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O-Zone: As expected

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Charles from Port St. Lucie, FL

Does this GM job become the most coveted GM opening in NFL history?

It's difficult to say definitively if a particular job is the most coveted in NFL history; there are too many factors and the history of the league is too long. But what matters for the 2021-and-beyond Jaguars is that the vacant general manager position without question should be – and likely will be – the most-coveted opening this year. And one of the most coveted in recent memory. That was true before Sunday because of factors such as a patient owner committed to spending what it takes to win, the most salary-cap space of any team entering the 2021 offseason, 11 selections in the 2021 NFL Draft and a roster that includes some potential front-line players such as wide receiver DJ Chark Jr., defensive end Josh Allen, linebacker Myles Jack, running back James Robinson – and an offensive line that's better than many observers believe. It became much more coveted Sunday when the Jaguars secured the No. 1 selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. Add to those factors the fact that Jacksonville is a great place to live, and that Florida has no state income tax. Also add this: the franchise has lost 14 consecutive games, so improving significantly from that should be very doable. Considering all of that … I don't know about most-coveted ever, but it's up there. Way up there.

Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville, FL

It seems like only yesterday you were telling me at Week 4 you thought the team would win another game. Funny how things play out? But we at least locked up home field for the draft right?

I did think the Jaguars win another game this season; they still might. Even when the Jaguars were struggling in September and losing games by double digits, I thought they would have a stretch in which they had a chance to pull out a close game or two. They had that stretch right after a Week 8 bye. They indeed had a chance to pull out a game or two – three or four, actually. They didn't pull any out. Now, they have one more chance – at Indianapolis in a game that means a lot to the Colts and nothing of significance to the Jaguars. That makes it a very difficult situation for a beat-up, staggering Jaguars team. Either way, congratulations on your rightness. You wear it well. And humbly. It's a good look.

Will from Jaguarville

Besides special teams, what positions are the Jaguars least likely to draft with their second pick in the first round?

Running back and center. Call it a tie.

Taylor from Columbia, SC

At the beginning of the season, did you say you were almost certain the Jags wouldn't pick first? I feel like a lot of observers thought it much more likely than you led us to believe. Sometimes being too close to a thing blinds you to its realities. That said, glad it happened.

Yeah … I thought the Jaguars would be better than they were in 2020 – and I thought the high end would be six or seven victories. I thought Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II would be a lot better than he played this season. I thought he would take a step up as opposed to a step back. And I didn't expect the defense to be quite so undermanned as the season continued, or that the unit would be further hurt by injuries. I missed it.

Michael from Fruit Cove, FL

You say that Jaguars owner Shad Khan has no interest in moving the team because he is trying to develop downtown. I'm calling BS on that. He's asking for a bunch of government money and he would be the one making the profits off the development. This would a be a sweetheart deal if he can get it, regardless of the location of the team. There is nothing about this development that would keep him from moving the team. In fact, he has expressly said that he does not want anything in the development deal that would keep the team in Jacksonville any longer than is currently the case. You can call yourself an expert on football (though even that is debatable). But you're definitely not an expert on real estate and land development.

Call whatever you want on whatever you want. Khan is trying to develop downtown when few – if any – owners in his situation would try to do so. The Lot J development needs an NFL team in the stadium to work. I may not be an expert on real estate and land development, but I know enough to know that. I also know that small markets must work with owners of professional sports teams to remain professional sports markets, and that being a professional sports city isn't free. And I may not be an expert on football, but I am "awesome." I know this because I am "awesome" and "awesome" people know things.

Scott from Aurora, IL

I'm back! What'd I miss?

Not much.

John from Jacksonville

"No, I don't think the offensive line needs a major overhaul before next season. Yes, Nick Foles got hurt in his first game starting at quarterback in 2019, but every offensive line is going to allow an occasional hit on a quarterback." The problem is this offensive line allows far too many hits on the QB and let's not forget the drive killing penalties they committed. We are what the most or second most penalized team in the league that's a sign the offensive line is in much more need than you and others believe.

I would be surprised if we see a major overhaul on the offensive line this offseason. Maybe I'm wrong and maybe you're right. I doubt that happens. If it does, I'll probably sink into a deep depression or do some major self-assessing. Or not. Probably not because I'll remember that I am "awesome."

Bobby from Doboy Island, GA

I might have missed it but did anyone ask Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone or defensive coordinator Todd Wash what the strategy was at the end of the first half against the Bears? It seemed apparent a long throw into the endzone was far less likely than the Bears trying to pick up some additional yards to make the field goal shorter. Seemed like a really odd decision considering the situation.

This wasn't asked. You're referring to the Jaguars playing prevent defense to stop a potential long touchdown pass as opposed to playing straight defense and preventing what happened – which was a short pass that gave the Bears an easier field goal. My assumption is that without their starting cornerbacks, Jaguars coaches decided to prevent the touchdown and allow a short pass to make an already makeable field goal a little more makeable. I probably wouldn't have taken the same approach, but considering the situation at corner, I guess I sort of get it.

Tudor from Saint Augustine FL

I LOL'd pretty hard at "Dear Bozone...". Please forgive me.

It was funny.

Dan from Somewhere in the Back

All Quiet on the Western Zone. I believe the biggest worry Jags fans should have now is the possibility that Trevor Lawrence refuses to play for Jacksonville if they draft him. Past examples of this happening in the NFL include Jim Kelly, John Elway, Rich Gannon, and Eli Manning. All four of these players cited the ineptitude of the team that planned to draft them as the main reason for refusing to play. I believe Kelly also had a preference for certain cities/locations. This sounds uncomfortably similar to the situation Jacksonville is in now. Your thoughts?

I don't expect that to happen. There will be new leadership on the football side of the operations, and the general manager position is expected to be highly coveted. If there is a coaching change, that position will be coveted, too. The league sees this. I expect Lawrence and his "people" will, too.

Mark from Richmond, VA

I watched a high school game years back on television because of Trevor Lawrence. I have never done that with any other player. I am so happy to be a Jags fan.

It was a giddy day in the inbox and why not?

Mike from Duval

You seem somewhat disappointed the Jags fans were rooting against the team. Can I ask why? Securing the first pick was all that matter.

This is ridiculous. I was neither surprised nor disappointed the fans were rooting for Chicago Bears Sunday. I have said and written for years that fans can want what they want and root for what they want. Besides … of course they were rooting for the Bears. Who wouldn't want Lawrence? Was it disappointing that it reached that point? Sure. It would be better if the Jaguars weren't bad enough for the situation to take place. But within the context of that situation, I absolutely wasn't disappointed. I would have expected nothing different.

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