JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …
Big on Blake from Philly
Concerning tandems from Jags long ago, I posture that maybe some very recent or current tandems are just as important or would make such a list in five or 10 years. First being the set of stud cover cornerbacks, Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye; next a set of menacing defensive ends, Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue; and thirdly, a solid pair of linebackers Paul Posluszny/Myles Jack and Telvin Smith. Considering the strong foundation of current defensive talent, this team will have a chance to do elite things again. But if I’m sticking to the unwritten rules of former players, I’d have to pick wide receivers Keenan McCardell and Jimmy Smith. Even from your coverage of 25 in 25, they knew how good they were at their peaks and they knew they could carve up defenses regardless of their passer. That type of talent mixed with some youthful, high-potential talent and that would be my clear choice. Though inserting defensive tackles John Henderson and Marcus Stroud would make this defense otherworldly.
You’re right that this Jaguars defense has multiple players and tandems that would rank as the best in franchise history. That’s unsurprising considering this defense was perhaps the NFL’s best in 2017 – and considering it was a Top 6 defense in the NFL each of the past three seasons. Ramsey/Bouye certainly is the best corner tandem in franchise history, Ngakoue/Campbell is the best tandem of pass-rushing ends and Smith/Jack rank among the best linebackers. I also wouldn’t rule out Marcell Dareus pushing Stroud or Henderson for a starting job on the interior of the defense. As has been previously noted in recent days, the intriguing question is what offensive tandem from the past would most help this current Jaguars team. Maurice Jones-Drew/Fred Taylor at running back, Leon Searcy/Tony Boselli at tackle and McCardell/Smith at receiver are all very legitimate possibilities. All three tandems featured a Hall-of-Fame talent and another player who played at a Pro Bowl level for an extended period. I continue to say I would go with McCardell/Smith because they represent the biggest difference between the past and present.
Greg from Satsuma, FL
Have you sat in the pool yet and watched a game? Go Jags!
No. I work during the games.
Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC
Ugh, I really thought Roger was going to win that one. Could you imagine? Beating Nadal and Djokovic to win Wimbledon at 37 years old? We can talk about tennis during the dead serious zone, right?
We can absolutely talk tennis during the dead zone – or whenever, really. I thought for a moment Roger Federer was going to beat Novak Djokovic to win Wimbledon Sunday, but Federer blinked twice with two match points in the fifth set. When you do that against Djokovic, you’re going to pay. Yes, what Federer nearly accomplished by beating Rafael Nadal Friday and doing everything but beating Djokovic Sunday at age 37 is one of the more impressive tennis accomplishments in recent memory. But he should have won, and the knowledge of that will certainly haunt him.
Jon from Brentwood, UK
Indeed it was.
Lake from Plymouth Meeting, PA
Hey O, I have two questions. One, with three quarterbacks on the roster who have a year or less under their belt, should the Jags keep three quarterbacks on the roster? Two, what are Boselli’s chances of being inducted this year in a regular class? Or the proposed 20-person class?
Two answers. My guess is the Jaguars’ Plan A will be two keep two quarterbacks – starter Nick Foles and rookie Gardner Minshew as the backup. Whether they go to Plan B will depend largely upon how Minshew plays in training camp and the preseason. As far as Boselli, I believe the 2020 class will be his best chance yet for being elected to the Hall of Fame because I believe momentum is still growing among Hall voters; he has been in the Top 10 the past three years, which means many voters consider him a Hall of Famer. But the proposed 20-person class won’t increase his chances. That’s because Boselli will still be a modern-era candidate, and the five modern-era candidates that would be elected under the proposed 20-person class is the same number of such candidates as past offseasons; it’s the senior candidates, coaches and contributors who will benefit from the expanded class.
G-Man from Naples, FL
I recently visited the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame in Canton, Ohio. I saw only two Jaguars pieces on display, one of them being Mike Thomas's jersey from the Hail Mary catch against the Texans. Just thought Michael from Fruit Cove would like to know the "meaningless" catch apparently has enough meaning for the Hall of Fame.
Crash from Westside
The ‘Bank is fine. I sat through 12 consecutive double-digit losing seasons with the Bucs at The Old Sombrero. Geez!
You’re right that TIAA Bank Field is more than adequate. It is functional and certainly would continue to be so for a long, long time with no upgrades or no major changes. But the modern NFL has an arms-race feel when it comes to stadiums, and if you’re not upgrading you’re falling behind in terms of reputation and local revenue.
Unhipcat from Carslbad, CA
John, you're killing me. I'm three (25, 21 and 20) for seven on the All-25. Who do I have to drop? I'm guessing Telvin Smith and Myles Jack are out. And probably Manuwai. But Calais Campbell, too? I'm really bad at this.
Active players aren’t included. Maybe that will help.
Steve from Nashville, TN
For an undrafted free agent who signs with a team in late April and survives through camp and four preseason games only to be cut after the fourth preseason game, on average how much money could he make for this four-month stretch?
An undrafted player would receive his signing bonus (usually somewhere between $5,000 and perhaps $25,000), $235 per day for the offseason program and $1,150 per week for training camp.
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL
Chris from Canal Winchester asked (tongue in cheek) if you would get a ring. A serious question: other than bragging rights, would winning a Super Bowl bring any reward to the non-players/coaches in the organization?
There was no reason for the question to be tongue in cheek. Coaches and football executives always receive bonuses and rings when teams win Super Bowls. Other front-office employees receive bonuses and rings depending on the policy of the individual teams. I don’t know what the Jaguars’ policy would be in that situation, but I can’t imagine it would benefit me. Why would it?
John from Jacksonville
Let's discuss someone really important for a change: Josh Lambo. How is the King of all Slam Dunk doing prepping for that 75-yard Hail Mary field goal we are going to need this season for that amazing finish? Also, is he excited about getting a chance to dabble with a few offensive plays this season to shake things up? Can't wait!
So, one fer Lambo it seems.
Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL
Fournette has millions of reasons to get to work this season. Most of them are dollars that he has yet to earn on a second contract. Good season gets him $40 million, bad season gets him backup running back money.
Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette indeed is playing for a second contract, and this season will go a long way to determining the size of that contract – and the team paying it. He may need to package a good season in 2019 with at least a good start in 2020 to have any chance of that contract being with the Jaguars, but yes … this year means many, many millions for Fournette.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, if we win and you don’t get a ring, what do they give you? A day off?
Free advice and all the coffee I can drink.
David from Chuluota, FL
Zone - Are there any starters from last year that are in danger of losing their starting job or playing time?
Not really. Starters don’t typically lose their jobs or playing time in training camp anymore. Those sorts of decisions usually are made early in the offseason in free agency or around the NFL Draft.
Joe from Jacksonville
I actually tried Dee's suggestion with the blaring boom box (using batteries of course). Didn't work. I got fired.
You’re referencing a recent O-Zone question in which Dee suggested I walk into Jaguars Owner Shad Khan’s office blaring Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” – theoretically in some misplaced act of arbitrary rebellion. I did not do this. Not because I am smart, but because I didn’t feel like walking all the way down the hall. I’m glad Joe did. Better him than me.
John from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
I know you are no new messiah, but are you close enough for rock and roll?
No, and I’m also not out on the back streets taking love where I can.