JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Amy from Jacksonville
All these lofty expectations for the Jags are making me nervous. Do I have Jaguars PTSD?
Maybe a little. And while the Jaguars are the logical and popular choice to be the 2023 AFC South favorites, it's just as logical that those expectations make longtime Jaguars fans nervous. This franchise rarely has had such expectations in the last two-plus decades – and because professional sports is not scripted television, there are no guarantees. But what this team showed late last season during the run to the AFC South title was real. This is a good team with a chance to get better. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence is a good quarterback and all indications he will get better. There's no reason they won't compete and be very good in 2023. The nerves you feel? That's part of being a fan. The nerves make winning worth it. If you knew the outcome in advance, the winning wouldn't be any fun.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville
On the new stadium cost thing, here is my issue and logic. If any other business wants to move, start up, they pay to create the infrastructure to do that. Retail, manufacturing … whatever. Sometimes there are a few kickbacks or incentives, but usually it is on the investor to handle those expenses as part of the risk. Where did we get to this INSANE crazy place where billionaires expect US (the taxpayer) to fund the infrastructure to provide their product? Also ... in addition to this, then we have to pay exorbitantly high prices for tickets? Even in some cities PSLs? Pretty much seems very unethical and unsustainable, at least if people catch on and start saying no. Had the same issue with the Better Jax Plan sales tax paying for things we still had to PAY to use. That is just ... wow. No. Don't get me wrong. I love my Jags, will still keep my season tix. But Jaguars Owner Shad Khan, you got $15 billion or whatever you are worth now. You can pony up the money, bub. Or at least take care what the city is not LEGALLY obligated to contribute.
This continues an O-Zone topic that began before the recent NFL Draft. It's also a topic that undoubtedly will continue in the coming months and years. And many people feel this way because many people don't grasp the reality of professional sports as it relates to market size. The reality is billionaires don't become billionaires by knowingly investing their billions in ventures that will lose money. Big-market owners can pay – or largely pay—for multibillion-dollar megastadiums because the economics of the market will allow them to recoup the investment in ticket sales, sponsorship dollars, etc., over the life of the stadium. Small-market owners can't do this because the market won't allow them to recoup the investments. Therefore: If small markets are to participate in the NFL, they pay a good portion of the cost for megastadiums from public money. If cities "catch on and start saying no" en masse, then those teams would either have to find new cities or the facilities in those cities would become woefully outdated. How did we get here? By professional sports becoming a multi-billion business. It's expensive to participate and you have to make the finances work. Somehow.
Neal from Monroe Township
Seeing Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson and the massive contract that the Jaguars handed him, now that he is suspended are the guarantees potentially voided? Now that we have two starting tackles is, it possible we cut him to bring in some new players at positions of higher need?
No. Robinson's guarantees aren't voided and the Jaguars aren't going to release him this season. Nor should they. Robinson won't be paid for the games he is suspended, and the Jaguars can use that money for other players.
Sean from Oakleaf, FL
Do you agree the League showed a certain amount of confidence in the Jaguars' fortunes this year by placing them in the Monday Night Football and Sunday Night Football games so late in the season (weeks 13 and 15, respectively)? I believe these weeks are eligible for flex, but I am sure the Commissioner would rather not use the flex option and put on display the League's prowess in predicting compelling late season primetime matchups seven months in advance?
I wouldn't overthink this. The NFL's schedule-makers don't make the schedule to suit one team or another. There is a general belief the Jaguars are going to be good in 2023 based on their 2022 results – and based on Lawrence. The league put the Jaguars on national television three times, including two against playoff teams from last season. Those two games against playoff teams are home against Cincinnati and Baltimore late in the season. Those are premium games. The league put them on prime time because the games will good, high-profile matchups – not with the idea of flexing them off primetime. But the league didn't do anything specifically with the Jaguars in mind. It just wanted compelling games on national television.
Howard from Homestead, FL
I find it strange that teams with the extra home regular-season game also get an extra home preseason game. Shouldn't the league reverse that and let the teams with only eight home games have two in the preseason? That way, every team is guaranteed the same number of total games every year? What am I missing?
The Jaguars have nine home games this season and one preseason home game for 10 home games. They have eight regular-season road games and two preseason home games for 10 road games.
Tom from Nocatee
While it may be time to let former General Managers Gene Smith and Dave Caldwell go, I hope that there is no Statute of Limitations in pointing out that Urban Meyer is the worst coach in NFL history. BTW, I like the schedule, I'm thinking 20 and 0.
We still aren't getting the importance of being nice, I see.
Chuck from Jagstown
Hey O, do the undrafted free agents and invited practice players get any compensation during the minicamps, practices and OTAs they participate in? What about team stuff they use during practices and walk thru activities? Just curious if there is any monetary incentive or is just the opportunity to work out in front of NFL guys and maybe a shot at the practice squad?
Minicamp participants receive per diem, a meal allowance, travel expenses and housing. Participating players also receive a similar stipend for attending OTAs and minicamps. But the main incentive for "tryout" players this past weekend was the opportunity to work out for an NFL team. The chances of any tryout players being signed immediately is slim. But there is a legitimate chance a tryout player could be called if injuries become an issue in training camp and/or the regular season.
GungaDan from Edge of Seat
Hello, Mr. Zone. Now that the schedule is out, I have a comment and a question. The only home game we couldn't attend last year was the Chargers playoff game. We sent our good friends and I texted them at halftime: "This is going to be such a great comeback." They noticed that no one was leaving. These Jags have given us something we haven't had for years: a chance in every game. So, I know we will lose a few we should have won and maybe pull off a couple tough ones, but are you ready to call a Win/Loss number for this year? Thanks!
I'm projecting 11 victories for the Jaguars in 2023, give or take – and your comment has merit. What happens one season guarantees nothing the next season. But what the end of last season – not only the playoff victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, but the four other late-season home victories – indeed showed something about this team. It can compete with most teams in the NFL. It doesn't believe it's ever out of a game. That felt like the beginning of something that has a chance to carry forward.
Matthew from Townsville, Tropical Australia
Hi O, loved the comedy video - you were born to play a straight man. Have been enjoying the rookie coverage. One that pops out for me - Yasir Abdullah - wow! Production in college, relaxed and confident in interviews, and the way he danced round Anton Harrison for a "sack!" And to get him on Day 3! Saw an interesting article pointing out he's the same size as several great small rushers - Pro Bowlers - so his relatively small size is not really an obstacle. My bet is he does well, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out. Have you noticed if the coaches are similarly impressed?
Adbullah has participated in a non-padded rookie minicamp. Coaches like him fine …for a player who has participated in an non-padded rookie minicamp, which means they like him as much as before he participated in the non-padded rookie minicamp. Stay tuned.
Nick from Palatka, FL
Hey Zone: Where can I get some Pug Dederson gear?
On the interweb.