O-Zone: Fear not

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville

I get you are saying the people in the Jaguars’ front office think they have quarterback figured out in Nick Foles. They can't be oblivious to the concerns the fans are voicing. It would seem logical they must be aware of these same questions. Having confidence in your choice is one thing, but betting the entire future of the franchise on this seems short-sighted. It is simply making a choice for winning this year versus potentially winning over the next 10-to-15 years. You say you would be shocked if the Jaguars took a quarterback. I would be shocked if they at least did not seriously consider it. I get this is a new front office and all of that, but you have to look at history and consider learning lessons from our past errors. Draft Haskins.

Your question is well-thought out, but it ignores two realities. One is that NFL teams don’t make draft-day decisions – or any personnel decisions, for that matter – based on what fans say. That has nothing to do with not caring about fans. It’s just that there’s no way to accurately gauge what a fan base wants in terms of individual personnel decisions – are they supposed to poll fans before the draft? – and there would be no guarantee of that being the right approach anyway. An old NFL saying rings true: Coaches and general managers who do what fans want soon will be sitting with those same fans. The other your question misses is this front office can’t be influenced by the past, particularly the seasons between 2003 and 2012. Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin had nothing to do with selections of that time, and people can’t draw on past experiences that they didn’t experience. As far as this draft impacting the franchise for 10-to-15 years, that’s possible, but remember: There is no guarantee that Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins is a franchise quarterback – or that the Jaguars view him that way. Many teams in fact do not view him that way. Would I select Haskins at No. 7? I would consider it. But it’s not negligent or an automatic whiff on the Jaguars’ part if they don’t select him there.

Ken from Jacksonville

If the NFL can publish the preseason schedule, why can't they publish the regular-season schedule at the same time?

The NFL could publish the preseason and regular-season schedules at the same time. They publish them separately to get two positive days of news rather than one.

John from Jacksonville

First, I'm assuming those throwing stones at Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette about speeding have not been guilty of speeding before. Second, I witness most cars speeding on the roads with very, very few being pulled over by the police. Why do NFL players seem to have a target on their backs for silly things that most people do? Seems odd to me.

It’s not that players have a target as much as when they are arrested – even for the most minor of infractions – it’s a bigger deal.

Josh from Pensacola, FL

Has Fournette issued any explanation as to why he failed to pay a ticket despite being a millionaire? That blows my mind.

I don’t expect Fournette to “issue” an explanation for the incident this week. If he does, it would probably be something along the line of, “I made a mistake.”

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, does it really matter: left guard vs. right guard? Are they not interchangeable and therefore doubling our chances of finding one?

Yes, it matters. Though the skill sets are similar, and while a guard usually can play the other side in a pinch, most prefer one side or the other. But, the Jaguars right now aren’t looking for a guard – at least not a starter.

Brian from Jacksonville

If the Jaguars stay at No. 7 and select Florida right tackle Jawaan Taylor, shouldn't they then look to invest draft equity (2020 picks included) to move up for Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson or North Carolina State center Garrett Bradbury, or both? CCM need to win now to continue to build the Jags in their image. Taylor, Hock and Bradbury all are considered immediate starters and impact players (at Jag positions of need), even as rookies. If the goal is to win now, although draft picks are lifeblood, using a couple prime picks to acquire a couple of prime players with limitless ceilings that can contribute right away (allegedly) in 2019 seems worth the equity to save the regime ... at this time. Any merit?

It’s conceivable the Jaguars could trade up from early in the second round to late in the first to acquire one of the players you covet. Trying to get from the third round into the first to acquire the other player you covet almost certainly would be prohibitively expensive.

Timothy from Rancho Cucamonga, CA

How much opportunity does our new quarterback have to get acquainted with our receivers? Can they just get together and have informal practices now? Are there NFL rules that limit their interaction during the offseason? Seems to me that there’s not much time before camp starts and for the kind of money he's making, I’m not sure I'll be happy if pics show up of him in Hawaii or somewhere on vacation. He should be playing catch daily with these guys ...

Well, we sure don’t want you to be unhappy – and I’m sure new Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles doesn’t want that, either – but no … rules don’t prohibit receivers and quarterbacks from working together at any time during the offseason. But there are rules prohibiting players from working together at the team’s facility – as well as rules prohibiting players working with and speaking with coaches. None of that can happen under the rules of the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement until April 15. I haven’t heard anything about Foles working with the Jaguars’ receivers yet this offseason, but that’s not unusual considering he signed with the team less than a month ago. The offseason program begins Monday. Players will start getting on the field with coaches in voluntary workouts a couple of weeks after that. That will be when the chemistry begins building between Foles and the Jaguars’ receivers.

Paul from the Vicious and Relentless Streets of Nocatee

O-Man … I know we are tight on the salary cap ... so my question is on fullback? Do you see us bringing back Tommy Bohanon or moving on to less expensive younger option?

A less expensive younger option – if they carry one at all.

John from Cape May Courthouse, NJ

The vast majority of fans, media and league personnel view Foles as a question mark. And the only people in the NFL who think he's a sure thing are Caldwell and Coughlin. Right on. These were the same men who decided to take a running back who can't run out of shotgun No. 4 overall. As a fan, it's troublesome that the decision-makers of this team have so much faith in a player who has never played a full 16-game season. It's even more troublesome that these decision makers would forego the opportunity to draft a quarterback to take a right tackle instead.

The Jaguars aren’t the only team or people in the league who believe Foles is good, though there are few instances in the NFL of players being a “sure thing.” As far as your concern about Foles … plenty of Jaguars fans feel this way, and there are people who will feel uneasy about Foles until games begin. Either way, I would be surprised if the Jaguars selected a quarterback No. 7 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

Saw Hockenson on Tuesday’s Drive Time and was not impressed with his statistics or video. What did he run like a 4.7? That is slower than half the league’s linebackers. He will not be an electrifying threat in the passing game. Sounds like he gives good effort on blocks and was a very good college player but lacks NFL speed and athleticism. I’ll take Iowa tight end Noah Fant or some other guy with freakish talent, larger upside and NFL speed. You don’t draft an offensive weapon in the first who runs 4.7 and looks like an average athlete. Give me defensive line or offensive lineman and pick up value at tight in later rounds. Hock is not even close to a Top 10 pick in my opinion what are these people talking about?

Wait? Rob from Ponte Vedra Beach!?!!? Wasn’t impressed? Fortunately, there’s time to right this wrong. It’s going to take some fast thinking. It’s not like I can just walk up to Coughlin and get him to change the draft board. But I can get into the draft room – after hours, of course – and move Hockenson’s name to Round 6. I’m sure no one will notice. I’m on it. Fear not.

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