JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Chris from San Diego, CA
Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer spoke to the press a couple of days ago and said Laviska Shenault was a perfect fit for H-back. Can you describe what the H-back means in the Meyer/Bevell system? And does this tell us anything about the offense the Jags intend to run?
Think of the role Percy Harvin played for Meyer at the University of Florida, and think of the role Parris Campbell played for Meyer at Ohio State – a mix of wide receiver and running back, with the idea being to create mismatches for versatile/explosive skill players against the defense. H-Back in this instance is short for hybrid back, meaning Shenault and Travis Etienne Jr. – the two Jaguars players that figure to play in this role in the 2021 season – will carry and catch the ball out of the backfield, and also line up outside the tackles as a wide receiver. It doesn't tell us exactly how this offense will look under Meyer and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, but it does tell you that it's going to emphasize getting players in position where they can win one-on-one matchups. Exactly how they will do that will be one of the fascinating storylines around this team in training camp and early in the regular season.
Michael from Fruit Cove, FL
I'm with Diego. Forget the Four Seasons and build a casino! As soon as I heard about a Four Seasons, I thought that would be about the least "DUUUVAL" thing possible to build here. Not to mention, nobody who lives in Jacksonville would stay at a hotel ... in Jacksonville!!! The Four Seasons would be as useful to Jacksonville residents as pools in the stadium that require special tickets are to season ticket holders. Which is to say they would each provide zero benefit whatsoever. At least build something Jacksonville residents can use!
The idea of the Four Seasons is to create a high-end hotel – something that doesn't currently exist downtown – with the idea being that it would be a centerpiece of a new vision for the area around the stadium. Will it be useful to all Jacksonville residents in terms of being able to stay there? No. And I don't imagine I'll be slumbering there any time soon – if ever. But will it be useful as a way of establishing downtown Jacksonville as a place where high-end decision-makers might do business – and might establish business? Jaguars Owner Shad Khan believes so, and he believes it can help downtown Jacksonville grow and flourish.
William from Jax
So how long before we play a home game in Germany?
I don't expect the Jaguars to play home games in Germany. Khan long has said he believes the Jaguars having a presence in London is important, and my impression is that will remain his overseas focus.
Artie from Orange Park, FL
O. When I want to hear postgame analysis is if my team won. I want to know all the details about a glorious win. A loss? Who do we play next week?
This brings us back to our ongoing discussion of whether postgame interviews with players matter – and you certainly are not alone in your thoughts on this. Fans understandably love to revel and relive a victory far more than they wish to wallow in and relive a loss. But there is something to be gained from post-event reaction from both winners and losers. Postgame media availabilities may not always be incredibly insightful. They may not always "move the needle." They may often be perfunctory and short. You might go seven or eight consecutive games/events when they feel worthless. But there are also times they provide insight and storylines that otherwise would be missed. And if you eliminated them, then even the small percentage that provide insight would be eliminated. That would make for a far less colorful, complete picture of the sport. Does that matter in the big picture? Well, it's not politics or schools or anything lifechanging. But within the context of the sports, the teams and players … yes, not having that insight does matter. It would lessen the experience in some regard. I don't know where that will leave us in terms of having postgame media availabilities in the future, but they do matter on that level.
Mark from Archer, Fl
John, people fans and athletes need to get off this, "Oh they should not have to do media interviews." I am sorry these athletes are being paid in many cases millions of dollars to play a game. I don't care if I had just had to play any sport for 12 hours straight and was ready to pass out. If you're paying me millions of dollars to play that game, I would still sit my happy butt in a chair and do the interviews. If athletes do not want to do them, then they should also not be paid such a ridiculous amount of money.
People like to hear from athletes and coaches after games. And during the week. They're the personalities behind the sport. They're the stars of the show. There's less life to the sport without getting to know them. I don't know why this is hard.
Shawn from Mean Streets of Arlington
What's a Twitter? I bet I could find out in the comments section if you had one.
Biff from Jacksonville
Let's focus on positive attitudes. Coach Meyer singled out two specific players for their positive attitudes: Shenault and running back James Robinson. To not overthink it, is this simply the addition of Meyer and franchise talent like Trevor Lawrence, or is this happening because of a broader series of changes? Also, are there any other players Meyer isn't noting during interviews that are also showing attitude improvement?
I'm sure many Jaguars players are showing positive attitudes this offseason, and I don't know that all the positive attitudes can be attributed to any one thing. Shenault and Robinson, for example, are young players who certainly would be prone to positivity whatever the circumstances. But is the overall vibe and culture better around this team because of the broad series of changes this offseason? Yes, change usually jumpstarts those things – and the arrival of Meyer and quarterback Trevor Lawrence absolutely has done so around the Jaguars.
Steve from Nashville, TN
Can you explain the difference between open and closed practices and what the schedule is and what your access level is to closed practices? Could Mr. Khan attend a closed practice if he wanted to?
An open practice is one that can be attended by media and a closed practice is not that cannot be attended by media. I do not attend closed practices, nor do other members of "Jaguars Media." Khan indeed can attend a closed practice. Hell, he could run the thing if he wanted. He's the owner and ownership has such privileges.
Dave from Jacksonville
Does the current Collective Bargaining Agreement breakdown veteran minimum salary by former draft round status? As an example, I am assuming, Tim Tebow signed a veterans' minimum contract for an opportunity to earn a roster spot. As a former first-round draft pick, is his veteran dollar minimum any higher than a former fourth-round pick, say?
No. A player's draft status matters for his first contract, because first contracts are essentially slotted under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. When it comes to all subsequent contracts, minimums are based on years in the league – not draft status.
Amy from Prescott, AZ
Dear Mr. O. Thank you for posting my question about best seats. A big thank you to all the advice given by the good folks in the comments section! BTW, I always go there directly after reading the daily Zone. Good day, all!
Where did you say you got the advice?
Reuben from Pikesville MD
From what I read, Naomi Osaka suffers from significant anxiety when participating in press conferences. There was a good article recently in The New Yorker on this, and this part stood out: "Shortly after her announcement, the president of the French tennis Federation, read a statement wishing Osaka a speedy recovery." "Without any apparent awareness of the irony, he did not take questions from the press." As someone who has consumed sports Friday for all of my life, going back to Shirley Povich and Jim Murray, I never recalled any press conference quote that left an impression.
I recall plenty, and I recall plenty of postgame media availabilities that have helped provide perspective on the game and the players involved. That's not a commentary on Osaka's situation. It's just to make the point that postgame media availabilities are not without value in the context of understanding and enjoying a sport.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, you seem to be writing a lot of articles lately. Have you been working overtime and if so, what is your motivation?