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O-Zone: Mr. Personality

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Cleon from Palatka/Philippines

Of all the Jaguars' undrafted free agent cornerbacks and offensive linemen, which ones do you think have a chance at making the team? Are there any others that might have a chance?

Three Jaguars 2020 UDFAs who stand out at first glance: cornerback Luq Barcoo, safety J.R. Reed and running back James Robinson. Barcoo was an All-America selection in his final season at San Diego State this past season, and Reed (Georgia) and Robinson (Illinois State) were invited to the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine. While it's difficult to predict a particular collegiate free agent will make a roster, those credentials make you think at least one could have a chance. The reality is no Jaguars rookie yet has participated in an NFL practice. Until the players get on the field, this is pretty much guesswork.

Zac from austin, tejas

Can you speak to Head Coach Doug Marrone's style of coaching with making risky/tricky plays? I'm watching the 2017 season again, and just laughed remembering the onside kick against the Cleveland Browns (among other moments like this in the season).

When the Jaguars' defense was dominant as it was in 2017, risky/tricky plays made a lot of sense because the defense made them less risky. If those tricky plays failed, you had a dominant defense to prevent the play from costing you points. When your defense isn't dominant, it's less prudent to do things that makes its job tougher.

Romel Manilla

Is it jell or gel?

It depends.

David from the Island

You got me on "jell," O man. Had to google that one. Always thought it was gel. Your brain gets bigger every day. How do you hold it all in?

When you work with words, words are your work.

Big on Blake from Philly

KOAF, I hear you have to shave and head back to work this week. Sorry to hear about that. My only question now is, what are you doing under that mask?

Who says I'm shaving? And I've been working for the last 10 weeks. Now, it is true that in a few weeks or so I may have the opportunity to again work from TIAA Bank Field. And when I do, current plans are to sport the grizzled funk, baby. All day long.

Nick from Palatka, FL

Zone, I know: The offensive line played better last year than most casual observers/fans give them credit for. But they did kill a lot of drives with offensive holding penalties (37 to be exact, 32ndin the league and eight more than the 31stteam). So are offensive line coaches George Warhop and Tony Sparano Jr. planning to make this a point of emphasis this offseason? Seems like cleaning up this one area would go a long way toward offensive consistency.

The offensive line must commit fewer penalties next season – and yes, cleaning up the area would go a long way to improving the Jaguars' offense. I wish I had a better answer for exactly how they will do that. They will emphasize it. They will coach to reduce it. It will be a focus. And then at some point the players must play and improve it. There's not much to analyze about it until we see if it happens.

Ed from Concord, NC

I can't believe it. I'm getting caught up and someone called Jack Del Rio the last good coach we have had. Del Rio tanked on the Weavers, the Jaguars and the fans his last two years. He deserved to be fired and, seemingly, former Jaguars Owner Wayne Weaver thought the coach should coach out his contract. Fans have such short memories.

Yeah, well …

Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC

I think this has been asked before, but I'll go ahead and bring it up just in case. If you could put one retired Jaguar back on the roster this year, who would it be? I think that based on their talent and team needs, I'd have to go with Jimmy Smith, followed by Rashean Mathis. You?

This is next to impossible because any one of the Hall-of-Fame talents – running back Fred Taylor, left tackle Tony Boselli and wide receiver Jimmy Smith – would help tremendously. You never wouldn't be helped by a Hall-of-Fame talent. For now, I would go with Smith by a nose. A go-to receiver along with DJ Chark Jr. would add some serious life to the offense.

JT from Fort Worth, TX

I read that ESPN has the Jags as having the highest percent chance to get the No. 1 overall selection in next year's draft. That means the Jags are making the playoffs.

It means nothing on any level, but if you enjoyed the post … so be it.

Alon from Malibu, CA

Cory Littleton signed this offseason for $12 million a year. He was the top middle linebacker in the free-agent class. Myles Jack signed last summer an extension at $14 million a year to play same position. Did the Jaguars overpay?

Probably, and if Jack struggles at weak-side linebacker moving forward that will look like a bad signing. If he plays to his potential, it will seem like money well-spent.

Greg from Section122 and Jacksonville

I think people are getting way too hung up on schemes and concepts: 4-3, 3-4 … who cares. Simple rule of all defenses. Get to the quarterback quick, stop the run and make sure you cover the wide receiver/tight end. Do that and you will be successful. How we accomplish that is really not all that significant. The big question is can the talent we have on the roster, given the youth element, execute these things effectively? Cause in the end, scheme will mean little as we will most likely by in dime/nickel 75 percent of the time.


Guillaume from Paris

"He should flourish on that front in offensive coordinator Jay Gruden's West Coast scheme, particularly if the Jaguars run well enough to get Gardner Minshew II into play-action opportunities." Sorry, John, but I can't let you put out this statistical fallacy. Run success does not correlate play-action success. I thought you'd be aware of that covering Peyton Manning, who had great play-action success despite an often-poor running game.

Sorry, Guillaume. The Colts in my 10 years covering the team never had a poor running game. They had at minimum an adequate running game with a Hall of Fame running back, Edgerrin James, for much of Manning's career – and they had 1,000-yard backs even when James was hurt or departed. And the run absolutely was important to the Colts' play-action success. Manning often said the Colts had to establish the threat of the run to make it work. That meant defenses had to believe just enough that the Colts would run to move a defender into position to stop it. So yes, Guillaume, the run absolutely is crucial to play-action success. Defenses must worry enough about the running game to bite on the play fake. It's the fundamental building block of the play.

Ryan from Detroit, MI

O-man, there's lots of talk here about how Minshew needs to improve with red-zone efficiency. That may be true, but I recall the Jags calling a lot of short-yardage run plays in the red-zone last year and they mostly got stuffed. I think we need to focus more on improving our run-blocking. I'm tired of watching us get stuffed on three consecutive inside runs from the two-yard line.


Garrett from Edgewater

Zone, what is it about Minshew that makes everyone love him so much? Usually when a player is in a situation where he could be good but must prove himself players will get criticized. For example, I personally did not care for Tre Herndon at cornerback. Most people seem to think he earned a starting spot. But I don't think there is a single person that is like "I don't like Minshew." His personality matches that of Jacksonville, and he's a genuine kind of guy. I think the fan base just wants him to succeed. Any additional insight? Here's to hoping he does in fact succeed.

Minshew doesn't appear to take himself too seriously and he's fun in a way that isn't arrogant. He has a cool mustache. He gives of the appearance of being a nice guy and I've heard nothing to indicate that's not the case. He has a dynamic personality and teammates like him. He also has a flair for the dramatic and a lot of poise. In addition to that, he showed enough as a rookie to give fans a glimmer of hope that he might be very good. And there were times that glimmer showed brightly enough that it was more than a glimmer and felt like the real thing. None of that means that he is a dead, solid lock to be a franchise quarterback but considering all of that … well, at this point, what's not to like?