JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …
Dalton from the Old West
So, it’s unfair to assume Leonard Fournette can play in 16 games in a season, and it’s unfair to expect good numbers from Fournette unless he has a healthy and productive offensive line, and it’s unfair to expect Fournette to perform if the passing game isn’t working. So, when can we officially label the No. 4 overall pick a bust, or is that still unfair?
Congratulations. You seem to have a pretty good grasp of NFL reality. It indeed is unfair to ask any running back to perform at a high level if the offensive line isn’t good; defenses are that fast compared to other levels of football. And it is unfair to expect a back who runs as physically as Fournette to be completely healthy in a 16-game season, though playing 14 or so games is realistic. And lo and behold … you were right on your third point, too. It is a little unfair to expect an NFL running back to be elite if the passing game isn’t at functioning at least adequately. Again … NFL defenses are too balanced and fast for a running game to dominate without at least some balance. Now, if a Top 10-drafted back can’t function at a high level if all of those are things are working, then you can start talking about a player being a disappointment. That is fair.
Steven from Duval
Voluntary OTAs have nothing to do with team chemistry. They are strictly for players to get into proper shape for mandatory minicamp and training camp. Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey has a strict offseason program of his own and it works. Let’s talk about something else.
Chemistry can be developed during organized team activities. It also can be developed in training camp. And over the course of time during regular seasons. As far as your last couple of thoughts … yes, Ramsey’s offseason program works for him. And OK.
Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
John, I see Jaguars rookie defensive end Josh Allen will miss minicamp next week. That triggered a wave of Jaguars Angst that I'm sure I share with many fans. I recall when Allen first got hurt, it was classified as a no-problem bruise. Now, I do believe injuries don't have to be explained until the season starts, but the no-problem bruise – especially to a rookie – is troubling. I'm wondering when the announcement of Josh's partial ACL tear comes to light. I know normal-thinking people don't think this way. But normal-thinking people aren't longstanding Jaguar fans. I hope this movie does not become Dante Fowler II.
Breathe, Otto. Breathe. Fowler tore his anterior cruciate ligament in 2015 rookie minicamp and immediately was ruled out for the season. Allen sustained a minor knee bruise and could participate in the Jaguars’ minicamp next week if necessary. It’s not necessary because it’s June and it’s minicamp. The rookie injuries to Allen and Fowler are not the same. They’re not in the same area code. And while you say, “Injuries don’t have to be explained until the season starts,” that doesn’t really apply here because the Jaguars explained the injury. It’s a knee bruise. That’s all.
Don from Marshall, NC
I thought the clouds in my coffee day was hilarious. Keep up the good work! Go Jaguars!
You’re referencing a recent day in which I made a joke involving longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. “Gene” Frenette. I once thought these sorts of jokes were funny. It was pointed out to me recently that this is incorrect. Please keep that in mind as we move forward.
Pedal Bin from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK
Oh Mighty 'O' / King of Funk I have to disagree with Red from the O-Zone Comments Section. I do enjoy the Gene and Greg jokes. After all there are only so many times we can moan about who hasn't turned up for the voluntary practices or who is or isn't due a massive new contract. As one half of your loyal readership, I say let's carry on with the silly jokes and have some fun before can talk about some real football issues. Red is going to be really upset when the Dead Zone hits next month!
You are incorrect. Gene Frenette jokes aren’t funny. Greg Jones jokes aren’t funny. I’m not funny. Nothing is funny. Nothing has been funny. Ever.
Frank from St. Augustine, FL
Red is going to be upset about more Gene comments. The Dead Zone is coming soon!
You mean the “Dead Serious Zone?” Absolutely. Can’t wait.
Jerry from Riverview, FL
Almost at the end of the Jalen Ramsey saga. Hopefully. But I have one more question: Why does Tom Coughlin feel so strongly about players participating in voluntary drills that he would risk being in the NFL/NFLPA’s dog houses? He has won two Super Bowls and knows what it takes to get there. He must know something.
Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin is old-school. He was old-school when he was “Jaguars Head Coach Tom Coughlin” and he’s old-school now. He doesn’t care about the NFL dog house, or the NFLPA dog house. He believes in chemistry, hard work and winning every day. He’s going to push to work as hard as he can as much as he can for as long as he can – and that’s good. It sets the tone for the organization and creates a culture. But it doesn’t mean that the world is coming to an end or that a team/player can’t play at a high level just because a few players miss voluntary workouts. Would it be good if every player missed OTAs? No. Are some players fine without them? Yes. The two concepts can – and often do – coexist.
Josh from Lynchburg, VA
Oh, there was much consternation when MJD skipped OTAs. Wailing and gnashing of teeth. And then he pinballed his way to the rushing title.
You’re not technically correct because former Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew won the NFL rushing title in 2011 – a year in which OTAs and mandatory offseason minicamps were not held because of the lockout. But in spirit you’re exactly right Jones-Drew – and former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor – missed voluntary offseason work then performed at a high level. They’re not alone. Attendance at OTAs is a nice May/June topic. It tends not to be pertinent in the fall.
Buzz Killington from The Real World
Dwight Stephenson was an anomaly. I don’t think Tony Boselli is getting into the Hall of Fame. It’s one thing for a skill position player to receive entry, but for a position that longevity is as much a part of greatness as talent, I really don’t think Big Bo quite measures up compared to some of the other great offensive linemen. He was really only dominant for about three-and-a-half seasons of his seven playing years. Is that really enough? I don’t think so, but I’ll be happy for him if he ever gets in.
I assume you never saw former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli play. He was dominant for at least five seasons – 1996-2000 – and was very, very good as a rookie in 1995. And I do believe Boselli will get into the Hall of Fame. He has been a finalist three consecutive years. Any player who is a finalist that many times has a strong chance of getting in because a large number of voters believe he is Hall worthy. It’s a numbers game for Boselli right now, meaning it’s impossible for all worthy players to get in every season; that’s the nature of a system that only allows five modern-era candidates to be enshrined per year. It’s not a matter of him not being worthy.
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL
Recently on this site there was a discussion of quarterbacks transitioning to receiver. Interesting to look at those opinions in light of our most recent acquisition.
Max from DUVALLL (Jax)
Didn't Ramsey struggle with some type of minor injury after his first offseason in Jax? Wasn't that part of the rationale for him wanting to train at home in Nashville as much as possible? So in reality it could actually be better that he is up there than in Jax during the voluntary session, right?
Ramsey did have a knee issue early in his first offseason with the Jaguars, and he has cited that as a reason for training in Nashville as opposed to Jacksonville. And perhaps there’s something to that. But yes – better for Ramsey to be training in Nashville than Jacksonville. That’s because evidence suggests he is perfectly capable of being ready for the season by training there. If he can get himself ready to play at a Pro Bowl level there, then there’s no problem with his approach.
Mason from Palm Bay, FL
I'm just glad you showed up for the voluntary portion.
OTAs weren’t voluntary for me. I can prove this because I have been there.