O-Zone: Joy to the world

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Jerell from Columbia, SC

If either defensive end Yannick Ngakoue or linebacker Myles Jack leave via free agency, then wouldn’t that be considered a mistake for the Jags? I mean, you draft two good players and fail to keep both – as we just did with A-Rob – yet we have spent big money signing other team’s players. I just don’t get this team. The losing has a lot to do with those in the front office.

Ngakoue and Jack are separate issues, and a lot of time remains for both situations to play out. If the Jaguars don’t re-sign either player, it would be disappointing – for fans, for the team, and almost certainly for the players. But while the front office likely would come under criticism in that scenario, I don’t know that we can predetermine it is a mistake. The Jaguars have misjudged nothing regarding Ngakoue and Jack. They know they are good players. They would like to re-sign them both. They have had talks with Ngakoue about a contract extension and didn’t agree with Ngakoue on what he’s worth. That’s a disagreement, but time will tell if it’s a mistake. As far as spending big money on other team’s players, you ideally spend on your own. But some of the big money the Jaguars have spent has been on free agents such defensive end Calais Campbell, defensive tackle Malik Jackson, cornerback A.J. Bouye, safety Tashaun Gipson and cornerback D.J. Hayden. Considering the contributions those players have made – and that many continue to make – it’s hard to say the Jaguars haven’t benefitted at least somewhat from the approach.

Unhipcat from Carslbad, CA

Sexy readers. There are also sexy readers.

Says you.

Dave from Severna Park, MD

It may be too early to call Taven Bryan a bust, but we better hope he doesn't get on the field much. If he plays like he did during the first half in Miami, how can the Jaguars justify keeping him over some the other great talents vying for defensive line positions?

I expect Bryan to be in the defensive line rotation because he has talent and ability – and because he’s a first-round selection. And because the coaches believe he should be in the rotation. I expect if he continues to draw two roughing-the-passer penalties in one half his playing time could be adversely affected.

Eric from SoulParadise

Why do u answers so many smart questions?

You can do better than this. I have faith in you.

Nathan from St. Augustine, FL

John: Great to see left tackle Cam Robinson back, but he played what? Six plays? Will he be limited in Week 1 in playing time against the Kansas City Chiefs? Or is it just go time and work your way into playing shape? Seems a lot to ask a 320-pound left tackle to go from six plays to playing a full four quarters.

The Jaguars had Robinson on a play count against the Dolphins Thursday. The plan was for him to play six plays and that’s what he played. He will have 17 days from that game until the regular-season opener against Kansas City and there’s no reason to believe the plan won’t be for him to play the entire game. Two and a half weeks is a lot of time in the ACL return process.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

John, you’ve often made the point that no NFL teams ever have as much depth as they’d like. But depth is important. What are your biggest depth concerns going into this season? (Mine are offensive tackle and the linebacker group.)

Those are good choices. I would add tight end as well.

Steve from Cancun, Mexico

JO: Do you agree L4 will have a very good year if the offensive line stays healthy and he really wants to stay a Jaguar?

Wanting to be with the Jaguars won’t influence how running back Leonard Fournette does this season, but I believe if he and the offensive line remain healthy – and if he runs as hard as he did Thursday – he will have a big season.

Paul from Jacksonville

When you referenced "sexy senior writers," to which of the other thirty-one teams were you referring?

It was a generality. Nothing specific.

Andrew from Mattoon, IL

For those who think Andrew Luck's retirement will make the Jags season ... do you have plans to get Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady to retire? Because it appears to me that the AFC Championship goes through one of those two gentlemen.

You should build your team so that other teams worry about beating you. Not vice-versa. The Jaguars’ defense appears to be good enough that if the offense is improved, they can be such a team. Stay tuned.

Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

John, not for nothing but I thought it was a totally classless move for some Colts fans to boo Andrew Luck as he left the field Saturday night. Go Jags!!

Fans gonna fan. Even in Indianapolis, and particularly in the immediate emotion of the moment.

Ed from Jacksonville

I'm probably one of the few that believe you about Taven Bryan. If you were the GM would you keep him or try to trade him for what can he be traded for? Is there even a team desperate enough to want to trade for him?

I believe Bryan is a talented player who has been inconsistent this preseason and who hasn’t yet shown he’s ready to be an NFL starter because of that inconsistency. Why this is hard to believe I don’t know. I wouldn’t trade Bryan if I were the general manager because that inconsistency means I wouldn’t get much in return.

Mark from Archer, FL

John, with Andrew Luck's sudden retirement which team do you think is the front runner to win this division now?

The Houston Texans.

Al from Orange Park, FL

Some wise senior writer has often written that it often takes a year or two for defensive linemen to adapt to the NFL. Has defensive end Dawuane Smoot finally turned that corner? Or, am I putting too much weight on a couple of meaningless preseason plays? Part 2, maybe a little more patience with Taven Bryan might be warranted …

Defensive linemen often improve with experience because they learn how to use their hands and leverage more effectively. Smoot has played better during this training camp and preseason than in his first two seasons, in part because he is bigger and stronger than he was early in his career. I expect him to make the team with a chance to have a more significant impact this season. As for Bryan, the team indeed is having patience. He’s going to have to improve and be more consistent.

Don from Marshall, NC

Taven Bryan is what? Twenty-three years old? He has not lived up to where he was drafted but, man: give him a break. He is just getting started and he is not terrible now. Time will tell, but first you have to give him time. He is for sure not a weak link on this team, so why do fans want to criticize him so much? Don’t you want to see him play well? I hope he makes the Pro Bowl. Go Jaguars!

Fans criticize Bryan because he has been inconsistent and because he was a first-round draft selection. Had he been selected in the top of the second round, the noise would be quieter. It wouldn’t mean he was playing any better, but the noise would be quieter.

Tom from Charlotte, NC

Why do people think coaches are playing to win preseason games? Clearly the goal is to stay healthy, evaluate players and keep the playbook vanilla, right?

I don’t know. Yes.

Bradley from Oceanside, CA

If you combined Alabama and Clemson, could they at least go 1-15 playing in the NFL? They would have probably 60-to-80 future draft picks including 20-to-25 first-rounders and possibly the next two No. 1 overall picks at quarterback, both of whom could start for more than a few NFL teams right now.

No, they would go 0-16. If you had those same players in the primes of their careers the answer might be different.

Paul from Jacksonville

The reason I think the team has a shot to be good his season is that it’s the preseason. We looked awful in the preseason before.

Panic was the watchword during the 2017 preseason. The team came within four minutes of the Super Bowl. I don’t know how the season will play out. I do know that what we’ve seen so far in this preseason doesn’t tell us much about what will happen in the coming months.

Emiel from Tennessee

Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone seemed just as bummed in his last presser as he did after he was robbed a trip to the Super Bowl.

Marrone is not given to happiness every day. This bothers some people. It doesn’t bother me a lick. Joy is an illusion.

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