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O-Zone: As good as it gets

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Greg from Section 122, THE BANK IS BACK, Jacksonville

One take away from the huddles is Jaguars President Mark Lamping said they are going to pump millions into the area around Randolph Boulevard, which they see as "underserved" – whatever that means. Here is my BIGGEST concern with this stadium deal. They want to throw over a BILLION dollars downtown and try to make it this economic engine. BOTH these have been tried multiple times and NOTHING changes. They built the Landing, gone. Adam's Mark hotel brought in for the Super Bowl, lasted only five years. You can't throw money at this and expect it will fix it. Only thing that will happen is Jaguars Owner Shad Khan is going waste a bunch of money and be disappointed. Downtown Jax is not and never will be an "economic engine." Especially now that the majority of people that come downtown come for WORK. We have evolved into a society in which no one goes downtown. Now more than ever. I want a new stadium, really. I also don't want to be wasting a BILLION dollars of taxpayers' money on delaying the inevitable. If Shad insists downtown be something it isn't, that is just setting up for failure.

The Jaguars have far more faith in the future of downtown than you, not to mention a dramatically different vision for the area surrounding the projected Stadium of the Future. I trust many City leaders share their vision, and I hope few – if any – share yours. We indeed evolved into a society in which fewer people socialized, worked and lived in downtown areas. This was in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. In the years since, many downtowns around the nation have rebounded and again become economic/cultural centers. You seem to believe Jacksonville can't do the same. The Jaguars don't believe that.

Unhipcat from b bar h, ca

Hi, John. "Festina lente" was the quote. "Make haste slowly."


JayPee from The Vortex

This Cam Robinson thing got me thinking. Which hurts my head. So, I'm hoping you can help ease my pain. How much do PEDs improve a player's performance? Was Cam's improvement last year because of PED's? Will we see a drop off now that's he's off them? Just don't really know much on the subject. Thanks for the help.

I have received multiple versions of this question since the NFL suspended Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson for the first four games of the 2023 regular season for performance-enhancing drugs. The problem is we don't have enough information to answer with complete accuracy – and because of privacy issues, we may never have that information. PEDs can help performance, which is presumably why some players take them and why they are banned. But PEDs these days often are used to help recover from injury and often are taken without the player intending to flagrantly skirt the rules. There is no evidence to suggest Robinson took the banned supplements last season, and no reason to think they caused any perceived improvement. I doubt we'll see any major difference in his performance this season. We'll see.

Reese from Loyal Jaguar fan in VA

I have had the awesome fortune to attend three Jacksonville Jaguars games in my thankful and grateful life thus far: At Washington Loss (unfortunately RGIII injured his ankle), at New England (TB12's 400th career touchdown pass AND!! we got fifty-burgered) and 2022 Week 1 at Washington (Travon Walker's first career interception) and I didn't include the score for a reason! I type all this to say this: I often get asked … why are you a JAGS fan??

Was that a question?

Reese from Loyal Jaguar fan in VA

... GO JAGS!


Nathan from Utah, US

Dead Zone, I guess it's fitting to have Florida residents reluctant to pay for anything they don't need. After all: That's probably how the state came to the decision not to tax them. Something about cake and eating it, too, comes to mind. Do they want the team to stay in Jacksonville, or not? Because other cities, I'm sure, will be more than happy to pony up. I'm a fan from afar, yet I love Shad Kahn's commitment to the city of Jacksonville. The Stadium of The Future will put the city and franchise forever "on the map." Now, what was my question? #itwasalwaysthejags!

Florida doesn't tax its residents because tourism dollars bring enough revenue that it's not necessary. My sense is most Jacksonville residents very much want the Jaguars to remain in Jacksonville. The reality is most people don't say, "Yes, I want taxpayer dollars to pay for a stadium" in these sorts of discussions. It's a nuanced, detailed discussion that can take time for people to grasp. I believe City leaders will grasp it and this will get done. Stay tuned.

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

You even suck in red, white and blue.

Happy fourth.

Rich from Dacula, GA

OK, let's throw this into mix for financing the new or rebuilt stadium. Small town of Green Bay has sold shares of stocking the team. I know they don't earn controlling interest in the team, but I believe they get a small voice. Then of course you add in the seat license for additional income. I'm sure there will be creative ways to figure out how this works.

The Green Bay Packers are the only publicly-owned major professional sports franchise in the United States, and neither the NFL Owners in general – nor Khan specifically – will be in favor of public ownership of the team. I expect the stadium deal to get done, but not through anything like this.

Scott from Gilbert, AZ

Zone, Let's revisit our draft as it relates to analysts who immediately hand out ever-important grades before those players take a single NFL snap. The Jags grades ranged from B+ to C-minus from anyone worth reading, but it would appear if we would have only had seven picks and stayed at our designated position each round and selected in the following order – offensive lineman Anton Harrison (Round 1), safety Antonio Johnson (Round 2), outside linebacker Yasir Abdullah (Round 3), tight end Brenton Strange (Round 4), running back Tank Bigsby (Round 5), wide receiver Parker Washington (Round 6), and defensive lineman Tyler Lacy (Round 7) – the pundits would have unanimously agreed that would have been a tremendous draft. We were seemingly downgraded by the "experts" for also acquiring what could become incredible depth in players like linebacker Ventrell Miller, offensive lineman Cooper Hodges and whomever wins the backup nickel battle between Christian Braswell and Erick Hallett.

I care little about draft grades and care even less about explaining how analysts might arrive at those grades. Would the Jaguars' post-draft grades have been higher had they selected players where these analysts projected them being selected before the draft? Very possibly. One of the phenomenons about the draft is that analysts convince themselves players are worthy of a certain selection before the draft then criticize teams for not agreeing with their projections. I have a good feeling about Strange, Bigsby and Harrison. I haven't gotten enough of a feel for the rest of the class to have a thought in either direction. I wonder what the analysts think about those players except not really.

Chris from Jax

Reading some of the coverage about the stadium renovations, it appears that the Jags want the City of Jacksonville to contribute approximately $1 billion to the stadium renovations but that the Jags are not going to commit to playing all home games in Jax and instead want to continue playing at least one game in London each year. This doesn't make sense to me – if the City is going to make that type of investment, ALL home games should be in Jacksonville. No other cities that have used public funding to build stadiums are required to lose one home game a year – why should the City of Jacksonville agree to this?

Nothing is finalized when it comes to the discussions between the team and City regarding the stadium of the future. I expect this could be discussed when the City and team get heavily into the discussions. We'll see.

Ben from Columbus, OH

Hey John, do you know if the training camp practices with the Lions will be open to the public? I would love to check them out being right up the road from us here in Ohio.

The Jaguars will practice against the Detroit Lions in Allen Park, Mich., August 16-17. The practice on the 16th is open only to "Lions Loyal Members." The practice on the 17th is open to the public, but you need a free ticket. Information can be found here.

Cliff from Everywhere with helicopter

Man, my wife and I saw Steve Earle and The Dukes tear the roof off the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall in 2015. He is one very bad mamajama.