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O-Zone: The diligent type

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Jim from Green Cove Springs, FL:
Any chance the guys take a flyer on the Project of Bjoern Werner? He is young, fast and was once good enough to be a first-round pick as an edge guy. Not saying he will be the solution, but since I am sure he comes at cheap price, why not?
John: I get slews of emails every season and offseason about the Jaguars possibly signing players who have been released by teams. These emails usually end with some variation of the question, "Why not?" As for the answer, it invariably involves some variation of, "Because the Jaguars don't think the player would improve the roster." If the Jaguars don't sign Werner – and I certainly don't expect they will – it's because they don't believe he's better than their other options. It's almost always that simple.
Sandro from El Paso, TX:
Even with our offense having some explosive moments and definitely showing signs of improvement, our offensive line total would probably be given a grade of a C. That said, with the additions we have made and the competition that will be brewing, what would you say is a realistic grade our offensive line will play this year?
John: Better … so, at least a C-plus.
Donald from Orange Park, FL:
Pete Prisco said Myles Jack is the next Ray Lewis. Agree? If he is as good as Ray Lewis, can't pass that up.
John: Jack is a different type of player than Lewis. The latter relied on power, intimidation and instincts whereas the former relied on instincts, athleticism and speed. But if I know Pete – and I've known him a long, long time – he meant that Jack just may be that unusual player who can change a game from the linebacker position. That's rare, but when a player can do it, he's a franchise-level, franchise-altering player, which is what you want from a Top 5 selection. As is the case with Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey, he might just be the rarest of rare.
Duval Doom from Section 217:
I think some of us just want the franchise to be stable on our efforts. The fan base spends a lot of money on the team. To think it's not enough to support said team without help feels a little bit like Jacksonville can't actually support a team, which is what everyone outside the city have been saying for years, and that sucks.
John: Jacksonville is a small market with small-market challenges. That's obvious to anyone paying attention. The Jaguars also have been challenged in recent years by a lot of losing. I have no doubt that winning consistently over the next few years will contribute mightily to the team becoming more stable, but I also don't doubt that having an international presence can help the Jaguars become more stable, too.
Jonathan from Section 215:
If Roberto Aguayo is sitting there for the Jaguars in the third round, do you think they would take him? Would he even be a serious consideration?
John: I don't believe the Jaguars are looking to replace Jason Myers, and I certainly don't think they're looking to do so with a Day 1 or 2 selection.
Wallace from Jacksonville:
If Brandon Linder is going to get a serious look at center next season, do NFL rules allow him and Blake Bortles to practice together during the offseason?
John: Yes, but not any more than any of the other players can practice together. The offseason program will begin in April and teams will be able to practice in May and June. That's when Bortles and Linder can work together at the team's facility. If they want to work together away from the facility, they can do so anytime they choose.
Sid from Jacksonville:
I just read an article about the Jaguars getting a lot of attention lately and thought it was weird considering we only won five games. Does it surprise you how much chatter there is around the Jaguars? Was there a time in recent memory there was this much hype for a non-playoff team?
John: The pro-Jaguars chatter doesn't surprise me too, too much for a couple of reasons. One is that a lot of national observers have seen for a while that the Jaguars are building the right way; so, it's not surprising that they talk more about it now that the process seems close to producing results. Another reason is that the Jaguars have a talented core of young players on offense, and that's a formula for a lot of offseason attention. As far as how the hype around the team compares to the hype around other teams … I honestly don't know. I don't follow all other teams.
Chris from Niagara Falls, NY:
Hey, Zone. I just read an article by the San Diego Tribune saying the Chargers told Myles Jack they would love to play him at safety. Do you think the Jags would consider this if he fell to them? P.S I am going to see Iron Maiden this Sunday. Jealous?
John: The Myles Jack-at-safety question is something I've been thinking about more and more lately. I sort of doubt the Jaguars would play him there, but you keep thinking about him next to Tashaun Gipson and you just wonder if that doesn't make sense. Am I jealous of you going to see Iron Maiden? No. I don't dislike them, but they weren't my thing.
Bo from Dresden, NC:
With the O-line in flux, who would be the position to make the line calls, or does the zone-blocking scheme not need them?
John: The offensive line won't be in flux by the time the season begins. I expect the starting center will make the offensive line calls, as is typically the case. And I expect that will be Brandon Linder.
Michael from Middleburg, FL:
Well, O, looks like we won't have a chance to draft Jalen Ramsey ... I think he would be worth moving up for.
John: Your question brings up an odd dynamic in this year's pre-draft talk – the whole idea that there's no way Jalen Ramsey will be available when the Jaguars select at No. 5. I agree that there's a good chance he will be gone, but remember: we're a month out and there are multiple quarterbacks who could be selected in the Top 4. There also is an offensive tackle teams covet (Laremy Tunsil of Ole Miss) and other players such as UCLA linebacker Myles Jack, Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner and Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa who are Top 5 talents. So, while there's certainly no guarantee that Ramsey will be available at No. 5, stranger things have happened on draft day.
Ryan from Le Mars:
O-Man, I know a guy who is a pretty big Jets fan. He was trying to tell me there is no way T.J. Yeldon starts over Chris Ivory. I told him Yeldon will start and Ivory will be his back up. Am I wrong?
John: You may be wrong. But your friend may be wrong, too. This will be a competition, and I expect both players will play pretty close to equally.
Alan from Jacksonville:
I count 29 people on our coaching roster, which is the largest in the NFL. But no one is listed as the defensive line coach, since Todd Wash got kicked upstairs. Aaron Whitecotton is listed as the assistant defensive line coach, but who is he assisting?
John: You must have put some work in making that count. Whitecotton is assisting Wash, who will continue as defensive line coach in addition to coordinating the defense.
Corey from Orange Park, FL:
Listen up, John: Shad Khan doesn't care about Jacksonville. Judging by the fact he's letting the people he hire execute his plan, he's trying to upgrade the city, practice fields, scoreboards, and the overall feel of the stadium … you can't lie to me. He's doing it to gain my trust, increase revenue so he can afford to pay for 15 to 20 helicopters to come and pick up all of his upgrades and he's going to fly to St. Louis! I knew it from Day One. Also, on a side note, tell Khan thank you for buying the Jaguars and not the Rams. I'm so exceptionally happy Mr. Weaver found such a great owner to sell to.
John: I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's truly remarkable that in addition to running one of the world's biggest international automobile parts companies, Khan also has found time to plan a ruse that first involved buying a National Football League team. After that, involved building or renovating big Video Boards, cool training facilities, state-of-the-art club areas, awesome swimming pools, a nifty indoor practice facility and – get this! – an amphitheater, as well as proposing a Shipyards project that would revitalize and reshape the city's downtown … all with the end goal of hurting the city of Jacksonville. He's not only slick, that Khan guy … he's downright diligent about the whole thing.

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