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O-Zone: Family vacation

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Richard from Jacksonville

Can't say I'm going to miss Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America Bank Field. EverBank Stadium has a bit of a nicer ring to it and will go great with the new stadium.

Friday indeed brought the news that TIAA Bank Field, once known as EverBank Field, now will be known as EverBank Stadium. I've long since stopped worrying about stadium names having any sense of tradition and I've learned from experience you get used to whatever a stadium happens to be named pretty quickly. People recoiled in the 1990s about the Jaguars' stadium not being called the Gator Bowl. I remember some kickback from fans about Alltel Stadium back in "the day" and some similar kickback when TIAA Bank replaced EverBank as a name, but saying TIAA Bank Field became easy pretty quickly. I don't recall anyone ever calling it then Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America Bank Field. The 'Bank seemed to work for most people, and I assume it will still work. Either way, we don't yet know what the proposed Stadium of the Future would be named. The current naming rights deal expires after this season.

Tom from Cairo, Egypt

Way-too-soon Dead-Zone barrel scraper question. Which vets on the team under contract past next offseason are possible cap casualties next year?

Though the contracts of players such as cornerback Darious Williams and left tackle Cam Robinson make them logical choices for this list, it's indeed way too early to speculate much beyond that. The Jaguars are transitioning from being a heavy free-agent team to a draft-and-develop team, and their salary cap likely will be built around quarterback Trevor Lawrence's contract after next offseason. There will be difficult decisions on this front after the 2023 season, with many of those decisions likely based on how players play during that season.

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

Who gets the revenue from the stadium's naming rights when the current contract expires next year? The City because they own the place, or the Jaguars because they are the reason a company wants to slap their name on the stadium?

Teams get naming rights revenue.

Deane from Daytona Beach, FL

Yo, O-Zone! My question is regarding our Round 2 pick this year of tight end Brenton Strange. Being that it seems like he has good qualities as a blocker and as a receiver, do they work mostly on blocking assignments/schemes more so in his first seasons or running routes and receiving? I would think blocking would be the better foundation-builder, since we have a very capable pass-catching tight end in Evan Engram. What says you, O-Zone?

I don't know that the coaches have to take an either/or approach to Strange. He was considered a strong blocker entering the 2023 NFL Draft, and he appears to have the physicality to be good in that area. While it's difficult to get a feel for blocking ability in non-padded offseason work, Strange absolutely showed athleticism and promise as a receiver during organized team activities and minicamp in May/June. Even with Engram being very productive much of last season, you never got the idea Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson was utilizing tight ends quite as extensively as he did while the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles from 2016-2020. Strange looks like a player who could give the position depth and versatility as next season continues. We'll see.

Kerry from Millersville

John: News from the DC area: Despite a recent $4 billion in flux of Qatari money (equal to roughly five percent ownership in the parent company), Ted Leonis – the owner of the Washington Capitals, Wizards, and a number of other local teams – is threatening to move the NHL and NBA franchises' home games out of Capitol One Arena due to issues surrounding local government funding for a portion of the needed renovations to the arena. It is not about how much money the owner has. It is about how much it makes sense to spend in order to achieve "reasonable business goals." Billionaires don't become billionaires by making bad business decisions.

Pretty much.

Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville, FL

Been to multiple huddles now. They openly said they don't have parking figured out yet except that the fairgrounds are going away as far being a parking space for tailgating. That much was clear, they have no current answer for tailgating. The other, and more disturbing, is this constant refrain they keep coming back to about making Jacksonville downtown a destination. Because if we don't seize the opportunity in this downtown, we won't have a revenue generator. OK, I missed something, when did this become about downtown and not the stadium? Stop trying to turn this into some sort of capitalistic carnival to get us to spend money. God this team is like some over needy child seeking parental approval from the NFL and media. Put a quality team on the field and go win. That is the goal.

Winning is the goal, and it would be nice if that solved everything. But the reality is Owner Shad Khan has said since purchasing the team the team more than a decade ago that creative solutions would be necessary to make the business operations – and revenue needs – work in this market. I confess I'm not smart enough to grasp how the team is like an over-needy child seeking parental approach for anything. I do know that making downtown Jacksonville a destination is key to this objective. I also know not everything about the project is finalized yet. Parking will continue to be a focus. Not every issue in projects of this size gets solved immediately.

Marty from Jacksonville

John, did you print Ronnie from Jax Beach's submission just to show us how idiotic some of the submissions you receive are? If so, mission accomplished!

There are no idiotic submissions, only idiotic senior writers.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-Man, I was thinking. Actually, I was napping. But during my nap, which hopefully didn't correspond with your nap because that would be weird; I dreamed of a year when all our players lived up to their potential. If this team pulls it together and does that this year, can this be our best year yet?

This is impossible to answer because we'll never know for sure if every player plays to his potential. But if quarterback Trevor Lawrence takes a significant step in his second season in Pederson's offense, and if this offense takes the corresponding step many expect, this indeed has a chance to be a special year. Remember, though: The Jaguars have played in three AFC Championship Games, so being the best season yet means making the Super Bowl. The Jaguars could be very good in a tough AFC and not get to the Super Bowl.

Dwayne from Jacksonville

Gary said to call you, Suck-O. My question is: Do you post Gary from St Augustine every time he writes, or are you in his head daily?

Gary from St. Augustine knows where to find me.

James from Salt Lake City via Jagsonville

Mr. O, in all the years I've been paying taxes. I've never noticed what they've done with my tax money. Apparently, it's nothing for me. Ask the people in Jacksonville when was the last time they remember paying a big tax and seeing anything that helped them. At least with a new stadium I will notice something done with it.

People have every right to notice what they want to notice, and they absolutely have a right to have an opinion on something as public and high-profile as publicly funding a professional sports stadium.

James from Honolulu, HI

It might not be as popular as Dewey's "It Was Always the JAGS" but I like to say and hope that I can convince others that JAGS means Just Another Great Season.


Westside Mike from Bold New City

Has the new stadium cooling effect been explained? What counteracts the greenhouse effect of the glass roof?

Here's what I have heard/read on this: The stadium exterior would be wrapped by "first-of-its-kind mirrored material" that will help the building reduce heat retention by 70 percent – and lower temperatures by 10-to-15 degrees. The stadium design also would open the four corners of the stadium for breezeways, which also would help cool the stadium. If it has been explained in more detail than that, I haven't heard the explanation.

Don from Marshall, NC

You're the first stop on the way into Florida. Figuring how to get them to stop in Jacksonville shouldn't be so difficult. Unless you just don't like money. Whatever the idea it's got to involve the families. The kids tell the parents where they want to go nowadays. Get the kids to come and then liquor up and dine the parents and lighten their pockets before they head south to Disney. Go Jaguars!

Don is "all in" on families – and for liquoring up. And eating.