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O-Zone: Eating good

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Zac from Austin, Tejas

In fairness, we won't know who won the Ramsey trade for a few more years.

This is mostly true, and on paper it will be hard for the Jaguars to "win" the 2019 trade with the Los Angeles Rams for cornerback Jalen Ramsey. That's because they traded an elite player who had been selected No. 5 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft for what became the Nos. 20 and 25 selections in their respective drafts – and it's difficult to get franchise-level elite players outside the Top 10. Edge defender K'Lavon Chaisson (No. 20 in 2020) and running back Travis Etienne Jr. (No. 25 in 2021) therefore at least must make multiple Pro Bowls for the Jaguars to "win" the Ramsey trade in the eyes of many observers. It's also difficult to know what Ramsey's "signability" would have been had he remained with the team – and it's difficult to know the effect he would have had on the locker room had he stayed. It's very possible that the Jaguars will look back on the trade in a few years and believe it's best to have separated from Ramsey for a variety of reasons – locker-room presence, off-field issues, cost of salary and signing bonus, etc. Those factors may not cause people to think the Jaguars "won" the trade, but those factors – coupled with the careers of Etienne and Chaisson – could enable the Jaguars and their fans to view the transaction positively.

John from Jacksonville

Any update on the percentage of Jaguars vaccinated?

The only updates on this story likely will come from media reports; the NFL and teams typically don't release specifics regarding the COVID-19. Reports in late June were that the number of Jaguars players vaccinated had increased dramatically at the time, but a recent Florida Times-Union report cited a league source saying the Jaguars weren't among seven NFL teams that will have 85 percent of players fully vaccinated before the July 27 start of 2021 Training Camp. That's the latest "update."

Rob from San Antonio, TX

Not that I want to keep this Ramsey discussion going, but I agree with you on going back in time and making Ramsey sit. If you give in to players' emotional demands, even important/key players, it sets a dangerous precedent that is tough to undo and makes that pesky little "team" part of the game that much more difficult over time.


Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

I would have let him sit, picked up his option and informed him he would be sitting for three years. I would also immediately file a grievance with the league and NFL Players Association to deny any compensation based in the fact that he is a healthy player faking an injury. I would lambast him in the media for faking an injury when his teammates need him. Eventually after he sat for a long time and got enough media attention, he would have realized he was going to have to play to get his big paycheck and he would start playing. He would play well because he is good and he likes money. But if I did all that, we might not have gone 1-15 and lucked into Trevor Lawrence so good thing I wasn't in charge. But I agree I would have let him sit FOREVER. (Like the kid in sandlot says it)


Steve on his Desktop from Jax Beach

So, I saw that rookies have reported. How do they look?

Jaguars rookies indeed reported to the facility on Tuesday for training camp, a week before the reporting date for veterans. There's not much football-related activity to see, so it's a little tricky to say how they look from that standpoint. I saw a few rookies around the facility. They look mostly like young guys in shape and shape and ready to start an exciting time of their lives – so pretty much how you would expect them to look.

Carl from Doncaster, UK

Hi, John. It has been over two months since the London games were announced and with the season fast approaching, there has been no update as to when tickets will go on sale. With the rising cases in the UK and the growing concern of the Delta variant, I'm worried that this has the league worried and the games could be cancelled. Any news on this would be great. Thanks.

The league indeed has not started selling tickets to the two London games – October 10 (New York Jets-Atlanta Falcons) and October 17 (Jaguars-Miami Dolphins). The NFL told Pro Football Talk last month and again this month that this does not mean a change in locations is imminent. But the games were originally scheduled with the idea that they would be played circumstances permitting. If the circumstances around COVID-19 and the Delta variant remain an issue, the games in London obviously could be in jeopardy.

Mark from Jacksonville

Will Jacksonville be doing the Oklahoma drill this year?

Goodness gracious, let's hope not.

Boomgrounder from Duval

Dear Mr. Zone? Jalen who?

I don't know.

Josiah from Jacksonville

When is the new schedule going to be updated on the app? Still showing last year

I went against my usual policy of not doing anything beyond the basic requirement of the job and checked on this. I'm told viewers sometime see the old schedule if the app is not updated. I could be wrong about this. If I am, email me back. I may not do anything about it because checking once took quite the toll. But you can roll the dice.

Steve from Yulee, FL

How about it, O? As you like to say, "Let's get to it." Last year, the Jags lost six games by a field goal or less. l can't believe morale was bubbling over, yet – with a skeleton crew of players – they were able to compete in those games. So, what's your win total for 2021. And I would say nobody will hold your feet to the fire, if you are off by a few, but you already know they will. Keep up the good work.

Six or seven. Maybe eight. Anything more than six victories would be a major improvement from last season – and as long as Lawrence is developing as expected, anything more than six victories along with being generally competitive in most other games would be a major success.

Marc from Oceanway

There seems to be a feeling of camaraderie during this dead zone. You seem to be in a better mood and less snarky than usual. Did you win the lottery and not tell us? Or is it simply because Jerell is missing in action? Now let's all join hands and sing Kumbaya.

I did not win the lottery. I probably would not tell you if I did, though my absence might be an indication. I am not in a good mood.

Johnny from Jacksonville

Zonio, is the camp schedule out yet? Rookies, Vets? Pads?

Not yet. Soon.

John from Jacksonville

Hi KOAGF - There seems to be some confusion implying that Ramsey had something to do with our #1 pick for our new QB. There is no connection. Our 1-15 record last season gave us this opportunity so let's not give Ramsey credit for that.

You're mostly correct. Trading Ramsey brought the No. 20 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft and the No. 21 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. But what many readers seem to be saying in this discussion – implicitly or explicitly – is that the Jaguars probably would have been better than 1-15 in 2020 had Ramsey been with the team. And it probably is fair to think that his talent could have made the difference between winning and losing a game or two last season. So, if you want to credit Ramsey for 1-15 … yeah, give him a little credit. And wish him my best while you're at it. I actually miss covering him and hope he – and his aching back – find happiness and success in sunny So Cal.

Nicholas from Fort Hood, TX

KOAR: (King of All Running). 55 trips around the sun for you, seven years of running three miles a day, almost 10 years of writing a daily O-Zone column, a married man, a father who successfully put Junior O-Zone through college, and a kind man to Rat Dog and Spike the cat (RIP). May you count the blessings and be told how great you are today on your birthday, and may Shad Khan keep your key card activated when you arrive at work. Also, John you are directly responsible for having me run three miles for the past 10 days.

Yeah, happy 55th. Lucky me.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

Who has the best steak in Duval? Please refrain from offering your own. I don't want to be near your lawn.

I like steak, but I don't consider myself an aficionado. Is Ponderosa still open? Now, that was some good eatin'.