O-Zone: Keep on trying

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Bill from Jacksonville

He has had problems staying healthy and out of trouble. With that in mind, over/under 13.5 games started for Leonard Fournette this year? Thanks! Go Jags!

Slightly under. I’m optimistic Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette can avoid soft-tissue injuries this season, and I’m also optimistic he can avoid being suspended for a game(s) because of team/league discipline issues. But with Fournette’s physical running style it stands to reason he could miss two or three games because of contact-induced injuries. The NFL is a violent game and Fournette is at his best when he plays violently. It’s unrealistic to think he’s going to put together a lot of seasons when he plays 16 regular-season games.

Jamal from Brooklyn, NY

It's funny to see all the angst about Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey not participating in organized team activities. These same fans complaining were probably the same ones who went into an uproar when Ramsey got hurt in OTAs in his rookie season. Which is it?

Both. Because fans gonna fan. It’s what they do.

Red from O-Zone Comments Section

Your sophomoric attempts at humor are pitiful, John. The Gene Frenette jokes are past stale. I hoped you were better than this, but apparently you're not. Don't you feel guilty every time the Jaguars cut you a paycheck?

I don’t feel remotely guilty when I get paid each week. Surprised? Sure. But not guilty. Either way, I’m stuck on your third sentence. What gave you hope that I was better than this?

Sam from Winter Park, FL

Saw Godzilla over the weekend. I couldn't help but notice while they were battling for the right to be called "King of the Monsters" Eugene "Kilgore" Frenette was not in the battle. What gives?

Careful, Sam. Red doesn’t believe references to longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. “Gene” Frenette” are funny.

Big on Blake from Philly

Hey Zone, maybe it’s because I’m not physically in Duval, but I keep seeing recurring themes in questions about Ramsey not being here and how it disadvantages himself and the team. Is this Ramsey thing still being discussed THAT much in Duval? You’re on record stating it’s not a big deal, and I just assumed that was the consensus.

It’s being discussed by some people because it bothers some people. It’s not something that bothers other people. As long as I get questions about it, I’ll do my best to answer them. It’s what we humorless types do.

Josh from Savannah, GA

I hated him as a player because he destroyed us on so many accounts. I really respect him now as a player of consistent greatness. In your opinion from covering him for years, does Reggie Wayne deserve Hall of Fame status?

I think Wayne deserves serious consideration for the Hall of Fame, because I think he was on par in many respects with Hall of Fame wide receiver Marvin Harrison – with whom Wayne played with the Indianapolis Colts from 2001-2008. I think it will be tough for Wayne to get in because of the perception that Harrison was the better player – and because he wasn’t as flashy and didn’t have as many touchdowns as Harrison – but I think he’ll be a semifinalist and possibly a finalist. And deservedly so.

B from Jacksonville

How do you feel about Hays Carlyon's scathing article about Fournette?

Writing for 1010XL this week, Hays Carlyon was critical of Fournette not attending OTAs in recent days. Carylon feels differently about OTAs than I do. I don’t consider presence at voluntary work a measure of a player’s commitment to the team, or of his preparation, but I am in the minority on this front – just as I am in the minority that players get comparatively little benefit from voluntary work in May and June. I do get Carylon’s point on several issues, though. Fournette is still in the process of proving himself a player the Jaguars can trust – and on that front, any perceived misstep is going to draw this kind of ire. So, while I get why Carylon feels as he does about Fournette, I would say we won’t know for sure how to judge Fournette until we see how he behaves and performs when activities are mandatory – and when what a player does really matters. One area in which I agree with Carylon is how long Fournette will be with the Jaguars. Carylon says it’s unlikely Fournette will be here after his fourth season. Unless Fournette is dramatically different – and better – this season, that’s almost certainly true.

Paul from Jacksonville

You should know that Eugene P. “Gene” Frenette is Greg Jones’ mild-mannered alter ego when he is not in his Jaguars uniform.

That’s not funny, Paul.

Chris from Space City, TX

Yo O, did you read that former Jaguars bust, Blake Bungles, stated that he has never experienced coaching like he is currently receiving with the Rams? Is his praise for Rams Head Coach Sean McVay and the Rams’ staff also a knock on Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone and the Jags' coaching staff? Is there a way Bungles could've been coached out of inaccuracy, bad footwork, poor pocket presence, misreads, eyeing down receivers, enormous amount of interceptions, fumbling the football, inability to lead a game winning drive, etc. etc.? Afterall, it is always coaching in the NFL.

I indeed did see that former Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles said something to the effect that he never had received coaching like he is currently receiving. My first thought was that Rams Head Coach Sean McCay is a very good coach and worthy of praise – and a second thought was that what Bortles said is pretty much what players say when they go to new situations. Bortles was coached fine in Jacksonville. That being said, you’re right: It’s always coaching in the NFL.

Sbarro Worker from USA

I will give you a free slice, if you walk to the counter and say "voluntary schmoluntary."

Done.

Josh from Fernandina Beach, FL

Hi John: Inter-division reconnoitering might lead some to believe that O-Line is still a point of relative weakness for the Texans. Can we see another 10-sack game in Week 2 to kick-start the season, a la 2017?! Excited for the fall, great job on the offseason coverage and GO JAGS!!

The Jaguars should be able to pressure most opposing quarterbacks this season – providing they get leads and get opponents into unfavorable passing situations. That’s typically the key to big sack games, but yes … the Jaguars’ defensive front should be able to get pressure against the Houston Texans’ front. This front should be good enough to get pressure against pretty much any offensive front.

DreamWeaver from Section 214

I did some digging into whether either Gene or Jones ever discussed the possibility of a "brouhaha". Both declined to comment publicly, but a close friend of Jones confided that, over multiple drinks, Jones stated the following: "What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Best not to find out." And I for one, am relieved that saner heads prevailed.

Sorry. Not funny.

Jess from Glen Carbon, IL

An 18-game schedule would be easier. Each team would play the other teams in their division twice (six games), then they would play each team in the other two divisions in their conference (eight games), and then they would play all the teams from one division in the other conference (four games). That way, all the teams would play the same non-division teams. That would be the fairest scheduling the NFL has had in decades. Of course, increasing regular-season games by 12.5 percent will mean the players would expect another 12.5 percent pay increase, so the owners would have to renegotiate their TV and other contracts to increase their revenue by 50 percent ... you know, for their compensation.

Your projected 18-game schedule makes sense from a fairness standpoint – and I therefore think a formulaic approach is the most likely open option for the extra two games if the league indeed moves to 18 games. You’re right, too, that adding two regular-season games would require some serious renegotiating of how the league’s revenue is split between players and owners. And yes … the owners would do whatever they can to make sure their revenues go up more than that of the players. Owning something brings certain rights. A large share of profits is among them.

Jim from Jagsonville

When will be the fans’ first opportunity to see the Jaguars, and quarterback Nick Foles, in action? I'd like to see first-hand this re-tooled Jaguars team! Also, will you be attendance? I'd like to thank you personally for what you do!

The Jaguars will hold open practices during 2019 Training Camp at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex – and yes, I’ll be at training camp practices. Twenty-five years in, I have yet to figure out a way to get out of them.

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