JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Joe from Fleming Island, FL
Mr. O-Zone, we hear quite often when new offensive coordinators come on board that one of the issues involves players learning the vocabulary of the new offense. Why do different coaches call the same action/formation etc., by different names? I realize there are more nuances and complexities that as a fan I might not fully appreciate. However, there has to be some basic language as a framework. Is this an ego thing with coaches? A basic language framework would seem to assist coaches and players in a current league where both coaches and players change teams frequently.
It's not so much an "ego thing" as a logistical challenge. How would coaches decide whose "basic language" to use as a framework across the NFL and into the college level? When would the coaches sit down and decide this? A weekend in the mountains a week after the Super Bowl? Over beers at the NFL Scouting Combine? I'm not saying having a basic language wouldn't help in exactly the ways you put forth, but coaches carry their offenses with them throughout their careers. Those offenses grow and evolve. Coaches also work to make the offenses as understandable as possible for the reasons you cite. To try to get all the people running those offenses together and determine terminology to make learning them simpler just realistically wouldn't happen. If it were realistic, teams would have already done it.
Ryan from Detroit, MI
KOAGF, can you provide any update on the Lot J Plans? We usually hear about that during the annual State of the Franchise address, but I heard that got cancelled this year because of COVID-19.
The long-term development around the stadium remains a city and team objective, though with Lot J continuing to be used by the City of Jacksonville for COVID-19 testing any planned work there remains on hold. As often is the case in these situations, approval and progress takes time – and as might be imagined in these times, focus in recent months has been on the pandemic. Still, the Hart Bridge ramp demolition that is so important to the entire concept is underway. And the project remains a priority for the franchise.
Steve from Nashville, TN
Though starved for live sports I have stayed away from watching replays of vintage games until I stumbled on a January 1999 playoff game between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers. The lineups were littered with Hall of Famers – Reggie White, Steve Young, Brett Favre, Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens – and featured Lake City's Pat Summerall and John Madden in their prime. Local legend LeRoy Butler was playing for the Packers and current Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid was a Packers assistant coach. I had forgotten how much Summerall and Madden added to the broadcast. I had forgotten the outcome of the game, so it was kind of new to me. I recommend giving those older classics a second look.
I'm glad you enjoyed your game.
Brian from Jacksonville
Yannick should heed the rumblings from Major League Baseball about compensation going on these days. He's able to secure his finances today without "sacrificing" his unrestricted-free agent value by getting on board now. Injury risk could be very low or non-existent for 2020 as well. Why not now?
I've said and written often – and will write again here – that I can't pretend to know the reason behind some of Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue's decisions regarding his contract. He showed last season he's willing to forego short-term salary in an attempt to secure a long-term contract and he may well be willing to do so again in 2020. I doubt he will pay much attention to baseball to guide his decisions, as it has seemed in the past he pays attention to his own ideas and those of his advisors. But I don't know that his injury risk is low or nonexistent. I expect the NFL to play games this season. If Ngakoue signs the franchise tag and plays, his risk on that front would be the same as it would be in any other season.
Kevin from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
When assessing the Jaguars' wide receiver group, it seems like Dede Westbrook is not spoken of as a potential difference-maker or key contributor. What happened? A year ago many thought he had 1,000-yard-season potential and ability to lead the offense. Were observers wrong with their assessments or is the issue with Westbrook (work ethic, etc.)?
You're correct that Westbrook is often – perhaps too often – overlooked when discussing Jaguars wide receiver. That's partly because he's entering his fourth season and for the first three seasons he has sort of "been what he is" – averaging 53 receptions for 572 yards and three touchdowns. He has flashed at times but hasn't been consistent and hasn't proven to be a go-to receiver. The other side of the discussion is that he has shown potential – and he played through injuries much of last season. So, is it possible that he has the potential many discussed entering 2019? Sure. It's now on him to fulfill it.
John from Jacksonville
I was working the other day and suddenly time stood still as I entered a dream sequence. It was me at Sbarro's with my slice of pizza and coke. After my first bite, I went to the O-Zone and smiled as I realized the daily post was there to read. Then, when looking up, I saw a man sitting across from me facing the other way. I took another bite of pizza. He then turned around, growled like a bear, ate his whole slice in one bite, and smiled while whispering "I am the King of all Grizzled Funk!" He boldly walked away with a pepperoni stuck in his beard. Was that you? If so, I will now growl like a bear before taking my bite of pizza at Sbarros.
That was Sexton.
J. Keith Hill
The albums that you chose for your Top 10 list had elements of protest and social commentary. A window into your soul? I grieved the death of John Prine, who died of COVID-19 on April 7th. In my opinion, his lyrics were second only to Bob Dylan – the "the poet laureate of 20th century America."
I'm not sure who's first or second, but any list of great lyricists of our time not including those two isn't worth reading.
Dan from Ormond Beach, FL
I realize this question is six weeks too late. If Gardner Minshew II would have hypothetically been available for the 2020 draft after the season he showed in 2019 where do you think he would have been drafted? First round? If so, where in the first round?
Probably the second or third round. While Minshew showed a lot of potential as a rookie, there also were areas of concern. If it were a re-drafting situation, I imagine there would be some teams still hanging on to the "prototype" concerns that pushed him into the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. And because he has "just" started 12 games, there would still be a lot of projection involved. Some team might have selected him in the first round, but my guess is it would have been a bit later. I don't know that this would have made the teams correct, but it's probably what they would have done.
Pradeep from Bangalore, India
Hey O, little observation on Minshew. His first name and last name are starting with letters associated with two of the successful quarterbacks from Jaguars history (Mark Brunell and David Garrard). I think Gardner Minshew will be the special guy for the Jaguars for the years to come. I am excited for this season. He will be the GM for the Jags. Go Jags.
Wow, you're right. That is a "little" observation.
Colton from Gainesville, FL
Are assistant/position coaches currently able to meet and train with players? Seems like young guys like Laviska Shenault Jr., K'Lavon Chaisson and CJ Henderson could really benefit from some individual or small group training with some of the coaching staff. Just curious if any of that is going on?
No. Coaches may meet with players by video conference and speak through that media or by telephone. Players also may meet on their own, but they may not meet with coaches for individual or group on-field work.
Rad from Orange Park, FL
If I left off the -ley or -ford on my name (cant remember which one I put) on accident, it was a beautiful mistake. If YOU did it to make it read just "Rad" - I believe that to be further conformation as to your 'KOAGF' assertion, because that maneuver was #Excellent. Maybe you could allow me an apprenticeship, that I may learn the path to one day become the KOARF? So serious though - I now, will be known - as Rad.
You go, girl.