O-Zone: Bright-eyed optimist

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Josh from Harrisburg, PA

Zone, reading several other free websites … the sentiment that Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin and Head Coach Doug Marrone have been adamant in their belief of a run-first attack sentiment gets recycled quite regularly. I feel that is just a regurgitated worm from a two-year old interview being fed to us by the mama bird of national media. I feel like the Jaguars offensive attack is going to be whatever is most likely for them to succeed, right?

Coughlin and Marrone would love the Jaguars to have an effective enough running game to never have to throw. Many teams would love that. But remember: Coughlin was the head coach of a Jaguars offense that threw very effectively in the 1990s and quarterback Eli Manning certainly threw effectively with the New York Giants when Coughlin was the head coach there. Remember, too: Marrone has been run-first during much of his time as an NFL head coach largely because personnel dictated as much – but he was the New Orleans Saints’ offensive coordinator early in Drew Brees’ time as quarterback there, so he’s hardly dim to what a pass-oriented scheme can do. So, to answer your question: The Jaguars have no problem throwing. They will use whatever offensive approach is most effective. Not that that will change the national narrative, but that’s what they will do.

Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA

Hi, John. I'm liking the Top 25. I thought about former Jaguars defensive end Joel Smeenge but didn't realize he was quite that good. I did my own and can't get fullback Greg Jones, right tackle Leon Searcy, center Brandon Linder or defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks on. And now I'm gonna have to bump someone else off because of Smeenge.

If your list of the Top 25 Jaguars players doesn’t include Searcy, make a new list. He was one of the NFL’s best right tackles throughout his career with the Jaguars and a major reason the team’s offense was one of the league’s best. It’s no coincidence the Jaguars’ four playoff teams in the 1990s – 1996-1999 – were the seasons Searcy started for the Jaguars. He mattered and he is one of the best 25 players in franchise history. Other than that, you’re good.

Jim from Jagsonville

Moving forward, would you prefer we spell out whom we are referencing? For example, current Jaguar LB Myles Jack #44 wasn't down. Welcome to the DeadZone!

The proper way to identify Jack in your question is Jaguars middle linebacker Myles Jack. Numbers aren’t necessary and LB should be spelled out “linebacker.” Also, the correct way to refer to a team is the plural, so it’s “Jaguars” rather than “Jaguar.” Either way, it doesn’t matter to me how the reader refers to the player. It’s not the reader’s responsibility to be correct. That responsibility falls on the writer – though I admittedly fall short as often as not.

Damien from Jacksonville

John, regarding the state-of-the-art newer stadiums, could you elaborate on what makes them "special" in comparison to an older one like our own? I have never really seen what makes one stadium superior to another. They all seem the same to me, but obviously there is something that other people care about and I am missing. Thanks!

I tend to lean in your direction; as long as there are seats for fans, a field for players and a press box for me (I care about no one else) then I’m fine. But the modern NFL is about bells, whistles and local revenue. State-of-the-art NFL stadiums feature shiny amenities, spanking-new sky boxes and the like. Bottom line: TIAA Bank Field at its core is a 25-year-old stadium. Nearly every other NFL stadium is newer, so there is going be a bit of an aging feel to the ‘Bank.

Scott from Daytona Beach, FL

So, we went to see Train at Daily’s Place. It’s the first time we’ve been. Great venue. I’m pretty sure I saw you in the upper deck with the Culligan girl. That was you wasn’t it?

I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Who Jacksonville

Marcus Simms? Supplemental draft? What a waste. Jags have enuf WRs.

I long ago stopped expecting everyone to grasp of what’s going on in the NFL, but before criticizing something and calling it a waste you might want to know a smidge about a topic. Yes, the Jaguars reportedly will sign West Virginia wide receiver Marcus Simms after Wednesday’s supplemental draft; they did not use a supplemental draft selection on him. So, unless you’re concerned about the cost of having Simms in training camp – or his travel expenses – there was nothing wasted at all.

Swamped from Swampville

Have you been bombarded?

More than you’ll ever know.

Big on Blake from Philly

Zone, would it be OK to remind Greg from Section Head in the Clouds that Tom Brady’s wife pulls in much more money per year than he does? With that sort of financial stability and Brady’s overall lack of desire to leave New England, using that situation to compare to any player of any position is unequal and unfair. I might add that Brady has ridden the coattails of many in his life both personal and professional to mold his common perception of being the best when in reality he’s neither the best entity in New England or income provider in his own home. Good for him.

You’re referencing a recent O-Zone question in which Greg asked about a player such as Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey sacrificing salary as Brady has done during some of his time in New England. I responded that it’s unrealistic to ask that, citing – among other reasons – a significantly shorter earning window for a cornerback compared to a quarterback. You’re correct that another difference between Brady and many NFL players is that Brady’s wife – Giselle Bundchen – happens to be a supermodel who reportedly has significantly greater net worth than Brady. As far as Brady not being the best entity in New England or riding coattails, I’m not sure how to define either of those things. I do know that it’s difficult to argue that he’s not really good.

Ray from Jacksonville

John: I am not a Brady hater. I enjoy watching him and the Patriots because of their excellence. However, anytime I see his name in a question, I want to skip down to the next question. Few, if any, players compare to him. His wife is a supermodel so he can "afford" to take less. Another issue in which he is mentioned is that the Patriots win with marginal receivers (other than Randy Moss). Mortal quarterbacks need good receivers.

We just covered the supermodel thing, but not every great quarterback has been blessed with elite receivers. Yes, Peyton Manning with Indianapolis played with elite receivers such as Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, but Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay hasn’t exactly played with a slew of elite receivers. As far as Brady, he played with Wes Welker and Julian Edelman – neither of whom were/are bad. He also in the last seven or eight years played with perhaps the greatest tight end in NFL history, Rob Gronkowski. So, while Brady has done more with less a lot in his career, he hasn’t always been playing one-on-11.

Richard from Lincoln, RI

If linebacker Telvin Smith sits out the season, and the Jaguars win the Super Bowl, does he still receive a ring?

There are no set rules for who does and doesn’t get Super Bowl rings. Players who fall into gray areas are often awarded bonuses and rings based on player votes or owner/team discretion. I wouldn’t expect Smith to get a ring if the Jaguars win the Super Bowl if he sits out this season, but stranger things have happened.

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

Was Brady’s second contract “team-friendly?” Doubt it. Second contract is your one chance to get paid. When Ramsey has won four Super Bowls and is making the switch to safety in his early 30s, he can make a team-friendly deal to remain a Jag for life. Next year is his turn to get paid. Now that I brought it up, you see Jalen pulling a Charles Woodson later in his career and playing safety? He is big and physical enough right?

We’re a long way from such a move, but I absolutely could see Ramsey playing safety later in his career. Deion Sanders did it, as did Rod – and Charles – Woodson. Such a move late in his career would make perfect sense considering Ramsey’s size, physicality and football intelligence.

Chad from Nassauville

I find the lack of offseason news refreshing (knock on wood). I don't concern myself with contract negotiations because that is normal for this time of year. Seems like the only thing going on right now is guys getting healthier every day. I have almost talked myself into being optimistic about the coming year. ALMOST.

Well, goodie for you.

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