O-Zone: Semi-tough

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Matt from Bracknell, UK

Who is likely to step up this year and show great leadership on the field? From what I have seen of Foles, he seems kind of meek and not a natural leader. I think running back Leonard Fournette’s antics last year showed he is no leader. Also: Calais Campbell, while consistently a huge presence on the field, comes over mild-mannered also. Ironically, I thought Bortles was a good leader, but his performance rarely backed that up. Is it unreasonable to expect a rookie to show clear leadership? What say you, John?

I say you perhaps have fallen victim to a common NFL misperception – that only “fiery” personalities who yell and scream are leaders. Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles is very definitely is a team leader, and teammates such as Fournette and cornerback Jalen Ramsey already have spoken of the difference that that leadership could make. Defensive end Calais Campbell is one of the better leaders I’ve seen in two and a half decades around the NFL. Just because they’re not always screaming with eyes ablaze and hair aflame doesn’t make them “meek.” But they’re not the only leaders on this team. Wide receiver Marqise Lee and offensive tackle Cam Robinson have leadership qualities that were dearly missed in their absence last season. Center Brandon Linder is a leader on the offensive line, and players such as linebacker Myles Jack and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue are leaders on defense. As for rookies, it’s not impossible for them to lead. But it’s rare. Rookies typically don’t know enough about what’s going on around them to have the time or inclination to lead a position group or offensive/defensive unit.

Nathan from St. Augustine, FL

Two quick questions, John: Jarrod Wilson was thought to be the starting free safety this season, but he is a name I have rarely heard since training camp. Is that still the plan? And would you take the over or under on Fournette having 1,500 total yards from scrimmage this season?

Yes. Over.

Neil from Jacksonville

I believe we signed quarterback Alex McGough from Seattle's practice squad. If the Jaguars seek to add him to their practice squad, but Seattle is still interested in his services, how does this play out? Does he consider where he is most likely to get playing time, or do players in this situation usually stick with who they went to camp with?

This depends on the player and the situation. Practice-squad quarterbacks are unlikely to play that season, so playing time usually doesn’t come into play. Most players stay with the team with which they spent training camp because there is a familiarity with coaches and scheme. In McGough’s case, it would be surprising if he returned to Seattle. He signed in January with the Jaguars as a free agent, not off the Seahawks’ practice squad. If there had been significant mutual interest there, he likely wouldn’t have been available for the Jaguars to sign.

JT from Fort Worth, TX

John, do you think Williams will be a go for week 1?

Rookie linebacker Quincy Williams returned to practice Tuesday after missing the first three preseason games with a knee injury. I expect him to play Week 1.

Steve from Nashville, TN

"That’s their revenue formula for now. If something changes in that, they need to make up for the lost revenue." How about NFL owners just making less money for a change - commensurate with the quality of product on the field?

Why would they do this?

Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville

So, with Andrew Luck retiring do you think we will see a repeat of the year Peyton Manning was out and the Colts went 1-15 to draft Luck? It seems they could be the odds-on favorite to get the next generational quarterback in Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. Even the local papers in Indy are talking about that probability. It seems they are resigned to not having a great season.

I don’t see Tagovailoa as a generational quarterback, though he obviously has a chance to be the first quarterback selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. And I would be surprised if the Colts went 1-15 this season. Losing Luck will hurt them. It won’t hurt them that much. The Colts in 2011 were an aging team that had become overly dependent on Manning the previous season. These Colts needed Luck, but the roster around him was younger and more ascending than was the case with the ’11 Colts.

Rik

Hey O: It feels like defensive tackle Taven Bryan is way undersized physically to play on J-ville line. Does not feel like he gets any initial push at the snap of ball. How does he stack up versus other guys up front from a combine standpoint?

Bryan has some flaws as a player. Being undersized isn’t one of them. Neither is athletic ability or strength. He’s 6-feet-5, 291 pounds and did 30 repetitions at 225 pounds in the combine. He also was outstanding in terms of speed and agility.

Tudor from St. Augustine, FL

What an absurd argument by Mike ... I'll take six years of Luck, even if I knew ahead of time he'd retire, over 6 years of Blaine and Blake any day of the week! Not to mention this end result has very little to do with Luck and A LOT to do with Ryan Grigson.

This refers to a recent O-Zone question referencing the end of the 2011 season, when many fans wanted the Jaguars to lose to the Colts to prevent the Colts from drafting Andrew Luck. Mike made the point that the Colts were never dominant with Luck. I don’t think Mike was arguing that Luck had a bad career or that he wasn’t better than former Jaguars quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert or Blake Bortles – or even that anything that the Colts didn’t do during his career was Luck’s fault. More than anything, the lesson to be learned from Luck’s career is a franchise quarterback is not the end-all. He’s a foundation piece. He gives you a chance to win every season. But you still must build around him.

Cliff from Las Vegas, NV

I see a lot of similarities in the way fans treat Bryan versus the way Tyson Alualu was treated. You recently said Tyson was not a bust (I agree), but do you notice a similarity in the O-Zone or is it vastly different in the perceptions of them?

The attacks on Bryan are a little more vehement than the attacks on Alualu. But comparing the players isn’t really all that fair. Alualu was a consistent, reliable starter from the start of his career and the criticism he received for the most part was unfair. Bryan has not been consistent and some of the criticism has been fair – though it has reached an odd extreme.

Adam from Duval after I’m dead

My arms are bigger than Josh Allen’s. Just saying.

I bet not.

Dakota from Dupree, SC

Zone, which wide receivers will make the roster in your opinion? Who is going to start?

Making the roster: Chris Conley, DJ Chark Jr., Dede Westbrook, Marqise Lee, Keelan Cole and Terrelle Pryor Sr. Starting: Conley, Chark and Westbrook.

Dick from Chicago, IL

I love the kid (Allen) and think he is going to be really good, but doesn’t the Hall of Fame require at least three quarters of preseason before being eligible?

No, it’s two.

Mark from Archer, FL

Zone, the Titans’ starting left tackle is suspended the first four games of the season, so he won’t be playing when they come to Jacksonville in Week 3. Does this development suddenly give the Jaguars a huge advantage? Considering how good our pass rush is I see the Jags taking huge advantage of the situation. Do you get the same feeling now for that game?

Titans left tackle Taylor Lawan’s absence in Week 3 should give the Jaguars a significant edge there – if the Jaguars can get the Titans into passing situations. That has proven difficult for the Jaguars against Tennessee in recent seasons, so the first issue will be to stop the run and force third-and-difficult situations. That’s easier said than done.

Kyle from St. Augustine, FL

In your opinion, did Luck do enough to be inducted into the Hall of Fame? I can see some parallels between his and Boselli's candidacy.

There are a few parallels in terms of career longevity, and Luck – like former Jaguars left tackle Boselli – played at a very high level during his healthy seasons. But Boselli’s candidacy has gained strength from having been considered the best left tackle of his generation – a generation that was perhaps the best ever for his position. Luck won’t be considered the best quarterback of his generation. I therefore doubt Luck will make it, although he undoubtedly will receive consideration.

Kevin from Jacksonville

I really don't understand why anyone bothers to read your opinions. You are totally a company man and have zero credibility.

You go, girl.

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