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O-Zone: Safe bet

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Howard from Homestead, FL

Dead Zone question: If you can pick ONE book on the history of football to recommend, what book is it?

I couldn't do this question justice, because I prefer football books that focus on specific player/eras rather than the entire history of the game. The first football book I loved was Instant Replay by Jerry Kramer, which focused on the 1967 Super Bowl campion Green Bay Packers – and I read an embarrassing number of other football books growing up. I can, though, tell you the two best books on professional football I've read. One is A Thinking Man's Guide to Professional Football by the late Paul Zimmerman, Sports Illustrated's NFL writer when that magazine mattered most. The other is Football in America: Game of the Century by longtime Los Angeles Times NFL writer Bob Oates. These books weren't as much overview history as studies in how the NFL works on and off the field. I read Zimmerman's book shortly after I graduated college and I remember thinking how cool it would be to be able to write something like that. Oh well.

CMo from The Cats, CA

O-man. Being that we are in the dead zone, how many people make up the entire Jaguars organization (excluding players)? I am curious what it takes to put on this show that we all watch each year. From the big guy, down through the executives, coaches, advertising, public relations, administrative jobs, field/building maintenance teams, The Roar, janitors, to the hard-working Senior Writers and below. And how many work on game day to put on the show for the fans? Are all these gameday folks on the Jaguars payroll, or is there a separate stadium/city/business entity that pays to put on the game? Cheers.

As with many large businesses, this is a tough question to answer precisely. The Jaguars employ some contract employees in various areas, and many staffers that "put on the games" work only on game days. And most of the maintenance and security staffs around TIAA Bank Field, for example, are not full-time Jaguars employees. Roughly 200 full-time employees not including players make up marketing, communication, personnel, coaching, human relations, training, analytics, finance, ticket sales, Jaguars Media, etc. There are many layers of this, with none below senior writer. Obviously.

David from Ada, OK

People need to chill. I'd pay more taxes to fund the construction of a Dairy Queen. I have to drive 45 minutes just to get a Dilly Bar.

David is "all in" on Dilly Bars – and why the hell not?

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, is it true the entire year is the dead-zone for Frenette?

There is no dead zone for longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette. When you're setting that sort of tone, maintaining that sort of pace, achieving that sort of consistent excellence, consistently leading your peers with that sort of humility and grace, there are no days off.

Pedal Bin from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK

Oh Mighty 'O' / King of all Funk, I think 'O-Zone Field' has a nice ring to it. Or Rat Dog Field. Yes, Rat Dog Field, that's it! Are you going to phone Mr. Khan or shall I?

Shad Khan knows where to find me.

Richard from St Augustine, Fl

I know you have covered the possible new stadium refurbish ad nauseam, but I would like to reiterate what owner Shad Khan and others have mentioned – but not many. I don't see anyone else offering to put up $1 billion or 50 percent of cost of project. I understand $1 billion is a lot for the city to put up when there are other things needed for Duval. But with Shad putting up 1 billion/50 percent, Duval will benefit much more than the $1 billion/50 percent the city is investing long term. Seems like a bargain even though it is a billion dollars. What say you Grand Pooba of all things Funk?

I say you're right, but I also say this is a predictable dynamic. It's not vogue or cool to give billionaires credit in these situations. The easy thing to do is criticize the wealthy for not doing more. More people are going to say "Why can't he pay everything?" than are going to say "Wow, he's paying a lot." It's just how most people are wired.

John from Jacksonville

Hi, KOAGF. Fans worry about defensive ends and sack counts. I believe that big leads by power offenses will result in more sacks and make fans happy. The Jags have a chance this season to do just that. A concern that I have is that we don't let other teams pull a Jags on the Jags by being behind and then coming back to win at the end. This is usually due to the offense or defense getting "comfortable" with their lead. You agree? Do you think this is the season when the Jags will be in the lead more than in catch up mode?

I agree with your point on the Jaguars' pass rush. The most-overlooked factor that usually leads to a great pass rush is game circumstance. I covered Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, the pass-rushing tandem for the powerful Indianapolis Colts teams, in the prime of those players' careers. Both players have strong arguments for the Hall of Fame. Neither would have been remotely as effective had they played on a team that trailed late in game as opposed to that Colts team that usually led in the fourth quarter. I anticipate holding leads being an issue for the Jaguars at times this season. That's not necessarily because I think they will be bad at it. It's more because most teams struggle with this at times. The league favors offense and the passing game so much that teams are going to come back a lot. That's usually more of a factor in teams overcoming late leads than overconfidence.

Reese from Loyal Jaguar fan in VA

_That was absolutely a question!..more of a statement question really..I wasn't second guessing my fandom because even when we lost during the games I was so lucky and happy to attend, my love for this organization NEVER wavered(even though the 1st half of the chargers playoff game had me at my sports sadness max)..It doesn't matter if we lose by 1 or 100,I enjoyed every moment watching,cheering and also talking smack to the opponent fanbase accordingly .I also grew up a Washington fan and I am so happy to be a life long Jacksonville Jaguars now even though I've never even visited Florida before.Thank you to Christopher from CA,I too have had the awesome pleasure to share memories with Jags fan who do not live in or near Duval county.I just know one day I will be able to celebrate a W and hopefully it will be at Everbank stadium if I am lucky enough to ever get a chance to visit...I simple was trying to involke a "why the hell not" to my question I asked recently,but ok...Go Jags!!!       _

You go, girl.

Travis from High Springs

I've been really excited about the Jaguars' future now that they finally have a franchise quarterback and a Super Bowl-winning head coach. I was reading an article recently about all the great young quarterbacks in the AFC, how every division has at least one, and how hard it's going to be to represent the conference in the Super Bowl for years to come. So, I was hoping that maybe having a coach with Super Bowl experience would give us an advantage. Until I started looking around at the rest of the AFC. Every other division also has at least one coach that's won a Super Bowl – Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots in the East, Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers and John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens in the North, and Sean Payton of the Denver Broncos and Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs in the west. It's crazy to think Lawrence and Peterson could have Hall of Fame careers here and never make it out of the conference.

While it's true that quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Head Coach Doug Pederson could have Hall of Fame careers and the Jaguars not make the Super Bowl, that would also be true if no other AFC coach had won a Super Bowl and if we knew nothing about any other AFC quarterback. Past success guarantees nothing in the NFL. It's all about what you do next, and Lawrence/Pederson are perfectly capable of being the best at what they do no matter the level of competition.

CaptBob from Jax

In response to Unhipcat from Carlsburg, the following: I can't speak for the others using pseudonyms, but mine is real, but not picked by me. My colleagues gave me that title upon finding out that I was a former military officer. With that recognition, I use it proudly. Perhaps Unhipcat is truly "unhip"? Perhaps he's like another colleague, bet I wasn't a Captain and after shown proof, still reneged on the bet.

Jaguars 2023 Training Camp begins July 26.