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O-Zone: Better in blue

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Dave from Jacksonville

Wizard of Ozone, should we be concerned? Trevor has been reported to have thrown a second interception during OTAs. Now our backup is injured. Every report is the defense is too fast! Should we be concerned our offense is too slow? KOAGF, it's only June, but we play for Tony in two months. I thought shorts is where speed sparkles. Where is the sparkle?

Wow. So, Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence has been reported to have thrown two interceptions during 2022 Organized Team Activities? Two whole interceptions? Guess what? He has thrown two interceptions in the two sessions open to the media and I'll just bet (whispering) he has thrown at least one or two interceptions in the six sessions not open to the media. (Back to normal voice). It's the offseason. It's non-padded work. The Jaguars are installing a new offense with a lot of new skill players. There are going to be interceptions. There are also going to be interceptions in 2022 Training Camp, preseason and regular season. And yes … the defense has looked good in OTAs. Defensive front sevens often look good in non-padded work because blocking is non-contact. And here's another "Guess what?" If one side of the ball looks fast in practice, the other side is going to look … wait for it … slow! We're in a 24-7, 365 news cycle and media breathlessly report on OTA practices as if they were games. They're not. That's not to diminish the injury sustained by backup quarterback C.J. Beathard Monday. It's reportedly a groin injury. If it's serious, that's bad because Beathard is a capable backup. But I just can't get concerned about a lack of sparkle during OTAs. They're practices, even if they're reported upon and analyzed as something more.

Maryanne from Jacksonville

Haven't heard anything about a new kicker. Does the coach have someone in mind??

There's not much to hear at this point. The Jaguars waived Matthew Wright, their kicker at the end of last season, last month. They now have two kickers on the roster: first-year veteran Ryan Santoso and rookie free-agent Andrew Mevis. That's who the team has mind at this point. It appears there will be a kicker competition in training camp. Is it a storyline? Yes. Is it a cause for concern? Panic? Nah. Teams have kicker competitions all the time.

D.J. from Conyers, GA

The Jags don't go to the playoffs often. But when we do we beat the Steelers. Just sayin.


Daniel from St. Johns, FL

Running back James Robinson and right tackle Jawaan Taylor's contracts are likely a problem next year no matter how they play, if only because the Jaguars seem to always have problems with a second contract! JR deserves a new contract NOW, and unless there's a serious concern about his recovery, they should use this opportunity to get him re-signed at a rate that doesn't make him the lowest paid good running back in the league!

Robinson became eligible for a contract extension after last season. That's because he was an undrafted free agent following the 2020 NFL Draft and undrafted rookies can renegotiate following their second NFL season. That extension is tricky, though. Not only are second contracts difficult for pretty much any running back these days, there's also the added element of Robinson having sustained a torn Achilles last December. If/when Robinson returns to full health, I expect an extension to be a major storyline – and perhaps a priority. Considering the circumstances, it would be surprising if it were a priority before the regular season.

Bob from Bobsville

John, the more I read you, the more I am impressed with your wit, wisdom and insight. Is there anything I can do about this?

Good eye. No, there's nothing to do. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

David from Oviedo, FL

KOAF – Using a time machine, the Jaguars are playing in the AFC Championship game, 1999 Jaguars versus 2017 Jaguars. Who wins? In other words, which is the greatest Jacksonville Jaguars team of all-time!

I would go with the 1999 team. The Jaguars that season were balanced, with three Hall-of-Fame-level talents on offense – left tackle Tony Boselli, running back Fred Taylor and wide receiver Jimmy Smith – and a defense that allowed the fewest points in the NFL. It was a dominant team at times and turned in the most one-sided victory in franchise history in the postseason. It lost to just one team, the Tennessee Titans. It also won 11 consecutive games at one point. The '17 team was really good, particularly on defense, but it's hard to put it at the same level as '99.

Michael from Orange Park, FL

Who will be the surprise cut in August?

If I told you, well … you know.

Sam from Orlando, FL

Is it true Gary from St. Augustine pinned Eugene "Lionheart" Frenette and ended Festivus?

No. No one pins longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette – at least no one has pinned him yet. He is unbeaten in steel cage matches and also in traditional Greco Roman matches. Versatility is one of his many strengths. And he was the one who ended Festivus. If memory serves.

Eddie from Jacksonville

I'm starting to think that Gary may not like you. I'm also getting the sneaky suspicion that he may be on to something.


Al from Fruit Cove, FL

Mr. O - Other than the Hall of Fame game, which will likely feature very little time for likely starters, the NFL has managed to keep the Jaguars off regular national television this year – with both the London game and the Thursday night contest on streaming platforms. Will those games still be available on our local TV outlets? And how would we explain this to those conspiracy theorists who shout about the anti-Jaguars bias?

Yes, all games will be available on local broadcast. As for explaining anything to conspiracy theorists, I'm not sure what there is to explain. The Jaguars are a small-market team that has won four games over the last two seasons. If another team were in a similar circumstance, it's likely that team would have the same number of nationally televised games. When the Jaguars win, they will be televised nationally more. Not before.

Rob from San Antonio, TX

Gary from St. Augustine says Myles Jack was, in fact, down.

I laughed at this.

Richard from Panama City, FL

God love those lower echelon reporters! It's, obviously obvious (to be less provocative, & redundant, towards those trying their darndest). Can we ask questions of value & not garbage? God save the kings and queens of this elite staff!

You like using & rather than "and." You also don't seem to like the media that cover the Jaguars. You don't seem to like their questions. Maybe you know better how to do it than people with years of experience. That's probably true. That's reasonable.

Steve from Nashville, TN

"And as his second NFL season draws to a close, Lawrence said he's optimistic about more around the Jaguars than just a new offense." Is it over already, how did we do?

Good eye. And funny.

Don from Marshall, NC

Travis Etienne Jr. has not even made it to his first game. James Robinson has not made it to the end of the season. They are a couple of nice menus, but when do we see the food? I would say this running back group has the most questions that need answered. We certainly do not know how well the rookies are doing. The Jaguars do not appear concerned. Do you feel confident with this group?

The Jaguars' running backs indeed are a major storyline – for essentially the reason you cite. This is a talented group. Etienne was the No. 25 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft and Robinson has shown in two seasons he is a very good NFL running back when healthy. But health indeed is an issue for both players, with Etienne missing his rookie season with a Lisfranc injury and Robinson currently rehabilitating a torn Achilles sustained last December. I don't know how it appears the Jaguars feel about this position, but they haven't neglected the position this offseason. They selected running back Snoop Conner, and they also have Ryquell Armstead, Mekhi Sargent and Nathan Cottrell on the roster. Running back also can be comparatively easily addressed via waivers or in-season free-agent acquisitions should such a move prove necessary. How confident should the Jaguars be in this position? I would say they should be relatively confident. Etienne is participating full in the offseason program. Robinson is projected to return in training camp. If they're healthy, this could be a very good position. So far, so good.

Willis from Jacksonville

Why are the rehabbing Jags wearing weighted vests?

Because their blue vests are in the cleaners. (I'll be here all week).