O-Zone: For all people

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Rusty from New Iberia, LA

It has been great to reminisce on the early days of Jags football. How cool is it to be able to say I was a fan for every part of their history? Most people probably can’t say that about their teams. Surely not Green Bay Packer fans.

You’re referencing 25 seasons, 25 games – an oral-history series running on jaguars.com through the next several weeks. The series, which recognized the team’s upcoming 25th season, features prominent present and former Jaguars discussing 25 memorable games in franchise history. And you’re absolutely right: It was fun reminiscing with former players about these memorable games; the players also seemed to enjoy sharing their stories and memories. I don’t know whether having the opportunity to witness the Jaguars’ entire history makes being a Jaguars fan cooler than being a fan of more historical teams. I do know that researching the series made me remember that this franchise has produced a lot of memorable moments in 25 years. Here’s hoping more such moments follow soon.

Weird news from Weirdville

Former Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles used chewing tobacco? No wonder he stunk! It doesn't make sense; this isn't baseball. Good riddance to bad rubbish. By the way, someone should tell Big On Blake he can leave this site and follow the Los Angeles Rams now.

You’re right. You are coming from a weird place.

Braddock from Jacksonville

I'm going on the record that some dumpster-fire team will offer the Jags two first-round picks for Jalen – and when they do, we should run to the bank. UF and LSU repeatedly send guys to the league that are as good or better. I just don't see why he is so hyped. I'd take Aaron Beasley over him all day, any day.

Will a team offer the Jaguars two first-round selections for cornerback Jalen Ramsey? I’m not sure we know this; two first-round selections is a big price, and the Jaguars – contrary to speculation and rumor – have no real inclination to trade their best player. Would they take two first-rounders for Ramsey? I haven’t the foggiest. I do know at least one reader – this one, I imagine – seems locked on to this idea that the University of Florida and Louisiana State University routinely send players to the NFL as good or better than Ramsey. This is patently false. No school “routinely” sends players to the league better than Ramsey because colleges don’t “routinely” produce generational talent. And while I liked and respected former Jaguars cornerback Aaron Beasley very much, his talent wasn’t on the level of Ramsey.

Al “the Bore” Boreland from Home Improvement/the 90s

Did you "borrow" my chainsaw?

Shh.

Christopher from Jacksonville

I'm sure some fans are fanning about failed draft picks, but that's not what I'm doing. Ramsey is a Top 3-Top 5 cornerback on any day. What concerns me is the attitude; once he spit on the front office by saying, “I'm gonna ask for the bank" … no. Why do we want that here? I'm not saying take a second-round pick, but they really should be looking at whoever is ready to break the bank in pick/players for Ramsey. Trades that have often completely put teams over the top often have the improving team trading the star.

The level of attention given to Ramsey’s “attitude” never fails to amaze me. We’re talking about a player who has played every game of his NFL career, who cares passionately about winning and about maximizing his ability – and who has played at a remarkably high level in each of his three NFL seasons. Is Ramsey outspoken? Sure. Does he post some outlandish things on social media at times? Sure. Does he make public his thoughts regarding his contract? Sure. Know this: If you part ways with every superstar these days who posts something outlandish on social media, you’re going to part ways with a lot of superstars. And if you part ways with every superstar these days who makes public his wishes for a big contract, you’re going to part ways with a lot of superstars. Ramsey is very good. His off-field stuff is harmless, and I sense you’re going to see fewer comments from Ramsey critical of opponents. My recommendation: Enjoy his play on the field – and if what he says off it bothers you, don’t listen.

Gero from Wenden, Germany

Hello John. I'm amazed at the frequency and fascinated by the versatility with which the New Orleans Saints used quarterback Taysom Hill last season. You could never know exactly; he plays quarterback, running back and tight end. Do you think there is a possibility that the Jaguars will also think in this direction to let a quarterback perform on several positions? If so, would Gardner Minshew be the appropriate player?

The Saints last season had the advantage of running their offense with a quarterback (Drew Brees) and offensive playcaller (Head Coach Sean Payton) who have worked together in the same scheme for more than a decade. That’s an enormous amount of time for playcaller/quarterback to have been together. Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone talks often of the best situation for an offense being for the quarterback to have a better grasp of the scheme than the rest of the offensive players, thereby having the quarterback in complete command and his teammates striving to live up to that standard. Well, perhaps no team in the NFL currently has a better situation in that sense than the Saints. The sort of wrinkles the Saints used with Hill last season were creative and very cool. My guess is you won’t see the Jaguars do too much along those lines with the reserve quarterback – partly because they will be in Year 1 under offensive coordinator John DeFilippo and quarterback Nick Foles. Either way, I doubt you would see Minshew used like this. I expect him to be the top backup to Foles as opposed to a move-around-multiple-position player, so I expect the Jaguars to let him focus on playing quarterback.

Robert from Richmond, VA

I remember seeing the Ramones in high school gym in Plainfield, NJ in 1979.

Very cool.

Mason from Palm Bay, FL

In a recent O-Zone column, you said something along the lines that you would take an elite pass rusher over an elite corner because they could have more impact on every passing down. I agree with this. However, having a lockdown corner allows the coverage to shift to the other four eligible receivers. Do you anticipate us allowing Jalen to be more "on an island,” taking away the opposing teams top receivers this season? We have a lot of great WR1s on the schedule this year, by the way.

I doubt the Jaguars will put Ramsey more on an island this season than past seasons. They already do this regularly and you can’t stay in man-to-man coverage with the defenders covering the same receivers on every play; NFL offenses are far too sophisticated and they can scheme receivers open if the defense is in the same coverage on every play.

Smhlol from Funktown

You're the King of Funk huh? I betcha don't even know how to play a bass, horn, trumpet, etc. Mr. musical instrument Illiterate, Mr. Wannabe.

I am the king of all funk. Deal with it.

Alex from Orlando, FL

I think whenever wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. make big plays this year they should play the YouTube sensation video of "Baby Shark." Obviously the words would need to be changed to “Chark” and then somebody could do something cool with the graphics. Pass it on to the marketing dept. No need to give me all the credit.

Yes, our graphics and marketing folks love ideas that add to their workload three weeks before training camp, particularly ones that involve rerecording internet music and designing graphics. I’ll certainly “pass it along.” That would ensure I remain “all kinds of popular” with them.

Big on Blake from Philly

John, thank you for posting my disdainful remarks about New Jersey. Though they weren’t nice, I can’t help my emotions (it’s why I’m still and forever Big on Blake). But there is no amount of money to cover the cost of living and embarrassment associated with claiming a residence in New Jersey. The best pizza there is still Sbarro – which, for you, is a no-brainer, but to New York and Connecticut a very funny joke. I know you’re upside down on what’s funny lately, but let’s just say there’s a reason Gene is a Northeast Florida cultural icon and not one of New Jersey. The man who makes the rules has decided casts his vote. Go Jags.

Longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. “Gene” Frenette hails from the Northeast and his cultural-icon status crosses geographical lines. He is a man not only of his people, but of all people. He is, after all, “Gene.” These things I’m saying should be obvious.

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