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O-Zone: All you need

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Bryan from Tampa, FL

Do you agree that this team appears to be generally deeper than last year's team at this point? At what positions does it still feel that some additional depth may be needed? Pass rusher and outside corner? Part of the question, do you think our front-line talent is better or about the same as last year's team at this point?

The Jaguars made a few moves to address depth late last week, signing as free agents defensive back Terrell Edmunds, defensive back Tre Flowers and linebacker Ty Summers. They're the sort of veteran, "later-wave" free-agent signings that sometimes get overlooked and often prove valuable in training camp/regular season. As for your question, I suppose the Jaguars are a bit deeper at this point this offseason than this time last offseason. They're perhaps deeper on paper at quarterback (the addition of Mac Jones), running back (a year added experience for Tank Bigsby) and tight end (the free-agent acquisition of Josiah Deguara). They also added rookie cornerbacks such as De'Antre Smith and Jarrian Jones to supplement the addition of free agent Ronald Darby. As was the case last offseason, the Jaguars' depth will depend on how a few players play when a few key players miss time with injuries. Are they better overall? I would have to say so largely because of the addition of center Mitch Morse and defensive lineman Arik Armstead. If those two additions make their respective groups better, then the Jaguars are much better. From this view, the major question about the additions is age: Morse and Armstead are in their 10th season, as is Darby. If all three play at a high level and remain healthy for 14 or 15 games, then the Jaguars are better and deeper than last season. If not …

Dave from St. Louis, MO

With the new kickoff rules is it possible you may be able to save more offensive and defensive line types and less linebacker types? Since we aren't necessarily running 40 yards prior to tackling, could big men become more premium? This would help retain mid-level big guys who probably provide more overall value than mid-level linebackers, who are great at traditional brave special teams play?

The NFL's new kickoff rules do seem likely to turn the kickoff return into more of a strength-and-blocking play than the speed-collision-based play of past eras. One early trend appears to be teams adding a "running-back"ish returner, as the Jaguars did when they selected Keilan Robinson in Round 5 of the 2024 NFL Draft. As for how much the new rules will affect offensive and defensive linemen, I'm not sure. My early thought is athleticism will still be paramount for blockers and tacklers on kickoffs. I would guess you will see some "athletic" linemen on kickoffs with a lot of linebackers, running backs and tight ends playing like linemen. You might see a roster spot or two gear toward athletic linemen who can cover and block for kickoffs. I doubt it will be a major trend.

Bill from Bostwick

As a follow-up question to Jerry from Italia, FL: Is Roger Goodell the reincarnation of Mr. Potter from the It's a Wonderful Life movie?

Googling now …

Hardie from Richmond, KY

Really enjoy your column, rarely miss. Great job, especially the streak. In reference to last year's collapse, it seems a large majority of write ins blame quarterback Trevor Lawrence and the offense. Obviously, there was plenty of blame to go around. During the five losses, our defense gave up 29.2 points per game. Three of the losses were by one score, with the offense averaging 26 points per game. No mystery why defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell and most of his assistants were given pink slips.

Much went wrong for the Jaguars late in the 2024 season. An inability to run when the offense needed to run was an issue. Inconsistency in the passing offense brought about by injuries to quarterback Trevor Lawrence and wide receivers Zay Jones and Christian Kirk was, too. An inability to stop the run consistency that contributed to inability to make key stops at times was perhaps the defining issue. That certainly prompted Head Coach Doug Pederson to make the moves he made after the season.

Travis from 904

I would love the Jags to play four homes games in September. Our team should be well conditioned to the heat and it is a small but important advantage. The fans can go into the shade.


Marcus from Jacksonville

I keep hearing about the new rookies signing their deals and it got me thinking, what type of protections do those guys have against injury before they sign those deals? Many of them are signing after the rookie minicamp, so what happens if you blow out your knee at that camp before you ink your deal?

Drafted players who have yet to sign with their team sign what are known as "injury protection agreements" before participating in practices and other activities These agreements essentially say that a team will sign the player to the same contract if he were to be injured as if he were healthy.

Dwayne from Jacksonville

Ozone, do you think it's fair that the fans of every other NFL team get to commiserate together on their official websites how unfair the league is to them but Jaguar fans have a senior writer that uses logic and rational thinking to point out the fallacies of our fanning? If I cancel my subscription, can I get a full refund?

Fair? Fair?!! Who the hell said life is fair! And yes, if you cancel your subscription, all money you've paid to read the O-Zone will be refunded in full. Just e-mail Sexton. He'll handle it.

Deane from Daytona Beach, FL

Yo, O-Zone! As I read and watch Jaguars Media about the upcoming season, I just soak it in to analyze it all in my Monday Morning QB kind of way. I came up with "one thing" that I think will determine the success of this year. That "one thing" is rushing yards. Rushing yards per game, per carry, on first down, and any other rushing yards stat you can think of. This will resonate on both sides of the ball. It is the "one thing" that will allow Trevor and the offense to open up the passing game. It is the "one thing" that will allow our pass rush defense to really show their teeth! What says you, O-Zone??? Yes, it is a City Slicker reference. LOL

This thinking has merit. The ability to run is paramount to being effective offensively. That doesn't mean you must run for a certain number of yards per game. But you must be able to run well when you need to run, and you must be able to run well enough that the defense believes you will run. If you can do that, teams must commit players to defend the run. That gives the quarterbacks enough single-coverage situations – and it slows the pass rush enough -- to pass effectively. If you can't run when you need to run and if opponents know this, it makes offense very difficult. Witness the 2023 Jaguars.

Scott from Wichita

You think we'll ever see teal helmets?


John from Jacksonville

Hi KOAGF - I do understand opponents and locations for scheduling are predetermined. However, I beg to differ from you a little on there being as little human input as possible in the NFL scheduling. Things such as the Chiefs setting some level of history by playing six of the seven days of the week this season aren't by chance. The prime-time game selections aren't by chance. It's about the money, not being random and equal.

When discussing this recently, I meant there's as little human element as possible scheduling game weeks, opponents and sites. Of course there's a human element in scheduling prime-time games and of course the Kansas City Chiefs being scheduled on prime-time a lot isn't by chance. They are back-to-back Super Bowl Champions and Patrick Mahomes is their quarterback. Of course they're going to be on television. Welcome to life, John.

Dave from Canton, GA by way of Mandarin

Please remind Jim from Middleburg that it's important to be nice. Even to Senior Writers!

I think you just did.

Alan from Ellington, CT

There seems to be a lot of articles involving the assistant GM's opinion. Is this usual? I feel like in past years it was always more feedback from the general manager.

I wouldn't read anything into this. Jaguars assistant general manager Ethan Waugh spoke to the media before the team's recent rookie minicamp. NFL rules dictate that assistant general manager must speak on occasion. There was a week between the rookie camp when Waugh spoke and organized team activities. I wrote a few stories during that week and quoted Waugh because he spoke relatively recently. That's the inside story. No more, no less.

Mike from Jacksonville

I love you.

Hey. I get it.