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O-Zone: So far, so good

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Bruce from St. Simons Island, GA

O, The trade was a surprise to me - was it to you? What happens now to the linebacker "room?"

You're referencing the Jaguars trading veteran inside linebacker Joe Schobert to the Pittsburgh Steelers for what reportedly is a later-round draft choice, a trade that has yet to become official. I can't say I watched 2021 Training Camp practices saying, "Hey, Schobert absolutely will be traded," but in retrospect the move isn't a shock. The Jaguars acquired veteran inside linebacker Damien Wilson as an unrestricted free agent this past offseason, and he was getting repetitions alongside Myles Jack at inside linebacker. Schobert seemed to be fitting into the Jaguars' new defense more as a coverage linebacker in nickel situations with Wilson more of the base linebacker. It also seemed Schobert was not as good a fit for the scheme being run by defensive coordinator Joe Cullen as he had been for last season's 4-3 scheme. By trading Schobert, the Jaguars were able to free themselves from much of the financial commitment the previous decision-makers made when signing Schobert as an unrestricted free agent last offseason. This therefore was the sort of move often made when one set of decision-makers replaces a previous set. As for the linebacker room … look for Jack and Wilson to start in base when the Jaguars are in a 3-4 and look for Jack to be the primary linebacker when the Jaguars are in nickel and pass-defense packages.

David from Chuluota, FL

KOAF – Jaguars linebacker Dylan Moses is currently on the Active/Non-Football Injury list. What does that mean? Does he attend team meetings? Does he workout on the sideline? Or does it mean, you won't see him around TIAA Bank Field?

Moses, who signed with the Jaguars as a collegiate free agent shortly after the 2021 NFL Draft, indeed is on the active/non-football injury list. He is around TIAA Bank Field and can attend meetings. He is currently rehabilitating a knee injury and therefore often observes – but does not participate in – practice.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

So, with the early plans on the outdoor practice field being approved, would it be a hybrid practice schedule between the two based on what the coach is feeling that day/weather interference?

It would be whatever the head coach wants.

Chris from Mandarin

Who has looked better in training camp between Collin Johnson and Jalen Camp? I am getting the sense that Johnson is very, very close to getting cut, but what has Camp done to show that he's better or more ready to be on the field than Johnson? At this point, I think Marvin Jones Jr., DJ Chark Jr., Laviska Shenault Jr. and Laquon Treadwell are the top four receivers. Jamal Agnew almost has a spot by default given his return ability, so that leaves one spot between the two mentioned prior and Phillip Dorsett II. Who makes it?

I don't know that any receiver outside Chark/Shenault/Jones has secured a spot on the roster, though Treadwell has played well – and I do expect Agnew on the roster based on return skills and explosiveness. Dorsett's speed and experience make him a very solid choice four a fourth spot and I think Treadwell has a real chance. As do Tavon Austin, Johnson and Camp. Remember: there are 16 practice-squad spots, with veterans of any level of experience eligible for that designation. I would expect the Jaguars to keep six on the 53-man roster, with a lot – if not all – of the others on the practice squad. I would think Camp – considering he is a sixth-round rookie – to be a good candidate for the practice squad. One amateur's top six: Let's say Chark, Shenault, Jones, Dorsett, Treadwell and Agnew. But it's real early.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

Hard to see linebacker Joe Schobert go. He was a dependable player who seemed to get better and better last season. Joe was in on 141 tackles with 2.5 sacks and three interceptions. I think he was a major factor in Myles Jack having such a stellar season. Our coaching staff must believe the linebacker room is deep indeed to afford letting Joe go. And he seemed to be a good team/locker room guy. I wish him the best of luck with Pittsburgh – except, of course, when we play them. So now, who do you project as our starting linebackers?

Jack and Wilson inside. Josh Allen and K'Lavon Chaisson outside.

Rob from Fleming Island

Hey, John. Even though it is unlikely to ever change, wouldn't it make sense to slow or stop these ridiculously high salaries and instead use that money to raise the rosters to 60 or 65? I realize it would have to collectively bargained but can't this salary trend point to a future crisis?

People have been clamoring for decades to slow the ridiculously high salaries of professional sports. This happened when salaries weren't nearly as "ridiculous" as they are today, and I expect it will continue until professional sports no longer exist. But there's no real way to slow them. Star players will always command high salaries, and players' unions sure aren't going to negotiate ways for players to earn less. Will it lead to future crisis? Perhaps, but pro sports have pushed through most previous crises. I imagine they would survive this one.

Dave from Jacksonville

Well, I guess the Jags have made their choice at middle linebacker. Say it ain't so, Joe.

It's so.

Steve from Nashville, TN

Fifteen percent of our 2020 total tackles, 25 percent of our 2020 interceptions and 100 percent of our interceptions returned for a touchdown in 2020 just left the building?


Alan from Jacksonville

So, is the Browns game on local TV or is it out of luck if you don't have NFL?

The 2021 preseason opener between the Jaguars and Cleveland Browns will be broadcast on CBS WJAX TV-47 and NFL Network Saturday at 7 p.m.

Drang from Duval

I understand it's a "competition," but the players are definitely not speaking like the quarterback job is in question.


Cliff from Orange Park, FL

From Lawrence to Cisco, is it starting to look like the Jaguars got 5 first round picks talent wise?

All first-round talents? Maybe, maybe not. But yes … the Jaguars' first five selections in the 2021 NFL Draft – quarterback Trevor Lawrence, running back Travis Etienne Jr., left tackle Walker Little, cornerback Tyson Campbell and safety Andre Cisco – thus far have looked like good selections. They all will play their first NFL preseason game Saturday.

_Bill from Orange Park, FL            _

I spent some time doing research on the differences between players drafted in the first and second rounds. What I found was a difference of one round. I thought that was interesting.

Shad Khan … hire this man!!!

Wondering from Tennessee

Any idea why Houston requested to close preseason practices to the media? And in your opinion could there a connection to quarterback Deshaun Watson being dropped (according to media at least) to fourth on depth chart?

I don't cover the Houston Texans. Most coaches these days would prefer practices closed. A specific reason usually is not necessary.

Joe from Ponte Vedra Beach and the DC burbs

Oh, he caught it ... loved wearing my red-and-white beanie to school the next day...

Not even close. As for your beanie …

Cortez the Killer from Campeche Bay, Mexico

Hey OZone, So the QB competition continues Saturday night! Minshew Mania can never die.

Apparently not.

Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville, FL

Help me understand the Joe Schobert trade, please. I mean he was a player that produced significantly last year – and you can NEVER have too much depth. Struggling to understand this move. Was this possibly a "not one of my guys" scenario? All coaches like to build their team and players from an old regime are often casualties in that case. Have heard reports that Meyer has "old school" approaches to coaching that is turning off some players. Is there a concern we could have another Coughlin problem where the players are not tolerating this approach? I mean with the Henderson issues and now the Schobert trade. Makes you wonder.

This was about scheme fit as much as anything. Was Schobert a "Meyer" guy? Well, he predated Meyer … so, in that sense, no. Will some players not like Meyer's approach? I suppose. Not everyone likes every coach's approach. But I wouldn't connect anything about cornerback CJ Henderson or Schobert to players not wanting to play for Meyer. One, Henderson, has a chance to be a key player in the defense and the Jaguars sound committed to getting him to that point. The other, Schobert, apparently was going to have a reduced role and it was better to trade him if possible.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, thus far, given everyone expected Trevor to be a once in a generational talent, has he met, or exceeded what you expected to see from him before he plays his first preseason game??

Yes. Absolutely.