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O-Zone: Just say yes

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Nate from Granby, MO

Are there any players who are eligible for the Hall of Fame for the first year that could potentially keep Tony Boselli out?

This is a pertinent question; it often is the first-ballot Hall of Fame candidates that crop up and delay induction for many multiple-year finalists playing the waiting game for enshrinement. Boselli, a five-time Pro Bowl selection for the Jaguars from 1996-2000 and a Hall finalist the past two years, certainly falls into that category. As for this year’s first-time-eligible class, it’s a very good group. Cornerback Champ Bailey (Denver, Washington), safety Ed Reed (Baltimore, Houston) and tight end Tony Gonzalez (Kansas City, Atlanta) will be in their first year of eligibility this year. Gonzalez seems like a lock to get in his first year and the other two will have a very good chance. Considering the recent and growing propensity of voters to get eligible candidates in as quickly as possible, I would expect all three to be inducted in February. That doesn’t mean Boselli won’t get in, but it could mean him essentially needing to be inducted in one of the other two spots in what almost always is a five-person modern-era class.

Andy from St. Augustine, FL

So, I'm curious as to how all of the people that are "not coming back until the ads are gone" will know when the ads are gone …

Instinct.

Brian from Gainesville, FL

Big O, please let Chris from Waverly, GA that the best part of Rocky II is when Adrian wakes from the coma and tells Rocky to “win” and then suddenly music starts to well up and Mick jumps up and screams in his craggily, salt of the earth tenor, “What are we waitin’ for?!?!” That’s good stuff.

Good stuff? That’s gold, Jerry … Gold! Even if the rest of the movie had been terrible – which it wasn’t – that scene would have made it worth watching. More than once.

Dory from Amarillo, TX

You Ain't the King of Me Boy!

You should google this.

Rick from Franconia, VA

O, the Jags’ 2015 NFL Draft was highly regarded in part because the Jags drafted wide receiver Rashad Greene Sr. and defensive tackle Michael Bennett in the fifth and sixth rounds respectively – and both were viewed as major Day 3 steals. You’ve made the point you believe it was telling that the Jags kept Greene on the roster despite injuries keeping from being productive over much of his career and his performance in organized team activities seems to have validated their belief in him. Can the same be said for Bennett, who also hasn’t been released despite his inability to stay healthy? Do you think he is a guy the Jags think highly of with a real chance to contribute in 2018?

I’m always a touch wary of regarding drafts highly because of well-known players who slip and who are thus regarded as “steals;” there more often than not is a reason a player slipped further than analysts expect. But you’re right that Bennett and Greene were regarded as steals in ’15 – and Greene absolutely was a major story of the Jaguars’ 2018 offseason program. I do believe he has a real chance to make this roster this September. It’s hard to put Bennett in the same class as Greene because it’s difficult to tell how a defensive linemen did during non-padded offseason work – and because the Jaguars’ depth at defensive line will make it difficult for Bennett to make a big contribution next season.

Bill from Orange Park and Section 104

It's been a while since we talked Krystals. I was at a wedding at Epping Forest a couple of weeks back and just before the end – about 10 p.m. – the father of the bride walked onto the dance floor with tray after tray of Krystal burgers and Krispy Kreme donuts. It was an epically good idea.

Shad Khan … hire that man!!!

Steve from Nashville, TN

Why are coaches hired and players signed? Do not coaches have contracts as well? 

Just because – and yes, they do. It’s a wording thing. Coaches are also signed.

Scott from New York City

Multiple roster predictions have the Jags only keeping four running backs next season. With the prevalence for injuries at the position and the fact that we dressed at least four going back as far as I can remember, doesn't that seem a little risky?

I can’t speak for other roster predictions. I can tell you that I believe the Jaguars will keep five running backs next season, including fullback Tommy Bohanon. I believe the other four will be Leonard Fournette, Corey Grant, T.J. Yeldon and possibly Tim Cook. If Cook does not make the team, I do imagine the Jaguars will seek a veteran running back; that’s a position that’s comparatively easy to add during the preseason because a running back can pick up running assignments relatively quickly. And yes … I think it would be a bit risky to keep three. I wouldn’t rule it out as a possibility, but I would see it as risky.

Bart from My House

I'm gonna miss those two-toned helmets.

You’re not alone. (You’re close to alone, but you’re not quite alone.)

Dave from Oviedo, FL

Zone – Why do you think NFL fans “boo” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell? Were previous NFL Commissioners given the same treatment?

I suppose people boo NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for a number of reasons, not the least of which I suppose is that it become somewhat fashionable to do so. He has made some decisions during his tenure some people don’t like, and he started a while back getting booed for some of those decisions. People saw this happen on television and thought it was funny. So, they kept booing at subsequent appearances. I have gotten the idea lately that people are booing not so much because they don’t like Goodell or even because anything he did; rather, it seems people like being part of the joke – whether or not they get the joke’s meaning. But no, I don’t remember previous NFL Commissioners getting the same treatment.

Mr. Padre from St. Mary’s, GA

What is the over/under on the number of "Myles Jack Wasn't Down" signs for the game on September 16?

Seven. No, wait. More than that.

Ray from Jacksonville

As to the defensive performance in the Steelers playoff game, a couple of the touchdowns would have been made even if Darrell Green and Deion Sanders were playing double coverage. The quarterback made perfect throws. Oh, and the receiver is pretty good, too.

This is a point that too often has been lost among people who see the Pittsburgh Steelers’ six touchdowns the Jaguars’ 45-42 AFC Divisional Playoff victory as a black mark on the Jaguars’ defense. Make no mistake: the Jaguars’ defense wasn’t thrilled with the points allowed that day – and cornerback A.J Bouye was particularly bothered by a couple of plays allowed to Steelers All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown. At the same time, a review of that game shows your assessment is correct – that multiple Steelers touchdowns in that game would have been touchdowns against pretty much any defense and pretty much any defensive back. Some commentators – and some quarterbacks – like to use the phrase, “There’s no defense for the perfect throw.” There’s a lot of truth to that. If a play is executed perfectly, it’s very difficult to defend a well-thrown ball. An interception is one of the most difficult plays in the NFL and usually is the result of an offensive mistake more than a great play by the defender. The Jaguars’ defense wasn’t perfect in Pittsburgh in January, but the Steelers’ success offensively was far more about Brown and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger than it was a deficiency in the Jaguars’ secondary.

Mark from Prescott, AZ

Football. Eagles won't be there. Jaguars 15-3, going in.

Football. I assume this is a Super Bowl prediction. Or something. Maybe. I don’t know. Probably. I’m out. #DTWD

Bonnie from Jacksonville

... Mounds don't. (Clearly not a question but a dead zone continuation of an O-Zone response)

No, they don’t.

Bill Belich... from Boston, MA

Johnny, tell me more about Niles Paul and that Corey Grant guy. What's his role shaping up as? Do you think the Jaguars might use him in some new ways like they did the last time they played? You can tell me, John: your secrets are safe with me. By the way don't tell Tom about this, it’s just between us okay?

Call me …

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, when I saw the question written by "Esko from Finland" I was happy and screamed "I am going to Finland on vacation!" My wife overheard me and told me I was going to Sweden, not Finland. Maybe I should have spent more time with maps than math?

Nah. Honest mistake. Listening to the wife before the vacation isn’t a prerequisite, only nodding your head and saying yes.

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