JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Michael from Orange Park, FL
You keep talking about hope. Reasons for hope. Strengths for this team. Blah, blah, blah ditty blah. I'm tired of it. Either win or shut up about it.
I get it. Hope indeed is a good thing, maybe the best thing. But it's also a tiresome thing when it isn't supported by results – and that has been the too-longstanding pattern for the Jaguars. There's no question this team must win to make all this talk of hope matter. But it's early July, Michael. Training camp is still two and a half weeks away. The 2022 regular season is still about two months away. If we're going to discuss the Jaguars right now, we must discuss something. So, for now, hope will be part of the discussion. Blah, blah, blah ditty blah.
Lawrence from West Jax
Sir, as always thank for your column and feedback on our team. I had a question about wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. To be honest I am thinking possible "trade chip" unless we see a turnaround, which is unfortunate because he has not been in environments where he was given a real chance to succeed. I like the all-round play i.e., catch, running. He did have a few drops. I like him but … like I said need improvement. Your thoughts.
Your analysis of Shenault is a bit all over the place, but that's fitting: He's tricky to analyze, partly because of the uneven play of the offense overall during his two NFL seasons. Shenault, a second-round selection by the Jaguars in the 2020 NFL Draft, has had some impressive professional moments. He has had flash plays. He is impressive physically. But he's not blessed with elite NFL wide-receiver speed. He also hasn't been as productive as would be ideal and indeed struggled with drops last season. I don't know that Shenault is a significant "trade chip," because I don't sense he has great value on the open market. He can change that with a more productive 2022 season. He's entering 2022 Training Camp as the fourth receiver with Christian Kirk, Marvin Jones Jr. and Zay Jones the likely top three in most three-receiver situations. The coaching staff will work to give Shenault opportunities in which he can succeed. How he takes advantage of those will dictate his season and probably his future. The coming months are important for him. Very important.
Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
I like it.
So, you're the one.
Darren from Jax
I'm fascinated by what is talked about in the "fan experience" in the stadium. My experience recently has been overpriced food and drink and – as we all know – a less than successful football team. This year the team will probably be better, but I don't think food drink prices will be. I know I'm old-fashioned, but give me a wooden bench to sit on, decently priced beer and popcorn and an even just an OK football team and my "fan experience" will be right on.
I rarely discuss stadium prices here in the O-Zone. It's well beyond my pay grade and area of expertise. I will say I don't like high prices when I go to concerts and games in most venues. I don't like them when I go to movies. I often make jokes about the prices to my wife, who rolls her eyes and silently remembers the first time I told the joke in the 1990s. I don't imagine I would like the prices if I sat in the stands at TIAA Bank Field. I don't sense prices at events overall anywhere are dropping anytime soon. I don't know that there's much that will change that.
Rick from Not St. Augustine
Clearly Gary from St. Augustine is in your head. He owns you, and is now the KOAF.
I am not the King of All Funk?
Blues Man from Jacksonville
You and I are the same age, yet it's interesting how we differ in musical taste. I grew up in Ohio, listening to Led Zeppelin, Rush, Ozzy, Stevie Ray Vaughan, KISS, etc. … but I wasn't into the same music as you. Perhaps geography?
It wasn't geography. They played those groups on the radio here in Jacksonville, too. I listened to them. And then I visited my friend Tim Berg in Atlanta the summer I turned sixteen and he gave me a tape with London Calling, the KKK Took my Baby Away and Sunday Papers on it. Things changed.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, when you say that you live downtown, do you mean that you live in the basement of the stadium or has owner Shad Khan put you up in his yacht in the St. John's?
I live in Springfield. My office isn't in the basement at TIAA Bank Field because there is no basement. I tried to board the yacht once. Shad's handlers asked that I please leave. I resisted. I would rather not talk about the rest.
Smash from Dillon, TX
I assume you were a fan of the TV series Friday Night Lights. Who was your favorite player on that show? Besides me, I mean.
It has been a few years since I watched Friday Night Lights. I was a fan of the series and the movie. I was a fan of most of the characters, Smash included. But I'll go chalk here and choose Tim Riggins. #Texasforever
Brian from Daytona Beach not Mandarin
John. In the 60s, as you know, the 4-3 defense was in vogue. Credited to longtime Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Tom Landry, I believe. Then the 3-4 started up. Denver and Buffalo come to mind. Washington Head Coach Joe Gibbs liked running against them. Rules changed and offenses became more pass-oriented. Now, we have more hybrid defenses. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Todd Bowles seems pretty good with the hybrid. To my point and question. The Chad Muma pick was generally panned, even though most mock drafts had him going very early in the second round. Can we call it, "Drafting the personnel you need to run the schemes you want?" I suggest Chad will get more defensive snaps than expected. The hybrid schemes may see some three-linebacker sets and he will get strong-safety snaps as the season rolls on and production dictates. Let's predict 52.3 percent of the defensive snaps. This gets the best players on the field and strengthens the safety room. Injuries change everything, of course. Sorry, no real question. Just discussion fodder.
Your point, if I'm reading correctly, is that Jaguars rookie linebacker Chad Muma could get snaps in a strong-safety role in 2022. I don't know if the Jaguars will call it a strong-safety role, but coaches will figure a way to scheme Muma into more than a reserve role if his play – and situations – merit. Absolutely.
John from Jacksonville
Anyone who mows his lawn wearing a football helmet doesn't need extra motivation from the Twittersphere.
You're referencing Jaguars rookie outside linebacker Travon Walker wearing a football helmet while mowing lawns in high school to prepare himself for the heat of camp and the season. Does a guy who does that need outside motivation? Yeah, that's a good point.
Charles from Riverside
Hello John, at Jaguars.com what is the difference in the roles between Correspondent, Reporter, and Writer? Thanks.
A correspondent (Brian Sexton) talks more than he writes. A reporter (J.P. Shadrick) hosts and talks more than he writes. A writer (KOAF) writes more than he talks and probably talks too much.
Jess from Glen Carbon, IL
With all the grief you get from some of us fans, I just wanted to say how much many of us respect you giving up part of your day, every day (including holidays) to publish the O-Zone. Thank you.
I am the King of All Funk.
Bill from Jacksonville
John, who's the best NFL rookie you've ever covered? And I know you're gonna have to go way back in the archives for this one, but who was the best Florida Gators freshman you covered?
Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli was great as a rookie in 1995, but I generally consider Jaguars running back Fred Taylor's 1998 season the best rookie season I've covered. So I'll go with Taylor as the best rookie I've covered. I covered Florida in 1993 and 1994, so my memory is blurred there. Quarterback Danny Wuerffel was impressive as a freshman in 1993 despite a lot of twists and turns at the position with Terry Dean. I'll go with Wuerffel as the best UF freshman over the course of those two seasons.
Keith from San Leandro, CA
I just bought a '94 Jaguar xj6 I drove it about four days and I changed the spark plug wires and took the distributor cap off and now I'm not getting spark I changed the coil and can you give me an idea of what to get next?