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O-Zone: Key statistic

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Bill from Ponte Vedra, FL

Not mad, just tired of your inability or unwillingness to say a single negative thing about Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Is he being "candid" or just going for attention? It would be so boring to praise good players, so he disses them. How about saying something insightful?

Really don’t care if you’re mad or not, and I’m pretty much willing and able to say whatever I choose about Ramsey. I suppose I could make something up that I don’t believe to satisfy your need for insight, but I’ll err on the side of saying what I believe: that there are enough people – athletes included – doing things truly worth criticizing that I’m not going to get worked up about one who’s doing nothing more wrong than expressing his thoughts about other players.

Jeff from Jacksonville

You can draft defensive players in the first round 10 years in a row and never get a Kahlil Mack, which is why it makes zero sense to me why they would trade him for two first-rounders, three first-rounders, four firs ... you get the point. And all because they don’t want to pay him Aaron Donald money? He’s a former Defensive Player of the Year and one of the best in the league! I don’t get it.

OK.

Richard from Irvine, CA

I am curious about the process of cuts. Does Head Coach Doug Marrone, General Manager David Caldwell or Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin meet with each player when the player is cut?

Your question was addressed quite often in stories and online shows on this free website in the past week, but hey … I get it. We’re all busy. Yes, Marrone makes a point to meet with every player the Jaguars release.

Freddie from Jacksonville

Logan Cooke is cool. I like him.

You are not alone.

Marc from Oceanway

I know it’s not the dead zone, but did you see that shot by Federer around the net post? Incredible. He still moves like he’s in his 20’s.

I did see the shot. There is very little Roger Federer does in a Grand Slam tournament that I don’t see. The shot was unreal. And he does often move like he did in his 20s. I fear that his age has finally caught up with him just enough that he won’t be able to beat the top players in slams, but that won’t stop me watching. And savoring the moment.

Mariano from Jacksonville

Mr. O, I get that Dante Fowler Jr. won’t count against the 53 right now, but does that mean before Week 2 they'll have to release one of the players that "made" the 53? And would this be something the administration would tell this player?

Yes. Likely not.

Keith from Jacksonville

I noticed three players were placed on the waived/injured list, which means upon clearing waivers they go on injured reserve. Do they REALLY have to be injured with proof, or is that list a way to stash more players?

Yes, played on the waived/injured list must be injured, though it’s true that there is a wide range of severity when it comes to injuries in the NFL. It is a way of retaining a player, but it has its limitations. Remember, saying a player must clear waivers before being placed on the list means all 31 other teams have a chance to claim that player he returns to the Jaguars. That a risky proposition if he’s truly a player a team want to “stash.”

John from Jacksonville

When I'm feeling down, having self-doubts about my perspective, and needing a boost of self-esteem, something happens that seems almost phenomenal each time to bring me back to the top of my game again. Yes, Jerell makes another appearance to remind me how bad it could be.

This.

Derek from St. Augustine, FL

Oh-Zone, I think the Jags player who has really improved the most this preseason is ... Fred Taylor! I enjoyed listening to him calling Thursday game in Tampa. Not so much three games ago.

Hey … one fer Fred.

Tyler from Jacksonville

During the World Cup, booth reviews took all of 15 seconds, which is generally how long all human beings tend to take when given slow-mo replays. How many times have you watched a replay and been like “What on Earth are they looking at for so long?' So, as Seinfeld would ask O-bro, “What is the deal with that?”

They’re looking at multiple angles to make sure they get it right. It’s true that it takes longer than would be ideal, but there are often multiple issues to review. Sometimes, that’s the issue.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

I don’t imagine it’s easy for any coach to release players, but Marrone seems to genuinely struggle emotionally with it. Which, if true, speaks volumes about his character. Only two moves surprised me a bit. Ben Koyack and Andrew Motuapuaka. I understand Koyack is injured. But I thought Motuapuaka showed well in camp and preseason, and I had expected him to provide some depth at linebacker. Practice squad? Or should we expect to see him picked up by another team?

Marrone does struggle with releasing players; there’s no question it’s true – and it does speak volumes about not only his character, but how well he remembers his own time as a young player with an NFL dream. I wasn’t particularly surprised with the Koyack or Motuapuaka moves. I expect the Jaguars could continue to look to upgrade linebacker depth, and I expect them to stick with three tight ends: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, James O’Shaughnessy and Niles Paul.

Marcus from Jacksonville

John, I have come up with the perfect (albeit ridiculous and impossible) plan to do away with the preseason. First, do away with the preseason. Second, add two games to the regular season. Third, you make the first four games worth half a game each and the last four games worth a game and a half each. So, that means your first four are worth two total, and your last four are worth six total. The middle 10 games are worth one each. This would give teams a chance to "warm up" in the early season with games not as important to your record, and it puts increased importance on the games at the end of the year when teams should be at their best. As a bonus, it would provide built-in tiebreakers, because two teams with the same number of wins could have different records depending on their wins and losses in those eight games. You're welcome, NFL.

What?

Dan from Jacksonville

What say we make the game a bit more interesting? Let's say it's third and 10. The defense commits some infraction which results in a fifteen-yard penalty, plus in most cases a first down, whether automatic or by acquiring the yards to gain. What say we get rid of the first down and keep the down the same, meaning for the offense, it's still third and ten after the march off of fifteen yards? When the offense commits some infraction, they are marched back, but the down remains the same. Why penalize the defense twice for the same offense? I'm sure the offending player is beside himself with remorse over the infraction and would get down on bended knees looking for forgiveness if it would help ... and yes, I am filing this idea right next to my idea for a solar powered flashlight ... :)

What?

JB from Jacksonville

What's the difference between "waived" and "released?"

Teams “waive” players with less than four years NFL experience, and those players must clear waivers before being free to sign with another team. Teams release players with more experience, and those players are free to sign with another team immediately upon being released.

Ryan from Jacksonville

What does Blake Bortles need to do statistically to make this team go to the Super Bowl?

Statistics won’t tell Bortles’ story this season, and there’s no magic statistic for him that will put the Jaguars in the Super Bowl. He needs to keep costly interceptions to a minimum, and he must continue to help the Jaguars’ offensive line by making plays with his legs. He also needs to hit big plays in the passing game when the Jaguars’ running game has set up the opportunity. More than anything, he must continue the progress he made last season getting the offense into the right play and make good pre-snap decisions that help the run game as much as the passing game. It would be nice if there was an easy statistic to answer the question, but that’s not how the NFL works. How’s this: He needs to win enough games to get the Jaguars to the postseason and then he needs to win three or four games once they’re there. That would be a cool statistic. Jaguars fans would like it.

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