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O-Zone: Just a thought

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Marc from Oceanway

Our owner, Shad Khan, is an amazing man. His essay discussing racism was eloquent and beautifully stated.

It was. And here it is.

Keith from Palatka, FL

I appreciate the fact that the O-Zone "isn't a political/social forum." However, I did think that Shad Khan's statements on racism were poignant and powerful. Jaguar fans should be proud of our owner.

Khan's words Wednesday indeed were powerful – and that's unsurprising. I have heard Khan talk about race and his experiences in this country before, and he speaks from the heart when discussing such matters. He also speaks from a unique perspective considering his background and experiences. I believe he will act from the heart moving forward. I imagine Jaguars fans should be – and will be – proud when he does.

Nicholas from Rockville

What a powerful statement by Khan. Bravo.


Jim from Madison, WI

Shad Khan's statement lacked a direct repudiation of Donald Trump's rhetoric and actions as a leader of this country. I am personally disappointed in Mr. Khan as he supported Donald Trump's campaign and failed to acknowledge or discuss his own role in supporting the current administration. Not only has Shad Khan been a subpar owner of the Jaguars in terms of their success on the field, which I can live with and accept, but he has not acted as a moral leader. I desire accountability from Mr. Khan. Otherwise, his recent statement is hollow.

As is unavoidable in these divided times, not everyone was fully supportive of Khan's essay. Khan in the last several years indeed has made news regarding President Trump, first for donating to his inauguration committee in 2016 and later when he expressed disagreement with Trump on multiple "social issues." I have included a couple of questions regarding the topic in today's O-Zone in the interest of balance, but – as you said – this for the most part is not a political/social forum. Khan wrote eloquently about race on Wednesday. It's clear his words were heartfelt. His themes were important and it was clear he wasn't just putting out a statement for the sake of putting one out. While you say he hasn't acted as a moral leader, what he wrote Wednesday stood apart from the many statements put out by sports teams and public figures that have felt somewhat obligatory and lifeless. No, Khan did not mention Trump in the piece, because that wasn't the subject. Khan has addressed his views on Trump in the past and I feel certain he will be asked about the topic again in the foreseeable future. As for accountability, I have little doubt he will want to be held accountable for what he wrote Wednesday. He's about action and doing more than talking, and I have no doubt that will be the case with this issue.

Scott from Medford, NJ

What do you think of Peyton Thompson's revelation that TC and DM told players not to kneel in 2017?

You're referencing former Jaguars cornerback Peyton Thompson recently tweeting that former Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin and current Head Coach Doug Marrone told players they couldn't kneel before a game in London against the Baltimore Ravens in 2017. Thompson's tweet was a reaction to an NFL statement regarding the ongoing unrest, and he since has tweeted that he has spoken to Marrone about the issue. As for my thoughts on the revelation … Thompson was in the locker room before the game that day and I wasn't, so I have no reason to not believe his account. I don't know exactly what was said, nor do I do know the tone or context; reacting therefore would be impossible and irresponsible. I will say this: all involved that day were dealing with a difficult situation. The Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens were the first NFL teams to play that day because they were playing in London, so the game started at 9:30 a.m. Eastern. As such, they were the first teams to deal with the aftereffects of what Trump had tweeted that weekend about NFL players. That meant Marrone, Coughlin and others within the Jaguars were among the first league decision-makers addressing what at the time was an unprecedented situation. There were pre-game discussions among players, coaches and team officials about how to properly respond. Eventually, many players – and Khan – took the field arm in arm as a show of unity regarding the situation and many of those players knelt while arm in arm. It did seem Marrone, Khan and many players tried to do the best they could do under the circumstances. This isn't a perfect answer to the question. I'm not sure perfect answers are possible right now.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

Some stats are pointless and some are more pointless. Which one is this? Since 2015, only three teams with a Top 5 dead cap hit have posted over a .500 record. (We are second).

The statistic isn't pointless. Teams with a lot of dead money are often in rebuilding mode, and they often have parted ways with a lot of veteran players. It makes building a competitive roster tough when you have money and cap space committed to players not on your roster.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

"Shaq Quarterman is the only one of the 12 draft selections who have signed with the team." Is having only one draft pick under contract by June typical?

That hasn't been the norm around the NFL in recent seasons. Since the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement implemented the rookie wage scale, rookie holdouts have become rare and rookies typically have signed in May and early June. But this isn't a normal offseason. Remember: signings usually take place in person at the team facility. Quarterman being from Orange Park near Jacksonville is the only one of the draft selections who has been near the stadium since his selection. I don't expect any significant issues signing the draft class, and I would expect a flood of signings when the rookies begin arriving in Jacksonville – whenever that occurs.

Abhi from Plano, TX

Hi! So, everyone is talking about how the Jaguars are going to do horrible next year. Personally, I don't believe that. How do you think the Jaguars are going to do? How will K'Lavon Chaisson be utilized? Thanks for your opinion.

I think the Jaguars can win somewhere between six-to-eight games, though I think it's a stretch to think a team so young will make a serious postseason push. I think Chaisson has a chance to play strongside linebacker in a lot of base situations and to stay on the field and rush the passer and cover in a lot of passing situations.

Nick from Palatka, FL

Zone: Say it ain't so. You ??? considered ??? skipping the O-Zone for a day or two? If nobody's asking questions, maybe you could reach into your archives and do a "best of" – or tell us what Sexton, Shadrick and the Culligan girl do when they're not social distancing. Seriously, it's precisely because there are so many "concerning" things happening that we need the KOAGF to persevere and provide needed diversion. A Rest Area of life, if you will.

I thought about not writing the O-Zone for a day or two. It didn't happen. Rest on, Nick. Rest on.

John from Jacksonville

Johnny O, Thank You for keeping the streak alive during a difficult time. We all need some other brief outlets to get through all this. Your daily Q&A has been giving many of us an outlet for enjoyment about our Jags in seemingly the oddest and most globally emotional year of our lifetimes. Thanks again Zone.

That's kind of you to say. It's also unnecessary. Many, many people obviously are dealing with incredibly more taxing, emotional and important issues than we address most days here. I'll continue to answer questions about the Jaguars and try to entertain and inform here because it's what I do. It's the job and it's why people come here every day. It's why people ask questions. It's why people sometimes just email to express opinions. Talking about the Jaguars is what we all at do, and we have tried to do so as consistently and well as possible during these increasingly odd and emotional times. But I think I can speak for everyone involved when I say we don't expect or need thanks for it. And I think I speak for everyone involved when I say right now we're just trying to do the job as well as we can considering these very unusual circumstances. Here's hoping we're doing that.