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O-Zone: High demand

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

David from Severna Park

Washington Post Wednesday morning: "NFLPA to investigate Meyer's vaccine remarks." Per the standing agreement with the league, a player cannot be released solely on vaccination status – and while that's not what Coach Meyer did, when in his adjustment to the NFL is he going to learn to keep the quiet part to himself? I'm tired of near constant negative – yet avoidable – scrutiny.

You're referencing Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer saying that a player's COVID-19 vaccination status was considered when trimming the roster to 53 players Tuesday. Meyer, remember, did not say vaccination was the reason for any players being released – and the team released a statement to that effect Wednesday. As for when Meyer "is going to learn to keep quiet …" I hope he doesn't. At least not on something like this. He was being transparent and truthful to the best of his ability – and in a time when people complain about coaches being secretive and saying little substantial, his approach on matters such as these has been refreshing. As for your being tired of the scrutiny … I suppose if Meyer can withstand it, people comparatively unaffected can probably find a way to endure as well.

Scott from Atlantic Beach, FL

Sorry, John. I'm still a tad bit fuzzy on "protecting" a practice squad player. Do they have to clear waivers and then can be protected? Or can you protect them from even being exposed to the waiver process?

This indeed can be confusing. When a team releases a player, he immediately becomes a free agent and can sign with any team he chooses – including the team that just released him. When a team waives a player – whenever that may be – other teams have a specific timeframe to claim that player. If a player "clears waivers," he is then free to sign with any team. Players who clear waivers are then eligible to sign with practice squads. Once a player signs to a practice squad, a team under new rules implemented to help teams manage rosters in the COVID-19 era can protect four practice-squad players per week. So, no … teams can't protect players from ever being exposed – but they can protect them once they clear the process and sign to practice squads.

Steve from Woodbine, GA

I just found the Comments Section. It's pretty cool, you should check it out ... scratch that, never mind.

You found a what?

David from Ada

It bothers me that people are concerned about having a quality backup quarterback. I mean, do people not want rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence to play because he's not ready, or are they assuming he'll get a season-ending injury? Either way, that's bleak. And the truth is, no one is going to win the Super Bowl with a backup quarterback unless he's Tom Brady, and Gardner Minshew II ain't Brady. If we get stuck starting any backup quarterback, we're going to be drafting in the top ten regardless.

There's nothing wrong with people wanting a quality backup quarterback, but you're right that there's no sense overstressing about this situation. First, the Jaguars kept the best option for backup quarterback in this offense: C.J. Beathard. Second … yeah, the Jaguars' situation indeed may be bleak if Lawrence isn't playing this season. Maybe not, but realistically …

Bryan from Tampa, FL

Your previous statement indicating that you felt Beathard had shown more this offseason than Minshew appears to be shared by the Jags' brass. To recoup a draft pick for a player who may have been the odd man out of a position battle is actually a best-case scenario. Are you surprised that Jaguars were able to trade Minshew for a draft pick?

A little.

Chris from Mandarin

It seems pretty simple to me. The Jaguars don't want to stop being able to throw over the middle of the field between linebackers and safeties just if the starting quarterback gets hurt.

Well put.

John from Jacksonville

Do you think Minshew was on the chopping block anyway?

Yeah, probably.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, how did the New England Patriots not manage to get a draft pick for trading quarterback Cam Newton given we managed to get a draft pick for Minshew? Do you think his contract prevented a trade or was there not trade value there?

The Patriots reportedly did not try to trade Newtown out of respect for Newton. The thought reportedly was that if they made those calls it would become a huge story. It became a big story when he was released, of course, but that reportedly was the reason for not pursuing a trade.

Tony from Richmond, VA

I've started to look at the Jags as an NFL farm system. We don't get many truly talented players that come through here, but when we do, we find a reason to not want them and ship them off to an actual team in exchange for a chance at a rookie who may or may not be good enough to eventually ship off to another team. Rinse. Repeat.

I'm not sure who, exactly, you're referencine. If you mean players such as cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue … OK, I grasp the point. If you mean the players they have traded or waived/released in the last week or so … nah.

Adrian from Alpharetta, Ga.

Going forward, do you think the powers that be will modify the offensive scheme to a more shotgun- based system, keeping Lawrence operating in space as they did Sunday against the Cowboys?

I absolutely expect Jaguars coaches to do more of what they did Sunday moving forward. That doesn't mean it's all they will do. But yes … coaches likely will gear the offense toward what Lawrence did well while at Clemson.

Lenny from London, UK

With Minshew, linebacker Joe Schobert and now Sidney Jones IV being traded away for late draft picks, it got me thinking. Would you rather have capable veterans sitting on the bench in case of injury, or future draft capital if you were GM?

I would rather have the veterans if I believed they fit the scheme and would help significantly more than another player on the roster.

Roy The Transporter from Ridgewood, FL


Can you believe the New York Jets claimed him?

Zachary from East Palatka, FL

You would think with Eugene Frenette is on the other team. Well, he got his click bait and we lose a draft pick. I'm just thankful you we have the KOAF, you haven't cost us any draft pics yet right?

I'm tempted to go into a lengthy answer about longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette's many eclectic tastes or his widely renowned feats of strength, but this isn't the time. Frenette isn't on the other team. Or the Jaguars. He's a member of the media. He asked Meyer about the vaccination Tuesday and Meyer answered. He did his job. Criticism unwarranted.

Chris from No longer in Norfolk, VA

Hey Zone, here's a different question. Can you tell us the difference in football size from college to pro? Do you feel this difference has ever affected a player's career?

A college football is about three-quarters of an inch narrower in circumference than an NFL football. Many NFL types believe this can make a significant difference, particularly quarterbacks. That's why quarterbacks' hand sizes are measured at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Jim Bob Clodder from Yamacraw

Start publishing Ask O-Zone at the same time every day, preferably earlier, or I will take my business elsewhere. Thank you.

Take care, I guess. Or whatever.