Watford at left guard, Brandon Linder at center, A.J. Cann at right guard and Jermey Parnell at right tackle, but I wouldn't be real passionate about Watford or Cann.
Daniel from Jacksonville Since Day One:
Paying full price for preseason games has always felt like a rip-off, but the fourth game has become a joke. If you're not gonna play a single starting player, then the tickets should be less than half price. It's a rehearsal for the understudies. No one should have to pay for that! Even Jeff Lageman and Tony Boselli said playing one quarter was better for them than not playing.
John: Well, if Lageman and Boselli said it …
Fat Matt from Nashville, TN:
While this is Todd Wash's second year as defensive coordinator, it's his first year in a long time that he has not worked under Gus Bradley. I have not seen enough of the preseason play to tell, but how does Wash's defensive scheme look this year compared to the past few years? Are there any significant changes in philosophy or approach now that Wash is not in the shadow of his former boss and mentor?
John: The defensive scheme is the same as what Wash ran under Bradley. That's particularly true for the front seven, with players saying during training camp there essentially is no difference. That's a bit less true of the secondary, where the defense is using safeties Tashaun Gipson and Barry Church a bit differently. The team last season used Gipson as a free safety and Jonathan Cyprien as a strong safety whereas this year Church and Gipson play more similar roles.
Micky from Orange Park, FL:
Denver traded a former second-round offensive lineman to the Falcons Friday, That's the third time this week an offensive lineman has been traded. Why not the Jags?
John: They evidently didn't want those offensive linemen any more than the teams trading them wanted them.
Chris from Birmingham, AL:
Statistically, what does Leonard Fournette have to do in his first season to justify a No. 4 overall pick? Being from New Orleans, I am highly optimistic that he will be on the Jaguars' Mount Rushmore.
John: I'm a bad person to ask this question, because I don't pay all that much attention to statistics; I find them often to be an inaccurate gauge of a player's true value unless viewed through the proper lens. Fournette, for example, might run for 800 yards, but still help the Jaguars enormously if his presence helps the passing game, or if he scores 15 touchdowns. But for the statistics-centric among us, I'd say Fournette needs to be a 1,200-yard, 10-touchdown back to keep that group happy.
Ed from Ponte Vedra, FL:
I hope that the Colin Kaepernick thing don't become another Tebow thing: When are fans going to realize that if the guy can play NFL quarterback he would be playing NFL quarterback even if they kneel for different reasons.
John: Regarding your premise, it's a little late for that.
Anthony from Madison, WI:
Hey John, can you give your thoughts on a developmental league and why there isn't one in the NFL? After looking it up first, it seems almost everybody wants it (fans, coaches, owners), but I almost never hear about it. It seems like it would be extra revenue, an additional chance for fringe-roster players, give more entry points for new coaches, give more practice for referees, and give of course more football for the fans. I'm sure there must be some downside, but I'm not personally seeing it. Thoughts?
John: The drawback of a developmental league is money. While your point is it would bring in extra revenue, how much revenue is debatable. I suppose some people would pay a small amount to attend developmental-league games, and there might be some value in a television contract for the league, but enough to cover costs of operations such as support staff, players, coaches, etc.? You would need 40-to-45 players, trainers, equipment staff, front-office staff, coaches and so on. There would be some value to developing players, but with the high injury risk in football, teams would be reluctant to put players they already have under contract there. I wouldn't say there never will be a developmental league, but I would question whether or not the league would have a huge impact on quality of play and whether it would be a viable long-term operation.
Limo Bob from Neptune Beach, FL:
Do you have a real job?
John: For now, from what I hear.

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