MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Let's get to it …
Dan from Bills Country
I know you're going to get 5,000 emails about the GQ article, but no matter how any fan feels about it, you have to agree that it definitely got some attention – and that makes me smile. For years this franchise and its fans have been an afterthought at best and laughingstock at worst. A few years ago, if you googled "Jaguars news" you were as likely to get a press release on a car as a story on this team. Try that today. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to see Jalen's quotes all over social media and other team's local newspaper and fan sites. That's how you know things have officially turned around in Jacksonville: When these players talk, people listen.
You're referring of course to Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey's now famous (infamous) Breakdown of All Things NFL Quarterbacking in a recent GQ article. I'm not sure I'm on board that the only way for a team to get attention is to have a star player criticize – albeit somewhat comically – a litany of NFL quarterbacks in a prominent, fashion-based publication, but I'm fine with Ramsey being Ramsey in that story. Or whenever, really. And to your bigger point, yeah … there's no question that the Jaguars' profile is far higher now than it has been in many years. Probably the best way to approach being a fan of this team is to … wait for it … Enjoy it! You know I'm serious because I used an exclamation point, and I even considered using CAPITAL LETTERS. The players on this team are young, confident and talented. This is a team that likes to talk and does it well – often in very entertaining fashion. This is also a team that likes to play football and does it well – often in very entertaining fashion. Is it necessary to talk as the Jaguars do to play entertaining, winning football? No, but this is this team's personality and it's not going to change. It's also not a bad thing. This team is talkative and cocky, but you know it is more than anything? FUN! (Yes … again with the caps and !!!!s). This is not politics. It's not world peace. It's not life and death. It's football. It's entertainment. It's fun. Get on board with it and enjoy. I suppose it's fine if you don't. But if you don't, there's a good chance you're going to miss an enjoyable ride.
Mariano from Jacksonville
Mr. O, can we get back to talking football? I skipped over every question Thursday that started with "Jalen/Fowler should do ---" I only got to read two or three questions and none to do with football. Also, thanks to you and the staff at jaguars.com for keeping us fans in the know!
Happy skipping, Mariano.
Alex from Fredericksburg, VA
O-Man, I heard on 1010XL recently about a scenario of trading Dante Fowler and a first and third for Khalil Mack. Me personally, I love the idea and I think our defense would become the Golden State Warriors at that point, what are your thoughts? Worth it?
I tend to stay away from what former Florida Times-Union beat writer Ryan O'Halloran repeatedly, humorously and correctly liked to call the Jaguars Trade Machine because the majority of trades simply are unrealistic. And I would be stunned if the Jaguars traded for Mack. Would it be great? Sure. Would they be better? Sure. Would it be worth what you're giving up? Sure. But could you pay Mack? And if you paid Mack, could you pay other players you very much want to pay? And would the Raiders really, truly trade Mack? For that combination of player and draft selections? A lot of questions, a lot of difficult answers that make a trade unlikely.
Cliff from Orange Park, FL
Jalen is a genius. He insulted those quarterbacks so that they will try to shut him up by completing passes on him. He was tired of them looking other places; he wants them to come after him. Don't you think this could be fun for Jaguars fans and Jalen?
Rob from Duval
Is it the team's choice whether or not to allow the media to attend practices? If so, might they start choosing to allow media a little less? I for one wouldn't mind if the rest of practice was locked down. Non-team affiliated press can come when fans are allowed to attend. We are getting plenty of national attention we don't need additional distractions.
No, it is not the team's choice whether to let the media attend practices. Teams under NFL rules must allow media to attend a certain portion of practices each week. And while it's awesome to know how you feel the rules should read, rules allowing open practices to the media are in fact necessary. Without them, many if not most or all teams would close practices – just as most teams left unlegislated likely would not allow media to cover teams.
Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL
Can you elaborate on the play of both Leon Jacobs and Taven Bryan? In general on Jacobs, but I'm specifically interested in how Bryan has fared against the Vikings' offensive line in scrimmage and pass rush drills. Do tell.
There's not an incredible amount to tell regarding Bryan this week. The rookie defensive tackle didn't participated in the practice against the Vikings because of an abdominal injury Wednesday and he appeared to be working his way back when participating Thursday. He looked good at times and OK at times before the injury, meaning he looked like what he is: a talented rookie learning the NFL. One thing about Bryan: Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell on Thursday called him the best rookie he ever has been around in terms of doing what's necessary to acclimate to the NFL. That bodes well for Bryan's development. As for Jacobs, he looked good in the preseason opener last Thursday against New Orleans and he continues to work with the starters at strong-side linebacker. I anticipate he will be the starter there this season unless something unexpected occurs.
Edward from Los Angeles, CA
"Regarding Fowler specifically, the Jaguars have dealt with incidents involving him for several seasons with little negative effect on the team." -- Perhaps a change of scenery would do him good.
And perhaps having a reserve defensive lineman capable of 10 sacks and multiple high-impact plays this season would do the Jaguars good.
Richard from Jacksonville
One could argue the nine penalties against Fowler last year, including several on third down, more than offset the benefit of the eight sacks that he had.
Not very convincingly.
Chris from Delray Beach, FL
At what point does a vet like Calais tell 2.0 to just shut up and play?
Ramsey is in his third NFL season. He's a veteran. He can talk when he wants to talk. And he probably will.
Jerell from Columbia, SC
How dumb is Ramsey? He does understand that he isn't the best corner on his own team, right? More talented sure better no. I wish he would shut up and play Jags have one good season in 50 years and now he is running his mouth? No, that's straight facts!!!!
Ladies and gentleman … Jerell!
Logan from Wichita, KS
Oh, yeah ... well, we can't always be right all the time. (Insert time when O was wrong). See?
(Enjoy your wait.)
Steve from Julington Creek, FL
Hi, O: I know that preseason games do not get blockbuster ratings. but many fans are hungry for football and watch. I'm curious why the heck a 1 p.m. Saturday kickoff? I know I won't be able to watch that – and unfortunately, I won't be able to record it. I don't recall any 1 p.m. Saturday games with any teams in recent years. Is it too late to change to a more viewer friendly 7 p.m. time slot?
The game is being simulcast on NFL Network, so that's why a 1 p.m. Saturday kickoff – and while it's not the norm, there have been a few more afternoon preseason games than usual in recent seasons (usually for television reasons, of cour$e). As for changing the game time, I'll make a few calls and see if they can rearrange the broadcast schedule and reschedule thousands of people working and attending the game for you. What's the spelling on your last name again? I imagine there will be a gift basket involved at some point.
Chris from London Town
You say this is an emotional team that lives on the edge and it is natural that occasionally they will step over that edge, but doesn't become an issue when it's the same one or two players who step over that line? I wonder what Ramsey would have thought if it was someone else rating every corner in the league??
If they were rating it accurately, he probably would have liked it.