JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
John from Ramsey, NJ
Sooo ... maybe I should cut CJ Henderson some slack. No doubt he is a very good player. My concern is the track record we've had with other Florida defenders. Here's hoping all 12 drafted rookies make it to the start of the regular season healthy. I won't be able to hold my breath much past the first half our of Rookie Training Camp. GO JAGS.
I can't see there being an on-field rookie training camp this offseason, so that's one less worry for you. As far as worrying about the Jaguars' history with University of Florida defensive players … that's a fan/observer issue and not something a team would consider. It's also not a reality-based worry. How players from a school have previously fared with a certain organization has nothing to do with how future players will fare – and the Jaguars' history with Florida players is in no way a sign of how Henderson will fare in the NFL.
Brooklyn from Stone Mountain, GA
With the current additions to the Jags front seven, how likely is it that Quincy Williams gets a look at safety? I liked his versatility coming out of college, and thought he had enough speed to at least contribute as a box safety. Your take KOAF?
All indications for now are that Williams will stay at linebacker.
Nick from Palm Coast, FL
When will the NFL release the schedule???
All reports are that the NFL will release the 2020 regular-season schedule next week, likely around Thursday. It reportedly will be a full schedule starting in September – as would have been the case had there been no Covid-19 pandemic. That appears to be the plan. The NFL also reportedly has discussed multiple contingencies, as would be expected. Stay tuned.
Mike from Atlanta, GA
The 2013 Jaguars was one of the least talented rosters I've seen. I'm not sure the starting quarterback from 2013 would make the 2020 roster. None of the wide receivers would make the current roster. The 2013 team having just one of the top 3 current roster's defensive ends would have made a dramatic difference. We complain about the current offensive line but looking back at that team's line is lesson in being grateful for what you have. Do you remember that season John?
Gary from Wesley Chapel
Hey, John. I would love to see the Jags ask Yan to come back to be the "leader" of that defensive-line room. Defensive end Calais Campbell is no longer there. And with Yan's experience in this defense, he can lead the new D-linemen coming in through free agency and the draft. That adds value to this team no one else can provide. (Defensive tackles Abry Jones and Taven Bryan to some extent, but Yan brings a certain "attitude" that is so much of what the Jags appear to be building now.) I hope Yan and the Jags can work out the business side, because I think Head Coach Doug Marrone and defensive coordinator Todd Wash would love to have Yan on the field. Do you think Yan can still become a fixture in the Jags' defense for years to come?
The Jaguars won't ask defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to come back and be the leader of the defensive line in the sense you present it. But in a very real sense they already have asked this. They have offered him what they believe is a very fair contract twice, and General Manager David Caldwell made it very clear last week after the 2020 NFL Draft that the team would welcome Ngakoue back. Remember: This never, ever has been a case of the Jaguars not wanting Ngakoue, not considering him valuable or not wanting to pay him a lot of money to play. The discontent has been on Ngakoue's end, and it ultimately will be up to him to determine this situation's outcome.
Doug from Hanford, CA
I'm excited about the draft and the season next year. I do wish Marrone would stop saying "adding competition" to the roster. I do understand the concept but maybe some of that also created this "bad culture" we are in today.
Competition doesn't create bad culture.
Brian from Gainesville, FL
Big O, if this Jaguars team isn't a playoff roster, then, frankly, who cares how competitive they are by the end of the year? That's not just me adding snark to the conversation. I get that teams don't tank. I get it. But if you don't make the playoffs, the next best thing is the No. 1 overall selection. Am I wrong?
That's one way to see it – and there are many fans and observers who see it that way. But your question also implies that if a team isn't going to make the playoffs it should just stop trying and lose every game. This is obviously impossible because teams can't know how good or bad they will be – or the impact injuries will have on a season – before the fact. And it perhaps implies that people running teams might think that way. That's not the way the league works.
Steve from Nashville, TN
If somehow the Los Angeles Rams are the worst team in the league this year, the Jaguars will have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft?
Sam from Orlando, FL
Sorry, it wasn't just "lowballing" Allen Robinson. It was signing Allen Hurns THEN deeming Robinson not good enough. Then cluelessly hedging bets that Marqise Lee would stay healthy and signed him to a large deal. If Robinson took a similar deal with Bears, that we offered. It's because he could see the ineptitude of the decision-makers from a mile away.
The Jaguars re-signed Lee after Robinson signed with the Chicago Bears, but yes: not re-signing Robinson was perhaps the Jaguars' biggest mistake/regret of the last three or four offseasons. For people to see this as a mistake is fair and logical. For people to see this as a trend that extends to players such as cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue is a reach and not nearly as based in reality. If you believe Ramsey will be content in any situation … well, I suppose we'll wait and see there. As far as Ngakoue, the Jaguars offered him what they believed was a very fair deal – twice. He apparently didn't believe it was a fair deal and wanted to be paid a contract that set the market at the position. The Jaguars before the draft apparently couldn't find a team that wanted to pay Ngakoue that way. Many fans seem to see that as the Jaguars' fault. That feels incorrect.
Jason from North Pole, AK
I'm beginning to feel like Yann will show up Week 1, fake an injury, and collect a paycheck. What is stopping players from using injuries as leverage? Every player is banged up during the season, we just operate under the assumption they are doing everything they can to be on the field. It feels like this might the only leverage that players have left when under contract and unhappy.
There obviously is precedent with this, and Jaguars fans have reason to be wary of such a scenario. At the same time, this is a risky approach for a player. There sometimes are cases in which players are so talented that taking this approach wouldn't hurt their value. Ngakoue, on the other hand, clearly will benefit from playing at a high level next season. It could be argued that he needs to play at a high level – perhaps a higher level than the past two seasons – to earn the contract he is seeking. That's his incentive, and it's one reason I would expect him to be motivated if he plays in 2020.
Justin from NYC
What's your favorite drink?
Fre from Highland Park, NJ
With all this wide receiver talk, why do Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole and Chris Conley seem to get left out of the conversation? I really think Westbrook is a solid receiver from what I can tell, Cole always seems to come up with a clutch catch, and Conley was a nice big presence when Marqise Lee wasn't available. Not saying our draft choices aren't great, but I think it's strange that no one mentions our receivers from last year other than DJ Chark Jr. I've always thought our receivers were underrated.
The receivers you mention aren't discussed much because they weren't Pro Bowl selections last season, they're not rookie draft selections and they haven't done much to hint that they might be core players moving forward. Players who don't fall into those categories tend to get overlooked in offseason discussions. It doesn't mean they're unimportant players, just that they're not going to always be in "the conversation."
Steve from Cancun, Mexico
JO: What did the scouting report say about you when you finished college? Tweener or elephant on roller skates?