O-Zone: Destination unknown

JACKSONVILLLE – Let’s get to it …

Bruce from Owensboro, KY

Goodbye, Yann. It has been great. But I’ve met someone else.

We’re not there yet – and we’re not all that close to there. I’m not saying rookie edge defender Josh Allen’s performance this season won’t influence how the Jaguars approach defensive end Yannick Ngakoue’s contract, because all major personnel decisions are intertwined. But to say Ngakoue is expendable because of Allen … we’re not there yet. A tip on figuring out next year’s Jaguars 2020 offseason: Wait until the 2019 season at least starts to play out. Few anticipated this time last season that both defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and end Calais Campbell would return, and few anticipated tackle Malik Jackson would be gone. Dareus and Campbell played their way into the Jaguars’ plans this season, and Jackson struggled enough that the team released him in the offseason. How players play this season will influence decisions – possibly very heavily.

Paul from Saint Johns

Is Josh Allen that good? Or is Miami’s offensive line that bad? The guy looks like he can’t be blocked.

Allen’s going to be good. He’s not going to be as impactful as consistently as he was against the Dolphins every game, but there’s little doubt he’s going to be good.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O’Man, is Allen really as good as he looked Thursday? May we have stumbled upon another generational talent?

It appears that way. It appears that way.

Dallas from Valdosta, GA

Did the NFL get rid of the defenseless receiver penalty? Asking for a friend.

I’ll assume your friend’s name is Dede Westbrook, and yes … I wondered why a penalty wasn’t called when he got hit in the first quarter, too.

Chris from Space City, TX

Way to get your best receiver killed out there, Foles! With that said, Westbrook looks poised for a breakout year. Hopefully quarterback Nick Foles avoids throwing it into triple coverage over the middle, so he spends time on field and not the concussion tent.

So, Foles isn’t supposed to throw into tight windows? Ever?

Johnny from Jacksonville

Maybe running back Leonard Fournette can just power through the entire opposing defense, but maybe the right side of the O-line could block instead. Jeez.

Or maybe we could overreact and forget that we’re watching an offensive line playing together for the first time with two players on the right side playing in their first NFL game of any kind. Oh, wait … We did forget that. And we did overreact. And fans fanned. Of course.

Derek from Brookings, SD

Watching the beginning of this game, I think I’m going to have to get a Josh Allen jersey. Can’t believe he fell to No. 7.

Good call. Wise purchase.

JT from Fort Worth, TX

Bryan looks like he may be expendable. Can't have two personal foul penalties and continue to underwhelm.

Second-year defensive tackle Taven Bryan will be on the roster this season. You don’t cut first-round selections in their second training camp, especially when they have Bryan’s physical ability. But no … two personal foul penalties in one game won’t be tolerated. And it won’t increase his playing time. Neither will his inconsistency.

Tanner from Salt Lake City, UT

Hey, Zone. I know it’s the preseason, but why do you think Foles was forcing passes to Westbrook? I couldn’t figure out where he would throw to him every time even when he wasn’t open. Should we be concerned?

My experience is fans are going to be concerned about things whatever my advice. I assume Foles threw to Westbrook Thursday because that’s where the read took him on those plays, and because Foles has a trust level with Westbrook.

Jerell from Columbia, SC

Taven Bust Bryan is going to cost a good defensive lineman like Datone Jones a roster spot. The better player will lose out to a draft pick that shouldn’t have been.

OK.

Dakota from Dupree, SD

Zone, I thought two guys stood out from the starters. The obvious is Allen and the other was Harrison. The defense looked good Thursday. The offense? The O-line and the run game didn’t impress. Foles and the passing game looked OK. I see an 8-8 ballclub. What say you?

I say you’re right that Allen obviously stood out and that second-year safety Ronnie Harrison looks good, too. I also say if you can assess the entirety of the Jaguars’ offense in four preseason series that marked this group’s first time playing together in a real game – with two offensive linemen (Will Richardson and Jawaan Taylor) making their NFL debuts and with another (Cam Robinson) playing his first game coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament … well, if you do that, your powers of assessment far outweigh mine.

Dakota from Dupree, SD

I love the fact that the front office drafted someone two years ahead of an older player retiring. I hope Calais Campbell can play at his level for years, but having a two- or three-year guy to replace him in Allen is huge. I don’t think that was the intention in the first round, but should it have been?

The Jaguars drafted the best player available at No. 7 overall – Allen – because they believed his talent was simply too good to pass even though they were already strong at the spot. This is always a wise decision, particularly when the player plays a premium position such as edge pass rusher.

Tyler from Jacksonville

So, I eventually found out the game was streaming free on the Yahoo Sports app. Y’all dropped the ball on this one big time.

I’m glad you found the game, though I fear you dramatically overestimate the number of things about which I concern myself on game days.

Kevin from Charlotte, NC

Obviously a little letdown by the offense Thursday, but man Josh Allen does look good. He is looking like the best defensive lineman in the draft.

Allen looked good, but I wasn’t let down by the offense at all. The first-team offense scored a touchdown on four possessions and had 70 yards in the first quarter of its first game playing together. It was the first NFL action of any kind for their starting right tackle and right guard. Could it have been better? Yes. Was it disastrous? Hardly.

Jody from St. Augustine, FL

So, is Taven Bryan worth keeping? We have a really crowded defensive front and it seems like we are going to have to make tough decisions up there. Any chance Taven is one of those tough decisions.

No.

Brad from Orange Park, FL

Listen to the first half of the first quarter of last night’s game being called, and tell me you can't tell Troy Aikman is one of the “national guys” who have contempt for the Jaguars. Good for him he was fortunate enough to be drafted to a team that had a far-and-away competitive (financial) advantage over 90 percent of the other NFL teams, and he subsequently played with a collection of Hall of Fame players that made his individual success at that quarterback position during his tenure there relatively average. But he talks like he's some quarterback prophet. How many people get excited talking about how good Aikman was? LOL. Give me a break. He couldn't hold the true greats' jock-straps. Boo-Ya, Troy. Go Jaguars.

I fear your passion for the Jaguars outweighs your football knowledge. Aikman was a great quarterback and absolutely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. He was as accurate as any quarterback I’ve ever seen, and the Cowboys don’t win their three Super Bowls of that era without him. And while I haven’t gone back and listened to Thursday’s broadcast, I can’t for the life of me think of a reason why Aikman would like or dislike the Jaguars enough to have any contempt or love.

Bill from Ponte Vedra, FL

Someone on Hicken-Prosser show yesterday made the point that even in 2017 Leonard Fournette only averaged 3.9 yards per carry despite two runs of 80 yards or so. Many running backs had better averages without such long runs. Seems he needs a really big year to justify his #4 pick in the draft.

This point has been made often in the last two years, and I have made it often here. It speaks to the Jaguars’ offensive line that season and running game overall as much as it reflects on Fournette. While Fournette rushed for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns that season, the running game was dominant only in a few games. And despite leading the league in rushing as a team, it was not as effective in most games late in the season as that ranking would have suggested. But sure … Fournette must be better moving forward than he has been in his first two seasons. That’s inarguable.

Mark from Little Suamico

Gonna be another bad season. I’ve watched the other teams play and they look so much better. How can we think we’re going anywhere?

LOL. OK.

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