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O-Zone: I've had a few

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

unhipcat from carlsbad, ca

Oh, hi John. Re: Cam Robinson, Alabama Head Coach Saban described him as the most NFL-ready player at any position he ever has coached. That hasn't yet been evident. He had a rough rookie season, then the injury, then a very so-so-at-best last season. What happened? Is it the Jags' offensive-line coaching? Is it the Jags' offensive-line teaching philosophy? Their blocking techniques (which I assume can vary from team to team)? Was Saban that wrong? What do we need to see happen for his evaluation to become fact, and how likely do you think it will occur?

You may be looking too deep into this – or at least looking in the wrong place. Robinson, after being selected in the second round in the 2017 NFL Draft, played OK as a rookie – not great, but fine for a rookie playing left tackle in the NFL; he needed to improve to reach his potential, but that's normal for for rookies. He struggled early in 2018 but played just a little over a game before sustaining a torn anterior cruciate ligament injury. He then played just so-so – if that – last season. So, Robinson through three seasons actually has played about two very incomplete seasons. The Jaguars believe he will progress this season – in large part because he should be fully recovered from the torn ACL. But your question implies there's no way Saban could have been wrong – and that if Robinson isn't good, it's the Jaguars' fault. Football people are wrong about college prospects all the time, and that includes experienced and successful football people with far better NFL credentials than Saban. Scouting prospects is an imperfect science, a percentage game if you will. You hope you're right a bit more than you're wrong, and you do everything possible to improve your chances of being right by even a few percentage points. That's the difficulty of the process. As for Robinson … I do think he has a chance to be successful. To do so, he must improve his technique and consistency. We'll see.

Ty from Fleming Island, FL

O-Zone, with Gardner Minshew II certain to be the starting quarterback, how do you see it shaping up with the other three quarterbacks on the roster (Joshua Dobbs, Mike Glennon and Jake Luton) as to who will be the No. 2 quarterback? Also, do you think there is any chance they will keep three quarterbacks on the roster or could any of them find a place on the practice squad?

I expect Minshew to start for the Jaguars at quarterback in 2020 with Glennon serving as the backup and Luton on the practice squad.

Robert from Jacksonville

HEY! Thanks for posting my comments, but you provided my last name under "from!"

It's all part of the plan.

David from Chulouta, FL

Zone – Everybody is hoping this football season will go down without a hitch. I think this is a pipe dream. At some point one player, two players or more are going to be diagnosed with the Coronavirus. It will eventually lead to a significant number of players that will refuse to play in fear for their health. Heaven forbid a player dies from the virus; that would be devastating to the league. This is not even considering the concerns of 50,000 fans packed into a stadium. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I just don't see how this season is going to get off the ground. Thoughts?

The NFL season almost certainly won't "go down without a hitch." No sports season likely will "go down without a hitch" for the foreseeable future. Players and people involved with the NFL and other professional sports league will get diagnosed with COVID-19. The people planning the 2020 season are well aware of this. The mystery isn't whether that will happen as much as how leagues and teams will deal with it when it happens. The goal of the NFL is to be as cautious as possible and to keep as many players – and essential people around the players – in a comparatively safe "bubble," thereby keeping positive cases to a minimum. If the numbers are kept low enough, perhaps the league can play a season while navigating the very obvious and unavoidable – and hopefully, occasional – positive cases. This won't be easy. No one said it would be. The season likely will face more unusual obstacles than any season in NFL history. There's no guarantee of a complete season, but considering the collective desire of fans and the league I wouldn't rule it out.

Brian from Jacksonville

Listening to Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone is, you know, interesting. He's really, you know, has a thoughtful way, you know, of approaching, you know, his job. Thoughtful, but, you know, exhausting. Can coach Marrone learn to, you know, reduce the New York, influence? Geezo peezo.

Congratulations on your, you know, uncriticizable perfection.

Ross from Mechanicsville, VA

So, the franchise tag can be used three times in succession – if I read your answer right. Have you ever known this to happen? I think I remember the Jaguars used it twice on safety Donovin Darius. Thanks for livening the dead zone!

The only times I recall an NFL player having the franchise tag applied to him three times were Seattle Seahawks left tackle Walter Jones (2002-2004) and St. Louis Rams left tackle Orlando Pace (2003-2005).

Jane from Mandarin, FL

Zone, if one of the jobs of an offensive quality control coach is to make sure players' shoes are tied correctly, I'm not sure Denard Robinson is qualified …

Fair – and true.

Don from Marshall, NC

If you were a player and they franchised you, would you be disappointed? To me it looks like you could bank. That is, if your man enough.

I imagine I would be disappointed to be franchised because receiving the franchise tag delays a player's chance for a long-term contract mega-guaranteed money. Receiving the franchise tag for a year guarantees a salary for that season, but a long-term deal usually provides more up-front signing bonus – and therefore greater long-term financial security.

Pedal Bin from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK

Oh Mighty 'O' / King of Funk, as we enter the Dead Zone ... if Jaguars Owner Shad Khan told you to organize a concert before the first game of the season at Daily's Place, who is on your three-band bill? They have to be available to play so you can't have R.E.M. or any other non-touring/split-up bands.

When you take away non-touring bands, you take away a lot of my wheelhouse: the Ramones, the Clash, John Prine, R.E.M. That's because I'm old and out of date – and not just musically. I don't know that Khan would like my personal three-band bill because it wouldn't be a real "fire-up-the-crowd, bang-your-head" show. I would go Elvis Costello, Van Morrison … and let's go with the Drive-By Truckers if they could get Jason Isbell to re-join for the show. Of people touring, those are the shows I would be most apt to not miss if they were near me.

Scott from Jacksonville

People have apparently forgotten that prior to the events of 9/11, the National Anthem was not typically televised on game days, but only for major championships like the Super Bowl and the World Series. After 9/11, televising the Anthem for all NFL and MLB games went a long way toward healing a broken-hearted nation. Taking it away from games would break a lot of hearts all over again.


Lloyd from Section 202 for 25 years and going

I look at the players kneeling this way. When the National Anthem is playing, my hat is off my head and paying attention to the performance (while hoping a jet will fly over, heck even a Jett). I see thousands of fans in the stadium with a hat on their head, paying no attention at all and just talking away. And some of those are probably the same ones that complain.

You're not wrong.

Shawn from the Mean Streets of Arlington

I think the NFL will play this season because $$$. Would you agree?

Yes. Fans unquestionably want the NFL season to be played because of a love for football and a desire for some sense of normalcy. Teams undoubtedly want to play the season because there is a lot of money at stake – which, incidentally, also is a reason for players want it to happen.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, a long time ago, while visiting Vegas, I as on my way to the George Carlin show. I stopped by a casino on the way for just a few minutes and the next thing you know I missed the show, and lost all my money. He died not long afterward and it's one of life's biggest regrets. Do you have any big regrets?

More than you can imagine, Daniel. So much more.