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O-Zone: Brain freeze

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Mike from Aiken, SC:
Poz had been our best and most-consistent defensive player. With better defenders all over this defense, I would expect an outstanding year from Poz, maybe even his best year. Why not have Jack play outside linebacker, which is actually where he projects? Jack, Poz and Telvin Smith should make for a dynamic linebacker trio. Better than we have ever had. I think all three are three-down players, especially with more talent around them. Does it seem the Jags are in a rush to replace Poz?
John: This is understandably becoming a hot-button issue, mainly because it's one of the offseason issues that has yet to be finalized – and the buttons on such issues typically become hot. It seems some misunderstanding stems from people continuing to define players and roles with the terms Starters and Backups. In fact, NFL players and roles really can't be viewed that way anymore – and just because one or more of the players you mentioned may not be an every-down linebacker this season doesn't mean they're not going to play a key role. The Jaguars almost certainly aren't going to have three three-down linebackers this season because few if any teams have three three-down linebackers. Having a package in which Dan Skuta plays strong-side linebacker with some combination of Paul Posluszny, Myles Jack or Telvin Smith at middle and weak with two of those players playing in passing situations doesn't make the Jaguars a weaker linebacker corps. It makes them a linebacker corps capable of ably manning a number of packages, which is to say a good linebacker corps – and certainly an improved one.
Dave from Jacksonville:
You're pretty snarky. I like it! ... sometimes.
John: Awesome.
Carl from Middleburg, FL:
Why is Gus Bradley working Myles Jack at middle linebacker instead of outside linebacker? Telvin, Poz, and Jack on the field together is greedy.
John: The Jaguars are working Jack in the middle because they believe it's the best place for him to learn the defense – and quite possibly because he'll likely be on the field at middle linebacker in passing situations very much sooner rather than later.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
Who is going to be the holder for extra points and field-goal attempts this year?
John: Brad Nortman.
Jon from Washington, DC:
Hey O! Can you let "Blues Man" know the NFL already has a streaming platform with NFL Sunday Ticket? You have to pay an arm and a leg to that satellite provider, but you can stream all the games on a computer, phone, or tablet – even if you don't normally use them for TV service. I'm pretty sure last year was the first year, and I hope they keep it up. I didn't miss a down of Jags football and was able to hook the computer up to the television to make it feel like I was watching from the 904.
John: Yeah, live-streaming the NFL is cool. A lot of people like it, though to hear some tell it it's not nearly as cool as that cable thing.
Yes from Jacksonville:
Einstein didn't wear socks, so why should you?
John: Yeah, that's one of many similarities.
Bruce from Jacksonville:
I may be skewered. I'm over 50. Does "live streaming" involve those fly things that fishermen in Idaho use, and if so, what does that have to do with how I watch football? Can we get Pat Summerall back to call the games?
John: Nah, you're not old, Bruce. It sounds like you and I are about the same age. So, that means … wait, what? … Damn.
David from Oviedo, FL:
O-Zone, I think Jag fans would've been devastated if Myles Jack was selected one spot before our pick. David Caldwell made sure that scenario didn't play up by trading up from No. 38 to 36. Which team did we leap frog to make Myles Jack a Jacksonville Jaguar?
John: Kansas City.
Coach Boone from Alexandria, VA:
Is Marqise Lee fast enough that we could use him to run a Fake 23 blast with a backside George reverse?
John: Probably, but I'd rather see Sunshine throwing him passes.
Todd from Jacksonville:
I'm reading some articles about Jack's speed and how he was tasked with shadowing a specific receiver in college. With this in mind, would you say there might be a good chance of us seeing Jack vs. Lee in a practice situation? On another note, I'm ecstatic to hear that Lee is lighting things up on the practice field. Having three receivers that can play in the top two spots is a very good thing.
John: You might see Jack cover Lee at some point, but it's doubtful Jack covering NFL receivers ever will be a regular thing. It's one thing to cover college receivers, but NFL receivers are the best of the best. They're a tough match-up for elite covers, much less linebackers – even the most-talented linebackers. But the Jaguars don't need Jack to take away opposing wide receivers. They need him to take away opposing tight ends. If he can do so, the Jaguars will be very, very happy. As far as Lee lighting things up in practice, it thus far has been a remarkable transformation. He very much looks ready to produce in a big-time way. I've covered the NFL a long time and I've heard people talk often about the light needing to go on for players. I've rarely seen an instance where it has appeared to go on as quickly. Now, it's true that all of this is practice – non-padded practice at that. But if what we're seeing in practice translates to games …
Andrew from Sampson, FL:
Does less contact in practices create a situation where it takes longer to develop college players into highly-skilled NFL players? Obviously, that doesn't apply to elite athletes. Colleges cut back practice times years ago but didn't seem to have a drop-off in play. Is that because colleges have more players on the team or do I have it completely wrong? In your opinion how has less contact affected the NFL since it doesn't seem to have helped with reducing injuries?
John: I'm not sure it's accurate to say having no contact hasn't helped reduce injuries at all. It hasn't eliminated them, but you're never going to eliminate injuries when you have people of enormous size stopping and starting at high speeds. The main benefit to players is a reduction of long-term wear and tear, which does have an effect over the course of a season – and over careers. But I haven't gotten the sense that a lack of contact has led to a longer development period for elite athletes. If that's going on, I'd attribute it more to the changes in the college game. The rise of spread offenses at that level has created a greater gulf between what already were in a very real sense significantly different sports.
Steven from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Whadup with Ngakoue, Yannick? I have not read anything about him at all. Was he OTA'ing? I assume he has not done anything to turn heads, or otherwise earn any honorable mention from the local media. So, John, what's up with that?
John: Ngakoue has been fine in OTAs. He has looked athletic and fast, which is how the team expected him to look. Don't read too much into him not getting mentioned a whole lot in OTAs. It's hard for linemen to stand out in non-contact, non-padded offseason work.
Shane from Pensacola, FL:
I think Marcedes Lewis is a class act player with passion. He has had some great years and some not so great years, yet he is always positive. I hope this year he returns to the Garrard/Lewis days. My question to you is how many more years do you predict he will play? I would love to see him go out on top.
John: I could see Lewis playing another two seasons, maybe three. He has prototypical tight-end size and is an effective blocker. He also remains in outstanding shape, so yeah … why not?
Chris from Gainesville, FL:
I am an insane Jaguar fan who absolutely hurts when the Jags lose. With all the preseason hype and all the reports pointing to likely playoff contention, do you – having been able to see the Jags on a level that us fans will never get to see – believe that this is the year for us to finally take over the AFC South?
John: I think the Jaguars have a far better chance to win the AFC South than they have had in any season since I arrived back in 2011. I wouldn't predict them to win it this season but I would predict they win more than one in the foreseeable future – quite possibly a lot more than one.
John from Boynton Beach, FL:
Dispensing lever stuck in the down position, neck cramped, fro yo mustache and goatee, and wincing from a terrific brain freeze. #shadricksighting
John: I have nothing to add to this.

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