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O-Zone: Worry or not

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Mason from Palm Bay, FL

This team has to be getting frustrated with all the "sorry-we-missed-that" letters from the NFL. It's a bad two-year trend and it's really inexcusable.

You’re referencing Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith saying this week that the NFL told the Jaguars that Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan should have been called for holding Smith on a key late-game third-down run by quarterback Marcus Mariota last Sunday. It was unfortunate because it was a mammoth play in the game, and a holding call there might have given the Jaguars a chance to regain possession with a chance to tie or win the game late. It’s true this isn’t the first time the NFL has acknowledged missing a call that went against the Jaguars. And it’s true the Jaguars and Smith are frustrated by it. But they’re not alone. Every team in the NFL submits calls to the league every week to determine if the calls were correct. Every team in the NFL is told at times that certain calls were incorrect. Every team is frustrated when it hears the news. It’s an unavoidable part of having humans officiate games. It’s not an anti-Jaguars thing.

Scott from Fernandina Beach, FL

Hi, John. People talked about the Pats game as the biggest game and some talked about our first division game against the Titans as the biggest game. Seems to me the Jets game becomes the biggest game: 2-2 vs 3-1? That’s huge. Win the quarter!

When you’re in contention in the NFL, the next game always is the biggest game.

David from Chuluota

O-Zone: Not long ago, the Malik Jackson and Telvin Smith plays in the Tennessee Titans game that were flagged would have been celebrated and game-changing – FOR THE DEFENSE, NOT FOR THE OFFENSE!

The Malik Jackson penalty came on a play on which he lowered his head and hit Titans quarterback Blaine Gabbert in the side of the helmet. I don’t believe it was intentional. I believe it would have been difficult for Jackson not to commit the penalty. Perhaps that rule should be changed. Perhaps it should be modified. But it has been a penalty in many seasons, not just this one.

Mariano from Jacksonville

Mr. O, do you think Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles was taking a shot at the NFL when they asked him about the roughing-the-passer calls and he responded with," I don’t get many of those?”

Bortles said this during his Wednesday media availability. And I think Bortles was referencing that he seems to get fewer roughing-the-quarterback calls than he probably should get. If that’s a shot, then yeah … he was taking a shot.

Dave from McAlester

I'm glad you pointed out it's always coaching in the NFL. I was a little confused until somebody told me that Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick was actually not calling the plays during the last two games. He was mouthing the plays, but they are actually letting the fans call the plays on a secret Twitter account.

Good eye.

Pete from Jacksonville

England's Football Association has agreed to terms to sell Wembley Stadium to Jaguars Owner Shad Kahn. Let the panic in the streets begin. The Jags are moving to London!! One other thing: I LOVE how in Miami they shaded the seats similar to a soccer stadium. Any chance Khan does that to TIAA Bank Field?

First, people who are paying attention know better than to panic over news that Khan is buying Wembley Stadium because people who are paying attention know he’s committed to Jacksonville. It’s also true that people who aren’t paying attention probably never will fully understand this. Second, I think there is a chance the Jaguars eventually will shade seats at the Bank. I hope it happens. I don’t know when it will happen.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

The Tennessee defensive plan was to stack the box, contain Bortles, and keep everything in front of them. The Jets defensive plan will be to stack the box, contain Bortles, and keep everything in front of them. Does this mean that Bortles must win it from the pocket? And if so, will that be offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett’s offensive plan?

I do think teams will try to do against the Jaguars what the Titans did against the Jaguars. And I do think the Jets have the personnel to do so with some success. I think offensive game plan will have less to do with the Jaguars winning or losing Sunday than whether the team can run effectively, whether the receivers get open consistently and whether Bortles delivers passes more accurately.

James from Salt Lake City via Jacksonville

When you hit a quarterback straight on, you’re gonna fall on top of him. Just saying.

Yes, and there are times when defensive players hit quarterbacks when they can fall on them with less force than they do. That can be removed from the game.

Wallace from Jacksonville

John, shouldn't the Jaguars be looking at bringing in a running back? With Leonard Fournette out and T.J. Yeldon's ankle bothering him, the stable of running backs looks to be fairly depleted.

I have wondered the same thing. I wondered this in the offseason, too. The Jaguars right now like their running-back situation with Fournette, Yeldon, Corey Grant and Brandon Wilds. They need Fournette and Yeldon to get healthy.

Jerell from Columbia, SC

Blake is a younger version of Ryan Fitzpatrick. More of a poor man’s Fitzpatrick.

Who knows? Maybe you’re right. I don’t necessarily believe Bortles ever will be an elite quarterback. I’m not sure he ever will be as consistent as many fans hope. I do believe you can win with Bortles at quarterback.

Chris from Section 437

I know you aren't a fan of reviewing penalties, but if these roughing-the-passer calls continue and the league wants to keep the rules the way they are they may need to allow reviews of these plays to make sure they got it right. What do you think?

I think this is doable on some level. I don’t like the idea of reviewing penalties such as pass interference and holding because it’s too easy for different eyes to see the same infraction differently. With a helmet-to-helmet or lowering-the-helmet call – and perhaps a full-weight-on-the-defenseless-player call – I could see how it could be subjective enough for replay to make sense.

Jefferson from Phoenix, AZ

I'm feeling shades of Fred Taylor's 2001 injury with Leonard Fournette's hamstring. Tell me true, will Leonard be back this year or are the coaches just listing him as questionable as a strategy move?

I have heard or seen nothing to indicate Fournette won’t play this season. He sustained a hamstring injury. Rest is the answer, and sometimes the answer takes a while.

Curtis from La Grange, TX

During organized team activities and training camp Austin Seferian-Jenkins was deemed to be a threat as a tight end and that he was a seam threat. To my recollection, I haven’t seen a seam route completion in three games. Why do you feel that is?

Seferian-Jenkins has had some key receptions that have resulted in first downs and a touchdown. I thought he would be a bigger factor on routes down the seam, too. I don’t recollect it, either. I suspect one reason is teams don’t respect the run as much with Fournette out. That means the linebackers and safeties can play further off, and therefore take away the seam route. I think you will see it more when Fournette returns. We’ll see.

Brian from Round Rock, TX

First, the emailer who called the Titans the Flaming Thumbtacks deserves an award. Second, can the offense function against the Jets?

OK. Yes.

Fred from Naples, FL

I had a terrible dream last night that Jason Myers beat us with a 60-yard field goal as time expired. Say it ain't so Zone??

Stranger things have happened. Myers, the former Jaguars kicker, certainly has the leg to do it. I like the Jaguars to win this game by enough that it won’t be a factor.

Marcus from Jacksonville

If the Jaguars struggle offensively against the Jets, whether they win or lose, will it be time to start worrying about the offense moving forward? I know one game does not define a season, so I have been trying to remember that in light of the Titans game, but that game, along with a less than stellar game offensively against the Giants have me wondering. Now we also know that the Patriots may not have been the formidable opponent we thought, so while that offensive performance was great, they haven't proven that they're able to stop any team they've played so far this season. I'm not ready to make a judgment yet, but if they struggle to move the ball and score touchdowns this Sunday, would it then be justified to be a little concerned?

If I tell you not to worry will that really stop you from worrying?

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