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O-Zone: Because quarantine

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Michael from Fruit Cove, FL

I feel like you don't understand what fans mean when they talk about tanking, but at the same time you hit the nail on the head with a recent answer. Obviously, the players and coaches won't intentionally lose. Nobody is suggesting that. But an NFL team can purposely lose more games by not fielding the best team possible. You said that you don't think the team will sign former defensive tackle Marcell Dareus even though he's likely better than the other options that are currently on the roster. This is exactly how an NFL team would tank. Does it guarantee the top pick? No. But this move (among other possible upgrades) means that the Jaguars aren't fielding the best team possible. Also …. this seems like the right move to me. Winning a couple extra games this season will do us no good.

I never said the Jaguars wouldn't re-sign Dareus even though he's likely better than the other options currently on the roster. I said the Jaguars likely won't sign Dareus. There's a difference (remember: health, age and salary play a role in offseason decisions). Also: I do have a better-than-decent grasp of what fans mean when they talk about tanking – though it's also true that fans and observers talk about this in enough different ways that there's no clear-and-absolute definition. What I can tell you is this: The Jaguars – from ownership, to the front office, to the head coach, to the assistant coaches, to the players – are trying to win as many games as possible next season. They are not making transactions this offseason to lose. They won't prepare for games next season to lose. They won't release players to lose. They won't opt to not sign players to lose. There's no reason to read between lines in this answer or future answers for hints to the contrary, and there's no reason to see moves the Jaguars make this offseason as being anything other than trying to win. I have no confidence that this answer will change minds on this issue. No matter. Winning is the goal. The Jaguars' moves this offseason were with that in mind, and they firmly believe they're in a better situation now than at the end of last season. Believe it if you want. Or don't believe it. But that's what's real.

Art from Drexel Hill, PA

Here's what people don't get about tanking. The players and coaches don't try and lose games. I watched the Sixers tank, the players played hard and the coach coached to win. But, they were able to tank because the general manager didn't put good enough players to win on the team. General Manager Dave Caldwell isn't tanking.

Of course he's not.

Eric from Columbus, IN

O-man, I'm getting so confused reading the column since the draft. The same people who wanted cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue gone because of their me-first attitudes are the same people bashing us drafting high-character guys ... the same people who complained last year about our miserable run defense and defensive coordinator Todd Wash are now complaining about the Jags focusing on fixing it. So, we should have drafted 12 low character/offensive weapon guys to stop the run and not be a distraction to the team? What gives? Am I missing something here?

Fans fan, Eric. It's what they do. They fan when it comes to character. They fan in a pandemic. I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam I am.

Vince from 904

Seems like the majority of analysts, or people weighing in on the draft, are confused that the Jags did not acquire a scat back in the draft or in free agency so far. I seem to remember a young man by the name of Corey Grant who seemed to be coming into his own, and then he was gone. What happened to him? And do you think the Jags would consider getting somebody like him to complement Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette's bruising style? They played well together in 2017, it could happen again.

Grant indeed was an effective weapon for the Jaguars in 2017, though he wasn't as much of a make-you-miss scatback as just a mind-blowingly fast straight-ahead runner. He sustained a severe foot injury in a Week 5 2018 loss at Kansas City and didn't play again. I don't see the Jaguars adding anyone high-profile on this front this offseason, though such a player would be added in training camp or preseason as other teams trim rosters.

Zach from Orange Park, FL

Which undrafted rookies do you think have the best shot at making the team? I think one of the running backs (Tavien Feaster of South Carolina or James Robinson of Illinois State) can make some noise.

Robinson and Georgia safety J.R. Reed were both invited to the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine. Start there, and Feaster is also a good choice.

John from Jacksonville

Does anyone believe that Yann won't play for the Jags this season? The franchise has all the power, other teams don't want to pay the price, and it would be extremely stupid for Yann to lose many more millions of dollars this season on top of the millions he lost last season (all due to very bad counsel or simply overblown pride).

I don't try to predict what Ngakoue will do this season, although logically and reasonably what you say is correct.

Justin from NYC

Did Yannick's tweets shoot himself in the foot, or was he not likely to be traded regardless?

Ngakoue's tweets couldn't have enhanced how he was viewed around the NFL, but I can't realistically say they caused him not to be traded. Players who express dissatisfaction with their own organizations are routinely signed by other organizations. Ngakoue's chances to be traded were hurt because pursuing teams had to not only trade a premium selection to the Jaguars to get him but then negotiate a long-term deal with Ngakoue. Based on Ngakoue's perceived contract demands, that combination made him difficult to trade.

John from Jacksonville

I've often seen former Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin insulted on this site by fans. It seems odd to me that people forget all that he accomplished. He gave the Jags a great start in the 90s, won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants and revived the Jags with almost a trip to the Super Bowl when returning. I always liked his toughness, but it probably wasn't a good fit for the position he was put in with his latest gig here and clashing with the snowflake rules the NFL and NFL Players Association are gravitating to.

You won't see Coughlin "insulted" by this writer. He deserves better than that. He is one of handful of the most important people in this organization's history, and he was the defining figure of its first decade or so. Was he perfect? No. Perfection is rare in the NFL – anywhere, for that matter. Is he deserving of respect for what he meant to this organization? Beyond question.

Steve from Nashville, TN

If somehow the Los Angeles Rams are the worst team in the league this year, the Jaguars will have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft?


Josh from Atlanta, GA

Do you think players are going to become more of a problem in regards to wanting an extension earlier? Players are getting better coming out of college and are seemingly more NFL ready than in the past. I hope they don't start thinking they deserve higher pay and holding out earlier in their careers just because younger players as a whole are just getting better.

A couple of thoughts. First, I don't know that I agree that players are better coming out of college and more NFL-ready than before; I haven't seen that as a significant trend, although perhaps I'll give it some more thought and see this your way. Second, NFL rules prevent this from being a major problem because teams can't renegotiate contracts with players before the end of the players' third NFL season.

Diego from Tierra from Del Fuego

Read the power rankings of the 32 NFL head coaches. New England Patriots Bill Belichick and Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid were No. 1 and 2. Jaguars Head Coach Marrone was No. 23, which put him at the top of the bottom third. Also said he was overrated. How then can jags fans get excited when we have a head coach who is becoming the next Marvin Lewis?

I googled the "power rankings" to which you prefer. After some effort, I found them. I scanned them. I considered the source. I then chastised myself for the minute or so of my life I would never, ever – regardless of my efforts in this area – recapture. Then, I drank.