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O-Zone: Glass houses

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Rick from Franconia, VA

O, the question of which starter the Jaguars can least afford to lose has been discussed several times in this column. My vote goes to tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. How would you rate the drop off from ASJ to (whoever) compared to quarterback Blake Bortles versus Cody Kessler, running back Leonard Fournette versus T.J. Yeldon or defensive end Yannick Ngakoue versus Dante Fowler Jr.?

The key to this discussion is whether you’re asking how much the loss of a player would hurt the team overall or how much it would hurt the position. The drop off between Seferian-Jenkins and the Jaguars’ other tight ends in terms of being downfield receiving threats indeed is significant – and perhaps greater than the drop off at the other positions you cite. But it’s hard to argue the loss of Seferian-Jenkins would hurt more than the loss of Bortles. It’s hard to argue that the loss of any player would compare to the loss of Bortles. Some positions are inherently more important than others, and quarterback is most important of all.

Sam from Orlando, FL

Not to bash Blake, but David Garrard had a cannon. His arm strength and Blake’s do not compare.

OK.

TJ from Orlando, FL

To answer the question of whether David Garrard would have been liked by the current coaching staff, we need only look at the fact that at the time Jaguars Head Coach Tom Coughlin picked him to be then-quarterback Mark Brunell's successor, but he was fired and Head Coach Jack Del Rio preferred Byron Leftwich and left Garrard on the bench way too long. With that perspective, I'd say that this coaching staff that has Coughlin's fingerprints on it, would have loved to have had Garrard.

I think this coaching staff could have figured out a way to win with Garrard. I’m not sure how this question became pertinent seven years later, but I do think the coaching staff could have won with Garrard.

Tom from Melbourne, FL

I would like to attend the scrimmage with my two-year old son. However, they moved it to Friday. Can you let the big dogs know to move it back to Saturday? This way the fans who live a good distance away who can’t miss work will be able to attend. Thanks in advance!

The Jaguars unfortunately can’t set all training camp dates for the maximum convenience of all fans. Attention must be paid to practice schedule and preparation for the preseason, and to how best to prepare for the regular season. The Jaguars want Saturday, August 4 as an off day in the schedule to set up the following week of practice in advance of the preseason home opener against New Orleans the following Thursday. So, they scheduled the scrimmage for Friday. Apologies in advance.

Scott from Daytona Beach, FL

So, I took my son to the AFC Championship game last year. Besides having four season tickets this year, we will be going to the Dallas away game. We're going to start a new tradition and do one away game each year at a different stadium. Go Jags. #DTWD

DTWD

David from Oviedo, FL

Johnny O: If a seventh-round draft pick signs his rookie contract, but doesn't make the team, what does the team pay him before he walks out the door? If that same rookie doesn’t sign his rookie contract – and the team decides to cut him, is that player out of luck?

A rookie draft selection released during training camp or preseason would make no base salary for that season – just as any player released at that time would make no base salary for that season. That’s because players in the NFL are paid one sixteenth of their base salary for each game week they are on the active roster. That player therefore would walk out of the door with what he had left of his signing bonus, but nothing else. If a seventh-round rookie opted to not sign his rookie contract, he would go back into the draft the following year. The team wouldn’t release him, in part because because he wouldn’t be under contract and in part because the team would have no reason to do so.

Stephen from Hilton Head, S.C.

Who is Gene Frenette, and why does anyone care?

Who wouldn’t know longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. “Gene” Frenette? And how could anyone not care? Those are the pertinent questions here, my friend.

David from Orlando, FL

O-Zone: Have you ever trash talked an opponent? If so, what did you say to break down your opponents’ psyche and make them wish they'd never been born?

I trash talked quite a hit while playing high school basketball, not fully realizing until long afterward that when you trash talk from the bench with your team down 20 in the second half it loses some of its effectiveness.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, is it possible everyone has Gene confused with Chuck Norris, or was it Gene that taught Chuck that roundhouse kick?

That’s very possible.

Paul from Jacksonville

If there is a local sports writer you would most like to sit down and have a beer with, who would it be? I'd probably go Garry Smits. The guy seems to cover everything from golf to college football to the NFL. Have you ever worked with him or do you know him?

I’ve sat down with enough sports writers and had enough beers over the years to know that the experience isn’t exactly “all that.” I worked with Garry Smits of the Florida Times-Union for more than a decade, and I worked with him very closely for much of that time. I’ve sat down and had various numbers of beer with Garry in various cities at various events. I’ve also watched him sing Crazy at karaoke at the Bombay Bicycle Club. I’d rather not talk anymore about Crazy. Some things you don’t come back from. Even after 25 years.

Don from Lake Mary, FL

After recently hearing Mike Dempsey and you discussing Chad Henne, it occurred to me what a bum rap he received from a segment of Jag fans. One dude wrote in the O-Zone a few years ago that he was the worst backup quarterback in the NFL and no team would want him if the Jags cut him, which you correctly disagreed with. It’s no surprise to me he had at least three teams after him within days of becoming a free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs as the highest bidder, The Jags were at the beginning of a complete roster gutting and rebuild when Henne started several games in 2013 and 2014. The offensive line and overall skill positions were subpar to the rest of the NFL at that time. I would wager a paycheck Henne is good enough to help the Jags win more games than they would lose with the current offensive talent the Jags have. I don’t feel he could get the team deep in the playoffs or Super Bowl like Bortles can, but he would prove to be a much more capable NFL quarterback than some people think. What do you think?

I believe now what I said throughout Henne’s career with the Jaguars – that while he perhaps isn’t among the Top 25 or so quarterbacks in the NFL he is certainly one of the NFL’s more capable backups. And yes, I do think Henne could quarterback to a lot of victories with this lineup.

Sean from Charlotte, NC

I,

Sean. Sean!!>?? For the love of God, Sean!??

Fred from Jacksonville

O Man,

Fred!?? Fred?!!! Oh, Fred … not you, too?!!!!

Fred from Jacksonville

John,

Fred, we hardly knew ye …

Fred from Jacksonville

John, let me preface my preface by noting this darned thing is just like Linked In that it whisks away your comment when you try to enter and skip a line. I don't like that. My origin preface to my remarks/concerns were to apologize for my excessive worrying. I know that General Manager Dave Caldwell and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin are extremely meticulous regarding to detail, yet I continue to worry about the rooster. Training camp could be a very perilous time, and despite amply stocked dining hall tables, I just worry about the little guy's well being. Do they have a plan in place to safeguard the little feller?

I was going to write that you put a lot of effort and wordsmanship into that joke considering the payoff – and considering it’s not technically about football. I was going to write that it seemed you were a bit off track considering the nature of this forum. Then I remembered someone saying something to me once about glass houses. Then I remembered that Jaguars 2018 Training Camp starts July 26. And that veterans are scheduled to report July 25 …

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