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O-Zone: Lost lunch

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Eric from Jacksonville Beach, FL

There's a lot of talk about the leap that the second-year players on defense will take and how that will impact the defense's improvement. I agree that Walker, Lloyd and Muma stepping up is the biggest part. How much of a jump do you see, though, with the key players going into Year 3? Shouldn't we also expect a jump in play from Campbell and Cisco that would help us get to that next level? What are your expectations there?

Third-year Jaguars defensive players such as cornerback Tyson Campbell and safety Andre Cisco absolutely could improve in 2023. That's particularly true because both players improved last season, and both were in their first season in a new defensive system at the time. The reason linebackers Devin Lloyd, Chad Muma and Travon Walker are discussed more in this vein this offseason is they are second-year players and NFL players typically make their biggest jump in Year 2. They also play closer to the ball, and therefore can affect plays more consistently.

Brad from Jacksonville

The Jaguars have a strong fan base despite years of a bad product on the field, averaging approximately 90 percent stadium capacity per game. Is spending over a billion on stadium renovations going to motivate the remaining 10 percent to attend games? If so, is it worth it? I realize the Jaguars are near the bottom of the league in revenue due to market size, but Jaguars Owner Shad Khan knew that when he purchased the team. We can't spend our way to the middle echelon of the NFL by renovating the stadium.

Yes, a new stadium is worth it because it's a "have to" not a "want to." The Jaguars do have a strong fan base. If they are to remain in Jacksonville and if Jacksonville is to remain in the NFL, they must have a stadium that will be NFL caliber – and produce NFL-caliber revenue – over the next few decades.

J. Hooks from Orange Park, FL

Yo! The latest episode of "The Hunt" was awesome. It was basically a better version of the movie "Draft Day." All it was missing was Kevin Costner. Do you think Will Levis didn't get picked until the second round because nobody came to his birthday party?

Yo! Sure. Why not?

Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville

So as an older person this whole evolving to eliminate the kicking game is just beyond ridiculous. It's FOOTBALL, so exactly how is it that if a FOOT never contacts the BALL? The entire thing about player safety is getting out of hand. You can't control the safety of a violent game like this, and why would you want to? Part of the allure and popularity of the sport is in its nature. The violence, the speed, the intensity, the pads and helmets popping during collisions. THAT is why the NFL is the most popular sport in this country. If you start taking away what makes it great … well… all empires fall, so, too, can the NFL. Let me put this another way, would NASCAR be as popular if they limited speeds to safe like 100 mph? Would anyone ride roller coasters if they didn't feel like they would jump the tracks? These things are appealing because of the external risk they allow us to experience, stop trying to make the game flag football. Rugby players must laugh at us.

NASCAR has made moves in the past to limit speeds. That was the reason for restrictor plates, and people ride roller coasters because of the perception of risk – not because they believe roller coasters really will jump the tracks. But generally, you're not wrong. Part of the appeal of football is the violence. It has been that way since its beginning and remains that way. I don't know the end game when it comes to making the game safer. I don't know if the rules-makers can find a balance between what's palpable for player safety and what's still exciting enough for the game to maintain popularity. I do know they must continue to do so search for the balance – for the sake of public perception and, far more importantly, for the sake of the players who play the game.

Seamus from Sioux Falls, SD

I, too, am concerned about the eventual elimination of the kickoff. It would make the start of drives feel unearned and artificial. Special teams would become largely ceremonial and effectively eliminated. What if instead of the whole kicking team running downfield at full speed, have the special teams unit start lined up at the receiving teams' 25, just like punts and FGs, and let the special teams coordinators develop new, inventive plays that lead to more interesting drive starts? Does the league take recommendations from fans? Sigh, probably not ...

I expect the NFL will explore many ideas on this topic – though they might stop short of placing a shoebox with a slot for ideas outside the league office. I expect they will be conservative in their approach because of a desire to not be too gimmicky and to change the spirit of the game as little as possible.

Mike from Azores

Hey, John. Why are the coach and general manager having such a hard time bringing in the much-needed veteran pass rusher? If they have the cap space, they do! And if an established player is available, they are! Why all the angst about letting a rookie, undrafted player or even a lesser quality veteran go to open the roster space? I thought the idea was to create competition in any way possible to improve the team? What am I missing?

I don't know that Head Coach Doug Pederson and General Manager Trent Baalke are struggling in this area, and I don't know that they share the belief that a veteran is much-needed. The idea always is to improve the team. That always must be done with an eye on the present AND the future. The Jaguars indeed have cap space to make a move for the immediate. But doing so also affects the future and that's the line on which these decisions must balance.

Westside Mike from Bold New City

KOAF, do you think it would be reasonable for the city of Jacksonville to make funding a new stadium contingent upon the Jaguars playing ALL home games at home?

I expect that will be a topic.

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

Thinking about K'Lavon Chaisson, Chad Muma, Devin Lloyd and Travon Walker. Is it a fairly accurate indicator of future success in the NFL if a defensive player sees a major jump in their second year of production and on field impact?

This is very often the case.

Chris from San Diego

It's not uncommon in the NBA for a team to draft a player, then trade him a few picks later. Why don't we see this in the NFL? It seems like a good way to possibly leverage a trade, depending on how the draft falls, that may not have been available a few picks earlier.

This happens in the NFL. It's just much more common for teams to trade for a selection then use that selection to select a player.

Connor from Woodstock, GA

Hey O-Zone! Like many others, I believe that our front-seven can grow from within, like with linebacker  Josh Allen, defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton and Walker. However, even if they do grow this year, I still believe that it would be dumb for the Jaguars to not address the position at least once before the start of the season. I like having a rotation of players on the line and on EDGE, like what the Eagles have. With that being said, what do you think the reality of signing a player such as Yannick Ngakoue? I know there were problems last time around, but pretty much the entire front office and coaching staff is entirely different, and a real contender now. So do you think it's a real possibility? And if not, what about someone like Frank Clark, Jadeveon Clowney, or even Ndamukong Suh? I think we gotta do something, even if it's small, right?

I think players such as Ngakoue and Clark are possible. I think we may see something as the season draws closer and as players' and teams' thoughts on prices become more aligned.

Boomgrounder from Moundsville, WV

It's nice to see you're "all in" on McManus. Did Riley steal your lunch?

Whoever stole my much has nothing to do with this. The Jaguars changed kickers this past Thursday. They signed Brandon McManus, a 10-year veteran who has made 90 percent of his career field goals from under 50 yards. They traded Riley Patterson, a less-experienced and less proven kicker to the Detroit Lions. I pointed out that teams change kickers because they trust one kicker more than another. I suppose this makes me "all in."