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O-Zone: Fun times

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Gunga Dan from Section 203

Hey, Mr. Zone. I'm a 10-plus-year season ticket holder and all I can say is, "Best Season Ever!" The only thing that can top it will be our Super Bowl win, so my question is: How difficult will it be for the Jags to keep this crazy synergy they have going? Thanks.

If you mean how long will the Jaguars' fan base and the team continue at the fever emotional pitch of the past six weeks … that obviously will wane and likely won't feel the same until at least the next playoff run. What happened at the end of the 2022 Jaguars season was special and can only happen in the frenzy of the late season and postseason. And it may not ever feel the same as the past six weeks because that was a special time when a young team could do no wrong in the eyes of a fan base that fell in love with a group of players and an organization. It also felt fresh and unexpected, and there now will be expectations for this team. The feeling around the organization still will feel good, but it won't feel exactly like that. Still, I expect the fan base and the team to have a lot of positives and a lot of energy moving forward because I expect this team to compete for the postseason often in the coming seasons. The postseason has a way of spraying positive vibes all around.

Bruce from Saint Simons Island, GA

O, What do you think? Trevor at quarterback. A young and improving roster. An attractive 2023 schedule, and fans in the stands! Let's Go!

What do I think? I think Trevor Lawrence is the Jaguars' quarterback. I think the Jaguars have a young and improving roster. I think the Jaguars' 2023 schedule should be very attractive with multiple high-profile – and prime-time – games. I think attendance will be very good. I think Bruce is "all in."

Howard from Homestead, FL

For everybody wanting to compare Jaguars outside linebacker Travon Walker to Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, New York Giants outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux or New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner after one year, remember this: After his rookie season, Trevor had the second-lowest quarterback rating of the five taken in the first round. He had the most turnovers (by a long shot). He trailed New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones in yards. One year later, New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson is done, Trey Lance is a backup in San Francisco, [Justin] Fields has yet to take off [with the Chicago Bears] and Jones is regressing. Do you think any of those other teams would not trade places with Jacksonville right now?

I do not think this.

Chuck from North Augusta, SC

Imagine what Aidan Hutchinson would have done for this defense. I know it is too early to judge Travon Walker, but right now, that pick seems like one the Jags would like to have back.

It's not. I don't know how that answer will change at the end of next season. Or the next. I can tell you that right now – at the end of the 2022 season – the Jaguars don't want it back.

Justin from Jax

Hey, Zone. I know it's a high probability that we let wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. walk, but do you see a scenario where we keep him? He can still help the team and Trevor has been throwing to him longer than any others. I also really like what he brings to the locker room in terms of attitude and leadership. Would just be sad to see him go, nature of the business or not.

Wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the start of the 2023 NFL League Year. I don't see a scenario where the Jaguars re-sign Jones, though I agree that he can still help the team – and I think there will be times the Jaguars miss him next season. You can't keep every veteran. Jones should be credited for his contribution to turning this franchise around and being a damned good teammate and veteran leader. I'm a little sad to see him go. I liked him very much and will miss covering him.

Bear from Jax Beach

"1/17/2022: Bear from Jax Beach. Why all the clowning? [Jaguars General Manager Trent] Baalke potentially hit a homerun draft class last year: Lawrence (no brainer), running back Travis Etienne, cornerback Tyson Campbell, offensive tackle Walker Little and cornerback Andre Cisco may all be huge contributors to helping this franchise turn the corner. Give him another year, a quality head coach, and encourage him to spend our cap space in free agency. We complain about being the NFL's laughingstock, yet we fuel the media frenzy by acting like clowns. Management does not make being a Jaguar fan hard, the Jaguar's fans do. We are our own worst enemy." Good Eye?

It sure wasn't bad.

Zac from Austin, Tejas

It feels like our offensive drafts have (in recent history) lived up to their potential more than defensive drafts. Is this typical or do you believe it to be organizationally specific? Does this influence who King of all Dunk drafts at 24th?

The 2021 NFL Draft was a good one for the Jaguars and it featured a lot of offensive players who look like they're going to work out. We don't yet have any idea how the 2022 NFL Draft will work out, though we will know far more as we go through the 2023 season. It's true that most of the Jaguars' drafts before that back to 2017 haven't worked out well enough for multiple reasons, but I don't see it being about one side of the ball or the other.

Brian from Gainesville, FL

Big O, there has been discussion about how to use Walker Little once Cam Robinson returns and once Jawaan Taylor is (hopefully) resigned. In the modern NFL, are the offensive tackle and offensive guard positions basically interchangeable?


Sean from Jacksonville

Dang, Travis Etienne Jr. not even being named as possible Comeback Player of the Year is absolutely nuts.

Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr., who rushed for 1,125 yards and five touchdowns in 2022 after missing his rookie 2021 season with a Lisfranc injury, would have been a deserving candidate for Comeback Player of the Year. Because he hadn't played a down in the NFL before this season, I suppose he didn't have the profile with voters to be considered.

Jeff from Orange, CA

Why is Snoop Connor not a candidate to be the thumper kind of RB complement to Etienne?

Perhaps he will be.

Tommy from Fernandina Beach, FL

Hey Zone, with an opening for wide receivers coach, shouldn't they consider bringing one of our own back? Yes, I'm hoping for Keenan.

Keenan McCardell, the wide receivers coach for the Minnesota Vikings, has interviewed for multiple offensive-coordinator positions – including the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I doubt the Vikings would let him interview with the Jaguars for a lateral move. Why would they?

Tom from Tallahassee, FL

What is the time frame and process for Calvin Ridley?

The Jaguars acquired wide receiver Calvin Ridley in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons in November. He is currently serving an NFL suspension and is eligible to apply for reinstatement following the Super Bowl. The thought around the Jaguars is he will be reinstated. Stay tuned.

Alan from Ellington, CT

Since Ridley is still suspended. Could Trevor contact him to play pass and catch in the offseason away from the stadium of they wanted?


Robbie from Jacksonville

Calvin Ridley. Can he participate in OTAs or must he first be reinstated by the NFL?

He must be reinstated first.

Nick from Palm Coast, FL

I saw a report that Jim Bob Cooter has left the team. Why isn't there anything on the Jaguars page about it?

Passing-game coordinator Jim Bob Cooter reportedly has interviewed with the Buccaneers for their offensive coordinator position. typically only reports comings and goings of players and coaches when such moves are official.

Marc from Oceanway

John, At times this season while reading the O-Zone, along with your other regular articles, you came across to me sounding somewhat cheerful. You seemed to enjoy interacting with the team and happy we were winning. Now I don't want to insult John "Get Off My Lawn" Oehser, but dare I suggest you experienced a tiny flicker of life emanating from your deeply buried and long hidden fan?

I always enjoy the Jaguars winning. The fans of this team deserve much better than the team has performed for much of the last decade, and it's always good to see people you respect and admire who work hard – players, coaches, front-office personnel – get results from that work. Winning is cool. Fans like it. And senior writers can appreciate it, too.