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O-Zone: Every Monday p.m.

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Michael from Orange Park, FL

Zone, I know we don't learn much from OTAs. But c'mon … what have you learned from OTAs?

Loyal O-Zone readers – and he knows who he is – know I believe there's little to be learned from the on-field portion of NFL Organized Team Activities. I believe this because I have watched countless OTA practices in three decades, so this isn't so much a belief as acceptance of un-challengeable fact. What you can glean – at least somewhat – is the tone of a team along with some general impressions. And there's nothing quite so insightful or riveting as a "General OTA Impression." With that as a backdrop, here are some general OTA impressions after three weeks of Jaguars 2024 OTAs. One impression is that quarterback Trevor Lawrence looks good, healthy and confident. Coaches are universally praising his approach, demeanor and knowledge of the offense. That guarantees nothing, but it's a darned sight better than not hearing those things. Another impression is that the team feels good about second-year players such as running back Tank Bigsby, tight end Brenton Strange, linebacker Ventrell Miller, defensive lineman Cooper Hodges and offensive lineman Tyler Lacy. They're players you hear coaches and personnel types praising in recent weeks. Another impression is this overall is a focused team, one motivated to move on and improve from the disappointment of losing five of the last six games to miss the postseason last season. I wouldn't say players are trying to make up for last season, because that's not possible. I also wouldn't say it's a daily pre-practice rallying cry. But there is a very clear idea that they're better than their 2023 finish and want to show it. This overall feels like a team in a good spot entering 2024 Training Camp. The front-line players are healthy. The vibe is good. Stay tuned.

Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville, FL

Raise - Noun - "an increase in elevation or positional height, or increase in compensation or pay for services rendered." Hope that part helps as to what a raise is. If your situation is like mine, likely Mrs. KOAF has been seeing your raises and not making you aware. Seriously speaking now, with the bringing on of Mac Jones is it more likely Trevor sits if he is marginal next year? I think if maybe we trusted C.J. Beathard to win a few of those games when Trevor was obviously not 100 percent we could have made the playoffs. Does Mac Jones give us more bandwidth with his ability than Beathard to do this now?

I still don't know if I get the whole raise thing. Maybe I just need more experience. A lot more. Seriously speaking now, it's impossible to know how much more likely it will be that Jones plays for an injured Lawrence because such decisions are based on specific circumstances and a head coach's gut feeling. If a starting quarterback key to a team's identity – and Lawrence fits that description – it's difficult to not play him if he can play. That's true even if he's very injured and has missed some practice that week. However you measure it, Jones would make it at least somewhat more likely the Jaguars would feel comfortable playing the backup. This is because the Jaguars believe he is better than Beathard and therefore a better option. If this weren't the case, they wouldn't have traded for him.

Darren from Fort Worth, TX

It's so cool that we have an inside source in Brian from Round Rock that knows what kind of tone Head Coach Doug Pederson used with the players throughout the season.

Sometimes in this life you just have to wonder at your good fortune.

Bob from St Augustine, FL

Have all 2024 draft picks signed the rookie contracts?

Wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr., the No. 23 overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft, is the Jaguars' only unsigned rookie.

Deane from Daytona Beach, FL

Yo, O-Zone! By bringing in better players on both sides of the ball, how much does that translate to helping each other become better? Especially going against each other every day in practice. Two, does the "aggressive" defensive mindset that Defensive Coordinator Ryan Nielsen is instituting spill over to the offense? Finally, when it comes to learning a new scheme, is it harder for offensive or defensive players to pick things up? What says you, O-Zone???

Three questions, three answers. One, the more good players on a team, the better – and that can help players improve. This is particularly true in training camp, when for three or so NFL weeks teams get as close as they ever do to live work in practice. This won't turn an average player into a great player, but it can help players improve on some level. Two, I suppose an "aggressive" defensive mindset can spill over a bit, but I don't buy into mindsets and verbiage as much as I buy into good players doing things right in practice and games. The thought here is the Jaguars' offense's mindset is fine and the unit mainly needs to run more efficiently. If that happens, improvement will happen however aggressive the defense. Three, the thought here is offenses can be a little harder to learn because there's usually an element of see-ball-get-ball to good defense while offenses are usually more complex. But that answer is waaay too simplistic and perhaps unfair to defenses. The NFL is a simple game on some level, but learning defensive and offensive schemes is difficult. It's the job of coaches to ensure it's not impossible, but it's unfair to portray it as easy.

Mark from Jacksonville

Wayne Weaver's positive statement relating to the stadium agreement got me thinking- why do we never really hear anything from him? Does the team or Shad still keep any type of relationship with him? We must never forget the Weaver's!!!

We hear little from former Jaguars Owner Wayne Weaver these days because he's a former owner and not a current owner. Weaver is welcome around the Jaguars, though – like most former franchise owners – he's not a constant presence. The Weavers remain an integral part of Jaguars history and no one who understands the history of the NFL in Jacksonville ever will forget him. Without him, the Jaguars don't exist in Jacksonville. Period. End paragraph.

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

Can you tell us the players who look bad in OTAs?

The Jaguars have been wearing shorts and baseball caps for the last two weeks of 2024 OTAs. How bad or good can they look?

Paul from Lake City, FL

While I agree with your reasoning on the wisdom about a possible "O-Zone Get Together," if such an event were to be held, it would be interesting to meet this "Loyal Reader."

Would it?

Matthew from Townsville, Tropical Australia

Hi O, I want to add a perspective to the debate on the Jags' end-zone struggles. Anyone brought up watching rugby, as I have been, would be perplexed by the end-zone struggles of all NFL teams. Running backs just running into a huge pack in the middle of the field doesn't make sense. Watch a rugby team attack the end zone. Watch how the ball-carrier makes a lateral pass just before hitting the defensive line, often to a player already on the move. Then perhaps to another player. A weak spot in the defense is found, or even clear space, or the defender is fooled by a "dummy" pass. The first NFL team to try this will score a lot of touchdowns, though it would take some training in rugby-style passing. Hire someone like NRL legend Jonathan Thurston, who could design the plays and coach pass technique and timing. Why isn't this already done?

The biggest reason is the inherent turnover risk in such a play. While a successful lateral or two on a play could result in a touchdown on one drive, an unsuccessful lateral on the next series could result in a turnover. NFL coaches – and coaches on all levels of football – are understandably so focused on possession that lateral-oriented schemes on the goal lines would be seen as too-much rush. But I wouldn't say teams would never take this approach. The league in the last-decade-plus has evolved far more toward the run-pass-option than anyone would have imagined in the 1990s. Could successful experimentation in this area prompt more teams to take this approach? Sure. That's possible.

Crash from Glen St. Mary

OZ! The only cats that will be wearing pajamas at the end of this season will be the Big Cats of JAX.

You go, girl.

Scott from Jacksonville

I need you to press Bradley please. I have to know more about how he "was forced to study the pseudo science of body language for years as a child and reluctantly became expert." Please? I need that story!

Sometimes in this life it's best to quietly watch some television in the dark with a small glass of bourbon.