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O-Zone: Good and bad

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Darren from Jax

With all the stress over the schedule we can at least find relief that the Jags aren't playing the San Francisco 49ers this year. The game last year looked like boys (Jags) against men (49ers). Do you think the Jags have done enough to be more competitive with teams like the 49ers?

This relief is understandable. The Jaguars' 34-3 loss to the 49ers last November indeed in a very real sense began – and defined – the team's late-season slide. They were "out-physicaled" by the 49ers that day – and while they weren't as overmatched in any game thereafter, they too often couldn't run when they needed to run and couldn't stop the run well enough as the season continued. These trends prompted the Jaguars to spend the offseason trying to get stouter, stronger and better on both lines of scrimmage – hence, the additions of players such as center Mitch Morse and defensive lineman Arik Armstead. Those players should make the Jaguars better on the lines. If they are better on the lines, that absolutely should help the Jaguars be more competitive against physical teams. If they're not, the moves made this offseason won't have mattered all that much.

Bill from Bostwick

Dear Luke Fortner and Cooper Hodges: I hope you read the O-Zone and pick up on this unsolicited advice/request: Please stick as close to Tyler Shatley as much as humanly possible. Learn and absorb. Ask him questions. Do as he does. The Jaguars need each of you to become the future versatile and serviceable inside offensive lineman Shatley has been for Jacksonville. And Coop, if you're reading this, can you sleep in the guest room at the Shatley residence this summer and have Tyler teach you how to snap a football and play center in addition to guard?

Jaguars offensive guard/Tyler Shatley has carved a 10-year NFL career by being professional and working to get the most from his ability. Offensive linemen are close. They spend countless days, hours, weeks and months together. I have no doubt center Luke Fortner and guard Cooper Hodges realize watching and observing Shatley would be a wise approach.

Nick from Virginia Beach

John, when do the throwbacks go on sale? It said this summer but is it like tomorrow? Next month, August? I need to know when to start saving.

In due time.

Keith from Saint Augustine, FL

If a player changes teams, perhaps moving to a division rival, what prevents that player from sharing the previous team's plays or playbook with his new team in order to reap an unfair advantage? Do formations change enough year-to-year so this is a non-issue?

Playbooks are retrieved and electronic information is blocked when players leave organizations. Remember, though: Most teams' "plays" are similar to other team's "plays" and all game film is readily available at the click of a button to any other teams, which means there's not that much information to be gleaned from a playbook that's not already essentially available without the playbook. While a player who changes teams one offseason may have some insight into his former team's tendencies in particular situations – and while nothing would prevent a player from sharing that tendency – I wouldn't worry about this too much. While fans/observers find this angle fascinating, a player's knowledge of his former team usually isn't a huge factor in how a game actually plays out. Game video and analytics factor for more into preparation than inside tips from players.

Dwight from Naples, Fla.

King O, what happens in Jacksonville if we go 4-0 in September?


David from Orlando, FL

KOAF – I think the Jaguars' defense should be much improved this year on short-yardage and goal-line defense. With Josh Allen and Travon Walker locking down the edges and adding beef in the middle of the line with Armstead, Maason Smith, Jordan Jefferson, a healthy DaVon Hamilton, and Roy Robertson-Harris, does this resemble a Teal Curtain? Only time will tell, but the potential is intriguing.

Loyal O-Zone readers – and he knows who he is – know I am loathe to predict greatness based on offseason acquisitions. But this has the potential to be a good front seven. It appears on paper to have a chance to be very good against the run, to be improved as a pass-rushing unit and to be deep enough to play in waves. If the group stays healthy, this could be a team strength,

Al from Orange Park, FL

How will they clean the outside of the "Stadium of the Future"? Windex and guys roping down from helicopters? @#$% architects know how to make things pretty on Day 1, but don't know how to make things maintainable ...

Longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette is known to be both agile and quick with a squeegee.

Hilarious from Funytown

The "all in" responses to Don were getting pretty tired. And then you go and do something like this ... and totally redeem yourself!

I am the king of all funk.

Jon from Jax Beach

Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson is on the record saying his philosophy is for the pass to open up running opportunities. Do you feel this was an influencer on not doing more to shore up the O-line last offseason? Here's hoping the plan this offseason works out better.

The Jaguars didn't do more to "shore up" the line in the 2022 offseason because the belief around the organization was the line was in good shape entering the 2023 season. Remember: The Jaguars selected right tackle Anton Harrison in Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft. They also had the entire line from the previous season returning except for starting right tackle Jawaan Taylor. They also had a young player in Walker Little available as a swing tackle and potential starter. Injuries and a season-opening suspension to left tackle Cam Robinson kept the group from attaining much continuity. The hope is the addition of Morse will help. The hope also is that the group stays healthier. That's the hope and the plan. We'll see soon enough it works out better.

John from Jacksonville

Hi, KOAGF. Taylor Swift wouldn't have a chance if the Culligan Water girl makes an appearance. Actually, the entire Chiefs team, and possibly even Gene, wouldn't have a chance.

I have no idea what you're talking about.

Rob from The duuuuuuuuuu

At what point in the offseason would a team normally announce a new uniform? I'm interested in getting a new jersey, but don't want it to be immediately outdated. Tell the Khans to go ahead and drop it to keep our attention. We can all start buying the new ones while simultaneously complaining about how much we hate them.

The Jaguars won't have new uniforms for the 2024 season. I would be surprised at this point if they have new uniforms before the opening of the Stadium of the Future, which is projected to be in 2028 if it is approved and if all goes as planned. The team has teased the idea of a throwback uniform in 2024. The teasing has tantalized fans. Just what will this entail? Stay tuned.

Kevin Alone in the cold

I don't mind our schedule. When we reclaim the AFC South title, the critics and naysayers won't be able to say it's because we had an easy schedule. Now that Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke invested in keeping Trevor upright, he's going to explode and lead us to the promised land.


Sean from Oakleaf, FL

Why would you feel compelled to add a "when healthy" qualifier to your discussion of our shiny new free agent cornerback acquisition Ronald Darby? He hasn't played a down yet for this team and you have him in the blue tent already.

You're correct. Darby, who signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free from the Baltimore Ravens in March, has missed five or more games in five of the last seven seasons. That perhaps prompted me to insert "when healthy" when writing about him. But that's not fair. He played 16 games last season and he hasn't played for the Jaguars yet. One fer Darby and all other Jaguars players staying healthy.

Sal from Austin, TX

The darker authentic jaguar in silhouette against the inky blackness of the first helmets was a jungle cat comfortable and terrifying in any setting.


John from Jax

Zone, what happened with Jarvis Landry after Rookie Minicamp? Is he still with the Jags for Phase 3? Is he or was under any kind of contract with Jags to participate?

Veteran wide receiver Jarvis Landry participated in the Jaguars 2024 Rookie Minicamp on a tryout basis. He did not sign a contract with the organization.

Dwight from Naples

Hey O! Tell our fans: Wanna be the best? Gonna have to beat the best! Forget the schedule. Just do it!

Good teams make pretty much any schedule look very manageable. Bad teams make pretty much any schedule look very difficult.