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O-Zone: Pretty good one

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Steven from Charlotte, NC

If I recall, you were pretty adamant about not calling this season a rebuild a few months ago. Lately, you seem to agree we are now undergoing another major rebuild (with the same general manager, which is rather shocking). So, what changed recently for you? Was there a recent event that now makes you think this a rebuild?

I don't know how adamant I was or wasn't about calling this season a rebuild, though perhaps I was; it has been a busy offseason. I do know I wrote often during the offseason that the Jaguars didn't consider this a rebuild. I suppose the best description of what the Jaguars were doing this offseason came from General Manager David Caldwell when he spoke to the media late Saturday afternoon. He said the team was trying to put together the roster with the best chance to win and get the salary cap in order at the same time. He said while that wasn't an easy task, he overall liked the moves made this offseason toward that end. There's no doubt this is a dramatically different team, roster and feel than when the 2019 season ended. Some observers seem to look at that as a negative. It's not. The team won 11 games the past two seasons and was jammed up against the salary cap when last season ended. It's not jammed up against the cap anymore and the team has what appears to be the beginning of a good, young core. All of that is good. This team needed a new look, a new feel. That starts next week, whether you call it a rebuild, reset or restart – or re-whatever.

Al from Orange Park, FL

Historically, quarterback Philip Rivers has done very well against the Jags. How much of that do you think was "him" and how much was that the relative talent levels of the respective teams? Do you expect that dynamic to change at all now that he's with a different team?

Rivers indeed fared very well against the Jaguars for many seasons. This was typically when he and the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers were good – and when the Jaguars were not good. The one season in the last decade or so when the Jaguars were good – 2017 – the Jaguars beat Rivers and the Chargers in Jacksonville. If the Jaguars are good this season, I suspect they'll play well against Rivers and the Indianapolis Colts. If not …

Mike from Atlanta, GA

So, how does safety look? Will they sign a recently cut veteran or do they like what they have? If cornerback play isn't good, things could get real ugly in the secondary.

The Jaguars like rookie Daniel Thomas and veteran Josh Jones at strong safety. If they hadn't liked those two players, they wouldn't have traded Harrison.

Eric from Columbus, IN

LOL. I think maybe we just tune in next season.


Bradley from Sparks, NV

I'm not a big jersey guy but I did purchase my third Jags jersey in the last 25 years. I own a Jimmy Smith and a Jalen Ramsey (ouch). I am now the proud owner of a Laviska Shenault Jr. No. 10. I noticed Shenault had seven touchdowns on 40 carries in college. Do you see the Jags using Shenault extensively in the running game?

I don't know how extensively he will be used in the running game, but there's little doubt he will be used there to some degree. His ability to break tackles and run with physicality – and to potentially be used in non-traditional receiver situations – was a big reason the Jaguars drafted him.

Noel from St. Augustine, FL

Hey, O! Buying a Jaguars jersey seems to be a risky proposition these days!


Paul from St. Johns, FL

Do Jags players that read the O-Zone, and he knows who he is even if he happened onto this site by mistake, ever email you with feedback? Maybe thanking you for a great read or perhaps chastising you for a poorly written criticism?

I've known of multiple Jaguars players who have read the O-Zone over the years. Some on occasion have liked to discuss things I've written. Others have done some chastising. But I've never been chastised for writing poorly. That's because everything I write is "awesome."

Paul from Jacksonville

I used to be pretty positive this time of year, but that's been harder for me to do the last few years. The 2017 season was a pleasant surprise, but it's not enough. I'm getting past being frustrated with the team and have arrived at being numb. If they do well this year, great. I'll probably watch some of it. If not, I'm done until they start looking like a competitive team.


Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville

Recently on Hard Knocks, Ramsey said that the day he got traded from the Jaguars was the greatest day of his life. I am sure he probably doesn't read this, but the feeling is mutual, bud. Pretty sure I am not the only fan that feels this way.

You're right that former Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey probably won't read this. And you're right that you're not the only fan who feels this way about him. I liked covering him and had little problem with most of his behavior with the team until the final weeks here. But like him or dislike him, his behavior at the end was more than enough. A lot more, actually.

Bill from Jacksonville, FL

No NFL team has ever tanked or would ever tank. OK. Good we got that out of the way. Now, what would happen if a team actually did though, John? What would the NFL say/do if a team just said, "We're going very young this year, we know what that will mean for results on the field, but our focus is on next April's draft?" What would the fallout from this be?

The only way the league would get involved is if coaches and players weren't trying to win. That never would happen, so I don't know how to answer.

Larry from Duncan, OK

Hey, Mr. O. I see reports where Dabo Swinney could leave Clemson to coach Jacksonville in 2021, after successfully tanking to draft Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Once again, all I hear is crickets in support for Head Coach Doug Marrone to squash the rumors. I asked it once. Now again, "Who's in charge?"

Your question implies that Owner Shad Khan should publicly refute every "report" about the Jaguars – no matter how premature or unsubstantiated. It also implies that if Khan doesn't do this, no one is "in charge." This isn't correct. And Khan shouldn't publicly refute everything. Why give credence to something that has none?

Joe from Far, far away

"adoring fans"..?? Autocorrect again..??

I was referring to how O-Zone readers think of me. I meant to write, "abhorring." That's on me.

Steve from Katy

Since we keep releasing "non-elite" players, are there any current Jaguar players that you would call elite?

Defensive end Josh Allen is getting close. Wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. has a chance. So does right tackle Jawaan Taylor.

James from Salt Lake City via Jagsonville

O-man, I bet when you see Big Tony B coming down the hallway, you duck into the first open door. Also, your probably are never alone in the same room with him, either. It's got to be the only way you can continue with your snide remarks!

I do duck into the first open door whenever I see former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli coming down the hallway. And I absolutely spend as little time alone in the same room with him. The great majority of people who know Boselli do the same.

Colton from St. Augustine, FL

Regarding former Jaguars safety Ronnie Harrison, you said "It's only a tank if the moves make you worse, which makes it difficult to argue that Thursday's move had anything to do with tanking." Can you please clarify how exactly this trade does not make the Jags worse this year?

He wasn't much better than the other safeties on the roster.

Travis from High Springs, FL

Who do you believe will start at strong safety? With Ronnie Harrison not being on the team any longer.

Josh Jones.

Jason from Yomitan, Okinawa

Hey O, why do I get the feeling that Dave Caldwell already has an agreement with Khan to return next year no matter what? Watching all these offseason moves makes it look like they are going to hang Doug out to dry.

I don't believe either Caldwell or Marrone has an "agreement" with Khan regarding anything after 2020. And don't think for a minute that Caldwell is trading players or making other moves this offseason and preseason without Marrone knowing about them – and approving of them.

Cliff from Everywhere with a helicopter

A season of abhorrence for Lawrence?

OK. I laughed at this.