O-Zone: Fall from grace

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Matt from the Kingdom of Canada

Hey, O: How many more games do you think Calais Campbell would have to play for the Jags to be considered for the Pride? That would seem to be the only metric holding him back, no? As far as I can tell otherwise, he’s exemplary in all directions and just the sort of player/person a franchise would want for their ring of honor. Thoughts?

There are no real “metrics” for the Pride of the Jaguars. It’s about impact and longstanding legacy with the team. I’ve said since early in the 2017 season that Campbell had an opportunity to be an NFL rarity – i.e., a player who had franchise-defining impact for two different organizations. Campbell certainly is considered an all-time Arizona Cardinals great; his impact on the Jaguars also has been striking. If Campbell plays as well as he has the past two seasons for a third consecutive season, and if the Jaguars make the postseason in 2019, I would think he will eventually be in the Pride. I probably would put him in anyway. It’s for players of special impact who should be remembered and honored by a fan base. He’s that.

Odd from Oddville

You're a daughter of God.

I never know what’s going on.

Mark from Cortland, NY

I'm pretty scared about the depth at safety. Are we counting on rookie free agents to play backup roles?

I’m sorry you’re scared. A scare can be … well, scary. But I wouldn’t lose sleep over this. The Jaguars signed two undrafted rookie safeties who were projected to be draft selections – Zedrick Woods of Ole Miss and Andrew Wingard of Wyoming. They also have special teams ace Cody Davis, who is a capable backup. They will be able to monitor and evaluate those players throughout the preseason. If the safeties prove capable, the Jaguars can go into the season with the current group. If not, safety is a position that can be addressed adequately after other teams reduce rosters to 53 players.

Sean from Jacksonville

With five running backs currently on the roster, according to this website, what would prompt the team to shake the running back tree again and take a look at Mike Gillislee? Regular season or training camp depth? Maybe considering letting one of the current five go elsewhere and wanting a replacement? Off season boredom? Adding to the uniquely named players?

He worked out Thursday. It’s a workout. Is there a risk I’m not seeing?

Matt from Fort Worth, TX

Let's not forget that Telvin's brother, Brian Keith Moore, was shot to death at the age of 25 in November of 2016. Not that long ago. I get that we live in a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world, but suddenly losing your brother is not something you get over right away. It’s earth-shattering and makes you question everything you think you know. I lost my brother suddenly in July 2016 when he was just 24. I still struggle with the emotions of losing him. I have thought about taking an extended leave of absence from work to heal. Ultimately, I decided that working is good way for me to heal. Telvin had the courage to stand up and say he just needs a minute. Let's respect that as fans and as an organization. My bet is he needs a bit of time to heal and recover. My guess is he will take a year to heal with his family, make public and/or private communications when he feels like he can, and that he will be back in 2020 - more focused than ever. I'm all in for Telvin 2020 and until that time, I hope Quincy Williams does a great job filling some rather large shoes. How 'bout it? Go Jags.

I don’t know Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith’s motivation right now, and I don’t know that anyone except Smith does. I don’t discount the toll losing his brother has taken. But I also don’t know if that accounts for not communicating with the team and posting his intention to sit out a year via an Instagram post without informing the team. I don’t doubt Smith will play in 2020, and perhaps he will be more focused than ever when he returns to the NFL. I do doubt he will play for the Jaguars that season.

Chris from Mandarin, FL

Sure, the Jaguars might believe Gardner Minshew has enough intellect and ability to be the backup quarterback, but this is the same team that drafted Blake Bortles No. 3 overall and started him for five years, so forgive me if I roll my eyes when it comes to the team evaluating quarterbacks.

Do what ya gotta do.

Dallas from Dallas, TX

Hey Mr. O: You’ve addressed arm strength, or lack of it, a couple of times recently with regard to Gardner Minshew. Velocity is not just a function of arm strength. As Bill from Folkstone GA says, Tom Brady does not have a canon arm. Tom generates velocity through hip rotation and great footwork. Both can be taught. Arm strength can be important but it’s not everything. BB5 had it in spades, and how did that work out? Great quarterback play must be based on at least timing, touch, mechanics, anticipation, accuracy, decision making and athleticism. Alex McGough is an intelligent passer, capable of throwing with accuracy and anticipation with velocity. Having checked out the film and “scout” reports on both, it’s McGough who’s proven he can win inside and outside of the pocket with different release points. McGough checks way more boxes than Minshew as best candidate for backup QB. Thoughts?... oh! and thanks for keeping us sane in the bad years.

Since neither player has taken an NFL snap, my only thoughts are that we’ll probably have to let this play out before saying anything definitively about how either player will fare in the NFL. At this early juncture, Minshew would be the favorite because he was selected in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, but neither player has participated in a Jaguars organized team activities practice. Until that happens, the competition hasn’t started.

Jimmy from Gainesville, FL

If I’m the Jags’ decision-makers and Telvin Smith indeed sits out the season, I would at least entertain the idea of bringing back Johnathan Cyprien to back up Nick Foles. He would probably cost a quarter of Telvin’s annual price tag. Cyp is a physical player who didn’t leave on bad terms. At the very least he would provide depth and a veteran presence and likely outperform the younger quarterbacks on the roster.

Fair.

Hunter from The Chilly Mountains of Vermont

O-Dood: What is your impression of Leon Jacobs? I remember last year we were talking about how he was a physical specimen, but we weren't clear on how that might translate to football. Does he have a decent chance of making the team/starting?

Second-year linebacker Leon Jacobs almost certainly will make the team and I would call him the likely starter at outside linebacker. The unknown here is rookie edge defender Josh Allen, who the Jaguars selected No. 7 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. Allen has the skillset to play strong-side backer, but the Jaguars want him to focus on playing defensive end for now. Whether he develops at end quickly enough for the Jaguars to consider starting him at strong-side end in base situations remains to be seen.

Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville

How important do you think this preseason is going to be for this team? Given our lackluster performance last year and the substantial overhauling we have done on the offense, I think it is VERY important for the team to get some success behind them in the early stages. Going into this very tough opening schedule with shaken confidence and doubts will lead to trouble. We need to get the offense going and show the league how good this team can be with a good quarterback.

The Jaguars need to play well enough during the preseason when the front-line players are playing to give themselves confidence entering the season. That’s important. Winning and losing in the preseason? Not so much.

Nicholas from Mogadishu, Somalia

Zone: Yesterday a childhood hero of mine – a person I held in high esteem for the last eight or so years, a person that has shown unwavering dedication to not only his job, but to the community itself – fell from grace. This proves all people "are human" no matter how much we don't want to admit it. This person admitted "he erred" when answering a fan question about wide receiver jersey numbers. A man who I thought was perfect and infallible, a man who could do no wrong has humbled himself and through his admission of error has actually risen in prestige in my mind. This is for sure "one fer" the almighty O-Zone.

The guy sounds like a total tool.

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