O-Zone: Vanity fair

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Jimmy from Gainesville, FL

I need some clarification on a recent reply to Fred from Chicago's question. What is a torn ACL? I have never seen this sort of abbreviation in this column before. Long day at the office?

You’re referencing me using “ACL” in a recent O-Zone answer rather than spelling out “anterior cruciate ligament.” Astute, loyal readers – and he knows who he is – know that O-Zone protocol is to spell this term and others out on first reference for the simple reason that that is the correct way to do it. You are taught early in journalism not to assume people know abbreviations, just as you are taught not to assume readers are well-versed in your subject matter. So … you spell things out just as you refer to people’s first and last names with proper titles on first reference before shortening titles and abbreviating on second reference. The aforementioned astute, loyal reader – and he still knows who he is – will note that I wrote out anterior cruciate ligament on first reference in said column and abbreviated it on second reference – again, for the simple reason that it is the correct way to do it. So … long day at the office? Not at all. Just doing my job. Correctly.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, my wife has voluntarily chosen not to speak with me in almost 24 hours! Should I be concerned yet?

No, but I think everyone would appreciate it if you stopped gloating.

Curran from Orlando, FL

With the recent talks about the NFLPA negotiations, do you think the Washington Sentinels from the movie "The Replacements" were really the bad guys? They were just trying to capitalize on the small window for their NFL careers!

Of course the replacement players weren’t bad guys. They were just guys trying to live their dream. And while many players at the time didn’t like the replacement players, my guess is most “regular” players now see the replacement players through a more understanding lens. Years have a way of providing clarity and perspective.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

Sbarros? Are there not specialized wood-fired pizza options available? Also, Chicago deep-dish pizza is inarguably the best. Now that's a pie!

Do they sell Chicago deep dish at Sbarro’s? If not, does it even qualify as “pizza?”

Brian from Round Rock, TX

What you choose to ignore is that Ramsey IS a leader. His teammates follow him due to his charisma and talent. The problem is that he is a bad leader. I remember when you used to highlight how the vibe of the team changes dramatically when Ramsey is there compared to when he is absent. Shoot straight, it's not a non-issue.

Thank you for the guidance and the instruction. I’ll probably heed your advice on the fifth of never. That’s because I couldn’t possibly be shooting straighter than I do on this issue. Of course there is a lift in energy when cornerback Jalen Ramsey plays or practices. He’s a great player and his impact on the defense is significant. The Jaguars will get that lift during training camp and the regular season – when it matters. But whether Ramsey is here during voluntary organized team activities hardly could be more of a non-issue. There may be fans who believe it’s an issue. There may be talking heads who for lack of a better thing to discuss in May say it’s an issue. But in reality, it’s just not.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

I started a book. It's a Colombian book "Sin Tetas, No Hay Paraiso," a true story of a girl born into poverty making the unfortunate choice of instead of going to school, she becomes a lady of the night to pay for breast implants which is a requirement to join her neighborhood group of girls who are what they call "prepagos," or prepaid for mafiosos during the Escobar days. I'm pretty sure this story doesn't have a happy ending. I think sometimes we have it comparatively so well that we forget to be thankful for the most basic things in life. What are you reading this summer?

Not "Sin Tetas, No Hay Paraiso."

Chris from London, UK

Zone, a roster with 53 leaders would not work. In fact, it would likely go very very badly!!! I have absolutely no issue with Ramsey not being here.

Yep.

Tony from Perryville, AK

Hey, John, first off, I’m excited for this season. I think this team is gonna bounce back from last year in big ways. Either way, I will always love my Jags. Second, this column has been a good escape over the past few years. It has helped many times to ease the stress of things going on in my life at the time. It’s nice to step away just for a moment each day to read it and get my mind off things. It’s been much needed this week. I appreciate your hard work at keeping it going for so long now. Keep up the good work. Please keep us Arkansas’ Jag fans in thoughts and prayers. The flooding is epic here.

Will do. Be safe.

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

You mentioned recently that the Jags may have handled the Tashaun Gipson situation differently if they had more salary cap space for this year. So like if they had known they were going to have an extra $10 million from Telvin Smith, they would have kept Gipson? That’s what I keep thinking about and it’s the only reason I’m really upset with smith. He cost us Gip by not being up front with the team. If Gip picks off Nick Foles and we can’t overcome the Texans, we have Telvin to thank for it.

Actually, what I said was I don’t know that the Jaguars would have handled the Tashaun Gipson situation differently had they had the extra $10 million in cap space represented by linebacker Telvin Smith. Salary cap management isn’t always a cookie-cutter, if-then scenario.

Paul from the Gritty Streets of Nocatee

O-mega ... so am I understand this right? Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash HAS in fact.... had contact with Telvin Smith? If so, did I miss something? Should there be some sort of update or status change for fans following this team from the powers that be in the organization? Just wondering?

Wash did in fact say he has spoken with Smith, which indeed is the first time this offseason anyone from coaching/personnel has publicly said they have communicated with Smith. But it doesn’t really change the Jaguars’ official position on this. While Smith has said on social media that he doesn’t plan to play in 2019, until he notifies the team officially there isn’t much for the team to do in terms of placing Smith on a reserve list. That’s the trigger point on this for now. Until that happens, Smith essentially is the same status as Ramsey – which is to say he is a player skipping voluntary workouts and therefore on the active roster and expected to play in the 2019 season.

Dreamweaver from Section 214

Greg Jones is probably my favorite player. I remember a time when everyone had a "Greg Jones Joke," much in the same vein as Chuck Norris. I hear Greg Jones wears a helmet because it's a rule mandated by the NFL for player safety. Other players wear a helmet because of Greg Jones.

Those were fantastic. One fer Jones.

Brian from Jacksonville

Things have been quiet regarding Smith for a minute. TS is in a strange place. An issue so powerful as to overcome a lifelong ambition, and the security that millions of dollars will provide for he and his heirs? Wow. To realize the wealth his sacrifice has provided him, he has to play. His body of work has resulted in the answer of every kid’s football dream. I hold (fingers crossed) that this is a social media trap TS sprung on himself, and he will come correct next month. That’ll be fun!? Any chance?

While Smith apparently has been in contact with Wash, he has yet to publicly say why he does not plan to play in 2019. Until he does, there’s no way to accurately speculate whether there’s a chance of him playing in 2019. That does remain an option, because Smith doesn’t seem to have done anything wrong under NFL rules; all he has done so far is miss part of the voluntary offseason program. That means he can show up at TIAA Bank Field tomorrow (or the next day, or the day after) and be a member of the team immediately. That’s the technical answer. The realistic answer is I have no idea and few people do.

John from Jacksonville

Darn it, John. Now you have me humming "You're So Vain" all day. You probably think the song is about you, don't you, don't you, don't you?

I hadn’t thought about it. I’m too busy gavotting.

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