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O-Zone: Sibling rivalry

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

_Mike from Section 238                         _

We have several players coming back from serious injuries that are "hopeful" they will be back by Game 1 of the regular season. What injured-reserve options are available to the team if they decide at the end of preseason the players are not quite ready, but will be a few weeks into the season? It seems the NFL tweaked those rules in the past couple years.

NFL injured-reserve rules indeed have changed in the last decade. Whereas players placed on injured reserve for years were automatically out for the season, the NFL implemented a so-called "short-term" injured-reserve option in 2012. Teams now can move two players a year from injured reserve to the active roster after eight-game injury absences. But that option wouldn't likely be used for wide receiver Marqise Lee or left tackle Cam Robinson, both of whom are returning from serious knee injuries sustained last season – Lee in the preseason and Robinson two weeks into the regular season. If either player begins training camp unable to practice, he likely will be placed on the preseason physically unable to perform (PUP) list. A player on PUP can't have practiced with the team that season or in training camp and can be activated at any time during training camp. If the player still isn't ready to play at the end of the preseason, he can be placed on regular-season PUP – from which he can be activated after six weeks.

Robert from St. Augustine, FL

My gut feeling is linebacker Telvin Smith will return to the Jaguars before the start of the regular season. How do you think his return will impact this year's team?

My gut feeling is your gut feeling is incorrect. If you're correct, Smith needs to play at the level he played in 2017 for his return to have a major impact. If he plays as he did late last season, it wouldn't help nearly as much.

Christopher from Jacksonville

Obviously the hilariously bad "In Jacksonville" song should be our fight song. Just in case you missed it (or blocked it from your memory)


Sean from Jacksonville

Does the organization plan to have a concert the Saturday nights before a home game? The current show schedule only goes to August.

The hope as I understand it is to have concerts at Daily's Place on Saturday nights before Jaguars home games whenever feasible, but booking dates – i.e., coordinating timing, etc. – for high-profile musical acts is complex. I would expect some concerts on the eve of home games whenever the timing works for a worthy act, but not likely before every home game.

Sam from Winter Park, FL

If the Jags play the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl and Blake Bortles goes 25-of-30 with four touchdowns after Jared Goff gets hurt, do Jags fans have permission to burn the world down?

Permission wouldn't matter at that point.

Enrique from Greenwood, IN

Hi, John. You do a great job on the website. Is there any scenario in which the Jags are able to keep defensive linemen Calais Campbell and Marcel Dareus in 2020 if they play at a high level this season, and still be able to pay cornerback Jalen Ramsey, Ngakoue and linebacker Myles Jack without sacrificing any core players?

Almost certainly not, but that's not unexpected. When the Jaguars acquired Campbell and Dareus in 2017, they did so knowing that the players were at an age at which they likely wouldn't play the majority of their careers with the team. If neither player returns next season, they will have played three and two-and-a-half seasons with the team respectively. That's about right.

Tank from Mechanicsville, VA

Ah. Excellent. The IRS days. I mentioned Peter Buck to a friend recently as an amazing "jangly guitar" guitarist. She asked, "what is jangly guitar?" I referred her to "Sitting Still" and a few others. Well done Zone.

We could gather, throw a fit.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

Does the front office sit down in the offseason when developing personnel strategy and allocate the budget/cap by position? Do they say, "Weak-side linebacker and safety are going to get a max of this amount and defensive line is going to get a max of this amount?" I am imagining different strategies teams can take, like sacrifice a little here and there and we will pay more to have a good quarterback and receivers, or good corners and pass rushers.

The front office constantly analyzes and assesses personnel strategy, and it's the job of multiple front office members to constantly navigate and strategize this area. All teams, the Jaguars included, have their theories on how much cap space and cash should be allocated to each position – just as all teams have ideals for the ideal mix or youth and experience on a roster. The ever-evolving nature of the NFL – injuries, age, players not developing or playing as projected – make it unrealistic for a team to precisely follow a plan, but teams do strive for ideals.

Kevin from Jacksonville

I think Mr. NFL needs a hug. Seems he has a real problem with the Jags. Quite frankly, I enjoy screaming a county name during the game and anywhere I go. I like watching the Jags try to run the ball down the opponents' throat whether or not it works. I personally am NOT a Gator fan and do NOT enjoy discussing Gator football. I would much rather talk Jags football. If Jalen and/or Yan decide to leave Jacksonville, best of luck to them. We will draft to replace them. It would be a big hit to the Jags. You can't lose talent like that and not feel it. But it's football. And finally, I'm not passed out by the third quarter. I'm a triple-zeros fan. I'm in my seat screaming until the clock hits triple zeros. If Mr. NFL hates it here so much, find somewhere you like and move. I'm sure they will enjoy your enthusiasm, and if you don't like the O-Zone, don't read it. Easy enough if you ask me. GO JAGS!!!!

Hey, one fer the Jags!

Michael from Jacksonville

I understand the desire to lock up homegrown players that prove to be home-run draft selections. However, when is it possible that the Jags start looking to trade Ngakoue? I know it sounds crazy but, a trade might serve several purposes. Salary cap savings for other players, continuing to stay young by signing acquired draft picks etc. I guess you would also have to take into consideration whether our current roster has the talent to absorb the loss of his talent and the morale ramifications in the locker room if this were to happen. For the record, "just pay the man."

The Jaguars could look to trade Ngakoue at any time. I don't think this story's there yet, and I doubt it would get to that point until after the 2019 season – though I doubt it gets there at all.

Lance from Knoxville, TN

John, with all the Yann talk, just curious what you think he would bring in a trade? I am not advocating getting rid of him, he is one of my and my son's favorite players. Just wondering what an elite defensive end could fetch on the trade market.

Something in the range of a first- and second-round selection over a couple of drafts.

Roger9965 from Greenbush, ME

Just wondering ... has it been released or rumored what Yann is seeking for sure... and what the Jags may have offered or willing to pay??? Thank you... GO JAGS!!!!!

Details of contract negotiations rarely if ever get released – and nothing official has been made public about the negotiations between the Jaguars and Ngakoue. Most speculation centers around Ngakoue seeking something in the range of $20 million a year because that's essentially the market set for pass-rushers by players such as DeMarcus Lawrence (Dallas) and Frank Clark (Kansas City) this offseason. Most speculation centers around the Jaguars wanting to lay about $16 or $17 million because Ngakoue has yet to complete his fourth NFL season and remains under contract for the 2019 season with the team having the potential to control Ngakoue's rights with the franchise tag after that.

Mac from Jax Beach, FL

You go to a lot of away games. Is "Bro Hymn" by Pennywise played at other stadiums? Or is that just us? That's my favorite game day song we do.

Bro … what?

Pedal Bin from Farnborough, UK

Oh Mighty 'O' / King of Funk, in reference the Abbey Road Studios / FAME and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio debate you replied that "This perhaps not unexpectedly drew the ire of readers in Nashville and London." I'm from Farnborough, Hampshire not London. Grrrrrr……

Bro … what?

Ryan from Duuuval

O-man, since the Dead Zone topic-du-jour seems to be Stadium Anthems appropriate for Jacksonville home games, I'd like to nominate "Ocean Avenue" by Yellowcard. Local band, talking about local streets, and it rocks. Why not?

Bro … what?

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