JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Dave from Jacksonville
Wizard of O-Zone, it seems to be a consensus that linebacker Myles Jack and defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen are set to have an outstanding year in the Jaguars' new defense – and if they do, they should get considered for All-Pro status. Where would the team have to end up this year to have a third All-Pro player selected? Also, who do you think that might be? It seems with success comes accolades. How far advanced would this team need to get for three or more All-Pro, Pro Bowl players?
First, there's often a significant difference between Pro Bowl and All-Pro. All-Pro – particularly first-team All-Pro – is the NFL's most prestigious honor short of Most Valuable Player and Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year Awards. There is one first-team Associated Press All-Pro quarterback, for instance, and one second-team AP All-Pro quarterback. There are six Pro Bowl quarterbacks, sometimes more with alternates, so being selected first-team All-Pro at most positions is much more difficult than being named to the Pro Bowl. I say this to help make the point that the Jaguars could be very good – a double-digit victory, AFC South-title team – in 2021 and still perhaps get no more than one All-Pro selection. If the Jaguars are good, I definitely would say Jack and Allen would have a chance to be in the conversation for All-Pro honors – and both figure to be Pro Bowl-type players if the team is contending. If the Jaguars push for double-digit victories, a few other players would need to play at high levels. I would guess wide receiver DJ Chark Jr./Marvin Jones/Laviska Shenault Jr. might be possibilities, along with, say, nose tackle Malcom Brown and perhaps cornerback CJ Henderson or cornerback Shaquill Griffin. But the Jaguars have a bunch of players with breakout potential. A cool thing that would happen if the team rises to its potential would be a bunch of those breakout players breaking out and earning postseason accolades.
Zac from Austin, TX
I don't have many notable moments in life. One that I do have is that I was the first to write in to the O-Zone that the Colts went 2-14 the year before Andrew Luck and then made a playoff run. The NEXT DAY you went on to Jaguars Reporters and said, "You know what, why not in Jacksonville?" Come on, King. Hope with us. Give into with your emotions. Get vulnerable. Bump that six-or-seven win projection up to a playoff run. It's been a cold, lonely winter. Here comes the sun.
It seems to me you have fewer notable moments than you think. That said, despite what might be called a momentary lapse of judgment on Jaguars Reporters this past spring, the analyst in me can't in good faith predict a playoff run for the Jaguars. I can in good faith project six or seven victories. Could a playoff run happen? Sure. Have stranger things happened? No doubt. But is that what I expect to happen in the first season after a 1-15 season? Even with a quarterback as talented a rookie Trevor Lawrence, that's tough to project.
Luke from Brisbane, Australia
No love for "Any Given Sunday?"
It was a "bit much."
Mike from Jacksonville
Will I be able to stick my chest out driving by Jaguars stadium like I did in 2018?
I sense you may be asking if the Jaguars will be as good in 2021 as they were in 2017, when they won the AFC South Championship and advanced to the AFC Championship Game. I don't expect the Jaguars to be quite that good in 2021. I do expect them to be vastly improved and to show they are establishing a foundation for postseason contention moving forward. If that gives you cause to puff said chest, have at it.
Man in the Marsh from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
What is the word on Quincy Williams? Will he be on the roster when the season starts?
Linebacker Quincy Williams is on the roster and will be competing for a position in Jaguars 2021 Training Camp. I don't know if he will be on the roster when the season starts. He's fast and athletic, so he has a chance.
Ryan from Detroit, MI
O-zone, is the NFL keeping the same expanded playoff formula that they used last year? If so, what record do you think the Jaguars would need across a 17-game season to snatch that last wildcard slot?
The NFL is using the same playoff format it used in 2020 and the plan is to use the format moving forward. I would project 10-7 probably getting teams into the postseason most seasons.
Scott from Fernandina Beach, FL
Hi John, when talking about great running back duos, let's not forget the trio of Larry Csonka, Mercury Morris and Jim Kiick. Pretty strong RB room there!
You're referencing the 1972 Miami Dolphins – and that indeed was a strong running-back room. But the question to which you are referring asked about teams with two Hall of Fame running backs in the same backfield. Csonka was a Hall of Fame player. Morris and Kiick were really good, but not Hall of Fame players. That's why I didn't mention them.
Bill from Ponte Vedra, FL
I just heard an excellent interview with Bill Polian. He believes that teams that don't make the 85 percent vaccination target will be at a competitive disadvantage because of COVID restrictions. He said that all players have a duty to do everything they can to help the team win. If a player chose to stay up all night drinking before a game, he would be cut immediately. He believes that players making the absolutely stupid decision not to get vaccinated are also disregarding the interest of the team. I have been a season ticket holder since the franchise began. I have a right to expect that players will take reasonable steps to protect their health and will feel cheated if any more Jags players test positive without having been vaccinated.
You have the right to expect whatever you choose. The NFL is doing everything it can to encourage vaccinations. The logistics of the season will make for a very difficult season for unvaccinated players. The league also announced Thursday that games will not be rescheduled due to COVID-19 in 2021, AND that teams with unvaccinated players causing cancellations could forfeit games. The league also announced that players won't get paid when games get cancelled because of unvaccinated players having COVID. I still expect a few players to resist vaccination because people are people. Do you have the right not to like that? Sure.
Stan from Jacksonville
Is today the day "the streak" ends???? If so, I can finally trim my toenails. It was "like a contest"!!!
The streak has not ended. The O-Zone was on the website at early Thursday, though some readers seemed to have trouble finding it because it did not appear on the app. The streak also will not end today, and I don't expect it to end soon. But I'm not sure what you mean by trimming toenails. Can you do that?
Chris from Canal Winchester, OH
RIP Greg Knapp. Prayers for his family and friends at this difficult time.
Greg Knapp, a longtime NFL assistant who was on the staff of the New York Jets, died Thursday from injuries sustained after being struck by a car while bicycling. I didn't know Knapp personally, though he interviewed for positions on teams I covered. Everything I ever heard was that he was among the all-time good people in football coaching. Indeed, may he rest in peace.
Sam from Nottingham, UK
Let's for one minute pretend that Urban got his wish and managed to drafted Toney (it is the dead zone after all!) How do you defend that decision, as the club journalist and what are your genuine thoughts now as a spectator!?!
You're referencing Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer having publicly said in April that he would have liked to have selected University of Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney at No. 25 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. Toney has made some off-field news since being selected by the New York Giants at No 20 overall, and he reportedly will begin training camp on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. How would I defend it had the Jaguars selected Toney? I wouldn't. I probably would point out the truth – that I doubt Toney will be the last NFL player placed on the COVID-19 reserve list and that because Toney has yet to play a game in his rookie season it might be a touch early to assume that the selection needs to be defended.
Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC
Now that rookie training camp has begun, are we officially out of the dead zone? Or do we still have until July 27 to have our most asinine questions answered?
There's always time for asinine here, Gabe.