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O-Zone: Lead the way

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Steve from Brentwood, TN

JO, You might think Shad loves the fans, the fans don't love him! Fans stick with the team, spend money on viewing the games etc. Shad clearly doesn't know squat about football. His son, the future owner pays more attention to "rassling." The fans wish he would not be so smug and always say he is sure he knows what he is doing. Maybe he knows bumpers, he hasn't learned about football. Good eye?

Many fans share your opinion. Fans understandably want their team to win, get frustrated when it doesn't and look to assess blame in difficult times. It therefore has become vogue to criticize Jaguars Owner Shad Khan in recent months and years. Khan wants to win and wants the Jaguars to be strong in Jacksonville. Those are his priorities and desires as owner. He hasn't previously hit upon the right combination of management, coach, quarterback and good fortune to make those things happen enough. So, if you see it that way … yeah, good eye. If not … well, fans have the prerogative to see this team how they see fit.

Steve from Nashville, TN

As of right now, at what defensive position is the cupboard still pretty bare heading into the draft: interior linemen, safety?

This is a question of degrees. There's really not a position where the cupboard is completely bare on the Jaguars' defense – and it's not really bare at the spots you mention. Rayshawn Jenkins, Andrew Wingard and Andre Cisco return at safety; I would anticipate Jenkins and Cisco likely starting there. Roy Robertson-Harris and Malcom Brown return on the defensive line, as does DaVon Hamilton. The Jaguars also added Foley Fatukasi as an unrestricted free agent. This team in a very real sense is a team in transition, so I don't know that there are players at safety or defensive interior – or many other positions for that matter – who are "core players." But neither do the Jaguars seem deficient at those spots.

Michael from New Orleans, LA

I have an idea for new overtime rules. How about a 15-minute basketball game between each team's five fattest lineman?

I'd click on that.

Don from Marshall, NC

Looks like a wide receiver could be in play?

I assume you're referencing the No. 33 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft – and yes, it's entirely possible a wide receiver could be in play for the Jaguars there.

Andy from Alpharetta, GA

_It's been a while and my memory is a little fuzzy. Did the Cincinnati Bengals win the damn coin flip in the AFC Championship Game? They must have because they won the game. (One not fer the new OT rules).  _

No. The Bengals did not win the coin toss in the AFC Championship Game. The Kansas City Chiefs won the toss and the Bengals intercepted Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes on the first series of overtime and won the game. I checked NFL rules and confirmed an interception in overtime is what is known as a "legal play."

Garrett from Jesup, GA

O, I think the point you're missing about the overtime rule is it is not intended to devalue defense. It is intended to give the win to the most complete team. Both the offense and defense of BOTH teams must be tested against each other before the game is over. In the current arrangement, a high-powered offense team (benefited by the league's support of that side of the ball) can march down the field and win, even if their defense is trash. In my opinion the new rule is better because it gives the win to the more complete team - both offensively and defensively.

You disagreeing with my point is not me missing a point. Teams have plenty of time to win a game before overtime – 60 minutes, in fact. The league has reached a point that fans – and even people within the league itself – believe defenses can't reasonably be expected to hold offenses to field goals. If that weren't the case, there would be no reason to change the overtime rule.

Luke from Brisbane, Australia

O – are the Jags better waiting until next year to look at drafting a top-level wide receiver? I appreciate that Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence needs weapons, but taking the "best of what's left" at wide receiver with pick 33 doesn't scream long-term thinking to me – especially with upgrades needed elsewhere. Let's see what our current wide receiver/tight end/running back crew can do with a functioning head coach, and try to hit on a rough diamond with a later-round pick. Your thoughts? Thanks!

The Jaguars indeed could take the approach you suggest, but selecting a wide receiver at No. 33 overall is not necessarily "taking the best of what's left." The top of the second round has proven in recent years to be a very good place to select wide receivers. That's considered likely to be the case in this draft as well.

Ricky Bobby from Jax

Can you please tell Jim Irsay that I don't appreciate him channeling me when he spoke of the Jags recently? He said "No disrespect to Jacksonville, but I mean, they're the worst team in the league." That's just like me saying, with all due respect before I put someone down. He's a grade A toolbox. Be sure to put his quote up in the locker room, so the "worst team in the league" can continue to dominate and own his team at the Bank!

The Jaguars indeed were the worst team in the NFL in 2020 and in 2021. They had the worst record in the NFL both seasons. In that sense, what Indianapolis Colts Owner Jim Irsay said recently about the Jaguars was true. It's also true that the Jaguars beat the Colts both years. And it's true that the Jaguars eliminated the Colts from the postseason this past season. And it's true that that last loss seems to really have bothered Irsay. Is it OK for that to sort of please Jaguars fans? Yeah, very.

Al from Orange Park, FL

Who from last year's coaching staff will remain on this year's coaching staff?

Running backs coach Bernie Parmalee, assistant offensive line coach Todd Washington, senior defensive assistant Bob Sutton, defensive quality control coach Patrick Reilly and inside linebackers coach Tony Gilbert.

_Steven from Ponte Vedra, FL      _

When is the new sports performance facility scheduled to open? And what are they going to do with all the old offices and facilities?

The Jaguars' sports performance facility adjacent to TIAA Bank Field is expected to open in 2023. The Jaguars will use at least part of the old offices and facilities for needed office space for business operations.

Scott from Jacksonville

Good Morning, O-Man. Please add my kudos and congrats to former Jaguars center Brandon Linder, wishing him a happy retirement. Also, with respect to former Jaguars wide receiver Allen Hurns, my most lasting memory of his time with the team is his last play – crawling off the field injured during a frantic comeback attempt in order to prevent an injury timeout and loss of time. Tough young man. I missed him when he left, and I wish him well in all things too.

Hey, one each fer Hurns and Linder …

Garter from Minshew

Why do you guys always get the overall first

Did you work on that question for a while or are you just gifted enough that it just came to you in a dream?

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

I'm confused, Zone. The Jaguars have done a lot on the offensive line, but we don't seem to know who the hell is starting. Do we know what we're doing?

I'm sorry you're confused. Confusion can be … well, confusing. And it's true that the Jaguars' offensive line still feels sort of fluid after some major offseason moves. But I don't know that the Jaguars are confused about this as much as they are adding pieces and trying to strengthen and stabilize the unit. The Jaguars likely will start Cam Robinson at left tackle, with Ben Bartch at left guard and Brandon Scherff at right guard with Walker Little and Jawaan Taylor competing at right tackle. I currently expect Tyler Shatley to start at center. A Jaguars starting line of Robinson, Bartch, Shatley, Scherff and Taylor/Little makes sense. One question is what the Jaguars will do at center. With Brandon Linder retiring Monday, Shatley is now the likely starter. That could change if the Jaguars select an interior offensive lineman early. Still: Whether Shatley or a drafted player starts, the line still makes sense. So, that's the plan – and yes, it makes sense.

B Keepers from St. Augustine, FL

John, I read Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson is trying to identify the leaders on this team. Who do you see as the new young leaders moving forward? I believe sustainable winning starts with leadership.

I expect defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen and Lawrence to be among those young leaders. That's a start.