O-Zone: Memories

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Ed from Ponte Vedra, FL

Looking for free therapy. We have no quarterback, we have no receivers, we have no tight ends and we have a running back with issues. The best quarterback in the draft is dwarfy. Why am I depressed?

Your depressed because this at first glance is not a giddy offseason for the Jaguars, and it’s indeed one that could cause some loyal fans to seek therapy. Quarterback uncertainty is unsettling, and this Jaguars offseason is particularly unsettling because there’s no clear-cut, “best-practices” option for addressing the offense. I expect major change at quarterback and tight end. The quarterback change could be veteran front-line effort (Nick Foles), veteran “bridge” guy (Ryan Tannehill and the like) or a high-profile rookie (Dwayne Haskins/Kyler Murray) – or some exotic combination of the three. The thing about all those guys in parentheses is you could put other players in the parentheses and be just as right – and that level of unknown is disconcerting for fans. Aside from quarterback, I like the idea of a tight end early in the draft more and more, I don’t know that you’re going to see an overhaul at receiver and I think the Running Back With Issues is going to get every opportunity to work through those issues with this team. I could see why this paragraph could cause you to seek therapy, but don’t be too depressed. Things could look much different – and better – after the draft.

Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

In the biggest game of his life, Nick Foles delivered a MVP performance. You can win a Super Bowl with him. What other quarterback can you get – rookie or pro – who can say that? We need to get Foles signed if he becomes a free agent. It’s just the best choice if your goal is to be the champs. Go Jaguars!

Hey … one fer Foles!

Cool from Duval

If Wash doesn't do a better job as d-coordinator next season, will Capers take over?

You’re asking if Dom Capers – hired by the Jaguars as a senior defensive assistant Tuesday – could take over as the defensive coordinator if current coordinator Todd Wash doesn’t “do a better job” next season. Never say never, I suppose, but the Jaguars have been ranked sixth, second and fifth in the NFL in Wash’s three seasons as coordinator. I am aware that there are those who believe he has done a poor job or that he was a problem last season. I am equally aware that those notions are silly and misguided, at best.

Charlie from Jacksonville

Hey, John: Complaining about imperfect personnel decisions is no different than crying over spilt milk. And second-guessing decisions not made is just 20/20 hindsight. I can easily live without all that self-important noise.

Bless you, Charlie.

Matt from North Jacksonville

You have been touting "It's time to move on from BB5" for a while. What day will that be, so we can finally get to the new comments of "Boy, we should have kept BB5?”

I haven’t “touted” that it’s time for the Jaguars to move on from quarterback Blake Bortles. I haven’t even said the Jaguars should move on from Bortles because I believe that keeping him as a bridge quarterback makes some sense because of salary-cap ramifications, etc. I have written that sometimes it’s time to move on from a quarterback, and I do believe the Jaguars will do that from Bortles this offseason. When will that happen? Soon enough, I suppose.

Keith from Woonsocket, RI

GOD please no Tannehill.

I don’t see the Jaguars acquiring Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill as a long-term solution. There are worse short-term options.

Dave from Chulouta

So, you’re okay with Ryan Tannehill as a bridge quarterback? That’s like replacing Bortles with his twin brother! In other words, it’s like sticking with Bortles, except paying him another $12 million! I don’t think so! Next! If “sometimes it’s time to move on,” let’s make sure it’s not “on” to another bad decision.

Hey … one not fer Tannehill!

Wallace from Jacksonville

Mighty O, any chance the Jaguars' front office signs Frank Gore to serve as a mentor to LF27 and provide veteran leadership? Gore is a consummate pro and managed 722 yards last season in Miami averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Gore could be a great pick up for 2019 and won't cost much, either.

This is a long shot, mainly because NFL running back usually is a young man’s position – and the Jaguars’ cap situation could further mandate youth at the position. I agree that the Jaguars need leadership and guidance at running back, but the Jaguars hired veteran assistant Terry Robiskie to coach the position. That’s the maturity/guidance element.

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

Let’s draft a guy like Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Tom Brady or Pat Mahomes and not a guy like Blaine Gabbert or Blake Bortles.

OK.

Dennis from Orange Park, FL

If the Jaguars are going to release Bortles why do they have to wait until March 13. Why not let him go now?

Salary cap moves often depend on timing, and that timing can center around the start of the new league year. Also, there’s no reason not to wait.

Bill from Hammock, FL

O, I agree choosing a Top 10 quarterback is a crapshoot. We are 0 for 3. Wouldn't the law of averages dictate that this year's pick is going to be a huge success?

Unfortunately, no. Just as the Green Bay Packers were fortunate enough to hit on Aaron Rodgers as the successor to Brett Favre, and just as the Indianapolis Colts were lucky enough to hit on Andrew Luck as the successor to Peyton Manning, a team can miss on successive quarterback attempts, too.

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

If small quarterbacks can avoid hits and therefore not take as many then what happened with RG3? Same as often happened to Michael Vick: he got hit really hard by people who are way bigger than him and had to spend time injured on the sideline, in RG3’s case the injuries slowed and affected him enough to end his career very early.

The small-quarterback debate seems destined to rage from now until a team selects Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray in this year’s NFL Draft. I don’t know that it’s fair to write off Murray’s chances of success solely because of Robert Griffin and Michael Vick. Both of those players relied heavily on running for success, thereby exposing themselves to hits/injuries; Murray seems to do that less. But size matters in the NFL and bigger is typically better than smaller. Murray is small and that’s an issue that’s going to linger.

Steve from Nashville, TN

If Mr. Campbell (No. 93) has a good 2019 would he be a HOF candidate?

Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell’s Hall-of-Fame chances are tricky. He deserves consideration, and I think he absolutely would have had a Hall-of-Fame career had he played in a 4-3 defense throughout his career. As it stands, playing in a 3-4 defense for a decade in Arizona hurt his sack numbers – and his Hall chances. A monster 2019 season would give him a greater chance because it would mean he would have played in five Pro Bowls with three consecutive double-digit sack seasons since joining the Jaguars. He still would be a long shot, but a big season obviously would push him closer.

Ivan from Hollywood

I assume “trades up” for draft picks being conditional based upon a specific player being available? How much gamesmanship is in play? What I mean is would the Jags propose a trade up wanting to either get the player they want or to force the Giants to make an offer that did not have to made if the Jags were not in the picture?

There always is some gamesmanship and intrigue involved in a trade. But in the case of draft-day trades, they usually aren’t made unless it’s for a certainty. A team might trade up to No. 1 overall because they know what they will get with that selection. They might trade up to No. 2 or 3 overall if they know there are multiple players worthy of the move. I don’t know if the Jaguars will trade up in this year’s draft, but I wouldn’t expect a move until the draft begins – and I would expect any such move to happen when the other team is “on the clock.”

Seamus from Delta, BC, Canada

Hey O-Zone, not that I want to knock Blake because for all his faults, he's been a decent quarterback and a heckuva guy. But I am curious if you remember my O-Zone from 2014, just before the draft, when I said "The name 'Blake Bortles' just doesn't *sound* like an elite quarterback name? Just wanted to know if you remembered.

I am known for my photographic memory, so yes … I did remember. Remarkably, the thought is just as pertinent and significant now as it was at the time.

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