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O-Zone: Awesome cause

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Tim from Fernandina Beach, FL

John: Aside from the obvious "it's a contract year," what is the difference you see in Josh Allen's improvement in sacks this year as opposed to the previous two seasons? Could it be that even though Travon Walker isn't getting home, he is providing a good rush from the opposite side?

Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen has a career-high 12 sacks this season, and he is on pace to break the franchise record of 14.5 set by defensive lineman Calais Campbell in 2017. Allen – the No. 7 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft – indeed is having the best statistical season of his career in the final season of his rookie contract, but I'm not one who thinks Allen's contract season has all that much to do with his improvement. This theory, while popular, does a disservice to Allen's level of play in previous seasons. Also: Saying the improvement came because he is playing for a contract suggests that Allen lacked motivation and desire. This goes against everything I know about Allen. He has worked tirelessly with great focus the past few offseasons. The thought here is Allen always has been really good. He always has played the run well and consistently has pressured quarterbacks. The difference between sacks and pressure can be a blink here and a quarterback going a different direction in the pocket there. The Jaguars are playing with more leads this season and Allen is doing a better job closing plays at times to take advantage of his opportunities. Regarding second-year outside linebacker Travon Walker … yes, his presence and effectiveness has helped Allen. He often collapses the pocket and therefore prevents quarterbacks from escaping his direction. It's incorrect and unfair to Allen to say Walker is responsible for Allen's success. But his presence has helped.

Jz from jville>huntsville

Zone, remember last season when the Jags were sitting at 2-6 and we talked a lot about this team learning to win? Looks like they learned pretty good. DUUUVAL

This team has a few defining traits through 11 games. It is a very good defense against the run. It is a very good defense at creating turnovers. It also is a very good offense when it comes to making big plays in the second half at critical times. But the trait that perhaps defines this team the most is it has become very good at making game-winning plays when it matters. It indeed has learned to win.

Don from Marshall, NC

Anton Harrison has just been a stud of a draft pick. He has been slinging around some good football players. Guy is turning into a star player he is so hard to get around. What a great draft pick he is! Go Jaguars!

When it comes to Jaguars rookie right tackle Anton Harrison, Don is "all in."

Joey from Jacksonville

There's a big difference in your body's development, especially if you train, between ages 22 and 26-27. Is this what you are implying when saying that Cooper Hodges will be a starting guard eventually? Have you ever covered a lineman that came in as a rookie that you thought was already there?

There absolutely can be a huge difference between linemen's bodies in their early 20s to mid-to-late 20s. But that's not what I was implying when discussing Jaguars rookie offensive lineman Cooper Hodges recently. All I meant when discussing Hodges is that the Jaguars love his ability and believe he can be a starter – and comparatively soon.

Howard from Jagsonville

When we play in the Super Bowl, wouldn't it be awesome if the halftime artist(s) were our own Limp Bizkit. I bet we would "Break Stuff." We would even if Taylor Swift was the act. Here's hoping. Go Jags !!!

That would be awesome. Would that be awesome?

Cathy from Ponte Vedra Beach

Do you think Cooper Hodges will return from IR this year?

No, Hodges will not return this season. He sustained a patella injury in the Jaguars' second preseason game. The team's initial hope was he would be able to return, which was why they kept him on the initial 53-player regular season roster before moving him to injured reserve. He later had surgery, which meant he will not return this season.

Richard from St Augustine, Fl

Negative Nellie Jag fans are frustrating. It is hard to believe they harp on many things the Jags are not doing well. To my eye, there are a couple of most important things the Jags are doing very well. First is wins. Next, as part of winning, the Jags are in the top third of league in points scored and also least points allowed by defense. I am not completely satisfied by how Jags are performing, but the bottom line is how we are doing in our division and conference standing because that determines if you get into the playoffs. How is it that there are so many fans not appreciative of where we are after picking first in the draft two years in a row just a year and a half ago? More moodachays are happening, so that is good! Go Jags. DTWD Duuuuvaaal.

Fans fan. It's what they do.

Bradley from Sparks, NV

Do you see the Houston Texans or Indianapolis Colts making the playoffs this year?

I expect one of these teams will make the playoffs as a wild card. My guess is it will be Houston, but people have been downplaying the Colts all season and they keep winning. Stay tuned.

Jarret from Crosby, ND

Zone my man, am I crazy for thinking Jimmy Smith belongs in the Hall of Fame every bit as much as Freddy T? Both are as good at their positions as anyone who's ever played.

You're not crazy to think former Jaguars wide receiver Jimmy Smith belongs in the Hall of Fame. But both he and former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor were not as good as anyone who ever played their positions. Taylor was not as good as Jim Brown or Barry Sanders and Smith was not as good as Jerry Rice. But this is nitpicking. Those three players were among the top 10 or so NFL players ever. The Jaguars have had three players in their history who should be in the Hall of Fame. Left tackle Tony Boselli, a Hall of Famer, is one. Smith and Taylor are the other two.

Parker from Sunnyvale, CA

Fred Taylor's 11,695 career rushing yards looks even more impressive now than when he retired. What current NFL RBs have a chance of surpassing this mark, if any?

Derrick Henry (9,074 yards) and Ezekiel Elliott (8,639 yards) are the closest. I wouldn't say it's guaranteed that either surpass Taylor.

Don from Marshall NC

Frank Reich will be the highest paid Head Coach in the NFL for the next three years. Also he can work from home or not even work and go play golf or go fishing. Go Jaguars!

When it comes to remote work, Don is "all in."

Kevin from Reedsport

KOAF, after all this time, can't we get Luke Farrell his first touchdown?

Farrell, a third-year tight end, nearly had his first NFL touchdown last week. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw to him a half-second late in the third quarter or it would have happened. This one feels imminent.

Scott from Daytona Beach, FL

I'm a longtime season ticket holder, but I'm really thinking the way we're playing on the road I really don't want any home playoff games.

Yes, you do.

Zac from Austin, Tejas

When teams start prepping for that Royal Reach/Long Arm of the Law play on the one-yard line (I refuse to call it a Prince Poke or whatever) they're going to snatch the ball out of his hands and it's going to break bad. I'd much rather see someone like Luke Farrell or Tank Bigsby try to get low and chop feet.

This is a fair point. Lawrence because of his height and length is effective reaching the ball over the goal line for touchdowns. He has done this effectively in short-yardage situations at various times in his career. He also has scored reaching the ball over the pylon at various times. This is cool when it works. Does the old man in me worry that this eventually will lead to a costly turnover? Sure. But Lawrence is the Jaguars' starting quarterback. He's not going to get off my lawn anytime soon. He has his own lawn. Presumably nicer than mine.

JT from Palm Coast

I just watched the Jags' clip on Josh Allen supporting Travon's cause through, "My Cause, My Cleats." I know it's easy for me to spend other people's money, but the Jags need to pay whatever to keep Josh Allen. He is a hell of a football player, but an equally great teammate and leader. Exactly the kind of person the Jags need to keep on the team. Salute to you Mr. Allen!!

Good eye.