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O-Zone: Impressive lineage

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Marcus from Jacksonville

I keep hearing about the stark differences between this year's OTAs and last year's. Most people I hear who were there are talking about how much more professional things seem this year versus last year. No one yelling over the loudspeaker for players to hydrate. No winners and losers. No faux quarterback competition. After every play, the coaches – including the head coach – are actually coaching the players. That all seems great, but it seems like this time last year all these same people were hyped about how the first OTA went under former Head Coach Urban Meyer, so how can we trust what we hear? Can you give an honest, objective assessment of the differences between this year and last year? I know it's hard to learn a lot about the team in OTAs, but can you at least give us your opinion on how this year compares to last year?

The Jaguars' organized team activities are quieter this year than last year, meaning – sadly … nay, tragically – the loudspeaker is gone. That does give practice a far more professional feel. Objectively and honestly, my thought is drawing major conclusions about changes around this franchise based on OTAs is reaching a bit. Yes, there are differences from last year, but those differences really aren't all that evident to the naked eye. There absolutely were good feelings and a good vibe this time last spring. There was hope. Vibes are usually good in the offseason, particularly when there is a new head coach. New head coaches are always unbeaten in May. The main difference between this year and last year indeed is Pederson's professionalism and his demeanor. He has a decidedly NFL feel. That theoretically will be a major positive when adversity happens, as always it does in the NFL.

Jim from Neptune Beach, FL

Just a comment on the "must gain one yard instead of taking a knee" issue. How many times will the game be stopped in order to bring the chains out to see if a yard was gained?

You're referencing former Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Bud Grant recently saying a way to stop late-game kneel downs would be to force offenses gain at least a yard or have the clock stopped. I have received many emails making your point – that the number of times a measurement would be needed would make this rule tedious and annoying. Fair point. In retrospect … one not fer this.

Jay from SoCal

Six, seven or eight wins would be nice this season. I wish for more but what I would take over that is definitely: A second-year jump for quarterback Trevor Lawrence, getting more stout defensively and disrupting more plays leading to more turnovers on defense and being overall just competitive in all games – giving ourselves a chance in the fourth quarter for a victory in a contested battle ... gotta get at least six wins this season, imho.

If the Jaguars get a Year 2 jump from Lawrence, get stouter defensively and create more turnovers, they overall will be more competitive. And they would have a real chance for at least six victories.

Dave from Duval

Neither you or any media will bring any attention to the fact that it's not that we've just drafted so bad . There no way you can convince me or any other jag fan that time after time after time . , Yiu think the right person to draft and help your team just oh so coincidentally is the closest university . At the very least it's lazy and it's seem like. Well if he this payer don't work out at least the gator jag fans will buy tickets

Don't sweat this. You took a swing. It was noble. Keep swinging. You'll get it.

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

Scrolling through our coaching staff bios on jaguars.com I see all the coordinators and many position coaches have a Super Bowl win either as a player or coach on their resume. Do you attach any particular significance to this as far as impact to the on the field results for this team?

The current Jaguars coaching staff indeed has extensive Super Bowl (winning) experience. That certainly gives the staff an element of credibility with players. It gives the staff an air of professionalism and inspires confidence that they know what must be done to succeed. That professionalism is a good place to start. It logically will raise the Jaguars' chances to succeed. It's a positive more than a negative. It guarantees nothing, but it definitely can't hurt.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

OTAs are fun to talk about, because we finally see the players on the field eager to put the debacle of 2021 behind them. Our shiny new free agents in the right colors and running around (staying healthy, please). If you had to pick which shiny offseason "prize" will have the most impact on the team, would it be wide receiver Christian Kirk? I want to say yes, but I think linebacker Foye Oluokun is going to really elevate the defense, especially next to two stud rookies.

Give me tight end Evan Engram. I'll go that direction not only to offer a different answer than many would expect, but because I think there's a chance it's the right answer. Engram was a first-round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He has big-time ability to be a reliable option in the passing game. When you factor in veteran tight end Dan Arnold and Head Coach Doug Pederson's ability to effectively utilize the position, this is a very intriguing tight-end situation.

John from Chiang Mai, Thailand

Just my two cents: Often a game is decided late, when it's 3rd-and-10, or 3rd-and-5, and you need five or 10 yards - or you lose. Jaguars haven't had That Guy - the guy that can dependably get you five yards, 10 yards when you need it since MJD, Freddie Taylor, Jimmy Smith, and Keenan McCardell. We thought Justin Blackmon could be That Guy; he wasn't. We thought Leonard Fournette could be That Guy; he wasn't, either. I believe Cameron Kirk can be That Guy. Will that five yards impress the fans who love stats? Probably not, but it will Wow the fans who love winning.

I know damned well Cameron Kirk isn't that guy. He was great in "Growing Pains," though. I just couldn't stand that little blonde kid who played the brother.

David from Orlando, FL

_Ozone – In an interview prior to the draft, Jaguars cornerback Shaquill Griffin made it clear who he wanted the team to select with the first pick. He said we need a scary guy and what we need is that big fella when speaking of the player the Jaguars ended up selecting, lalker. I don't remember any Jaguar player ever saying, I want us to draft that guy. So, credit Shaquill Griffin for the original, one fer Travon Walker – and since he's a starter, maybe the most relevant. _

One fer Griffin – and one fer Walker.

Dave from Jacksonville

Zone, we have an experienced coaching and front office for an upcoming football season. Do you think that alone will translate to additional wins this season? Sure can't hurt. The Jags' situation at wide receiver reminds me of a young John Elway and his Three Amigos – a bunch of fast slots lining up everywhere. Who do you see the three being going into training camp? Trevor won his last game of his rookie year. Elway had his first comeback game his last game of his rookie year. I still believe their trajectories are similar. Can you envision our city growth if they are similar paths?

An experienced coaching staff and front office likely won't translate to additional victories "alone" because very little happens by itself in the NFL – though the experience of Head Coach Doug Pederson and this staff certainly gives the Jaguars an improved starting point from a year ago. I expect the top three receivers entering camp to be Kirk, Marvin Jones Jr. and Zay Jones. As for comparing Lawrence to Elway … that's obviously way premature but not necessarily misplaced. And yes … I can imagine the city's growth if Lawrence takes a similar path. That growth? Impressive, cool and exponential.

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

I'm tired of you. Do you ever get tired of yourself?

You have no idea.

Thrill from The 'Ville

Of all the people that have ever lived, those I admire the most are my parents, Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa. Is there ever a circumstance in which the Oxford Comma is beneficial?

I won't say there's never a use for the Oxford Comma. I will say it's not correct in Associated Press Style and usually unnecessary. Also: The Oxford Comma in your example can be easily avoided by changing the list's order to Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and my parents.

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