O-Zone: Surf city

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Gary from Palatka, FL

You recently stated matter-of-factly that the Jaguars’ offense is a question mark and that the defense will be good. Considering the offseason issues, how can you be so sure about the defense? Losing Telvin has to hurt.

There are a couple of reasons to feel confident about the Jaguars’ defense. One is that the Jaguars better feel that way about the defense; the team’s hopes this season revolve around a unit that has played at a Top 10 level for three seasons continuing to do so. Another reason is personnel. Yes, Smith’s likely absence may hurt; while he didn’t play as well as normal late last season, his speed and playmaking will be difficult to replace. Still, even without Smith, the Jaguars have a front-line middle linebacker (Myles Jack), two front-line cornerbacks (A.J. Bouye/Jalen Ramsey) and defensive line that includes three Pro Bowl-level players (ends Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue, tackle Marcell Dareus) and two first-round selections (end Josh Allen, tackle Taven Bryan). With or without Smith, this should be one of the NFL’s best defenses.

Stormy from Wyoming

Yo Mr. Zone, how would you rank our current wide receivers on the depth chart 1-5?

Dede Westbrook, Marqise Lee (assuming full health), Chris Conley, DJ Chark Jr., Keelan Cole. For now.

Don from Marshall, NC

The only thing disappointing about former Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell was in ‘99 he had the team to win the Super Bowl and he never got the job done. It’s a long road ahead for the defense if you are asking the corners to stop the run. Go Jaguars!

It’s unfair and simplistic to say Brunell didn’t get the job done in 1999. The second-half collapse against the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game was a group effort, but yes … if you’re basing your assessment of a defense on the cornerbacks’ ability to stop the run, you’re basing it on the wrong thing.

Senor from Espana

Running with the bulls in Pamplona. #OzoneSighting

Si.

Christopher from Jacksonville

No, Zone: You deliberately misrepresent "most" people's view of Ramsey. It is NOT that talk crap and that he speaks his mind. He directly dissed the organization and fans/city of Jacksonville when he said he's going to ask for the bank. Nothing says "I don't want to be here" more than saying you don't care about the team chances at winning, you don't care about the fans, you want the money and that’s it. Stop being a snake.

First off, “Christopher:” I don’t represent or misrepresent Jaguars fans’ views of anything; people ask questions and I answer. That’s how this forum works – always. And don’t assume to know what I’m deliberately doing or not doing; it’s unbecoming and beneath you. As for Ramsey “dissing” Jacksonville by saying he’s going to ask for the bank … huh? Asking for the bank from their teams is what elite, young NFL players do. It wasn’t a knock on the city or the team. It has nothing to do with that whatsoever, but does he want as much money as possible? Of course. Who wouldn’t?

Rumor from Rumorville

Are you pregnant?

I’m too old.

Dwayne from Jacksonville

Dear Head Writer John Oehser: Repeating anything for an easy laugh is … worth it! It goes without saying.

I’m too old.

Tucker from Jacksonville

Hey John, has Taven Bryan been in the film room? It's the best thing to help his awareness by diagnosing plays. It hurt his development backing up Calais Campbell. It also hurt Dawuane Smoot developing as a third-round pick.

Jaguars defensive tackle Taven Bryan certainly spent time in the film room during the offseason; all players involved in the offseason program do so. And while time in the film room will help his awareness, I expect in-game repetitions will help as well. As far as backing up Campbell hurting Bryan and Smoot, I suppose more snaps would have helped their development but it’s not as if these guys had no opportunities whatsoever. And there’s very little about being around Campbell that hurts a player’s development. His influence generally helps young players.

Ryan from Detroit, MI

All this worrying about contracts has me thinking that we might finally be a good enough football team that we have to let quality people go. Maybe we might even get a compensatory pick or two to help replenish the roster with young affordable talent. When was the last time the Jaguars were awarded a compensatory pick?

