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O-Zone: Powerful stuff

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Dave from Jacksonville

Zone, it sure was good to see for myself Thursday. Did Gardner Minshew II lose his backup job that day? He did not have a good practice. Trevor's talent looks special. He has Elway's arm with Drew Brees' accuracy.

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence indeed was very good for a second consecutive practice Thursday, and he has been the story of Jaguars 2021 Training Camp to date. That's an incredibly good thing for the Jaguars and their fans, because all indications are the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft is every bit as good as expected. And that he might be really good really early. It seems likely it will not be long before the Jaguars name Lawrence the starter – or at least begin giving him the vast majority of the starting repetitions in practice. But this not so much about Minshew as it is about Lawrence. I didn't see Minshew being much different Thursday than as he has been in his first two NFL seasons. He just looks different when compared directly with Lawrence. That's not Minshew's fault. A lot of players would have the same fate. As for your final thought … yes, Lawrence's talent is special. Is he John Elway? Drew Brees? Well, he looks awfully good. Maybe he will be a combination of many good things and it will be a case of comparing other quarterbacks to him. That's the goal.

Dave from Orlando, FL

Johnny O. As you watch the offseason program unfold, you will get a better understanding of the team the Jags will field this year. Please let us know if at any time you would like to update your win/loss prediction and – on the bright side – if you ever feel confident they will be over .500.

I don't really have a "win-loss prediction" for the Jaguars for 2021, though I did say during the offseason I expected somewhere in the six-to-to-eight victory range considering their 1-15 record from last season, the presence of a rookie quarterback and the overall youth/newness of the roster. I will say this: I am more optimistic about Lawrence than I expected to be after two days of training camp. A lot more. If he's as good as he has looked so far, could that change expectations for this team this season? Sure. Absolutely.

Alan from Jacksonville

Would there be any repercussions from the NFL Players Association Union if the Jaguars released a player citing their refusal to get vaccinated as the reason? Perhaps a marginal player/sacrificial lamb is in order to prime the get-vaxed pump.

The NFL's get-vaxed "pump" is pretty primed. More than 80 percent of Jaguars players are vaccinated, and the numbers are up significantly around the NFL in recent weeks. A league official tweeted on Thursday that 87.9 percent of players are now vaccinated – and that 19 teams are over 90 percent. I would expect ramifications from the league and the NFL Players Association if a team cited COVID-19 officially as a reason for a player's release. Either way, players know the terrain. The day-to-day life of players is far more difficult for unvaccinated players than it is for vaccinated players, and marginal players certainly won't be helping themselves if they go unvaccinated. Because of that, I expect players to be very close to 100 percent vaccinated by the time the regular season begins. We'll see.

Mike from Reality

Politics ruined it for me. Lifelong sports fan and now I have no sports to turn to.


Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, although we all hope CJ Henderson lives up to his potential as a top 10 pick, based on what we've seen so far, do you think it is likely that he actually lives up to expectations?

I think there's a chance that could happen for Jaguars cornerback CJ Henderson. Nothing that I saw on the field last season makes me think he can't be very, very good – even elite. How he approaches the game – his dedication in the offseason, commitment to consistency, being a professional, etc., etc., etc. – will determine a lot.

Mike from Cortland, NY

Long way to travel for me to the 'Bank. Ticket prices are nuts this year, it seems. I've only ever been twice, is it really worth all the extra chickens to be in the club?

I'm told the clubs are cool on game days, though I never have been there on game days and doubt that will ever happen. My game-day schedule doesn't allow it. But it's nice there. I can't speak to what it's worth. I'm cheap by nature and separating with money pains me. Some people are different. I can't imagine how.

David from Ada, OK

If I remember right, you like the early Beatles stuff but if you had to pick: "Abbey Road," "Revolver," "Rubber Soul," or "Let it Be?"

"Rubber Soul." Ask me on a different day, I might say, "Revolver."

Mark from Prescott, AZ

What, and where, are the "Jaguar media channels?"

The Jaguars' media channels are places to see Jaguars video. They're on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter. All those interweb things.

Terry from Cordele, GA

We hear a lot about players (quarterbacks, specifically) have a steep learning curve when a new coaching staff comes in. But doesn't it make sense for that staff to sit down with those players and use terminology and schemes that the player is comfortable with? Wouldn't this be especially true when a team has the majority of starters returning?

In one sense, yes. Remember: Schemes are comparatively the same from team to team, as are concepts. And most teams make an effort to adapt terminology when there's a new coaching staff. With the Jaguars this past offseason, for example, the offensive staff went through the playbook and decided what to call formations and options of those formations. In some cases, terminology that offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell previously used was kept; in other cases, the staff – including Head Coach Urban Meyer – decided it made more sense to call certain formations or plays something else. There are many moving parts in the NFL these days, with personnel and coaching staffs usually changing at least somewhat each offseason. All offenses – no matter the coordinator – look at least somewhat different from all other offenses, and they adapt annually.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

The Hunt is just fantastic. Props to the team. If you could pick an interview for as long as you chose with any member of the coaching staff outside of Urban, who would it be and why? You get any questions you want and all off the record. Who and why, O? I'm going defensive coordinator Joe Cullen.

I'll go the same because I enjoy listening to Cullen's insight into defense and players.

Dr Fauci from CDC

HIPAA doesn't prevent employers from asking for proof of vaccination, or prevent employers from mandating a vaccine. HIPAA "protections" refer to the amount of information a healthcare provider can ask you, and release to other entities. Very specifically, healthcare. Your employer can't obtain your vaccination or any other records from your healthcare provider. That would be a HIPAA violation. So, yes, it is legally within their rights for the NFL to mandate vaccinations, and to ask players if they're vaccinated.

I'm not going to dig deep on HIPAA rules here. Teams do ask players if they are vaccinated. And sure, employers can mandate vaccinations. But NFL teams can't mandate that players be vaccinated. The NFL and the NFL Players Association operate under a Collective Bargaining Agreement. It's not your "normal" employee-employer relationship.

Art from Drexel Hill, PA

HIPAA protects your information from being shared by you physician without your consent. It does not mean people aren't allowed to ask you questions. Asking if someone is vaccinated or a business implementing medical requirements are not violations. Seems like some of the readers are confused about this.

Yes, it does.

David from Orlando, FL

KOAF – Nowadays in practice, you can't come near the quarterback with a 10-foot pole. Do you remember a time when the defense could sack the quarterback in practice?

I began covering the NFL in 1995. I do not recall a time when defenses could sack or hit – or even touch – a quarterback during that time. This is not a commentary on the toughness of NFL quarterbacks. It's a commentary on their importance.

Tim from Section 123

O- I'm writing this email to you from my hospital bed. My wife and I are middle-aged healthy people who fought COVID-19 at home for almost two weeks before going to the ER due to low oxygen levels. We were not interested in the vaccine because we had no reasonable expectation this could happen to us. I'm now encouraging everyone I know to get vaccinated because believe me, if this could happen to us, it could happen to anyone.

Wishing you a return to health as quickly as possible. And thank you for writing.