O-Zone: Standing tall

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Charles from Riverside

Hello, John. So the preseason games are canceled, but training camp is still a go. Which of these two are the most important for prepping for the regular season? Do head coaches see one or the other as more necessary for getting their team ready to compete?

The NFL and NFL Players Association reportedly have agreed on multiple rules, protocols and changes in their effort to hold the 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the most notable indeed are the elimination of all four preseason games and an extended "ramp-up" period in training camp beginning with non-contact practices before eventually transitioning to contact work in mid-August. The NFLPA pushed to eliminate preseason and pushed for the ramp-up period, and it's a sensible approach given the COVID-19 concerns – and given the lack of an offseason program this year. As for training camp versus preseason in terms of importance, I believe preseason games remain important despite the recent push to eliminate them. Coaches believe they're important, too – and personnel officials do need them for evaluation. But if you must choose between having camp and preseason, you always would choose to have camp. The practices, meetings and routine are really the best and only way to prepare for a season. You can play a regular season without the preseason. You could technically play the regular season without camp, but I can't imagine a season without some sort of camp-like lead-up.

Justin from New York City

Who do you think is more valuable in a trade - Yannick or Jamal? Should two first rounders and a third be the floor for what we accept?

Jamal Adams, a safety formerly of the New York Jets and now – as of Saturday – of the Seattle Seahawks, is more valuable than Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue in a trade. Adams is widely considered one of the best players at his position while Ngakoue is considered a very good player at a very important position. The Seahawks on Saturday traded two first-round selections and a third-round selection – and safety Bradley McDougald – to the Jets for Adams. I was surprised the Seahawks gave up that much. Considering the Jaguars were unable to garner enough interest around the 2020 NFL Draft to execute a trade, I doubt there will be a trade for Ngakoue. And I seriously doubt there will be one with the Jaguars acquiring two first-round selections.

Pat from Duval

I liked Chad Henne's Stache better.

Who wouldn't? It was epic.

Big Bill from Chantilly

MLB, NFL and NBA are all all wrong: Please see US Code (the law of the land). 36 U.S. Code § 301. National anthem U.S. Code Notes prev | next (a) Designation.— The composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem. (b) Conduct During Playing.—During a rendition of the national anthem— (1) when the flag is displayed— (A) individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note; (B) members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute in the manner provided for individuals in uniform; and (C) all other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and (2) when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.

I've gotten multiple emails noting this, and that's indeed in the "law of the land." But I don't believe this code is going to stop players from kneeling during the National Anthem this fall. And I don't believe you'll see any legal ramifications because of it. There are times in the nation's history when people protest to make what they believe is an important point – and there are times protests bump up against what is written by those who have come before us. This, it seems, will be one of those times.

Rob from St. Augustine, FL

How does someone "own" a name? This may more directly clarify what I meant to ask.

This question references a Saturday O-Zone question regarding Martin McCaulay, who reportedly has purchased multiple trademarks and brand names for potential names of what is now known as the Washington Football Team. McCaulay paid the fees for the names and registered them with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. That's how someone "owns" a name.

Ed from Danvers, MA

Why not station a person in the outfield stands to retrieve a home run ball, then immediately put it into one of those plexiglass ball holders on a wooden pedestal? Bag it and tag it, then create a label for it- who hit it, date, inning, etc. and then give it to a random kid who signed up online for the player that hit it? Great PR and inexpensive.

OK.

David from Jacksonville

Other than Gardner Minshew, who are the five Jaguars players they can't afford to lose?

Defensive end Josh Allen, wide receiver DJ Chark Jr., right tackle Jawaan Taylor, middle linebacker Joe Schobert and linebacker Myles Jack. Throw running back Leonard Fournette in there, too – even though that makes my list … you know, six.

Terry from Cordele, GA

Divine intervention ... hmm. I haven't really ever got that impression about you. Maybe it is the other side?

Anything's possible.

Jon from Ocala, FL

Hi O, what would you be more surprised of happening, the NFL season starting on time or waking up tomorrow with your head sewn to the carpet?

The former. I won't be surprised at all if the 2020 NFL season starts on time. In fact, I fully expect it to happen.

Brian from Cranford, NJ

Oh, Hi John. If we're talking about the greatest football movies of all time, "The Room" should be up there. A football does make multiple appearances, even having the characters playing in their tuxedos.

OK.

Sean from Jacksonville

I just don't think I will like to watch a game that has a nearly empty stadium. Yes, the action on the field is the important part, but having a lackluster response will make it boring. Also, who is going to wear a mask in 100-degree weather in Florida to watch the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Miami Dolphins? Hope they have extra ambulance crews on standby!

The 2020 NFL season will be unique in many ways – perhaps in pretty much every way. Empty stadiums would be strange. So would virtual fans in stands. So would artificial crowd noise. At this point, the options are to accept that the season is going to be strange, complicated and unprecedented and enjoy it – or to not watch and wait for a time when things are normal. Not everybody will choose the former. The guess here is many will and that what they see will be worth watching. Stay tuned.

Aqeel from Toronto, Canada

I've never seen you look like this without a reason. Another promise fallen through, another season passes by you. I never took the smile away from anybody's face and that's a desperate way to look...For someone who is still a child.

That's because in a Big Country, dreams stay with you.

Chris from Neptune Beach, FL

The NFL thinks it's going to keep players from going out to bars? Pleeeeease.

You're referencing the NFL and the NFLPA reportedly agreeing to rules for 2020 restricting players' activity away from team facilities. This includes players not being permitted at indoor concerts, indoor night clubs, indoor "house parties" or indoor church facilities that allow attendance above 25 percent capacity. This news was met with skepticism, but you know what? The NBA is in a bubble. Athletes in all sports are adapting to this. These rules make sense if the season is going to happen. My guess is there will be violations, but implementing the rules and dealing with the difficulty of enforcing those riles seems to be a much better approach than not having the rules at all.

Steve from Hilton Head, SC

John, I did buy those TaylorMade irons. After all I have a paycheck and pay for all the expenditures in this house.

You know what you are? You're all man.

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