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O-Zone: Mr. Everything

JACKSONVILLE – More of the same.

The O-Zone submission form on the app continues to not work. We continue to ask that you submit questions through the form on the website or via Keep fighting, little buckeroos. And buckarettes. If we pull together, we will get through this.

Let's get to it …


Hey, O! Been away for a while, so if this has been recently asked, I apologize. After playing Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke on mock simulators and feeling smug about myself, I started thinking, "Why is there no talk about targeting Jackson Carman of Clemson at offensive tackle? Or a Clemson wide receiver?" Just seems like it might be advantageous to surround our quarterback with teammates he already has chemistry with. Thanks, man!

I actually have heard a little talk along these lines among fans and observers, and there's nothing inherently wrong with drafting players who played with quarterback Trevor Lawrence in college. If there were two similarly graded players and you were choosing between them, there would be nothing wrong with having that factor break the tie. But you wouldn't want to choose players for that reason for the same reason you don't want to draft need over value. You want to get the best players possible in the draft. If you don't, then you're essentially weakening your team on purpose – and that's not the direction to choose.

Sam from Winter Park, FL

Coaches and players don't tank. Front offices do. This team was designed to see if quarterback Gardner Minshew II was the real deal. Pieces were there if he was our quarterback of the future. The defense was built that in the event that if Minshew wasn't the real deal, this team would be one of the worst in the league. I'm not complaining, just how I see it.

Complaining or not, your theory still requires front offices to intentionally lose. That would mean Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell last season putting a plan in place with the objective being to be the worst team in the NFL – and to therefore cost himself a job for which he worked much of his life. I suppose I see how someone could see it that way, just not someone using logic and reason.

Steve from Nashville, TN

Now that Mr. Goodell and Mr. Lawrence can exchange bear hugs safely, should Trevor journey to Cleveland on Thursday?

Lawrence plans to watch the 2021 NFL Draft in Clemson, South Carolina, with family and friends. It's perhaps one of the biggest days of his life – and the first day of the rest of his life. He "should" do whatever he wants to do.

Josh from Lakewood

Did everyone just miss how useless Minshew was after defensive coordinators started scheming for him, or has Jacksonville been quarterback-starved for so long we think the guy who can't beat Cover 2 to save his life is the second coming?

The tone of your email was "not nice," though it was also perhaps "not inaccurate." Minshew has many impressive traits – savvy, competitiveness and ability to perform big in clutch situations foremost among them. But the more he started and played the past two seasons, the more defensive coordinators indeed seemed able to effectively game plan against his perceived weaknesses such as pocket presence and ability to throw effectively down the middle of the field against Cover 2.

Luke from Brisbane, Australia

KOAGF, from now on could you work the word "behoove" into every answer? It would behoove you.

On it.

Bill from Jacksonville, FL

John, we don't talk much soccer in the O-Zone, but do you think a handful of owners took notice of how quickly the European Super League was disbanded? The richest owners with the most elite teams wanted to break away and form their own league, a league where they wouldn't be required to share their revenue with others. If teams like the Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers, New York Giants, New York Jets and New England Patriots ever thought of leaving the NFL, do you think this would give them pause? Thanks! Go Jaguars!

I don't know enough about European soccer to know all exact dynamics and how they compare to the NFL, but I know enough to know teams' affiliations with their leagues at least seem a bit less strict than that of teams with the NFL. Because of this, and because Premier League teams – for example – might play in that league as well as the Champions league, I assume those teams are a bit less dependent on the overall success of a particular league than is the case for NFL teams. Either way, I don't see the issue translating to the NFL. While teams such as the ones you mention indeed are financially stronger than other franchises, they also very much owe their success and strength to the overall strength of the league. That's a dynamic I don't see changing anytime soon. The NFL also towers so far above any other football league that it would be difficult to for a team or teams to leave and find compelling competition. I don't know that that's quite as true in soccer.

Jarret from Crosby, ND

Ok, but you will admit, Zone, that a best-of-seven series makes Cinderella stories all but impossible, which is the best part of sports.

Not in hockey.

Steve from Wallingford, CT

Wow ... Orlando Brown was much more affordable than I thought. Kind of disappointed Jags didn't throw that out there. I would take Brown over anyone who's going to be available to us at the end of the first/ bottom of the second.

I don't know that Brown was all that affordable. First, the Kansas City Chiefs dealt a first-round selection, a third-rounder and a fourth-rounder – plus a fifth-rounder next year – to the Baltimore Ravens for Brown. Your right that that was pretty affordable. But now the Chiefs must sign Brown to a long-term deal because he's scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the start of the 2022 NFL League Year. He's expected to be among the NFL's highest-paid left tackles. That won't be particularly "affordable."

Logan from Wichita, KS

I need an Urban Meyer alarm clock! The guy makes you want to run through a wall!!! There is no wishy-washy, "we are gonna 'compete'" crap. It's accountability, let's bash some skulls and play at the top level or get the hell out! Absolutely watch how this fan base reacts when you win some damn games!!! *Kool-Aid man entrance* OHHH YEAH!!!!

You go, girl.

Steve from Nashville, TN

Why do teams openly communicate in the national media that they are "open to trading their pick?" Is there not a private GM chat room where these things are discussed? Do they not know each other's cell numbers?

Good question. The reality is teams telling national media they are open to trading draft selections really doesn't change pre-draft dynamics all that much. It does send a message to fans that it's a possibility, and it gets the message a little more established in league circles. But general managers typically call around to other general managers before the draft to gauge possible draft-day trade possibilities. Most draft trades don't happen until teams are on the clock because that's when teams know for certain who will be there at the time of the selection – and it therefore is the first time both teams involved know the real value of the selection. Either way, your instinct is correct: Most of the discussion/information-gathering about who's willing to trade and where is done out of the media – perhaps not in a chat room … but perhaps in a group text or two.


None of the world's soccer federations, except world cup matches, play regular season or other important games in the US. Hypothetically, what would be wrong with scheduling "out of country games" with preseason matchups? I think that would keep the "home fans" happier; throughout the league, not just here in Jax.

A couple of reasons. One is that most teams don't love playing international preseason games because of the logistics involved. Preseason roster sizes are larger than regular-season rosters, as is the size of support staff and traveling party. Preseason games are also held during training camp, a time when teams like to minimize travel length and distance to maximize practice time and keep scheduling as routine as possible. A bigger reason is that the league generally doesn't believe preseason games do nearly as much to build interest and generate excitement in foreign markets as regular-season games. If you're going to grow the game internationally – and that's the point of playing internationally – the league believes it must commit regular-season resources to the effort.

John from Jax

Hey, Zone. As talented of a draft pick as Trevor L is, once he's on the team ... do you think he will be able to fix the problem with the app?

I'm counting on it.