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O-Zone: Ready for battle

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Alex from New Orleans, LA

Glad to get Ngakoue back with the team. If the two sides can't reach a long-term deal, can't the Jags simply franchise tag him next season? Cornerback Jalen Ramsey would also be under contract under his fifth-year option. Not ideal, but there's no reason to think either player won't be with the team long-term. Do you agree?

Your scenario is one of the ways this tricky situation could play out. The Jaguars can apply the franchise tag to defensive end Yannick Ngakoue in 2020 if he has yet to sign a contract extension, and cornerback Jalen Ramsey indeed will be in the fifth year of his rookie contract that season. Though having the players play that season under those circumstances is an option, my guess is something will move on at least one of the players' contracts well before that. Time has a way of changing dynamics in the NFL. Much can change in a season, or even a month. Stay tuned.

Tom from Charlottesville

Looking at the depth chart, it seems that Mr. Swaim was left out. I thought he was doing OK? One tight end was not listed?

Swaim is doing fine. Look again. Geoff Swaim is listed as a starter at one tight end. James O'Shaughnessy is listed as a starter at the other.

Steve from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

I'm not sure what you can do about it, but I'm sure you have noticed the comments section has been completely taken over by the same three or four unhappy souls that delight in telling us how stupid you, Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin, General Manager Dave Caldwell, you and we are. And they don't mind dropping vulgar language. I have given up on the comments. I now stop after the actual Q&A.

What's a "comments section?"

Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC

No, no, no, no, no, no, no. We need Josh Allen to be a star AND we need Yannick Ngakoue. One great pass rusher does not reduce the need for a second. The total of good pass rushers you have is better than the sum of their parts. My concern is that the Jaguars' defensive ends are two too-specific positions with the big end and the pass-rushing end, and that the team/defensive coordinator Todd Wash won't change the scheme to fit the personnel. We better not lose Ngakoue. He's the best pass-rusher we've drafted since Tony Brackens and absolutely has a chance to be better. Keep that man in Jacksonville, JOSH ALLEN OR NOT CAPITAL LETTERS EXCLAMATION POINTS.

I understand your concern, and no doubt the Jaguars would love to keep Ngakoue. And your point that a team can never have too many pass-rushers is valid. The fact that they negotiated with Ngakoue and tried to sign him before training camp indicates the Jaguars believe the same. Whether the sides can agree to a contract that makes sense remains to be seen.

Nathan from St. Augustine, FL

I like Yannick and think he is one of the better defensive ends in the NFL. But if he were to leave or sit out a year, his replacement is most likely already on the roster. You can't even come close to saying that about Ramsey or linebacker Myles Jack – and if wide receiver Dede Westbrook has a really good year, that's another extension you probably need to make. I would love to keep Yannick, but you can't give him a contract that impacts your ability to re-sign those players in my opinion. What say you?


Curran from Orlando, FL

Worst-case scenario, Yann signs big money with another team. Over/under the narrative of "Blake Bortles' extension prevented the Jags from signing Yann" lasting 100 years?

I don't know how to predict how long narratives will last. I do know how to state the truth, and that's that any narrative stating that former Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles is the major reason Ngakoue hasn't signed a long-term deal is a narrative that's missing the big picture.

Tudor from St. Augustine, FL

He absolutely COULD have had a big raise as soon as he would have wanted. He could have taken the short-term – but significant offer – played his butt off, then signed an even bigger deal. If the Jags offered him even $16 million a year for three years, that's $48 million compared to $42 million in that same span if he makes $2 million this year, and $20 million each of the next two years, one off the tag and one off a new contract. Also, what happens if he has a Ryan Shazier-like injury this season and never plays again? THAT'S why you never turn down $16 million that you KNOW you'll make for $20 million that you MIGHT make. ***Mic


Brandon from Athens, GA

So, I know that injuries are part of the game, but I'm a bit concerned that cornerback A.J. Bouye might not be good to go this year. I haven't seen too many players have hamstring injuries and go on to produce very well throughout the season. Thoughts?

I haven't heard any concern from anyone around the Jaguars that Bouye's issue will linger into the season.

_ Don from Marshall, NC_

How could Jalen Ramsey backstab his team and city like he did with his ideal place to play? Before the season even gets started? Just like last year. Another clown who thinks he is better than everyone else. If the Tennessee Titans or the Oakland Raiders want him and are willing to pay up, then trade him. I am over his childlike mind. You only get to be stupid young a couple times, and he is well past that. Disgraceful! I would fine him just for looking at me if I was the coach. No place for that on a team of men. Go, you little pansy! GO Jaguars!

So, one not fer Jalen evidently.

Tyler from Belfort Road

What have you seen from Alfred Blue at camp and is it reasonable for fans to expect him to be a reliable presence behind starting running back Leonard Fournette?

Blue signed as an unrestricted free agent from the Houston Texans this past offseason, and he has looked during camp as the Jaguars hoped – like a veteran running back capable of being productive if needed. So, yes, it's reasonable for fans to trust that Blue can produce if needed.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, I'm not trying to worry anybody, but have you ever seen a particularly bad injury happen up close?

Yes. I saw running back Malcolm Thomas' leg injury in the Jaguars' inaugural training camp – an injury so severe that Thomas never played again. It was severe enough that players turned away instead of looking. That's unusual.

Gar from Jacksonville

I recorded and then watched six episodes of Live Training Camp to see how the Ravens Jaguars practices were going. Their coverage was 95% allotted time to the Ravens. Were the Jaguars missing most of their players with injuries or did most of them miss the plane. NFL network was not able to locate them on the field up in Maryland. How did your flight make it?

Try again.

Ed from Ponte Vedra, FL

Do you think there is a bit of resentment among the players that cannot afford because of their status the grandstanding of holdouts and Brinks trucks?

No, at least not enough to matter – and a holdout's not grandstanding. It's a player trying to get paid what he feels he deserves.

Jerell from Columbia, SC

How has Taven Bryan looked so far this camp? Is he still on the fast track to being another UF bust for the Jags?

Bryan hasn't stood out either in a good way or a bad way in camp. That's not entirely unusual for an interior defensive lineman. Let's wait until at least his second preseason before calling him a bust.

Don from Marshall, NC

Blake Bortles was one inch away from going to the Super Bowl. I am thankful for that special year. Every team in the league overpays on occasion. To put all the blame on quarterback Blake Bortles for 2018 is beyond reasonable. Get over it already; the sky is not falling because of Bortles' contract. To blame him for all the team's problems is stupid.


Tommy from Fernandina Beach, FL

Mighty O: If the Jags keep just five receivers on the regular season roster this season, who is the No. 5 guy? Terrelle Pryor Sr. or Keelan Cole? I'm assuming the Top 4 are Dede Westbrook, DJ Chark Jr., Chris Conley and Marqise Lee.

You assume correctly about the Top 4. I see the Jaguars keeping six receivers, but if they have to choose between Cole and Pryor I'm guessing they keep Cole. We'll see.

Willis from Jacksonville

I saw you forget to lower your headset mic on Monday's Drive Time; imagine yourself as a knight lowering his visor before battle and you'll not forget again.

'Tis true. I shall try this.

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