JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Rob from Brunswick, GA:
John, the Dead Zone is always somewhat humdrum. But there are some players who manage to give us things to talk about anyway. You've got Jackson saying we'll win a Super Bowl this year, Fowler already getting a sack in 2017 and Brandon Allen saying he is the best left tackle in the world. Who gets this year's Dead Zone MVP?
John: I'll go with Malik Jackson for saying the Jaguars will win the Super Bowl. You have to like his moxie, and it's not a bad way for a veteran with a Super Bowl ring to make a point to younger teammates that this team has the ability to be a lot better than 3-13. At some point, expectations must be higher and Jackson doesn't mind raising them. That's good. As for your last point, I'm assuming you mean Branden Albert and not Brandon Allen, but since I never heard Albert say he was the best left tackle in the world, I won't give him any Dead Zone awards. I also can't imagine why Allen – the Jaguars' third-team quarterback – would think he's the best left tackle in the world. Speaking of moxie …
Mr. O from EverBank:
Do you ever write your own question under a different name so you can tell us something you have been dying to divulge? Wait, what name did I put on this?
John: No, I don't do that.
Steve from Barranquilla, Colombia for now:
Mr. O, didn't I tell you that young U of F people tend to make stupid errors? The proud Seminole Nation from FSU never act stupid. Signed J. Winston, Tampa Bay.
John: Some young people do make stupid errors. Some young people actually make a lot of them. A lot of young people play football and some are good enough to play in the NFL. That means there's going to be crossover in the groups and it means NFL players are going to do dumb things at times. If you're going to follow the NFL and root for a team this is probably an idea you need to embrace. Or at least one you probably need to accept.
Glenn from Jacksonville and Section 146:
What, Rocky is to blame? Rocky ... is ... to ... blame? I'm sorry. If Rocky is somehow a bad thing for any reason … well, I just don't want to be right.
John: Let's not blame Rocky or Rocky II. Put a little blame on Rocky III and then blame Rocky IV and V full on. Those last two Rockys deserve a lot of blame.
Joel from Boston, MA:
We need to be ahead at the end of the fourth quarter. Just sayin'. #Analytics
John: I'll check on this.
Dave from Orlando, FL:
O-Man, in a game against the Houston Texans last year, our defense was desperate for a big stop. The Texans needed like two yards for a first down and threw a quick hitch to DeAndre Hopkins. Jalen Ramsey was all over him, extended his arm, and prevented Hopkins from gaining another inch. I believe that play was Jalen Ralmsey's most memorable play of the season. Is there a single play by Jalen Ramsey that made you think, this guy may be extra special?
John: That play is a candidate, and there were a bunch of plays from the Week 14 victory over Houston. The game-clinching pass defensed against Chicago was right there, too. But as memorable as those plays were, they weren't why I believe Ramsey is headed to All-Pro status. What makes me believe that is he was able to cover teams' No. 1 receiver all over the field from very early in his rookie season and never seemed overwhelmed. That's a tough task for a rookie and bodes very well for his future. He looked the part all year. Few rookies do that.
David from Oviedo, FL:
O-Zone, Jalen Ramsey is great at a lot of things, but one thing he isn't great at is holding his tongue. Several times last year, he directly criticized the coaches or their game plan to the media. I'm sure many fans appreciate his fire, but I see this as a potential powder keg, ready to explode, as soon as the losses start heating things up. There's talk that Jalen Ramsey may be the next shutdown corner, but what if he's also the league's next Terrell Owens?
John: Then he'll have to be really, really good to back up the things he says. That should be OK in Ramsey's case, because he's going to be really, really good. But I don't see Ramsey being another T.O. Most of the things he has said have been pretty harmless, and I get the idea he'll get better at knowing when and how to show his candid side.
Dave from Duval:
There are literally hundreds of people on this planet that could be a decent NFL backup quarterback if you give them time to throw, a wide open receiver to throw it to … oh and Justin Blackmon catching it. Let's just get the JU Dolphins ex-quarterback and pay him the minimum if that's all you expect out your backup.
John: On occasion, I will publish questions sharing wrong opinions here in the O-Zone. This is such an occasion.
Bill from Jacksonville:
With training camp set to begin, this might be my last chance to get this kind of question in. When asked about taking a regular season game away from the hometown fans and playing it in Europe, fans are often told the NFL can't simply play preseason games in Europe because "they'd know the difference." If that's the case, and I'm not saying it's not, why are ALL of the soccer games played by European teams in the United States exhibition matches? Americans "know the difference," but it doesn't seem to affect attendance. Thanks! Go Jags!
John: Good question. My sense is it has to do with soccer being more understood here than football is overseas – and there being a bit more of a following for some of the top teams. I also imagine it might have to do with the concept of "friendlies" in soccer being a little more accepted than exhibition games are in the NFL. I suppose it mostly has to do with the NFL wanting to be a little more aggressive in capturing the European market. Football until recently was very much an unfamiliar concept in Europe, and there remains a lot of work before the "masses" have an understanding of the sport.
Rob from Jacksonville:
So, when we're expecting eight wins, everyone complains that the Jags accept mediocrity. But when a player expects to win the Super Bowl, they think is comical? How many wins do they want? When/where would these people prefer lose?
John: C,mon, Rob … fans gonna fan. We know that, right?
Glen from Orange Park, FL:
Forget who we did or did not draft in the first round. How many players on our team would you consider first-round talent? Calais Campbell, Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack, Paul Posluszny, Malik Jackson, A.J. Bouye, Allen Robinson, Brandon Linder, etc.? High ceiling, low floor difference maker.
John: I'd put Branden Albert on that list, too, with a nod to Telvin Smith. And Yannick Ngakoue has a shot. I'll leave Leonard Fournette and Cam Robinson off the list until they play an NFL game.
Tom from St. Augustine, FL:
Brian from Nocatee:"Maybe we are cursed. What can we do about it?" John: The Jaguars aren't cursed. Win." Me: "You haven't been sitting near me at EverBank 'cause there's been a whole lot of cursing going on."
John: Point taken.
Brian from Mandarin:
John, how good was Joe Jacoby? As a Redskins fan of that era, I never worried about him, even though he faced some strong Giants and Eagles defensive fronts. He made four Pro Bowls, had a couple of All-Pro seasons and won three Super Bowl rings. He's got the jewelry and 13 seasons of longevity. He was, arguably, the best of the Hogs and was the lead blocker for a historic Super Bowl touchdown run. I feel he was overshadowed by the Hogs and his quiet nature. Not to imply this is a Tony or Joe question but he is HOF worthy to me. BTW, you dissed him on his birthday. He is watching you and your answer.
John: I was a huge Redskins fan of that era, too – and a big Hogs fan. I had a Hogs T-Shirt. I had a Hog nose that you strapped to your face with elastic. I would love to see Jacoby in the Hall of Fame, but a major argument against him is that the Redskins traded for Jim Lachey to play left tackle and moved Jacoby to right tackle. I don't believe that would have happened to Tony Boselli or a lot of other Hall of Fame left tackles in their careers. I also can't call him the best of the Hogs because I believed that was Russ Grimm. But hey, here's hoping both Jacoby and Boselli get in. The arguments for both are better than the arguments against.
Yikes from Jacksonville:
Are u contagious?
John: No. I just tell people that so they'll leave me alone.
O-Zone: Bitter old man
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Rob from Brunswick, GA: