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O-Zone: Straight facts

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Darrell from Fernandina Beach, FL

In the article entitled "You Have to Play," what did Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone mean when he said, “Now, I don't control the 53; I don't have that…?" It would seem he would have significant input – and if a consensus could not be reached, the final call would be Tom Coughlin's as Executive Vice President of Football Operations. But, I would think that would be extremely rare.

You’re referring to a comment made by Marrone in his media availability Thursday. When discussing player evaluation, he reminded those listening that his was not the final say when it came to who made the Jaguars’ 53-man regular-season roster – and that Coughlin or General Manager David Caldwell might see the concept he was discussing slightly differently. Marrone was not complaining, nor was he implying that there was a culture of disagreement around the Jaguars about who should or shouldn’t make the roster. And you’re correct that Marrone has significant input. While much often is made about “final control” of a roster, the reality is that the people running teams typically discuss players pretty much daily so that a consensus is reached over time. A team that doesn’t work that way is bound to have serious problems. Coughlin does have final say around the Jaguars, but it’s usually universally evident to those involved in the process who should and shouldn’t be on the final 53.

Paul from Jacksonville

I believe what Keith was trying to articulate was – win or lose – fans gonna fan.

Wise man.

Edward from Los Angeles, CA

Is it fair to say that running back T.J. Yeldon will probably look for an opportunity to be a feature back in the offseason? I hate it, but it's a side-effect of drafting well.

I would be surprised if Yeldon is on the roster next season. Reserve running back in the salary cap era usually is a young man’s position. It’s also a position where a young, reasonably-priced player can do the job quite effectively.

Jason from North Pole, AK

Do you think a lot of our delay-of-game penalties last year had to do with our young wide receivers not knowing the plays? I would think that would improve simply because everyone in the offense should know what they are doing now.

Yes. I would think so, too.

Clyde from Sacksonville

Mr. O: Has any team ever had two 1,000-yard running backs in the same season? With Yeldon coming on strong and Leonard Fournette being a beast, could the Jags have two backs break 1,000 yards on the ground? Wouldn't that be something??

Two 1,000-yard rushers on the same team has been done six times: Miami, 1972 (Larry Csonka, Mercury Morris); Pittsburgh, 1976 (Franco Harris, Rocky Bleier); Cleveland, 1985 (Earnest Byner, Kevin Mack); Atlanta, 2006 (Warrick Dunn, Michael Vick); New York Giants, 2008 (Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward); and Carolina, 2009 (Jonathan Stewart; DeAngelo Williams). So, it’s definitely doable. I would be a little surprised if Yeldon got enough touches to get to 1,000 yards this season, but sure … weirder things have happened.

Rob from Duval

One fer Fowler. That guy’s a beast. We are blessed to have him on our team. Don’t care if we got another guy who is really good or about any of the other stuff. That guy is a beast and will wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks and anyone else unfortunate enough to have the ball in his vicinity. "He arrives with bad intentions," I remember Caldwell saying when he was drafted. Yes, he does, and I love that about him.

Hey, one fer Fowler.

Roger from Greenbush, ME

Why aren’t rookie deals discussed: Details, money, length, signing bonuses.

NFL rookie contracts used to be discussed quite lot. Since the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement, they’re discussed far less because rookie contracts now are slotted and largely uniform. All rookies sign four-year deals except first-round selections, who sign four-year deals with a one-year team option on top of that. The salary/signing bonus typically depends on how early you were drafted. With everything basically standard, there’s not as much to discuss as there was a decade ago.

Don from Macclenny, FL

O-Zone, our first-round draft pick is injured and has yet to play in a "game." What would your inbox have looked like a couple years ago in that situation? Go Jags!

Angry and a little unreasonable – so, similar to now, only with different topics.

Nick from Palatka, FL

O, King of all Flunk, and Lord of all Flies: When Geno's gotya skunked and Shadrick's ate ya fries / Just getta little drunk and check out Bortles’ eyes / Are they light or dark as gunk? The answer may surprise. (or not) / Go you heterochromic, head lowering, defenseless player-tackling Jaguars!!!

The Jaguars play the New York Giants in the 2018 regular-season opener at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, September 9 at 1 p.m.

James from Salt Lake City Via Jacksonville

Hey Mr. O-Man. I have a solution for the leading with the head tackles. Have everyone watch tape on how Deion Sanders tackled.

Cute.

Jim from Pahrump, NV

I never thought watching a video of someone learning how to swim would be inspiring, but seeing DJ Chark Jr. doing just that was indeed inspiring. Seems like a well-composed young man.

You’re right. The video is here and the part you’re talking about starts at about the 1:00 mark. It’s cool. And inspiring. And he does.

Brian from Gainesville, FL

Big O, I recently heard some character with an organization called Football Outsiders who print some kind of football almanac talking about how the Jaguars this year look statistically to win only seven games and finish last in the AFC South. He went further to say that Blake Bortles cannot play any better than he did last year. Finally, he said that the Jags’ defense will likely be good again, but almost certainly won’t be great. It was all very doom and gloom and it was all based on statistics from all prior seasons. What’re your thoughts on this form of prognostication? It seems to ignore a lot of factors that cannot be measured statistically. Also, haven’t other researchers looked at this nonsense and discovered that it isn’t much better than predicting by flipping a coin? Give me some reason to feel optimistic in light of this BS.

I don’t pay much attention to prognostications. It’s not out of a disdain for those doing the prognosticating. It just has little to do with reality, or with the job I attempt to do here at jaguars.com. I don’t know if Football Outsiders predicted the Jaguars to come within a game of the AFC Championship Game last season, and I don’t know if they predicted the Philadelphia Eagles to win the Super Bowl. If they start getting things right on that level, or if they come up with a formula to determine when my time on this planet is going to end, I might start worrying about their projections. Until then I probably won’t invest a lot of mental or emotional energy.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

Is Yannick Ngakoue one of the five best defensive ends in the NFL? What a great deal getting him in the third round.

Ngakoue was close to being a Top 5 defensive end last season – and in fact, he may have been one. From what I have seen in 2018 Jaguars Training Camp and preseason, I have a hard time imagining five NFL defensive ends will have a better season than Ngakoue in 2018. And yes … getting him in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft could go down as the best non-first-round selection in franchise history.

Kevin from Duval

O, just sitting here pondering football ... When a team has a dominant factor, which could be a number of factors (i.e. quarterback, running game, etc.), that factor always seems to dictate the narrative of the game. Is it just me, or does our defensive line alone appear to be a unit that will dominate the narrative of most games, and single-handedly puts us into the upper echelon of teams this season?

It sure looks that way.

Nick from Virginia Beach, VA

O, the running game is what matters. What is a realistic expectation of our running game this season?

For it to be better than it was last season, and for the Jaguars to run better when teams expect them to run.

Nathan from Richmond, VA

O-man, I'm having a hard time in coming up with anything related to professional football that isn't a colossal waste of mental energy. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a scathing draft report to write up on my Fantasy team.

You go, girl.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, I hate it when other people ask my question better than I did. Does anyone ever give your answers better than you?

No. I am the awesomest.

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