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O-Zone: Overdoing it

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Hal from Jacksonville Beach, FL

The schedule looks "gettable." I say playoffs, baby!! What say you?

The NFL indeed – and at long last – announced its 2022 schedule Thursday evening, though perhaps we disagree at least somewhat about the "gettability" of the Jaguars' schedule. From this view, it seems difficult in a couple of ways. One is that there are four road games in the first six weeks; that's not ideal. Another is that there is a stretch of five weeks with four road games in December/January. Still another is a brutal November, with all three games against teams that are expected to be really good – the Las Vegas Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens. I suppose the most "gettable" aspect of the schedule is that there is just one 2021 postseason team in the first eight games of the season. The thought here is the Jaguars need to be in decent shape -- .500 or better – after the October 30 game against the Denver Broncos at Wembley Stadium, because the schedule appears to get much tougher after that. This overall looks like a difficult schedule. Then again, when you have won four games over two seasons, schedules are going to look tough. If the Jaguars are improved, the schedule gets more gettable. A lot more.

Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville

It is insane the repeated pattern we see very season. We draft, we sign free agents and everyone looks and says "Wow, on paper we are going to be a great team!!!!" Then – every single year – preseason hits, things happen and to quote Major League, "Oh no we suck AGAIN!" Just pump the brakes people. If this team performed in games as well as it does on paper, we would have rings by now. In reality, we have a solid reputation for being in the Top 5 of the draft.

You couldn't be more correct. The Jaguars have been lauded during many recent offseasons and they entered many seasons with high hopes only to finish the following season as one of the NFL's worst teams. Is it fair that they have to win to prove to many people that this isn't the same story? No doubt. They have lost too much. Winning will change perceptions. That's all. Nothing else.

JR from The Squatchlands

I like the direction this team is heading. The defense got scary this offseason. The trenches are being solidified. There is a good mix of youth and veteran leadership. We don't have any proven big-time playmakers on offense, but have a head coach (Doug Pederson) who won a Super Bowl with a similar offense. All in all, things are looking more optimistic than they have in years passed. Thoughts?

Ask Greg.

John from Cape May Court House

Overall, I'm fine with the draft, although in today's game I believe in drafting offense and buying defense, but whatever. To play devil's advocate, I guess I just don't see stopping the run that important in today's game. With how the rules are set up, I think it's more important for a defense to get off the field on third down and try to hold teams to field goals. I don't really care if teams run up and down the field between the 20s as long as they end up kicking field goals. For my money, that's mission accomplished. That is all. As you were.

You're correct to a point – that you can win games and be effective defensively holding teams to mostly field goals. And getting off the field on third down indeed is critical. But while you can be sporadic against the run and win, you can't be poor against the run – and you darned sure can't be as poor as the Jaguars have been at times in recent seasons. If you can't stop the run well enough to get teams into third-and-long situations consistently, it's very difficult to get teams off the field on key downs. That's because you're rarely in good pass-rushing situations. If you don't stop the run, then that's all teams will do. A common cliché among NFL coaches is you must earn the right to pass rush by stopping the run. It's a cliché because it's true.

Doug from Jacksonville, Fl

O Man, with the new coaching staff and schemes is it possible your game can be elevated despite the lack of potential that has been shown in the past?

Probably not.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, is this the time of year when everyone starts complaining about our unfair schedule?

Perhaps my memory is failing, but I don't recall Jaguars fans complaining that much about unfair schedules in recent years. That makes sense. When you're as bad as this team has been in recent years, it's difficult for even the fanningest of fans to blame the schedule. I expect complaints on this front to grow as the team improves, so … fear not. Fans will fan about the schedule, even if they haven't lately.

Horatio from Ty Ty, Ga.

Could you please cancel the comments section? Even though you don't know what it is, it does exist and it is a wasteland occupied by only a few miserable misfits who slander you and many other fine citizens. Thank you.

What's a "fine citizen?"

David from Oviedo, FL

Zone - What was the last rock concert you attended?

Dwight Yoakam, Florida Theatre. Among my last few in recent years: Rolling Stones, TIAA Bank Field; Steve Earle, Ponte Vedra Concert Hall; Todd Snider, Ponte Vedra Concert Hall; and Drive-By Truckers, Florida Theatre. So, that's how I'm rolling these days.

Chris from Norfolk, VA

I think we get a win or two more for a reason few are considering. The company I work for got better almost immediately once they fired the bad apple. As a matter of fact, we all collectively gave more. You know the more, Zone? That tiny little more you didn't give because your boss was umm… delusional.


Al from Orange Park, FL

Would you care to share your thoughts on where the Jags 2022 kicker is going to come from? I guess it could still possibly be Matthew Wright? In the old days, they used to say that kickers were a dime a dozen. It doesn't seem to be that way anymore. Or is it?

Ryan Santoso, a first-year veteran who has spent time with five NFL teams – the Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans, New York Giants, Carolina Panthers and Los Angeles Rams – is currently the lone kicker on the Jaguars' roster. They also have agreed to terms with Iowa State kicker Andrew Mevis as a collegiate free agent. There's a good chance the Jaguars' 2022 kicker will come from that list.

Doug from Jacksonville, FL

If everything goes right all season the Jags would go 17-0. Just sayin'

Yep …

David from The Island

Hopefully in a few years outside linebacker Travon Walker and linebacker Devin Lloyd put the Jags in a very tough spot as to franchise and who gets a new contract.

…. yep, too.

Rich from Orange Park, FL

The Jaguars had a LOT of drops last year that absolutely cost us several games. With that being said, do you foresee us having another year with a lot of drops? I once heard a coach years ago say that if the ball touches your hand, you're supposed to make the catch. This was in high school, so for pro football players in the NFL, the amount of times I saw the ball hit the hands and not be caught last year was completely unacceptable. I surely hope I don't see countless missed opportunities again this year. I guess we can hold our glasses up to a new beginning.

The Jaguars had far too many drops last season, and it absolutely was a problem. I don't know how many games the issue specifically cost them. Remember: This team was pretty good at finding ways to lose last season. I don't know how to predict if the Jaguars will have a lot of drops next season. The receivers have the ability to make receptions. They just have to do it.

Robert from St. Augustine, FL

Why did we pay CJ Perry so much money as a potential backup?

Good young quarterbacks are hard to find and have value when you find them.

David from Orlando, FL

KOAF - A countdown ticker to when the new NFL schedule is released? Isn't this a bit excessive? This must be a sign that the dead zone is upon us!

Of course the buildup to the 2022 NFL Schedule Release in recent days was excessive. But hell … the leadup to the NFL Draft is excessive these days. And to the NFL Scouting Combine. Coverage of organized team activities and minicamps is excessive. It's the NFL in 2022, the age of the 24/7 news cycle and comments sections (whatever those are). What do you expect if not excessive?