O-Zone: Time for Tony

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Frankie from London, UK

Mr. O! There's an inkling in me that thinks the Jags either trade up ... or trade down. I'll be a little surprised if we pick at No. 7. What say you?

With essentially three months remaining until the 2019 NFL Draft, I’m leaning the other way – toward the idea that there’s a good chance the Jaguars stay at No. 7 overall in Round 1. I’m assuming for the sake of this question the Jaguars won’t have signed a front-line quarterback in free agency – which means they would enter the draft seeking a quarterback in the first round. I’m also assuming they’ll like Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins, but that they will like enough about a couple of other quarterbacks to not feel forced to trade up from No. 7 to get Haskins. I also imagine they won’t want to risk trading down and missing on a quarterback. That’s a lot of assuming, and a lot can change in the coming months as the Jaguars’ early feelings on this draft class cement into clear plans. Of the two possibilities, I would lean toward the Jaguars trading up a spot or two over moving back, but my guess remains that neither will happen.

Wow! from Duval

Ramsey played offense in the Pro Bowl? How'd that happen?

Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey played wide receiver in Sunday’s Pro Bowl because why not? It’s the Pro Bowl. What will it hurt?

Mike from Atlanta, GA

Have you ever read the message board/comments section? They are experts at criticizing past decisions and have tremendous confidence in their ability to predict and forecast. All without data analytics or on-the-job experience. It's really impressive, John.

What’s a “comments section?”

Phil from Woodmere, NY

Why do you only answer the most stupid, asinine questions or the questions that are literally nothing but complaints about you, rather than the thoughtful football-related questions?

I answer more than 3,500 questions a year. I bet I can look back and find a football-related question in there somewhere. Here’s something to chew on, too: I actually don’t answer the “most-stupid, asinine questions.” You should read the ones I leave out.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-Man: I was literally at the Grand Canyon recently and still checking out O-Zone. What is wrong with me?

Nothing.

Anooj from Scottsdale, AZ

Is it necessary for this franchise to get a bridge quarterback? Why spend more money to get a bridge quarterback that also comes with uncertainty of success? Why not instead use that money to get some offensive free-agent pieces to help the rookie quarterback be successful?

The theory behind the Jaguars signing a “bridge” quarterback is they are good enough defensively that with a few upgrades – at tight end and perhaps wide receiver – that a veteran quarterback could provide enough offensive stability to win. No matter the talent level, “stability” is an elusive trait for a rookie quarterback.

Art from Drexel Hill, PA

I can’t help but believe knocking Blaine Gabbert out in the first Titans game changed our season. Dang.

I agree that a lot went right for the Jaguars in 2018 before former Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert was knocked out of the Jaguars-Tennessee Titans game early in the season. And I agree that a lot went wrong after that. But remember: A very limited Marcus Mariota replaced Gabbert in what became a 9-6 Titans victory in Week 3. If the Jaguars couldn’t stop Mariota from beating them, there’s no guarantee they would have stopped Gabbert, either.

RunNGun from Jacksonville

While it's true that the Los Angeles Rams succeed in running the ball, the way they do it is very different from how the Jaguars have done it in the past few years. They almost exclusively run out of multiple-receiver sets, which keeps defenses from stacking the box and can threaten a pass or run on each play. Running out in heavy formation, allowing the defense to stack the box and hoping you have success despite getting stuffed on a regular basis isn't a good formula for success. Do you think we will see more variation in what we “show” to defenses in our play calling next year?

Yes.

Jason from Da’Hass

John: Why not designate officials to look specifically for pass interference and holding penalties like they do for the last two minutes of the game? You'd be adding two sets of eyes on every play, and if something is obvious they can buzz the refs to stop the game for a closer look. This way it's out of the coaches’ hands and these two drive-killing/extending penalties can be called correctly.

The NFL already has designated officials looking for pass interference and holding penalties. That’s what the current officials do. How many officials do we want? One per player? And how many stops of play for holding and pass interference do we want? What sounds like a good idea in theory could become very tiresome – and annoying – very quickly.

Keith from Jacksonville and Section 436 Sinnce 1995

A big question down the road, what is the status of talks about the new CBA? When does it expire? Should we worry?

The current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires following the 2020 season. Talks to extend haven’t been a big issue yet, though I expect that to begin changing quickly. And considering there was a lockout in 2011 – and considering players generally haven’t been thrilled with the current CBA … yeah, if you’re worried about lockout news, then it’s fair to worry.

Emiel from Texas

If coaches were allowed to challenge pass interference, both teams would be out of challenges in the first quarter.

That’s one issue. The other is that very often – perhaps as often as not – the result of the review would be no more satisfying than the original call.

Michael from Fruit Cove, FL

I like the idea of reviewing penalties such as holding and pass interference, even though they’re “judgement” calls. The play in the Saints-Rams game was not a “judgement” call, since literally nobody thinks it wasn’t a penalty. There has to be a way to fix the obvious misses. A holding by Taylor Lewan on Telvin Smith at the end of a close game also comes to mind. The current state of refereeing in the league is bad, and there are lots of ways to change it for the better. Are any of these perfect? No. Are they better than the current system? Yes, and isn’t that the idea?

The play at the end of Rams-Saints involved pass interference, which means no matter how blatant or obvious the penalty it is a judgment call. Many people believe there are a lot of ways to improve officiating. I’m not convinced a lot of the ideas – adding full-time officials, adding eyes and voices to the equation via added replays – necessarily would be improvements. But there is enough outcry about this that I expect the league to take some measures to placate the masses. Will those measures be real improvement? The guess here is that we’ll get the opportunity to find out.

Michael from Phoenix, AZ

We had a No. 1 receiver. His name was Allen Robinson. We let him walk. You 'member?

I remember the Jaguars let wide receiver Allen Robinson sign with the Chicago Bears. Time will tell if he is a “No. 1 receiver” worth what he wanted in free agency.

Jags Fan 818

If the Jags want to RUN the ball, will we ever have a franchise quarterback – whoever he is? If the quarterback can't throw the ball because they want to pound it on the ground, then how do they keep their confidence?

An offense can throw and run effectively. There’s nothing in the rules preventing it. And a solid ground game should help rather than hinder a quarterback’s confidence.

Fred from Naples, FL

I just finished watching again the Jaguars-Bills playoff game from 1996. I watched Tony Boselli completely dominate Bruce Smith from start to finish. To this day Smith refuses to acknowledge that it was a complete beatdown by No. 71. When Tony gets up next week to do his acceptance speech into the Hall of Fame, I hope he takes the time to thank Smith for doing his part in seeing to it that Boselli is enshrined. He is the greatest Jaguar ever and their biggest fan and I am praying he gets his due … NOW. One 'fer Bo.

Boselli did dominate Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith that day in the Jaguars’ 30-27 Wild Card Playoff victory over the Buffalo Bills following the 1996 season. It’s rare that a young player not only gets but so dramatically and fully takes advantage of such an opportunity. Boselli not only had a national stage against an elite player, he had a head coach in Coughlin who trusted him to block that elite player one-on-one the entire game. The striking thing about Boselli wasn’t as much that Buffalo game, but the fact that he was just as good in countless other games. He was as elite as a player can be and was as good as any player to play the position ever. And yes … here’s hoping it’s Boselli’s year to be voted into the Hall of Fame.

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