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O-Zone: Charge it

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

KC from Orlando, FL

KOAF - is it just me, or do you think we will spend the big money on the defensive side of the ball and draft for the offensive side? With left tackle Cam Robinson not worth a king's ransom (or left guard Andrew Norwell, for that matter) and a strong O-Line for this upcoming draft, we could fill out the line with potentially better replacements and use our money on better players for areas of need. What do you say?

I say there's a decent chance the Jaguars will spend big free-agent money on defense during the 2021 offseason – with one reason being this isn't a great draft for interior defensive tackle, which appears to be a major offseason need. But beware of believing the Jaguars can automatically improve the offensive line by moving on from veterans such as Robinson, Norwell and center Brandon Linder and replacing them in the draft. Norwell and Linder both played well last season, particularly Norwell. Robinson perhaps didn't play well enough to earn a long-term contract extension, but he was far from bad. The entire offensive line, in fact, was far from bad last season. Moving on from those three players and drafting to replace them would mean three rookies starting – quite likely in front of a rookie quarterback. Even if all four players are destined to be very good, it's unrealistic to expect four rookies to play at a high level in their first NFL season. There's no guarantee at this point you're going to see major turnover on the offensive line. A change or two? Maybe. But perhaps not the overall turnover some observers expect.

Bruce from Saint Simons Island, GA

O, What do you think about the Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff trade? Seems to me that, in addition to trading Goff, the Rams are giving up a third-round pick this year (OK), but also the Rams' first-round picks in 2022 and 2023. Seems a little steep?

The Detroit Lions indeed acquired Goff, a third-round selection and the Los Angeles Rams' first-round selections in 2022 and 2023 for Stafford in Saturday's quarterback-for-quarterback trade. The Lions got an unbelievable amount of equity for Stafford, but they also took on all four remaining seasons Goff's contract. That's why the Rams gave the Lions more draft capital than otherwise would seem logical.

John from Jacksonville

Who would have thought we are a couple of sprained ankles away from seeing Blaine Gabbert vs. Chad Henne in the Super Bowl? In your opinion who would win it?

The better team, so I would go with the Kansas City Chiefs in your scenario.

Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC

People have been calling for (or at least asking about) a 3-4 for years. I think it sounds cool with the right personnel, too. But doesn't a 3-4 require massive down linemen that can two-gap? Al Woods could do that (I think) if he is on the team, but I'd assume he would only be average at best as a starting 3-4 defensive linemen. DaVon Hamilton is pretty big, but still just a second-year player with little experience in that area. Has defensive end Dawuane Smoot ever been tasked with a similar role? I have trouble seeing the Jaguars run a 3-4 in 2021 without acquiring three or so big guys that can really play, not just serve as backups/emergency players. Am I missing something?

The Jaguars must get stouter, better, deeper and stronger on the interior of the defensive line than they have been the past two seasons or so. That's true whatever scheme they play.

Bob from Sumter, SC

In your opinion does a 3-4 defense theoretically give a team a better chance to be successful when it has good, but not great down, linemen? Like a Tyson Alualu plus big athletic guys like K'Lavon Chaisson and Josh Allen providing the pressure and sacks? Is this the formula the Pittsburgh Steelers have had so much success with? Get guys who can hold the line of scrimmage and let your playmakers make plays.

My theory is that defenses typically succeed when good players play well in them.

Jeff from Orange, CA

I have seen a number of mock drafts having the Jaguars take a wide receiver with the second of the team's first-round picks. It seems the needs of the team are much more significant in other areas. What are your thoughts regarding wide receiver being taken earlier in the draft for the Jaguars?

I think it's a possibility. The Jaguars have one really good receiver (DJ Chark Jr.) and two young receivers who have flashed varying degrees of potential (Laviska Shenault Jr. and Collin Johnson). It's hard to project how veterans Keelan Cole and Chris Conley fit moving forward, but an argument could be made that the Jaguars need one more front-line wide receiver to have the four quality receivers you pretty much need in today's NFL. Considering the way the game is overwhelmingly shaped toward passing, I don't know that you can have too many good receivers anymore.

Bruce from Saint Simons Island, GA

O, Just a comment on Mark Brunell. I never forget when Mark came over to my wheelchair bound mother to chat after a game early on in Mark's Jacksonville quarterback career. I was very impressed with his kind nature and it made our family's day. I saw him later at one of his "Whataburger" restaurants and he was again just as gracious in talking with us. It was years ago, but we never forgot his kindness. A real class act and I wish him success.


Paul from St. Johns

With new leadership and head coach coming, and with the enormous cap space projected, what are the chances that cornerback Jalen Ramsey or defensive end Yannick Ngakoue come back to Jax? If Jaguars leadership was their sole issue, they made it to free agency and we are the highest bidder, what happens? Assuming that Jags were interested, too...

That would be surprising. First, Ramsey just signed his second contract with the Rams last season, so we're likely a long way from him being available. Ngakoue – who finished this past season with the Baltimore Ravens – indeed is scheduled to become a free agent when the 2021 NFL League Year begins in March, so it's possible he will be available. I will be intrigued to see what Ngakoue receives on the open market; I don't know that it's going to be what he hoped. We'll see. I suppose it's possible he could return to Jacksonville. The decision-makers with whom he couldn't agree are now gone, so maybe. It would still be really surprising. But maybe.

Gary from High Springs

John did you hear what the price of corn was going to be in Tampa this week? A buck an ear.

I laughed at this. I wish I hadn't. But I did.

Taylor from Columbia, MD

You have written that the Jags shouldn't have bent to Ramsey's "will" as you put it. Have you considered that he could have been correct about wanting out due to former Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin? Shortly thereafter the NFLPA more or less confirmed he had every right to be upset with the way things were being run. Do you honestly think he would have been trying to jettison coaches and players throughout his career? I don't love Ramsey but that seems far-fetched.

I understand why people believe the Jaguars should have fired Coughlin and retained Ramsey. I don't agree. Many players have been upset with their teams throughout NFL history and in recent seasons. Not all players behave as Ramsey did in his final months in Jacksonville. I have said before I would have told Ramsey he could play for the Jaguars or no one and I would have let him sit out until he decided to play for the Jaguars. That's because I wouldn't have traded a player just because he was unhappy with management. A lot of people are unhappy with management. Who the hell decided anyone – players included – have to be happy all the time? As for Ramsey, I don't know how he'll behave in the future. Perhaps he will be content throughout the rest of his career and perhaps he would have been content had Coughlin not been running football operations. We'll see about the first and I guess we'll never know about the second.

Steve from Nashville, TN

I think it will be difficult for the networks to cut to commercial just before the Jags announce the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft; the 25thpick obviously is a great time for "a message from our sponsors." The first selection in the second round I also believe will be televised; after that it will be safe to watch Friends reruns and follow for draft coverage.

I would watch from the start and not worry about much else. Unless Charles in Charge is on. Then, go with that.