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O-Zone: Big Sky Jags

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Steven from Nocatee

Do you see any players worthy of the franchise tag this offseason? I hope they can re-sign Engram and Taylor, but do you see them as franchise-tag options if they can't sign?

The franchise tag really is more of a roster-maneuvering tool than a measure of worth, but the two Jaguars players that could make sense for the tag this offseason indeed are tight end Evan Engram and right tackle Jawaan Taylor. The tender number for tight ends this offseason is expected to be about $11.3 million. That's a big number, but probably not undoable for the Jaguars' salary cap. While I expect the Jaguars to get a long-term deal done with Engram, the tag therefore seems a real possibility if an extension doesn't happen. Taylor is trickier. He's definitely "worthy" of tag money and the Jaguars would really like to re-sign him. He's a player around whom an offensive line can be built. But the tender for an offensive lineman is projected to be around $18.2 million. That might be too high, so if the Jaguars are to keep Taylor it seems it may have to be on a long-term deal.

Paul from St. Johns, FL

When is left tackle Cam Robinson supposed to be ready to play? I'm curious if we re-sign Taylor and if we don't, do we have Little play right tackle with Cam back at left tackl?

It remains to be seen if the Jaguars will re-sign Taylor. The team very much likes him. They very much want to re-sign him. He had one of the best seasons of any player on the team and could be a foundation piece of the offensive line moving forward. But re-signing him will be very expensive. Robinson sustained his knee injury in December and I've heard nothing to indicate he won't be ready for next season. If Taylor doesn't return, I would expect Robinson to play left tackle with Walker Little on the right side. Stay tuned.

Justin from Jax

John, rapid fire answer based on gut instinct alone. Do we switch to more of a base 4-3 again with our personnel?

Gut instinct? No.

Bradley from Sparks, NV

It seems fairly obvious to me that Lawrence is still figuring things out and is not close to optimizing his talents. I expect a significant Year 3 jump as he enters his second season in the Pederson offense with potentially another weapon or two. Do you agree?

Absolutely. While the Jaguars must add personnel this offseason, I expect the biggest difference in this team next season to be just that. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence in 2023 will be in his second season in Head Coach Doug Pederson's system. He will be playing a second season with wide receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones. And Engram. How important is this? As Pederson said this week: "It's everything."

Zac from Austin, tejas

I think your point about the 2017 team and the 2022 teams was incredibly accurate - 2017 we were angry trying to settle scores. In 2022, we were having fun playing competitively.

I am incredible in many ways. I am the king of all funk.

David from Oviedo, FL

OZone - The Miller Electric Center will be open for the coming season. How significant are the benefits of the new training facility to the team?

Very. It's not that's easily measured, but it will give the Jaguars a facility at the same level as the rest of the NFL. It's difficult to expect players and coaches to want to come to a team – and stay with a team – when that's not the case.

Brian from ROUND ROCK, TX

Why is the kick returner in the game as a receiver and getting the ball in the most critical moment of the game? It's a ridiculously bad decision that cost us the game. Experienced leadership would have put the game in the hands of the proven veteran players.

When are you and Doug getting together to compare rings? Is that in his calendar? #Experience.

Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

I love reading about our free agents willing to take less money and stay with the Jaguars. What a difference from the ex-players showing up in armor trucks. I'm enjoying this era.

It's cool to read about players taking less money to stay with the Jaguars. My thought is we should be realistic about just how much less a player will take. But yes … I suspect it will be a touch easier to acquire and retain players for the foreseeable future.

Chris from Mandarin, FL

Is Doug Pederson a better head coach than Tom Coughlin because of the way he's able to connect with players on an emotionally mature level, or because he was able to achieve the highest level of results in this league in a shorter time period?

Coughlin won two Super Bowls. I don't know that it's an accurate statement to say that he wasn't not as good a head coach as Pederson.

JT from Palm Coast, FL

"With the team likely addressing nickel corner in relatively high-profile fashion." High-profile? You got some insider knowledge you can share John? Please spill the beans sir.

By high-profile, I meant through the early rounds of the draft or relatively high-profile free agency. That's it.


Coach P. is supposed to be great at using tight ends like he did in Philly. While Engram had a career year, what about the other tight ends? Especially Dan Arnold. I was expecting more production from the rest of that room.

The Jaguars were ninth in the NFL in scoring after finishing last the previous season. They accomplished this with wide receivers Kirk, Zay Jones, Jamal Agnew and Marvin Jones Jr., Engram at tight end and running back Travis Etienne Jr. as their primary and best offensive weapons. When another tight end is among that group, I expect you will see a lot more production out of a tight end other than Engram.

Dakota from Dupree, SD

Zone, No. 16 made a huge jump this year. How big of a jump was it?

Good enough to make you think a Year 3 jump could put him among the NFL's best.

Sean from Jacksonville

There has been talk about which players might be signed or left to fend for themselves. That is expected at the end of a season. What concerns me a wee bit more are the coaches that will be replaced. I understand we are losing our wide receivers coach and maybe Jim Bob Cooter. Those two guys were great this year and will be sorely missed if they do, in fact, leave. My concern is that with new coaches; you may be getting new systems installed and players have to start all over again in the offseason. When is the dead period again?

Jaguars wide receivers coach Chris Jackson indeed left to become the wide receivers coach at the University of Texas and passing-game coordinator Jim Bob Cooter is a candidate for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offensive coordinator position. Position coaches are going to get hired and leave; head coaches must be able to hire able replacements. As for passing-game coordinator, Cooter is an experienced respected coach with NFL offensive coordinator experience. Pederson didn't hire him thinking he was going to be on this staff forever – and again, it's the head coach's job to be ready to fill all positions. Remember: The Jaguars' offensive scheme is Pederson's scheme. As long as he's here, they will have offensive continuity.

Tim from Ortega

Hi KOAF, I see a lot of talk about how tough the 2023 schedule looks. I see it differently. Seems that the Jags could sweep the division games and the NFC South games. They just go 3 and 4 in the other 7 games so 13-4 looks pretty doable. What say you?

I say it's January 27. The schedule likely will be released in May. Free agency begins in March with the NFL Draft in late April. The regular season eight months away. I expect the Jaguars to have a real chance to push into double-digit victories and have a real chance to win the AFC South title. Who they will sweep or not sweep – and the specifics of the record – I haven't the foggiest notion yet.

Kelton from Belgrade, MT

I was 11 years old during the '96 season that sealed the deal that I was going to be a jags fan. My son is 11 and this team and the run they had did the same for him. At the first of the year, he was asking me why we were Jags fans when they lose all the time. Now, he is excited to be a fan and wear his Jags jersey to school in Montana. Thank you to this team for doing for my son what the '96 team did for me. It was always the Jags.