O-Zone: Something wild

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Kenneth from Duval

From my count, we're right at a month away from training camp – or at least the scheduled start of it. Realistically, what do you think the chances are it starts on time?

While the Jaguars have yet to announce official plans for 2020 Training Camp, you're correct that we're now about a month from the NFL's reported target date of July 28 for teams beginning training camp. I believe the league will meet that date, and I have relatively little doubt the NFL will proceed through training camp and into what I expect likely will be a two-game-per-team preseason. The major challenges likely will happen after that. Players will undoubtedly test positive upon arrival for camp and there will be a plan for dealing with that. There will be social distancing and safety protocols for meetings and training-camp practices. At some point, there will be games. Through all of this, there will be positive tests. How many? What will the public reaction be to these tests? The reaction within the league? I don't have the answers to those questions. The NFL will have contingencies to deal with those events and one of those contingencies almost certainly will involve access to a pool of players – either on an expanded roster or from outside the league – to play in place of players who are quarantining after testing positive. How that looks will be a major storyline and could define the season. So, Kenneth … yes, I believe the league will start training camp on time in what for the NFL is a very secluded, isolated fashion. What happens after that will be more complicated.

Sean from Jacksonville

Doesn't seem the NFL, the NFLPA, and some players have a plan that is even formulated to battle COVID-19 for the upcoming season. What do you think would be a cutoff date to have all those things mapped out for a successful season?

The NFL and NFL Players Association are working every day to formulate a plan to play this season. I expect the league and NFLPA will announce some version of a plan relatively soon and I expect them to continue working on contingencies to the plan before and after the announcement. I don't know that it's realistic to think there's ever going to be a "final plan," and I don't know that the cutoff date matters. I expect issues, mini-crises and full-blown crises to arise at various times. I expect a major part of the NFL's plan will be expanded practice squads and large pools of available players. I don't expect anything about the season to be formulaic, familiar or easy. And I certainly don't expect there to be any sort of useful map to follow.

Noel from St. Augustine, FL

And this just in Peter: We now know what Shadrick's initials stand for and they make him even more uncool.

I don't think you know what you think you know. And if you think J.P. Shadrick's not cool, then you don't know the J.P. Shadrick I know.

Mike from Jacksonville

I'm assuming J.P.'s real name isn't Justin Peter. So, what is it? I must know.

Sometimes in life it's OK not to know everything. I find myself on daily basis sloughing through a trough of ignorance. Welcome to my world.

Travis from High Springs, FL

Is there a specific date that Yannick Ngakoue must sign the franchise tag by? Or can he just sign it and show up at any point he decides that he wants to?

Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue under NFL rules can pretty much sign the tag and show up whenever he wants – until November. The deadline for tagged players to sign a long-term extension is July 15. But as long as Ngakoue is tagged, the Jaguars must hold his cap space open and he may return. That's true until Week 10. If he has not signed the tag and returned by then, he must sit out the entire season.

Hulk from Las Vegas, NV

Two things. 1) I just don't think we're the No. 32 team in the league. No way we're worse than last season at 6-10 and distribution and drama. We know what the core is and what they bring. Some vets with proven records. A quarterback who is a self-starter. We're not 32 ... maybe between Nos. 15 and 22. 2) I respect all opinions. We need understanding. I just don't see where it's still misunderstood. Our flag was made with the ideal for freedom and liberty for all. We know our history has recorded otherwise. So when that flag that men and women died for behind the ideal of freedom and liberty, and while we're at it, justice for all, the kneeling will stop because the message was reciprocated and action and changes have been made and it unequivocally represents those ideals for EVERYONE! Not hard to comprehend.

Two thoughts on your thoughts. 1) OK. 2) OK.

Shawn from Jacksonville

If you had to guess based off our roster right now, do you think we will pick No. 1 overall? If not, where do you see our two picks being? My guess is we pick 3rd and 15th.

I have said and written often this offseason that I believe the Jaguars will win somewhere between six-to-eight games, so let's go with a record of 7-9. That would probably have them selecting somewhere in the early teens in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Jaguars also hold the first-round selection of the Los Angeles Rams in that draft. I don't have a good feel for how the Rams will fare this season. It sounds like you think the Rams will go about .500. Let's go with that.

Rad from Orange Park, FL

Regarding the recent submission about "no one discussing Tyler Eifert," my immediate thought when learning of his signing to the Jaguars was "Oh, cool, we signed Tyler Eifert to injured reserve." Not that I don't root for the guy to stay healthy and be productive – and/or that a veteran tight-end presence at a position on this team that has been fraught with utter futility an unabated disaster for quite some time isn't great. But with his injury history and our inability to do pretty much anything at tight end besides parlay drafted players and free agents from the active roster to injured reserve like clockwork ... it would be astonishing if he doesn't end up there.

Your immediate reaction was fair. Eifert, who signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent from the Cincinnati Bengals, has played 16 games in a season just once in seven NFL seasons and his career has been defined more by injuries than production. And the Jaguars indeed have struggled to a staggering degree to find a receiving option at the position. Here are the best reasons for hope with Eifert: his healthiest season came last season – and his injuries have been varied and a bit fluky in nature. It's not as if he has had a chronic knee or other serious injury that has threatened his career. There seems no particular reason to believe he won't stay healthy – other, of course, than it just never seems that things go right for the Jaguars at the position. That has to change sometime. Perhaps this is the season.

Peter from Greensboro, NC

Well … since it's the Dead Zone: Give me your Top Five Best All-Tine Jaguars. In order.

One: Left tackle Tony Boselli. Two: Running back Fred Taylor. Three: Wide receiver Jimmy Smith. Four: Running back Maurice Jones-Drew. Five: Wide receiver Keenan McCardell. The first four are easy. No. 5 is difficult and could be any number of players. I go with McCardell over defensive end Calais Campbell, cornerback Rashean Mathis, defensive end Tony Brackens, defensive tackle Marcus Stroud because of McCardell's consistency for really good teams. But there are many players who are good selections.

Big on Blake from Philly

John, the internet and smart phones are both wild and wonderful. News is now injected into every person's hand from every locale – and every person has an opinion about everything they read. These opinions are not based on experiences, because someone has no clue how a group of individuals is treated miles and states away, but those opinions are freely broadcast and influenced by other dramatic "news" sources telling the less experienced how they should feel. Whether it's kneeling, politics, tearing down confederate statues and symbols or a picture of a rat eating pizza on a subway, everyone has a strong reaction and conviction to share their ideas without having an active discussion. It just really makes you think how wonderful and awful of a time we live in where progress should be made, but it's being impeded so often every day. Thank you for being open, honest and attempting to share an unbiased view of not only the Jaguars but the events of the day. And also: thank you for letting all of us share our opinions in this forum. You're not just leading change, but feeding the machine. It's a wild, wonderful time.

Well, it's wild all right. I'll give you that.

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