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O-Zone: Down in a heap

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Glen from Orange Park, FL:
Myles Jack is BFA!! Baby-Faced Assassin! How can someone look so young and nice, yet hit so hard so often? Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary, Ray Lewis, etc., all looked mean, but Jack looks like the guy most likely to help the little old lady cross the street. This defense is full of characters at every position!
John: Myles Jack throughout most of the game Sunday struck me as a player playing exactly where he should be playing – at nickel and outside linebacker, where he can chase, react and pursue … and where his elite-level athleticism takes over. He also struck me as a player in the process of taking a significant jump from his rookie season to Year 2. One of the leagues oldest credos is that players most often take their biggest jump in their second seasons. The game slows for them, they've adjusted mentally to the NFL and to their professional surroundings, and they're able to let their ability shine. Jack seems to fit that description. Sometimes credos are credos for a reason. As for Myles Jack being a "BFA," or "Baby-Faced Assassin" … well, let's just say I'm glad you clarified.
Scott from New York, NY:
Who still thinks we should trade Allen Hurns for a backup guard? Sometimes, you should just let the games play out on the field. And ALWAYS keep good football players around.
John: I was perplexed throughout the latter part of the preseason when the speculation about trading Hurns was strongest. A position in the NFL really is only deep if you can "afford" to lose your best player. When the Jaguars lost Allen Robinson for the season, wide receiver suddenly didn't feel nearly as deep anymore. Because the Jaguars have Hurns, they now have two reliable receivers who have proven capable of 100-yard games and big plays. Imagine how thin the receiver room would feel now without Hurns. Depth charts are nice to view on the internet, but the NFL is about more than a team's starting 22 players.
Dave from Duval, FL:
The hardest physical thing in sports to do is to cover NFL wide receivers constantly, then on top of that, not draw penalties. The rules have evolved to give the receiver every possible advantage.
John: Covering a wide receiver is really hard. I couldn't do it. Most people can't. I can't honestly say it's harder than blocking a defensive end, or hitting a baseball, or fighting Floyd Mayweather in his prime, or returning a 142-mph serve, or guarding a point guard at the top of the key or a bunch of other things in sports that are really hard. But yes … receivers now have a major advantage. That I can honestly say.
Rob from Kansas City, MO:
How do you think the team adapted to their extended stay in Houston as far as the ability to prepare for Week 2? What impact, if any, do you think it will have on being ready for the Titans? I gotta admit, I've been "nerd-ing out" wondering how they adjusted/adapted their team schedule and routines to the circumstances. Details such as those fascinate me ... I think I have a problem. #JaxAsOne #Sacksonville
John: Worrying about details isn't your problem, and it's not why you're a nerd. As for your question, I don't anticipate the extended stay in Houston being a major issue. Monday after a game-day Sunday typically is about film review and meetings – and players are off Tuesday. Game-planning and practice for the game ahead don't begin until Wednesday. So, while the players had an unusual schedule because of Hurricane Irma, they were back in Jacksonville by Tuesday morning. They had a shorter day off than usual, but little about the work week will be different for most players from Wednesday forward.
Steve from Jacksonville:
I don't want to get overly hyped after Week 1, but barring injury, I think the Jags might have running back handled for a WHILE. Between 100 yards against the Texans, and getting off a plane and helping people suffering from the hurricane, how awesome is it that Leonard Fournette is a Jag? It seems like a GREAT pick, on and off the field. One fer #27.
John: Hey! One fer No. 27!
Mike from Section 238:
John, when will you learn it's all about the coaches? Since the last several seasons and this preseason were all because of incompetent coaching and front-office work, do they get all the credit for last weekend's win or did the players simply overcome the coaches' incompetence?
John: I've always known it's all about coaches. You can look it up. Why teams bother drafting or signing players is beyond me.
Todd from Jacksonville:
Something that possibly helped us overcome the Texans is the lack of tape they had on us. I know it works both ways, but they wouldn't have had tape on how we use Calais Campbell, or the defensive front. Everything we did was pretty much new (assuming we went pretty vanilla in preseason). But now Tennessee has seen how we plan to use our guys and can try to recognize it.
John: You're right that teams stay very basic and vanilla in the preseason, but the Jaguars didn't exactly use a lot of exotic fronts with Campbell or the front. They rushed. They proved difficult to block. The Jaguars' secondary covered well. And the Jaguars' front took advantage of that coverage in a big way. Now, the Jaguars did throw a lot of different pressures at the Texans, but for the most part Campbell and the front just played straightforward and played very well.
Travis from St. Louis, MO:
Three Jaguars in the Pro Football Hall of Fame nominations … will we get to see one of them put on that gold jacket?
John: The Hall of Fame this week announced its 108 nominees for the 2018 class. Three former Jaguars players – offensive tackle Tony Boselli, wide receiver Jimmy Smith and running back Fred Taylor – were among them. Boselli made the final 10 last February and I think he has a chance to be named to the Hall this year. Smith regularly has been among the nominees and Taylor was nominated for the first time this year. I think Taylor and Smith deserve to be in, and I think both have a chance to get some traction in the near future. The Hall can be a long process for non-"first-ballot" inductees. Boselli appears to have a chance to reach the end of that road. Taylor and Smith are just starting theirs.
Justin from Hampton, VA:
Blake Bortles can be Trent Dilfer. Think about it, strong defense and Leonard Fournette running like Jamal Lewis. Yes Blake Bortles can be Trent Dilfer!
John: OK.
Gabe from Washington, DC:
Mr. Zone, you can't just answer all my offseason questions and then shut me out when all the fake fans show up for the regular season. How's that supposed to make me feel?
John: Bad, I hope.
Armando from Vacaville, CA:
I know this sounds farfetched as it is too early in the season, but wouldn't it be awesome if Cam Robinson can turn into our own Willie Roaf or Orlando Pace?
John: Just as long as he doesn't turn into another Tony Boselli. I can only stomach so much.
Someone1 not from Jacksonville:
How did EverBank field fare from Hurricane Irma? Is getting to the Jags' game going to pose a problem?
John: EverBank Field passed its NFL inspection Tuesday and the Jaguars will play host to the Tennessee Titans Sunday. I have gotten to and from the stadium without issue since returning to Jacksonville, and the areas around the stadium appear to have no issue. I can't speak for the roads throughout the entire city.
Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
John, just one thought. G-R-I-T. Go Jags.
John: You go, girl.
John from Boynton Beach, FL:
Have you ever been in a sideline collision on the practice field and suffered an injury, or do your cat-like reflexes continue to keep you out of harm's way?
John: I can honestly say I don't recall being involved in sideline collision, though I've cowered and awkwardly fled on more than one occasion. My worst-look incident along these lines came while covering The Players for the Florida Times-Union in the 1990s. I was working the post-round press conference area, and hustling from player to player for interviews. I hustled from one group surrounding a golfer I don't remember past a group huddled around a then-up-and-coming Lee Westwood. As I passed the Westwood scrum, I tripped on a wire and fell completely to the grass. It happened so quickly there was no time to break my fall. I broke no bones and tore no ligaments, but I remember a disheveled, disoriented feeling. I also remember Westwood's sideways glance in my direction and his casual, "Heh-heh," before turning back to the gathered press to complete the interview. When the big man goes down, he goes down hard.

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