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O-Zone: I kid, I kid

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Brian from Round Rock, TX:
Here's my bold, unsolicited, worthless prediction: Luke Joeckel is named starting left tackle next week … Here's my thinking: (1) Kelvin Beachum was brought in on a prove-it deal as security and to push Joeckel; (2) Beachum is coming off a serious injury and there is a lot of uncertainty about his health; it's probably asking too much for him to start with little offseason/preseason participation; (3) Joeckel received the message the leadership was sending and bought into Head Coach Gus Bradley's methods of competition and unselfishness; (4) Joeckel is Dave Caldwell's first pick and I'm sure Dave wants to see him succeed; and finally (5) Joeckel has earned it. Do you agree?
John: You make good points. I think Beachum will wind up starting at left tackle this season for a couple of reasons. His play with Pittsburgh when healthy the last few seasons indicates he's really good there – and he hasn't worked at guard very much. Joeckel was impressive enough at left guard during training camp that putting Joeckel at guard and Beachum at tackle may be the most logical way to get the team's best five linemen on the field. That doesn't seem fair to Joeckel after the way he has played in the preseason, but it seems like there's a good chance it plays out that way. One thought on your thoughts, though: No. 3 implies that Joeckel somehow hadn't bought into Bradley's message of competition and unselfishness before this season and offseason. I've never gotten that impression. While Joeckel in the past hasn't always played well as consistently as the team would have liked, that had nothing to do with being selfish.
Emiel from Jacksonville:
Why does Inside the Jaguars replay so much footage from interviews? The interviews are also available to watch on the team's website, so I feel like I am just watching the same thing twice :(
John: I'll pass this on to the people who oversee such things on this free website.
Mike from Des Moines, IA:
This one is out of left field. What do you think of David Caldwell's interest level if Terrance Knighton gets cut by the Patriots? Throw him in the rotation at nose tackle. Their philosophy on defensive linemen is the more the merrier. The Pats got him on a one-year $4 million deal but doesn't seem to be adjusting to the two-gap scheme. Could be a low cost value move.
John: I don't expect the Jaguars to make many post-cut-day acquisitions this season. Considering the depth the team has on the defensive front I'd be surprised if the Jaguars sign a nose tackle at that time.
Ross from Madison, WI:
O, I have heard the comparisons between our rebuilding process and Seattle's for the last couple years. Is Chris Ivory our version of Beast Mode? Sure looks like it!!! #east-beast-mode
John: I don't know that I'm ready to call Chris Ivory "Marshawn Lynch East," but yeah … there are stylistic similarities between the two players. And without question the Jaguars hope to use Ivory in a similar fashion.
Vince from Jacksonville:
John, going back to Ethan's comment from Saturday about Jalen, I think he'll be more effective at safety. I watched him hold the boundary in the first quarter in the Bucs game, and just keep thinking "This kid may be one of the best run supporting DBs in the league very soon." Where do you think Ramsey will be starting in 2018, safety or corner?
John: Cornerback.
Mike from Des Moines, IA:
We've been hearing a lot about Dante Fowler Jr. and Jalen Ramsey. Does Myles Jack have the size and strength to hold up against the run right now? I thought that his speed and coverage skills would mean that he isn't very big, but 6-feet-1 245 pounds isn't exactly small.
John: Jack will hold up fine against the run. His issue right now is far more learning the defense and getting to the point where the game slows down than it is size. He's been practicing in the NFL essentially for about a month. He said this week he's feeling more and more comfortable and grasping the defense more and more. I don't think it will be long before Jack is on the field in a key role. Stay tuned.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
Why are people making such a big deal that the Jaguars-versus-Bengals game a Sunday Night game on NBC? I've heard numerous claims that the Jaguars have never played a Sunday Night game, a game on NBC, or a Sunday Night game on NBC. All of these claims are false. For the record, the Jaguars played twice on NBC in 2008: preseason versus the Redskins and regular season versus the Steelers. Al Michaels and John Madden called the games, and with all due respect, were a better broadcast crew than the Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth team. Is it a big deal because the Jaguars are having a glorified practice in front of a national audience? I guess so. I like the hype, but let's please wait until the team is again playing in a regular-season prime-time game before we anoint it to be a big-time, meaningful event.
John: Prime-time, national television is cool. People like it – even in preseason. Is it so bad for people to be excited?
Larry from Jacksonville:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like Fred Taylor didn't look very good at all in his first preseason. I'm not saying Dante Fowler Jr. or Myles Jack will turn it on suddenly as Fred did but just wait and see how they do when it counts. Sure, it would help if they flashed in the preseason but it still wouldn't guarantee anything.
John: There's a lot of angst over Fowler among fans, and perhaps there's a little angst over Jack. It's all premature and unnecessary. The Jaguars have three high-profile players – Jack, Jalen Ramsey and Fowler – with phenomenal ability who never have played a regular-season snap. Ramsey has flashed in preseason while Fowler and Jack have not. It wouldn't be unusual if one or two of that group don't flash much at all this season. Rookies in the NFL often take time before reaching their potential. It in fact would be very, very unusual if all three of the players made huge impacts. The NFL is a difficult league and the most talented players need time before reaching their potential. This is something people don't believe and often don't want to accept. That doesn't mean it's not true.
Frankie from London, England:
Mr. O, how do you think Marqise Lee's injury issues over the past couple of years will affect his payday? There's no doubting his potential elite talent, but do the last two years provide a blotch on negotiations in the franchise's favor?
John: Lee's contract runs through 2017, so I don't know that there's any real hurry for the Jaguars to negotiate with Lee before this season ends – or before the end of 2017, for that matter. If Lee is healthy throughout the next two seasons and plays to his potential then injuries won't be much of a factor when he signs a contract following 2017. Would that contract be with the Jaguars or another team? It's way too early to tell, with much depending on how Lee plays and the rest of the Jaguars' salary-cap situation.
Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
John, I was very happy to see the Jags draft Sheldon Day from Notre Dame. I also was thrilled to see his progress at the beginning of camp. However, my gut is telling me that the next announcement from the team is that he's being placed on IR. Please tell me I'm overreacting.
John: That's not the sense I'm getting from this yet.
Daniel from Jacksonville:
All this concern over Dante Fowler Jr. not having a sack in game action yet. Let's flip it around. How concerning is it for our offensive line that they had been getting dominated by a guy most of training camp who has yet to have a sack on the field?
John: Not very – primarily because the offensive line has played very well as a group in two preseason games.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
Why are NFL preseason games not all scheduled to be played on Thursday, Sunday, and Monday at similar kickoff times, like the regular season? Why are preseason games seemingly played on random days and start at random kickoff times?
John: Regular-season games are played at uniform times each week because they need to adhere to national- and regional-television schedules. The vast majority of preseason games are only broadcast locally and on team-determined regional networks. That allows teams to schedule with less rigidness. Preseason games also are usually scheduled early on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings in an effort to increase attendance.
Steve from Section 206:
Dear John, at 0-2 I don't see much improvement with this team. Is Sunday night a must-win or will Gus and Dave be in the hot seat at 0-3?
John: You're kidding. I know you're kidding. I hope you're kidding.

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