JACKSONVILLE – The six-month wait is over.
The 2022 AFC South Champion Jaguars will open 2023 Training Camp at the Miller Electric Center adjacent to EverBank Stadium Wednesday morning. The sun will shine. Players will work. Coaches will sweat. Fans will observe in the new, state-of-the-art facility.
The first four practices – Wednesday through Saturday – will be unpadded without significant contact. Pads go on Monday. The dead zone is behind us. Onward.
Let's get to it …
Josh from Jagsonville
I think it's funny all this sudden talk about the franchise tag and running backs. It's of course all because at one time all the three unsigned tagged players were running backs. I guess it's the Jaguars' fault because if we didn't come to a deal with tight end Evan Engram. I bet all this talk would just be a blip on the national media. Three running backs and one tight end just doesn't have the same ring.
The devaluation of running backs was perhaps Topic No. 1 of the 2023 NFL offseason, and it no doubt is an important topic. But I don't know that the Jaguars signing Engram last week and leaving only running backs tagged/unsigned had much to do with it. While three unsigned running backs made for a convenient graphic to accompany on-air debates over the matter, those debates would have happened without the graphic.
Steve from Wallingford, CT
John, an NFL article had the headline: "T. Law debuts in the top 100," or something to that effect. My first thought was what Top 100 list would have Ty Law? I don't like it. Trevor needs something original. What other suggestions do you have?
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. He is a marketable, likeable player with potential to be an elite, franchise-defining player – and one of the faces of the NFL. If he fulfills that potential, as he began to do last season, this will take care of itself. And if he fulfills that potential, "T. Law" probably won't cause much confusion.
Cletis from Funkytown
O-Man, is it true that when Gene walks outside, the sun has to put on shades?
Longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette is a shining light, a beacon if you will. Does he outshine the sun? Jaguars 2023 Training Camp begins Wednesday. We'll find out.
Mike from Eagan, MN
Inquiring minds want to know: What's the different between a senior writer and a senior correspondent? Do you both report to an editor? Are you all in one cube farm in the new building, or do you get your own office?
A senior writer writes. A senior correspondent talks. We both report to a higher power and remain in the old building where we belong, happy our codes work – and for the opportunity to talk about football for a living.
Anita from Springfield
In all this talk of former Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey's Pro Football Hall of Fame potential, I'm a tad curious about something. There's no denying he's a very talented and intelligent cornerback whose on-field work earns him a very good shot at the Hall already. He undeniably also faked a back injury to get off a team. Do you see that being a factor in how a team votes? To me, there's something to the "love of the game and your teammates" that makes an argument against his candidacy, and I'm curious if you think that'd impact him negatively at all. Thanks!
First: Teams don't vote for the Pro Football Hall of Fame; the voters are media members with former players and executives also represented. Second: Hall guidelines call for only on-field performance to be considered. Is it possible that human nature makes it difficult for those guidelines to always be followed? Sure. Will Hall voters remember in enough detail the medical miracle that allowed Ramsey to return from a debilitating back injury shortly after the Jaguars traded him to the Los Angeles Rams during the 2019 season? That, I cannot accurately say.
Dave from Jacksonville
KOAGF how should we expect to see wide receiver Calvin Ridley role develop this year? Is he just moving into Marvin Jones' old spot or will there be a more substantial shuffling of the receiver room? Will it look similar to last year to start? We all hope he is a primary target that was his former self.
Ridley will play a similar role to Jones in that he will be primarily an outside receiver. At the same time, Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson emphasizes versatility among receivers – and receivers and tight ends line up everywhere in the offense. The primary difference is that Ridley likely will develop quickly into the No. 1 receiver. Likely sooner than later.
Bruce from Owensboro, KY
Personally, I couldn't care less if Ramsey is elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, just as long as he never makes the Jags Ring of Honor. Seems like he does not meet the criteria for that enshrinement.
Time and circumstance often can change perception on these things. But as it stands now, that would be a tough ask.
Chris from Fleming Island, FL
I haven't seen any mention of Smoot's recovery progress. Is it safe to assume since the team resigned him and didn't put him on the PUP list that his recovery is on or ahead of schedule?
The Jaguars placed defensive lineman Dawuane Smoot on the Physically Unable to Perform early Wednesday, which wasn't a surprise considering he sustained a torn Achilles shortly before Christmas last December. I don't know that it's safe to assume much until Smoot begins practicing.
Greg from Section 122, THE BANK, Jacksonville, FL
Really not beating the dead horse but I want to say one final word about the Ramsey thing. Does he have HoF talent, certainly. No denying that at all. Does he have a HoF personality and attitude. Certainly not. Talent is not the only measurable that gets people into the HoF, if it was then Jimmy Smith and Fred would be in by now certainly. Something becoming more common and the norm as I get older is seeing these newer generations with a very narcissistic tendencies. Jerry Rice probably the GREATEST athlete to grace the NFL field and he is the most humble, considerate, kind person you could ever meet. Meet him when the Super Bowl was here at a local pub. Many stories account his insane training routine and work ethic. But on the field, very little showboating or showing up his fellow competitors. That is the mark of a TRUE HoF talent. It isn't just about your performance on the field, it is about your performance in LIFE. Like the piece on Trevon Walker, if he becomes the talent he could be, that is the person you want representing your team. Not the #MEMEMETOO generation. Thanks Oman.
Hall of Famers ideally would always have "Hall of Fame" personalities and attitudes. The world is not always an ideal place.
Seamus from Sioux Falls, SD
Hi John, in the Jaguars' video showing an aerial view of the new MEC and EverBank Stadium, I noticed the practice bubble seemed to be gone. My last trip to Jax was at the final Colts game in 2019, and it was cool to visit the bubble. Did they do away with the bubble? I thought the purpose of the bubble was to make practice easier during excessively hot days; the MEC does not seem to have any of that protective stuff. I don't really see how the MEC has made things better, only more difficult for the team during practice! How is it better now, please?
The Jaguars never have had a "practice bubble." They have had an indoor practice facility connected to Daily's Place. The Miller Electric Center has two outdoor fields and an indoor facility, all of which are easily accessible. I don't anticipate the indoor facility being used much – if at all – because of heat, just as the team didn't use the previous indoor facility for that reason. It will be used extensively when it rains.
Fred from Naples, FL
So the NFL.com website has Trevor Lawrence listed as the No. 96 player in its list of Top 100 players? Tennessee Titans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is No. 90? Trevor probably doesn't need this to light any kind of fire under him, but I can promise you in the back of his mind he is probably snickering.
Lawrence doesn't strike me as one who reads – or cares about – such things. He strikes me, rather, as someone who knows their value and acts accordingly. But maybe you're right. Maybe he cares. Maybe he's snickering. Maybe it's motivation. Anything's possible.
Nick from Palm Coast
When can we expect drive time and happy hour to start back up?
Drive Time is now Jags A.M. and debuted at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. Happy Hour/The Doug Pederson Show will debut Thursday at 4 p.m.