O-Zone: Minor detail

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

John from Cape May Courthouse, NJ

It's fair to say that new Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles is a big question mark going into this season. Nobody knows whether we are going to get Super Bowl MVP Foles or St. Louis Rams Foles. Hell, we don't even know if we're going to get 16 games out of Foles. So, to me, quarterback still needs to be addressed. If Kyler Murray or Dwayne Haskins are available at No. 7, we have to take one of them. Besides the economic benefits of having a young, cost-controlled quarterback on your roster, who knows when you're going to be in this position again? This team has got to get the quarterback position figured out, and the more we invest in the position the better off we will be.

This concept/concern clearly isn’t going away, and I will repeat what I have said multiple times in recent weeks – that I understand that those observers who want the Jaguars to take a quarterback in the Top 10 of the 2019 NFL Draft are unlikely to be swayed from that stance. But people wanting that approach simply aren’t seeing how the Jaguars almost certainly see their quarterback situation. You call Foles a “big question mark” and you say, “nobody knows whether we are going to get Super Bowl MVP Foles or St. Louis Rams Foles.” That’s not how the Jaguars see Foles. They don’t see him as a short-term fix or a stopgap. They see him as capable of being a franchise quarterback for at least four years – most likely five or six years. For that reason, I would be stunned if they select Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins or Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray – or any other quarterback – No. 7 overall. Your last statement began: “This team has got to get the quarterback position figured out.” When predicting the Jaguars’ direction in the ’19 draft, you must remember that the Jaguars believe they already have done so.

Chad from Orange Park, FL

John, I think people are having a hard time grasping the concept that you would take Haskins, but the Jaguars probably will not. Just sayin'.

Well, that I can’t help.

Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC

Did you suggest that Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue would not get paid more than Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence because he had slightly fewer sacks? Because a wise man once (twice, several times) told me that sacks far from tell the whole story about pass rush productivity.

That wise(?) man was me, and he was right that sacks aren’t always the most accurate measure of pass-rush productivity. But that doesn’t mean players and teams don’t use them in some form/fashion when finding a starting place in negotiations. Remember: Teams and players don’t always operate logically.

Alejandro from Mexico City, Mexico

Do you think that a Jaguars training camp, preseason game or another kind of activity in Mexico could be possible in the future?

Realistically, probably not. At least not soon. Jaguars Owner Shad Khan has made clear his international interest is London, so I would expect most team efforts to focus there.

Dwayne from Jacksonville

Shouldn't you at least have given Spazman credit for getting the part about math errors correct?

No.

Scott from Fernandina Beach, FL

Hi John: Bill Belichick, 44 years, 7 teams. Who knew we could lump him in with Norv Turner & Dom Capers?

This is an aftereffect of the aforementioned Spaz question. He apparently believes a coach changing teams often over a long career makes him less of a coach. This in turn obviously means no one in the NFL can coach. That can’t possibly be true because it’s always coaching in the NFL.

Josiah from Fargo, ND

I know there are a couple of us. I just wanted to say how cool it is that there are even Jags fans up here in North Dakota. DUUUUUUVAAAAAL

OK.

David from Richmond, VA

O, just not understanding why we are stockpiling right tackles, but I will leave that for another day. So, tackle, safety, tight end quarterback? Cody Kessler is a nice kid, but I think he is third-stringer material. Tanner Lee I know from watching many Nebraska games, and I was amazed he got drafted at all. Strong arm but accuracy problems, poor and slow decisions – i.e. interception machine. Sound familiar? So, who is my candidate for a Round 3-7 candidate? Tyree Jackson, University of Buffalo. He is big and raw, but he can do it all. Do you have any picks for a quarterback?

The Jaguars are stockpiling right tackles because they’re signing them inexpensively with no real commitment. If they don’t draft one, they can open competition with little risk. If they do draft one, they can move forward from most players involved with little consequence. As far as Jackson goes, he has potential. If the Jaguars are seeking a developmental quarterback behind Foles, he makes sense. That would surprise me.

Mike from Bridgeport, CT

As the draft gets closer, the more I like the idea of drafting a defensive lineman – particularly an edge rusher – if the Jags stay in the 7 hole. It feels like value can meet need at that spot. You can't have too many pass rushers. The Mayor of Sacksonville won't be around forever and I love the idea of moving Calais Campbell inside on obvious passing downs to push the pocket, allowing Ngakoue and a stud rookie to tee off on opposing quarterbacks. For me, depth along the D-Line is a concern and the Jags could use more talent for the rotation. Where is this defense if they lose Calais or Yannick?

Not as good as it is now.

Chuck from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Recently, the Jags were projected to finish last in division. Is that because our football operation is viewed as old school or due to big talent gaps?

I haven’t the foggiest idea why whoever projected the Jaguars to finish last did so. Perhaps it’s because the Jaguars are awful, or perhaps it’s because the rest of the AFC South is good or perhaps the people doing the projecting haven’t the foggiest idea of what they’re doing.

Jason from Thousand Oaks, CA

With all this draft talk, I’m ready for a golf break. Who you got in the Masters this weekend? I’d like to see Rory get his head on straight but if I were a betting man my money would be on one of the Justin’s.

Is Lanny playing?

Chris from Mandarin, FL

I re-watched the 1996 AFC Wild Card Game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills recently. Here is what stood out more than running back Natrone Means’ and left tackle Tony Boselli’s performances. On the play where Bills quarterback Jim Kelly fumbled the ball, his knee was clearly down prior to fumbling and the wrong call was made on the field. The Bills were driving for a late go-ahead score and were around midfield at the time. It was actually a pretty disappointing game to go back and watch. There were a number of highlight plays, but if not for a blown call by the refs the Jags likely would have and probably should have lost. Perception of events is usually different from reality and hindsight can be an underwhelming thing. We complained for a year that Myles Jack Wasn’t Down. Hell, I did too. Stuff happens. I really wonder if the new officiating rules will keep something like this from happening again.

Really? A Jaguars fan is disappointed in one of the most memorable games in franchise history? And one of the most exciting? The Jaguars that season were a remarkably resilient team. They twice overcame seven-point leads in that game. Why couldn’t they have stopped the Bills on that late drive? Why couldn’t they have won in overtime? Look, the history of the NFL is littered with games that would have been different if not for a call. A controversial call on a would-be touchdown reception by wide receiver Mike Renfro in the AFC Championship Game following the 1979 season prevented Houston from tying the game late and perhaps led to the Pittsburgh Steelers winning a fourth Super Bowl. That doesn’t diminish the Steelers’ accomplishments of that era, just as a multitude of other missed calls don’t change or diminish history. Missed calls are as much part of the game as mistakes by players. And no … the new officiating rules won’t prevent missed calls from being part of the game. They might prevent some mistakes, but they won’t remove all controversy. The game is played by large, fast, strong men and there always will be close plays that only judgement can decide. And where there is judgement there is disagreement. And where there is disagreement there is controversy.

Jason from St. Augustine, FL

Why haven't we acquired Marcedes Lewis?

Because he plays for the Green Bay Packers.

Advertising