The Jaguars selected James Madison kick returner Scotty McGee with a sixth-round compensatory selection in the 2010 NFL Draft – the No. 203 selection overall. Previous Jaguars compensatory selections: running back Rashad Jennings (2009 Round 7, No. 250), wide receiver Tiquan Underwood (2009 Round 7, No. 253), linebacker Chad Nkang (2008 Round 7, No. 251), offensive tackle Andrew Carnahan (2008 Round 7, No. 252), defensive end Bobby McCray (2004 Round 7, No. 249), LaBrandon Toefield (2003 Round 4, No. 132), cornerback Steve Smith (2002 Round 7, No. 246), kicker Hayden Epstein (2002 Round 2, No. 247), strong safety James Boyd (2001 Round 3, No. 94), safety Marlon McCree (2001 Round 7, No. 233), defensive tackle Rob Meier (2000 Round 7, No. 241), running back Shyrone Stith (2000 Round 7, No. 243), linebacker Danny Clark (2000 Round 7, No. 245), offensive tackle Mark Baniewicz (2000 Round 7, No. 247), cornerback Dee Moronkola (1999 Round 7, No. 242) and defensive end Chris White (1999 Round 7, No. 246).

Chris from Jacksonville

Coward.

Yes.

Braddock from Jacksonville

I give up. I hope Jalen returns to the ass kicker he was as a rookie.

I imagine Ramsey will be better this season than he was as a rookie. He has been better than he was as a rookie the past two seasons. I see no reason he should regress.

Stuart from St. Augustine, FL

O-No, Can you please explain to me how anyone with sense could think that Garrard was better than Brunell? I liked Garrard but Come on man!

You’re referencing a recent O-Zone question in which a questioner opined that David Garrard as opposed to Brunell was the best quarterback in Jaguars history. People believe what they want to believe, and sometimes there’s no explaining the results.

Scott from Jacksonville

You forgot to tell Stu to hydrate and wear plenty of sunscreen. Those September home games can be brutal.

Fair.

Mike from Breeevard

Johnny Boy: a few random Jaguar thoughts. First, I love the Duuuuval thing and DTWD, but I feel excluded as I'm a Jaguar fan in Brevard County. Any suggestions on a new war cry or slogan for 2019 and beyond that's more inclusive (I feel like a millennial right now.) Next, what's with all the hype around Myles Jack? I like the player and the person but from what I've seen he's a middle-of-the road NFL linebacker in the NFL (not that there is anything wrong with that.)

We touch on the “Duuuval thing” occasionally here in the O-Zone, but we haven’t in a while so here goes: When considering the Duval chant, don’t think of it as an exclusionary thing. Don’t think of it as someone saying, “I’m from Duval County and you’re not.” Think of it as a group of fans taking pride in their team in an us-against-the-world sense. Fans of other teams and national media tend to look down on Northeast Florida and on the Jaguars. Duval is a way of saying, “Fine. Look down on us. We’re the Jaguars. We’re Duval. Say and think what you want about us. No matter. Duuuuval. As for your question about Jaguars middle linebacker Myles Jack … no, he is not elite. And he hasn’t yet fulfilled the potential of a player many projected as a Top 5 selection in the 2016 NFL Draft. But neither is he a “middle-of-the-road: linebacker. He’s very good and overall has shown a real knack for big plays. He showed that knack big-time and it tailed off last season when the Jaguars trailed in a lot of games, therefore reducing opportunities for big defensive plays. My guess is the Jaguars will have more leads this season. My guess also is that will mean a bigger season in terms of big plays for Jack.

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

We have the last guy to beat Tom Brady in a Super Bowl and the surf bowl MVP on our team? Nice. How is Foles doing this dead zone? Is he resting and vacationing well? I can’t wait to see accurate passes thrown to Jaguars receivers! And spirals too? Has it ever been more exciting to be a jag fan? Maybe when we were leading the AFC championship game but that was a long time ago now and I’m really excited about Foles. Yay!

This indeed is an exciting offseason. About the only thing I can imagine more exciting is if the Jaguars were to somehow with the Surf Bowl.

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