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O-Zone: Daniel, my brother

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Charles from Midlothian, VA:
I have supported some of the moves by our front office, but the cutting of Brandon Allen is the most ignorant thing I have seen. Are you telling me any of the five waiver pickups were worth losing Allen for? Now, we are stuck with Blake Bortles and Chad Henne maybe going into 2018. Stupid. What are they thinking?
John: I'll explain the logic – though judging by the inbox it seems emotion is overriding logic for many Jaguars fans when it comes to Sunday's release of third-team quarterback Brandon Allen. The logic is that the five waiver-wire pickups Sunday – defensive tackle Eli Ankou, tight end James O'Shaugnessy, linebacker Donald Payne, defensive back Lafayette Pitts and offensive tackle Wiliam Poehls – all have a legitimate chance to be on the field for the Jaguars this season. Allen as the third-team quarterback had a relatively low chance of getting on the field. I already hear the response: "But wait!!! He looked better in preseason than Bortles!! And Henne!" I agree that Allen had more flash moments than the aforementioned duo, but one of the biggest misconceptions by observers is the mammoth difference in the way teams analyze play against starters compared to play against third- and fourth-team players. There also is little game-planning in the preseason. This helps explain why observers can believe that a third-team quarterback is the best quarterback on the roster when a team believes he merits being released. That won't appease those who believe Allen should be the Jaguars' starting quarterback, but perhaps that explains the disconnect. As far as Bortles and Henne being the Jaguars' quarterback in 2018, the only way Bortles is the Jaguars' quarterback next season is if he has a big enough season to merit that. If that happens, no one will worry about Allen. If Bortles doesn't have such a season, then the quarterback room as a whole almost certainly will be overhauled next offseason. If that happens, it's highly unlikely Allen would play heavily into that overhaul.
Adam from Lynbrook, NY:
John, listen: the Houston game can't get here fast enough. I'm tired of wondering and I just want to know. You know?
John: Yes, I do.
Aaron from White Hall, AR:
As soon as the Brad Allen stuff started I knew that Brandon Allen was done. It seems like any time on here a player starts getting attention like that it all ends soon. #FreeMattScott
John: The Brad Allen Phenomenon had nothing to do with Allen's release. What had a lot to do with it was the Jaguars clearly not believing he was one of the top two quarterbacks on the roster, and believing that from early in training camp. The bottom line: while it's understandable and perhaps even compelling to some to analyze and fret over players released and signed on the first week of September, those transactions rarely define seasons. That's true even when analyzing and fretting over the third-team quarterback.
Rob from EverBank Doldrums:
Now that we have a roster, what are the expectations for wins this season? Seven still – or lower?
John: My expectations for seasons don't rise and fall on cut day. The importance of moves made on the first weekend of September pale in comparison to moves made during the offseason, and even moves made in the offseason typically pale in comparison to the development, maturity and growth of players already on the roster. My expectations throughout the offseason have been that the Jaguars would be at least pretty good defensively and perhaps very good if they can generate pass rush in big situations. I believe the Jaguars will be at least somewhat better offensively because it should be a better run offense, but that the quarterback position must be far more consistent with fewer mistakes. Because of those expectations, I believed the Jaguars would have a chance to push for seven or so victories. Those expectations haven't changed.
Scott from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Hey John, if it happens they'll never admit it, but sometime down the line, on the inside they're gonna regret cutting Brandon Allen.
John: I would be surprised if this happens. I wouldn't be overly surprised if Allen plays for some NFL team – perhaps even the Jaguars again – someday, but I would be surprised if a front-office executive looks back on a decision involving Allen as a watershed moment.
Chris from Mandarin, FL:
Sometimes it appears the Jaguars are deliberately making poor football choices.
John: That's an easy assessment to make when the Jaguars have lost as much as they have in recent seasons. But some perspective is needed here. As far as the moves in recent days, the Jaguars have released and signed players at the bottom of the roster who apparently figure minimally in their plans if at all. I wouldn't call these choices meaningless, because all players could eventually contribute. I would say the chances of the weekend's decisions having major impact on the season are minimal. At best.
Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
John, I would hope the brain trust makes at least an effort to sign guard Alex Boone from the Vikings.
John: OK.
Steve from Denver, CO:
Did you hear the Packer game? The announcers ripped the Jags? If/when J'Ville has another year of underperforming Top 5 draft picks, how can Shad agree to keep Dave on staff in charge of getting players that perform?
John: I didn't hear the "Packer game," but if the announcers criticized the Jaguars … well, the Jaguars need to start winning to stop such incidents. As far as Owner Shad Khan keeping Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell on staff, we'll see. It's a bit early in the season to discuss such things, and the dynamics of such conversations can change in a hurry. It was about this time last season, remember, when people (not this writer, but "people") were projecting a Jaguars playoff run. As for who's in charge of what, remember: Caldwell's the general manager and runs the scouting department. Tom Coughlin's the team's executive vice president of football operations has final say on overall football decisions. The decisions are no longer "all Caldwell." Analyzing the football operations in the future should and will be seen through that lens.
Jessie from Orlando, FL:
John, there doesn't appear to be much effort in fixing the issues the team is having. How is trading Luke Bowanko helping the offensive line?
John: The idea that a team is going to "fix" its offensive line issue on September 2-3 is a combination of hope and delusion, with a huge lean toward the latter. You can make moves to address depth days before the regular season, but you probably won't turn weakness into strength. The Jaguars, for example, released Jeremiah Poutasi Sunday and replaced him with first-year veteran William Poehls, who has not played in a regular-season game. The move could strengthen the bottom of the roster, but it's likely not a franchise-altering move. As far as trading Bowanko, what the trade mostly meant was that you had the chance to get something in return for him. That wouldn't have been the case if he had been released, which is likely what would have happened.
Al from Orange Park, FL:
Do you think whether or not a player is practice-squad eligible factors into who makes the 53? As in, a player not eligible might have a slight edge over someone that they could possibly get back on the practice squad?
John: Without question.
Bill from Jacksonville:
What are the Jags plan fo
John: Bill? Bill!? BILL???!!!!!!
Dave from Duval:
Well, the cuts have been made and the Jaguars' 53-man roster. "It is what it is" as they say. As Tom Coughlin said, "It's time to go play!" Now we can truly evaluate Bortles, the offensive line, the offseason free-agent signings and the rookies. As well as Doug Marrone and TC. Let's Kick It!
John: I get your point. It all counts now and nothing counted before, but please: Can we watch a few games that count for the sake of watching them before we move on to "evaluation?"
Steve from Section 203:
O-Man: Remind me again, please: What's the difference between released and waived?
John: Waived players can be claimed by other teams, and must "clear" waivers before becoming free agents. Released players become free agents immediately upon their release. A player with four years of service is not subject to the waiver process.
Scott from Aurora, IL:
It matters not the moves that were made this offseason. We have the same quarterback and largely the same porous offensive line. I'm left yawning heading into the regular season. Very little reason to be excited if you're a Jaguars fan, unfortunately.
John: Wake up, Scott. The Jaguars' 2017 regular season begins Sunday. That's when the games start to, you know, count.
Dave from Jersey City, NJ:
As a Dave from Jersey City, NJ. I have to ask who the hell is Daniel from Jersey City and why are we not best friends watching Jags games together every Sunday? Daniel hit me up brother. (please send my email to him)
John: I talked to Daniel. He took a pass.

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