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O-Zone: Nightly visit

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Jason from Da Hass

John, I was listening to a radio show and the hosts were wondering how much more Jalen smack talk Tom Coughlin can handle before he shuts it down. They cited his disciplinary style and age as reasons for his alleged disdain of the swaggering King’s words. My thought is this: TC and Jalen are ultimate competitors whose only mission is to win. “What else is there?” Amiright? I’m not so sure TC has a problem with Jalen seeing how winning is so important to him that he’s actively trying to win lunch for Pete’s sake. What do you think? Oh, and the BOAT says Jagwires.

I think there are a couple of issues here the radio hosts perhaps don’t grasp. One is that indeed Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin certainly respects cornerback Jalen Ramsey’s desire to win; he also knows enough about football to know Ramsey appears to be a generational talent who is committed to being great – and Coughlin without question values that. Also remember: there is a limit to what even the staunchest disciplinarians can do when a player is merely talking and not breaking rules or operating outside the law. He might say, “I would rather you not say that,” but beyond that? Not much. But perhaps the biggest overriding point that many people miss is that Doug Marrone – not Coughlin – is the Jaguars’ head coach. Marrone doesn’t concern himself much with players trash-talking -- and in fact, he likes the Jaguars’ swagger. I don’t know that he deep down loves Ramsey criticizing opponents, but he’s certainly not bothered enough by it to make it a crisis.

Ron from Jacksonville

I was thinking that we could unveil an AFC Finalist banner when we host Indy ... then burn it because that's the weakest banner on earth ...

But that wouldn’t be nice.

Brad from Orange Park, FL

I’ll agree with you that Ramsey’s “talking” doesn’t necessarily hurt the team. But I did cringe when he gave the Super Bowl guarantee. That, in my opinion didn’t do the team any favors.

I suppose that’s true if you honestly believe the New England Patriots played better or worse in the AFC Championship Game in January because of something Ramsey said in a euphoric moment the week before at an emotional fan rally. I think it’s a stretch to think that, but I suppose there have been worse theories about things.

Kevin from Jagsonville

What if GQ asked Ramsey about the Jags’ senior writer?

“He’s a straight dog…”

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

You were spot on when you said, “There is a disconnect between why the players say they are protesting and why many people believe they are protesting.” And that, John, is a lesson the players themselves need to learn. Not only are they offending fans, but they aren’t getting their message across. Surely these intelligent young men can find a more effective way to raise awareness of very real and important social issues.

In the interest of fairness, if it’s true that players aren’t getting the message across in this kneeling/anthem debate it’s just as true that it’s tough to get a message across if people don’t want to hear the message. We seemingly have reached a point in this country where debates such as this are less about conversation or attempt on both sides to understand one another and more about the debater increasing the volume with which he/she is saying – and sometimes shouting – what he/she already believes. I realize there are fans who are offended. And fans have the right to respond how they respond regardless of whether they understand the players’ actions. But players have the right to do what they want to do, too. Hence, the difficulty of this situation.

Cliff from Callahan, FL

I believe Jerell can be defined as "He Who Is Profoundly Wrong" ...

… and “Awesome!”

Jensen from Hallettsville

According to Google, "a Jerrell" is a baby's name that grows into the greatest man you will ever meet. I think Jerrell from SC may have self-edited this definition.

Not likely. He was too busy being … “Awesome!”

Braddock from 1010/92.5ville

Hey John, I love it when you are on the air. You probably don't realize you are the voice of reason. I was in the old Gator Bowl watching preseason games when Jake Godbold was trying to get this team here in the late 80s. I'm so excited to have gone through the ups and downs of this franchise; I'd personally not trade any of it. The bad makes you appreciate the good/great. How stoked are you to be a part of this rejuvenated franchise as someone who covered the Jags in the beginning?

I don’t know that I get all that stoked about that much these days, though I am on occasion known to find things gnarly and radical to the max. I will say this, though: As someone who also sat in the old Gator Bowl for preseason games, and as someone who remembers well the time when this city getting an NFL franchise seemed to many a ridiculous proposition, I very much appreciate the history of this team. And I did very much enjoy last season again seeing what I always have believed and said – that this city has an undying passion for football, and that this fan base is something special. In that vein I am without question excited to see what this season will bring and am happy for the opportunity to be around it.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, looking forward seeing the team here Week 1! Looking forward to my family visiting from Jax. This is a good opportunity to remind you there isn't a Sbarro around here. We have good pizza. I'd recommend Razza again, rated the best pizza in New York City even though it is in my town, Jersey City. Get there early. You're welcome!

I’ll make sure I … wait … no Sbarro’s?

Marcus from Jacksonville

I understand the sentiment on the helmet rule, that it will likely affect fewer games than what fans currently think. But the issue is, every season there is at least one team that misses the playoffs by one game, or by a tiebreaker. I'm not saying that every year the helmet rule is going to change the playoff seedings, but the reality is that one game can change a lot in the NFL. Let's hope this new rule doesn't affect things in that way!

There’s a very real chance the helmet rule will dramatically affect at least one’s team playoff seeding, or possibly whether a team makes the playoffs. Rare is the NFL season in which some sort of rule/call doesn’t influence something along these lines. We had such an incident last season, remember, when the catch rule helped decide a New England-Pittsburgh regular-season game had a big influence on homefield advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs. When I wrote earlier this week I thought the helmet rule would have less of an effect than many feared, I meant that I don’t think we’ll see it called in every game. But it’s going to get called, and it’s going to get called at key times. If officials call the rule in any sort of effective fashion, it inevitably will matter at some point.

Josh from Fernandina Beach, FL (currently in Fort Lauderdale)

Hi John:

Hi.

Josh from Fernandina Beach, FL (currently in Fort Lauderdale)

Hi John:

We remain hopeful the situation will improve.

Josh from Fernandina Beach, FL (currently in Fort Lauderdale)

Hi John: Nice work on keeping the natives sane during the long offseason. Whether it was the new website or a training camp fight, Ramsey being interviewed or Bortles getting booed, or anything in between, you kept it more than mildly interesting. Now that Week 1 is upon us, my question is the following: Which areas of the G-Men defense do you believe the Jags will seek to exploit most? Same questions for the Jags D by the G-Men.

The Giants believe they will be good against the run, partly because of what they believe is a strong group of down linemen and interior linebackers in their new 3-4 scheme as implemented by first-year defensive coordinator James Bettcher. I still expect the Jaguars to try to run early and often up the middle because of the presence of guard Andrew Norwell, center Brandon Linder and guard A.J. Cann … so call that strength versus strength. I expect the Giants to try to run on the Jaguars, too – because I believe most teams will try to run on the Jaguars. The last thing teams want to do against the Jaguars’ pass rush and secondary is commit totally to the pass. That’s a formula for getting your quarterback hit, which in turn is a formula for turnovers.

Mikey from Jacksonville

Did the potty monster get u, too?

Every night, Mikey. Every night.

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