O-Zone: Soho in the rain

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Maryanne from Jacksonville

I admittedly don't know a whole lot about how the NFL ins and outs work, so can you please explain to me why the Jags often – and sometimes too often – cut great players and keep the mediocre players. I am of the opinion if the player is going to be GREAT you know it out the gate!! What say you???

I say a couple of things. First, you do typically know pretty quickly if a player indeed is destined to be great. Example: Jaguars defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen. He's the current Jaguars player with the most potential for true NFL greatness, and that has been evident on many fronts since he arrived at TIAA Bank Field last spring. He was the No. 7 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, and he has looked and played the part since Day 1. It's often more difficult to know if a player has a chance to be really, really good – and it sometimes takes time for even good, young players to develop. Jaguars wide receiver DJ Chark Jr., for example, really struggled as a rookie in 2018. There were many people in the building who never wavered on Chark and believed he would be really good, but it wasn't a consensus the way it was with Allen; Chark then developed in Year Two and now appears destined to be really good for an extended period. As far as your first question, I admittedly am a bit confused. It's not that the Jaguars haven't kept some mediocre players; not every player on every NFL roster is going to be great. I just don't recall the Jaguars cutting a lot of "great" players.  I'm not being facetious. I really don't.

David from Chuluota, FL

KOAF - Rob from Ponte Vedra claimed that "Yan suffered the perfect storm to ruin his leverage and diminish his ability to sign a long-term deal." I'd like to add another raindrop to the series of unfortunate events. It occurred in the 2019 NFL Draft when highly-coveted defensive end Josh Allen incredibly fell to Jags in the No. 7 spot in the first round. If you watch a highlight of Josh Allen's 10½ sacks, on so many them, Ngakoue was a fraction of a second behind him. You'd have to believe he'd be a hotter commodity had he had 15 sacks, rather than the eight sacks that he ended up with.

Perhaps, but what reportedly limited Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue's value within the NFL – at least before the April 2020 NFL Draft – is he is perceived as a very good pass-rushing defensive end who wants to be paid as an elite overall defensive end. A few more sacks last season could have helped his cause, but I don't know that it would have solved every issue.

Jim from Munising, MI

Apparently the Colts have had it right for years now. Piping crowd noise into the stadium is the way to go. Lol.

OK.

Vince from Farmington, NM

If I recall correctly, I think I have seen PHD, MD in your credentials, so here is my question. With the increase of testing, the standard for what is considered a positive COVID-19 test also includes COVID antibody. This doesn't necessarily mean you have the virus, but that you have been exposed and your body has naturally dealt with the virus and moved on – much like a flu exposure. I can see this decimating a roster possibly without necessity because without a real understanding of this virus we are tending to err on the side of extreme caution. I hope there is a solution in place soon for all involved. Most of us are looking forward to any sense of normalcy and football would help. I personally think this will all go away magically in November, but that's just me ...

Let me preface this answer saying this: While I understand we're going to be discussing COVID-19 a lot as training camp approaches, the NFL's approach – and by extension, the Jaguars' approach – to many of the logistics involved changes rapidly – by the day and sometimes by the hour. That means my answers and comments on the topic may not include "definites" as much as guesstimates. What I can tell you definitely is the NFL is an enormous, multi-tiered, high-profile operation with teams operating all around a huge country and with thousands of players currently spread out even further around that huge country. Those players will reconvene each July and attempt to play out a long season that is logistically complicated even in "normal" circumstances. The circumstances in which they will try to do so this fall are unprecedentedly complicated. Therefore, I expect whatever "solutions" are in place to absolutely be placed there with "extreme" caution and I expect those solutions will be examined, reexamined and reinforced on at least a daily basis. The solutions won't be perfect, and the season will seem chaotic in comparison to anything normal. As happens in these situations, the league probably will be criticized on many fronts. But it will be doing the best it can, as will the teams. And it will all be done with one goal: to have an NFL season in 2020.

Bradley from Sparks, NV

Washington Woke Dogs?

OK.

Jimsure from Daytona Beach Shores, FL

How about the Washington Term Limits or Washington Do Nothings?

OK.

Steve from Woodbine, GA

Why are the "Washington TBDs" being singled out? What about the Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians? All of these others are extremely offensive, too; Cleveland Browns, New York Yankees, Las Vegas Raiders, Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I pretty much plagiarized this from a much longer article I read on Facebook, but I think you get my point.

It struck me as I read your email that there is at least a shred of risk of offending someone inherent in any nickname that in any way references any group of people – though some cases are more obvious and extreme than others. I don't know what the end game is on this, but it's plausible that the NFL's Washington franchise won't be the last team to change its name for "reasons of offensiveness."

Marc from Oceanway

I was intrigued by what Jaguars analyst Jeff Lageman stated on why he believed the Jaguars would be better in 2020 – that the redesigned operations now has coaching and scouting more on the same page and that this did not happen before. Can you expound on this? It seems incredible that optimal communication in a professional organization would not be essential and already in place.

Optimal communication is essential and should always be in place. Sometimes, it's not. Jaguars Owner Shad Khan fired Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin late last season and reshaped the team's football operations so that Head Coach Doug Marrone and General Manager David Caldwell reported directly to Khan. Both Marrone and Caldwell spoke extensively early in the offseason – in the wake of the change – about the need for better communication and both have talked about improved communication throughout the offseason. That's pretty much all the expounding that needs to take place.

Ian from Harrisburg, PA

Big O, Shaq Barnett from Tampa and a sixth-round pick, they get Yannick ... we have cap space for Barnett next year, give him the $20 million for four seasons and done in his prime at 31 years old. He plays under the tag which, is more funds than his linebacker tag ... how you feel for that?

I feel like it's Shaq Barrett, not Barnett. I feel like I don't know that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would feel compelled to throw in a sixth-round selection for the Jaguars in the deal. And I feel like … like … like .. TRADE MACHINE!!!!

Andy from Jacksonville

No list of top football movies can be considered complete without Brian's Song (the original) being somewhere in there. While Friday Night Lights is a great movie, man o man - I dare you to make it through Brian's Song without crying several times. Gale Sayers' acceptance speech for the Most Courageous Player Award: "I love Brian Piccolo. And I'd like all of you to love him. And tonight, when you hit your knees, please ask God to love him." The parting exchange between Sayers and Brian Piccolo in the hospital, and Sayers' locker room speech about giving the game ball to Pic .. I think I know what I'm watching tonight …

I liked Brian's Song. And yes … it was emotionally draining. But if you can make it to the end of Gus without shedding a tear for that damned mule … well, if you can do that, then you're more man than I am.

Ralph from Ponte Vedra, FL

Surely, it's the Werewolves of London and not Washington isn't it?

Yes, and their hair would be … perfect.

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