JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Jamie from Santa Rosa, CA:
Do you think that Dante Fowler Jr. and Yannick Ngakoue could be on the field at the same time in obvious passing situations – say, like a third-and-long? And if so, would that be the "Lightning" package that I've heard about before? Just by watching the videos of both of these Leos in camp, that could be scary for opposing offenses. Your thoughts?
John: My thought is I don't think there's any question Fowler and Ngakoue will be on the field at the same time in passing situations sooner rather than later. I don't know that the Jaguars will utilize the three-Leo lightning package nearly as often this season than in the past three seasons, but they certainly will have packages where they get their three best edge pass rushers on the field. It's not a reach to think that Ngakoue and Fowler would be on such a list. In fact, they appear almost certain to be the team's top two edge rushers.
Sebastian from Mexico:
What is your opinion on Bjorn Werner? Can he stay in the 53?
John: I doubt it.
Richard from Jacksonville:
Hey John, being a native from Jacksonville, you can always tell the out-of-towners by the look of defeat from the Florida heat. Wouldn't you think practices should run from 1-4 p.m. to prepare our guys for game-time temperatures instead of early day? This could be a strategic advantage earlier in the season, which appears to be a tougher schedule. Thoughts?
John: I've stood and watched practice from 10:30 a.m. until around 12:30 p.m. much of the last week and a half. I feel confident saying if there is an advantage to be gained from working in the heat, the Jaguars are gaining it.
Dr. Duval Fan Extraordinaire from Jacksonville:
I expect the Jags to be 14-2, the two losses coming at the end of the year when we are saving our starters and resting them up for the Super Bowl run. Anything less and I'll be disappointed.
Robert from Jacksonville:
Hey John, do you think the coaches feel they can be very cautious with his hamstring and not worry about his missed practices partly because Marqise Lee performed so well in earlier practices, indicating he is where he needs to be in terms of route running, understanding the offense, etc.?
John: No. While I think the coaches are confident that Lee understands his routes and the offense, they no doubt want him on the field during this time to further develop chemistry with Blake Bortles and further figure out how he can best be used in the offense. The Jaguars' caution with Lee is about making sure he doesn't further injure the hamstring. Nothing more and nothing less.
Chris from Jacksonville:
How has Marks been doing since coming back from injury?
John: Jaguars defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks has been improving steadily since returning from the torn triceps that cost him the final seven games last season. When I last talked to him a few days ago, he said he liked the way the arm had responded when he began contact/impact work over the weekend, and he appears to be getting stronger and quicker in practice.
Brian from Duval County:
This is a complete outrage. Madden has T.Y. Hilton, Keenan Allen, GOLDEN TATE!, STEVE OLD TIMER SMITH and Julian Edelman as a higher WR rating then Robinson??? The disrespect.
Damian from Appleton, WI:
I have not heard the name Tyson Alualu in a while. Does he make this team? How has he looked?
John: Alulau has looked as he always has looked. He's very consistent, very reliable and very stout. He also gets penetration rushing the passer on a fairly consistent basis for his position. He's very good if not great. I think he will be a very hard player for the Jaguars to release before the season because the team knows what they have in him. He also has never missed a game in six NFL seasons. That sort of reliability is difficult to release.
Chris from Mandarin, FL:
Is it fair to assume the Jaguars will have a lot of illegal-procedure penalties on defense this season with the combination of so many new players and planning to rotate the line constantly?
John: Not necessarily. The Jaguars might have some procedure penalties attributable to youth and inexperience. They also will probably have some because aggressive pass-rushing teams sometimes have such penalties. But rotating players and players new to the system shouldn't mean more penalties.
Ross from Mechanicsville, VA:
Around a decade ago, the Jags had a dominant defense built around Marcus Stroud, John Henderson, Mike Peterson, Rashean Mathis, among others. Although this defense seems built differently, do you foresee comparable results in the next few years?
John: I do. I believed throughout the offseason that the Jaguars would be better defensively – particularly on third down – this season. I don't know how much better, but I do believe they have to be at least marginally better. I think that's particularly the case on third-and-long, which was an area of overriding and season-altering weakness last season. As for the coming seasons … yes, I absolutely believe the core of this defense is capable of developing into an elite, Top 10 unit. I don't think that will happen this season. I believe it's very possible in 2017.
Mike from Jacksonville:
O, I get this gut feel Dante Fowler Jr. is actually going to be elite – just the way I hear how he bends like a rubber band to get to where he needs to be. I know it's too soon to tell, but we're hearing nothing but good things about him from you guys.
John: That gut feeling you have is a good one. People who read the O-Zone daily – and that person knows who he is – know I am rarely given to over-the-top hyperbole or predictions about players early in their careers. There are simply too many factors that go into whether a player eventually becomes elite. Watching Fowler during the first week of training camp, I'm pretty close to making an exception. If he remains healthy, I will be shocked if he's not an impact, defense-defining, Pro Bowl player. The things he does are that special.
Chazz from Jacksonville Beach:
Dante Fowler Jr. has looked like a beast in training camp. I am just curious – and am not comparing Derrick Harvey to DFJ – but was Derrick Harvey this dominant in training camp? Did Harvey make fans think he was going to have a big season and then fail to live up to the hype? Just want to make sure that Dante Fowler Jr. isn't going to slow down or bust on gameday. What say you, twin brother of Shadrick!
John: I never covered Derrick Harvey in a training camp early in his career, and as good as Fowler has been, no one can guarantee he won't slow down or bust. But nothing I have heard about Harvey make me indicate that there is much of a comparison between him and Fowler.
Mikey from Tallahassee, FL:
I can't think of a good question to send up. Can you help?
John: At least you admit it.
Morgan from Folkston, GA:
Really, O-Man!?! Tony Boselli over Jimmy Smith to the HOF first! Look, I know Tony is a better person off the field, but Jimmy did it so good at a position with a much LARGER group to pick from. I think only four Hall-of-Fame wide receivers have more career yards – and two of those guys have more receptions. Yes, Tony deserves it, but more than Jimmy? I just don't see it. The guy was a beast and I agree he is the most underrated wide receiver to have played the game. I don't care about a person's off the field issues, this isn't a Good Samaritan award.
John: My thoughts on Boselli and Smith and the Hall of Fame have nothing to do with off-field issues. I think Boselli is the best player Jaguars history, and I think he's the former Jaguars player most deserving of being in the Hall of Fame. I think this because he was thoroughly dominant at his position in the Golden Era of the position. I don't think there is a mammoth difference between Boselli's credentials and those of Fred Taylor and Jimmy Smith. I think all three were great players – and I don't use "great" lightly.
Dave from Jacksonville Beach:
John, in your career covering pro football do you ever remember any team having three such talented rookies arrive at the same time on a defense? Thanks.
John: Dante Fowler Jr. isn't technically a rookie but I understand the spirit of your question … and no.
David from Orlando, FL:
Johnny-O, I send most of my O-Zone questions from work, so I'm technically getting paid for this. If that's wrong, I don't want to be right!
John: You just keep doing what you're doing. We're a better country because of people like you.
O-Zone: Making America better
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Jamie from Santa Rosa, CA: