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O-Zone: Very, very soon

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Gregg from Section 149

Zone, a Jaguars blog site put out an article recently about a regular-season game between the Jags and Baltimore Ravens in '96 being the "turning point" for the franchise. I was a little too young to remember it, but having covered the team back then, was one regular-season game really that important to the franchise?

Both 1996 games against the Ravens were important to the Jaguars. The first – a 30-27 victory in Jacksonville – moved the Jaguars to 4-6; though a 28-3 loss at Pittsburgh the following week perhaps made that Ravens victory less important from a historical perspective, that victory kept the Jaguars alive early in the second half of what to that point had been a stop-and-start season. The Jaguars won at Baltimore the week after the loss to Pittsburgh, rallying in dramatic fashion for a 28-25 overtime victory. Considering that game started a seven-game winning streak that ended with a loss in the AFC Championship Game, and considering that was the first of four consecutive playoff appearances … yeah, that victory at Baltimore could be seen as a turning point for what was then a young franchise.

Matt from Fort Worth, TX

What's wit 'dis ded'ZOne? I had enuffa dat.


Eddie from Jacksonville

I have a co-worker that wants to take her son to the scrimmage, but we can't find the date. Has the date been set?

There isn't an official "scrimmage" planned for 2019 Jaguars Training Camp; the Jaguars haven't held a true "scrimmage" for a while now. The main difference this year from past training camps is there is no night practice inside the stadium. The Jaguars will hold practice on the game field inside TIAA Bank Field at 8:45 a.m. Friday, August 2, but that's the closest event during this training camp to what most fans think of as a "scrimmage."

Jeff from Jacksonville

I could be wrong, but arguing a player should take a pay cut so their current team could potentially win a championship seems on par with telling someone like an artist, designer or writer to take a pay cut because "You'll get paid in exposure."

Pretty much.

Carlos from Mexico City, Mexico

I was disappointed there wasn't a spot on the 25 Seasons, 25 Games series for two of the games that I think are most memorable: The Beer Bottle Game at Cleveland and the AFC Championship we lost to the Titans. The former was as weird an ending to a game as I remember in 30 years of watching the NFL, while the latter remains the most painful memory I've endured as a Jaguars fan – a day we were all reminded that you can't have joy without the contrast of heartbreak, and sports only hurts because of how much we love our team. Here's to hoping there are some "honorary mentions" before the end. Love the series, btw. Awesome job on the best website in the league. Cannot believe this is free!

Those two games were memorable, though I'm not sure most Jaguars fans have much interest in reliving the Jaguars' loss to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship following the 1999 season. But there won't be any honorable mentions because that would mean extra work – and most readers know how I feel about that.

Henry from 215 at TIAA Bank Field

If you could take one (or two as a tandem, like defensive tackles Marcus Stroud/John Henderson) player(s) in their prime from previous Jaguar teams and place them on the 2019 Jaguars to give them the best chance to go all the way, who would it be? Whomever is currently at that position would have to be cut from the roster. Example: replace left tackle Cam Robinson with Tony Boselli. Personally, I think the best results would be Fred Taylor/Maurice Jones-Drew over Fournette/RB2. Jimmy Smith/Keenan McCardell replacing wide receivers Dede Westbrook/Marqise Lee would be my close second.

It would be close, but I would choose Smith/McCardell over Taylor/Jones-Drew. That would put a pair of Hall of Famers/borderline Hall of Fame players at perhaps the team's most uncertain position group.

Ed from Ponte Vedra, FL

If Fournette continues to be doubtful with his performance, who is next in line to take his place?

Rooke Ryquell Armstead figures to be Jaguars starting running back Leonard Fournette's top backup relatively soon. As such, he would be next in line to take Fournette's place in the short term. How that would work out in the long term remains to be seen.

Johnny from Jacksonville

So, while it's the time of year to rank, how would you rank the following? Is it better to be known worldwide by the moniker "JP," or to be an International Cultural Icon or simply The King of all Funk? Which has more significance?

I am the king of all funk.

Chris from Nashville, TN

Any credence in ESPN's "expert" ranking the Jags' offense dead last in the NFL? He does make some good points about the cast around quarterback Nick Foles not being as good as in Philly, the young receiving corps, and LF4 not showing up last season ... a lot of questions entering the season. Will training camp shed any light on how this offense is going to stack up compared to other NFL teams?

There indeed are many questions about the Jaguars' offense entering the season, and most of them are fair. While the Jaguars did admirable work addressing those questions, they nonetheless remain uncertainties until they're not. If the questions are answered positively, the offense could be significantly better than 32nd in the NFL; remember, a lot of this same personnel helped the team rank sixth overall in the NFL in 2017. If the questions are answered negatively – such as, for instance, Fournette not showing up – then 32nd is possible. We won't learn much for sure during training camp. We'll speculate, pontificate and analyze; answers won't come until Week 1.

Ryan from Detroit, MI

Zone - at this point it should be obvious to all the fans, and the front office as well, that they key to the team's financial flexibility is to only draft/sign players who are married to super wealthy super models.


Jon from Brentwood, UK

What does the Jags' supplemental draft selection do to the expected wide receiver lineup? Is it more difficult for a player at that position, coming in after the OTA's and minicamp, to push for a roster spot?

The Jaguars didn't select West Virginia wide receiver Marcus Simms in Wednesday's supplemental draft; they signed him as an undrafted free agent shortly after that draft ended. Not attending organized team activities or minicamp won't help Simms' chances of making the team, but he will be judged largely on potential at first. If he shows enough to make the Jaguars think he can help them in the future, they can find a way to keep him around and allow him time to develop.

Dwayne from Jacksonville

The 3-4 defense was fantastic when first introduced and there was a big pool of great tweener athletes guys who just did not fit anywhere on a four-man line. Ten 3-4 teams later, it was just average NFL linemen up front and the results were … average.

And the teams with good defensive players who ran the 3-4 defense were good defenses. And the teams with OK players on defense were just OK.

Mason from Palm Bay, FL

The AFC South is going to be very competitive this year. I have a hard time thinking we can sweep any team, so a 3-3 division record would seem reasonable. Last year only one team (Baltimore), went 3-3 in their division and went on to win it. Who do you think wins the 2019 AFC South?

I don't see why the Jaguars can't sweep an AFC South opponent this season. They shut out Indianapolis in Jacksonville last season, and likely would have beaten the Colts in Indianapolis a few weeks earlier if not for an uncharacteristically bad game from cornerback Jalen Ramsey. There's nothing so awe-inspiring about Houston or Tennessee that would make it shocking if the Jaguars beat either team twice, just as the Titans and Texans easily could beat Jacksonville twice. I expect most AFC South games to be evenly matched, and it wouldn't be a shock at all if the division champion went 3-3. As for who will win the South, I would call Indianapolis the favorite. They have the best quarterback and they were dominant offensively at times late last season.

Scott from New York City

I've been impressed with this year's dead zone. We've stayed mostly on topic and haven't gotten into that many new, crazy tangents. So, who wins in a fight between Greg Jones and Tony Boselli?

The answer is obvious: Longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette.

Scott from New York City

I can't believe I'm asking this. Where did Jerrel go? I kinda miss him

Be patient, Scott. Be patient.

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