JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Jordan from Clovis, CA:
We had a big problem last year against tight ends. Do you feel that Jalen Ramsey is the answer with his size and speed? Also, is Myles Jack going to be the OTTO position at the start of the year?
John: I don't think Jalen Ramsey will be the Jaguars' answer against tight ends, because I don't think the Jaguars envision him being the answer against tight ends. That's because as an outside corner he likely will mostly line up against wide receivers. I do anticipate Jack being matched up on receiving tight ends a lot as a rookie – and his presence should go a long way toward solving what has been an ongoing issue. As for where Jack will line up, I anticipate him playing more weak-side backer and middle backer to start out his career. I expect his biggest early impact to be on third downs, with him and Telvin Smith both playing huge roles in passing situations. That could be the biggest change in the Jaguars' defense on third downs next season; the speed difference could and should be significant.
Christopher from Duval:
Sometimes I wish I could "like" your answers to questions. Just to let you know that … I ... I get you John, and you are appreciated ✌
John: Yeah, but if we had a "like" button we'd have to counter that with "dislike," "hate" and "get-out-of-Jacksonville-before-I-figure-out-where-you-live-you-big-blonde-shorts-wearing-idiot" buttons and then you know what we'd have? Chaos, Christopher. That's right. Chaos.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
Is the game "Electric Football" football enough that it warrants a mention in the O-Zone? Have you ever played it? Given a choice, would you prefer to play Electric Football or Madden? I never figured out how to get my players to run straight in a straight line ...
John: Have I ever played Electric Football? Have I? I not only played Electric Football as a kid, I followed that with Talking Football, Foto-Electric Football, O.J. Simpson's See-Action Football, hand-held Mattel Electronic Football, Mattel Football II, Tecmo Bowl, Super Tecmo and, of course, Madden … and the list probably goes on and on to games I can't remember anymore. My late father used to joke that at some point he had bought me every possible toy football game for Christmas; kidding aside, he was probably right. You say you never figured out how to get your players to run in a straight line in electric? I say, "Who did?" I also say, "Which game did you have? The one with the regular stands or the ones that came out later where you could adjust the little knob underneath to make them go in one direction or the other? Did you have Super Bowl VII, Dolphins-Redskins? Or did you have Cowboys-Redskins? Did you have Super Bowl VI? V? I think I did, or at least my friends or friends' brothers did. Did you have one of the little catalogs the kid in my neighborhood in Reston used to carry around in the pocket of his sweatshirt where you could order little plastic electric football versions any team in the NFL?" Oh, what a dream come true that would have been!! All 26 teams? Are you kidding? Yes, Electric Football was unbelievably cool – and of, course, unbelievably frustrating. It was almost impossible to get anything close to realistic action, which made it all the more fun and memorable. So, to answer your question, Steven: Which do I prefer? Electric Football or Madden? The choice is easy: Super Tecmo. Best video game ever, and I don't know that it's close.
Paul from SoCal:
Hey big O, your answer in the O-Zone Saturday about Jalen Ramsey not being able to wear No. 8 brought up a question. Why is it that specific position personnel must wear specific number ranges? In the big scheme of things, it makes very little sense to regulate numbers to a position. What purpose does it serve? Keep up the good work!
John: You have a point. On the one hand, it does seem restrictive and unnecessary to regulate numbers – and it hasn't always been that way. Sammy Baugh wore No. 33 and Otto Graham wore No. 60 playing quarterback Back in the Day and Tom Fears wore No. 55 playing wide receiver. Those are just a few examples, but since the 1970s the NFL has regulated numbers in pretty much the way they are now with position groups restricted to certain number groups. One reason is to ease officiating and minimize confusion about whether a player is a defensive back, linebacker, linemen, etc. It's also easier and less confusing for fans. Is it good or bad? On the one hand, it would be cool to see Ramsey wearing No. 8. On the other hand, I don't know that we want to see a quarterback wearing No. 78, so it probably works both ways.
Frederic from Jacksonville:
Question came up yesterday in the comments: "Which is more impressive -- Lebron's six straight finals or the Bills four straight Super Bowls?" Most of us argued that the Bills' achievement was greater. Is there another consecutive achievement that you think belongs in the conversation?
John: The Atlanta Braves' 14 consecutive division titles in baseball from 1991-2005 comes to mind, as do the Dallas Cowboys' streak of 20 consecutive winning seasons from 1966-1985 and the San Francisco 49ers'16 consecutive winning seasons from 1983-1998. Never take winning and getting to the postseason for granted. Doing that gives you a chance to win championships.
Fun from Jacksonville:
When does the Fun Zone begin? Don't be a boring sellout.
John: I've been asking my wife when the fun begins for years. Her response is to tell me to leave the room, and then I hear sobs.
Cathy from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
Do you think it is likely that both Dwayne Gratz and Demetrius McCray both fail to make the 53-man roster? What do you think of Nick Marshall's chances?
John: I think at least one of the three players you mentioned will make the roster. I'd bet on Gratz now, but I wouldn't bet my house.
Genesis from Hopkins:
I say we pick up Hodor for tackle.
John: Do ya?
Amanda from Jacksonville:
This will be my 10th year sitting in my seats watching my beloved Jags and I find myself more excited than ever for this season. I'm not asking for a W-L count, but what in your opinion would be a successful '16 season when our last game is played? What would you like to say in your Jags 2016 season's end editorial? Let's play some football!!!
John: There are a couple of things I believe will mean a successful season, and I'll preface the answer by saying the answer could make some fans angry. One, unless the Jaguars just have a rash of season-ending injuries, I believe they need to be a .500-level team. When I say that, I don't mean they absolutely need to win eight games. I mean they need be around .500 (seven victories, at least, I'd estimate) and they need to feel like they were better than a lot of the teams they played. They got closer to that last season, but I didn't see them quite there yet. I don't offer a hard, fast drop-dead victory total because there are so many things that can happen during an NFL season, but I think having the feel of a team that can play with just about every team in the NFL on a given Sunday is a fair expectation. The second thing I believe will mean a successful season is if at the end of it fans can look at the team and say, "Yes, that team was better and I believe it's about to be really good." It feels like the Jaguars are close to that. By the end of the season, fans should be able to feel that.
O-Zone: Best possible look
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Jordan from Clovis, CA: