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O-Zone: Welcome to life

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it.

Tyler from Jacksonville

Has anyone asked Joe DeCamillis if he thinks it possible to recover an onside kick without the running start?

This references a point made by several readers regarding the NFL’s new rules designed to make kickoffs safer. Players covering kickoffs may no longer get a “running start” – and players on the returning team may no longer wedge block. I do believe eliminating the running start will change the dynamic of the onside kick. There have been many questions and moving parts on this issue; I haven’t heard Jaguars special teams coordinator Joe Decamillis asked this and I haven’t had a chance to ask myself. It’s a legitimate question, though. An onside kick already had a low percentage chance of success; I can’t imagine this won’t make it far more difficult.

Rob from Jacksonville

I know I'm a little biased, but I feel like if we had played the Eagles in the Super Bowl, our defense would've made Nick Foles look like a backup quarterback. That's what makes the Patriots loss seem even harder to deal with. Whenever I see Philly holding up that trophy, I can't help but picture the Jags holding that thing up.

I think the Jaguars would have had a real chance to win the Super Bowl, but I don’t buy into the theory popular among many Jaguars fans that they would have dominated the game. The Jaguars’ postseason victories came by seven points (Buffalo) and three points (Pittsburgh); had they beaten New England, that also would have been a tight victory. And while the Jaguars’ defense was probably better than that of the Patriots, it was not substantially better than that of Minnesota – a team that the Eagles throttled in the NFC Championship Game. It’s usually not accurate to assume a team would have dominated the Super Bowl champions. That’s because they’re usually a good team that knows how to beat elite teams. The Eagles were very much that in the most recent postseason.

Roger from London, England

I like the ads! How else can we this side of the Atlantic learn where the tastiest pizzas and coolest air conditioning can be purchased in Jacksonville? That said, I'm still waiting for the Quattro Stagioni deep-pan pizza with fries on the side to arrive despite ordering four days ago, and boy will I be cross if it’s cold! Keep up the good work, Mr. O.

Enjoy.

Paul from Ponte Vedra, FL

Big O Mighty … Looking beyond this year – and if we have similar success as last – I am puzzled on how we keep our core of players as we are already heavy on the cap. The BIG names coming up are on both sides in two seasons, and I can't help but wonder do we have enough young depth to stay competitive in, say, 2020?? Just wondering.

The Jaguars almost certainly won’t be able to keep all their “core” players beyond 2018. The projected cap figures of players such as end Calais Campbell and tackles Malik Jackson and Marcell Dareus make it likely that at least one will be released following the coming season. Others could be released as well. It will be difficult to restructure name players’ contracts to keep all of them without creating unbearable strain on the salary cap moving into the future. But when the Jaguars signed the aforementioned free agents (along with several others) during the past several offseasons, the plan never was to have all of them around for three or four seasons. The contracts were structured to allow the Jaguars to release some of the players after a season or two. The idea at the beginning of the process was to draft and develop players to effectively take the place of the released players. Hence, the selections in recent seasons of players such as defensive end Dawuane Smoot, defensive tackle Taven Bryan, safety Ronnie Harrison, etc. Those players haven’t made huge contributions yet. That must change in the coming seasons.

Kevin from Jacksonville

So, if we are telling our feel-good stories about being a Jaguars fan, I was in the airport in Pittsburgh. As usual, I was wearing my best Jaguar hat. The gate attendant said, "Nice Hat," then turns around and picks up his Jaguars hat. Goes to show you what winning can do for a fan base. GO JAGS!!!

DTWD

Matt from Las Vegas, NV

We haven't heard much about Cam Robinson lately. How has he looked? What has he been working on this offseason? Also, is left tackle a position that players make significant strides from Year 1 to Year 2?

It’s not unusual to hear little about an offensive lineman in the offseason. It’s a very difficult position to evaluate in unpadded work. Robinson’s focus this offseason has been to add strength and size, and reports are he has been diligent in the weight room. And yes, left tackle is a position at which players can improve significantly in their second seasons. The expectation is that Robinson will do so.

Brian from Gainesville, FL

Big O, now that A.J. Bouye was named to the Top 100 players list (a bit low for an All-Pro with his credentials, but I digress), how many more Jaguars do you expect to receive this honor? Defensive end Calais Campbell and cornerback Jalen Ramsey for sure. But perhaps defensive tackle Malik Jackson as well? This list is fun, but it’s also a cool honor given that it’s chosen by other players.

This is a tough one. I can’t see any way that Campbell and Ramsey won’t make the list, but Jackson and guard Andrew Norwell deserve a spot, too. Considering only 30 spots remain, it’s probably a stretch to believe all four Jaguars players will be on it – so my guess is either Jackson or Norwell will be snubbed. Though not the end of the world as we know it, it certainly seems incorrect to say those players aren’t among the league’s best 100. The thing to remember, though: the best 100 is a tough list. If divided equally, only about three players per team would make the list. Seen through that lens, just making it is a tremendous honor.

David from Chuluota

Johnny-Ozone, I know OTAs are voluntary and all, but when should we start worrying about Tony Boselli not showing up in the studio for his radio engagements?

2014.

Paul from Jacksonville

KOAF, can you recall a season in which a team's success or failure didn't rely at least in part by the success or failure of a rookie/draft pick? I feel like even if DJ Chark has a poor rookie season, the Jags aren't depending on him to make or break the season.

It is my experience that most seasons – particularly seasons of good teams – don’t depend on the success or failure of a particular rookie. You ideally want to be in the situation the Jaguars were in this past offseason entering the draft – i.e., selecting rookies with the idea that they will contribute if they earn the chance to do so, but that they won’t be forced into the situation.

David from Orlando, FL

Big-O, personally I don't think we have enough ill will toward the Tennessee Titans. In our franchise’s two best seasons, they beat us twice – and no Jags fan will ever forget when then-Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher referred to Jacksonville as the Titans’ “home away from home.” I HATE THOSE GUYS!! WE NEED TO DESTROY THEM NEXT YEAR AND RIP THEIR SPINES FROM THEIR BODIES AND TAKE THEIR SKULLS AND … whew, I digress. Which team is the Jags’ biggest rival?

The Jaguars currently don’t have a “biggest” rival. They haven’t been good long enough to develop that. The Titans are as good a candidate as any. Rivalries develop when one team beats the other team in a game that hurts the losing team. The Titans’ two victories over the Jaguars last season didn’t really cost the Jaguars that much, so we’re still waiting on this front.

JagsMavs from Virginia Beach, VA

O-Funk-O-Rama, do you know if any of the Jags’ players read your page? If so, what do they say to you about it?

A few do. Usually, the feedback centers around envying my awesomeness. You know, the usual stuff.

Scott from New York

There are always going to be ads?

This references an O-Zone answer Wednesday in which I somewhat dramatically and mockingly wrote that “There will always be ads” – or something to that effect. The answer was a bit of a poke at the fact that there just might be a few too many ads in the O-Zone after the recent structural change to jaguars.com. But while the answer was in jest – and while we at jaguars.com are working with the league to reduce the number of ads – the answer to your question is yes … in some capacity there always will be ads. Welcome to life, Scott.

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