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O-Zone: Same as it ever was

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville:
If the Super Bowl taught us anything it's that a highly effective defense will usually negate a high-powered offense. There was just nothing Cam Newton could do Sunday; when you limit the opponent's offense to less than one dimension (quarterback running the ball), it gets really hard to score. I hope Gus and Dave can get Von Miller if Denver is stupid enough to let him get away. So, defense really does win championships. Time to get our D on.
John: I got more than my share of Sign Von emails late Sunday and all day Monday – this after reading a slew of similar Tweets Sunday night. It's probably time to get this settled once and for all: Super Bowl 50 Most Valuable Player Von Miller won't be available in free agency next month. The Broncos have the franchise tag available to use on Miller, which will effectively take him off the open market. Plus, Miller wants to return to Denver and Broncos General Manager John Elway wants him back enough to have said, "We want Von to stay in Denver and we're going to do everything we can to work it out." When things like that get said by general managers, things tend to get worked out. As far as the Super Bowl teaching us something … nah; the Super Bowl simply retaught what has been taught, taught and taught throughout the history of the NFL – that a dominant pass rush is the best way to make the very best quarterbacks look very average.
Jim from Jacksonville:
Where is all the media talk now about how much "fun" Cam Newton has when he plays, and what a fun-loving player he is? Hello, it seems he only has "fun" when he's winning. #nofunforcam
John: It does seem that way.
Frank from Knoxville, TN:
Is Von Miller worth the two first-round picks if he gets franchised-tagged? If it plays out right, the Jags shouldn't be picking in the Top 10-15 anymore after this year and he's still very young and the PERFECT LEO. Imagine him and Fowler on the edges with marks pushing in the middle. Gotta make it happen DC.
John: He may be worth it, but I wouldn't spend a lot of time breaking down this scenario. First, there are two types of franchise tags – the non-exclusive tag that allows other teams to sign a free agent at the risk of losing two first-round draft selections and the exclusive tags that gives the current team "exclusive" negotiating and precludes other teams from offering. Even if the Broncos opt to use the non-exclusive tag … giving up two first-round selections AND making Miller the highest-paid player in the NFL … it's just not going to happen.
Greg from Freakville:
For those who think Joeckel needs replacing, I hope they were watching the Super Bowl left tackles.
John: Joeckel isn't a Pro Bowl tackle, but he's fine – and he's as good as a whole lot of left tackles in the NFL right now.
Shon from San Antonio, TX:
Now that the Super Bowl is over, we can look ahead to free agency and the draft. I know it's early, but who are some players you think the Jags may target? What about in the draft? If both Joey Bosa and Jalen Ramsey are gone, who should we target at pick No. 5? I think Buckner, if he's available.
John: I think the Jaguars will look at pass rusher, interior line and safety in free agency – and perhaps corner. Miami defensive end Olivier Vernon, San Diego safety Eric Weddle and Seattle linebacker Bruce Irvin are names that make sense, though that's not close to a comprehensive list and probably won't reflect who the Jaguars actually sign. I'm warming to the idea of Oregon defensive lineman DeForest Bucker at No. 5. He's not a pure pass rusher, but he has the look of an elite-level player and the Jaguars need those.
DUVAL DOOM from Section 217:
Hooray! The guy who only looked as good as he did because he played in the AFC South with three teams that made idiotic decisions constantly got another ring because his defense was amazing! Now we can all talk about his "legacy" along with truly good postseason quarterbacks he doesn't belong with! Whoopee! On second thought, just freaking retire already so I don't have to talk about you ever again.
John: Now, now …
Dan from Sanford, FL:
Say the Jags sign Olivier Vernon (fingers crossed), do see them playing Dante Fowler Jr. at the Otto/Leo position (always on the field like Von Miller) next year?
John: Whoever the Jaguars sign in free agency and whoever they draft, I think it's evident Fowler will be on the field most defensive plays next season. The plan is to play him a lot at the Leo and look for ways to move him around on the defensive front to take advantage of favorable matchups.
Michael from Jackson de Ville:
John, nothing of value to provide. Just saying if Allen Hurns has a hernia, it should be referenced as a "Hurnia." That is all.
John: Boy, was your first sentence … you know, dead on.
Andrea from Jacksonville:
I'm surprised you and most Jaguars close observers think Stefen Wisniewski is almost certain to walk in free agency. Watching Jaguars games this season, I rarely had the impression center was a weak spot, and I've recently read a column at Pro Football Focus that indicated Wisniewski as the best member of the Jaguars' offensive line in 2015. While I don't think PFF is the only reliable source of information about players' performances, I find it puzzling that he's considered on his way out of Jacksonville and still considered as the better-performing offensive lineman in 2015 by someone that at least surely puts a lot of effort in watching the tape. … Can you explain this situation a little better?
John: I don't think it's a foregone conclusion that Wisniewski won't return, though I think his return is unlikely. The Jaguars need to get better run-blocking on the interior, and they need to get stronger there. The combination of Wisniewski/Zane Beadles wasn't as stout in the run game last season as was necessary. I wouldn't at all say Wisniewski was bad in 2015. I would say the Jaguars want to get better there.
Kyle from Cedar Falls, IA:
At this point if Bosa and Ramsey are both available, who are you selecting if you're the Jaguars?
John: Bosa. Because pass rush.
Stephen from Lincoln, NE:
John, if we fix some holes in the offensive line and move some players around if needed, do you think that with Blake, T.J., the Allens, Marqise, Greene, and Thomas the Jags have one of the most explosive offensives in the NFL? I know it's jumping a little bit, but when you look at the depth chart and see the improvement from all these players you can't not get excited ... am I right?
John: The Jaguars certainly have the potential to be one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL – and improving the cohesion and interior of the offensive line is a part of that. At this point, a bigger concern for the Jaguars than being explosive is being efficient and consistent. The offense showed last season it can make big plays. What it didn't show is that it can move consistently and keep drives alive. If the Jaguars improve there, the results should follow.
Brad from Spring Lake, NC:
So how do the Jaguars do what the Broncos just did on defense?
John: Draft pass rusher. Sign pass rusher. Get pass rushers healthy.
Mark from College Park, MD:
Don't know how much I want to spend in free agency. If we do spend money, are we getting players that want to be here? In regards to a head coach with an expiring contract (the second of two years has no weight) … also, those players you give big money to if things go south … believe me, they are content as long as that paycheck is coming in. Just my thoughts.
John: I understand free-agency fear, but the reality is the Jaguars need to use it this offseason. As for players not wanting to be in Jacksonville … look, the perception of the Jaguars around the league slowly but surely is changing. The Jaguars have a quarterback and young talent on offense. Shad Khan has a good reputation around the NFL, and David Caldwell has a good reputation among agents. Players will consider the Jaguars – as evidenced by players such as Jared Odrick and Julius Thomas signing last year. Gus Bradley on a two-year deal will be an issue, but it shouldn't be an issue that can't be overcome.
IVAN from Hollywood:
The NFL's a copycat league. Will Sunday's game result in teams placing even more emphasis on putting pressure on the quarterback?
John: Teams never have not wanted to put pressure on the quarterback.

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