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O-Zone: Pour it on

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Larry from Duncan, OK

Great and powerful O: Congratulations to the Jaguars for getting the new deal done with the punter. Don't you think he will more than earn his money this upcoming season? Wonder what the NFL record for most punts in a season is? One more thing, is the rumor true that Jacksonville has petitioned the NFL to change the name of the franchise from Jacksonville to East Seattle?

The Jaguars indeed punter Logan Cooke to a contract extension over the weekend. It was a deserved extension for a player who has performed at a high level since being selected by the Jaguars in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Your question, though, implies that the Jaguars will struggle offensively enough that Cooke will punt an insane number of times. Or break the record of 114 punts in a season. I don't know that this team will be an offensive juggernaut on any sort of historical level, but the Jaguars bring back an experienced offensive line. They bring back a productive, young running back. They look to have improved at wide receiver. They presumably will be better at quarterback. If they didn't set a record for punts in a season last season, why would they set it this season? As far as changing the team name to East Seattle … if that didn't happen in the middle of the last decade early in the Gus Bradley era, it sure won't happen now.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

This time last year, the Jaguars had signed tight end Tyler Eifert and linebacker Joe Schobert. While neither are Pro Bowl players, they were decent starters. They had also signed defensive lineman Rodney Gunter, who would have likely been a solid starter until a heart condition tragically ended his career. Which current free-agent signings got us players of equal or better abilities?

I would expect safety Rayshawn Jenkins and cornerback Shaquill Griffin to start, and I would expect defensive tackle Malcom Brown to start. I expect wide receiver Marvin Jones to either start or play a key role, and I expect defensive tackle Tyson Alualu also to play a key role. I actually expect all 12 players acquired in recent days to contribute in key roles because the Jaguars signed/traded for all 12 for specific reasons.

Aqeel from Toronto, Canada

There finally seems to be a plan in place. These moves reminded me what the New England Patriots and Seahawks used to do. The Patriots in finding role players who were overlooked but productive ... and the Seahawks when Pete Carroll brought in anyone and everyone through free agency and other methods to see what he could find. He had a vision of how to use them in his scheme. Things took off when they found out what they had in quarterback Russell Wilson. I would not be surprised to see a similar approach and for the Jags to have lots of bodies come through during camp. The best part is they will have head start in the quarterback area. Do you think I am off-base here Mr. O?


Nick from Palatka, FL

Zone, since tight end seems to be one of the more difficult positions to hit on in the NFL Draft – and the Jags still need a dominant over-the-middle guy – what do think Head Coach Urban Meyer's strategy will be next month? Trade up to snatch Pitts or use half the remaining picks after No. 1 on the position? As much as James O'Shaughnessy and Chris Manhertz bring to the table it doesn't seem like that room has been "overhauled" yet.

Neither. I expect the price to trade up to move up from No. 25 to select Florida tight end Kyle Pitts to be prohibitive. And remember: If a team wants a player badly enough, it's possible nothing would be enough to entice a trade. But I don't expect the Jaguars to simply throw draft selections after Round 1 at the tight-end position. I do expect them to use one of their five selections in the first three rounds there. Stay tuned.

Jim from Neptune Beach, FL

I know history is fact-based, but I'm of the belief that it's now not realistic to continue to present this team as the 1-15 team it was last year. New management, new coach, mostly new coaching staff, new (probable) quarterback, new defense alignment and D-line, and a draft of new players, etc. Time to shed the old "loser" cloak and take a clear-eyed, optimistic view of our team. This isn't a better version of the 2020 team, it's an entirely new team.

Jim has weighed in.

Bob from Sumter, SC

I like that Smoot, Herndon, Shatley, Sidney Jones have all re-signed. They are solid contributors and help change the narrative that all the players can't wait to leave Jacksonville (Dante Fowler, Yannick Ngakoue, Jalen Ramsey)

I don't know that those players will change many narratives, but re-signing defensive end Dawuane Smoot, cornerback Tre Herndon, offensive lineman Tyler Shatley and cornerback Sidney Jones IV made sense on a number of fronts. The main reason is they all were players who have proven they can contribute and play roles the roles expected from them. I don't anticipate any of the list to make the Pro Bowl – or perhaps even start that often. But they're experienced, second-contract players – and the Jaguars haven't had enough of those types of players in enough roles in recent seasons.

Bradley from Sparks, NV

What kind of numbers will Trevor Lawrence have to put up to be added to the Mahomes, Polamalu shampoo commercial?

Big ones.

Bob from Sumter, SC

Jaguars linebacker Quincy Williams hasn't played a whole lot but when he has he seemed to play really from Point A to Point B. I'm curious if he will find a role in the new scheme. The previous regime saw enough in him to use a third-round pick.

Williams can run and certainly has the ability to play fast. If he does so, he will have a chance to play a role on a team coached by Meyer.

Camilo from Barranquilla, Colombia

JO- If the Jags aren't drafting for need, want to bet they don't select an O lineman with their second or third pick?

Ya lost me, Camilo.

Bradley from Sparks, NV

I used to watch quarterbacks Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson quite a bit when they were in college and I thought both were going to be great pros and I would have absolutely drafted them, and I typically win more than I lose betting on the game. I paid off my German car just on Tampa's playoff run alone. I also know that every single player, coach, scout and every last person in the front office of every team knows a million times more than me about football. Every single senior sportswriter has forgot more football than I will ever know. These people in most cases played college and pro football then started spending 60 to 70 hours or more every week immersing themselves in every facet of the game that we only use for entertainment. These people pay their mortgages and put their kids through school and/or drug rehab with their knowledge of the sport. It's fun to fan but before it gets too crazy, we should remember they are the pros and we are the amateurs.

I don't know that every senior sportswriter has forgotten more football than you. This one, yes, but every one…

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, when a typical NFL player becomes a Free Agent, do they have a better chance at getting picked up by another team, or not being picked up and likely to move on to their next career?

How good is the player?

Terry from Cordele, GA

When was the last time a new player (Jihad Ward) sounded like this, " I give my all to that guy because he always gives his all to me, so that's my dog." I know we have had "players coaches" before, but the tone of respect is somehow different, are you sensing that not only is this becoming a very good free agency period, but this staff is showing that it is special as well?

This answer is not meant to douse the enthusiasm about the new coaching staff, but the Jaguars' defensive linemen loved playing for former Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash. Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue loved Wash. So did defensive tackle Abry Jones. So did others. That said, I'm not remotely surprised that new Jaguars defensive end Jihad Ward loves playing for new Jaguars defensive coordinator Joe Cullen. He commands unreal respect and loyalty from players – and yes, there is a good vibe and feeling about the coaching staff. We'll see where it goes, but it's sure there now.

Vince from Farmington NM

Mr. O- You're welcome...

So, you were the one who poured it forward for me at Strings? Awesome. Thank you. (Bullet Bob Hazy, if you're getting specific.)