O-Zone: Otherwise occupied

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

I see where the Jaguars tried to trade for Baltimore Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III twice last season. Typical Jaguars. Embarrassing.

I saw this report earlier this week, too – and it would be a terrific story if it were true. But it doesn’t add up. The Jaguars had Griffin in for a workout last offseason and could have signed him. They weren’t interested at that time and it’s my understanding they weren’t interested last season, either. Now, Griffin did say otherwise on a podcast this week, so it’s very possible someone told Griffin the Jaguars tried to trade for him. Someone saying this doesn’t make it so.

Bill from Jacksonville

Is Shad Khan a good NFL owner?

Absolutely.

Mason from Palm Bay, FL

What do you think would increase our 2019 win total more significantly, adding an above-average right tackle or an above-average pass rusher?

Neither. Single rookies rarely significantly increase any team’s victory total. There are exceptions such as elite running back – or special quarterback – but those scenarios are rare enough I don’t expect them.

Keith from Palatka, FL

I agree that University of Florida right tackle Jawaan Taylor is the best offensive tackle in this draft and consequently is the consensus choice for the Jaguars at No. 7 in the draft. With that said, I believe Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver is the best player in the draft. Some say that he is too small to play the three technique as a defensive tackle. I remember two other players who were questioned as being too small: former Minnesota Vikings defensive end/defensive tackle John Randle and Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Oliver has the same freaky athletic ability as these other too-small defensive tackles. Oliver certainly is not in their rare air yet, but he has the potential to be. If he were to develop into a player similar to Randle and Donald, wouldn't the Jaguars regret passing on him if he fell to them?

Of course. And if Oliver doesn’t develop into that sort of player, they obviously wouldn’t regret it all.

Joshua from Jacksonville

What wide receivers are on the Jaguars’ draft board?

Why stop at one position? I’ll just get a photo of the whole draft board and text you. (Text me your digits.)

Big on Blake from Philly

Hey, Zone: If you speak to Yann, please don’t tell him that NFL.com just placed him as ninth overall pick to Chicago in a 2016 re-do. And if he happens to already know, point out that he’s still not a Top 5 pick and behind Joey Bosa. That should keep his fire burning brightly! One fer Yanngetssacks.

What’s good for Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue is he’s getting some credit along these lines. What’s good for the Jaguars is he will be angry that he’s only considered the ninth-best player in that draft class.

Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC

Penny for your thoughts about this AAF debacle? I’m not going to list everything I’ve read in my question, but it looks ugly.

I know almost nothing about the Alliance of American Football beyond what I’ve read – and from what I have read, it indeed has been a debacle. I never took it seriously enough to become engrossed in outcomes or players, though I do think some of the AAF’s rules ideas – particularly regarding instant replay – likely will have some lasting impact on the NFL. My primary thought upon learning the AAF was suspending operations was empathy for players, coaches and staff – particularly staff – whose lives were disrupted and who apparently were misled by people running the league. Anyone who casually or callously leads someone to change their lives under false pretense comes in pretty low on the character scale.

Jeff from Wake Forest, NC

Good day, O! With the dissolution of the AAF, do you think there will be a second mini-wave of free-agent signings and are there any you think the Jags would be interested in? #moodachay

I wouldn’t be surprised if a few AAF players sign with the NFL. If it it’s a wave, I would expect it to be a very small one – maybe even a ripple.

Edward from Los Angeles, CA

I'm vaguely familiar with the historical context of "backs" as a position designation in American football, but can you tell me why linebackers are not referred to as "linebacks?" Or alternatively, why are quarterbacks not called quarterbackers?

I don’t know exactly why it’s “linebacker” instead of “lineback” – nor can I explain why it’s not “quarterbacker.” I can tell you the linebacker position is said to have originated when University of Michigan lineman Germany Schultz began standing up before plays when on defense. The story goes that legendary Michigan coach Fielding H. Yost at first disliked the approach but later accepted it. Regardless, the “linebacker” term referred to a player “backing up” the defensive line.

Al from Orange Park, FL

John, how do you see the linebacker position playing out? How certain are you of your assessment?

I expect Telvin Smith to start at weak-side linebacker and Myles Jack to start in the middle with Leon Jacobs likely the strong-side backer. Jake Ryan, who signed as an unrestricted free agent from the Green Bay Packers, could work his way into the middle-linebacker role in base situations – but he will need to earn his way into that position. Ryan also gives the Jaguars some good flexibility at the position. I am 62.7 percent sure of this assessment.

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

Regarding team captains, doesn’t it seem unlikely there would be two from the same position? Yannick Ngakoue would like to be one but that seems unlikely as Calais Campbell is almost (and deservingly) guaranteed that honor. Do you think it’s possible to have two defensive ends be the defensive captains? I think it more likely Smith keeps his stripes or Myles Jack or Jalen Ramsey may be voted as captains. Do you think Yan was assuming the management would move on from Campbell when he spoke about this? Moodachay

While I can’t immediately recall a situation in which two players from the same position were team captains, I also admit to not researching – or caring about – the topic enough to know if it would be unprecedented. I can’t see it being an issue if it occurred. As far as Ngakoue’s thoughts when he made the statement, I highly doubt he was thinking in terms of whether Campbell would be on the team. I discussed the issue with him twice. Each time, I came away with the impression that he very much wants to be a team captain because he feels he will earn it and that he could benefit the team in the role. I didn’t get the idea that he was concerned about who might or might not be with the team next season.

Jason from Da’Hass

John, I was wondering who the last Jags Pro Bowl O-Lineman was, so I Iooked it up. Wish I hadn't. … Now I know that punters and kickers outnumber offensive linemen for Jaguars Pro Bowl appearances. Happy to know that new quarterback Nick Foles has a quick release ...

The Jaguars haven’t had a lot of Pro Bowl offensive linemen in their history. That has very little bearing on their current offensive line.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

The Jags are a little thin at receiver. If they have a couple injuries to the front line, they would be in a bad spot. Do you think they will draft one in the middle rounds or will they sign a veteran after the 53-man roster cutdown?

I expect the Jaguars to select a receiver late in the draft, or to sign one or two as a collegiate free agent. But I generally expect their five receivers next season to be Marqise Lee, Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook, Chris Conley and DJ Chark Jr. Most teams aren’t particularly deep beyond their top four or five receivers.

Gabe from Jacksonville

If you had to guess the round in which the Jags draft a quarterback (knowing that there’s no way to know because any number of things could change the answer), what would you lean towards?

Collegiate free agency.

Spazman from Jacksonville

Do you think the hiring of Norv Turner as senior defensive consultant (or whatever his title is) indicates a lack of confidence on the part of Jaguars Brass in Todd Wash? The disorganized mess the defense displayed in the Dallas, Kansas City and the first Colts game is concerning to me, and I would assume to other Jags fans as well? That's nearly 33 percent of the season's games where the defense was, in effect, clueless, particularly in the first half of those games.

Norv Turner doesn’t work for the Jaguars. He’s the offensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers. That’s a shame. If he wasn’t otherwise employed, perhaps you could hire him to tutor you in math.

Advertising