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O-Zone: Hop to it

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Ken from Mean streets of Arlington

Assuming Dylan Moses makes a lot of teams regret passing him up, how do you think the Jaguars would use him? Would he rotate out with Myles Jack or move to another position? Thanks!

Moses, who played collegiately at Alabama, is an off-the-ball linebacker who signed with the Jaguars as a collegiate free agent following the 2021 NFL Draft. He appears most likely to eventually fit at weak-side backer in this defense, a role that currently figures to be played by Jack. Moses, despite being undrafted, is more intriguing the more you examine his past. He is a former five-star recruit who likely would have been a first- or second-round draft selection if not for collegiate injuries. After a torn anterior cruciate ligament cost him his 2019 season, he returned in 2020 and was a third-team All-Southeastern Conference selection. He went unselected in the 2021 NFL Draft, with many teams concerned about a meniscus injury; with medical information difficult to attain in this year's pre-draft process, that reportedly caused some teams to remove him from draft boards. I doubt you see Moses push Jack or rotate much with him this season; Moses is a rookie and Jack is perhaps the Jaguars' best defensive player. Where Moses eventually could fit remains to be seen and figures to be a long-term issue. In the short-term I'd see him as a special teams player and reserve. Stay tuned.

Matt from Savannah, GA

O-Man, love the O-Zone. At this point in the offseason, and in your opinion, how many players do you think are a reasonable lock for the 53-man final roster?

I counted 40 players I believe are pretty much locks, with five or six more players in the category of being very surprising if they weren't on the roster. The number grows if you include players who could be on the practice squad, and remember: Five or six players every season get released late in the preseason and still are realistically part of the team's plans as practice-squad players who eventually play extensively because of injuries. If you include those, there are about 52 or 53 players currently on the 90-man roster that I'm pretty sure figure in the team's 2021 plans.

Chris from Mandarin

If nothing else, John, I appreciate your self-awareness. It's OK if you aren't cool. You're sort of sometimes funny and provide a good service about the Jaguars. Yes, we like you, even if your taste in pizza chains is really, really bad. Sbarro SUCKS! That's why it's closing.

I am cool. Being a Sbarro's visionary is one reason for this. But just one.

Bill from Ponte Vedra, FL

Are rookie quarterbacks exceptions to the normal rules regarding playing time in the preseason? Seems they need the reps under game conditions more than other players.

Rookie quarterbacks who are expected to start in their first season often do play more in the preseason than veteran, experienced quarterbacks. This previously might have entailed an extra series or two in the first two preseason games and maybe an extra quarter somewhere along the line – often with the offensive line and some skill players also getting increased time for the sake of cohesion, timing, etc. It's tricky to know how that could look this year because of the NFL's move from four preseason games to three. It's a whole new ballgame out there, I tell ya! Chaos could ensue.

David from Maplewood, NJ

John, Tim Tebow's fan base extends well beyond Jaguar or even general NFL fans. I'm sure there are many Jags fans that love him but not enough to make his jersey No. 1 across the entire NFL. He has fans based on his beliefs that could not care what team he's on or if he's on a team at all.

Well, yes.

Tom from Charlottesville, VA

Lawrence should have invited center Brandon Linder to the wedding!! On 341 pass blocking snaps in 2020, Pro Football Focus had Linder allowing zero QB hits, only one sack and just three hurries for a total of four pressures. He also earned the highest pass-blocking grade among centers (87.6), which matches my computer-vision results showing that he prevented defenders from entering a three-foot halo around his quarterback at the best rate amongst centers on passing downs. It seems Head Coach Urban Meyer is giving us some major clues about his desire to run the ball (drafting running back Travis Etienne in the first round) and protect No. 1 overall selection Trevor Lawrence as he adjusts to the NFL game, which makes Linder's role even more impactful.

Hey, one fer Linder! And yes … he has been one of the Jaguars' most consistently good players for much of the last seven years. And a reliable center is as important to find as it can be difficult. Pretty much the only thing Linder hasn't done consistently in his career is stay healthy; had he done so, he probably would be acknowledged as one of the NFL's better players at his position. I can't blame Lawrence for not inviting Linder to the wedding considering he didn't know him yet, but I imagine the two will be very close. Very soon.

CD from Fleming Island, FL

I don't have a strong opinion on this Tebow issue and tend to agree with your assessment: it's a good story. If he makes the team, awesome. If not, we move on. But I do kinda take issue with all the statisticians out there with either "are the same people as" arguments or the "majority of people hate this move" opinions. The reality is that comment culture will always result in the squeakiest wheels getting the grease. But on social media posts or forums with comments that seem overly negative, you typically see a way larger ratio of likes/thumbs-up. They just don't feel compelled to write (or complain to their local sportswriter) about it. To me, it's a symptom similar to this era of hot takes and predictions. (I feel I'm not that old, but then again, I would prefer people not walk in my yard. And I did say "squeakiest wheels get the grease" above. #@$%....)


Kyle from Muscatine, IA

Hey KOAF, several reporters close to the Jaguars have alluded to the many "behind the scenes" improvements that Urban has been making – increased staff, new facilities, better food, etc. Could you please expound on this? How different is this support staff from those of the past, or others around the league? And do you see it already having an impact?

Meyer during his first few months as the Jaguars' head coach has focused on sports performance -- strength-and-conditioning, nutrition, etc. – with specific team personnel working with players at specific positions in those areas. Facilities are also being enhanced, with more significant upgrades likely. And Linder last week spoke of better food. Head Coach Urban Meyer's focus has been to be the best of the best in these areas, with a main focus on players having access to all aspects of this on site as opposed to having to go to specialists outside the team. This latter part is different from the past and is different from many teams around the NFL. As far as the immediate impact … players have talked positively of the changes, and there is full attendance in the offseason program. That participation is one of Meyer's objectives, so yeah … there's an impact.

Chris from Roseville, CA

If we decide to trade quarterback Gardner Minshew II, hopefully we can find a GM who valued someone like Josh Dobbs with a fifth. That kind of general manager would probably give up a second for Minshew.

Better yet, if the Jaguars could find someone who could get a sixth-round selection for Blaine Gabbert and a fourth-round selection for Nick Foles … that would be doubly awesome.

Leon from Austin, TX

Zone: Good thing Chris Jericho didn't burst into your office. Bet you would have shown them how it's done. DTWD!

Chris Jericho knows where to find me.

Zac from Austin, Tejas

Why do you think fans are so obsessed with practice footage and do you cast any judgements for it?

This is the latest in a long line of questions regarding why fans act as they do. It is hard enough to explain why seemingly "normal" members of our species behave as they do. To try to peer into the minds of "fans" is more difficult – perhaps even perilous. As for why fans like practice footage … it's something close to football and it's the only way fans can get a glimpse of their players in the offseason. Either way, mine is not to cast judgements on fans for such things. Mine is to just keep hoping the code works every morning. So far, so good.

Definitely KLavion Chassion fromLSU

What water do you like to drink?

The kind with hops in it.