Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

O-Zone: Best effort

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Dwayne from Jacksonville

I had to laugh at a recent O-Zone comment that we fans pay the salaries. A few years ago, I was at the stadium office with a big check to pay for two season tickets and a parking pass. A LOT of money for me and I commented that I was paying for one of our new players' salary. The agent did some quick math and let me know I had covered one day of the minimal rookie contract. (72,000 fans pay for 20 minimum contracts. TV pays the stars on the team.)

I didn't laugh at the comment because the Recent O-Zone Commenter had an important point that fan interest indeed drives the entire NFL. This is undeniable. Although television money indeed pays far more player salaries than ticket revenue, the billions that are television revenue stream in to the NFL – and into the players' financial accounts – because millions of fans for whatever reason care passionately about this sport. But specific to your email and story … no, one season-ticket holder isn't financing much of a player's salary. One season-ticket holder can finance a buuuuuunch of senior writer's salaries, though … so thank goodness for fans.

Shawn from Moore County, NC

Our biggest needs coming into the draft were corner, edge, offensive guard and wide receiver. After the draft our biggest needs are corner, edge and offensive guard. Do you see us making any trades to fill any of these positions?

I never particularly expect trades. While they're great speculative fan fodder, they're hard to project and rarely come to fruition relatively. I do expect the Jaguars to monitor many positions – including edge and corner – this offseason with the idea of potentially signing a veteran or trading for one before the start of the regular season.

Kathy from Palm Coast, FL

I know you are tired of this, but do you honestly believe that Pederson did a good job coaching last year? I was happy with him after the Urban Meyer debacle, but he did nothing to stop the sinking ship last season.

Loyal O-Zone readers – and he knows who he is – know well that I'm less-inclined than many observers, fans and readers to attach the success or failures of a team to COACHING. This is not to say coaching is unimportant because it's always coaching in the NFL. It is to say that fans often waaay overemphasize coaching's influence on success or failure in the NFL. I thought Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson did fine last season. Was he great? Was he awful? Probably neither. But he had this team at 8-3 and in first place in the AFC South despite an offensive line that was struggling to run block. I thought he had absolutely done at least a decent job at that point. Then quarterback Trevor Lawrence left three of the final six games because of injury and wide receiver Christian Kirk missed the final five games. That seems from this view far more the trigger point of last season's disappointment than coaching.

Jon from Jax Beach

Did he say heat and black unis in the same sentence? For me it always has been the all-white, especially the 98 and 99 versions which also were our best teams.

Color rush. Period.

J C Fletcher from Fernandina Beach

Please, John, for the love of God, not the baby poop browns!

Please see previous answer.

Brendan from Yulee, FL

We have young corners in Gregory Junior, Christian Braswell and Montaric Brown. Do you think they can make the transition to a Nielsen defense, or do you see another corner elsewhere coming in to make an impact?

The Jaguars like all three players, and you heard particularly good things about Braswell during 2023 Training Camp in terms of natural coverage ability and ability to defend deep passes. They're all three late-round selections in their respective drafts with a combined limited NFL experience – and we're still very early in the transition process to new defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen's aggressive, press-oriented scheme. I expect the next few weeks of the 2024 offseason program could determine if the Jaguars try to acquire a veteran corner via trade of free agency. I wouldn't rule it out.

Cultured Gentleman from Clayton new jersey

I have a feeling Mr. O-Zone likes a well-done steak with a side of sautéed mushrooms and roasted potatoes with a glass of red wine on the side.

I don't mind this, and I enjoy a steak on occasions. Sometimes, I even will share such a meal with my in-season traveling partners Tony Boselli, Jeff Lageman, Frank Frangie and the like. To watch Jeff order in these environs calls to mind Pavarotti singing. To watch Boselli eating in these or any environs calls to mind other thoughts. Frank's there, too. But I'll be honest: From this view, a steak is pretty much a steak – be it with sauteed mushrooms and a fine bottle of wine or with a bottle of A-1 at Ponderosa. I'm told there's a difference. I don't doubt the tellers. It's just not all that important to me.

Rob from San Antonio, TX

KOAF, no question today. Just a one fer Mr. Fred Taylor for his recent college graduation.

Taylor, the leading rusher in Jaguars history and a most-deserving member of the Pride of the Jaguars, indeed recently graduated the University of Florida. He said he did so to keep a promise to his grandmother. As someone fortunate enough to have interviewed his grandmother, and as someone fortunate enough to have known Taylor for more than 25 years, the news made me happy. So … one fer Taylor? No doubt.

Deane from Daytona Beach, FL

Yo O-Zone! I am perplexed as to your response a day or two ago about special teams not being a third of the team. I beg to differ with you. Either offense, defense, or special teams can allow us to win or lose a game. You miss or make a field goal from 50-plus yards, special teams is to blame. You fail to tackle on a punt return or kickoff; the finger goes straight to the special teams. Just as an offense or defense that doesn't make the crucial play when the team needs it, takes the responsibility for the win/loss. Now granted a single play on either shouldn't determine a game, but in court of public opinion, it does. If special teams isn't a third, then it is the great equalizer. What says you O-Zone???

I say special teams are important. I also say it's not "a third of the game." There are about 150 plays a game. For discussion's sake, in a 28-28 game there might be 10 kickoffs, eight points-after and eight punts in 26 plays. That's about 17 percent of the game. You also almost never draft in Rounds 1 or 2 for special teams. So they're not a third of the game. I think special teams are important. I believe special teams coordinators are fine, important people. I applaud players who carve a livelihood by being good special teams players. This is not a "hill" on which I plan to die. Special teams are cool. They're just not a "third of the game."

Sam from Orlando, FL

When you are inevitably forced to retire/sent to an asylum, any thought to handing the O-Zone to Don? The "Don- Zone" or "All in with Don." Many forget Don was able to wrestle a unanimous decision from Gene "The Hammer" Frenette in an 18-round boxing masterclass.

When it comes to making jokes involving longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette and Don remaining "all in," and projecting my career ending in an insane asylum, Sam from Orlando also remains "all in." Or something like that.

Bill from Bostwick

With the 18-game schedule sounding like it's all but a certainty, what are the chances of the NFL roster expanding from 53 to at least a 55-man roster? Keep the practice roster rules the same. Especially with the "emergency quarterback" coming into play since the 49ers at Eagles NFC Championship game, it seems like a logical move to make, despite the owners likely wanting to keep costs down. However, at least two more roster spots for one more lucrative game seems fair (and needed) to me.

I could see this happening. I'm not sure it's all that necessary because no matter how long the season, you can maintain a roster by signing players from an already expanded practice squad, but sure … it could happen.

Scott from Aruba

We can debate the oxford comma, but surely we can do better than this. "But the special teams do matter, and yes…"

There's really no debate on either topic. One, the Oxford Comma in the context of journalism-based writing is incorrect. Two, I can't do better than that; if I could do better, I would do it. And don't call me Shirley. Obviously.