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O-Zone: Good old truck

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville

I agree with the idea that NFL is holding cities hostage, and I think that is what needs to change. Not to use names, but Walmart, McDonald's, theaters don't get to dictate terms to open stores in a city. The city doesn't pay these retailers (which is essentially what the NFL is, a retailer of a product) to come in and set up shop. They do it because it is profitable. The one reality the NFL, and subsequently the OWNERS, are going need to understand is there are only so many cities in America sufficient size enough to support a team. Los Angeles even with its HUGE market saw a significant drop in attendance last year. Cities like San Diego, St. Louis and Oakland have lost teams over stadium issues. I don't think any of those cities will welcome the NFL back. I suppose the point is there is a time coming, sooner than later, the owners will be forced to change the way things are done in the stadium approach. Cities are just not going to pony the money up any more for billionaire hobbies.

Perhaps you're correct. I can't predict the future. People have recoiled for years at the thought of public funding for stadiums, and people have argued for years against doing so. And believe me: It would be ideal if the economics of every city enabled NFL owners to finance their own stadiums. But that's not the reality, and therefore public funding often is necessary. Mine is not to get into whether this is right or wrong – or whether it is "fair." I do know that to be involved with the NFL these days, stadiums must be of a certain quality – and TIAA Bank Field lags behind most of the rest of the NFL stadiums in terms of quality. Is the time coming when public funds are no longer part of the equation? Maybe, but three cities/areas – Las Vegas, Tennessee and Buffalo – have approved a total of $2.85 billion in public funding for stadium projects in recent years, so that time is not yet here.

Sean from Jacksonville

So, now the Jaguars might play in Ireland? Is this after the rights to play in the UK are final or will the play in Ireland and the UK in the same years?

The NFL International Committee on Monday announced that the Jaguars have been awarded a license to expand marketing into the Republic of Ireland, allowing them "to pursue activities that are consistent with what they can do in their home market." Teams all around the NFL are securing marketing rights in various markets around the world. Securing those rights does not necessarily mean a team will play a game in that market.

David from Ada, OK

I'd welcome the Irish but they're always after me Lucky Charms.

Good eye.


Do you think any of our rookies will be starters in the near future?

I expect first-round offensive tackle Anton Harrison to start immediately and I expect second-round tight end Brenton Strange and third-round running back Tank Bigsby to have key roles in the offense quickly. You don't have to technically be a starter in the NFL to matter a lot.

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

The Superdome located in New Orleans and home to the Saints will be 50 years old when it hosts the 2025 Super Bowl. Apparently "end of life" is not a thing for this facility? Can you help your readers understand the difference between a nearly half century old stadium and TIAA Bank Field when it comes to useful life?

The Caesars Superdome currently is undergoing a four-year, $450 million renovation.

Keith from Saint Augustine, FL

The first time I saw Jim Brown play, I sat on a board in a barber shop in Cleveland, Ohio, getting my hair cut. The Browns were playing the legendary Green Bay Packers and the game was televised on a black-and-white television set. It was an overcast, gray day as Amish buggies passed by outside. I was only five, but I remember the way the patrons paid homage in an almost reverent way to the greatest running back to ever play the game. I was so sad to hear that my childhood legend had passed away.

Perhaps the only thing as impressive as Brown's statistics is the reverence people who saw him play – and who played against him – had and still have for him. Time passes. The game changes. But when discussing the greatest players to have played the game, Brown must be included.

Jason from North Pole, AK

I've lived in Minneapolis, Minn., for the past seven years. As far as stadium funding goes, for U.S. Bank Stadium, the city of Minneapolis was able to split the public funding side with the rest of the state. Can the Jaguars use state funding or is the public funding only coming from the city because of the presence of other NFL teams in Florida?

Stadiums and other premium Florida sports arenas generally are financed privately and with local – city and county – public funds. This has been particularly true in recent years.

George from Miami

Funky Man O. I wonder if approaching TIAA Field renovations, the city and the Jags may consider what Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross did in Miami. Rather than razing the stadium, they went the major rehab route. The renovations occurred over two offseasons and cost Ross a little over $400 million. Like here, there were complaints about sun during the game. They installed a huge awning system. They installed minisuites almost at field level, and upgraded all the other amenities and such that is required today. Granted, unlike the Jags, Dolphins ownership also owns the stadium. Ross did attempt to get public money, but this was quickly shot down mostly to the new Marlins stadium debacle. Considering the city owns the stadium, a deal where both sides benefit would be great.

Nothing is decided regarding the Jaguars' stadium of the future. I expect many options and timeframes to be discussed. My sense is that the approach eventually will call for a major overhaul of TIAA Bank Field because that would enable much of the "bones" of the existing structure to be used. This would save money compared to a new stadium. I don't have a sense for how realistic it would be in that scenario to complete the renovations during concurrent offseasons, and we're not far enough in the process where speculating has much benefit. I understand that many observers will offer other stadium solutions as comparisons. The reality is every situation is different. I expect the Jaguars and the city to eventually reach their own unique solution.

John from Land of Indian river

Big O, Jaguars have a talented wide receiver room. Wide receiver coach Chad Hall is new to this staff. How does his addition make this room even better?

The same way any position coach makes a position better – by ensuring players know their assignments and are maximizing production with the best techniques.

Steve from Nashville, TN

It was interesting to hear running back Travis Etienne Jr.'s comments on Monday about the arrival of Bigsby and how he could lessen the number of carries for Travis this season and extend his career. Etienne accounted for about half of the Jaguars' rushing attempts last season, but also had 45 pass targets in 2022. Is it plausible the Jaguars actually run the ball more this year than they did last year because of having leads in games instead of needing a heroic come-from-behind, prolific late-game-passing attack?


Sean from Jacksonville

Holy guacamolé! Calvin Ridley can move fast! Watching his speedy footwork was a "Wow" moment. What do you see as a "normal" set of wide receivers on the field?

Head Coach Doug Pederson likes to use various players in various formations, with wide receivers and tight ends often needing to be able to run all plays from all positions. Because of that, I don't know that you will see a "normal" set of wide receivers for the Jaguars in 2023. I would expect Ridley to be the "WR1" more often than not with Zay Jones also on the field – and with Christian Kirk in the slot more than last season. But the receivers could move around so much that that may not really a "base" formation.

Kevin from St Johns, FL

87 of 90. Sounds to me like the team is "All In."

That's the number of players on the 90-man roster who attended OTA practice No. 1 in the offseason program. It's not too much of out of line with many offseasons around here, but yes … these players seem "all in."

Gator from Gainesville, FL

I crank my windows in my truck up and down. I have my AM radio. It gets me back and forth to the pawn shop. I don't need a new truck. Stadium has seats, grass in the middle, y'all don't need no new stadium.