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O-Zone: Hallelujah!

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

You say "some" fans think free agency is fun? Some? Who doesn't think it's fun? Especially this year? With all this cap room? Fun! Darned right, it's fun. Count me in, John? I'm ready, KOAF. Free agency starts this week. Let's gooooooo!!

Easy there, big fella. E-e-e-e-e-e-e-easy. The NFL's 2021 League Year actually starts March 17, with the so-called tampering period starting two days prior, so you have to wait a wh-- … You know what? Forget that. Forget caution. Yes … get excited, Gary. The Jaguars have the most salary-cap space in the NFL. They have new eyes on players and new brains making the decisions. This also might be most-fertile ground for free agents in recent memory because of the NFL's lower salary cap. There's also the promise of playing in a new era with a generational quarterback ("Whoever" the Jaguars eventually decide to select No. 1 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.) So, you want to whoop? You want to scream, "Let's go-o-o-o-o-o-o" at the top of your symbolic lungs? You want to shout it … shout it … shout it loooooooood? Go for it. Who the hell am I to tell you no?

Ringus from Duval

Really enjoyed the Meyer interview. Not sure how it's going to end up, but he talks well and it's an exciting time. My question is about Justin Blackmon....

You're referencing this story on Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer, which is an edited and condensed version of a conversation Jaguars producer extraordinaire Dave DeCandis (and myself) had with Meyer Friday. We spoke to Meyer at TIAA Bank Field for twenty-or-so minutes that morning, and it was the first chance I've had to hear Meyer discuss all things Jaguars in a face-to-face setting as opposed to a videoconference. The word you get from people around the Jaguars this offseason is that the overriding trait that stands out about Meyer is his ability to communicate his vision clearly. That was definitely noticeable in our conversation Friday, and that's a good thing. Communicating vision and establishing "buy in" is the most important role of an NFL head coach. If players understand and are behind a head coach, then everything has a good chance to move in the right direction. That doesn't guarantee success, but it's almost impossible to win without it. And yes … you absolutely get the feeling from listening to Meyer that this is an exciting time. What's also intriguing about Meyer is a willingness to acknowledge the enormous importance of the coming weeks for this franchise. Meyer "went there" in the interview, calling the coming free-agency period and draft perhaps the most important time in the Jaguars' history. That's sort of obvious – and observers are saying it a lot these days. But sometimes those making such decisions don't say such things publicly. As far as questions about former Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon … I guess I just don't get it. He hasn't played here in eight seasons. It's done. It is long, long since time to move on.

John from Jacksonville

Hi KOAGF - Easy solution to the 17th-game dilemma that doesn't involve neutral sites or rotating which teams get an extra home game. Add an 18thgame. Done!

This does seem a relatively simple solution. On paper. But adding even one game to the 16-game schedule was a push-and-pull between the NFL and the NFL Players Association – primarily because NFL players are rightly concerned with the significant added injury risk associated with every additional games. I'm not saying the league never will add an 18th game, but every additional game is an enormous bargaining chip for the players – and owners rightly would have to give up something significant in negotiations to get it added. Either way, for the short term, I don't get the idea players or owners are really all that concerned over the logistics of the 17th game. Once COVID-19 wanes and life returns to something close to normal, I expect the league to add some neutral-site games to the 17-game plan. And many teams will rotate with nine home games one season and eight the next. There will be occasional talk of teams wishing their nine home games had come in a different season, and fans will undoubtedly see something in the system as being inequitable because that's what fans do. But I don't imagine the issue will ever be perceived as a crisis. Not a big one, anyway.

William from Jacksonville

"Achieve daily greatness without really trying." Does this mean that Mrs. "O" is happy with the painted porch? Have you reached the status of "Hero Husband" on top of KOAF?

You're implying that I have the ability to create a serene, happy home environment. You know not of which you speak. Besides, we don't need another hero. And if we did, it damned sure wouldn't look like me.

Terry from Cordele, GA

"That's the vision … that's the dream…" I loved, loved, loved, the attitude and articulation of the vision for the New Jags in the article about Coach Meyer! I am pretty reserved most of the time but after reading this, I am genuinely excited for this next chapter. What about you? Are you as excited as the fans?

Almost certainly. But that doesn't mean much. Those who know me best will tell you I'm usually in a constant between ecstasy and elation. Sort of a constant tither.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

The words "new facility" are still music to my ears. Make it happen John. We know you are really pulling all the strings.

You, too, apparently read the Meyer interview – and he indeed said there are discussions about a new facility. These are very much in the early stages, and this wasn't the time for details. But you get a pretty clear idea talking to Meyer that the phrase "serious discussions" doesn't mean chatting about something average or something that's not going to happen. Meyer's focus is clearly on providing the best facilities possible for players, so changes are coming. Big. And comparatively soon.

Marc from Oceanway

Hey Funky King, do you think DaVon Hamilton has the size and skill to play nose in a 3-4?

Yes, Jaguars defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton is a nose tackle – and yes, he can play the position in a 3-4 defense. It's fair to wonder if he's an elite, anchor-the-line-every-play nose tackle along the lines of the league's best players at the position; he hasn't had a chance to play that role yet in the NFL. And because elite noses who can do everything – i.e., anchor the line and get some penetration as a bonus – often go earlier than Hamilton's Round 3 draft status. But he absolutely can fit into a 3-4. If the Jaguars go that direction, I expect he will have a major role.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, have you ever ran into one of the players in the hallway and challenged them to a push-up contest?

They don't want that. They know.

Robert from Oneonta

If anyone could patent absurd, New York Giants defensive tackle Leonard Williams has 29 sacks in six seasons playing for the New York Jets and now the Giants. Ex-Jaguars defensive Yannick Ngakoue has 45.5 sacks in five years. Williams is currently fighting with the Giants over the franchise tag (and a new contract), as did Ngakoue with the Jags last season. Bottom line, they are/were both asking premium dollars. Why would you take Williams for premium dollars and let Ngakoue go? Ngakoue has far superior numbers in one less season. A new head coach and general manager should not matter as Jags Owner Mr. Shad Khan has repeatedly stated he is intimately involved. Both GM and HC report directly to him. A few years ago I suggested there must be a systematic problem with the Jaguars. It seems maybe I had it partially correct. There is no institutional memory with this organization, no consistency. I believe Mr. Khan may have held on to coaches and general managers longer than needed to try and accomplish this goal. No offense to Shad personally, whatever he is trying to get his team to do, it is not working. As a Giants fan since YA Tittle and Homer Jones played in the outfield of the old, old Yankee stadium. Go ahead, draft Williams and waste your money. Look at his stats. A single good season. Maybe getting out of NJ would help him.

I want to make sure I have this right. Signing New York Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams as an unrestricted free agent would illustrate – once and for all – a systemic problem in the Jaguars' organization, finally revealing the awful truth for all the world to see. Noted.

Dude from Dudeland

When you listen to Hallelujah, do you replace Hallelujah with your name and sing? John Paul Oehser.

The version I have already is written that way.