ATLANTA, Ga. – Super Bowl O-Zone.
Let’s get to it …
Chuck from Goose Creek, SC
What are your thoughts on Dante Fowler Jr.'s comments this week that the Jaguars were not humble and that led to their downfall?
Former Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. is now with the Los Angeles Rams, who are playing in Super Bowl LIII Sunday. Having been a No. 3 overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, and having been traded at midseason, Fowler’s departure from the Jaguars as expected has been a topic this week. Fowler made comments early in the week to the effect that the Jaguars weren’t hungry enough this past season – and he also made comments to the effect that the Jaguars gave up on him. All of which is pretty standard stuff for a player who didn’t live up to expectations with one team and is finding a measure of success with another. What do I think of his comments? I think they’re pretty much what I expected him to say. I also think that on the same night he talked about the Jaguars giving up him, he spoke extensively of appreciating the Jaguars and enjoying his time with the team. I like Fowler very much and enjoyed being around him when he played for the Jaguars. I also think Fowler will say a lot of things when being interviewed – and I think because he is an exceptionally nice guy, he often will say things that he believes the person interviewing him wants him to say. It is partly for this reason that I don’t put much stock into a lot of what he says when analyzing the Jaguars.
Abel from Jacksonville
Since both the Jaguars and the Raiders are looking like they will be drafting quarterbacks in the first round, what do you think about the teams trading quarterbacks?
Toward what end?
Charles from Savannah, GA
Dante Fowler feels that other teams were hungrier than the Jags. Do you think his statement is accurate or he's just disgruntled?
I don’t think Fowler is all that disgruntled. I think he said some things in some interviews this week to some people and other things to other people. There are a few players whose thoughts I value greatly when they discuss their teams – or their former teams. As much as I like Fowler, he’s not one of those players.
Robert from Jacksonville
Is the Hall of Fame limited to five players installed each year’s class? I read or heard somewhere that there is no real limit.
You read or heard wrong. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is limited to five modern-era inductees each year.
Tom from Charleston, SC
You tend to pin poor officiating on human nature and the length of time that it would take to play a game. I have a couple of questions for you. 1) What is more important: putting a time limit on the game or getting it right? 2) When did human failure become more acceptable than striving for excellence? You seem to be more content with accepting things as they are rather than making every effort to "get it right."
Striving for perfection obviously is ideal. But things that sound great in theory are often different in reality, and the reality is you’re never going to have a perfectly officiated game. Many people are proposing an “eye-in-the-sky” system with a replay official overturning “obvious” calls and with all calls reviewable – including pass interference and holding. This is great in theory and I suppose there’s a chance the league could veer in this direction. The reason such a system isn’t already in place is because the league very much didn’t want an “eye-in-the-sky” system with everything reviewable. That’s because “obvious” calls are relatively rare and there’s no way to define “obvious.” I again go back to the pass interference on Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye in the AFC Championship Game following the 2017 season. Many Jaguars fans consider that an obvious wrong call. I didn’t think it should have been called. But there was debate about it and I’m not sure replay would have solved the debate. I believe the league could react to the current outcry and add some layers and voices to the replay system. I believe people would celebrate this and like it for a while. I also believe it many not solve nearly as many issues as people expect. But hey … maybe I’m wrong. Weirder things have happened.
Limo Bob from Neptune Beach, FL
If all quarterbacks except Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins are available when we pick in second round at this time which one would you choose?
Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with a nod to Missouri quarterback Drew Lock.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville
The better approach is to put an additional ref in the press box or upstairs with the same team that can call the ref for reviews. Let them have the power to tell the on-field team: “Hey, go back and look at this.” You missed a huge, obvious call. But you are right: no more challenges or things to slow down the game. Another thing, someone needs to get with the refs and tell them, seriously? Do your job.
One of the premises when the replay system originally was voted into place in the 1990s was that replay would not involve a so-called official in the sky – i.e., that the game would continue to be officiated on the field and “reviewed” rather than officiated from on high. The reason behind this premise was that owners and league officials at the time were concerned that the game would be over-officiated. That long has dictated the way replay has been managed. Perhaps the current outrage will be such that the league re-thinks its philosophy.
Dave from Dallas, TX
Hey Mr. O: Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley will be an unrestricted free agent, is a decent slot/wide receiver and probably represents good value. He’s looking for more game time, and could be a good fit for us, especially as a seasoned pro and leader. Thoughts?
Sure, as long as you don’t have to overpay. Regarding wide receiver: I’ve said before and I’ll say again that I don’t know that the Jaguars’ “overhaul” at wide receiver is going to be what people expect. Does a player of Beasley’s level make some sense? Perhaps. But I don’t get the idea that the Jaguars necessarily will pursue a “front-line” free agent or a Day 1 or Day 2 draft selection at the spot.
Jason from North Pole, AK
I have no sympathy for Saints fans. It is ridiculous that they have the audacity to complain about that call. Remember when their team had a bounty on Brett Favre in the 2009 NFC Championship Game, which caused the toughest quarterback of all-time to throw a bad interception instead of running five yards for fear of getting illegally hit again? All they got was a slap on the wrist and a Super Bowl ring. I don’t remember Vikings fans suing for a do over. That bad call couldn’t have happened to a more deserving coach than Sean Payton.
Unhip Cat from Carlsbad, CA
O-man, what are we to make of the Jags signing Jarrod Wilson to a three-year contract?
The Jaguars signed Wilson to a three-year deal with $1.5 million guaranteed. We can make that the Jaguars like Wilson a lot as a special teams player and that it’s not out of the question that Wilson would start next to Ronnie Harrison next season.
Big on Blake from Philly
Why hasn’t Blake been cut yet? Is Black Monday only a thing for coaches? If there ever was a player so obviously being cut, why wouldn’t the team just release him already? My personal opinion is he would clear waivers and be signed to a team still in the playoffs. And maybe that’s just bad business. Or is there a certain time in which all player moves can begin?
The Jaguars have nothing to gain by releasing quarterback Blake Bortles now rather than later. And while to my knowledge there’s no rule that teams can’t release players and therefore allow them to be signed by postseason teams, it’s just not something that’s done.
Roger from White House, FL
John, remember that time when the Panthers went 15-1 and Cam Newton was league Most Valuable Player but lost the Super Bowl and then went 6-10 the following season?
Crash from Section 148
Is it true that Led Zeppelin will tour this summer with Gene Frenette as drummer?
Longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. “Gene” Frenette has yet to finalize his summer tour plans. He is in high demand. As such, he can choose his next move carefully.
Scott from Daytona Beach, FL
All these mock drafts are stupid. Just sayin.
A lot of things on life are stupid. Why should we single out mock drafts for ridicule?