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O-Zone: Irrefutable evidence

Jags Fan 818:

Hey, Zone: A couple of questions about referees ejecting players. Would this be from what officials see – or would a review verify if the player/players warranted the eviction? I know it would take more time to review it, but if they did, then Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey wouldn't have been evicted unjustly during the Bengals game last year. Also, as Myles Jack wasn't down, why don't the refs let it play out? They can always review and change the call as they often do. We got cheated several times last year because of that. Go Jags!

John: The way it was initially explained at the NFL 2018 Annual Meetings in March is that the new rule regarding lowering the helmet would not be subject to review – and I have heard nothing to indicate that ejections will begin falling under review. As for the head-lowering rule specifically, I continue to believe this won't have nearly the negative impact on the game as many initially feared – and that we won't really know how the rule is going to be officiated until a few weeks into the season. I don't know that the review system necessarily would have changed the Ramsey situation last season. While he shouldn't have been ejected against Cincinnati, the judgement call just as easily could have been misinterpreted by a review official. As for the Jack play against New England in the AFC Championship Game and other similar Jaguars plays last season … yes, officials should let plays play out before blowing them dead. That's the ideal and they are encouraged to do so if they are in doubt. But sometimes they err and blow the whistle – and sometimes they are sure a play is dead even when they are wrong to believe that. That's what happened in the Jack play against New England. It's unfortunate. It happened too often to the Jaguars last season. Way too often. And obviously in the most critical time possible.

Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:

Can you believe how fast this area has grown? You knew it was coming but not this fast. Do you think this city is ready for a Super Bowl?

John: Realistically? Probably not. That's because the ideal downtown infrastructure for a Super Bowl – multiple premium hotels and many higher-end hotels along with restaurants in a central area – isn't in place. But I do think the city will be ready for the NFL Draft once the recent proposals by Jaguars Owner Shad Khan, the Jaguars and the City of Jacksonville start getting into play. After that, who knows?

Mark from Oceanway:

I was impressed with DJ Chark at the press conference. He seemed humble and affable and his answers were thoughtful and interesting. What was your impression meeting him?

John: Same.

Jason from St. Augustine, FL:

Jags should grab AP. Imagine him spelling Leonard Fournette and teaching him and the other backs. Both are injury prone but at the right price it could work. AP looked good last year. He is a year healthier from the knee. He is an elusive, fast, strong runner that will land in the Hall. He may provide some leadership, which suddenly has some notable gaps.

John: Meh. Running back with rare exceptions is a young man's trade and the Jaguars are growing their own leaders.

Eddy from Miami, FL:

Hey, I don't know if this is something you have answered already, but I have not seen it yet. Everything I keep reading is that Chark is going to bring something that the Jaguars didn't have last season. Which was taking the top off the defense and forcing the safety to play 20 yards off the line of scrimmage. Didn't we have this last year with Cole as a deep threat?

John: You're correct that Keelan Colendoesn't get enough credit as a deep threat. He showed serious signs of being that in the second half of last season, and the Jaguars believe strongly that he will develop into not only a deep threat but a serious all-field threat in Year 2. There's no reason that Chark can't develop into this, too. That would be cool. Fans would like it. Because two in this case is, you know, better than one.

Stinker from Duval:

Not a question. Anybody that doesn't think Blake Bortles can win a Super Bowl needs to google Eli Manning's stats for 2007.

John: Or they could look at Bortles' statistics from last season.

Nate from St. Petersburg, FL:

Hey buddy, while I know you're defending Bortles in an unbiased and professional manner (spittin' facts), and you've said time and time again that you don't "root" for anyone with respect to your career (I still can't wrap my head around how you were able to just shut off your support of the Redskins when you became a journalist), when it's all said and done would you call yourself a "fan" of Blake? I mean, you're the best at what you do, but you're still a human being and it's inhumane to dislike Blake Bortles. #thatsmyquarterback

John: I'm not a "fan" of Bortles. I do like the guy. How can you not? He's helpful, humble, works hard and generally speaking carries himself well as the Jaguars' quarterback. He might consider locking the car door or taking the wallet and keys inside with him, but beyond that? Yeah, good dude.

Chris from Columbia:

Please tell all of these sheeple (especially those from Iowa) jumping on the Allen Lazard train, that big receivers do not necessarily translate to NFL level talent ... please see Dorial Green-Beckham. He is far from the only exception (and, I digress, obviously had his own off-field issues). I wish Lazard well and hope he does make it on the team, but size and athleticism are not the only factors when being drafted or determining continued success in the NFL. I give him a 10 percent chance to make the team given the level of talent already on our roster.

John: Lazard will have every opportunity to earn a chance on the team as an undrafted rookie. Cole made the team in that capacity last offseason, and appears to be a key part of the team's future at wide receiver. My purpose in pointing out that the chances of Lazard or any other undrafted players making an NFL roster are slim was not to say that their tasks were impossible; rather it was to point out that going undrafted means the league thinks it's a long shot that you'll make it for some reason. Therefore, expectations for those players should be kept to a minimum. That doesn't mean those expectations can't be reached or exceeded. They can. But if it happens it's a bonus.

Travis from North Dakota, SD:

Since you are one of the most tenured persons around the building you must have some pull around that place right? If you were to say, "Bring the ping pong table back to the locker room," there's really not much Coughlin or Marrone could say or do about it can they.

John: There are things they could say. People can always say things. I don't know that I would repeat them in this space.

Damian from Outer Space:

I feel like even if the Jags win a Super Bowl, everyone would still treat Bortles like Trent Dilfer. What does this guy have to do to silence the doubters?

John: Well, winning the Super Bowl probably would be a start.

Julio from Southern Cal:

O, I am thinking of attending the home opener. I have not been to a home game since 2003. How is the drive from Orlando to Jacksonville? Only non-stop flights are LAX to Orlando.

John: It's a-ite.

Alon from Malibu, CA:

Do you see the Jaguars signing any of the remaining veteran free agents? I understand that the Jaguars are happy with what they got but Albert Morris or Eddie Lacy I think would be good insurance at running back and Conner Barwin or Navarro Bowman may be good backups or competition for Blair Brown at linebacker.

John: I wouldn't spend a lot of time combing the lists of available veterans. It's not impossible the Jaguars could look there, but it's unlikely – and the impact of those players probably isn't enough to make the effort worthwhile.

Kyle from Green Cove Springs, FL:

I think people are really discrediting Cody Kessler as a capable back up. (In my opinion) He played better than any Cleveland quarterback since Derek Anderson. Maybe not as well as Brian Hoyer, either, but as we've seen, both of those guys are outstanding backup quarterbacks. So, I can definitely get on the Kessler bandwagon.

John: Hey … one fer Cody!

Mason from Palm Bay, FL:

I know you are employed by only the Jaguars, but do you ever look around the league at other team's roosters and compare?

John: No. Until I see or hear irrefutable evidence to the contrary, I will assume the Jaguars have far and away the league's best rooster.

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