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O-Zone: Fond farewell

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Matthew from Townsville, Australia

Hi, O. Head Coach Doug Pederson's recent interview is most interesting. If he is telling us that the door is still open to taking an offensive tackle with the No. 1 selection, and telling us it's likely he will want quarterback Trevor Lawrence to use his mobility more, does that mean the selection of a more mobile tackle like Icky Ekwonu is more likely – rather than an intimidating statue like Evan Neal?

You're referencing Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson's media availability Monday from the 2022 NFL Annual Meeting. Though Pederson indeed covered multiple topics specific to the Jaguars' offense in the availability, I don't know that I would draw quite the same conclusions as you. While the door remains open for the Jaguars to select any number of players at No. 1 overall, it still would be relatively surprising if the Jaguars selected tackle there. That's because of the makeup of the Jaguars' offensive line and because the offensive tackles available at the top of the draft don't seem to offer more value than other positions available there. What was notable from Pederson's availability were his thoughts on how Lawrence will fit into what Pederson wants to do offensively. Pederson praised Lawrence's accuracy in play action, and his ability in run-pass option. He also likes Lawrence's ability to throw accurately on the run. That certainly gives insight into how the Jaguars and Lawrence will look offensively next season. That could influence who they select at offensive tackle if they happen to use the No. 1 selection on the position, though my guess is the selection will depend more on the overall quality of player than a particular style of play.

Art from Drexel Hill, PA

Based on Shad's comments about the Buffalo fanbase and the insinuation about the fan base, why are the Jags so bad at messaging? I remember the Bills having blacked out games and being mentioned for relocation. They don't hear that anymore because they win games.

I read Jaguars Owner Shad Khan's about the Buffalo Bills fan base Monday – a comment he made when asked by a reporter who covers the Bills about the Bills' proposed new stadium. Khan: "I've admired the Bills Mafia. When you have a passionate fan base like that, which is national, and you go to these other stadiums, you come back and want the same experience for your home team." Because many fans currently are predisposed to criticize Khan, this comment has been perceived as Khan criticizing the Jaguars' fan base. Khan talked about the Bills fan base. He said he admired Bills Mafia; he didn't say he didn't admire Jaguars fans. He was not insinuating anything about the Jaguars' fan base, perception to the contrary. Khan loves Jacksonville. He loves this fan base. That truth is a major reason the Jaguars aren't mentioned for relocation anymore. But yeah … they need to win more. No dispute there.

Robert from Orange Park, FL

Zone, the NFL passed the overtime rule Tuesday. Thoughts?

NFL owners indeed passed a rule Tuesday mandating that each team get at least one possession in overtime during the playoffs. This is a change from the previous rule, under which the offensive team won if it scored on its first possession. The previous rule will continue to be the rule in the regular season. One of my thoughts is it was an unnecessary change because a defense should be reasonably expected to hold an offense without a touchdown on a possession with its season on the line. Another thought is that I'm surprised the rule was put into place so quickly – and surprised that the league implemented for the postseason and not the regular season. My final initial thought is I'm not particularly surprised the NFL changed something about this rule because there was a large hue and cry for the change, so I figured they would so something eventually – just not so quickly and not just in the postseason. I don't love it. But whatever. I don't get consulted on these matters.

Tudor from Saint Augustine FL

I think you and Chris' opinions are pretty bush league. I think it's bush league that Josh Allen doesn't even get to take the field in overtime because of a damned coin flip while their defense was tired. Here's an idea - use NBA overtime rules ... also known as "play to the end of the overtime period." And if the counterargument to that is "it's football, it's really tough on the body to play a full extra period," my response would be "then stop whining and win the game in regulation!" But for one team to potentially not even be allowed to respond on offense due to an unlucky coin flip, that's just plain wrong.

It could be argued that the Buffalo Bills-Kansas City Chiefs game was a game between the Bills and Chiefs and not just about giving Bills quarterback Josh Allen "chances to take the field." It could also be argued that the reason Allen never saw the field in that playoff game last January was as much that the Bills' defense couldn't stop the Chiefs as a "damned coin flip." But I get why people see the sport that way. It has become such a quarterback-driven league that people naturally believe every rule should be based around the position. And you know what? Maybe my opinion is bush league. The league certainly implied as much with Tuesday's vote. I will continue to say it should be reasonable to think a defense can hold the offense without a touchdown on a drive in the NFL. And I expect I will continue to be in the vocal minority. And to want people off my lawn. Oh well.

Josh from Lakewood

Brandon Linder deserves a hearty and sincere "than yo."

Linder, who retired Monday after eight NFL seasons – all with the Jaguars – indeed deserves to be remembered well by Jaguars fans. He was a five-time captain and among few players in franchise history who have retired after an extended career playing just for the Jaguars. He played at a high level when healthy, and probably could have made Pro Bowls had he been healthy more often – and had the Jaguars been better during his career. So, yeah … than yo.

Pradeep from Bangalore, India

Hi, John. How we gonna plug the hole created by center Brandon Linder's retirement? Thought he had couple of years left in him. Is Tyler Shatley ready to take over?

I expect Shatley to be the starter next season. This could change if the Jaguars select a center in the first few rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft, though Shatley's presence should keep the Jaguars from feeling pressured to go that route.

Howard from Homestead, FL

Back in the days when the first overtime score won the game, people complained because both teams didn't always get a possession. When they changed it to require a touchdown to win on the first possession, people complain when what that happens. So now they're going to require both teams to get a possession, and whoever scores first after that will win. Guess what? People are going to complain when Tom Brady gets two possessions, but Aaron Rodgers only got one. Here's an idea. Win in regulation and stop complaining.

Good eye.

Big on Blake from Philly

With the Jags using the franchise tag on left tackle Cam Robinson and the Colts trading for defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, how excited are you for the twice-yearly matchup between those two?! Advantage Cam?

It will be an intriguing matchup. I don't know that I would rank the matchup of two players with a combined one Pro Bowl appearance up there with Tony Boselli-Bruce Smith, but considering Ngakoue's feelings toward the Jaguars … yeah, I'll probably click on that.

Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA

Hi John. Surfing all things Jaguars, I read that Miami cut Allen Hurns, and I jumped right on that nostalgia train. Don't know what his future holds, but in four years as a Jaguar, Hurns had 189 receptions (ninth) for 2,669 yds (sixth) and 21 touchdowns (fifth). He was the first (and maybe still only) player in NFL history to have two touchdown receptions in the first quarter of his career. He had a couple big touchdowns in London versus the Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts. And he turned in a pretty intelligent, gutsy time-saving play on a game-winning drive versus the Los Angeles Chargers. Not a question really, maybe something Jags fans would find interesting.

Former Jaguars wide receiver Allen Hurns had very nice career with the team. This feels like one that will stay in the past, at least in part because there's very little connection in terms of coaches or personnel officials remaining from his time here. He'll always be remembered well by Jaguars fans, and rightly so.

Rob from Pittsburgh, PA

Hey, Zone what's up. Brandon Linder was an underrated center/guard. I wish him happiness in retirement.

Hey, one fer a happy Linder …

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