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O-Zone: All love

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Tom from Jax

Did anyone notice any drop-off when Shatley was in? I didn't.

You're referencing Tyler Shatley replacing Brandon Linder extensively at center in recent seasons, something that has been an understandably popular O-Zone topic since Linder announced his retirement Monday after eight NFL and Jaguars seasons. And you're correct there wasn't a major drop-off when Shatley started, which happened often the past two seasons with Linder missing 15 games because of injuries. Shatley usually was reliable in pass protection and has been capable when called upon. Where was the difference when the two played? It's my understanding that there were times the Jaguars have had to help Shatley with a running back in protection a bit more than was the case with Linder, and Shatley perhaps wasn't quite so impressive at times in the run game as Linder. But that's to be expected. Linder was the starter and Shatley was the backup for a reason. As for what's next at the position, it would be very reasonable to assume Shatley could start at center and be perfectly capable. It's also very possible the Jaguars could address interior line/center in the 2022 NFL Draft, but Shatley's presence means the Jaguars won't have to reach for the position when doing so.


It was utterly shameless of you to give Shad Khan "high marks" as an owner. I know he signs your checks, but that's no excuse to give an owner who has presided over the worst record in the NFL over his tenure high marks. A man should not be such a shameless bootlicker under any circumstances. Hard to take anything else you say after that seriously. What a clown.

When trying to comprehend something that is written, it helps to read everything and not get emotional just because it doesn't say exactly what you want it to say. I was asked in a Thursday O-Zone question to "grade" Jaguars Owner Shad Khan. I gave him high marks for stabilizing the Jaguars in Jacksonville and reshaping the business side, an assessment that has nothing to do with me working for the Jaguars and everything to do with knowing the organization is in far better shape with a more stable future in this city than was the case a decade ago when Khan bought the team. That assessment has nothing to do with the Jaguars' performance on the field, which I have written and said often obviously hasn't been good enough and therefore deserves lower marks. Take that however you like. Interpret what is written here however you like. Either way, I'll muddle through.

Fred from Naples, FL

John ... would Linder be considered one of the top 5 Jags' offensive linemen of all-time behind left tackle Tony Boselli, right tackle Leon Searcy, center Brad Meester and guard Vince Manuwai? In your opinion?

He certainly would be in the conversation.

Bill from Jacksonville, FL

With all the talk of new stadiums, what do you think would be the reaction from the Jaguars if the City of Jacksonville said, "We'll give you the money for a massive renovation, but it's contingent on you playing no home games away from TIAA Bank Field?"

The TIAA Bank Field renovation will be massive. The conversations between the City of Jacksonville and the team regarding this will be correspondingly complex with many issues to be discussed and resolved. I would expect the number of homes games in London and Jacksonville to be a topic. Yours is a very legitimate question. We're a while out from resolution or even details. I don't have a feel for how this one will break.

Mike from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Here's my draft strategy! Defensive end Round 1, wide receiver Round 2, the two picks in the third and the first pick of the fourth (which is basically a third-rounder as some teams reach for needs in the third round) I'm taking an interior offensive line, a linebacker with speed and coverage skills and a defensive back – all of whom should be game-day contributors! Going forward from Rounds 5 through 7, take skilled players with speed and toughness in the running back, wide receiver and defensive back groups and hope to hit on one or two surprises and some quality special teams players! What you say?

Shad Khan, hire this man!!

Seamus from Sioux Falls, SD

It is quite true that the Jags have had one winning season under Shad Khan's ownership. However, I think many seem to have forgotten how frustrating the team was from 2000-2011, when we had three winning seasons and two break-evens. The Jags were mired in mediocrity for a good 12 seasons, or at least felt like it, before Khan bought the team. All I'm saying is let's have some balance. And don't forget history before Khan.

This is all true. Bottom line: Many fans are upset with how the Jaguars have fared in Khan's ownership, and that's understandable. It's part of the deal owning an NFL team. If you win, you're popular. If you don't, you're not. It's Khan's responsibility to guide the team based not on whether fans like him but based on what's best for the franchise – and therefore the fans – in the long-term. This is Khan's mission. It doesn't mean the Jaguars have won enough. It does mean that continues to be the objective.

Tim from Fernandina Beach, FL

John: The question concerning Khan's grade as an owner got me thinking. How much control does the owner have over winning? A lot of it seems like uncertain luck. Luck that you hire the right general manager who is lucky to draft well and even luckier when drafting early that the right quarterback is available?

Good fortune isn't everything when it comes to successful NFL ownership. It certainly plays a far bigger role than many observers or analysts care to discuss or believe.

Zac from Austin, Tejas

Not trying to argue with you or anyone else here, but what I hate about current overtime is that you really aren't waiting for a score. It's a single three and out, a punt return, and then cautious inching close enough for a field goal that often is well within most kickers range. I miss defense games, too, so please don't doubt my crotchety-ness. But I'd rather hold my breath for a touchdown or two-point – not a field goal or first down. First downs seal enough games as it is. Don't make it seal an overtime game, too. Just my personal opinion though, take it or leave it.

You make a fair point. If a defense under the current overtime format indeed stops the opposing offense on the first possession and gets in decent field position, there does seem an air of inevitability about the game's outcome. There's no perfect overtime system in football. The only way to avoid the inevitability would be to mandate that a team score a touchdown in overtime to win. That never will happen because of length-of-game and safety issues.

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

You don't seem like a very happy person.

Oh, I'm ecstatic. Why wouldn't I be?

Ryan from Apopka, FL

Two questions on the new overtime rule: with each team getting a possession, if the first team kicks an onside kick and recovers it, does that count as the receiving's team possession? Second question, in overtime if you won the coin toss you always wanted to receive. But with the new rule, would you be better off kicking, hoping your defense gets a stop and now know you only need a field? Or if they score a touchdown, you know you must score and have four downs to do so?

First answer: If a team recovers an onside kick, the team recovering the onside kick becomes the first team to possess the ball. Second answer: Yes, it does seem you would be better off receiving the ball – unless the first team opts to go for two knowing it would win the game if successful.

Sean from Jacksonville

Unless my math is off, the Jaguars have a 25 percent chance of winning the AFC South. WhooHoo!

You go, girl.

Jonathan from Mechanicsville

To me it looks as if we set up our cap position to be able to be big spenders next season as well, if we want. This would be according to and three whole minutes of research. I would ask your opinion, but research already confirms my hypothesis.

Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke when discussing the 2022 free-agency class told our Jaguars Drive Time crew that the 2023 cap will be a little tighter for the Jaguars than this year, and that it should loosen somewhat after that.

Adrian from Inside of an Oven, Arizona

Tell Khan to trade a second or third for D.K. Metcalf, I still hate that the Jags passed on him continuously. Thanks, love you!

I'm uncomfortable.