O-Zone: Still the king

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

James from Salt Lake City via Jacksonville

O-man, I've been sitting back listening to all these experts saying we should get rid of Ramsey. Are they crazy or something? A talent like Ramsey doesn’t come along often, especially to the Jags. And they just want to trade him away? All they talk about is how many bust we have in the first round; Ramsey isn't one of them. When it’s over and done, he will be one of very few Jags in the Hall of Fame. Trade him and I'm done with my beloved Jags. Kinda like the Raiders and Mack. Just saying!

One thing to remember about this topic is national experts are often slower to catch on to storylines about teams than those around the team every day. There was a time in November when the idea of parting ways with cornerback Jalen Ramsey wasn’t completely ridiculous. He had struggled in a big way against the Indianapolis Colts, and shown bad body language in that game. Adding this to a lot of the things he said in a couple of high-profile offseason interviews, as well as a preseason suspension, it was fair to wonder if he was too much of a distraction. That storyline manifested itself in a report that many around the league wondered if the Jaguars might trade Ramsey. Perhaps that was being said around the league at the time. Perhaps people around the league are still saying it. Bottom line: People around the league can say what they want, but I can’t see the Jaguars trading Ramsey. Nor should they.

Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

If every player on the team was as good as Jalen Ramsey the team would be the greatest of all time. Whatever problem the team has it is not Jalen.

True.

John from Jacksonville

When does the roster go back to 90 players? Is it after last game, Super Bowl? Thanks Zone, Happy Krimma!

The NFL 90-man roster limit is year-round. What’s different is during the regular season you can only have 53 active players with 10 practice-squad players and a maximum of 27 players on injured reserve or other reserve lists. The limit rarely comes into play during the regular season. Once a team’s regular-season ends, the 90-player limit, but teams max it out – generally without reserve designations. And Merry Krimma to you as well.

Al from Memphis, TN

Is there a way we can resign Nathaniel Hackett? … and draft Will Grier.

I don’t mind the idea of West Virginia quarterback Will Grier being selected by the Jaguars, though I won’t fully dive into quarterback talk until after the season. As for Hackett, he ain’t walking through that door again.

Darren from Arlington, FL

Look, I'm not saying we shouldn't move on from quarterback Blake Bortles, because I absolutely think we should ... but can we just admit that he wasn't the problem this year? They're worse right now without him on the field. Stop living a lie.

OK.

Larry from Duncan, OK

Is Ronnie Harrison on the injured reserve list?

Not yet, but Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said early this week the rookie strong safety would be placed on injured reserve by the end of the week. I would look for this to happen sometime Friday.

Brian from Gainesville, FL

Big O: In your years covering the NFL is this team – playing as it is right now and as it has played for the last two months – the worst NFL team you’ve ever seen?

Not even close. The Jaguars beat a team – Indianapolis – this month that might go to the playoffs. They have been within a score of winning more often than not recently. It’s a competitive team. I don’t think it’s even the worst team in the NFL this season, much less the worst I’ve ever seen.

Sam from Orange Park, FL

It's time to move on from Barry Church? How are Harrison and Jarrod Wilson doing? Oh ... right.

Two games remain in the 2018 regular season. The Jaguars are 4-10.

Nate from Orlando, FL

We have had bad production from our active wide receivers, so why did we let Allen Lazard go and never bring him up? How stupid is our team management?

The Jaguars had rookie free agent wide receiver Allen Lazard around for pretty much the entire season. They didn’t think he was better than those unproductive receivers.

Bill from Jacksonville

“The Jaguars have a lot of work to do offensively…” They do? I think most Jags fans were under the impression the reason the offense hasn’t been good is due to injuries. That’s pretty much what you’ve been telling us since Week 5 isn’t it? Wide receiver Marqise Lee as your go-to wide receiver and Austin Seferian-Jenkins as your No. 1 tight end isn’t a good way to build an effective offense? Well, color me surprised. Thanks! Go Jags!

You’re correct, Bill: The main reason the Jaguars’ offense wasn’t good this season indeed was injuries. But remember: Personnel in the NFL changes from year to year. Considering the myriad of pieces the Jaguars must add in the offseason – quarterback(s), offensive linemen, running backs, likely a tight end and perhaps some receivers – I don’t think it’s a reach to say they have a lot of work to do offensively.

Nathan from Middleburg, FL

Should the organization feel confident with Caldwell selecting a franchise QB this April given his track record? If he's still the general that would probably leave fans uninspired to say the least.

It matters far less that fans are “inspired” by the selection than it does to have the player be a good player. On that front I trust Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell to select a quarterback as much as I would any general manager. There’s a lot of good fortune involved with getting a first-round quarterback right and remember: Caldwell wouldn’t be making the selection alone. Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin, remember, would have major input – and final say.

Nick from Virginia Beach, VA

Jaguars fans deserve better then what we have experienced the past decade. Will we see another winning season in the next ten years?

Of course.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, I’ve watched or attended every game since the beginning. I hate losing. Am I crazy for hoping we continue to lose this year to improve our draft prospects?

Of course not.

Paul from Ponte Vedra, FL

Yo Zone … so just wondering why it is considered that BB5 did not play as well in the first half of 2017 versus the second half of 2017? Just a quick reference shows the very first game of the season, the one where we destroyed the Texans and all the fanfare in that opener. The Ravens we then MANHANDLED, Beat the Steelers! Then pitched a shutout to the Colts! Then beat the Bengals. Making us 5-3 at the midpoint. I know that more than likely he will not be a Jag next season, but IMO the idea that he only played well in the last half of 2017 is somewhat marginalizing what he did the entire season.

You’re correct. Bortles played very well in December and in the postseason, which has led many observers – this one included – to generally describe him as improving in the second half of the season. But yes … Bortles for the most part played well last season. The running game worked better than it did this season, and the offense around him remained healthy for the most part. Those things made a difference.

Dave from Chuluota

Johnny O - The Blake Bortles that earned a contract extension is the same Bortles that got benched. What changed were injuries and the talent around him. In a sense, we signed Bortles to lift 200 pounds, then gave up on him when he couldn't lift 500 pounds. Thoughts?

Yes.

Dave from The Office

You now mock fans for moving onto Tanner Lee. It makes sense as a fan. Kessler and Bleak both have no potential, so why not see if Lee has anything? Your response would be about the coaches being around him and knowing what he offers and clearly he isn't an upgrade. Then why did they waste a pick on him?

Lee was drafted as a developmental player, not to play as a rookie. And yes, I kid around a bit with certain topics here in the O-Zone. It’s not as much mocking as having fun. I probably won’t stop doing that because the NFL is entertainment is supposed to be … you know … fun. If you don’t see it that way, then maybe this isn’t your thing.

David from Chuluota

Everyone's frustrated, fans, players, coaches. You know who's not frustrated, Johnny-O. You are one cool cucumber!

I am the king of all funk. That answer also was meant to be fun, FYI. I don’t actually think I am the king of all funk. (Editor’s note: Yes, he does).

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