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O-Zone: Invincible man

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Pradeep from Bangalore, India

Hi, John. Is it like we have couple of weeks of rest to EJ Perry only to sign him back? What changed the decision in that time?

The Jaguars signed quarterback E.J. Perry as a collegiate free agent shortly after the 2022 NFL Draft. He was coveted following the draft, and the Jaguars gave him significant guaranteed money – a reported $230,000 – to sign. They released him before training camp because of an injury and signed Kyle Sloter because they needed three healthy quarterbacks for camp. They re-signed Perry this week because Perry now is healthy. "He was with us all spring," Head Coach Doug Pederson said this week. "We had time invested in him. Kyle did a nice job for us while he was here, but in E.J. we had a guy we liked coming out of the draft. He's a sharp kid, a smart kid. He's healthy and ready to go."

Brian from Round Rock, TX

I love the physicality of Jags practice under Pederson. There is a confidence to it. Pederson is the real deal, isn't he. We've had pretenders here for way too long.

I like Pederson's approach. He's a professional coach and all that that implies. He appears to have the ability to understand and relate to players without being soft. Players appear to trust and believe in his direction, and I believe they will listen to him and continue believing in that direction in adversity. That's a huge part of NFL head coaching, and I expect Pederson to excel in that area.

Paul from Los Angeles, CA

If memory serves me right, former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli was picked up by the Houston Texans during their expansion draft, but he never played for them. Had he stayed healthy, do you think the Jags would have been able to re-sign him? I remember they were in major cap trouble around that time. It would have been difficult watching Tony play for a different team, especially a division rival.

The Jaguars had major salary-cap issues in the 2002 offseason. The Texans absorbing much of Boselli's contract – and the accompanying salary-cap ramifications – allowed them to function financially in the next few seasons. Could the Jaguars have found a way to retain Boselli had he been completely healthy? Different circumstances produce different results. But it's doubtful. That was the seriousness of the Jaguars' salary-cap issues. And yeah … seeing Boselli play for the Texans would have been weird for Jaguars fans.

Amy from Jacksonville

Johnny O ... I think you are funny as in ha ha.

I am the king of all funk.

Jason from North Pole, AK

I was thinking today about the Jaguars ceiling this season if everything goes right. Aside from quarterback, what do we most need to add to this current roster to raise that ceiling? Elite talent at interior d-line? Elite tight end or wide receiver?

You're right that the Jaguars won't likely be seeking a quarterback soon – though quarterback Trevor Lawrence still must prove himself elite. The reality is the Jaguars don't have many elite players. Brandon Scherff is elite at right guard. Logan Cooke is a damned good punter. They have a few players – Lawrence, outside linebackers Josh Allen and Travon Walker, inside linebacker Devin Lloyd among them – with the potential to be elite. But yes … an elite interior defensive line is something pretty much any NFL team could use. No team has enough. It's not a flashy position, but being weak there is almost impossible to hide.

Eddie from Jacksonville

On playing out the contract-they-signed discussion, I would agree if the contracts were guaranteed like the other major sports. The teams can cut players anytime and constantly ask players to rework their contracts. It has to go both ways.

I understand this thinking to a point, but I see things a bit differently. No, most NFL contracts aren't guaranteed, but NFL players do receive guaranteed money. It's the signing bonus they receive when they sign their contracts. After that, teams can cut players – but players keep the bonus money. It's the mechanism of the league, and players/agents understand what's guaranteed and what's not when the contracts are signed.

Marc from Oceanway

So, Zone. Your comment that the Jaguars in their 28-season history have never had a franchise-level quarterback made me wonder about Mark Brunell. How close was he to meeting your definition of a franchise quarterback?

Close. Very close. You can't write the history of the Jaguars without Brunell. He has a deserved spot in the Pride of the Jaguars, and for four years he was the quarterback on the best teams in franchise history. Without his playmaking ability, the historic 1996 playoff run never would have happened. He was the best player on the field in the biggest victory in franchise history – the victory over the Denver Broncos in the AFC Divisional Playoff game following the 1996 season. But he wasn't an elite quarterback for an extended period, so it's hard to call him a "franchise-level" quarterback.

Brett from Jax

Hey, John! When it comes to talking about Fred Taylor in the Hall of Fame most people point to his very high yards per carry and then say it isn't fair to judge him on touchdowns because he wasn't utilized much in goal-line situations with Stacey Mack and others stepping in. I mean no disrespect to Fred Taylor, but isn't it fair to say that if he had more goal line carries the odds are his yards per carry wouldn't be as exceptionally high as it is?

That's fair, I suppose. I don't pay all that much attention to such arguments. That's because to me, you're either a Hall of Fame player or you're not. I covered Taylor three seasons – 1998-2000. I've never covered a running back as consistently capable of routinely doing the spectacular as Taylor. I consider him a Hall of Famer. A few more or touchdowns or a tenth of a yard or two per carry less wouldn't change that.

Dave from Jacksonville

KOAFF, K'Lavon Chaisson sure appears to have physically matured this year. I had forgotten just how young he is. Could it be he is going to be better because of this? What is his upside this year? What is his future after looking into your crystal ball, Wizard of O? I got a feeling because of his young age, drive and development he can be a long-term player in the NFL. I would hate to give up on him too soon.

Chaisson absolutely can have a role in the Jaguars' defense in 2022. I don't expect that to be a front-line role because of the presence of outside linebackers Josh Allen and Travon Walker. I expect him to be a force on special teams, and I expect he would be a positive if playing an extended role on defense. I wouldn't expect him to be a pass-rushing force because he seems better using his athleticism than as a pure pass rusher. That's based on his first two seasons. Perhaps that will change this season.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, given what you've seen so far in camp, so you think Jaguars safety Andre Cisco could have a break-out year?


Jonathan from Jax

If we are going to switch unis again, I vote we make the primary color navy blue, as this is a great naval city and keep teal as the secondary to honor our once great franchise of the late 90s. Then we could have a legit throwback uni too, not some variation of the same uniform we wore for over 20 years until we started wearing what looks like practice unis in games. Tampa Bay changed colors and stopped being the laughingstock of the league and won a Super Bowl. Coincidence? I doubt it. Tough to be tough wearing Creamsicle and pink unis. Teal is not that weak, but still pretty damn weak.

I don't expect the Jaguars to adopt blue as a primary color, though I've long thought that would have been a good idea. I liked the Buccaneers' "Creamsicle" uniforms.

Joshua from Virginia Beach, VA

Do you think this is the year where K'Lavon Chaisson has to prove he belongs on the jags?

Chaisson must show he deserves to be one of the best 53 players on the Jaguars. I doubt he necessarily has to "live up to draft expectations" to be on the roster. Fans and observers too often want players released because they don't meet expectations. If a former first-round selection is simply good but not great, that's disappointing. It's not necessarily disappointing enough that the player can't still help the team.

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

I have consumed and valued every piece of camp news and video posted on I will say the press conference gnats are leading 32-4 with only Coach Pederson seemingly invincible to their attacks.

One not fer the gnats.