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O-Zone: Go big

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, I clearly must have not paid enough attention to guards. What exactly should we expect an All-Pro Guard to do noticeably better than a regular guard?

You should expect Jaguars All-Pro left guard Andrew Norwell to be an improvement in pass blocking and run blocking. It's fair to expect the left side of the line – and the line in general – to be improved with the acquisition of Norwell as an unrestricted free agent from Carolina; the Jaguars certainly expect that. You also should see an improvement in the running room Jaguars running backs – particularly Leonard Fournette – have on the interior of the line. There were too many cases last season of defenders being on Fournette immediately on runs up the middle. He is far more effective with a chance to build a head of steam and he lacked that chance too often last season. The Jaguars should be more successful running up the middle and to the left this season. And Norwell should be a big reason.

George from Drummonds, TN

Sir, maybe I missed it. Was Mr. Khan successful with buying the stadium in London? Thanks. Love the forum.

Jaguars Owner Shad Khan's bid to buy Wembley Stadium is still in the proposal stage.

Steve from Denver, CO

JO: Gene, Gene, roses are red? Si or no senor JO?

I thought Jaguars 2018 Training Camp started July 26. I thought that was Thursday. I thought veterans reported the day before. What did I miss?

J. Hooks from Fleming Island, FL

Dear John, I watched No. 56's presser and the vibe off of him came across as angry and a tad bit spiteful. I wasn't in the room, but you were. I understand he was getting difficult and intimidating questions by the press, but he kind of came off like a jerk. Am I completely alone in this rationale? P.S Asking for a friend.

Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. wasn't in a great mood when he met with the media on Thursday. Then again, he was answering questions about a suspension, an injury and his option not being picked up. I could see how Fowler might not be in the best of moods. Still, he attended the press conference and answered the questions. He did OK under the circumstances.

Steve from Stevensville

I know this is unlikely, but I am going to throw it out there. I read recently that new Oakland Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden and pass rusher Khalil Mack have not spoken yet. Is there any possibility that the Jags would try to sign him if he were to become a free agent? He is worth tons of money for sure, but my oh my...


Paul from the Ruthless Hood of Ponte Vedra, FL

O MEGA man~~!! Who would be your MVP on D and O going into this year? And whom do you see coming off this season as MVP on either side of the ball?? GO JAGS!!

I thought Bortles was the Jaguars' Offensive Most Valuable Player last season, so I suppose he would be the MVP entering this season. I expect he will be the MVP again this season. It's hard to name anyone but Campbell the Defensive MVP from last season and it's equally hard to imagine anyone but cornerback Jalen Ramsey being the MVP this season.

Brian from Staten Island, NY

Did anyone ever tell you that you bear a striking resemblance to the McGowan's guy?

Did anyone ever tell you …

Stephen from Jacksonville

I think many of us have assumed this year's position battles would be limited to determining backup roles. Are you surprised that Leon Jacobs was the Day 1 training camp starter at strongside outside linebacker? Is Blair Brown hurt? Is Jacobs really good? What led to this unexpected development? How important is this competition going to be if the team is mostly in their nickel package anyways?

I wrote and said consistently from the end of the Jaguars' offseason program until the beginning of training camp that Jacobs and Brown both were possibilities to start at strong-side linebacker. So, no … I wasn't surprised when he worked with the starters on Thursday on the first day of Jaguars 2018 Training Camp. The team likes Jacobs very much. How important is strong-side linebacker? The starter there will probably play 30-to-35 percent of the plays, so it's not as important as, say, quarterback, but it's not unimportant.

Mark from Jacksonville,

O-Man: People need to get off the whole Blake-has-never-led-a-fourth-quarter-comeback bandwagon. Many times he led a fourth-quarter drive to take the lead and the defense then let the other team score again. No quarterback – not even the great Tom Brady – can just constantly march their team down to score on every late fourth-quarter drive. Blake is doing just fine and I think by the end of this season everyone is going to say that Blake is a very good quarterback.

One fer Blake.

Eddy from Miami, FL

O-Zoney One: I, too, really like what Dawuane Smoot did last year. I also have read plenty from you and other writers who believe that although he is a backup, the team plans to use him in a bigger role once we lose some of these highly-priced defensive linemen. If we are this satisfied with the big-end position, and three-technique in passing situations, then why draft Taven Bryan with the first pick in the draft? Is it as simple as, "You can't have enough good players" or "enough defensive lineman?" If that is the case do you see us getting rid of both Malik and Campbell and using Bryan and Smoot in similar roles? Or do you envision the organization wanting to use Smoot as a career backup, but getting more plays in the rotation.

It's as simple as, "You can't have too many good defensive linemen." It's also difficult to know how long Jackson and/or Campbell will be with the Jaguars. The salary-cap situation in the coming years – and how those players play – will go a long way to deciding that. But whatever the status of those two players, there will be roles for Smoot and Bryan for the foreseeable future. The Jaguars want to rotate their defensive linemen as much as possible. Big-time players at those positions won't go to waste.

Tommy from Jacksonville

I would like to point out where the Duuuval chant originated – I mean like the first place it was yelled with joy that I heard. This occurred in 2008 during Memorial Day weekend in Ginnie Springs. As we were floating down the river half of the entire river could be heard screaming Duuuval. It's a day I'll never forget.


Red from Duuuvalll!!

So, what exactly have the rookies and first year players been doing since reporting last week? They been busy stocking their lockers and playing ping pong or doing anything more constructive?

Rookies and first-year players went through conditioning and went through meetings until practice began Thursday – with an emphasis on conditioning and going through meetings. The transition from college to the NFL is difficult. The week between rookies reporting and training camp is designed to ease that transition.

JagsMavs from Virginia Beach, VA

Death to the Dead Zone: My neighbor asked if I knew a good roofer. Being hard of hearing, I misunderstood what he said and proudly said, "The Jags have a really good rooster this year!"

I hope she whacked you with a rolled-up newspaper.

Scott from Fernandina Beach, FL

Hi King, as nice as it is to have a roster as talented as ours, it must be a lot harder for TC, DC and Marrone to manage the roster. Who to sign, who not to sign, who to trade, who to acquire. A great problem to have, but it's got to be harder than when the roster was lacking.

No, it's far harder to manage a bad roster than a good one. Managing a good roster is cool. General managers like it. Managing a bad roster sucks.

Mark from Prescott

Regarding Khan and the statement thing, put another way: If you believed not Moses, you will not believe me…"

Fair point.

Jerry from Riverview

Even before Khan became the owner, the Jaguars were considered by many to be a slam dunk to move to Los Angeles. Since then, there have been three cities that have lost their NFL teams. If you're keeping count, that's zero preseason games, zero regular season home games, zero away games and zero playoff games for St Louis, San Diego and Oakland. The Jaguar fans and the city of Jacksonville are very fortunate to participate in Khan's vision for the team and the city.

Fair points.

Alan from Jacksonville

Let's say Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone asks you, "John-O, I really want to set the tone for 2018, what should our first offensive play be against the Giants?"

"Fifty-fifty ball to Koyack."

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