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O-Zone: The elite

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Matthew from Townsville, Australia

Greetings from Oz, O. With all the exciting rookies at the Jaguars, my own accumulation of disappointments tells me that if they all fulfill expectations it will be a minor miracle. In your experience, why do rookies most commonly fall short (leaving injuries aside)? A) Performance anxiety. B) Payday! Party time! C) Game intelligence can't reach this level. D) Coasting. E) Emotional/psychological issues. F) Stuff happens in personal life. G) Ego. H) Having more than one of these. I) Something else?

It indeed would be a miracle if all Jaguars rookies fulfilled their potential – and that miracle would be more major than minor. This has less to do with your accumulation of disappointments than NFL reality. The NFL Draft is a projection game, and no team "hits" on all draft selections. Your list covers some of the reasons for this, but sometimes it's just a case of a player's skill set not translating to the NFL. A lot of players – even ones with the physical attributes to play in the NFL – just aren't good enough football players to be as good in the NFL as was expected when they were drafted. It's a hard game. This is the highest level. Even highly regarded players just don't cut it at times.

Dave from Jacksonville

Zone, I have been impressed by the recent video of Trevor Lawrence working out in Clemson with Jag teammates. Are we seeing this because of modern media or is this a sign of excellent marketing in a modern media? Either way it is interesting, and I hope it translates to game day success. It sure looks like the right direction.

The video of Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence working out recently with new teammates at Clemson indeed was cool. Videos such as this are more and more prevalent in the days of social media, and why not? Fans love this sort of thing and there's no harm. Is it because of modern media or a sign of excellent marketing? A little of both, probably. But again … why not? It's fun. There's no negative. It gets people excited. Sports should be fun, and this is fun.

John from Jacksonville

Hi KOAGF - What would happen if Gene Frenette, Jalen Ramsey, the Culligan Girl and a priest all walked into a bar?

I don't know, but I'd click on that link.

Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC

Some interesting comments from former Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey this week on a podcast appearance. Obviously, it's only his version of the story, but he sure makes it seem like Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell was the one who really lost his cool. Not that – even if everything unfolded exactly how Ramsey says – this would excuse him missing games due to his debilitating back injury, but I think there is probably some truth to his side of the story. He also said that the team was really disappointed when the front office selected defensive tackle Taven Bryan over quarterback Lamar Jackson. Had they gone with Jackson, what do you think the last few years would have been like and where would the team be now? There was certainly logic behind extending Bortles and going with Taven, but now we clearly know that these were not wise decisions.

We're speaking again of Ramsey recently detailing the events that hurt his feelings to the extent that he requested – and received – a trade from the Jaguars early in the 2019 season. And there's little reason to believe his version was incorrect. There's also little reason not to believe some players were disappointed the Jaguars didn't draft Jackson given the chance. Players don't draft players, so they often don't get what they want on that front. How different would the Jaguars look now if different decisions had been made? Where would the team be now? Who knows? Things didn't work out then. The path led here. Sometimes you kill the bear. Sometimes the bear kills you.

Chris from Mandarin

Peyton Manning used to say, "Pressure is what happens when you don't prepare." I agree. This relates to almost any facet of life and can be used as a mantra if you will. Trevor Lawrence will be fine. We'll get our shiny new shipyards, don't you fret.

Yes, most likely.

Steve from Yulee, FL

How much cap space would it free up if Jacksonville cut left tackle Cam Robinson and guard Andrew Norwell loose and dropped Walker Little and Ben Bartch in their place?

Those moves would free $9 million in cap space, which is the difference between Norwell's "dead money" of $6 million for 2021 and his current $15 million cap hit. Robinson's $13.75 million franchise tag figure is fully guaranteed, so there's no benefit to releasing him. Either way, releasing either player would significantly reduce the depth and experience and continuity – and likely the quality – of the offensive line. Why would the Jaguars want to cut good, experienced players?

AJ from Pensacola, FL

I don't often disagree with you, but I couldn't disagree more with your opinion that the Jaguars should have made Ramsey sit for the remainder of his contract. By doing so, they would have gotten nothing out of or for Ramsey. By trading the greatest team player in history, they received two first-round picks that were turned into two young players with the potential to contribute greatly to the team on both sides of the ball. Keeping Ramsey would have been the worst decision Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin, Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone could have made. They apparently made enough of them to cost them their jobs. But, thanks to them we have a potential generational quarterback – and, if he adds a Super Bowl or two to his already impressive resume, the best team-builder and coach in franchise history.

The Jaguars didn't trade Tony Boselli or Fred Taylor.

Lawn grub from O Zone's lawn

O, interested in your thinking that you would have "let Jalen sit." Surely, once it was obvious the relationship was beyond repair, the Jags had to move him on and get back whatever they could in return (contract or no contract)? Not sure how keeping him in the ranks would have helped the team on or off the field. Thanks as always.

Ramsey at the time he requested a trade was in the final year of his rookie contract, with the Jaguars having a fifth-year option on his contract and the ability to place the franchise tag on him for two seasons. Was he going to sit out three-and-a-half seasons? The Jaguars in that situation would have had a responsibility at some point to allow cooler heads to prevail and move to repair the relationship, but the player in that case would have had a similar responsibility. It seems we've just leaned too far in the direction of, "Well, the player decided this morning something happened to make him unhappy. I guess the team has no choice but go trade him somewhere where he's happy." When did we join a world where everybody has to be "happy" every minute of every day? What is happiness, anyway? There are a lot of people on my lawn. I want them to leave.

Nicholas from Fort Hood, Texas

KOAF: What did you give the head boss man for his 71stbirthday? Or is merely being in your presence enough of a gift? Get him something good so he doesn't forget your day on Wednesday.


Mike from Atlanta, GA

Oh, you like "The Wire?" I trust you a little more than I did yesterday. It was so perfect in how they completed the cycle having the young kids in the beginning taking the roles of the adults at the end. I have to put "The Wire" in the top 5. "The Wire," "Game of Thrones" even though the last two seasons weren't great the first few leave it firmly in the top 5. "Breaking Bad," no explanation needed it was just awesome. "The Sopranos" has to be the greatest TV show of all time. It started this trend of film quality in a TV show. Too many good shows to pick for the last spot. What others do you like?

I confess I'm not a big "Game of Thrones" guy. I struggle with shows that aren't set in some area of reality or something close to modern day. It's why I'm not I'm not big into science fiction, "Star Wars" or the "Lord of the Rings" stuff. I appreciate the creativity and greatness of the best of those genres, but they're not my thing. I also couldn't get into "Breaking Bad" and gave up after a few episodes of Season One. My five best dramas: "The Wire," "Sopranos," "West Wing," "Better Things" and "Friday Night Lights" with a nod to "Mad Men." Comedies: "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Arrested Development," "Veep," "Parks and Recreation" and "Seinfeld" with a nod to "30 Rock."