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O-Zone: Let the music play

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Jeff from Atlantic Beach, FL

One fer "The Professor" John Clayton.

Yes. Absolutely. Without question. Many – if not most – NFL and Jaguars fans know by now that former longtime NFL analyst John "The Professor" Clayton died Friday at 67. He was best known for his work for ESPN, but he covered the NFL for newspapers in Pittsburgh and Tacoma before joining ESPN – and his influence on the league transcended any specific outlet or section of his career. Clayton was among the best-known, most-respected and best-liked NFL media members of the last two decades for myriad reasons. He was very good. He was very knowledgeable. He always strove to be fair. He had and offered opinions without feeling the need for "hot takes." Tying all that together was he was a kind-hearted, humble person who never considered himself a star – and damned sure never acted like it. When I was covering the Jaguars for the Florida Times-Union in 2001, the team spent the offseason restructuring many contracts to get under the salary cap. I had just inherited the beat from Pete Prisco and had comparatively few contacts among agents and front office. Clayton's nearly nightly assistance talking about the Jaguars' cap situation, and ensuring I had salary numbers and information, was invaluable. It wasn't something Clayton had to do for a young reporter – certainly not to the extent he did. When I returned to Jacksonville to work with the Jaguars, Clayton – then still a megastar within the football community – was always generous with his time for and Jaguars Media. Fans will rightly remember Clayton for his work on ESPN and his iconic "This is Sportscenter" commercial. I'll remember him mostly as a kind friend. He will be missed.

Earl from out of gas in Middleburg, FL

O, for crying out loud, two years running with the No. 1 pick and extremely likely that a trade down is off the board. It's like a Groundhog Day. I've never felt so cheated at being No. 1. Where in your magic ball do you see even the slightest chance of a trade?

The NFL Draft, like a lot of life, is a percentage game. The Jaguars selected No. 1 in the 2021 NFL Draft, a year when a prospect many considered generational – quarterback Trevor Lawrence – was available. That was, within the context of the draft, fortuitous. There doesn't seem to be a prospect nearly as coveted in this year's draft, but that's not being cheated; you don't hit the lottery every year.

Fred from East Arlington

So apparently this Annie Agar lady was exposed by Jags Twitter for previous extremely insensitive remarks. This was unearthed in response to snide remarks about our fans being quite accustomed to no football on Sundays at the completion of the regular season. As expected, she apologized profusely for these past transgressions. But I saw nothing resembling an apology to our fan base. So, I guess it's OK to bully and pick on our long-suffering fan base? I don't even know who this lady is, but her apology is bogus. She's just flat-out mean and despicable and she deserves whatever repercussions she receives.

Agar is a correspondent for Bally Sports who has gained a significant social-media following with clever – and funny – videos poking fun at various NFL teams. She tweeted the tweet you mentioned in February, and evidently members of Jaguars Twitter correspondingly unearthed what were demined insensitive Tweets of hers from many years before. Agar indeed apologized for the old Tweets, but not the one regarding the Jaguars – and there really was no cause for her to apologize for the Jaguars-centric tweet. Poking fun at NFL teams is her schtick. What she tweeted about the Jaguars wasn't significantly different than what she said in videos about many teams. If you don't like the humor, don't watch her videos. Beyond that? Fan bases get made fun of all the time. And fans bases make fun of other fan bases. It's part of it.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

_While I wish we could have kept wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. and linebacker Myles Jack, the overall direction in free agency does seem positive. With great opportunities around the corner to draft some instant starters, the future is looking brighter. Time will tell how it all translates to wins. But from this fan's perspective, the organization is giving off vibes of confidence, competence and professionalism – more so than in most of the past 10-to-15 years. Is that the feel inside the building?  _

There's indeed currently a good vibe around the Jaguars. A lot of it stems from the professionalism of Head Coach Doug Pederson. A lot of it stems from much of what was going on for 12 months not going anymore. A lot of it is the natural momentum that comes from any head coaching change in the NFL. The vibe is real, and that positive momentum is good. It gives you a base from which to build. But I'm not dim enough to not realize that there have been plenty of positive vibes around here before. Hell, just a year ago we were all talking about a positive vibe. You have to maintain the positive vibe and build on it with sound football decisions and quality performance. That's the only way this doesn't feel false as time passes.

Lenny from London, UK

As it stands today, the Jags have Cam Robinson (hopefully) at left tackle, Brandon Linder (hopefully) at center, Brandon Scherff at right guard, and Jawaan Taylor at right tackle. Who do you see starting at left guard right now? Bartch? And what are the chances Little takes over at right tackle?

I expect Ben Bartch to move to left guard and start there. I expect Walker Little to compete with Taylor at right tackle.

Ed from Jax by Lionel Playworld

Hypothetically speaking, what retired Jaguars player could come out of retirement and still make the Jags' active roster for one game even as a backup? Let's say we get hit with a rash of injuries in a conference championship victory. Could former middle linebacker Paul Posluszny get ready in two weeks? How about running backs Fred Taylor of Maurice Jones-Drew. Former quarterback Mark Brunell? Former linebacker Kevin Hardy? I imagine linemen, like offensive tackle Tony Boselli, defensive end Tony Brackens, defensive tackle Marcus Stroud, or defensive tackle John Henderson, would need more time for conditioning. How about kicker or long snapper?

It seems you're asking if these men could return and play in the NFL for one game now at their respective ages. They couldn't.

Al from Orange Park, FL

Our receivers last year seemed to have trouble catching the ball. In terms of last year's group, can they be coached to catch better? Or at this point in their careers, are they just who they are?

Players can improve skills. Is that coaching? Is that players simply working to improve and concentrating better? Yes. And yes and yes. Will that happen for the Jaguars receivers? We'll see.

Charles from Savannah, GA

Wow! The Houston Texans were the clear winners in the trade of quarterback Deshaun Watson with the Cleveland Browns. I don't recall a team in recent NFL history giving up so much for one player.

What if Watson is great and all the draft selections the Texans receive stink? Who wins then?

Doug from Jacksonville, FL

Crazy hypothetical question. Coaches pay is not part of the salary cap so theoretically could you pay a wide receiver an assistant wide receiver coaches pay AND his player salary? I'm not saying it's something that should happen or needs to happen, just curious if its legal.

No, it is not allowed under NFL rules.

Ken from Jax

I have yet to be able to find out how much cap space we have left. I guess there's one number if we keep Charmin and another number if we let Linder go? Can you share this information?

I don't know who Charmin is, but the Jaguars according to Spotrac have about $13 million in cap space for 2022. And yes … that number would rise by about $9 million if they release center Brandon Linder.

David from Ada, OK

The Jaguars' future is now. Or as I like to say, "Tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow; Creeps in this petty pace from day to day; To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing. The future is going to do what it's gonna do. Might as well be hopeful."

Remember that time on Gilligan's Island when they did a Hamlet Musical? I always thought that was cool.