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O-Zone: Midnight hour

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Jason from North Pole, AK

I figured it should be obvious the difference in practices under Doug Pederson from last year, but I'm curious how they compare to practices under former Head Coach Doug Marrone? Anything noticeable from a philosophical or schematic standpoint?

It's a bit early to answer this accurately; we've only seen two practices under Head Coach Doug Pederson, and neither has been padded. But Pederson's practices are different from former Head Coach Urban Meyer's; the sessions under Pederson are straightforward and quiet, with Meyer's oft-lampooned and very noticeable loudspeaker mercifully no more. And the difference in professionalism has been well-documented. As for the differences between Pederson's practices and those of former Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone, we've only seen Pederson's organized team activities practices. It's possible we could see more significant differences, such as how much Pederson employs certain drills – goal line, 9-on-7, one-on-one pass rush, etc. – once we get into padded, contact-centric training-camp practices in July and August. We'll see.

Richard from Orange Park, FL

The past several years have been brutal with offensive penalties that effectively killed any momentum we would get. Whether it was false starts or holding, they have killed us. Clock management has also been an issue for us for quite some time as well. With Pederson, do you suspect the Jags will continue having these issues early in the season until the offense starts to gel – or do you think this will be cleaned up this offseason and become a minimal issue from the start of the regular season and on?

Pederson will address penalties and preach reducing them. I don't know how to predict the level to which this will be an issue.

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

We're past Memorial Day. July 4 approaches. I still hate you.


Steve from Nashville, TN

Looking at the list of Jaguar players in their final contract year, I don't see any that are concerning as far as demanding a new deal before the start of the season. Right tackle Jawaan Taylor's deal is four years old, so he may be playing below market for a starting right tackle – and of course, running back James Robinson is in his final year but coming off a significant injury last year. Wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. is in his last year, but will be 33 before next season.

Good eye. The major contract issue for the Jaguars this offseason was left tackle Cam Robinson, with the team signing him to a three-year extension early last month. You're correct that Taylor and Robinson shouldn't be issues. Nor should Jones. It would be surprising if there were issues on this front between now and the regular season. Players with issues about existing contracts typically make those issues known through their agents after the regular season and well before free agency.

Larry from Duncan, OK

Great and Powerful O, just how long are you going to respond to David from Ada, OK? They were Duncan's arch enemy in all sports, so I can see the snarkiness in each question. He is just trying to rekindle the Duncan-Ada rivalry here, please don't let him!!! I say he's wrong - they have won every game this year and I am excited about the season. So take that Ada Cougar!

You go, girl.

Robert from Moorpark, CA

How much of an impact do you expect Travis Etienne Jr. to have on the offense? For some reason, I think he'll be the most productive player outside of quarterback Trevor Lawrence. What say you?

This is possible. Etienne figures to be used extensively as a running back. He also figures to be used equally extensively as a receiver – either split wide or out of the backfield. If both players are healthy, I wouldn't expect Etienne to outproduce running back James Robinson. Etienne missed last season with a Lisfranc injury and is practicing 100 percent. Robinson is expected to return in training camp from a torn Achilles sustained last December. Either way, health will be a storyline for both players until they show their productivity in live, padded action.

Adam from Allentown PA

John, you keep telling us to stay tuned. When does the damn commercial break end?

Stay tuned.      

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

At some point I think the Jaguars Media needs to move on from comparisons to last year's team and regime. Yes, we now enjoy a highly professional coaching staff with many years of successful NFL experience, I think most fans know that now. Continuing to compare the 2022 team and staff to last year's trainwreck begins to have diminishing value to readers. The references to last year's team are cheap and easy to make and undoubtedly when camp begins there will be more contrasts to talk about but hopefully this horse is on its last legs? I know Jaguars Media had more exposure than the average fan to the dysfunction of last year's team and the glaring difference in management styles to this year's coaching staff so it is very understandable this topic is top of mind for the Media staff.

The Jaguars' head coach in 2021 was a major story. Their new head coach also is a major story. It's still the 2022 offseason, so I still get many questions comparing the two head coaches. When I stop receiving questions about this, I will probably stop discussing it.

Sam from Orlando, FL

Imagine owning a football team and people you pay millions are comfortable with Blake Bortles at quarterback and you pass on selecting Patrick Mahomes. The last half decade could have been completely avoided.


Dave from Jacksonville

Zone, seeing the highlights available in Week 2 OTAs do you find it interesting Laviska Shenault Jr. was receiving punts? I like the idea on having enough talent guys are having to look for anyway to make the roster. Last year, Jamal Agnew was acquired mainly as a return specialist. Will he be able to hold such a specific roster spot this year coming off an injury? Is it too early to think of competition for roster spots?

I expect Agnew to be the kick/punt returner in 2022 if he is fully recovered from a hip injury that ended his 2021 season. I think the offseason/OTAs is a good time for players such as Shenault to work on skills that may come into play during the regular season.

Steve from Jacksonville

Maybe I haven't been paying close enough attention, but why are the OTA sessions being held inside the stadium rather on the practice fields?

There currently are no practice fields because of the construction on the Jaguars' new football performance center adjacent to TIAA Bank Field. The team will hold 2022 Training Camp at Episcopal School of Jacksonville then practice on the game field and in the indoor practice facility after that.

Steve from Sunroom Couch

Dear John, "Those general managers and coaches who worry about what the fans think will soon be sitting with them." It's nice to know our past GMs and coaches think so highly of our opinions.


Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville, FL

Seems everyone keeps coming back to the on paper theory about our team. Last year this time we got Shaquill Griffin; we were supposed to be better at corner but weren't. Here is hoping the paper looks more like the actual team on the field this year.

You confidently state that Griffin wasn't an improvement at corner last season. You're entitled to that opinion. Yes, he had some dropped interceptions. That's not the same as not playing well at corner. But yes … for the most part, the Jaguars must prove they are as good on the field as they look on paper. That's the reason for clarifying and saying "on paper."

Daniel from St Johns, FL

It's not really "predicting" if you have to see it first…


Jonathan from Jax

In a way-too-long list of former high draft picks later traded for a sixth-round pick or cut, I believe Taylor will be next. My fear of him eating himself out of the league has not materialized yet. However, as a Gator fan as well, I still didn't like the pick. Actually, that would add him to another long list of the wrong Gators being drafted high by the Jags, too. Now I'm rambling. Anyhow, do you also feel his days as a Jag are almost over?

Not necessarily. While Taylor has not played as well as expected at right tackle, his struggles have been exaggerated a bit by fans and observers. I expect Walker Little to start at right tackle next season. That doesn't mean Taylor doesn't have value either as a swing tackle or a guard.

Hilarious from Funnytown

Man, O-man, I'm telling you what: Without all that A to B, four to six nonsense, I've gone from six to midnight about this team!

Hilarious is "all in."