O-Zone: Smooth and easy

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Chris from Nashville, TN

When you write a story, do you always find a way to insert defensive stats from two seasons ago? You do realize that has no bearing on where this team is going, right?

I’ll assume you’re referencing a recent story on newly-signed Jaguars linebacker Jake Ryan in which I wrote that Ryan was joining a defense that ranked No. 2 in the NFL in total yards allowed in 2017 and No. 5 in the category last season. The reference was made to illustrate that Ryan was joining what recently has been a strong defense, not as a way of indicating “where the team is going.” A review of many stories on jaguars.com will reveal to the astute reader that I do not remotely “find a way to insert defensive stats from two seasons ago” into every story. Here’s my general plan moving forward, for those interested: to keep inserting stats from whatever season I consider pertinent to the story being written. I won’t include statistics from certain seasons just to irritate people incapable or unwilling to understand how stories get written. Those people being irritated will just be a nice bonus.

Alejandro from Mexico City, Mexico

Blake Bortles signed with the Los Angeles Rams. Does it have any implication with Jaguars’ salary cap?

Former Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles’ one-year contract with the Los Angeles Rams will have ramifications for the Jaguars’ salary cap. The Jaguars are due to pay Bortles $6.5 million in salary this season. Anything the Rams pay him up to that will reduce his cost against the Jaguars’ cap accordingly.

Dave from Los Angeles, CA

From a talent evaluation/development perspective, what were the bets made on Bortles that didn’t pan out? He seemed to have a lot of desirable traits but not the ability to put them all together.

The issue that plagued Bortles most consistently throughout his five-year Jaguars career was accuracy, particularly on intermediate throws. He had other issues periodically – as most quarterbacks do – but the accuracy and mechanical issues were the most consistent.

Dane from Melbourne, FL

Hey O!

‘Sup.

Dane from Melbourne, FL

Hey O! My impression of Foles was of a backup that can play OK and a journeyman. I have looked over his whole career and changed my opinion. He has won when given the chance to start, but circumstance has made it a fight for him everywhere he has been. He’s 26-18 as a starter, and those stats included his poor year while playing for the Rams (4-7 as starter). I now see him as a Pro Bowl-caliber talent that – given the stability and support, and luck with injury – will take us to the playoffs.

There are those who believe Foles is a journeyman backup who can excel for the short-term but who will struggle once he plays long enough for defenses to get a read on him and adjust their game plans. There are also those who believe as you do – that he has excelled when in good circumstances, and that he is at the perfect point of development to step into a starting role. The Jaguars obviously believe the latter. On such decisions do franchises turn.

Crash from the Westside

O Man! So, if the Jaguars take offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor of Florida in the first round, who do you like in the second?

The best tight end available.

Neil from Cheltenham, UK

Dear Mr. Oehser: Now we have our quarterback, would it be an idea to move down in the draft for more picks? Then we may get a good offensive tackle and a good tight end. Do you think it could happen?

I do think it could happen, and it may be a good idea. The best chance for a trade back likely will be a team wanting to trade up to No. 7 to get Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins if he’s available.

Nathan from St. Augustine, FL

So now that quarterback is no longer a team need, Noah Fant first-round pick?

Maybe, and Iowa tight end Noah Fant is a potential Top 15 selection. But I expect the Jaguars to select an offensive lineman with the No. 7 overall selection of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

So, what do we expect now from Marqise Lee, Dede Westbrook, and DJ Chark? Which one of those will be a 1,000 yard-receiver?

Early guess? Westbrook.

Steve from Nashville, TN

With little 2019 cap space left how do the Jaguars sign and pay for their rookie draft class this summer?

The Jaguars have allocated about $9 million to their rookie pool. The salary-cap figures you hear associated with teams typically assume that the rookie pool already is set aside.

Al from Memphis, TN

What is it about West Virginia quarterback Will Grier that’s keeping him out of our quarterback conversations?

The thought on Grier at the Senior Bowl and at the NFL Scouting Combine was while he is a very solid NFL quarterback prospect he is not quite an elite-level prospect – meaning he isn’t spectacular enough in any one area consider him a Top 10 selection. He’s not a prototype and doesn’t play with the electricity of a player such as Oklahoma quarterback and 2018 Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray. The reason we haven’t discussed him much here in the O-Zone is we have focused mostly on the potential Top 10 quarterbacks – Murray, Haskins and Missouri quarterback Drew Lock. Even Duke quarterback Daniel Jones. None of that means Grier won’t be a successful NFL quarterback. Neither does it mean he won’t be selected by the Jaguars somewhere in the draft. But it’s why he hasn’t been mentioned much in the Jaguars’ quarterback conversation to date.

Hulk from Las Vegas, NV

We still need playmakers on offense. How do you foresee us putting a respectable dent in that quandary? Mix of free agency and the draft? Or heavily through the draft?

Relatively heavily through the draft.

Paul from Jupiter, FL

Am I the only one getting tired of wide receivers and tight ends being referred to as "weapons?” Also, it used to be corps. Now its core? #newanalogiesneeded

You’re not the only one tired of “weapons.” And it’s still corps to those who know how to spell it correctly.

Joe from Surf City, NC

When was the last time signing a quarterback in free agency worked? For starters: The last time Foles was signed as a free agent it worked out pretty well for the Eagles ...

Fair.

Carlos from Mexico City, Mexico

Are teams obligated to disclose the terms of every player contract they issue? Is there an official database or entity that you guys in the media can consult for this official information? Or is it just "if you ask, we might or not tell you everything?” Can you explain if there is such a process in place?

There is an official database, but that database isn’t available to the public or the media. Generally speaking, teams don’t share the details of most contracts. The details become available when agents share the details with members of the media. Most media refer to websites such as spotrac.com or overthecap.com when discussing the cap.

Jordan from Jacksonville

Signing Foles seems to bode well for my Trevor Lawrence-to-the-Jaguars dream.

The Jaguars hope that’s not true. They wouldn’t pay Foles what they paid him if they thought they will lose enough in 2020 to draft Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence in 2021.

Logan from Wichita, KS

2027 can't get here soon enough. I'm really excited to see the Jaguars have a winning season again. How should we pass the time?

(Yawn) What?

Edward from Los Angeles, CA

How would you feel about Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson at No. 7? It's not a position that usually screams "Top 10," but he seems to be a very well-rounded player.

I would be fine with Hockenson at No. 7. I would be surprised if the Jaguars went that route as opposed to an offensive lineman.

Dave from Dallas, TX

Hey Mr. O: You have addressed many of the factors good play by Foles depends on. I’m wondering though ... how much does the playbook need to change to maximize his strengths? And how much of a learning curve will it impose on the offense? Thanks.

The playbook will change with Foles and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo now in Jacksonville. I suspect it will be primarily the same terminology used by DeFilippo when he was the quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia and Foles was the quarterback there. And yes, the Jaguars certainly will do plenty of things that play to Foles’ strengths. There will be a learning curve, but it’s better for the rest of the offense to have a learning curve than the quarterback.

Sean from Jacksonville

Hope I didn't make ya mad, O.

O-Zone questions don’t make me angry. I assume questions that happen to “attack” me either aren’t personal or written by someone lacking the capacity to understand the forum. I have no reason to be upset in either case.

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