JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …
Bill from Ponte Vedra, FL
This may be late, but I finally watched the famous "Myles-Jack-wasn't-down" play multiple times. There is a basic misconception. Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack was not called down by contact in the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship Game. The whistle was blown because one official thought the runner, Patriots running back Dion Lewis, was down. The officials conferred and finally ruled that he was not down when the ball came loose, so the ruling on the field was a fumble. That call was reviewed and confirmed. Jags fans at the game, including me, were delighted we had the ball. We did not know about the Jack issue until later. So, the call was wrong, but not as wrong as people think. The fumble or no fumble call was very close. So, the Twitter hashtag should be #DionLewiswasntdown. Nothing to do with Myles Jack. Is this your understanding?
You technically are correct, but technicalities are no fun – and “Dion Lewis wasn’t down” wouldn’t resonate for Jaguars fans as much as “Myles Jack wasn’t down.” Still, you describe the complexity of the play well – and that complexity is why I have written and said several times this offseason that while the play was beyond frustrating to Jaguars fans, it was perhaps the most understandable of the inadvertent errors that cost the Jaguars’ defense multiple touchdowns last season. Still, I do disagree with one point in your email – that the call wasn’t as wrong as people think. While the call was difficult and understandable, it was by any definition wrong. It changed momentum and cost the Jaguars a game they played well enough to win – something that is true even though the Jaguars had multiple other chances to win. And in this case, there is no degree of wrong. Wrong is wrong and it likely cost the Jaguars a trip to the Super Bowl.
Kenneth from Sacksonville
J-a-zee. Zee. J-a-zed. Zed.
Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Who is going to be our No. 1 receiver this coming season?
The Jaguars’ approach to wide receiver is explained pretty well by offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett here, but to summarize: the Jaguars likely aren’t going to have a true No. 1 receiver this season. Hackett on Tuesday talked about Marqise Lee, Donte Moncrief, Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook and DJ Chark like a group that could have one player excel one week and another player excel the next and so on. Could a Jaguars receiver emerge as the No. 1 option? Sure, but it doesn’t appear the Jaguars are stressing over whether it will happen.
Mike from Neptune Beach, FL
Under the new kickoff rule can a team place the ball on the numbers for an onside kick, put five players between the numbers and the sideline and five players between the numbers and the hash marks and perform an onside kick?
No. All plays must start from between the hash marks, including kickoffs.
Billy from East Northport, NY
While a lot is being made of the offense and the absence of our All-Pro cornerbacks, the real question is: How has D.J. Hayden looked thus far in OTAs? With him set to play a large role following Aaron Colvin's departure, is he getting burnt? is he thriving? Is he a lock for the nickel position?
Hayden, who signed as a free agent from Detroit to replace Colvin in the nickel role, has looked fine through two weeks of OTAs. That’s not the most detailed observation because I haven’t seen enough either way to take a swing at a detailed observation. Here’s what defensive coordinator Todd Wash had to say about Hayden this week: “We are really locking him in at that position (the nickel). He is getting a lot of reps in our sub package at nickel. You see him growing within our package. … He is just learning what our expectations are. You see the explosiveness, the lateral movement that we are looking for and the instincts it takes to play nickel.” That’s about what you would expect to hear about a guy with a couple weeks of on-field work with a new team, but yes – Hayden will be the Jaguars’ nickel corner barring something entirely unforeseen.
Connor from Dallas, TX
I found the place to ask a question. Though I jest about this, I really was struggling to find it for a good bit. That being said, I have two statements to make. One, you're a daily staple in the few things that hold my sanity together through my workday. Two, Myles Jack was not down. I won't get over it, and I hope Jacksonville never does either.
I am the king of all funk.
Sunny from Las Vegas, NV
I know these OTAs are voluntary and missing these days won’t make or break the season. We all know what Jalen Ramsey can do and we know he’ll be ready to go once the season starts. But don’t you think having him in practice would be beneficial for the team? Especially with everyone perceiving the Jaguars as not having “the guy” at wide receiver, wouldn’t having him here and taking reps against some of our receivers help them elevate their game? I feel we’re so close to being over the hump and little things like this is what we might need to take us over the top. Thoughts?
It wouldn’t hurt. And it would be great in an ideal world if every player attended every OTA with no rush of injury. Still, there is a limit to the benefit of OTAs in terms of one-on-one competition. Most of the benefit is learning the offense, defense, assignments, etc., so there is a limit to how much working against Ramsey this month would help the Jaguars’ receivers. I trust Ramsey will be in attendance throughout mandatory, padded work in July and August. The competing and accompanying improvement will have time to take place then.
Scott from Medford, NJ
Correct me if I am wrong. Is Mr. Frenette also the guy in those Dos Equis commercials?
Longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist/Northeast Florida treasure Gene Frenette is not the guy in the Dos Equis commercials. He got calls. His response? Thanks, but no thanks. The great ones pick their spots.
Bruce from Frenetteville
Frenette, blah, blah, blah ... but can he put the FUNK in the shabby chic? Or in the woodwind breakdance rap freestylin' jazz bebopping lowdown?
Yes. And yes.
Irving from Bristol, CT
O'Bro, A lot of the question and answers on this site are both Informative and HILARIOUS. May I ask you to put a likes button for each question?
Maybe we can get AdGate fixed first.
Shane from Washington, DC
How are the other two quarterbacks looking?
Good sometimes, not-so-good at others. Pretty much what you would expect from “other quarterbacks.”
Tom from St. Johns, FL
Big John: You have now watched five days of OTAs and you have the pedigree to analyze the product, and the ability to produce the perfect words to describe same, and the nimble foot work to tap dance past difficult answers. … HOWEVER, after five sessions please give us your take on the values exhibited by our draft class and recent free agents.
To pretend to have a fantastic answer would be disingenuous because answering your question days into OTAs is impossible. Assessing linemen in unpadded work is unfair, so it’s difficult to assess free-agent guard Andrew Norwell, or rookie defensive lineman Taven Bryan or rookie right tackle Will Richardson. All have received praise and shown good things, so that’s better than the alternative. A few newcomers have stood out at more analyzable skill positions, including rookie wide receiver DJ Chark, veteran receiver Donte Moncrief and veteran tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. The coaches also seem to like rookie safety Ronnie Harrison quite a bit. The overall verdict for the newcomers? So far, so good. That’s not a real meaty answer, but that’s the answer for now.
Garry from Nocatee, FL
How much do you think Blake Bortles is progressing? Looking at bad breaks a couple years ago, it seemed he was making the right choice but poor execution. Last year he did better, but used his legs a lot. He can make the three-second read for many cases. Do you see him moving to a Top 5 quarterback?
I see him improving. I don’t see him as a Top 5 quarterback.
Jon from Brentwood, UK
You OK, Zone?
Am I OK? Absolutely. I choose to view every day as an opportunity … nay, a gift – to be treasured and savored. While many see life as something to “get through,” thereby wasting precious days, that is not my way. No, I choose to wake up each day wondering, “What’s the best I can do? What wonderful thing is next? How can I uplift those around me?” When you take that approach, you’re always up, always more than OK. Life is a rose, waiting to be plucked, sniffed, breathed in … wait. That’s wrong.