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O-Zone: Simply the best

JACKSONVILLE – Jaguars 2018 Training Camp begins Thursday. Veterans report Wednesday.

Al. Most. There.

Let’s get to it …

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

No mention of Fowler’s suspension in Saturday’s O-Zone? C’mon – and c’mon, Dante … I mean, really? Zone: Are we about tired of the headaches with this guy yet?

The reason there was no mention of Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler Jr.’s suspension in Saturday’s O-Zone was simple: no one asked about Fowler’s suspension before we published Saturday’s O-Zone. I imagine that was because most people saw Fowler’s suspension for what it was – a comparatively minor blip in the world of NFL suspensions. To review: Fowler was suspended for one game under the NFL’s personal-conduct policy, reportedly the ramifications of a July 2017 incident in his hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida. Fowler is expected to participate in training camp and preseason, with the suspension to be served in the regular-season opener against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. His first game likely will be the Week 2 regular-season home opener against the New England Patriots.

Mr. Comtember

So, you cut off peoples' comments and questions as a joke, like they died in the middle of sending it? How would that work? If they died before they sent it, you wouldn't have got it! Smh.

I don’t do that. Hardly ever, anyway.

Greg from the ‘Ville

Sigh. What does this latest dustup do to Dante’s future?

Realistically, not much. Fowler’s suspension stems from a year-old incident, so the Jaguars’ perception of Fowler doesn’t change much based on him missing one game to start the regular season. I still think it will be a long shot for Fowler to return in 2019, but that’s because of the Jaguars’ cap situation and other players the Jaguars must pay – not because of this suspension.

Rob from the Duuu

I'm pretty sure the rest of the receivers and corners not mentioned in your fastest Jags list are bummed to have linebackers mentioned ahead of them. Myles Jack and Telvin Smith are incredibly fast linebackers, but faster than all but one receiver and corner? Tell coach we are gonna have to line ‘em up first practice ‘cause we got to know fo show. #WGTKFS

Why in the world would Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone or any coach waste time – or risk injury – having players race? Toward what end?

The Man from Duval

I had to use my work email.

That’s awesome.

Sean from Charlotte, NC

Donovin Darius came to my school in junior high. I have no idea what he talked about, but it was cool and I've always liked him for it.

That’s awesome.

John from Jacksonville

Who is the fastest Jaguar player? An easy solution. Line them up on the goal line and have them race to the 50-yard line. This could even be an event for fans to enjoy during a training camp. Fans can even place bets and the proceeds go to charity. Let's do it. I'll be at your office tomorrow AM to start planning.

Why in the world would Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone or any coach waste time – or risk injury – having players race? Toward what end?

Brian from Greenwood, IN

What have the rookies been doing the last few days? Is this time more about orientation, or has there actually been on-the-field rookie practices?

The past few days mainly have been about orientation and conditioning for rookies, with meetings to take place in the coming days before veterans report Wednesday and practice begins Thursday.

Mike from Orange Park, FL

True or false: The best team in Jaguars history reports to training camp Thursday.

I can’t say “true” to this. At least not yet. To be the best team in Jaguars history, this team must play to its potential – and it must reach the Super Bowl. This is a franchise, remember, that has played in the AFC Championship Game three times. For those who didn’t remember – or didn’t witness – the two 1990s teams that made it that far, last season’s run should serve as a vivid example of how difficult it is to reach that stage of the postseason. You need talent, focus, discipline and a little luck. What I will say about this team is this: it has an unbelievably good chance to be the best team in franchise history. The level of front-line talent combined with a striking amount of depth – combined with a slew of potential superstars beginning to enter the prime of their careers – makes this a rare and heady time in this franchise’s history. This certainly is among the two or three most anticipated seasons in Jaguars history, and that level of anticipation is merited. The expectations for this team are sky high, and the team is capable of reaching those expectations. That doesn’t make this team the best in franchise history, but it darned sure makes this a good time to be around – and to be a fan – of this team.

Dave from Chuluota

Johnny O: Did your high-school gym locker have anything to do with your "King of All Funk" moniker?

N/A – not applicable. Jacksonville Episcopal High School’s coaches glanced at late ‘70s O-Zone and understandably decided a mop and a bucket of dirty water would be better use of the locker space. By the time I extended my range to 12 feet and upped the vertical to seven inches, my locker fate was sealed. I’m not complaining, though. Dressing in the last bathroom stall wasn’t bad. There were times it was convenient.

Bill from Vicbow

Sooo, I was thinking about the upcoming season and the idea of a signature stadium chant much like the "Mooo da chain" currently in use could go something like this: Duuuvallll (hands above the head) CLAP, CLAP.......CLAP, CLAP, CLAP; DUUUUUVALLLLL...CLAP, CLAP.......CLAP, CLAP, CLAP; DOOOOOOOOOOVALLLLLLLLL CLAP CLAP........CLAP, CLAP, CLAP. Even the players could initiate by raising their hands above their heads and turning to the crowd to begin the chant at critical points in the game. This is supposed to be fun … right … RIGHT???

I don’t think it’s supposed to be that fun. Maybe do the hokey pokey instead. Oh … and sometime when you’re doing that turn yourself about. That’s what it’s supposed to be all about. (And remember: it’s Moodachay #Moodachay)

Mike from Orange Park, FL

John, with training camp set to begin this week – at last – what are you most excited about?

I was combing my vocabulary for words to describe my feeling as the week begins; I overlooked “excited.” Still, as far as training camp events/storylines I’ll be watching early, one definitely will be when pads go on at the beginning of the first full week next week. That will be the time to start watching the offensive line. Does second-year left tackle Cam Robinson look like the real deal? Does free-agent guard Andrew Norwell look as dominant in pads as expected? Does right guard A.J. Cann look like he’s winning the starting position? Does this group with the addition of Norwell look dominant? Much is expected from the line this season. The group needs to be more consistent than last season, particularly in the running game. We won’t be drawing final conclusions about this area in camp, but we’ll start getting an idea.

Sam from Orlando, FL

Those NFL Draft hats would have sold a lot better if it said "Duval" on them. You know, since it’s wildly popular.

True.

Paul from Gainesville, FL

Just an observation - the subject of “Duvaaaallll” is irresistible to those with starched shorts.

What?

Richard from Bumpass

Speaking of bands: Deathtongue or Billy and the Boingers?

What?

Cristiano from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Olá, John! O qu e eu queria perguntar é...

Que?

Dave from Orlando, FL

Johnny O, ruler of your empire of dirt - Are there any teams the Jags have yet to defeat?

No. The Jaguars have beaten every other NFL team at least once. The have beaten every team in the regular season except the New England Patriots; the Jaguars’ lone victory over the Patriots came in the AFC Wild Card Game following the 1998 regular season.

J.P. from the Other Office

Zone. Was it your birthday Saturday? Did I miss it?

Yeah … I turned 52 Saturday. And yeah … you missed it. So did everybody else. No surprise party – again. No big boxes with big pretty bows – again. No blowing out the candles and making a cool wish – again. It was just me, Rat Dog, a cheap bottle of wine and Charles in Charge on a portable DVD player. Best birthday ever. Again.

Steve from Hudson, FL

Did everyone forget it was your birthday? Don’t feel bad, they forgot mine also. I had a great day … I hope you did too, young man.

I thought at first your last sentence said “I had a great day … I hope you die soon, young man.” That wouldn’t be the best birthday ever. That actually would sort of suck.

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