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O-Zone: Constructive criticism

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Luke from Brisbane, Australia

Howdy O, regarding the Jags' and Coach Meyer's fines for OTA violations, how are these typically "discovered" by the NFL? Are we talking a whistleblower, study of footage, or does NFL have an observer attending all sessions? Your strange game and its rules continue to befuddle me. Cheers!

The Jaguars reportedly have been fined $200,000 for violating Organized Team Activities protocols during the 2021 offseason program, with Head Coach Urban Meyer being fined $100,000; no pads or contact are permitted during NFL offseason work. According to Mark Long of the Associated Press, the violations involved contact between wide receivers and defensive backs in a June 1 OTA practice – and the Jaguars also must reportedly cancel their first two OTA practices in the 2022 offseason. As far as how the NFL learns about such violations … these can be "discovered" by players reporting the "situation" to the NFL Players Association, or by studying footage or by reviewing situations following media reports. Or by pretty much anyone reporting it to the league or NFLPA. The NFL and NFLPA then each assign a representative to investigate the matter, at which time the team provides the representatives video of the practices in question. Long on Thursday reported the Jaguars saying this regarding the situation: "The Jaguars are vigilant about practicing within the CBA rules and will re-emphasize offseason training rules as they relate to contact."

Chris from Mandarin

All else being equal, and given what you have seen from rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence so far compared to Gardner Minshew, if Lawrence was on the team last season how many games do you think the Jaguars would have won? If I recall, there were like six other games or so that were lost by one possession.

We've seen Lawrence in five non-padded Jaguars practices, and he was dealing with a hamstring issue in a few of those sessions. So, I don't know that we've seen enough to know what his effect might have been on games played last season. For the sake of the question, let's say he might have meant the difference in three or four games. Give or take.

Levi from Huntsville AL

Even though they drafted Lawrence, hope they still give Brandon Allen a look. He's got an arm, give the kid a chance.

Free Brandon Allen.

Marc from Oceanway

I agree you can't beat "Hoosiers" as the best basketball movie, but did you ever see "One on One" with Robbie Benson? It is a great movie and underappreciated. I think it beats "Fast Break" for the No. 2 spot.

I agree. I thought Western's coach did a nice job translating his NFL coaching skills to college basketball. Now about that red-hot poker.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

What is more likely? ETN with 600 rushing yards or 500 receiving?

I would be a little surprised if Jaguars rookie running back Travis Etienne Jr. doesn't reach both figures in 2021 – and perhaps relatively easily.

Don from Marshall, NC

I hope Trevor Lawrence does not have to get a welcome to the NFL moment like Gardner Minshew II had his first year. I will never forget that hit and I will never forget how mad Minshew was. Tough guy! Go Jaguars!


Nicholas from Fort Hood, TX

KOAF: When you speak of the tennis greats there is one guy that I feel like is wrongly overlooked and that person is Michael Chang. He wasn't the most dominant player on the court consistently but he was certainly capable of winning the "Big One" and giving the best of the best a run for their money on a consistent basis. What I liked about him was that despite his size limitation he was able to compete and win because of his never give up attitude and determination. He truly maximized the genetic potential that he was given and let us know that "every man" had a chance to be great if they put in the hard work.

Chang because of his size and lack of a true "weapon" indeed never dominated the sport, and he was overshadowed much of his career by higher-profile players such as Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. But he turned in an epic performance to become the youngest player to win a men's Grand Slam when he won the French Open in 1989 and is correctly remembered as one of the great smaller players in the game's history. Hey … one fer Chang!

Al from Orange Park, FL

I'm a bit older than you are. "Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose; and sometimes the blues just get a hold of you" and "Some got to win, some got to lose … Good time Charlie's got the blues." And, of course, thiswA). Seems to be a timeless message ..._


Daniel from Johnston, IA

Regarding compensating NCAA players for their likeness, etc., that really only seems to help the players that were already going to get paid when they went to the NFL anyway? I really doubt Nike, UnderArmor, Coca-Cola is looking to lavish second-string athletes or even starting left guards with lucrative endorsement deals. Sports Agents, however ... I could see them awarding some "advertising deals" with players.

I'm not quite sure what you're getting at about sports agents. But though there's some truth to what you say about players destined for NFL riches, remember: Not every great college player is bound for NFL success. Johnny Manziel, for example, likely could have made a lot of money in college before leaving Texas A&M and there undoubtedly are countless examples of athletes who could sign endorsement deals at their individual schools based on their college popularity whose skills don't necessarily translate to the NFL.This name-and-likeness thing thus far actually seems a pretty fair solution to the issue. If a player can get paid from sources other than the school, good for them. As long as it's not the schools doing the paying, it makes sense.

John from Jacksonville

_Hi KOAGF - In which big machine did your tokens go into back in the good ole days? Pac Man, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Asteroids, Tempest, Defender, Centipede or another not mentioned? _

Dig Dug. So good.

Neal from Monroe Township

"Some people have this weird notion that the expenses that get covered by a scholarship somehow aren't real and don't count as compensation." If I charged you $10,000 for an apple and gave it to you for free, I did not give you $10,000. These are high-demand athletes who provide huge sums of revenue to the schools. If the schools are willing to pay them more than a scholarship, they are just getting market value like the rest of us. I don't understand why it is so hard to understand that these athletes deserve their market value.

I understand it completely. I also understand that the vast majority of college athletes who receive full scholarship are more-than-fairly compensated by that scholarship. You're correct that some of the top college players enter college as high-demand athletes, but what's the solution there? To have colleges treat high school players as free agents with the top players going to the highest bidder? Or to have players negotiating contracts after their freshmen, sophomore and junior seasons? Some version of that might make a sliver of sense for certain players, but for every school? For every players? Even for every school in the top conferences? I doubt it, but I admit to not being an expert on this issue or college football. And yes … maybe paying players like this in college is where we're going. If so, I don't know that that's a great destination. Either way, don't worry so much about me not understanding it or liking it. I don't like lots of things. I get by. Life goes on.

John from Cape May Court House

_John, I've said for years the fairest ruling in college is very; if you want to make money off your image hire a agent. But if you do, you owe tuition. If you chose not to hire an agent, you receive your scholarship. To pretend that agents don't contact athletes while they're in college is the worst kept secret in big time collegiate sports. Just remove the barrier and have a cost associated with it. _


Mr. NFL from Unfortunately Jacksonville

Are you really an idiot? Jacksonville has more NFL football passion than Indianapolis? This town cares more about the Gators than they do the Jaguars. My goodness, you and the other local Gatorbillies are man-crushing for a 34-year-old Gator to make the team. That's been your story for weeks now. You're about as honest as Pinocchio. Indianapolis is Colts town, Jacksonville is Gatorbilly Heaven. What a buffoon.

Many people ask me, "What's the best thing about your job?" The money? The cool clothes? All the perks? Getting to know really cool players? No, I tell them, it's the people. The wonderful people.