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O-Zone: Healthy living – Jaguars

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

John: You’re referring to one of the highlight moments of the Jaguars’ assistant coaches’ meeting with the media Thursday on the final day of 2017 minicamp – or at least it was a highlight for me. I asked Jaguars offensive line coach Pat Flaherty if this line would be able to run block, noting that it had struggled in that area in recent seasons. “Oh, we’ll run block – no question,” was his reply. “I’m not stuttering. We will run block.” Flaherty is a tough-looking sort, and on this day he had had lost a tooth coaching. Considering my lack of agility honestly earned by three decades of hops and idleness, I wasn’t about to accuse him of stuttering, but he made his point. Flaherty talking confidently and tough, of course, doesn’t mean the Jaguars will magically be able to run effectively next season, but the focus without question is there. The Jaguars acquired Branden Albert to play left tackle for that reason, and they drafted Cam Robinson from Alabama in part because he has a brawling element that should help in that area. The Jaguars also believe they improved as a run-blocking unit late last season, and the addition of Leonard Fournette – not to mention the addition of Doug Marrone as head coach and Flaherty as offensive line coach – certainly reinforces the idea that this team better run block next season. So, will the Jaguars be able to run block? If not, it won’t be for lack of emphasis. And Flaherty doesn’t stutter. John: You’re referencing Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash talking about the linebackers in the team’s scheme, something he discussed Thursday on the final day of minicamp. He was talking about the Jaguars using more three-stacked linebacker sets next season, and he indeed was talking about the team’s base defenses. The crux of what Wash was discussing involved Paul Posluszny and the strong-side linebacker position. Whereas the Jaguars’ strong-side position in recent seasons has been known as the Otto – with the player pass rushing and playing close to the line of scrimmage as sort of a hybrid end at times – Posluszny will play a more traditional strong-side linebacker role. I’m worried, Zone: I get that the Jaguars have two great cornerbacks – A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey – but they are thi-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-n at corner after that. Bad, planning, Zone. Bad planning. John: I agree this is an area of concern entering the offseason. The Jaguars are comparatively strong not only at starting corner with Bouye and Ramsey, but at nickel corner with Aaron Colvin. While Ramsey underwent core-muscle surgery Thursday, and while Colvin missed offseason on-field work with an unidentified injury, I expect both to be ready in time for the regular season. The situation gets much thinner after that, though Josh Johnson got some experience and made some plays for the Jaguars last season. The Jaguars are actually pretty deep at safety with Peyton Thompson and Jarrod Wilson behind Tashaun Gipson and Barry Church, but cornerback is a different issue. Are you serious, Clark? Are the Jaguars really going to go into the season with Paul Posluszny playing strong-side linebacker and Myles Jack playing the middle? Why take Posluszny away from what he does well? Why? Can the Jaguars win with Blake Bortles?

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