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O-Zone: Fancy guy

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Steve from Nashville, TN

The Jaguars will get plenty of prime-time exposure by participating in the Hall of Fame game on Thursday evening August 4. Hopefully we will see at least one series involving our shiny new defense and offense in that game?

The Jaguars indeed will open the 2022 NFL preseason by playing the Las Vegas Raiders in the Hall of Fame game August 4, the franchise's first appearance in the game since their 1995 inaugural season. The game also will mark the Jaguars (preseason) debut of Head Coach Doug Pederson. I would guess the Jaguars' offensive and defensive starters would play one series in that game. That's a guess and only a guess. Pederson's history as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles indicates he has no problem sitting starters in multiple – if not all – preseason games. Whether he takes that approach with a new – and young – team remains to be seen. We're a little more than two months from that game. Check back on this one in late July.

Fred from Naples, FL

I see the Jags gave Kevin Austin a fully guaranteed $320,000 signing bonus. In your opinion, why was he not drafted? Also, if he does make the team who on the current roster of wide receivers would be in danger of losing their job?

The Jaguars reportedly signed wide receiver Kevin Austin Jr. to a contract that includes $230,000 in guarantees, which was among the most guaranteed money given to a collegiate free agent following the 2022 NFL Draft. Austin, who played collegiately at Notre Dame, played only one full season there and missed one season because he was suspended for undisclosed reasons. That lack of collegiate experience likely was a major reason he went undrafted. If a non-rookie wide receiver is in danger of not making the Jaguars' roster, my guess is it would be Laquon Treadwell. That's a guess and only a guess. But Austin definitely has a chance to make the roster. With a new coaching staff, there are fewer sure things in terms of roster spots than usual. There will be some surprises among early-September roster moves, and one easily could come at wide receiver.

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

You think you're pretty clever, don't you? With your fancy suits and clean shoes …


Nocatee Steve from PV

Zone. I read an interesting comment by quarterback Trevor Lawrence. He said that the new offense and last year's offense have similar plays, they are just named differently. Why doesn't [Offensive coordinator] Press [Taylor] change the names to last year's name to make the process of learning a new system less complicated?

Learning an NFL offense is like learning a new language, and the theory here is changing an entire language would be trickier than having players learn the new language. Coaches do sometimes tweak terminology in systems to make it simpler, and they sometimes do adapt names of plays with that objective in mind.

MrMakersMark from Sec 408 Row A

I remember many of your readers, the other two of us, clamoring that we should draft a Clemson player to go with T Law since it worked so well for the Bungals. Well, ETN is back, so their wish is granted right?

Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. indeed played with Lawrence at Clemson, a pairing that didn't happen on the field last season because Etienne missed the regular season with a Lisfranc injury. Etienne – like Lawrence, a 2021 first-round selection – is currently working full in OTAs. Could that have the same impact for the Jaguars as pairing wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase and quarterback Joe Burrow – teammates at Louisiana State – had for the Bengals last season? It's a slightly different situation, with Etienne being a running back. But the Jaguars went 3-14 last season … getting the Clemson connection back together damned sure can't hurt.

Hugh from Clay County

Who do you think will start at right tackle Week 1? Walker Little or Jawaan Taylor?

I expect second-year veteran Walker Little to win the right tackle job and start Week 1. I am intrigued what that might mean in terms Taylor possibly moving inside and starting at left guard. I don't have a feel for that yet.

Tom from Nocatee

Was Gene at minicamp and if so, how did he look?

Longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette indeed was at the Jaguars' rookie minicamp. He also attended Day 1 of OTAs. Gene is nothing if not thorough. How did he look? Awesome. How else would you expect him to look? Personal appearance is one of his priorities.


I don't know the difference between 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 practices. Which 4-4 are missing? Does it rotate by personnel group?

Seven on seven and 11 on 11 drills are compelling because they feature the closest thing to "real football" in a normal practice. Seven on seven features the quarterback, five other skill position players (wide receivers/running backs/tight ends) and the center versus the defensive back seven.

Sal from AUSTIN, TX

The white pants both contrast and feature the blackness of the helmet, and therefore the logo. Together they work well with the cool teal jersey, instead of against it. The white pants do need a black stripe/stripes down the sides however, so they don't look like pajamas.


Daniel from Johnston, IA

With all the uniform talk it seems relevant to remind everyone that the Jags should not wear white after Labor Day … apparently.


Scott from O-Town, FL

I have a different take on the Jaguars signing wide receiver Christian Kirk. Perhaps the Jags knew that if they offered a wide receiver a higher-than-anticipated contract, that would force other top wide receivers to want more money and thus change the landscape of the league. It broke up Patrick Mahomes/Hill, Brown/Ryan Tannehill and Adams/Aaron Rodgers. Seems like the Jaguars' front office won big all by signing one player. Looking at the current setup of the contract, Kirk now looks like a reasonable signing compared to those top wide receivers. Could this front office be thinking outside the box and changing the landscape of the league all at once?

The Jaguars entered the offseason needing to address many, many issues. They had enough to do without thinking they could magically alter the landscape of the NFL. They wanted a player. They spent big to acquire the player. It's as basic as that.

Jess from Glen Carbon, il

Zone, you stated you liked Bud Grant's idea that a team should have to gain a yard on each play at the end of a game instead of kneeling down. Using your logic on the changes in overtime rules, the opposing team should have stopped them earlier in the game and they wouldn't be in the position to just kneel down to win the game. Seems contradictory.

My main issue with overtime is I don't believe it's necessary to give both teams a possession to start the extra period; I think it's OK for the team receiving the overtime kickoff to win with a first-possession touchdown because it's reasonable to expect a defense to be able to hold the opponent to a field goal. Former Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Bud Grant said recently he would favor a rule stating the clock be stopped if an offense with a lead can't gain a yard late in games, with Grant's logic being that such a rule would prevent teams kneeling to stop the clock. I do like the idea. And yeah … there's probably some fairness in your criticism that my thoughts are contradictory. But such a rule also could cause more interest and excitement at the end of games, so it might not be a terrible idea.

Nicholas from Fort Hood, TX

KOAF: Silly question, but I might be on to something. With the practice fields not available and the team practicing in TIAA Bank Field, how does that limit or change the ability to practice efficiently using all people on the roster? With only one field is there any significant chance of injuries due to "overflow" from a group performing a drill nearby? Will the kicker and punter get less reps due to a smaller practice area? Will the grass be healthy for game day? When do the practice fields come back?

Overflow should not be an issue because turf has been added to the sidelines allowing space for drills early in practice. The kicker and punter will get their repetitions, though I admit I haven't asked precisely what adjustments must take place for that to occur. The Jaguars are scheduled to practice at Episcopal School of Jacksonville during training camp. Pederson said that could continue one or two weeks into the regular season, by which time practice fields are again expected to be adjacent to TIAA Bank Field.

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

I hate you, with your fancy suits and clean shoes …