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O-Zone: Capacity crowd

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Austin from Atlanta, GA

Who determines the players that speak to the media? I sometimes feel like we get the same guys over and over. Would be interested in hearing from some lesser-known guys from time to time.

Media typically determines which Jaguars players speak to the media. The media determines this during the season by speaking to players in the locker room during open-locker-room periods during the week and after games. Jaguars media relations during the season will sometimes choose a player to speak to the media in a postgame podium environment and at a podium the Monday following a game. The media relations department had more influence on who spoke to the media when COVID-19 rules were in place in 2020 and 2021. During that time, media were not permitted in NFL locker rooms and media relations usually selected which players were made available to the media via videoconference. If it's the same players over and over now, it's because the media is choosing to speak to those players.

Tony from Johns Creek, GA

O, what year will the NFL decide on Cam Robinson's fate?

I expect the NFL will announce the length of Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson's reported suspension for performance-enhancing drugs sometime soon. There's really no hurry. The Jaguars will approach the 2023 season the same no matter the length. If there's no suspension, so much the better.

Paul from Lake City, FL

John, I'm turning over a new leaf. I wanted to write in and say something nice about you. You are ... I'm sorry, this feels so wrong.


Kannan from Jacksonville

Hi, O. I know most of the concern this offseason regarding the offensive line has been at tackle. My biggest concern on the line is guard. Just watching Jeffery Simmons from the Tennessee Titans and Chris Jones from the Kansas City Chiefs along with Quinnen Williams from the New York Jets just destroy us inside frightens me. With no real upgrades along the interior line, how comfortable are you with going up against the league's best interior defensive linemen this year with the group we have in camp?

Right guard Brandon Scherff played through a significant abdomen injury late last season. I expect him to increase the team's stoutness in the middle of the line if fully healthy in 2023. Center Luke Fortner also should be stronger – and better – in Year Two than he was as a rookie in 2022.

JJ from SS, MD

Hi, John. Regarding the strength-of-schedule question, looking at the intra-division games, the division winner will by default have the easiest strength of schedule based on last year's winning percentage because they are the only team in the division who doesn't have to play the division winner two times. Similarly, the last-place team will have the toughest strength of schedule because they don't have to play the worst team, which was themselves.


Bob from Sumter, SC

Press Taylor is impressive.

Yes, he is. Taylor is in his second season as the Jaguars' offensive coordinator. If the Jaguars have the success offensively – and as a team – that many expect, I expect him to be an NFL head coach sooner than later.

Michael from Duval

What do you think of Allen Hurns returning to where it all began, and will the Allen and Allen connection be back?

I don't expect wide receiver Allen Hurns or wide receiver Allen Robinson to rejoin the Jaguars at this stage of their career.

George from Longview, TX

When you get past rules that might have been broken, I only see positives with the potential Cam suspension. Injured player gets more rest, newer player gets experience, potential less wear and tear on tackles headed into playoffs (I'm all in) and a few extra million to pay quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Am I missing something?

The negative is that Robinson is the starting left tackle and a good player. The Jaguars would rather have him in the lineup than have him suspended. Positives can be found, but his suspension isn't overall a positive.

Terrianna's dad from Over by Ribault

Hey, KOAF. If I'm not mistaken, didn't the Superdome get a major renovation following the damage and unfortunate chaos of Hurricane Katrina almost 20 years ago?

Yes. The Louisiana Superdome received over $300 million in renovations following Hurricane Katrina.

Steve from Hilton Head, SC

John, I lived in Minnesota when three tax-payer funded, state-of-the-art stadia were built within walking distance of each other [Vikings, Twins and Gophers] during a short period of time. Money appeared to be no object, and sharing was out of the question. Some municipalities tried to attract the Vikings stadium for its perceived economic value. (It was built on the old Metrodome site.) Every city has to decide how much to invest in their sports teams. Rarely will the city or state recoup its investment, but the owners and politicians will do just fine. The taxpayers of New Jersey were still paying off bonds for the old Meadowlands stadium when it was torn down to build the current MetLife stadium.

Your main point is in fact pertinent in this discussion. Every city must decide how much to invest in its sports teams. The great truth of this is that what works in Los Angeles or Miami or Charlotte or wherever may or may not apply to Jacksonville. If the Jaguars are to work in Jacksonville for the coming decades there must be a stadium upgrade. If that stadium upgrade is to happen, it almost certainly must be funded by a public-private partnership.

Howard from Homestead, FL

It's not like NFL cities are the only ones that have public-private partnerships. My small town has the best movie theater in Miami-Dade County because the city helped pay for the construction of a downtown entertainment complex. All of our downtown businesses benefit from the increased traffic and exposure. Why should NFL cities be any different?

Good eye.

Jim from St Johns, FL

John, we've heard many times how the 2023 defense improvement will be based in large part on the former high draft picks making substantial Year 2 improvement. What steps do these elite athletes take to work towards that goal besides strength and endurance training and film study? Are they allowed to work with their position coaches in the offseason? THNX, Jim

They work with position coaches and coordinators in the offseason. Mostly, improvement comes from having been around the NFL for a full season and returning with a better understanding of how to work, prepare and play in the NFL. Coaches also sometimes have a better idea how to use players after working with them for a season. Most people are better at their jobs after they've been at them for a while. That's often true of second-year NFL players.

Scott from Gilbert, AZ

Zone, I'm curious whether you think Doug and Company can determine if a need at corner or pass rusher might be more pressing during "non-contact" work, or if pads will need to go on before making that assessment? It would seem you could get enough of a feel at corner throughout OTAs based on the competition they're enjoying with current turnout, and I'm not sure wide receiver Calvin Ridley constantly being open is a good thing as we will be facing receivers equal to, and in some cases, better than Calvin. I would also think to some extent they'll be able to recognize if our smaller more twitched-up designated pass rushers will have the ability to get home more so than they would larger bull-rushers throughout Phase 3. Considering they will probably only have cap space to add one piece or the other, which position do you think they would more likely address with remaining available free agents?

I expect the Jaguars' decision-makers already have a realistic idea of the position and players they might pursue. I don't have a real feel for timing. I would expect pass rusher to be the path if they take a path. Remember, too: While the Jaguars indeed have cap space to make such a move, anything they do this season will mean less salary-cap space to roll into the future. They won't sign a player for the sake of signing a player unless they think the player can make an impact.

Don from Marshall, NC

Bakers dozen of draft picks seems to a pretty good idea with the long season. That along with the versatility of all the players is going to pay off in the long haul. We have never had a more athletic team. They are going to be a very special team you can feel it. Go Jaguars!

Don, even during OTAs, remains "all in."

Crash from Glen Saint Mary

Obi Wan! How about a 60,000 seat stadium? That would cut down on the costs big time! Let's make it happen!

TIAA Bank Field's current capacity is just over 67,000. I would expect the Jaguars' updated stadium to at least a few thousand smaller than that.