O-Zone: So tired

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Joseph from Sacramento, CA

So, does it not bother Coach Marrone that Coach Flip the new offensive coordinator can’t find ways for the offense to score? Maybe teams just have better lower-tier players.

Really? We’re questioning new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo two games into a preseason in which the team hasn’t played offensive starters in either game? Quarterback Nick Foles hasn’t played in the preseason. Neither have wide receivers Chris Conley, Marqise Lee and Dede Westbrook. Neither has tight end Josh Oliver. Neither has running back Leonard Fournette. Neither have offensive linemen Cam Robinson, Andrew Norwell, Jawaan Taylor and Brandon Linder. Guess what? If those players all don’t play in the regular season, there are going to be games in which the Jaguars score fewer than double-digit points – a lot of games, probably. Remember, too: Coordinators don’t break out the entire game plan in the preseason; they don’t even game plan for the opponent until Preseason Week 3 – and the game plan for that game is minimal. So, are Marrone and DeFilippo pleased the Jaguars have scored 10 points in two preseason games? Of course not. They’re competitive guys. But is it fair to blame DeFilippo for not scoring when the players on whom the team is counting this season have yet to play? And when he’s not game planning? Not even close. Contrary to what a great mind likes to say, it’s not always coaching in the NFL. Coordinators don’t score. Players do. And so far in the preseason, we haven’t seen the Jaguars’ quality offensive players.

Sean from Jacksonville

Yes, it is only two games into the preseason. Yes, the team sat over 30 players. At what point, though, should we be concerned that our new offensive coordinator needs to do his part better?

I’ll be concerned about the offense not scoring when the team stops holding out its players – or at least when it plays the starting quarterback.

John from Southampton, UK

Surely there are five guys that can play offensive line somewhere!

This is incorrect. Offensive line depth in the NFL is a myth because there aren’t enough quality offensive linemen to go around to all 32 NFL teams. The idea that there would be enough quality offensive linemen to provide depth to those teams is foolhardy.

Hulk from Las Vegas, NV

Zone … while The Stache improved, the depth is still trash. I'm watching the Oakland game … their depth isn't. This is a cause for concern.

The only area I saw that was really concerning Thursday was the offensive line. It doesn’t look like the Jaguars have much depth there. That makes the Jaguars like most other NFL teams I’ve seen. But it remains to be seen if the Jaguars’ overall depth is an issue. The Jaguars can’t withstand a rash of injuries such as they had last season. No team can. But if they sustain a normal amount of injuries, most position groups have a player or two that can move up and play adequately.

Johnny from Jacksonville and formerly of East Palatka

Minshew looked about as good as Bortles, and he got us to the AFCCG. I'm heartened.

How awesome for you.

Chris from Section 437

I never miss a game, but I seriously doubt I'll be back to a preseason game again. The NFL has a problem and it's the preseason. Worst turnout I can remember. It's really going to be bad in two weeks. Thankfully I won't see it!

This is a minor issue that tends to be forgotten come the regular season. The NFL remains wildly popular. It’s not without problems, but if a league’s biggest problem is fans don’t turn out to see preseason games, then the league is in very good shape.

Steve from Duval

Teams treat Week 3 of the preseason as a dress rehearsal and play the starters. It seems more logical to give the starters their game reps early and let them rest Weeks 3 and 4.

Teams typically don’t rest their starters in Preseason Week 3 – and use that game as a dress rehearsal – because they are in-training camp mode through Week 2. Training camp mode emphasizes one-on-one, 11-on-11 and fundamental work whereas the “dress-rehearsal” week emphasizes game-planning and focus on the opponent. The difference matters to coaches. Considering the relative brevity of training camp, I don’t anticipate most coaches cutting into camp practices to use Preseason Week 2 as a “dress rehearsal.”

Josh R from Fernandina Beach, FL (currently in Fort Lauderdale Beach)

Zone: Checked in on your site to see if there were any updates re: starters, etc. The time of day (five p.m.) made me think of your pregame routine. So, what is your typical pregame routine/agenda (interested minds want to know)? Thanks and Go Jags!!!?

My pregame routine is relatively short and uninteresting. I typically write a pregame story detailing who’s in and who’s out, a story that posts about an hour and a half before kickoff. I then join Jaguars broadcasters Tony Boselli and Jeff Lageman with J.P. Shadrick on the pregame radio show about an hour before kickoff. Most of my responsibilities start at game-time, after which I typically file five stories: a game report, a View from the O-Zone, O-Zone Late Night, Quick Thoughts with Brian Sexton and a Game That Was feature. It’s a relatively long day/night, but no complaints. It’s better than working.

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

A setback in recovery from an ACL sounds like it could potentially be season ending right? If its healing and you re-tear it, you could be out for another season, especially if it happens right before the season. Thant is a huge bummer considering our current linebacker depth. I hope that Ryan is ok and did not re-tear his ACL, we need that dude this season. Go Jags, Moodachay, Duuuuuval etc.

A setback in ACL recovery could be season-ending, but I don’t get the impression that’s the case with linebacker Jake Ryan. He has been attending practice and has done some rehabilitation work on the side. He feels like a player with a chance to return this season.

Steve from Wallingford, CT

I feel like every year I cringe coming off a bye. If you have a team that historically plays worse after their bye, why would you use Game 3 of the preseason and not Game 4 as dress rehearsal?

Teams use Preseason Week 3 as a dress rehearsal as opposed to Week 4 because they prefer to use Week 4 to evaluate the bottom-of-the roster players, and because they want to give players assured of being on the roster as much time as possible to be as close to 100 percent as possible entering the season. While there perhaps could be an argument made for not going two weeks or more between the starters’ last preseason action and the start of the regular season, teams’ concern over having as many players as possible as healthy as possible trumps that argument.

Tudor from St. Augustine, FL

Greetings Fro-Zone! Is quarterback arm strength something that can be built up with training, or is it something that you either have or you don't?

It’s pretty much something you have or you don’t, particularly by the time you reach the age at which you’re playing in the NFL.

Willis from Jax

What is it about failed NFL players that makes them successful at selling insurance?

Their adeptness at using clichés.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

How reliant on tight end is the Nick Foles offense? How concerning would it be if Josh Oliver has a lingering hamstring injury throughout the season?

Foles relied on the tight end heavily while with the Eagles, and DeFilippo’s offense is tight-end friendly. But part of the reason Foles emphasized the tight end in Philadelphia was the Eagles had tight end Zach Ertz. When you have a player of that caliber, you use him. Foles is experienced and good enough to use the weapons at his disposal. If his best weapons are tight ends, he’ll use those. If they’re wide receivers, he can use those.

Dave from Dallas, TX

Hey Mr. O: A very wise man once said “sometimes, it’s just time to move on”. Can’t help feeling that, given the state of backup QBs play currently, it may have been prudent to keep BB5 around if we’re in “win now” mode.

Nah. Sometimes, it’s time to move on. The Jaguars moved on.

Jim from Middleburg, FL

Looks like we will be set after we find linebackers, receivers and an offensive line.

The Jaguars’ top three receivers didn’t play Thursday. Four of the five starting offensive linemen didn’t play. Two of the starting linebackers didn’t play. The starting quarterback didn’t play, a fact I mention because the quarterback’s play just might have something to do with the play of the wide receivers. I could go on, but I’m exhausted from wondering why people don’t understand the difference between NFL starters and backups.

Advertising