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O-Zone: Looong wait

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Michael from Orange Park, FL

Zone, it seems we're in the dead zone earlier than usual this year. So … what are you seeing at OTAs? Is this team improved? Give me hope, Zone. Give me something!

We're a week into Jaguars 2024 Organized Team Activities at the Miller Electric Center – and as such, readers perhaps unsurprisingly are a bit edgy for news and conclusions about the 2024 Jaguars. Unfortunately, non-padded practices and meetings in May aren't a great forum for quality conclusions – and they're not even all that great for news. The first 2024 OTA last Monday was open to the media, with Head Coach Doug Pederson and defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen speaking to the media before practice – and with various players speaking to the media afterward. The setup will be similar on OTA Day 4 Tuesday, with offensive coordinator Press Taylor and Pederson speaking before practice and various players speaking afterward. Pederson is pleased with attendance during this voluntary period, and the focus as expected is on teaching and getting a feel for what players fit where. This is particularly the case defensively, with Nielsen in his first season with the team. What else did we see last Monday? Quarterback Trevor Lawrence looked sharp and seemed to have good rapport with receivers, particularly tight end Evan Engram and wide receiver Christian Kirk. Running backs Travis Etienne Jr., Tank Bigsby and D'Ernest Johnson all looked good, as did tight end Brenton Strange. This is all expected stuff in OTAs. Will the team be improved? If it stays healthy, and if offseason improvements along the offensive and defensive line reap benefits, yes. If not …

Thomas from Section 125 from Jacksonville aka DUUUVAL

Hey, Ozone. Once the stadium goes in renovations, would it be smart to play four games in London with the Jaguars market already in London? Or just play two in London and the rest in Camping World Stadium in Orlando or Gainesville?

I don't get the idea that four home games in London in one season is part of the plan for a season in which construction forces the Jaguars to play home games away from Jacksonville. It would surprise me if that happens.

Nick from Virginia Beach, VA

You talk about being nice, that was not nice. #ReleasetheThrowback


Don from Marshall NC

I felt the Jaguars were the luckiest team in the NFL when they got Trevor Lawrence. You have got to have a hole in the head if you don't like Trevor. Let's wait until he has a defense and some time before we judge him. His decision-making will continue to improve and the arm is money! Go Jaguars!

When it comes to remaining "all in" on Lawrence – both his arm and his decision-making – Don remains "all in."

Julio the pool boy from Central Nowhere

Since the subject won't die, chameleon helmets and the black uniforms with teal accents were the most intimidating, by far, but I'm also not the one who has to run around in the Florida sun wearing them.


Jason from North Pole, AK

Seem like there was a lot of negativity around the Jaguars' 2024 schedule. Doesn't having no back-to-back home games in Jacksonville also mean we don't have a long three-game road stretch anywhere? Also, doesn't only having three games in Jacksonville in the first two months mean fans don't have to suffer in the 100-plus degree heat? My only concern was that having a tough schedule out of the gate is bad timing with a new defensive coordinator. I am expecting the defense to improve as the season progresses. That said, a tough start means an easier finish! Maybe I am just a glass half-full guy. Bummer for the home crowd that there isn't a prime-time game in Jacksonville, though.

The negativity around the Jaguars' 2024 schedule from this view was pretty standard stuff. Jaguars fans in general have been a little grumpy since the team lost five of its last six regular-season games to miss the postseason last season, and they voiced some corresponding grumpiness after the NFL's schedule release earlier this month. The primary complaints? No back-to-back home games in Jacksonville, no Thursday night games and "only" three games in Jacksonville in September and October. The reality is the Jaguars' London home game each season makes extended stretches of home Jacksonville games trickier – not impossible, but trickier. And while a Thursday game would have been cool, the Jaguars have four nationally-televised games – two on the NFL Network, one on Sunday Night Football and one on Monday Night Football. For a small-market team that didn't make the postseason the previous season, that's decent national exposure. I'm with you on the early season concern. It's a tough early schedule with four 2023 postseason teams in the season's first four weeks. Nielsen and the defensive staff will need to have the defensive players on the same page quickly. That's a major storyline.

Zay from 40 mins south

You versus Gene. No holds barred. Winner gets Sbarros. What would happen next?

Longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette is a fierce competitor with a reputation for fighting to the finish. This is not my reputation.

RICHARD from Jacksonville

Your opinion of Moe Moton's stats prediction for Marvin Harrison Jr. and Jags Robinson for 2024? Harrison's receiving yards TRIPLE Robinson's?? Harrison's touchdown total nine vs. Robinson's five?? I know I am biased here but ... really? Your thoughts, please.

I googled "Moe Moton" when I received this question. I didn't do much more research than that. I have no doubt he is a fine analyst. I just don't care about preseason predictions such as this. I understand that these sorts of topics make for decent story ideas at an otherwise slow time of the offseason. I understand the appeal of these stories (sort of). I will say this: If Cam Robinson has five touchdowns in 2024, that's pretty decent production. Maybe Moton knows something we all don't.

Tom, from The Mean Streets of Nocatee

Will the Culligan Girl be attending the O-Zone Meet & Greet?

I have no idea what you're talking about.

Mike from New Milford, NJ

There's no doubt in my mind Lawrence is the right guy to lead the Jaguars for the next decade, that he wants to be here and the Jaguars' brass wants him to be here. We've heard negotiations are happening. I question more whether right now is the right time for Trevor to take a long-term deal. I say this only because statistically he isn't coming off a top-level year and ideally you want that "contract year" production when you extend or re-sign. So, I expect Lawrence to lead this team for a long time, I just wonder if now is the right time for him to re-up opposed to the Jaguars feeling comfortable about doing so. Maybe it happens this offseason. Maybe he bets on himself and waits. Either way, I don't envision him elsewhere come 2026. It's professional football and it's about the money.

I expect we may be overthinking this a bit, which is understandable because there are few other Jaguars storylines on which to focus right now. I expect the Jaguars and Lawrence to reach a long-term extension sometime before the start of the 2024 regular season. We'll see.

Scott from Jacksonville

Ha! OK, whatever you say Ponyboy. On another subject, I hear back problems often take care of issues between players and management.


John from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Of the teams that had a winning record in the 2022–2023 season, only one team (the Los Angeles Chargers) had a losing record in the 2023–2024 season. Of the teams that had a losing record in the 2022–2023 season, three teams (the Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts) had a winning record in the 2023–2024 season. Which winning teams in the 2023–2024 season do you think may fall below .500 in 2024–2025, and which losing teams in the 2023–2024 season do you think may have a winning record in 2024–2025?

Of the NFL teams that had winning records in 2023-2024, I wonder about the Seattle Seahawks. They were a remarkably consistent team for years under Head Coach Pete Carroll, even when they were a bit "under-the-radar" in recent seasons. I wonder how they will fare in his absence. As for teams with losing records in 2023-2024 with a chance to have winning records, let's go with the Los Angeles Chargers and Minnesota Vikings. Quarterback Justin Herbert always gives the Chargers an opportunity to win, and the Vikings have a way of not staying down for long.

John from Merritt Island, FL

I love the get-together question. We could all get together at Strings and raise a "Bullet Bob" to the Jags' successful 2024 season. Plus we could all meet the KOAF.

I'll text you.