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O-Zone: Free pass

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Bill from Ponte Vedra, FL

I know Jalen Ramsey is a great player, but at some point doesn't his expectation of star treatment get to be a morale problem? Could Barry Church or even A.J. Bouye skip all voluntary activities and then miss a good portion of camp for paternity leave?

Any National Football League player can attend however many voluntary practices he chooses without ramification; that’s what “voluntary” means – even in the NFL. And yes: The higher the level of player, the more comfortable that player is likely to be when it comes to missing the voluntary portion of the offseason. This is real life as opposed to a vacuum; different players act differently in certain situations. But when you say Ramsey has missed “a good portion of camp,” he has missed two padded practices. Two. That indeed is a portion, but I can’t imagine it having any impact on his play. As for a morale issue … no. Ramsey is one of the best players in the NFL. Until he doesn’t play that way, and until he does something that’s a bigger “transgression” than not breaking an offseason NFL rule and spending a few days away for the birth of a child, his teammates won’t have a problem with him. For real.

Gabe from Washington, DC

Your answer about Coach McCardell (if that doesn't sound strange) had me wondering. Do you get the sense that Poz will be back to coach in the NFL in the coming years?

This will depend on what former Jaguars middle linebacker Paul Posluszny decides he wants to do. I have little doubt he would be a good coach. I have little doubt teams would give him the opportunity. But remember: he just retired this offseason, and I imagine he will take a year or so to figure out if coaching is something he wants to pursue. Will he want to do that? Who knows? The hours are long and you often must move your family multiple times while putting them through sometimes unfair and illogical hirings and firings. It’s not for everyone.

Ninetiesdude from NostalgiaLand

I wish I could invent a time machine just so I could send u back to the ‘80s where you belong.

I wish I could …

Mike from Atlanta, GA

Can you see a difference in Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles throwing the ball compared to last year when he was playing with the injury on his wrist? Is there an increase in accuracy? Is there more velocity? I'm just wondering what kind of impact the injury had on him throwing the ball. What is the biggest factor in him looking better? The experience with the offense and receivers, the absence of the wrist injury, the work in the last couple of offseasons on his mechanics? I think Bortles showed a lot of improvement last year and I think the offense has the potential to be very good this season. Does this offense look like one of the best in the NFL?

Yes. It seems so. It also seems so. He won’t elaborate much, but he said last week it’s a positive to be pain-free so the effects of the wrist injury last season probably weren’t nothing. Yes, yes and yes. I think he did, too – and I think it does, too. Not yet; there only have been two padded practices.

Brian from Nocatee, FL

Who do the 2018 Jaguars miss more: Paul Posluszny or Whitney Cowart?

The Jaguars will miss former middle linebacker Paul Posluszny’s leadership off the field and run defense (and toughness) on it – and I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Marlin from Newberry, FL

Hey Zone

Hey …

Marlin from Newberry, FL

Hey Zone, congratulations to Jalen Ramsey on the birth of his child. Nothing is more important in his life right now. His absence led me to wonder if NFL players are covered by the same FMLA rules as we regular folks. If I had a child, I can take 12 weeks off to spend with them and not have to worry about losing my job. Same for NFL players?

That might be what is referred known in football circles as “pushing one’s luck.”

Tyler from Jacksonville

What are your thoughts on Cody Kessler and Tanner Lee after a few practices? What strengths does each guy bring to the quarterback room?

I think Kessler has looked better than Lee. That’s not surprising; Kessler has multiple NFL starts in his career and Lee is a rookie. Kessler has flashed at times, and he typically has at least one or two good passes per practice. As for strengths: Kessler has some NFL experience, and Lee at times seems to deliver a good ball. Overall, the thought here is the Jaguars really need Bortles to stay healthy. That puts them in the same category as the vast majority of NFL teams.

Dave from Chuluota

O-Funk, on more than one occasion, Jeff Lageman has described backup quarterback Cody Kessler’s play so far in less than glowing terms. Have you seen anything that makes you think that Cody Kessler may not stick with the team?

I’m not as down on Kessler as some other observers – and at this point, I’m not anticipating the Jaguars making a move at backup quarterback in the coming weeks. One reason is that Head Coach Doug Marrone is a big believer of sticking with backups instead of bringing in players from other teams because of their familiarity with the team and system. That could change when we get into the preseason. We’ll see.

Ray from Newport News, VA

I write this as a father of two. I am glad Jalen decided to take a few days to spend with his girlfriend as their child was born. When my kids where born, my work allowed me two weeks off to spend time with my newborns. I think what many of us fear is see Jalen becoming a no-show more often than not. I hope he stays at a Pro Bowl level as I always want the best for this team. I hope Jalen does not become an issue later with practice or future training camps.

I will be surprised the next time I see Ramsey at a voluntary Jaguars workout. He appears comfortable training in the offseason with his father in Nashville – and until he’s not a freakish athlete making plays most other humans don’t make, his following NFL rules and not attending organized team activities won’t be a problem. As for future training camps, if there comes a time when Ramsey is in a contract dispute I supposed he might stay away. Or if he again becomes a father in late July or August. Aside from that, I wouldn’t worry much.

Steve from Orange Park, FL

Where would you rank our combined starting four secondary players/unit in the AFC?

First.

Rick from Franconia, VA

O, watching clips of the one-on-one, offensive-defensive line drills from Saturday night I see clear violations of the leading with the helmet rule, as written. Do you see the same thing?

Of course, and there’s no way there won’t be cases in the NFL of players hitting each other with their helmets. I’ve said often and will continue to say that we won’t know the impact of the new leading-with-the-helmet rule until we see how officials call it. We who cover the Jaguars on a daily basis are scheduled to meet with NFL officials later this week as we do each training camp. I expect the new helmet rule to be a major topic. Perhaps I’ll have a better idea about this topic then. And perhaps I’ll share some thoughts after that.

Joe from Fleming Island, FL

John, I cannot recall one third-down running play where Tom Brady didn't lead with his head. It is my understanding the rule is written to include both offensive and defensive will be called for leading with their head. Care to guess how many times this year he will be called on it?

Less than fifty. A lot less.

Paul from Ponte Vedra, FL

Yo, Zone!! Hey does BB5 get a pass from everyone missing OTA's and what will probably be a week of camp? Just wondering.

Unless I’m missing something in your carefully-worded query, you’re asking about Ramsey and not “BB5” – a.k.a., Bortles – getting a “pass” for not attending the offseason program and for missing a couple of days at the start of camp. Why does Ramsey get a “pass?” Part of it may be that OTAs are voluntary. Another may be that he has missed a grand total of two padded practices. Two. Still another might be that thing about him maybe being the best player at his position in the NFL. Also: If by chance you are asking about Bortles, I’ll let him know about that pass you think he’s getting. He hasn’t gotten many since entering the NFL. I imagine he’ll appreciate it.

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