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O-Zone: Soon enough

JACKSONVILLE – The Dead Zone officially is upon us, I suppose. We'll get through it.

Or we won't. It's whatever.

Let's get to it …

Matthew from Washington, DC

John - there seems to be a lot of interest in this topic (for some reason), but how would you rank the following teams from best to worst: 1, 2020 Jaguars (1-15); 2, 2019 Cincinnati Bungles (2-14); 3, 2018 Arizona Cardinals (3-13); 4, 2017 Cleveland Browns (0-16) 5, 2016 Cleveland Browns (1-15)?

I don't cover the four other teams other than the Jaguars, so I don't know the details of those rosters enough to answer this question much better than anyone else – but I'm guessing a lot of people weighing in on this topic don't know that much about all five rosters, either. I'll go with the 2017 Browns as the worst of the five, with the 2016 Browns as the second-worst team because that roster led to their 2017 roster. I'll go with the 2020 Jaguars next, with the 2019 Bengals after that and the 2018 Cardinals as the fifth-worst team. But there probably isn't a tremendous difference between any of the five teams. If you finish with the league's worst record and select No. 1 overall, you have a ways to go. What matters is the moves you make to crawl out of that position – and what you do with the No. 1 selection. The Jaguars appear to have selected a franchise quarterback in Trevor Lawrence and they appear to have talent in place at a lot of other positions – pass rusher, receiver, corner, running back, offensive line, linebacker – along with a plan to strengthen other areas moving forward. Those other teams, particularly the Cardinals and Browns, have made serious strides at a reasonable pace. It appears the Jaguars have a chance to do the same. That's what you must do after selecting No. 1.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, what do you think about Carl Nassib coming out? I think it's fantastic and hopefully will reduce hate in the NFL and beyond.

Nassib, a defensive end for the Las Vegas Raiders, indeed announced this week via his Instagram account that he is gay. When the 2021 regular season opens, he will become the first openly gay player on an NFL roster. What do I think? I think we're closer to this not being major news than we were five or 10 years ago, and I think that's a good thing. I think that it won't be a big deal at all in another five or 10 years – and I also think that's a good thing. I also think if Nassib announcing this makes him happier and more content – and if it helps other players and people be happier and content with themselves – I'm all for it. As I get older, I grow more and more weary of people being angry over – and judging -- how other people live their lives. If this can be another step toward us being less judgmental of others for reasons that are none of their business, then … hurrah.

Zac from Austin, Tejas

Seven of the drafted rookies drafted last year seem like they will be in heavy-ish rotation, right? And we went into this year with one of the best salary situations? One fer Dave.

Hey … one fer Dave!

David from Orlando, FL

Ozone. Does offensive tackle Walker Little have experience as a left and right tackle?

Little started at left tackle as a true freshman at Stanford and all his career starts in two-plus seasons in college came at the position. He is believed to be capable of playing right and left tackle in the NFL, but he is considered a more prototypical left tackle. If you're asking if Little would be capable of playing either left or right tackle next season … yeah, the guess here is he could do that if necessary.

Dave from Chuluota, FL

KOAF. Offensive line coach George Warhop seems like a straight shooter, so I'm going to give it to him straight. These should be the points of emphasis for the offensive line. Emphasize finishing blocks and that it's not acceptable to deactivate after three seconds. Emphasize hustle, which includes pushing the pile to get the ball carrier a first down or over the goal line (I've seen other teams do this, so I know it's legal). Emphasize setting the tone, which includes getting defenders off teammates and helping the teammate, never defenders, to their feet. Emphasize blitz pickup, so when teams blitz, three guys don't get a free run to our quarterback. And finally, make in-game adjustments. Yes, "our guys need to win his matchup," but if he's been getting beat get him some help, so that bad matchup doesn't end up determining the game. Please print this out and pass it along to Mr. Warhop. It might be fun if you asked J.P. Shadrick to deliver it and have him wait for the reply.

So, emphasize run-blocking, hustle, blitz pickup and in-game adjustments. I'm sure Warhop consistently has been overlooking these points in his 25 seasons as an NFL offensive line coach who is widely respected around the league, so I absolutely will be certain to pass it along.

Jim from Neptune Beach, FL

KOAF, really? What's a D-Roc? It's a Roc that just barely made a passing grade. If it had done better, it would be a C-Roc, or maybe a B-Roc. But, lucky for it, it's not an F-Roc.

"D-Roc" is about right, in retrospect.

Dave from Jacksonville

Zone, why not both Gardner Minshew II and Trevor Lawrence? I reflect back to when John Elway came to the Denver Broncos, because it is my point of reference. Elway was not drafted by the Broncos the year he came to them; Chris Hinton was. They drafted a quarterback named Gary Kubiak that year. Hinton was traded to the Colts, Elway to the Broncos and Kubiak became a lifelong backup. A good portion of the fans always thought Kubiak was the more accurate, effective quarterback. It worked out pretty well for everyone, including the fans.

There seems every possibility that the Jaguars will have Minshew and Lawrence on the roster this season. We'll see if that happens and for how long. As for your final thought … a good portion of the fans always thought Kubiak was the more effective quarterback. Having answered fan questions every day for a decade, I don't doubt this. Not for a second.

Cliff from Everywhere with helicopter

Funny how everybody complaining about the Baptist Health references have no problem every time the Culligan girl is mentioned. On this free website.


Scott from Atlantic Beach, FL

Dude, coming off one year of an undrafted contract, "enjoys giving back." I already liked his running of the football, but I'm an even bigger fan now.

Jaguars second-year running back James Robinson recently surprised two-time cancer survivor Tricshone Jiles with a $1,000 shopping spree at Academy Sports. Robinson indeed has been one of the feel-good surprise stories around the Jaguars in the last year or so, and he's an easy player for whom to cheer. Good stuff.

TC from Kingsland and Section 124

With the accuracy and the power of today's NFL kickers, why doesn't someone just line drive a ball into the chest of one of the frontline defenders? It would have to be pretty hard to catch and would then come back at the kicking team.

That might work, though my guess is the tactic would miss a lot more often than you think. Then again, it also might carom off the frontline defender and get the receiving team great field position. I might try it. Then again, I'm a past-his-prime sportswriter with a dimming wit and little to lose. I doubt any NFL head coaches will do this any time soon.

Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC

Utah vs Faldo. Gump vs Boucher. Manning vs Marino. But the real question remains … left side or strong side?

Less filling.

John from Jacksonville

Hi, KOAGF. The results on game day matter. We might have a competition during camp for the kicker, but your stats provided the other day show Josh Lambo the starter for this season. No question. "Lambo, a second-team All-Pro selection in 2019, made of 76 of 80 field goals since joining the Jaguars in 2017 before missing the last 11 games of last season with a hip injury. Rosas, a second-team All-Pro selection in 2018 with the New York Giants, has made 70 of 86 career field goals and made eight of 11 in six games for the Jaguars last season."

You saying "no question" does not mean there's not a question. Statistics indeed do matter. And there will be a kicker competition for the Jaguars in 2021 Training Camp.

Rob from San Antonio, TX

KOAF, regarding all the non-football complaints, what we have here is a failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach.

Jaguars 2021 Training Camp begins in a little more than four weeks.