O-Zone: Men with a plan

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it … Mike from Atlanta, GA:
It looks more like the Jaguars are going to draft a nickel corner in the first three rounds. Do you think that's a safe assumption or do they like who they have now?
John: I actually would be surprised if the Jaguars used a Round 1-3 selection in the 2018 NFL Draft on a nickel corner. Why? Because the Jaguars signed cornerback D.J. Hayden as an unrestricted free agent to play the nickel role next season with the idea that he also would be a capable reserve on the outside in the event of injury to outside corners Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. The Jaguars could select a cornerback in the draft, but it likely would be more of a depth/special teams role with an eye on developing for the future than it would be a short-term nickel corner.
Tim from Doboy Island, FL:
Cap space can be rolled over into future years? Is there a limit on how much can be moved? And are there any stipulations regarding that?
John: Yes, it can. No. Not really.
David from Oviedo, FL:
Johnny-O: On several occasions, you’ve said at $66.5 million with $30 million guaranteed, Andrew Norwell should – in so many words – drastically improve the offensive line. It wasn’t as if Patrick Omameh was significantly worse than anyone else on the line. When defenses stack the box, they will always have the advantage of more tacklers than blockers. Is it realistic to think one guy can make that much of a difference, even if he is making $66.5 million with $30 million guaranteed?
John: First, I’m not sure the Jaguars are done addressing offensive line this offseason; I think it could still happen early in the draft. I also think left tackle Cam Robinson should improve in Year 2, and the presence of Norwell – a first-team All-Pro selection last season – should help both Robinson and center Brandon Linder. But yes … the addition of Norwell should help the Jaguars run more effectively on the interior – and it should be a dramatic difference. That’s why they spent big there at the expense of some other positions; they need to be able to run – even with defenses stacking the box.
Isaiah from Rock Spring, GA:
I saw where the Titans are holding a uniform reveal party April 4. Have you heard if the Jags have any plans to do something similar or will we reveal at the draft?
John: The Jaguars will reveal the uniforms this offseason. I imagine the date of the reveal will be
Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
John, I understand some of the angst among Jags fans because of not signing A-Rob, Aaron Colvin, Marcedes Lewis or Allen Hurns. Being a certified "old guy" I have watched the NFL for over 40 years. With all the changes in the game the one thing that hasn't changed is that the NFL is a business. The combo of Tom Coughlin, David Caldwell and Doug Marrone did well for us last year. They are not hired to lose games and make bad decisions. Look at the best team of this generation, the Patriots: They replace players on a regular basis. How would it feel next year or two if we didn't have the cap space to sign Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack, etc? Let's all take a deep breath and let Coughlin & Co. keep doing what they're doing. Looking forward to another good season. Go Jags!
John: While I realize there is some angst on the part of the fans over the offseason moves, I guess I’m just not feeling it. Very little has happened this offseason that wasn’t foreseeable on some level. Perhaps the exceptions are wide receiver Allen Robinson and cornerback Aaron Colvin leaving via free agency. Of the two losses, Colvin’s loss will be the one that is felt the most next season because he played all of last season while Robinson played just one series. But the point you make is correct: good teams lose players every season. That’s the nature of the salary-cap/free-agency era. Good teams overcome the losses, replace and move on. I expect that’s what the Jaguars will do.
Donny from Heathrow, FL:
The first NFL game I remember watching was Super Bowl I with my dad. I was seven years old, have intently followed the NFL all my life while having Jag season tickets from the get-go in 1995 – I consider myself a very knowledgeable NFL fan. However, I don't have the ignorance (I'm aware that I don't know) or the arrogance (how could I possibly know) to assume I know what's best for the Jags versus Coughlin, Caldwell & Co. You know, the men who have spent their careers successfully evaluating and acquiring talent while knowing their jobs are on the line with every decision they make. I couldn't care less what Tom from Charleston thinks about the Jags’ roster decisions because his critical opinion is uninformed. Every NFL team makes mistakes in their roster building because luck is involved, but their professional decisions are still much more informed than fans’ amateur ones are. I guess I could handle fans’ negative fanning if they circled back to acknowledge when they're wrong but that doesn't appear to happen … so it's a heavy sigh reading the O-Zone again
John: Fans gonna fan, Donny. And hey: it’s OK. Breathe. Breathe.
Tony from Jacksonville:
What's going on with Rashad Greene Sr. I don't hear anything about him when discussing our receivers for next year.
John: Greene remains on the roster and under contract – and at this point, I would expect him to have a chance to earn a spot on the team in the offseason and training camp. He certainly hasn’t done enough to be guaranteed anything, but he certainly has the ability to be given a chance.
Brian from Jacksonville:
What of Shane Wynn? He's a Jag. He's really, really good. Starter good maybe?
John: Wide receiver Shane Wynn will be in the team’s offseason program and have a chance to earn a spot on the roster. It would be disingenuous on my part to portray him as having a good chance to start.
Herbert from Midstate office supply company :
Caldwell alluded to some sort of "plan" for the backup quarterback. So far, there doesn't appear to be a lot of urgency to sign a veteran off the free-agent scrap heap. Is the plan for Bortles to play hurt?
John: Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell clearly stated two weeks ago that the Jaguars have a plan for backup quarterback next season. You not knowing what that plan is in no way indicates that it doesn’t exist.
Jordan from Jacksonville:
What’s up with Josh Lambo? Surprised he hasn’t re-signed with us yet.
John: I’m not. Lambo is under contract with the Jaguars, which would make his signing redundant. Not only that it would superfluous and not useful.
Tim from St. Johns, FL:
With four tight ends on the roster already, why do you think they’ll draft another? Especially in the first three rounds? Three of the four were just (re) signed too, so I do not see them getting cut.
John: Austin Seferian-Jenkins because of his recently-signed contract is pretty much a lock to be on the Jaguars’ roster and to have a key role in the offense. He’s the only tight end I would put in that category.
Chris from Mandarin:
In 2008, the Jaguars got rid of Fred Taylor and it was a massive gut punch. Losing Poz, Hurns and then Lewis within one week was even more below the belt. Too late to accuse the team of fan abuse?
John: It’s always difficult for fans when players they’ve loved for a long team get released. It’s an unpleasant – albeit, necessary – part of the business. But teams are abusing fans more if they keep players for sentimental reasons than if they release them for the benefit of the team.
Logan from Wichita, KS:
So last time we drafted 29th we were coming off a huge year. We had to make bad cuts due to cap hell and we picked Sword. He was a massive bust and the beginning of the end for our happy times until this past year. Add in that the fact that every WR we have ever drafted in round 1 has been a horrible massive no questions asked failure (Sword, Williams, Jones, Blackmon) we absolutely cannot draft a WR at 29.
John: Please. Stop. Talking.
Thomas from Kirkcudbright, UK:
Correct me if I'm wrong. The Jaguars currently have no backup quarterback and starting the season without one would be unthinkable. Therefore, quarterback has to be among the biggest priorities in the draft.
John: Starting the season without a backup quarterback indeed would be unthinkable. The Jaguars will acquire at least one quarterback – quite likely two – before training camp. I imagine it will happen during/very soon after the draft. As far as how early in the draft it will happen, that right now is anyone’s guess.

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