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O-Zone: Not this time

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Tom from Cairo, Egypt

_Sorry (not sorry) to be pedantic, but you didn't actually answer my last question. If Jalen Ramsey is the bare minimum level for a Hall of Fame defensive back, which current players have a better case? Only one I can see is Stephon Gilmore. _

It's difficult to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame – as it should be. When I have written and said recently that I don't see Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry and Miami Dolphins cornerback Jalen Ramsey yet being Hall of Famers, I don't mean they're not great players. I don't mean they're not Hall of Fame-worthy players. I mean they're not yet locks—and that they might need another All-Pro season or two to make it. There usually aren't a ton of rock-solid Hall locks active in the NFL. They're usually in their eighth or ninth NFL season – or beyond – and often on the decline. What current corner has a better case than Ramsey? Let's go with Patrick Pederson – a three-time first-team All-Pro selection and an eight-time Pro Bowl selection. I'd be shocked if he doesn't make the Hall of Fame someday. I don't know that there are any other locks at the position. As it should be.

Tommy from Fernandina Beach, FL

Hey, John. It used to be that running for 1,000 yards a year was a big accomplishment. That has lost its luster in going from 14 to 16 to 17 games. With 17 games, the running back must run for 58.82 yds/game. That's not a whole lot. Maybe that's why the position isn't as valued anymore? Should good-to-great backs need to average 1,400-to-1,500 yards per year to be equally compared to previous 1,000-yard rushers?

The 1,000-yard season undoubtedly has lost its NFL luster and it long since stopped being a gauge for a great rushing season. I've always thought the easiest and most obvious way to measure a great rushing season was averaging – or at least coming come to averaging – 100 yards per game rushing. It's an attainable number, albeit difficult, and any season in which a back reaches it is special whatever the era. I don't think that's why the position is devalued, though. It's devalued because of a perception that there often isn't a huge difference in a good runner and a great one in terms of how much he helps the team. It's then further devalued because teams are reluctant to give megacontracts to running backs four or five seasons into their career because of the effects of wear and tear on the players' projected production.

Chris from Jacksonville

One Day at a time! Quit thinking of the past. Grew up in Detroit and watched football. As a kid I loved watching some of my favorite players, Alex Karras, what a character! Earl Morrall, etc. Enjoy Trevor Lawrence athletic abilities! His growth, the team, the coaches. We are very fortunate to have a football team. We will win and we will lose. Preferably W.


Ray from Vernon

Mr. O-Zone, it sure seems like the offseason is lasting forever this year. Can't wait for camp. So, after watching some highlights, I was trying to compare Parker Washington with a veteran NFL receiver and thought of Wes Welker when he first came out of college. I realize those are big shoes to fill but do you think Washington has the talent to be as good? And do you think he will be mostly a slot guy in the NFL? I think he has a bright future with the Jags. I will go ahead and predict Parker ends up being a Top 3 or 4 wide receiver we have. Thanks for your daily read.

Washington, a wide receiver from Penn State selected by the Jaguars in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL Draft, is one of the more intriguing players in the team's '23 draft class. Welker was uber-productive and I supposed he could be a comparison for Washington – as could Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk. The comparisons are based on Washington feeling like a slot receiver. If he's as good as either Welker or Kirk, it would a good selection.

_Paul from Lake City, FL _

You are marooned on an island with either a) Tony Boselli, or b) Pete Prisco. Whom do you choose?

This guy.

Joe from Jacksonville

Former Green Bay Packers guard/Floridian Josh Sitton described the change from right guard to left guard as "Wiping your [bottom] with your other hand." So what is it that makes line position switching so commonplace?

I'd like to first thank Sitton – and you, of course – for this vivid, description. Though some offensive lineman switch sides more successfully than others, I'm hard-pressed to recall any describing the transition as easy. Why do players switch? Because their teams need them to do so, and because presumably the player being asked to switch is the team's best option at the position.

Brian from ROUND ROCK, TX

Sorry, the coach signing his son IS a dumb move. The conflict is more than obvious. Considering the fact that NFL players are on the edge of being cut constantly and the stakes are high, it is very easy to see how this could become a huge issue. The issue would be the players losing confidence in their coach. If the coach's son makes the team, he better be a great player. If he is borderline or just average and another player is cut that is perceived to be even marginally better, watch out. This situation has the potential to be much more serious than the Tim Tebow situation. Coach should know better.

I've written repeatedly that I don't expect the Jaguars signing tight end Josh Pederson, the son of Head Coach Doug Pederson, to be a big deal. I don't expect it to be a "serious" locker room situation. I say this because I've like to think I have at least a tangential feel for the nature of the Jaguars' locker room and Pederson's feel for running a team. But maybe that's wrong. Maybe you have a better feel for this. Makes sense.

Russell from Pecan Park

Very disappointed in your answer to Gero from Germany. He says he is a Jaguar fan and proceeds to put down the fans of which he knows nothing about. He believes we should be happy to give up home games as long as the people in Europe have a great time. Apparently, it is more entertaining for them than it is for us poor old hometown Fans. Instead of allowing him to get away with putting us, The City, the Jaguars, and the owner Shad Khan down and just saying OK, I wonder why you never even told him to be nice or question his right to watch a live game over the hometown fans. Truly beneath your standards. You tell American fans to be nice but say nothing when we are denigrated. No mention of what about the right of Jags fans to be entertained with a "live" football game. I think the arrogance and entitlement of this person is amazing and you just blew it off like it's OK to do that.


Jerry from Riverview, FL

John, would you please elaborate on your recent comment that you would like to see NFL rule changes that would allow cornerbacks to be more physical with receivers or something along those lines? Did you get any feedback from Jaguars receivers (assuming they read the O-Zone)?

Part of me would like defensive backs and defensive players in general able to hit receivers more freely – and to generally make more contact with receivers. I think there are times when the game has skewed too far into allowing offenses free reign. The more rational part of me knows this will never happen, and that part also knows it's necessary for the bigger picture of the health of wide receivers that this not happen. I haven't received any feedback from Jaguars receivers, nor do I expect any.

Anita from Springfield

Would it make sense to have running backs operate on shorter contracts than the rest of the NFL as rookies, or perhaps to up their pay scale? It seems to me that something is needed to rebalance things given their importance early on, and lack of realistic potential to make more money later in their careers. Just trying to solution this problem instead of complaining like everyone else.

This would make sense and it feels right on one level. That would require a major reworking of – or addendum to – the Collective Bargaining Agreement. It's hard to see owners agreeing to that, but it's not a bad idea.

Don from Marshall, NC

Ramsey won a Super Bowl but he broke the hearts of an entire city. He can never go back and change that. Enjoy that ring, Jalen. You're almost like the best player we ever had only a lot different! Go Jaguars!

When it comes to this topic, Don is not "all in."