JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Greg from Section 122, THE BANK IS BACK, Jacksonville
We play Tampa 12/24 and if things go as they should, we should be in firm command of the AFC South by then. As a team and fan base, Tampa us going to struggle this year probably. Let's take a note from our history and INVADE THEIR STADIUM. Road trip for all DUUVAL and show the Bucs what is UP! It would be like an extra home game being so close. Merry CHRIMMA, Oman.
That's a Week 16 game, which means two games remain in the regular season after that. While the Jaguars are rightly considered AFC South favorites in 2023, I think it's safe to assume that game likely will still matter very much in the division standings. It's hard to win divisions in the NFL. It's really hard to clinch them with three or four games remaining. Remember: The Jaguars have won four division titles in franchise history, so perhaps it's best not to assume "firm command" until they win another one or two. But yes … that figures to be a game that Jaguars fans can attend. Heavily.
Jerry from the Southside
The closer we get to the season, the more excited I get about Ridley.
With reason. Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley hasn't played a game since October 2021, and he had "just" one elite season before that – his 2020, 1,384-yard receiving season with the Atlanta Falcons. That means there are indeed legitimate reasons to wait and see with Ridley. But from this view it seems there are far more reasons to believe he's going to have a mammoth effect on this Jaguars offense. He has true "WR1" traits, and showed nothing during the offseason to make anyone think he isn't ready to have a huge season. I'm big on waiting until I see something from a player before assuming his impact. So I'll stick to that with Ridley. But the feeling here is he could be a major story this season – not just in Jacksonville, but in the entire NFL.
Sean from Saint Johns City
Are you the King Of All Funk or do you suck?
Michael from Orange Park, FL
ETN seems to be overlooked this offseason. I don't understand. I think he's going to have a huge season.
Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. indeed seems to not be discussed as much as other Jaguars offensive skill players this offseason. Many observers understandably focus on quarterback Trevor Lawrence, and the addition of Ridley has caused many to focus on what could be one of the NFL's better wide receiver corps. But Jaguars coaches agree with your optimism regarding Etienne. Head Coach Doug Pederson and running backs coach Bernie Parmalee both recently discussed Etienne likely benefitting from a year experience. Coaches have focused on Etienne using blocks better and being more patient. Etienne already is blessed with quickness, speed and toughness. Adding experience to that mix will be intriguing.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, does the gambling ban in the NFL extend to everyone who works in the NFL on a team, or does it only apply to players?
The policy applies to all NFL team employees.
Al from Orange Park, FL
Have you read the Florida Times-Union article about the Jags possibly upgrading and using the new soccer stadium for two years? In Duval, but smaller than some other options. Your thoughts on all of that?
I think the Jaguars want first to reach an agreement with the City of Jacksonville for financing the Stadium of the Future. I think if they reach that agreement they ideally would play home games in Jacksonville. I think the team would very much like to do this. I think the added costs of renovating any local stadium – the Baseball Grounds, Hodges Stadium at the University of North Florida, the yet-to-be built United Soccer League Stadium – is the biggest factor in the decision whether to play games in town or travel to Orlando or Gainesville – or perhaps Daytona Beach. The positive for the soccer stadium idea is it would give the city a multiuse facility on a smaller scale than EverBank Stadium. The idea has merit.
Joey from Jacksonville
Fair to say Antonio Johnson is the definition of a rover?
You're referencing Jaguars rookie safety Antonio Johnson, a fifth-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft from Texas A&M. True "rovers" are more of a thing in college football, and their role is to be able to be effective against the run and also cover very good receivers. Is Johnson a rover? He has the skill set to make you think "maybe." He has to show he can play in the NFL to make you say "definitely."
Sean from Jacksonville
Never forget: "Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left."
Chris from Fleming Island
O-man, I know I'm supposed to be nice, but misinformation about my beloved hometown bothers me. Tom from Charlottsville said "When I lived in Jacksonville, it would take an hour from Mandarin to Atlantic Beach! And I never left the city!" That trip takes 20-to-30 minutes, and Atlantic Beach has its own Mayor and Police Dept, so it's not the same city.
I thought Tom's point was that it takes a long time to drive from some spots in Jacksonville to others, particularly when there's traffic. This is true. And the size of the city in terms of land does mean a lot of long drives within the city limits. But hey … who's arguing? It's a big city. There's not a lot of mass transit in the traditional sense of rail-oriented options. That's the reality.
Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA
Hi, John. Granted, it's the dreaded dead zone, but there are still some important issues I feel we as a fan base need to discuss. One that concerns me very much are the names of some of your so-called "loyal readers" who submit questions to this very site – on a routine basis, no less. I don't have any evidence, but I have theories that they are using noms de plume (nom de plumes? I don't know Italian) instead of their real names. Does Cliff really have a Helicopter (or even a chopper license) Everywhere? Is Bob really a Captain? does Bill Cut Boxes? is Jim really Sure? does Suga Bear even know Sweet T, or is he just trying to impress his friends? Boomgrounder, is that like a lightning rod on a big crane? Why would Farnborough need a Bin of Pedals anyway? I'm not even sure why people would feel the need to use fake names. What are they trying to hide? Are they in a witness protection program, or is it more likely some sort of character deficiency? What do you think?
I think Jaguars 2023 Training Camp begins July 26.
Tim from Ortega
Hey mighty "O," I have an actual football question. Will Ridley be eligible for comeback player of the year when he has his best season this year?
There aren't really "rules" for the Comeback Player of the Year. Any player can theoretically be eligible for the award. It's essentially up to those voting to decide who they believe is the best story.
Steve from Sunroom Couch
Dear, John. What was your favorite memory of what are now the Washington Commanders?
John Riggins' 43-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XVII to give the team a 20-17 lead in what eventually was a 27-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins. My father, mother and I watched the game at our house in Arlington and it marked the first of three Super Bowl victories in nine seasons for the franchise. I watched all three with my father, but that was the first one. That franchise now means nothing to me. The memory means a lot.
Brendan from Yulee, FL
My World of Warcraft guild is currently at 34 percent on Echo of Neltharion. What words of wisdom can the KOAF give us, to potentially help secure the victory? Go Jags.
It's legal to do things out of doors.
JJHolister from Arlington specifically Meek Drive
Fred Pickard was my coach at Terry Parker in the late 80s. My favorite sayings of his were, "Got to be a man dog" and "Knock the snot bubble out of them." They don't make coaches like him anymore. Also Ricky Medlock was the offensive coordinator. Lots of I formation runs in that offense.
You're referencing former Parker High School football coach Fred Pickard, who I mentioned in the O-Zone this week because he played for the old Jacksonville Robins of the Southern Football League. You also referenced Medlock, who later was the first head coach at Mandarin High School – and far after my era of covering high schools – the head coach at Fletcher. No, Medlock and Pickard didn't run a lot of spread, pass-oriented stuff back in the day. It was a different era.
Scott from Atlanta, GA
What are your top 5 O-Zone moments?
This has to be up there.