JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Mike from Atlanta, GA
Would the Jaguars re-sign Dante Fowler Jr. if he has a 12-plus-sack-type season? I know they would want to, but the more production he has the higher his market value climbs. It seems like they are between a rock and a hard spot on this one. If he performs very well, he may price himself out of the Jaguars' budget due to them having other players to re-sign. If he has under 10 sacks, he will likely feel his market value is higher than what the Jaguars will offer and would likely get paid on the open market. How likely do you think it is that they re-sign him?
I have written and said several times this offseason I think it's relatively unlikely the Jaguars will re-sign Fowler following the 2018 season – for essentially the reasons you cite. This story obviously will play itself out over the course of the season, and there are many moving parts. Fowler could have a monster year and be perceived as a core player following the season; he obviously has the talent to do this. Several other players that currently seem critical for the Jaguars to re-sign could have lesser seasons than expected, and that could change how the Jaguars choose to allocate cash and cap space moving forward. That doesn't seem likely now because there is a slew of other young players who seem more critical to re-sign than Fowler. Perceptions in the NFL can change rapidly, and that could be the case on this one.
Paul from Jacksonville
John, I'm pretty sure the cut off questions are from
Oh, my God, Paul … not you, too!!!!!?????
Mark from Prescott, AZ
Hi John, I remember seeing the Jacksonville Bulls stuff Herschel Walker and the New Jersey Generals at the old Gator Bowl. Would you say that current Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette is a Herschel Walker type of runner? Walker was a terrifically great college running back but it didn't seem to translate all that well into the NFL. By the way … Go Bulls!
Your perception of Walker is a common one – and you can't argue that Walker was as good in the NFL as he was in college. But remember: Walker rushed for 5,562 yards and 54 touchdowns in three USFL seasons at the start of his professional career, then followed that with 8,225 yards rushing and 4,859 yards receiving in the NFL with 82 touchdowns. Walker wasn't a Hall of Fame player in the NFL, but he sure wasn't bad. If Fournette is in that area in terms of production an argument could be made that his talents translated to the NFL fairly well.
Steve from San Marco
John, I have enjoyed reading of the many talents of our own Gene Frenette. Was wondering if you had a story or two of another Jax sports icon, Sam Kouvaris. Rumor has it he was there with his leather helmet when football was born.
Doug from Jacksonville
As far as elite players in Jaguars history, no one can argue Taylor, offensive tackle Tony Boselli and wide receiver Jimmy Smith. The player who seems forgotten is MJD. Jones-Drew was physical, blocked, ran, returned kicks and led the league in rushing when everyone knew we were going to run. I'm not arguing he is better, but he is absolutely in that same category.
Jones-Drew absolutely belongs in the conversation as one of the top players in Jaguars history. He is in my opinion not quite at the level of Smith, Taylor or Boselli, but he is in the conversation.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, this 11-on-11 gig is good stuff. We are not opposed to 12 on 11, 14 on 11, etc. Math doesn't matter in the dead zone.
Or any time, really.
Clayton from Gambier, OH
Super J: just watched the latest "Summer School" video about the pass rush, which brings me to ask: Do you anticipate Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash relying again almost exclusively on the front four to generate pressure? Obviously the Jags have some talented linemen, but I feel this defense could blitz a little more.
How effective will the Jaguars be rushing with four? If they're getting consistent pressure with the front, then I anticipate the Jaguars blitzing very little. Remember this about the blitz: it's not the end-all answer to every defensive problem. If it were, teams would blitz all the time and offenses never would score.
Sean from Jacksonville
The dead-zone predictions strike yet again. This time, Tony Romo tries his hand at prognostication on NFL.com. Green Bay vs Jacksonville? I'll have to wait and see.
It's a prediction. You always have to wait and see.
Tom from Keystone Heights, FL
Go back to your original website. PLEASE.
The format and layout of jaguars.com is decided at the league level and therefore beyond our control here at jaguars.com, and we won't be going back to the old format.
Josh from Jacksonville
If you could add one former Jaguar to the current roster, who would it be?
Scott from New York City
If not the AFC South, which division has the best top-to-bottom quarterback situation? Heck … what division has it better?
The NFC East certainly would be in the conversation. Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles, Alex Smith of the Washington Redskins, Eli Manning of the New York Giants and Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys aren't all going to the Hall of Fame, but all have far more experience than Deshaun Watson of the Texans and at least three – Wentz, Smith and Manning – have put together some extended streaks of high-level play and consistency. Blake Bortles of the Jaguars and Marcus Mariota of the Titans still must do that.
James from Salt Lake City via Jagsonville
I lived in Jacksonville for 47 years. I'm 58 now. All this time I thought Gene Frenette was just a sports writer. Proves no matter how old you are, you can still learn things.
Yes, you can.
Brent from Kentucky
Hey O! Just wondering if you could provide some insight on Allen Lazard? I think we got an absolute steal with him as a UDFA! Also to me, it looks like the team is kind of bare at wide receiver. Could you see them going after Dez on a one-year deal?
Time will tell the impact Lazard makes; we should start getting a much better feel for this once pads go on in a couple of weeks. I'm not expecting a major impact this season, because getting major impact from rookie undrafted wide receivers is tricky stuff – and because Lazard's lack of pure speed could make his transition more difficult than it was for, say, Keelan Cole as an undrafted free agent last season. As far as the Jaguars going after former Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, I would be surprised. The Jaguars don't see their wide receiver situation as nearly as bare as you do, and there is a serious question about whether Bryant at this stage of his career is near the same level he was in his prime.
Chris from Norfolk, VA
With two ACL knees and a style that gets him hit more often than any coach would want, why do so many have Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson wearing a gold jacket after seven games? Do you recall any quarterback in the history of this game changing his run style when it's instinct? Let's slow down on a bit until this kid plays at least 20 games. I've seen this movie before.
You make legitimate points, but even beyond the physical concerns with Watson there's the basic concern that he has played less than a half a season in the NFL. A major factor in a quarterback's ability to succeed in the NFL is how he adapts once defense begin game-planning to take away his strengths and force him to improve his weaknesses. There are no signs to indicate Watson can't do this, but until he does it's tricky to project his eventual level.
George from Jagstown
So Zone, I'm curious … is Gene, angered? Honored? Oblivious?
It speaks to the versatility and talent of longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette that he can be – and indeed in this case, is – all three.
J. Hooks from Fleming Island, FL
I love the rowdy talk from No. 20. He's getting hype from the media for having a somewhat narcistic mentality, but we at home just say "Jalen's Jalen…" Here's a one fer. Put our LOCKDOWN cornerback on any wide receiver and they come away saying "Jaylen's Jailin…' " Training camp is coming!
NFL history is stuffed with great players, "confident" players who are disliked by opponents and criticized by media for being outspoken and who are loved by fans of their team unconditionally. Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey absolutely is a player who fits nicely into that tradition.