O-Zone: Football is back

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

CJ from Fernandina Beach, FL

After seeing Fournette's comments on "finally having a quarterback," I feel like I see why he was cut. That is so unprofessional and an uncalled-for shot at Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II, don't you think?

A couple of thoughts here. One: while former Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette indeed said "for the first time in my life, I really have a quarterback" this week upon joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, an argument could be made after listening to the full quote that his intent was more to praise new teammate Tom Brady than to criticize Jaguars quarterbacks. Fine. If you want to give Fournette the benefit of the doubt on that front, I'll accept it. At the same time, it's fair to see Fournette's comments as just another pointless – and petty – "shot" at the franchise by a disgruntled former player. Fournette's comment had an element of that, as did a ridiculous tweet from former Jaguars safety Ronnie Harrison essentially professing to be happy to be on a team with a common goal now that he is with the Cleveland Browns. Again … fine. I understand that the current perception of the Jaguars makes them an easy target and I understand it's easy for players caught up in the rush of changing teams to say/tweet such things. But here's a thought: How about players self-evaluating a bit and realizing that perhaps they are at least partially responsible for what happens where they play. Perhaps a player could have played better to help his teammates rather than saying he never had played with a "real" insert position here? Perhaps a player could have been more about a common goal with his former team? Or is everything always the fault of someone else? The latter, I suppose.

Jim from Jagsonville

What was this year's process for selecting the team captains?

The players voted, then Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone announced the results to the team and the media. This has been the process since Marrone became head coach.

Fred from Naples, FL

I am glad that Leonard "finally has a quarterback." What is with these guys that leave that makes them feel like they have to bash the team when they leave? Leonard did a nice job last year of playing well and not saying anything controversial. Guess he could only hold it in for so long.

Whatever.

James from Jacksonville

With all of the players who have recently left the team and are now making statements about the organization (never had a quarterback, thank God I got out, etc.), how does the team turn it around and get players to want to play in Jacksonville? Our cuts and trades make it look from the outside that ownership doesn't care to win. I know all the canned responses of no one wants to lose, but we seem to be giving away talent left and right.

Perception isn't always reality, still perception in this instance does matter. How do the Jaguars change perception? Win.

Brent from the Southside

I think it's great that second-year defensive end Josh Allen has earned the respect of his teammates and they've selected him as a captain. I wanted to compare him to other defensive end/pass rushers, but despite scouring through the archives, I could not find an answer: How many times and which years was Yannick Ngakoue selected as a captain? Thanks in advance!

Ngakoue never was selected as captain in four seasons with the Jaguars.

Marcus from Jacksonville

John, based on your expertise, do you think it is irresponsible for coaches and scouts to set an NFL roster based only on performance in camp? You've said multiple times that Marrone's philosophy this year was to evaluate the players on the field without regard for name, draft position or past performance. In a year where camp has been less intense, and there have been less pads and less hitting, is that a smart way to do it – or was that just an easy way to explain some shocking roster decisions? To me, it's like hiring an employee solely on an interview without doing a background check, looking at experience and education or calling references. Honestly, if this were always the plan, Blake Bortles would still be the quarterback because he was a notoriously great camp quarterback.

There were no preseason games this year, so if you wanted to make decisions on the here and now, practices were the only way to do that. The spirit of Marrone's approach was to not keep a player on the roster solely because of his draft position or reputation and to try to truly keep the best players. Was the approach smart? Time will tell. But former Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles absolutely was not a notoriously great camp quarterback.

John from Cape May Court House

I don't think it's crazy to think that rookie wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. could lead this team in rushing touchdowns this year. Unlikely? Yes. Out of the realm of possibilities? No. The fact that he could, I think speaks volumes about his potential to be really special.

OK.

Eric from Columbus, IN

O-man, I was surprised to see Adam Gotsis as the defensive end starter. Honestly, I wasn't even aware he was on the team. Can you shed some light on his career/how he looked in camp? It felt like everything was pointing to Dawuane Smoot.

Gotsis, a fifth-year veteran, signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent from the Denver Broncos this past offseason. He has played in 57 career games with 28 career starts. He looked fine in camp, though I can't honestly say he stood out in practices with comparatively little contact and tackling to the ground. Gotsis also isn't a "sacks guy," so the one-on-one pass rush drills that are the most high-profile part of camp for defensive players don't reveal much. But I wouldn't read a tremendous amount into the depth chart on the defensive line. Snaps will be somewhat rotational and situational, and I expect Smoot and Gotsis to both play key roles.

David from Orlando, FL

O - The Colts have an excellent offensive line and we've had trouble stopping the run. How do we stop the Colts from running up and down the field on us?

Be much, much better against the run than they were last season. The Jaguars focused on the area all offseason. Coaches emphasized it. The front office emphasized it. Players focused on it. When an NFL team focuses on something that much, it's fair to expect results – at least in the short term.

Cliff from Orange Park, FL

Do you think the Rams took into account former Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey's history of back injuries when they signed him to the extension? With that back, it seems a little risky.

Good things happen to good people. Here's wishing Ramsey good fortune and good health.

Big on Blake from Philly

John, help me out with something. That hack Adam Schein (honestly one of the worst sports whatever you want to call him I've ever seen) just predicted the Jags to go 0-16. Can you tell me how would an offense returning a second year quarterback who won six games, with the exact same offensive line, a Pro Bowl wide receiver, upgrades at tight end (offseason acquisition plus return from injury) and promising rookies go winless this season?! To top it off, the linebacking corps on the other side of the ball can carry this defense on their own, which they may have to, while the rookies get used to the speed of the game. How with a competent defense (though loaded with youth and inexperience), plus an improved offense lose every game?! It makes no sense and I hope Minshew reads that take and uses it to pump up every other member of that locker room and push them to a 1-0 start Sunday. If I could curse on your forum I sure as shoot would right now. #firedup

Adam Schein is good at what he does. I don't particularly care what he thinks or predicts about the Jaguars.

Don from Marshall, NC

What a great job that General Manager Dave Caldwell and Marrone have done to turn this team around. Regardless what happens, it had to be done. Youth is used as an excuse when you lose. When you win, you're not too young, are you? There is enough talent on this team to make the playoffs. Minshew is going to light it up like no one has seen in Duval before. Go Jaguars!

Don is "all in."

Stu from Wrestlingworth, UK

KOAF! Do you know what, 2020 has, in all fairness, been awful. Let's put all the negativity to one side, football is back. Win, lose or draw this team is going to be a ton of fun to watch. Let's get behind the team and remember why we watch the game! Let's go Jags!!

Stu also is "all in."

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