JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Don from Marshall, NC
Jalen Ramsey has disrespected more players and more teams than any player. How is it Dave Caldwell uses a couple four letter words and Ramsey takes his ball and goes home? He is the one who shows up in a Brinks Truck. It takes teamwork to achieve respect. Let's follow along the future of the Jaguars for the next ten years and see how it all plays out. Jalen is a great player on the field, but off the field he engages his mouth before his brain. Go Jaguars!
You're referencing news made this week by former Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey – news to the effect that some cursing from former Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell directed at Ramsey following a September 2019 loss at Houston was what prompted Ramsey to have his agent request a trade the following day. Ramsey said this week that Caldwell cursed at him and demanded Ramsey apologize to then-Head Coach Doug Marrone following their in-game altercation on the sideline that day. Ramsey felt disrespected enough by this transgression that he felt a trade was necessary to solve the issue. That disrespect also was enough to trump the intense love Ramsey had – and publicly professed – for his Jaguars teammates. A subsequent back injury kept Ramsey from ever playing for the Jaguars again, and he indeed was traded to the Los Angeles Rams a few weeks later. I agree with you that a few cuss words and a postgame incident shouldn't be enough by itself to prompt a professional football player to want out of his given situation. Most football players I've covered have heard such language before – and have had such language directed at them before. It's not a game for meek hearts or sensitive ears. I wrote at the time the Jaguars would have been well within their rights to simply tell Ramsey they weren't going to trade him and let him sit for the years remaining on his contract. I still believe that would have been the proper approach. Now, get off my lawn. And get your Brinks Truck off it, too.
Dave from Jacksonville
Zone, did you watch the baseball All-Star Home Run Derby Monday? It provides the perfect example of what a generational quarterback can do for growth of a city. Denver did not have a Major League Baseball team when John Elway arrived. Arnold Schwarzenegger was building his business empire and his group quietly bought up all the old abandoned warehouses in the districts in the inner city. The euphoria and economic boon of the football success Elway brought, many would say, led to the development of that abandoned warehouse district. Which led to a push for an MLB team. Which led to Coors Field. Which brings us to the All-Star game. That whole area was abandoned, rundown, forgotten inner city – kind of like the Shipyards. Did you see that place? That is a lot of pressure on a rookie quarterback.
I didn't watch the Home Run Derby. "Atypical" dropped on Netflix and I was watching "Palm Springs" on Hulu. But I have no doubt that Coors Field and downtown Denver was a cool place for the All-Star game. And yes … there's pressure on Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence. To be generational. To reshape the franchise. To win big. All of it. And yes … if all of that happens, it can transform a city. The NFL can have such an impact. It takes a special person to handle that and flourish. All indications are Lawrence is that sort of special. We'll see.
Dave from Atlantic Beach, FL
"Rudy" didn't make the cut?
I pulled for the Vince Vaughn character in "Rudy." I rooted against the main character. He annoyed me. This probably helps explain why I'm not likable. I'll live with that.
JR from The Squatchlands
O, I would like to submit "The Program" as one of the best all time football movies. At least one of the greatest football comedies. That one was a comedy, right?
I hope so.
David from The Island
Fred Taylor went off right tackle about 2003 against the Buffalo Bills for a 40ish-yard touchdown. I saw his eyes look right and left. No one was within a yard and when he took off, no one was within five yards. Twenty-eight had some serious wheels.
Former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor indeed was as gifted – a combination of moves, acceleration, power and top-end speed – as any back I've ever seen. This story is not surprising.
Sean from Jacksonville
Dang it. Forgot to turn off my alarm. Back to dead-zone hibernation.
Cole from Jacksonville
Sup, Zone! With the dead zone in full force and life responsibilities taking precedence over my daily football intake, I'm sad to admit I haven't kept up with the column lately. Checked in recently and saw the answer to the 8-8 stunning result and just smiled to myself and thought "he's still bringing the goods." Also was happy to hear about your running regimen, Josh Scobee be damned! My question is, have you noticed a correlation between your dedication to running/staying fit and your (slightly) above average performance with said "goods?" And, if so, has Shad noticed as well??
I'm not sure if there is a correlation. I run daily and do the O-Zone daily because it's what I do – and specifically to running, because I figure if I miss one day, I might find an excuse to miss the next day and next day and so on. I doubt Jaguars Owner Shad Khan is aware of either routine. I should hope not. For we who live in the category of "stunningly mediocre," the less you're noticed – particularly by management – the better.
David from Chuluota, FL
KOAF - Do you know who the No. 1 O-Zone fan is in the world? The guy that prints out every Sbarro's reference you've made over the years and presents it to the manager at Sbarro's Avenues Mall and gets you free food for life. I double-dog dare you to print this!
I don't know that he's the No. 1 O-Zone fan. I do know I have a new bestest friend ever.
EJ from Jacksonville
With nothing much to worry about for two weeks, I was wondering about the role of agents. Is there a standard agents contract that the NFL imposes to protect the players? Can an agent represent more than one player on a team or is that a potential conflict between two for salary or other accommodations such as making the team?
The NFL doesn't control player contracts, but agents do have to be certified with the NFL Players Association to represent players. A test must be passed. A fee must be paid. Certain education standards must be met. There is no limit on how many players an agent can represent on a given team.
Tim from Fernandina Beach, FL
How about 8-8-1?
Josh from Atlanta, GA
Who is the greatest head coach of all time?
The consensus greatest NFL head coach of all-time would be either Vince Lombardi or Bill Belichick. And if you're counting modern-era "world championships," those are easy selections because of Belichick's six world titles and Lombardi's five. But my selection is former Washington Football Team head coach Joe Gibbs. Belichick won all six titles with Tom Brady at quarterback and Lombardi won all five with Bart Starr at quarterback; Brady will be in the Hall of Fame and Starr already is three. Gibbs won three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks, none of whom ever have received serious consideration for the Hall of Fame: Joe Theismann, Doug Williams and Mark Rypien. He also had a 12-4 season in which his team made the NFC Championship Game with Jay Schroeder at quarterback. This is a quarterback league, and no other head coach has had remotely the same level of success with as many non-Hall of Fame quarterbacks as Gibbs. I admit a certain bias because this was my team growing up and I followed them passionately during that era. That bias doesn't mean I'm wrong.
Amanda from Jacksonville
Oh Mighty "O"... I have been sitting in my teal seat for over 15 years. Once again, I am looking forward to seeing my Jags on the field. I have learned to temper my expectations, of course, but I really don't understand all the angst that fellow fans of ours have about the media not giving us their just due if and when we start winning. If that happens, and my Jags are consistently winning and making playoff appearances, I am just going to kick back in my teal seat at The Bank enjoying the fact that they and the rest of the NFL community have to watch since we will be the only game available on television at the time. Of course, I will also have a big satisfying grin on my face just in case the network cameras pan in my general direction. Isn't that a better attitude to have going forward? Who cares what others think? Just win baby!!!
Absolutely and positively.