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O-Zone: So savage

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Tom from St. Augustine, FL

Why not have the dress rehearsal in Preseason Game 2? We would have an extra week to get over any injuries. We no longer have multiple cut dates. I get it: Don't change, because it is what we have always done and that has worked out so well we can't possibly make changes before others do.

An "awesome" thing about doing this feature daily for the past eight years has been the opportunity to receive emails from readers with infinite knowledge, and I have been blessed to receive many of these. The reason NFL teams do their so-called "dress-rehearsal" game in Preseason Week 3 as opposed to Preseason Week 2 isn't stubbornness, and it's not because of the cut-down date(s). Rather, it's because teams remain in training-camp mode that week. Training-camp practices are different than regular-season practices in that teams are still running starters versus starters in many drills and having competitive one-on-one pass-rush, goal-line, two-minute drills, etc. Coaches' focus in training-camp mode is very much on their own teams – sorting out the depth chart, improving fundamentals, installing offensive and defensive schemes, etc. – whereas the focus shifts to largely to game-planning for opponents in the regular season. The dress-rehearsal game is the one time in the preseason that teams move into the regular-season mode, and they typically stay in that mode on Preseason Week 3 game day and therefore play starters through halftime. Preseason Week 3 is therefore the logical week to do that because it's after teams break camp and before they start resting players to prepare for the regular season. I'm not saying teams couldn't find a way to shift the dress rehearsal to Preseason Week 2, but those are reasons they don't.

Ryan from Fremont, OH

It seems like we're cycling through a lot of linebackers and offensive linemen in free agency. Is that mostly due to injuries, or trying to find a better option than what we had on the roster?


Charles from Midlothian, VA

So, I drove 3.5 hours to spend 10 minutes watching the Ravens game before driving back to Richmond. Lesson learned. Needless to say, I will save my traveling to regular-season games and will miss the opener with the Eagles.

This is a fair reaction to the Jaguars' approach to the 2019 preseason – and it's a fair reaction to any NFL preseason game. I can't blame anyone for not watching them, and I can't blame anyone for thinking they're not entertaining. I also absolutely can't blame season-ticket members for thinking it's not fair to pay full-price for the games. Such issues are way beyond my paygrade. The same can be said of most issues. Come to think of it, the same can be said for all issues.

Alan from Jacksonville

Senior Zona, with the linebacker-depth problems we are currently experiencing – at least for the short term – why aren't we using Josh Allen? All the guy did was finish a close second to Devon White in the Butkus Award. I know the plan is for him to play defensive end, but until we can get Oliver on the field this would seem to be a great temporary fix. Who knows? He might show the Jags he's capable of more than just being an edge rusher.

The Jaguars aren't looking for Allen to be a temporary fix at weak-side linebacker while Quincy "Don't Call Me Oliver" Williams is hurt. They're looking for him to be a force at defensive end. Once that happens, I anticipate they will look for ways to move him around in the defense.

Chris from Nashville, TN

Irony is neat. Maybe you could address the video I just saw with Cam dancing on a chair while on the PUP? Maturity level of this team appears absurdly high. Sarcasm is also neat.

The video to which you refer is Jaguars offensive tackle Cam Robinson on a chair while on the physically unable to perform list. He is no longer on the PUP and returned to practice Monday. The video in question was taken recently. He has been close to returning for some time – and walking normally for some time. Was it a "not-great" look for Robinson to be on the chair? I suppose. Was he endangering himself a bit? Maybe. Is it an excuse for some readers to assume a sense of superiority? I can't comment on that. Was it the most awful thing in the world for Robinson to do? Nah.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, is Robinson's return enough to finally turn your inbox into a renowned place of positivity?

Not if you're from Nashville.

Tom from Charlottesville, VA

Are the injuries to Norwell and Taylor serious? Could they play if this was the regular season?

Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone hasn't discussed the two injuries in enough detail to get a feel for whether guard Andrew Norwell or right tackle Jawaan Taylor could play if it was the regular season. I haven't heard anything to indicate that either player is questionable for Week 1.

Kevin from Jacksonville

Hypothetical: You are an NFL head coach, boasting a defense that will likely be one of, if not the best in the NFL for the upcoming season. The biggest concern you have about your team's ability to succeed is the offense. You are in the first preseason game and have already punted three times in the first quarter. You finally cross the 50, and have fourth-and-2 on the 49. Assuming you don't need further evaluation on your punter, why on earth would you punt it?

Is my first-team offense playing in this hypothetical?

Jim from Jagsonville

I didn't enjoy watching our first preseason game, but I understand the reason for the decision. What should we expect from the next few preseason games? How much will we see our starters?

I don't expect Marrone to announce this, so this answer will remain speculative until kickoff Thursday. My speculation is that Marrone will take much the same approach to Preseason Week 2 as he took to Preseason Week 1, so I expect to see few starters or front-line players playing against the Eagles. I don't have a feel for Preseason Week 3. It will be fascinating – or at least as fascinating as the preseason gets.

David from Orlando, FL

Zone - I don't like our punter. Logan Cooke's inconsistent. When we need for him to boom one, you don't know if it's going 30 or 60 yards. Even his coffin-corner kicks are falling short. Punters are a dime a dozen. Get a new one. There is no reason to stick with one that is inconsistent and undependable. This is not based on one game, but his mediocre performances since Day One.


Seamus from Vancouver, NC

Something about the 18-game season proposal(s) seems odd. When I count things up, four preseason plus 16 regular season equals 20 games. Two preseason plus 18 regular season games equal 20 games. PLUS, every player, coach and staff *want* to reach the post-season, which can add anywhere from one to four more games; for the right team, that is 24 games. Factoring in training camp, which starts anywhere from two-to-three weeks before the first preseason game, going to 18 games appears no different than a 16-game season. I personally prefer four-16 format, but I fail to see how 18 games is too much, especially when postseason comes after 16 games and EVERYONE wants postseason games. What??

Wow. I was told there would be no math. But while you're correct that 18 plus two and 16 plus four both equal 20, the difference lies in the reality of preseason games. Teams control how much players play in preseason games and can minimize a player's repetitions in those games. They can choose to not play key players in the preseason – as evidenced by the Jaguars holding out 30 players in the preseason opener. Plus, the level of intensity in a preseason game pales in comparison to a regular-season game. And while it's true that players and coaches want to make the postseason, it's also true that the postseason often is very much about health and attrition – i.e., what team is the most injury-free at key positions. Adding two more high-intensity games to an already physically taxing equation almost certainly would increase the number of players leaguewide finishing the season on injured reserve. I think the league eventually will move to the 18-2 equation, but those are some of the reasons there's resistance.

Princefigs from Jacksonville

Why do fans fan in the manner they do? Does it really matter that cornerback Jalen Ramsey is immature and acts like a 12-year old? No. Not as long as he plays at the world class level he does. I'd rather an immature baby playing cornerback for as at his skill level than the prototypical "nice guy" who isn't worth their salt.


Darren from Fort Worth, TX

You're a savage. I love it.

Not me. I'm just a guy gettin' by.

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