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O-Zone: Just stay put

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Trevor (not Trevor Lawrence) from Cartersville, GA

When will captains be announced? Do you except two on offense, two on defense, two on special teams and a Dougie P weekly honorary captain?

The Jaguars likely will determine 2023 captains between Saturday's preseason finale against the Miami Dolphins at EverBank Stadium and the Wednesday practice before the regular-season opener against the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis, Ind. The Jaguars had five permanent captains in Head Coach Doug Pederson's first season with the team last season: two on offense, two on defense and one on special teams. Pederson also named a captain each week. I expect there's a good chance that could be the case again in 2023.

Armand from Jacksonville

Do you see the Jaguars keeping three quarterbacks or taking the risk of Rourke goes elsewhere?

I go back and forth on this. Right now, I'm leaning toward them keeping three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster – Trevor Lawrence as the starter, C.J. Beathard as the backup and rookie Nathan Rourke as the third quarterback. We'll see how this feels in a few days.

Kevin from Sault Ste Marie, ON, Canada

What position battles for roster spots should we watch most closely on Saturday?

Nickel corner (Tre Herndon and Gregory Junior), reserve wide receiver (many players including Tim Jones, Jacob Harris, Seth Williams and Kevin Austin Jr.) and the final offensive line and cornerback positions.

J. Hooks from Orange Park, FL

Yo Zone. What's your take on Chaisson v. Quarterman/Miller? I know Quarterman is a beast on special teams and Ventrell has a lot of upside but injured a lot. Fans have given up on K'Lavon but could he maybe come into his own this year?

While all three players are storylines as Tuesday's roster cutdown day approaches, I don't know that this is accurately portrayed as K'Lavon Chaisson versus Shaq Quarterman/Ventrell Miller. Chaisson is an outside linebacker while the latter two are inside backers. I would be very surprised if Miller is released because he's a rookie with potential – and because he has shown up in preseason. I would be surprised if Chaisson is released because his 2023 contract is guaranteed – and because he's a strong special teams player and a better-than-average reserve. I don't have a great feel for Quarterman, but I would expect the Jaguars to keep at least four inside linebackers on the 53-player regular-season roster: Miller, Chad Muma, Devin Lloyd and Foye Oluokun. If they keep five, I expect Quarterman to be on the roster.

Alan from Pilot Mountain, NC

Mr. O, I do not profess to be an expert on the NFL. I have watched the Jaguars since the beginning. This talk of the backup quarterback reminds me of when I personally thought Rob Johnson would be a superstar. The reason coaches are successful in the NFL is because they know more than we do.

I thought former Jaguars quarterback Rob Johnson would be really good with the Buffalo Bills when the Jaguars traded him there in 1998. I think Rourke has a chance to be a good reserve quarterback in the NFL. I think he has some developing to do before he is ready to be more than that.

Lee from Jacksonville

Do you think the Jags should interview former Jag A.J. Cann (guard) to see if he's ready to go from free agency. He has played with half of these current o-line players and could bring the depth we need due to the current injury status.

The Jaguars like the depth along the offensive line to the point that there is a belief that it is the deepest position on the roster. There's a greater chance of them trading a player or two from this group as cutdown time approaches than signing an older veteran free agent.

Rob from Pittsburgh, PA

Hey, John. You got under the radar guy that makes the roster?

This always depends on who's determining the radar. As far as not-so-big names with a really good chance: defensive lineman Jeremiah Ledbetter, Tim Jones (again) and rookie cornerback Christian Braswell. I expect all three to be on the roster after final cuts. Maybe. Probably. Perhaps.

Bill from Bostwick

The rookie right tackle has looked the part of a starter, but clearly has a troublesome shoulder injury that seems like it could linger all season. Add that the primary reserve right tackle, Josh Wells, has a prolonged injury, why shouldn't fans be concerned Walker Little or Cam Robinson has not taken any reps at right so far? It would seem when Cam returns from suspension the best two tackles are Robinson and Little with Anton Harrison serving as the primary swing tackle, just like Little did when he first arrived. I think left guard will be fine with Ben Bartch, Tyler Shatley and Blake Hance. I would not feel great about Little moving to left guard leaving the rookie right tackle to ward off a bum shoulder as the starter. Or worse, starting Hance or Cole Van Lanen at right tackle with Little starting at left guard. What does O-Zone know about Harrison's lingering shoulder issue and how that will play into what the offensive line looks like once Robinson returns to the starting lineup?

Wow. A lot to unpack. Let's stick to why fans shouldn't be concerned that Little or Robinson haven't taken repetitions at right tackle. They're trying to get Little ready at left guard and tackle and there's only so many repetitions available. They're leaving Robinson on the left side because he has played there for his entire career. I doubt they would move him to the right side in any scenario except an emergency. As for Harrison: My impression is this is an issue that the Jaguars will have to manage for at least a while. I haven't seen indication that it's in danger of ending his season.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

Injuries are a part of the game. Bummed at the ones we have.


Steve from Nashville, TN

How much can Doug Pederson's play calling and play design make up for a banged up and suspended offensive line?

It remains to be seen the Jaguars' offensive line's level of banged-up. The line currently has multiple reserves injured, but the starting offensive line could be Harrison, right guard Brandon Scherff, center Luke Fortner, left guard Ben Bartch and Little. That's a solid starting group that has every chance to be healthy entering Week 1. Either way, play-calling can always help, but the offensive line can't be so injured as to be unfunctional.

Jeff from Orange, CA

Regarding defensive lineman DaVon Hamilton, what is a non-football-related back issue? If it's keeping him from playing football it seems football-related to me. Why do we distinguish such injuries?

A non-football-related issue is an issue that didn't occur from playing or practicing. The designation has nothing to do with whether it keeps a player from playing or practicing. It has to do with how it occurred. Teams designate this differently because it can make a difference in how soon a player can return if a player is placed on a non-football injury list.

Steve from Maryland Farms

JO. Is rookie fullback Derek Parish in the witness protection program?


JR from Squatchlands

Can you give us a quick reminder of the NFL's international player policy where teams can retain a foreign-born player who does not count against the total roster number and is Nathan Rourke eligible for this? He is Canadian, eh?

Players in the International Pathway Program do not include players who are Canadian or United States citizens or who played football in the United States. Rourke was born in Canada and played collegiately at Ohio University.

Thrill from The 'Ville


Well done.

Woody from Dunlap

KOAF: The Jaguars' brain trust's priority of character as well as talent has shown itself well so far this preseason. It almost seems a shame that not all these talented, high character young men will not be able to be retained in some manner. Does the Jaguars' front office have any type of "placement" program for the players who are not chosen for the main squad or practice squad? Do the Jaguars contact other teams (in the NFL, CFL, etc.) to assist these players in finding work (so long as the other teams are not in the AFC South?)

Teams don't have placement programs for released players. But football is a small world. All NFL teams have extensive scouting departments and teams in the Canadian Football League and various football leagues in the United States smaller than the NFL have scouting and coaching staffs. Players have agents, coaches and personnel people on staffs talk to each other and to agents. If a player is good enough and wants to play, teams at the right level typically will find the player.

Limo Bob from Neptune Beach

One week in Europe between games in Europe. Paris, Amsterdam or Ireland?

Why must I leave the hotel? Did they close the bar?