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O-Zone: Lucky star

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Dave from Oviedo, FL

Johnny-O: The Jags have a few big-dollar veterans on our defensive front that we likely won't be able to keep next year, due to salary concerns. Knowing this, what's to stop the Jags from keeping the defensive lineman they want this year and placing the "overflow" on the injured reserve for safe keeping? Also, is there a limit to the number of players that can be placed on injured reserve? If not, wouldn't it be an ingenious way to keep your jars on the shelf?

I'm not sure your plan would accomplish your objective, primarily because there likely will be room on the roster for all the defensive linemen the Jaguars really want to keep. A couple of thoughts on the detail of your question, though … There is a limit to the number of players you can have on injured reserve because the total number of players on a regular-season roster may not exceed 90; that includes 53 active players, practice-squad players and all players on reserved lists. A year on injured reserve still counts toward an accrued year toward free agency – and if a player is valuable, you want him on the active roster and not on the sideline for a full season.

Brian from Nocatee, FL

Today I bought a pool service, a new home from the Mid $230,000, a light beer, a new Ramsey jersey and learned how to Follow the Jaguars to London. Thanks O-Zone!

So, a pretty good day then …

Hank from Toms River, NJ

Mr. O-Zone: Living in New Jersey we hear a lot of the highlights about the Giants OTAs – and several times about Will Hernandez. He was recently in a scuffle with a veteran defensive tackle, but overall they really like this guy. Not sure if we missed on that pick. He is certainly bringing the toughness mentality to the Giants' offensive line and I know we were looking for that as well. Your thoughts?

Many analysts thought the Jaguars might select Hernandez, a guard from Texas El-Paso, late in Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft. The Jaguars instead selected defensive tackle Taven Bryan from Florida No. 29 overall. Did the Jaguars "miss" on Hernandez? That's an impossible question right now, primarily because it's impossible to tell what a rookie is going to bring to a new team during non-padded work in May and June. That includes not knowing if he indeed brings a "toughness mentality." Here's what happened in the draft that's important to remember: while many analysts expected the Jaguars to focus on offense, the team clearly took the approach of wanting to draft best available player at positions that could be key in the coming few seasons. Rather than draft for need, the idea was to draft players who could sustain the roster when some recently-signed free agent veterans inevitably must be released in the coming seasons. Bryan fit into that category, as did safety Ronnie Harrison and guard Will Richardson. The selection of end Dawuane Smoot last offseason fits that, too. That approach must be considered when considering whether the Jaguars missed on Hernandez – that, of course, and the fact that he has yet to wear pads professionally.

Jim from Jacksonville

Please tell your stupid NFL ad people that once we get used to the ads being there, as I have, we don't even see them. Thus, the ads are completely and utterly ineffective and they should be deleted from the O-Zone.

I'm sure this will weigh heavily in their future actions.

Chris from Mandarin, FL

Do coaches tell players not to answer certain questions in interviews, or to answer questions a certain way? It seems like during the season, there is not much substance to things players say and most of it sounds like CoachSpeak (we need to execute to avoid falling behind, etc.). I imagine that at some point during the year, coaches go over this type of thing. Am I off base?

Some coaches certainly encourage players to be bland, and guess what? Blandness comes easily enough to some players that it doesn't need to be encouraged. My experience is most players will be bland most of the time, particularly if the person questioning asks things in such a way to encourage it. Most players will get not-bland a few times during an interview. It's the job of the media person in question to decipher what's interesting and present it to the viewer/reader.

Jordan from Jacksonville


Yes, that's right.

Pedal Bin from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK

Oh Mighty 'O'/King of Funk, it is the "Dead Zone". With that in mind, what is the worst sequel to a great film? I'm torn between Ghostbusters 2 and Blues Brothers 2000. Both truly awful films following up the superb original. I think I will give the nod to Ghostbusters 2 as that has no redeeming qualities at all whereas as Blues Brothers 2000 has you thinking for the first five minutes that it could be OK. It wasn't! So, your choice is ...

I can't tell you how disappointed I was with 1991's Mannequin 2: On the Move. I say this not because I expected greatness, but I hoped it would at least have a sliver of the subtle humor and in-depth character development of the original.

Adam from Jagsonville

O-Mighty, I am

Adam?! ADAM!!??

Adam from Jagsinville

O Mighty One, I have sinned. I left the O-Zone for a few years, but I beg for your forgiveness and permission to return. Over that time, I have wondered if your O-Zone streak is still alive. If not, how long did you make it?

Oh, there you are … and yes, the streak is still alive. The O-Zone has appeared on and/or Jaguars social-media channels for 2,505 consecutive days (including today).

Chris from Mandarin

According to Google, "New York state wildlife expert Richard Thomas found that a woodchuck could (and does) chuck around 35 cubic feet of dirt in the course of digging a burrow. Thomas reasoned that if a woodchuck could chuck wood, he would chuck an amount equivalent to the weight of the dirt, or 700 pounds." The Dead Zone has arrived. #DTWD


The Other Michael from Middleburg, FL

A recent article outlined what the writer felt was the top 11 players in Jaguars history. I was curious what your list would look like.

I'll only include players no longer active in the NFL because it's too tricky include the potential of very young players in this equation. This list also is skewed toward the 1995-2000 and 2011-2017 Jaguars, because those are the Jaguars teams I covered. So, the list: Left tackle Tony Boselli, running back Fred Taylor, wide receiver Jimmy Smith, running back Maurice Jones-Drew, wide receiver Keenan McCardell, defensive tackle Marcus Stroud, cornerback Rashean Mathis, linebacker Daryl Smith, defensive end Tony Brackens, right tackle Leon Searcy and quarterback Mark Brunell.

John from Jacksonville

I'm very happy that we are positioned to enter training camp with no season-ending injuries, especially the fluke variety. The players have to feel excited and fortunate to be part of what is unfolding as a very special team this season. For those fans worried about the what-ifs and what's to come after this season, I say that life is short and to enjoy this season week-by-week as it unfolds and not to worry about who's leaving until after we win the Super Bowl. There will be time later to see how those things play out. I'm sure the experts who manage the team already have things being mapped out on how to maintain the Jags competitiveness in the longer term. For you, KOAF, what do you worry most about?

I worry about important stuff – you know: my family, money and the royal family. I don't worry about football.

Paul from Ponte Vedra, FL

Good O Plenty? Anyway, two all-time favorite or BEST Jaguars, one offensive and one defensive … ready … GO … O!

If I ventured outside the restrictions laid out in the previous answer, I would have to say Boselli on offense and cornerback Jalen Ramsey on defense. Boselli is a pretty easy choice on offense, and Ramsey appears a lock to be the best defensive player in franchise history. Within my restrictions, I'll go with Brackens on defense. When he was in his prime, he disrupted offenses like no other Jaguars defensive player I've seen. Until lately.

Sunil from Jacksonville

Hey, John. The problem with the dead zone is that my mind starts to wander because there isn't any significant Jaguars news. I do things that I typically wouldn't do. I even start to listen to music on my way to work instead of sports talk radio. Sometimes during the dead zone, I find myself singing out loud to pop hits from the 80s like Madonna's iconic, "Material Girl." Is this normal?

You can't fool us, Sunil. You know you listen to 80s Madonna year-round.

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