JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville
Gotta give you props. You don't sugarcoat it. Don't expect the Jaguars are have a winning season 2022 … well, at least that is being honest and realistic. Wish the sales team would be that blunt and transparent. Although I imagine it would be hard to sell tickets then. But isn't it worse to push false expectations and hope only to see it dashed when reality finally rears its head? Somehow I keep coming back hoping ...
I really don't need or expect "props" for saying I don't expect the Jaguars to have a winning season in 2022, and I'm not sure why it's a surprise or seen as unusual. I've been writing and saying this the entire offseason, and I expect I have said essentially the same thing the last few offseasons. I think the Jaguar will improve in 2022, but I think .500 will be tough. There's nothing noble or in my saying this, nor should anyone expect the Jaguars' sales team to say this. While they answer questions as well as they can, it's not their job to project the team's record or to analyze the team in the depth/detail that I (try to) do here. It's not their job to interact with Gary from St. Augustine. It's their job to promote the organization and sell tickets. I think most fans/readers grasp this and know there are other outlets to get analysis and predictions.
Jason from So Cal
O-Man, what renovations to the TIAA Bank Field would you like to see happen? What would make the game-day experience that much greater for fans and personnel at the stadium (excluding Jaguars victories)? Also, what is your favorite stadium to attend a football game?
I don't go deep in the weeds on amenities and game-day experience when comparing TIAA Bank Field to other NFL stadiums. I typically see press boxes, elevators, locker rooms and tunnels when covering road games. I do know TIAA Bank Field is antiquated compared to many NFL stadiums. This in many ways is unavoidable considering the stadium's age and the relatively few renovations done since the major renovation in 1994 to prepare it for the NFL. My understanding is that width of concourses will be a priority when renovations are done, and modernizing many – if not all – amenities will be a priority. The most glaring need, of course, is shade. I sit in a press box at home games. In early season games, I look at uncovered seats from that view and marvel at the fans who endure direct sun for three-plus hours. That will be a major issue and perhaps the most obvious – and welcomed – upgrade. As far as favorite NFL stadiums, I'm old school (read: old) so I'm partial to historic stadiums such as Lambeau Field in Green Bay. I think most NFL people/fans would call that a bucket-list stadium. I also like Nissan Stadium in Nashville for ease of press-box access and sightlines from the press box. That's how I judge a stadium, and Nissan is very good on those fronts.
Dave from Jacksonville
KOAGF: Let's wait and see on linebacker Devin Lloyd being the immediate impact rookie as proposed by the prestigious expert panel you have assembled in your final analyses segment. I hope Lloyd is all that and a bag of chips. I would remind everyone he did drop in the draft significantly. I have heard other experts (Greg Landry) say he dropped because he often freelances. That could prove to be a problem not easily corrected in a rookie season. I still think he is a great addition, but outside linebacker Travon Walker is and remains everything impactful. Just by your reporting, his impact on the defense should be significantly better. If his rush skills improve only slightly, he could be one of the most impactful rookies in the last ten years. His speed and size could be revolutionary. He has basketball skills to guard any tight end, can run around or through any defensive end. Come on: It has to Travon Walker as the most impactful. Lloyd will get there, just his mistakes will have to be temporary.
So, one sort of not fer Lloyd. And one fer Walker. One sort of fer the final analysis "experts." And absolutely one fer draft expert Greg Landry – whoever the hell that may be.
Armand from Jacksonville
Do you see the Jags saving a spot on the practice squad for the kicker who loses out in the kicking competition?
It's doubtful because kicker is a position you can address easily in free agency if your kicker is injured. It's more possible now than once was the case because practice squads have been expanded. Teams did this quite a bit in 2020 because of COVID-19. I wouldn't expect it to happen often moving forward.
Stephen from Section113 via Pennsauken, NJ
John, they haven't taken one snap in training camp and you answered a 2023 draft question! Come on, I know it's the dead zone, but do better. I'm sure Gene isn't thinking about the 2023 draft!
Fans ask questions. I answer them in as informative, clear and entertaining a fashion as I can manage. That's it. That's the objective.
Jason from Jax Beach
Hey, John. In Thursday's O-Zone, I think what Joe from San Antonio was trying to tell you is that you were incorrect. The Jaguars had a winning in season in both 2004 (when they went 9-7) AND in 2005 (when they went 12-4). So, they have had a total of four winning seasons during that timeframe. Of course, four winning seasons out of 22 is still an embarrassingly low number, but it's better than three. Please feel free to lean on me for help in the future whenever you might need it. You're welcome.
Wow. You're right, Jason. So was Joe. I was wr-wr-wr-wr-wr-wr-wr-wr-wr-wr-wr-wr .. Either way, yes … four is better than three. You're not wrong on that one. And neither am I.
Jim from Jax
Have you saved "longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette" as a macro or do you type it out each time?
I type out longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette each time I refer to longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette. His stature has earned him that.
Andy Boy from Halifax
My first pro sports jersey is a T-Law one from last year! He looks different than the other prospects we have had. I don't feel like he overcompensates or needs to be defended. He has a quiet confidence.
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence looks the part. He has the athletic ability. He has the talent. He has all the intangibles. He looks, acts and gives off the vibe of being "the guy." Now, he just has to turn work and approach into production. That's how you become "the guy."
Howard from Homestead, FL
I noticed that you did not refer to Gene Frenette as an "icon" yesterday. Has he been demoted?
Longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette doesn't get "demoted."
David from The Island
Interceptions look a lot better on a defensive back's stat sheet than knocking a ball down. I think my agent would tell me to pick it off.
There's truth to this – and it's not just a factor in contract negotiations. When referencing defensive backs, fans and observers cite interceptions. That's the statistic that most often shows up on his graphic when shown on television during games. There is no asterisk that says "sacrificed two interceptions for good of the team by being situationally aware, so yay for him." The same fans/observers who criticize a player – perhaps correctly – for not knocking a pass down late in the game criticize the player for his low interception total. It is, as the kids say these days, a quandary.
Red from O-Zone Comments Section
Lighten up, Francis! Don't you know THE WORLD is Old Red's lane! I'm a free-range Jags fan. You got a problem with that?
Jaguars 2022 Training Camp begins July 24.
Darren from Jax
Do you think Mark Brunell will be an NFL head coach someday? Is he headed in that direction?
Former Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell is now the quarterbacks coach of the Detroit Lions. If the Lions have some offensive success, it's very possible he could move into an offensive coordinator role. A former NFL quarterback with quarterback coaching experience and coordinator experience is fast becoming a common head-coaching resume, so yeah … I think Brunell has a defense chance of becoming an NFL head coach.
Gary from St. Augustine, FL
I had a dream where I didn't hate you and I was happy during the dream. I woke up and remembered that I hate you and I was happier than I was during the dream.
As the late John Stewart once said, "Bomb's Away Dream Babies."