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O-Zone: Hey!

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Rob from Orange Park, FL:
Why is Allen Hurns listed behind Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole? Is it because of injury? I'm surprised both of them jumped past Hurns on the depth chart. What do those two offer that Hurns doesn't have? Speed?
John: Hurns indeed is listed third on the Jaguars' 2017 Week 1 unofficial depth chart after Westbrook and Cole at outside receiver. My expectation is that doesn't cover all scenarios, and that Hurns will be the Jaguars' slot receiver in three-receiver situations Sunday. That's not definite, but that's my expectation. Hurns is by far the Jaguars' most experienced and able slot receiver right now, as neither Westbrook nor Cole has played the slot extensively. I also don't think you'll see much of Allen Robinson, Arrelious Benn or Marqise Lee there. That could mean the Jaguars having all six receivers active Sunday because Lee and Robinson are sure to be active for offense and Benn is the special teams captain. Westbrook and Cole figure to have at least minor roles on offense and on special teams. Bottom line: this is an area to watch Sunday, and roster machinations could make that watch interesting.
Chris from London, UK:
Mr. O, two divisional games to start is huge. We have to win at least one of them. If we go 0-2, with both against division opponents, that is going to be a long season, luckily we will be 1-1!!
John: One and one would be a good thing. And a critical thing.
Steve from Upper Tract, WI:
I saw that Brandon Allen got picked up quickly by the Rams. It made me wonder just how quickly Blake Bortles would get picked up by another team if he were released. I mean, he does hold the record for pick-sixes in a season. That's something ... isn't it?
John: While Bortles' interceptions are returned for touchdowns at an alarming rate, he does not hold the record for that statistic in a single season. And while his 11 such passes in three seasons is mind-blowingly high, he would be picked up by another team immediately were he released. I doubt that team would want him to play immediately. It's more likely that team would want him to be a reserve for a year or so then compete with the idea of rebuilding some areas of his game, but he would be with another team. Fast.
Jonathan from Jacksonville:
You keep saying they don't want Brandon Allen so they waived him. If that is true, then why just not release/cut him instead of waiving him? You and I know why they waived him because they were hoping to get him back and be put on practice squad but their gamble failed. The notion that they don't want him back is BS, but I understand your company line....
John: I can't speak for what you know – rather, what you believe you know. Here's what I know: The Jaguars waived Allen because he's a second-year veteran and therefore can't be released; he must under NFL rules be waived. If a team releases or waives a player, it's because they no longer want him on the active roster; if they're worried about losing the player, they don't waive or release him. If a team thinks a player – particularly a quarterback – is a highly valuable asset, they keep him on the roster because you don't run the risk of losing a highly valuable asset. This is not complicated.
Dave from Duval:
History shows that decisions the Jaguars front office made and you think are logical turn out to be unwise, bad or just plain dumb.
John: OK.
Patrick from Merced, CA:
Wow, John: Tony Boselli sounded like a self-absorbed, it's the "all-about-me-show" on the most recent Jaguars Monday podcast. He needs to stop being so pompous. Just saying.
John: History says you shouldn't hold your breath.
Todd from Jacksonville:
I've been looking at the Miami/Tampa situation. Now that the NFL has canceled the Week 1 matchup, and rescheduled it for Week 11 – taking away both teams' byes – what do you feel the best resolution would have been?
John: There's not always an ideal solution. Plan Bs are called Plan Bs rather than Plan As because they're not as good as Plan A. Late-season bye weeks are cool. Teams like them. But are they cool enough to outweigh fairness and common sense? In this case, it wouldn't have made much sense to have Miami lose a home game when both teams had a bye the same weekend.
Warren from Jacksonville:
Zonezilla, Jerell keeps saying 3-13 and I think he is right. The Jags will probably win this week 13-3. Stoked with Jerell.
John: You're in good company. Jerell is a visionary.
J from Fernandina Beach currently in Fort Lauderdale, FL:
Prediction: 9-7. Leonard Fournette is touted as the second coming of Freddy-T. Jags Nation has a great fall and winter of football!
John: Speaking of visionaries …
Travis from North Dakota:
How do you think Cam Robinson will hold up against J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus? Do you think he will struggle against them rushers or do you think he will hold his own with maybe giving up a couple pressures?
John: I think Watt, Clowney and Mercilus will get pressure when playing Robinson, and I imagine at least one of those players will get at least one sack. They're veteran players and Robinson had several lapses during preseason that make you think there will be one or two Sunday. But that's to be expected from a rookie, and that shouldn't cost the Jaguars the game. I do believe Robinson will get out of the game only allowing a sack and a couple of pressures – and if that's the worst that happens to the Jaguars offensively, they'll be OK.
Noel from St. Augustine, FL:
Hey O! Not really a football comment. I like the design for 'O-Zone' with your spectacles making the "O's." I think it's a safe assumption to say you weren't one of the 'cool' kids growing up and maybe even picked on. Do you look your design, hold your head up high, and say to yourself "how do you like me now?!?!"
John: Hey, Noel … go ask the trail of broken hearts I left in my wake if Johnny O was cool, OK? No, wait. That wasn't me.
Frank from Ponte Vedra, FL:
Are the Jags that thin at cornerback that they need eight of them on the practice squad?
John: No. That's why they only have three on the practice squad.
Craig from Jensen Beach, FL:
If we end up with another Top 5 pick this year what are the odds that Caldwell is still GM?
John: Better than people think. I also think the odds are very, very good that Tom Coughlin as executive vice president of football operations will have final say over football decisions in the coming offseason – just as he did this past offseason.
Mike from Atlanta, GA:
I think the Texans' defensive line is a nightmare matchup for the Jaguars' offensive line. They will probably need to run a lot of screens and counter runs to take them out of the game as much as possible.
John: Not only that, somebody better block 99. And 90. And 59.
Geoff from Jacksonville:
I'm afraid, John. Afraid of that first pass that Blake throws on Sunday. Can't shake this feeling that it'll be a pick-six. I hope I'm wrong.
John: That's fair. Bortles' track record in the last few seasons is such that he has earned that. His interception totals are rough, but what has been rougher is an almost mysterious tendency for the interceptions to go the other way. I have a different feeling about Bortles than most. I don't see him magically turning into an All-Pro, but I think he's going to be closer to the Bortles of the last two regular-season games last season than many others believe. We won't have to wait long to find out who's right.
Howard from Loveland, CO:
I believe that the decision to release Luke Joeckel was a worse decision than the front office has made with its quarterbacks. Don't you think that releasing a first-round draft pick before you even know what you have in the offensive line demonstrates a poor effort to scout one's own team? Also, please don't brush off my question with a passive-aggressive remark like "one for Joeckel."
John: I have written several times this offseason that I thought the Jaguars would have been well-served to have re-signed Joeckel. Now, from his perspective it's quite possible that a fresh start in a new situation was the best thing. But from the standpoint of the Jaguars' offensive line, I never believed he played as poorly as fans believed, and he certainly would have been valuable for this line. As for as "one fers," they're not meant to passive aggressive; they're simply, well ... one fers! Come to think of it … Hey! One fer one fers!

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