JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Scott from Jacksonville
Hey, O: I'm always going to question the signings of cornerback D.J. Hayden and wide receiver Donte Moncrief unless they turn out to be complete studs. Even then, those are the two contracts that are going to make it impossible to keep our defensive line intact after this year. Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. will be unaffordable after this season at the very least, and we won't be able to pay Moncrief next year even if he's great. Seems like Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin is all in for a Super Bowl this season. I just hope it doesn't cost us chances at the big prize in future years. Of course, if it works and we win it all this year, who cares?
You're not alone; many Jaguars fans are dug in against the signings of Hayden and Moncrief as unrestricted free agents this offseason. That's OK; not every move or every player must be popular. But you're off on at least a couple of points. One: Hayden and Moncrief don't have to be "complete studs" to be worth signing; they just must fill the roles they were signed to play. Moncrief signed a one-year deal to give the Jaguars a play-making veteran presence at receiver. Hayden perhaps won't match departed Aaron Colvin as a nickel corner, but he gives the Jaguars needed depth at outside corner in the event of an injury to Jalen Ramsey or A.J. Bouye. Two: while signing Hayden and Moncrief was expensive, their signings alone won't be what prevents the Jaguars from re-signing multiple high-profile defensive linemen next offseason. The contracts many of those veterans signed were designed to be difficult once they reached a certain point. For many, next offseason will be that point. That would have been the case with or without signing Moncrief and Hayden.
Josh from Harrisburg, PA
Living most of my life in Eagles country, I have a certain dislike towards the Cowboys and their fans. Not that him saying something in July has anything to do about it actually happening, but all the national love people want they sure just got it from CBS's new darling broadcaster. One for Romo ... never mind he is still a former Cowboy.
OK. I think. I guess. OK.
Sunil from Jacksonville
To all of those readers who are concerned about what is happening in the O-Zone since the end of minicamp, just remember: What happens in the dead zone stays in the dead zone. Don't worry … it will be over soon!
I wasn't worried.
Jason from North Pole, AK
I was reading your 11-on-11 series with former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor discussing current Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette – by the way, fantastic idea! It is well-documented that Fred was injured often early in his career, then changed the way he took care of his body to better stay healthy. Former Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew was always healthy and he has said that he learned a lot from Fred about how to prepare himself. My question is, do Fred and Fournette spend any time together? It seems like it would benefit Fournette to learn Fred's routines to help him stay on the field. I would hate to see him banged up all the time early in his career only to learn these lessons later.
Taylor has said he plans to spend time with Fournette, though it would be inaccurate to say they have been joined at the hip. Jones-Drew indeed always has credited Taylor with teaching him a lot about being a professional – and having a veteran at the same position group absolutely can help a young player adjust to the NFL. But the Jaguars last offseason put Fournette's locker next to that of defensive end Calais Campbell – one of the team's veteran leaders. That wasn't a coincidence. Bottom line: Fournette is getting guidance about being a professional from the Jaguars' current veterans. That's usually the best source of such leadership anyway.
Scott from New York, NY
Haven't gotten any updates on Junior as of late. What's he been up to?
Fighting the good fight.
Sebastian from Austin, TX
John O, the Jaguars are gracing Texas with their presence twice this year (at Dallas October 14 and at Houston December 30). Realistically speaking, I will only be able to afford going to one game. After going round and round about the possible scenarios of each game, I am solidly undecided. If you had to guess in July which of the two games would be more worth attending, which would you pick?
If you're looking for a unique experience, choose the Cowboys game. The Jaguars won't visit AT&T Stadium in the regular season again until at least 2026 – and any event at that stadium is sure to be a memorable one. If you're looking for a game with postseason ramifications, choose the Texans game. Chances are it will matter. A lot.
John from Jacksonville
On June 29, the "Talking AFC South" interview was posted for the Colts. When can we expect to see one for the Titans and Texans? I like to get the latest from their perspective. Thank you.
It's a long offseason, John. Give it time.
Robert from Reno, NV
I'm bored, but anxious. I'm hoping, but think so. I'm thinking … it could happen. Naa … let's do it, we got this. Go Jags!
Jaguars 2018 Training Camp begins July 26 with veterans scheduled to report July 25. Rookies report July 18 and quarterbacks report July 20.
Sylvester from Douglas, GA
With the receiver depth that's on the roster, do you think there is room for Allen Lazard?
No. If I had to project it now, I would say Marqise Lee, Donte Moncrief, Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook and D.J. Chark will make the roster at wide receiver with Rashad Greene Sr. or Jaydon Mickens having a chance to make the roster as a sixth receiver. I expect Westbrook, Greene or Mickens to be the punt returner. Lazard would appear to have a good chance to be on the practice squad. He could change that scenario with a big preseason and training camp. Stranger things have happened.
TJ from Orlando, FL
The reason I establish Day 1 is because, first, the team is young enough that we still have fans who can say that. Second, if you were around pre-Jaguars days, you know what getting this team meant to the community. Third, we've been through all of the dark times. And last, get off my lawn!
Geoff from Orlando, FL
I apologize if this has already been asked because I haven't had time to read the O-Zone in a while, but is there any rumbling for Allen Lazard to play tight end? He was open to it during the combine interviews. I don't know if you have seen him taking reps anywhere besides wide receiver. I may be wrong, but I feel tight end is one of our weakest positions, would it be worth it to see what he can do? How's his blocking?
We're limited to what we can report about where players line up in closed practices in the offseason, but I have heard no rumblings about Lazard moving from wide receiver to tight end soon. I wouldn't expect much from Lazard this season either way. Transitioning to the NFL is difficult for a wide receiver or tight end, and that's particularly true if the player indeed were to switch positions.
Dead Zone Analytics from the Ancient City
Dear Wizard of O, here is a fun fact: If you deduct Blake Bortles' rushing yards and attempts from the 2017 Jaguars rushing stats, the Jaguars would drop from No. 1 in total rushing to No. 9 and only No. 16 in yards per carry. One fer Blake!
Hey … one fer Blake!
Jerry from Riverview
During the David Caldwell era, who would be your top Jaguar pick for each round of the draft, giving equal weight to experience and potential?
Round 1 (cornerback Jalen Ramsey, 2016), Round 2 (linebacker Myles Jack, 2016), Round 3 (defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, 2016), Round 4 (cornerback Aaron Colvin, 2014), Round 5 (linebacker Telvin Smith, 2014), Round 6 (center Luke Bowanko, 2014), Round 7 (tight end Ben Koyack, 2015).
Ed from Jacksonville
Why hasn't Gene replied or commented in this forum? Is too CHICKEN? #summeroftherooster
Longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette needn't reply to, comment upon or even interact with the common man. Perhaps the best way to think of Gene is existing above we mere mortals, content and secure in his own higher place. Like Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Only not a seagull.
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL
John, might I suggest that you spend entirely too much time discussing Gene Frenette? It takes too much focus away from much more important people. Like J.P. Shadrick. Oh, wait … I think I'm beginning to understand …