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O-Zone: On to Tampa

Ryan from Apopka, FL

O-Man, the two-back sets look good. So many options for a defense to have to cover. I think they ran the formation with the starters four times and got nearly 80 yards. Glad to see Corey Grant get in on some designed plays/formations for him.

This is developing into a major story around this team as it appears two-back sets are going to be a major part of the Jaguars’ offensive approach this season. The offense looked effective and even dominant at times Saturday when using combinations of running backs Corey Grant, Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon. The good news for the Jaguars on this front was the trio looked explosive quick and strong, though perhaps the better news was that the offensive line that featured starting left guard Andrew Norwell and starting right tackle Jermey Parnell looked powerful and effective. What’s intriguing is we have only seen the two-back looks in the first half of a couple of preseason games, so it stands to reason offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett has yet to reveal a lot of what the Jaguars will do with this concept. The Jaguars aren’t going to average 20 yards a play with the approach; if they did, that would be some sort of record. But if Saturday night is any indication, the two-back look is going to be tough to defend.

Brandon from Jacksonville

At some point, we have to go in a different direction than Blake Bortles. We can’t keep making excuses for his bad play. And, I do think we make excuses. “The wide receiver slipped.” “The pressure of the line.” He’s a liability.

Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles had a couple rough plays Saturday. He had a couple of rough passes last week against Minnesota. I understand the tendency to panic, though I still believe he’s going to bring a lot more good than bad this season. It sort of comes down to three questions. Are those plays concerns? Yes. Absolutely. Is he a liability? I don’t believe so. Are the Jaguars going a different direction than Bortles? Not any time soon.

Bill from Jacksonville

He’s entering Year 5, John – and Blake Bortles still attempts passes and throws interceptions that would frustrate you if he were just a rookie. Interceptions are one thing, but Blake’s are terrible. Why is Bortles still making rookie mistakes, John? Thanks! Go Jags!

Because that’s what he does. He throws interceptions – sometimes more than you would like. What he also did more often than not last season is make up for those mistakes. He also didn’t make nearly as many mistakes late in the season as he had in years past. I believe from watching the last half of last season and the postseason that Bortles largely is moving past the stage where those mistakes define him. I don’t believe this will be an overriding trend in the regular season. We’ll see if that’s accurate.

Joe from Neptune Beach, FL

The Jags are thin at receiver and Dez Bryant needs a team. Should the Jags take a flyer on Bryant?

I wouldn’t, and I don’t believe the Jaguars will, either. If Bryant were the receiver he had been in his prime, my answer would be different. But if he were the receiver he had been in his prime, he wouldn’t be available with a week remaining in the preseason.

Robbie from Jacksonville

The Jaguars have a huge problem with left tackle Cam Robinson. My grandmother could beat him in a one-on-one and her walker is missing a wheel and she tends to move to her left due to her vertigo.

I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother. I suppose if you were a good grandson, you might cough up the money for a new wheel, but who am I to judge? But yes – Robinson must be better than he has been in the 2018 preseason. Much better. He has the potential to do so, but it has been an issue in the preseason. The good news for the Jaguars on this front: the offense ran effectively Saturday and looked like it got good push. The offense overall looked potent after a few early hiccups. Still, Robinson does need a better start to the season.

Don from Lake Mary, FL and Section 35 Since Day 2

Regarding Coach Malone, the fact that you can’t properly go back and spell-check your question in the new format SUCKS and I ... ehhh, never mind Oehser. If it sucks it sucks, just like fans gonna fan.

We remain hopeful the situation will improve as fans continue to fan.

Matthew from Huntington Beach, FL

Would it be in the best interest and franchise responsibility to pick up Kelvin Taylor (Fred Taylor’s son)? He has tried at multiple pro teams but hasn’t found a home. Still has upside and we know he has good personal coaching. Wouldn’t be bad for our practice team at least and he was a Gator. Might be a fun and useful pick up?

Teams don’t pick up players for the practice squad because they used to be a Gator or because it might be fun.

Dakota from Dupree, SD

Zone, the defense should be very good again this year. Will a tougher schedule against better offenses result in more points and yards given up? I think that it might. Don't get me wrong ... they are going to be what helps the team win more than not. I just see them not being so good statistically. What say you?

I think the Jaguars will be one of the NFL’s best defenses. I also think the Jaguars’ offensive philosophy will continue to be run-centric. If the Jaguars run better than they did in the second half of last season – and the addition of Norwell should help that be the case – then there’s no reason the Jaguars shouldn’t again be one of the best statistical defenses in the NFL.

Dwayne from Jacksonville

You know I am a big O-Zone fan for lots of reasons, but I just realized my No. 1 reason is you have never answered me with a "You go, girl." Thanks.

You—

Rick from Franconia, VA

O, did MoJo write yet to question how you could consider anyone else as having a chance to "go down as the best non-first-round selection in franchise history?”

What I wrote was that Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue has a chance to be the best non-first-round selection in franchise history. Former Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew – a second-round selection in the 2006 NFL Draft – hasn’t written me about it, but there’s a good chance he will mention it when we speak if he’s aware I wrote it. But Jones-Drew is a knowledgeable football guy and I’m not sure he will argue it too much. Ngakoue made his first Pro Bowl last season and he has the look of a player destined for a bunch more. Jones-Drew is an all-time great player in this franchise’s history, but it’s tough to watch Ngakoue right now and argue that he won’t end up in the same category.

Tony from Los Angeles, CA

Zone Daddy: Can you do me a favor when you walk by Yan? Just mention that Bucky Brooks left him off his list of top 5 pass rushers of 2018. Then point at him and laugh. That should be good for an extra six or seven sacks this season.

I’ll mention it, but maybe I’ll do it from across the locker room. Or from another place in the stadium. Or by text. Or telegram.

Scott from Jacksonville

So, if Yannick has the type of season we are coming to expect, how realistic is it to expect him to play for $830,000 next year? We're going to be up against the salary cap for 2019, but it would just seem rude to me to pay him like the 50th best end in the league when he's playing like one of the best.

Teams under NFL rules can renegotiate the contracts of drafted players following their third seasons, meaning the Jaguars can negotiate second contracts for players selected in the 2016 NFL Draft – i.e., Ngakoue, linebacker Myles Jack and cornerback Jalen Ramsey – following the end of the 2018 season. While they theoretically could have the players play under their rookie contracts in 2019, I expect them to attempt to renegotiate sometime next offseason. There are enough moving parts with the Jaguars’ salary-cap situation that I don’t expect the master plan in this area to become public, but I suspect we’ll get a better handle on contracts and players’ futures as the end of the season approaches.

Jerell from TIAA Bank Field

Jags need to go with Kessler he is clearly better than Bortles. I see a decent team with a bad QB in Bortles who makes them an 6-10 to 8-8 team.

And with that, we move on to Thursday’s preseason finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa …

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