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O-Zone: The dotted line

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Raymo from Jacksonville

Flacco to the Denver Broncos for likely a mid-round pick. Strike One. Will this franchise get a hit or go down swinging? That Nick Foles two-seamer is sure to be next with on 0-1 count. Hit or miss?

I see you worked the baseball analogy, and I respect you carrying the theme through your question. Such dedication to the cause is admirable. But while you imply that Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco possibly joining the Denver Broncos in an agreed-upon trade next month is somehow a swing and a miss for the Jaguars, the reality is we have no idea if the Jaguars were remotely interested in Flacco. What we do know is they weren't overly interested; if so, they could have acquired him a trade. I would have been fine with Flacco as a bridge quarterback to a rookie next season, but I always doubted that Flacco would want to be a three-to-six-game quarterback and basically playing until a rookie is ready. If you're going that route, names such as Josh McCown, Tyrod Taylor or Case Keenum make more sense. As for Foles, Wednesday's news makes him playing in Jacksonville next season more of a possibility. That's because Denver won't be interested, which leaves one less quarterback-needy team. Will the Jaguars swing at Foles? Maybe. But if they do, it won't be on an 0-1 count.

Peter from Norcross

Has it ever been discussed for the Jaguars to play two games (or more) in a row in London? For example: they are playing Houston in London this year as a home game and Cincinnati and Oakland are playing home games there. The Jaguars could have played Houston the week before or after playing Cincy or Oakland. If they are trying to promote/market a presence that would be a great way to do it.

This has been discussed and I expect the Jaguars to play back-to-back games in London – i.e., a home game one week and an away game the other week – sometime in the very foreseeable future.

Steven from Duval

Fitz (Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick) is just as good or better than Nick Foles. I didn't know why we didn't get him last year, but if they pay Foles $20 million it's going to be another bust. Get Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins and keep Blake Bortles or sign Fitz and draft West Virginia quarterback Will Grier or one of the decent guys in the second. Too many options to just bet everything on Foles.

There absolutely is risk involved with any quarterback, but your chances of finding quality at the position go up the closer you are to the top of the draft. So … yes on drafting Haskins, but if you take Grier or another second-round quarterback, don't bet on him being your long-term guy.

Jon from Brentwood, UK

So, Zone: Now that Kyler Murray has declared his intention to play in the NFL, does he jump straight to the top of the Jags' wish list? Would you be concerned that he might have a change of heart or be enticed to change his mind leaving the team that picks him in the lurch?

I would be concerned about the change of heart. I don't know that it would keep me from selecting Murray, but would I be concerned that he had a legitimate fallback option if football got difficult or frustrating? Would I be concerned that could sap his desire/drive just enough to be a factor? Yes. It's very possible these concerns could be eased by conversations with people close to Murray or with Murray himself, but it absolutely would be a topic to be addressed.

Chris from Nashville, TN

Resilient and consistent. Two things the Jags have not shown this past year, but what sets apart teams like New England. Even with injuries, the Patriots are able to make adjustments and play at a high level. You say it's always coaching, but I'm starting to think some of the players are just mentally soft and don't have the correct approach to dealing with adversity. Sure, it starts with the coach, but it ultimately ends with the players.

But it's always coaching in the NFL. Always.

John from Cape May Courthouse

Recently, someone wrote a question that was either sarcastic or serious (I couldn't tell by the tone), about the Jags drafting a quarterback who could throw the ball "naturally". After watching enough video to have an educated opinion, the guy with best arm is Murray, hands down. The ball explodes out of his hand with such little effort. He has clean mechanics, solid footwork, and is accurate on the short throws as well as the deep bombs. What I love most about his ball is he always allows his receiver to catch the ball in full stride; rarely do they ever have to make an adjustment. For those of us who have had to suffer watching our receivers reach back for balls over the middle, it'd be nice to have a guy who can throw the ball to where the receiver is going and not to where he is at. I don't care about the height; there has been plenty of recent evidence that suggests height doesn't matter. I know I'm in the minority on this, but I'd be willing to go all in with Murray.

I understand you don't care about height, and there are many who agree with you. There are also many in the NFL who are less concerned about height than once was the case. And the skills of Murray will make him very tempting. But at 5-feet-9, 180 pounds he without argument is very small for the position and there is a question of whether he can hold up physically in an NFL game that is dramatically more violent and physical than college. We'll find out, because some team will take a chance on Murray and give him an opportunity. I wouldn't do it and I don't believe the Jaguars will do it, either. We'll see.

Caveat Emptor

As long as they don't trade for Manning. He's done; he should retire.

I don't think the Jaguars will trade for New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, nor do I think they should. Still, why should he retire if someone wants him to play? Why this obsession among fans to say a player should retire? Or leave the game? If a player can still do what he loves – and if he is willing to put in the work – why should he not do so if a team wants him to do it?

Foles in 3, 2, 1 …

SWEET! No Flacco for the Jaguars since the Broncos traded for him.


John from Jacksonville

I agree that the onside kick needs a kick in the right direction to make things more interesting. The current rules make it so boring and predictable. Even the players have the expression of "why even try?" In the name of player safety, I can't recall one time someone was brutally injured from an onside kick. We need the return of some creativity. By the way, one for Blake and sometimes it's not time to move on.

The onside-kick concept definitely needs revamping/rethinking, and I would be shocked if it doesn't get addressed this offseason. Sometimes when you're trying to rework aspects of the game for any reason – for player safety in this case – situations arise that must be readdressed; that was the case with onside kicks this season. But the onside kick under the old rules was a dangerous play because of the large number of players colliding at high speeds; one of the most-sickening NFL injuries I've ever witnessed was Jaguars cornerback Dave Thomas in 1996 breaking his femur on an onside kick in Cincinnati, a crack that could be heard across the field in old Riverfront Stadium. Eliminating the running start for the kicking team largely has eliminated that sort of violent injury, but it also eliminated much of the kicking team's chance of succeeding on the play.

Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

I sure would like Kyler Murray as a Jaguar, but with his size it would not be me making the pick. It would take guts to do that with the first-round pick.


Chris from St. Augustine, FL

It is amazing how one down year makes everybody forget about all the good linebacker Telvin Smith has done for the team in the past. However, I guess it is like that with most things. Only the most recent memories count.

The NFL is a place of short memories and short careers – and it's far more of a what-have-you-done-lately league than ever.

John from Swindon

John, do you think the Jaguars would consider signing Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray in the draft and Drew Brees – a seasoned veteran – in free agency? Murray could learn his craft working with one of the most respected quarterbacks in the game until he's ready to take to the field

Brees is available? Sign me up.

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