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O-Zone: Replay rules

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Justin from NYC

Will the Jaguars have a chance to evaluate Ridley at all before the draft?

The logistics of this are tricky. Wide receiver Calvin Ridley, acquired by the Jaguars in a trade last season with the Atlanta Falcons, has applied for reinstatement from the indefinite NFL suspension that kept him out last season. I expect he will be reinstated sometime before the March 15 start of the 2023 NFL League Year. Ridley then will be able to participate in the Jaguars' offseason program that will begin April 17. That leaves 10 days before the 2023 NFL Draft. Phase one of the offseason program lasts two weeks and only allows meetings, strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation. That means the Jaguars will be able to be around Ridley and get a sense for his conditioning and off-field approach before the draft, but they won't see him do much football-related until after the draft. Remember, though: The Jaguars didn't make the trade thinking they would have this chance. Their due diligence and research is what gave them confidence Ridley will be ready. Remember, too: As tricky as the situation may be, the Jaguars traded sixth- and fourth-round conditional selections for Ridley. Risk was accounted for in the deal.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

I believe the biggest offseason need is to upgrade the cornerback position. By the oddest of coincidences, this year's draft class may be deepest at – wait for it - cornerback. So, with the 24thpick of the draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select. Devon Witherspoon of Illinois? Christian Gonzalez of Oregon? Cam Smith of South Carolina? Joey Porter of Penn State? Or do the Jaguars go after a free agent – e.g. Jamel Dean (Tampa Bay), James Bradberry (Philadelphia), Cameron Sutton (Pittsburgh) or Patrick Peterson (Minnesota)?

Or perhaps the draft AND free agency. I don't have any sense of the team's specific direction on this. We might get a better sense when General Manager Trent Baalke and Head Coach Doug Pederson speak at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in a week and a half. I do have a sense that cornerback is enough of a priority that it could be addressed in multiple ways.

Paul from Gainesville, FL

Zone - I think, as with almost every other aspect of society now, we're given too much information and too little of the logic you noted and the education on how to assess the information we're given. We saw the defensive holding penalty late in the Super Bowl four or five times in two minutes. None of the replays showed the reverse angle to see if the front of the jersey was held, or if the armbar given by the defender impacted what was designed to be a quick-hitting route. What we also didn't see is what one of your other readers talked about, the speed of the play. Has there ever been a discussion by the league about forbidding its broadcast partners to use slow motion replays? I know most sports leagues see any discussion as attention to their game, and thus good. But, if continued use of the replay leads to a belief in corruption, that starts going the other direction.

I don't expect the NFL to forbid slow-motion replays.

Scott from Midatlantic from Jax

Oh man, O-man. If this team had an elite pass rush this past season!? Just think of what could have happened!? If the team focuses solely on the pass rush this offseason, I think I'd be fine with it.... Maybe.

The Jaguars didn't have an elite pass rush this past season. They undoubtedly would have been better if they had one. They also weren't elite in the back end of the defense, or in many areas of the team – and they need to continue to focus on many positions moving forward. Remember: While the Jaguars in 2022 were good, and while they had a memorable season, they were still a young team in the first season of a regime. There's a reason they lost nine games and didn't advance past the AFC Divisional Playoff round; they weren't yet a mature, developed team. They achieved a remarkable amount for their roster and their stage of development. There's still a ways to go, but there's supposed to be a long way to go. It would have been insanely weird had they been a developed and mature team in 2022 after where they had been the previous three or four seasons

Gator from Gainesville, FL

I wundered why you stoped ansering my questions then it hit me. That guy in St Augustine in right.

Always was. Always will be.

Luke from Brisbane, Australia

Howdy O, what would happen if a franchise-tagged player suffers a career-ending injury while playing under the tag? Is there any scheme to cover potential lost earnings? If not, no wonder players don't like it… Thanks!

Players playing on the NFL's franchise tag have access to loss-of-value insurance policies that can protect them in case of career-threatening or career-ending injuries. But there is no "scheme" in the NFL to pay tagged players what they may or may not have been worth in a long-term contract.

Ross from Edinburgh, Scotland

There was a recent question regarding the football world cup and how all games have an average viewership greater than the Super Bowl. Do you think the NFL will ever change the Super Bowl to a Saturday to make it easier for other time zones to watch it? I've been following the NFL for about 12 years and usually just watch the highlights the next day.

I doubt it.

Robert from Richmond, VA

Speaking of old broadcast crews, I always enjoyed watching Pat Summerall and Tom Brookshier. Where do you see that pair ranking in all-time NFL broadcasting?

I, like many, are partial to broadcasters from my younger days. Summerall/John Madden always will rank No. 1 to me – along with the iconic 1970s/early 1980s Monday Night Football broadcast team of Howard Cosell, Frank Gifford and Don Meredith. I would put Summerall/Brookshier in that conversation because I grew up watching the National Football Conference on CBS – and that tandem called many games I watched. That gets into your psyche.

Nathan from Utah, US

Zone, I never thought I'd say this, thank goodness for replay, review and challenges. Wow.


Bradley from Sparks, NV

You only get to keep six of these Jags: Linebacker Foye Oluokun, outside linebacker Josh Allen, outside linebacker Travon Walker, inside linebacker Devin Lloyd, cornerback Tyson Campbell, offensive tackle Cam Robinson, right tackle Jawaan Taylor, tight end Evan Engram, wide receiver Christian Kirk, running back Travis Etienne Jr. Which six?

First point: I would want to keep them all, because all are either very important to what the Jaguars did last season or have the potential to be very good or both. I suppose I would go with Walker and Lloyd first because of their youth and potential along with Kirk and Etienne because of immediate impact/playmaking ability. Put Allen on the list because he's still the player I least want to see the Jaguars lose defensively. Make Taylor the sixth because he was the Jaguars' best offensive lineman last season. That still has the Jaguars losing a bunch of critical players in your scenario, and I could make equally strong arguments for Campbell, Oluokun, Robinson and Engram. I might even make those arguments if asked the same question tomorrow or next week. Fortunately for the Jaguars, they don't have to lose those players in real life. Hey, one fer Baalke!

Steve from Nashville, TN

JO. After several years of world-class quarterback play, what would prevent Owner Shad Khan from paying quarterback Trevor Lawrence a reduced salary (subject to salary cap) and also use him as a front-office worker (no salary cap for front-office employees. Lawrence could be an assistant general manager. Maybe eventually Shad would sell one percent ownership of the team to a guy who lead the team to the promised land after years of fan frustration.

That's circumventing the salary cap. The NFL doesn't allow it, and the penalties are severe. Remember: If this were allowed, all teams would do something similar … well, all the time.

Sean from Harrisburg, PA

In regards to replay, I think it should be used to confirm or overturn obvious objective calls and not so much to make sure everything is 100 percent correct. To make replay quicker and thus games shorter, just make a time limit on reviews – say 30 seconds. If the refs can't determine the call or have enough evidence to overturn a call within 30 seconds, then the call should stand as called on the field. This would eliminate officials spending 10 minutes under the hood overturning a call that's as probably right the first time but by looking at every little detail they subjectively overturn it in their heads due to subjectivity.

That's the ideal. It was also the original spirit of replay. It's at its best when used as such. The league got away from this somewhat, it seems. Again.