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O-Zone: Go figure

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Mike from Atlanta, GA

Is Jaguars rookie wide receiver Collin Johnson's stock rising? I feel like the progress he made and his ability to show up and find ways to make plays has forced himself into more reps. DJ Chark Jr., Laviska Shenault Jr., Colin Johnson and Keelan Cole would be a really good receiving corps next year.

Johnson absolutely has produced in recent weeks, and there's much reason for optimism around the rookie. His season follows pretty closely with many promising rookie receivers in the sense that he flashed a lot in training camp, then didn't show up nearly as much early in the regular season. Receiver is among the more difficult positions when transitioning from college to the NFL; cornerbacks and secondaries are much better at the NFL level, and learning the subtleties and details of route running well enough to beat them takes time for most young receivers. Johnson in the last two games has led the Jaguars in receiving yards, and he's doing the things that showed up in training camp – i.e., showing speed and length, and making athletic plays with the ball in the air. And yes … the thought of Johnson, Chark and Shenault playing together for a few seasons should be exciting for Jaguars fans. It remains to be seen how Cole will fit into the Jaguars' future. He was very productive this season, but he's a free agent. That means his representation and a new general manager must agree on how he fits moving forward. That's not always easy and considering Coles' increased production this season, he may envision himself differently than an incoming general manager does. Stay tuned.

Garrett from Jesup, GA

James Robinson's running style reminds me more of Frank Gore than Maurice Jones-Drew. Not saying he's on Gore's level yet, but just the style of running reminds me of him with his hard-nose style. Curious of your thoughts on James Robinson's running style and potential comparisons?

Robinson's style is efficient and intelligent and seems more dependent on vision than anything else. You're right that he's hard-nosed, but he's smart about it in the sense that he doesn't run over tacklers unnecessarily and thereby take unnecessary pounding. The best comparisons I've heard are Emmitt Smith and Curtis Martin, but yes … Gore makes sense, too.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, did you ask Santa for a slice of Sbarro pizza for Krimma?

I sometimes dare to dream big. I dare not dream that big.

Gabe from Bell

Hi, John. I have a real tough time with anyone who wants the Jags to lose. The players don't play to lose. If they did, they would be looking for another line of work.

That's a fair way to see things. It's also fair for Jaguars fans to want their team to select as early in the draft as possible in a year when there appears to be multiple worthy quarterbacks available. There's no right or way wrong to fan.

Duke from Jacksonville

I hear many people saying that the Jaguars should start Gardner Minshew II or Jake Luton at quarterback because Mike Glennon won't be back next year. If Glennon gives the Jaguars the best chance to win, why shouldn't he be back? I realize he's a free agent, but not likely an expensive one and the Jaguars have tons of room under the cap.

Who knows? Maybe he will.

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

Doesn't this seem like a bad time for Jaguars Owner Shad Khan to be asking anything of the city of Jacksonville? After this season? He should just be issuing apologies and promises he will field a competitive team before he asks for money in my opinion. If these demands came in summer 2017? Sure, we love what you are doing and want to pitch in to secure the teams future Shad. But after this year? You want us to help pay for THAT? No thank you. I bet he would have spent the cap this year for the London Jaguars.

There are many people who agree with you. The reality is the plan for Lot J and the vision for downtown Jacksonville aren't directly tied to the team's performance on the field. But I understand that's not the perception – and for many, perception is reality. So, yeah … the performance on the field does make this a tougher ask for many people right now. No question.

John from Jacksonille

"If Shad Khan had addressed the quarterback position, Lot J wouldn't even be an issue? Incorrect." Until they put a consistently winning product on the field, you can't definitively make that claim. I don't care how smart you think you are.

Well … you may not like me making that claim. That part's true.

Reuben from Jacksonville

The coach and general manager are supposed to get together during the offseason to determine what sort of players the team needs to improve. The team did not improve; is it due to a failure in player acquisition or incompetent coaching?

The coaching isn't incompetent. As far as player acquisition … the Jaguars this past offseason were in the mode of resetting the salary cap and drafting younger players to build. The moves clearly didn't improve the Jaguars this season. Could they benefit the team in future seasons? Possibly.

Will from Jaguarsville

I noticed that offensive coordinators use pre-printed sheets to call their plays on game day. In this electronic age, wouldn't a tablet make more sense? The coach could key in the game situation and it would tell the play(s) that have been determined to make the most sense. Is there any NFL rule against using a tablet?

A pre-printed sheet works just fine.

Dan from Somewhere in the Back

Is it really absurd to take action, in whatever form, to protect your draft position?

You can ask this question in whatever form you like. There's nothing wrong with wanting the Jaguars to select early in the 2021 NFL Draft. To think that a team is going to get players and coaches to try not to win on Sundays is absurd.

Daniel from Johnston, IA

I've got to say it again because I don't think other fans really recognize it. This 1-11 Jags team is nothing like the losing Jags teams of the past. This team would destroy the Gus Bradley era teams. We've got a road to go but how can you not like the building blocks that are here? Get a QB and some more pieces next draft and let's see what happens.


Rob from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

I have this fear that if we fast forward 5 years, Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields will be like Jared Goff and Carson Wentz today. Not that Goff is so great but the difference between 1 and 2 in that draft made and broke a couple franchises. Go Jets!

Yeah, well … nothing in life is guaranteed. NFL prospects – even ones projected to be elite quarterbacks – are human beings. You don't know how things with human beings will turn out until they turn out. The Jaguars almost certainly will take the quarterback they believe the best available with their first selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. Maybe he will work out. Maybe he won't. But why fear it?

Adam from Wescosville

What is more likely 1) the Jets draft Fields 1st or 2) The Jags trade up to No. 1?

I don't expect the Jaguars to be able to trade up to No. 1, so I expect the former.

Eddie from Jacksonville

Hey, John. The recent cold weather has me wondering about a rumor I heard a few years back. Is it true during an exceptionally cold spell a manatee got stranded in the St. Johns and could not find a warm spring. Knowing the animal was struggling Mr. Frenette dove into the water to give the animal the breath of life and that this kept that manatee warm the rest of the winter?

This is incorrect. Longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette is one of our region's great lovers of wildlife. He works tirelessly, traveling the world (when it's not football season, of course), risking life and limb at considerable personal financial costs, to save a wide-ranging number of endangered species – from the Amur Leopard to the Black Rhino to the Bornean Orangutan to the Cross River Gorilla to the Eastern Lowland Gorilla to the Hawksbill Turtle to the Javan Rhino to the Orangutan to the Saola to the Sumatran Elephant to the Sumatran Orangutan to the Sumatran Rhino to the Sunda Tiger to the Vaquita to the Western Lowland Gorilla and even the Yangtze Finless Porpoise. He loves dogs, cats, ferrets, snakes and chickens. He won't step on a cockroach, swat a fly or trap a mouse if one happens into his yard. He even leaves his trash cans open for raccoons. But he damned well hates manatees. "Screw 'em," he once said. Go figure.