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O-Zone: Sage advice

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Mike from Atlanta, GA

They have done a great job in free agency. I don't understand the gnashing of teeth. Fans wanted a top-tier signing; we actually have two. Both are in the secondary, the position group that needed the most help. Safety Rayshawn Jenkins and cornerback Shaquill Griffin both got "top-tier" free agent money. This isn't the NBA where one superstar will come in and dominate teams. You have to go in with a strategy for the roster. We needed a good corner opposite CJ Henderson, a safety, a receiver to stretch the field and open things underneath, we definitely needed a power back to run in short yardage, a speedy kick returner would be a boost, and they needed not only big bodies for the defensive line, they needed a true nose tackle. They got all these things. The defense in only a couple days is markedly improved on paper. They didn't wait for Trevor Lawrence to get here to start building around him. They're setting him up for success. The fans should be really happy.

You made many good points, and you're right that the Jaguars absolutely accomplished what they wanted in free agency. I would lean toward defensive line being the biggest need entering free agency with secondary second, but that's probably splitting hairs. They did fill needs and they did improve – and Head Coach Urban Meyer and General Manager Trent Baalke clearly believed this free-agency period needed to be about using cap space to build an entire roster of better players rather than spending wildly on a few players. As Meyer said Friday when speaking to the media, there may come a time to pursue a "$25 million player" – but that time for the Jaguars isn't now. The Jaguars believed the defensive line and secondary needed to be rebuilt. They went a long way toward that rebuilding this week. So, mission accomplished – and well done, Mike. And while we're on the topic of kudos to Mike, here's another. You accomplished what I long have thought of as the O-Zone Holy Grail by using "fans" and "happy" in the same sentence. "Mad props" to you, good man. #muchrespect

Scott from Atlantic Beach, FL

Josh Oliver, an unknown, at a clear position of need for a seventh? Hope they're right.

I've been a bit surprised by the hue and cry among some readers about the Jaguars trading tight end Josh Oliver, which they reportedly did Thursday night. Yes, he had potential. Yes, the Jaguars invested a third-round selection in him in the 2019 NFL Draft. But he has played just four games in two NFL seasons. There's also a new regime of decision-makers. Oliver is exactly the sort of player with whom new regimes part ways; this general manager and head coach didn't select him, and his health history made him an unknown at a position where the Jaguars must start improving quickly. Perhaps Oliver will eventually do great things. But his being traded wasn't unusual given the circumstances.

Cristiano from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Biggest hole on defense (interior defensive line) addressed in free agency. Biggest hole on offense (quarterback) to be addressed at the draft. Quite an offseason, right?

So far, so good.

Terry from Cordele, GA

How long has it been? Surely you know, oh keeper of all things relevant, and other useless stuff. One of the newest Jaguars on Friday said, "There was no sales pitch. I see everything unfolding and I just want to be a part of it." Have we really turned the corner that fast? That now free agents look at Jacksonville as a place, if not the place, to come?

I perhaps would pump the brakes on THE place to come. Not that it won't happen; it's just not fair to say it's there quite yet. But it's clear from the events of the past week that free agents consider Jacksonville a perfectly reasonable destination. As Meyer said often Friday, it still comes down to the team's willingness to write the check and get in the game, but there definitely is a feeling this offseason of players liking the idea of signing with this organization. For a variety of reasons. And that's obviously a positive for the organization.

Stephen from Wallingford, CT

I don't like the Josh Oliver trade. He has(d) great upside and could be a viable weapon on offense with his speed, route running and hands at a position of need. Four games in two years is a big setback, but it's also not enough film to write the kid off, especially at only 23 years old.


Alan from Jacksonville

According to the Pro Football Focus Improvement Index, the Jaguars were the fourth-most improved team after the early stages of free agency while our AFC South rivals all got worse. Is it too early to hold out hope we'll be competitive this year or should I wait?

Remember, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. So, yes, Alan, hope. Why not?

Nick from Virginia Beach, VA

Another national media member declares we leave Jacksonville in five years. I'm so over this narrative. Khan get rid of the London narrative once and for all please.

I guess Dan Graziano of ESPN said something about the Jaguars and London Friday. I say this caring about as much as I have cared about other media saying something about the Jaguars and London in recent years. I also say the same thing I have been saying regarding this story since I can remember. I expect the Jaguars to continue having a presence in London. For how long, I don't know. I don't expect the Jaguars to leave Jacksonville because Owner Shad Khan doesn't want the Jaguars to leave Jacksonville. That's what matters. Not what national media happen to say or not say whenever they happen to say or not say it.

Alon from Malibu, CA

After this first week of free agency, the Jaguars loaded up with depth at defensive line, wide receiver and defensive backfield. Besides quarterback and tight end, do you see any positions of need that you see the Jaguars filling in their first five picks (three rounds)?

Those appear to be the two major needs for the Jaguars at this point. That's a positive, because it means they can pretty much draft for "special" throughout the draft.

Royce from Jacksonville, FL

Mr. O, it looks like the worst performing defensive lineman from 2020 will continue to be with the team.

I'm assuming you're cleverly – if perhaps a bit too subtly and vaguely – trying to make a point about … well … something. I guess we'll discuss whatever you wanted to discuss at some point. It's a long offseason. Perhaps we'll have time.

Jake from Hawthorne, NJ

For those questioning the Josh Oliver move, a third-round pick for a seventh, think back to how the last regime struggled to find any returns on Leonard Fournette – a first round pick for nothing.

Why in the world would people be surprised Oliver only brought a seventh-round selection? He has played four games in two seasons. He might eventually be good, but he currently is an NFL unknown – and therefore one with comparatively little value on the market. Maybe he will turn out to be productive. But he wasn't going to get much more than a seventh-round selection.

Bill from Jacksonville, FL

Hey "O," what was the name of that quarterback that briefly played for us last year? You know, the one from Mississippi, I think. Is there anything in the rumor mill about a trade? Inquiring mind!

There have been reports this week that teams have inquired about trading for Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II. Meyer said Friday morning the team is not currently fielding offers. So, really there's nothing concrete on this front. It wouldn't be surprising if the Jaguars moved Minshew and it wouldn't be shocking if they don't. Stay tuned.

Don from Marshall NC

Chris Manhertz may not catch many passes, but the guy is the best blocking tight end in the game. You can do so many things offensively when you have a guy like him. The Jaguars picked up some really good players for the right price I thought. Exciting times my friend! Go Jaguars!

Here we go, Jags.

Jay from Hamilton, Ohio

In the last two years Cam Robinson has given up the second-most pressures in the entire NFL. The only starter worse than him was Jawaan Taylor. These are facts. How are Jaguars' fans supposed to have any confidence in our O-Line with stats like this? Don't say, "Because Urban Meyer and George Warhop have confidence in them." That means nothing to the fans. We go by facts.

Insider tip: Don't write people with questions telling them how to answer or not answer. My guess is it won't result have the desired result – if, that is, your desired result is an answer to your question.