Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

O-Zone: Pick play

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Michael from Orange Park, FL

What's up, Zone? Do I sense some pessimism in your tone here in the dead zone? Don't you like our chances this year?

I'm not sure I'm pessimistic, exactly – though I suppose I have tried to be realistic and objective when assessing the Jaguars' 2023 season. I absolutely believe they are the AFC South favorites and that they deserve that status. They won the South in '22, have an ascending young quarterback in Trevor Lawrence and have a very good head coach in Doug Pederson who also is a very good play-caller. At the same time, I have reminded readers throughout the offseason that the 2022 Jaguars needed to rally from double-digit deficits in their last four regular-season home games – including a miracle victory over the Tennessee Titans in Week 18 – to win that division and make the postseason for the first time in five seasons. This doesn't mean the Jaguars won't win the division in 2023. It does mean they have to maintain the upward trend they had late last season to not only win the South but to have a chance to push deep into the postseason. Are the Jaguars the AFC South favorites? Yes. But divisions are hard to win. And it's hard to push deep into the postseason. They need to show they are ready to do so, and that's what this season is about. Until it happens it hasn't happened.

Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA

Hi John. How will Cam Robinson be able to interact with the team during his suspension? Can he live practice? Attend meetings? Get medical attention? thanks.

This answer assumes Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson will begin the season under suspension – which, though reported, is not official. Robinson, like any NFL player suspended for performance-enhancing drugs, would be allowed to participate in training camp, preseason workouts and preseason games. His suspension would begin Week 1 and continue through however many games his reported suspension lasts. He cannot play games, practice or attend meetings while suspended.

Marcus from Jax

You mentioned recently that Cam's suspension could turn out to not be a suspension ... can you elaborate on that?

Until the league reports a suspension, a suspension is not official.

Fred from Naples, FL

I enjoyed your recentarticleon the Jaguars' offensive line – and believe me, in this dead zone I am pleased that you all are continuing to keep up our interest with content. But I must say I am not as optimistic as offensive line coach Phil Rauscher with the offensive line. I am glad that he is confident and optimistic. But here is the reality: Right guard Brandon Scherff, although probably hurt for the majority of the season, posted his lowest PFF grade of his career. He also allowed six sacks; also the most in his career. Neither Ben Bartch, when he was healthy, nor Tyler Shatley were in the Top 32 guards in the league last year. Center Luke Fortner struggled mightily as a rookie and needs to get stronger (and I heard he has). Which leaves us with the tackles. No Jaguar tackle was ranked in the Top 32 in the league and their best tackle (arguably) is now playing for the Kansas City Chiefs. Of course, Anton Harrison is a rookie and mostly unknown and Cam Robinson is due to be suspended for the start of the year. I get that Phil is naturally going to support his guys and is optimistic, but I believe it is one of the few position groups to be concerned about.

The Jaguars feel differently. The cool thing about the NFL is there are games to be played to determine this sort of thing.

Gator from Gainesville, FL

So I wuz talkin to butch who lives two trailers down and he summed up the stadium talk reel good. he said he to many homeless in jacksonville so he aint going. i said they are bilding a new fancy hotel and he said he aint staying downtown for nuthin i mentioned the new stadium and he said he never went to the old one and he aint gonna go to the new one so i guess butch summed it up. Dont do nuthin to make it better and we wont go cuz its old and gross and dont fix it cuz it will be to expensive easy thing is just let it rot and complain about it. butch is pretty smart. hes had more jobs than anyone i ever knowed.

one fer butch, I guess.

Sue from Omaha, NE

Hi, John. Do you think there will be an agreement for a long-term contract for Evan Engram? Thank you.

This is speculation on my part, but I think it's unlikely the Jaguars and tight end Evan Engram reach a long-term extension this offseason. That speculation is because we're now a few weeks from the July 15 deadline to reach that extension and my thought it is if the sides were going to reach a long-term deal this offseason, it already would have been reached. I therefore expect Engram to sign the franchise tender on or close to the July 15 deadline and play for the Jaguars on a one-year deal. I don't expect this to be a morale issue because I think Engram wants to play for the Jaguars and is capable of fitting into the locker room regardless of the contract situation. I would be surprised if this is a problem this season. I don't have a feel for Engram's Jaguars future beyond this season, though I think it would take an All-Pro level season in 2023 for a long-term extension to be reached.

Scott from Jacksonville

Why would Engram sign the tag tender around the 15th? The deadline is for getting a long-term deal done, not for signing the tag. If I were him, I would take a couple extra weeks off, if not more.

Perhaps he will.

Rich from Dacula, GA

Let me throw into the mix on this stadium debate that no one has mentioned as an option. Since the project won't start until 2026, a lot of water will go under the bridge in the NFL as they explore playing International. To solve the financial burden of such a large product and the city's financial impact, what if the Jags played their home games in London? The income from home games there, from what I understand, are quite profitable. Would the players like it??? Would the senior writer like it? Training camp could still be statewise. Just trying to think outside the box.

The senior writer would not like it. I recoil at inconvenience and international travel – not to mention time away from Mrs. Ozone and Rat Dog – defines "inconvenience." That won't matter to this decision, of course – though the players' thoughts might come into play. And while nothing is finalized on where the Jaguars will play home games if/when the stadium in downtown Jacksonville is unavailable because of upgrades, I would be surprised if the solution is all London home games. I could see a couple of stretches of back-to-back games there during that time. More on that possibility will be known after the Jaguars play home and road games on back-to-back weeks this season.

David from Ada, OK

Jaguars Owner Shad Khan owns the Jaguars and a plant in Ada, OK. We may not know that but everyone in my small town know it exists. Maybe the OP has no friends that work in Industry, but that plant is right down the street from my mother's house and it's been there since I was in high school in the 1980s. The point is most people don't know who the owner of most major manufacturing companies. That has nothing to do with success. Fame does not equal success. Being famous or being on TV doesn't make you someone. Shad's giving folks in Ada jobs and has for a long time. He's not moving our plant to London, or Mexico or any of those things people fear. He's just a businessman who makes money. Not a crime. For some reason successful businessmen are greedy unless of course we "know" them because we've seen their TV show.

One fer Khan – and Ada.

Tim from Jax

As a resident of Duval County, I like many others, will decide whether to pay more taxes to cover the cost of a new stadium, which I hope passes muster. But to all of the fans out there living elsewhere I say you don't have any skin in this game so move along now.

We have discussed ad nauseum here in the O-Zone recently about the importance of being nice. This doesn't stop at the county lines.

Chris from Fleming Island, FL

Not to be extra picky, but the Cowboys don't play in Dallas, and the Comoders don't play in Washington D.C.

Jaguars 2023 Training Camp begins July 26.