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O-Zone: As close as it gets

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

David from Chuluota, FL

KOAF – In 2011, the Indianapolis Colts were the worst team in the NFL with a 2-14 record. They won the "Suck for Luck" lottery and finished the next three seasons 11-5. The Jaguars' situation this year seems to mirror that of the Colts in 2011, yet you predict the Jaguars win five-eight games this year. I believe you were with the Colts at that time? Do you think that Colts team was in a better position to win more games than the current Jaguars roster?

I was not with the Colts during that time, having covered that franchise from 2001-2010. And yes … the Colts improved from 2-14 to 11-5 in quarterback Andrew Luck's rookie season and went 11-5 the next two seasons. It's not that the Jaguars can't make such an improvement; perhaps they can. But while nine-game improvements happen, they typically are outliers and therefore difficult to predict. Considering the Jaguars were 1-15 last season, much must go right – and just one of those things is the development of a rookie quarterback. I believe drafting Trevor Lawrence will be the key moment in the franchise turning around, and I believe this can/will be a consistently successful franchise during his career. I believe the team will take a step toward that in 2021. I just don't know that it will be the gigantic, 10-victory step that so many fans understandably want.

Bruce from Saint Simons Island, GA

O, I know the Jags are supposed to have a "last-place" schedule, but this doesn't look like it. After looking at the schedule, six-to-seven wins would be an accomplishment. Vegas has the Jags about six wins. While this may well be accurate, I still believe the Jags will be competitive in all their games unless they have too many injuries. You agree?

I don't know that the Jaguars will be competitive in all their games in 2021. Most teams have a game or two that gets one-sided – particularly young teams with young quarterbacks. But yeah … six or seven victories with most of the others competitive would be the right direction. And encouraging.

Dave from Jacksonville

O wizard of all, is it by your blessing that our schedule is so favorable to start the season? You have set it up so we play the rest of the bottom-dwellers in the first four games. We will know who is moving up or down by then. The rest is kind of welcome to the NFL for the college guys. Fair, sounds like 7-9 if all goes well. Good job.

Thanks. The Jaguars will not go 7-9 in 2021.

Vitaly from Jacksonville

You mentioned that players like Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers should play out the contract that they signed. I find that to be less nuanced. What about forcing the team to pay the players for the contract that they signed? If nothing stops a team from cutting a player two years into a five-year contract, then there should be nothing stopping a player from "flexing their muscles" a year or two before their contract is up. Can't have it both ways. Either no side honors the contract, or both sides. Otherwise, it becomes a management versus labor argument and those things are never pretty.

The player's security in the guaranteed part of NFL contract – i.e., the signing bonus and guaranteed years. All parties involved know that. Players also know the contracts are not "no-cut." They agree to a contract up front and accept the guaranteed money, and the team then plans its salary-cap strategy based on the contract signed. When a player such as Rodgers wants out, the team then is left with limited resources under the cap to structure the team. It's a confusing system. Perhaps there's a better system that could be negotiated. But under this system, teams must be able to release players before the end of contracts and rely on players to play out their contracts without forcing their way out.

TJ from Orlando, FL

Welp. So much for all the hype getting us out of that sweet, sweet 1 p.m. time slot. On the bright side, we don't have to get clowned by the Tennessee Titans on prime-time this season. Hopefully, the Cincinnati Bengals go back to being the Bengals by then.

The Jaguars didn't play the Titans on prime-time last season. Unless you're one of the major-market teams, hype won't get you on prime time – even the hype of a No. 1 overall selection and big-name head coach. Winning consistently will get you there.

Chris from Jacksonville

Please stop calling the London game a "home" game (as in the Jags have four of their first six games at home). Only games in Jax should be referred to as home games. At best, the London game is a neutral-site game. I'm sure the players and coaches don't view it the same as the other games in Jax.

The game in London is designated as a home game by the NFL. I'll keep calling it that until that changes. Actually, I'll keep calling it that until I decide what else "should be" done in this forum. Let me know some other things you don't like. I'll keep doing those, too.

Ryan from Detroit, MI

Has any NFL team ever had TWO Heisman winning quarterbacks in the roster at the same time!? We will be unstoppable!

That would be cool. That won't apply to the Jaguars next season, but it would be cool. I guess.

Bill from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

A problem with Tebow you haven't discussed. Fair or not, some people will wonder why a 33-year-old white guy gets a look for a position he has never played when Colin K can't even get hired as a backup.

I understand why people nationally might ask this question and make a connection. It's a compelling question that involves polarizing issues. But Colin Kaepernick not getting signed to play quarterback in the NFL is not pertinent to the discussion of the Jaguars potentially signing Tim Tebow to play tight end. The NFL is made up of 32 teams that function separately. The Jaguars can control what they do. They can not control what 31 other teams opt not to do.

Andrew from Halifax

Now that the schedule has been released, I would encourage all sports writers, personalities, correspondents etc. to stay away from the word "doldrums" this offseason if possible. Any thoughts on what the word of this summer will be?


Ryan from Pontiac, IL

Zone, I'm torn on this latest decision by Urban Meyer to sign Tim Tebow. While I get that it is a low risk signing and it's at a position of need, I'm worried about what some of his players may be saying behind closed doors. We've all seen what other players around the league are saying. Do you think players currently on the Jaguars have a problem with this? After the hiring of the Iowa coach, I'd think Urban would be a little more hesitant on these risky, dare I say sketchy moves. Seems we can never just have an all good offseason for this franchise. What say you?

If Tebow is good and merits an opportunity, teammates will have no problem with him being on the roster in the offseason. If he good and merits a roster spot, teammates will have no problem with him being on the roster in the regular season. Signing Tebow – if it happens – is not a sketchy move. It correctly might be described as one unlikely to work, but there's nothing sketchy or risky.

Fred from Naples, FL

The Falcons declined to pick up the fifth-year option on tight end Hayden Hurst. Do you believe there could be anything going on between the Falcons and Jags in terms of a trade sending him to Jacksonville? In your opinion, what would it cost the Jags in terms of draft capital?

I'm sure the Jaguars have considered this. I don't know if there is any interest. I would imagine Hurst would merit a fourth-to-sixth round selection in a trade.

Michael from Middleburg, FL

You can't tell me there's not a free agent or unsigned draft tight end who's not better than a 33-year-old has-been quarterback.

The offseason isn't over yet. I know this because Google.

Enrique Bargersville, IN

Hey O. I know it's early, but in your opinion, which undrafted free agent do you find most intriguing and which one do you think has the best shot of making the team?

This is a pretty easy choice. Former Alabama linebacker Dylan Moses signed with the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent. He was one projected as a first- or second-round selection. He sustained a serious knee injury in college and he struggled with it last season. If that knee gets right …

Josh from Atlanta, GA

Can't we all just get along?

This is getting along, Josh.