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O-Zone: Shake it off

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Johnny from Sec 404 and Westside

I more or less blocked out last year, so I had forgotten about the Dallas Cowboys preseason game last year when we looked so good. I guess the "reading between the lines" answer is that practicing against subpar opponents is not very useful? It makes sense, though, upon reflection: Competition makes one better, not simply dominating a lesser opponent. Good call.

The Jaguars' victory over the Dallas Cowboys in the 2021 preseason finale indeed was the topic of a recent O-Zone question. The Jaguars in that game played many front-line players and looked very good against a Cowboys team playing mostly players who didn't make the regular-season roster. I don't know what the game said about practicing against subpar opponents; players certainly can improve from all sorts of practice situations. What the game did say was you can't draw many conclusions about the quality of a team from a preseason game, particularly when you're playing starters against third-team players. It's not a particularly brilliant "take." It's pretty self-evident and people who understand the NFL grasp it quickly.

Tom from Charlottesville, VA

For Thursday's game, do the starters and second string go by plane and the rest of the team by bus? Not a bad road trip. I took it with my best friend in 1995!

All Jaguars players, coaches and football personnel will fly to Canton, Ohio, for the Pro Football Hall of Game on the team charter. All will return to Jacksonville on the charter. Even the head coach.

Al from Orange Park, FL

Oh, no! Rich from Dacula, GA was right! Pederson is staying in Ohio after the game!! Hope he and Baalke don't get caught in any embarrassing circumstances …

Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson and General Manager Trent Baalke will return to Jacksonville with the team after Thursday's game. They will then return to Canton to attend former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli's Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony Saturday.

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

Has Coach Pederson called you a "Sneaky" Senior Writer yet?

Pederson knows where to find me.

Blues Man from Jacksonville

John - is it true that quarterback Trevor Lawrence intentionally threw an errant pass that hit you square on that big head, sending you to the ground? Rumor has it that's what's affecting your journalism this year.

T-Law knows where to find me.

Zac from Austin, TX

So, in your opinion, is the Hall of Fame Game an advantage or disadvantage to a newly assembled team? Let's say holding you to the fire and you had to choose one.

Any preseason game is good for any team in terms of roster evaluation because any preseason game gives players on the bottom of the roster more playing time. In terms of whether an extra preseason game will help a team's front-line players execute at a significantly higher level … nah. There is plenty of time in a couple of preseason games to get front-line professional football players ready for a season.

Kevin from Jacksonville Beach, FL

Hi, John. In response to Fred from Naples, could it be that since you are a Florida grad that you actually enjoy posting comments from those that question the quality of a degree from FSU.

Not really. People who know me well will tell you that while I indeed graduated from the University of Florida, I don't spend much time patting myself on the back for the so-called quality of degree. I'm fine with graduating from UF. I'm proud of the diploma, which – by the way – says, "With honors." (Back pat). But I don't have feelings one way or the other about the university, and I don't have feelings about FSU either way.

Luke from Brisbane, Australia

Howdy O. What's the go with depth charts? Do teams have to release them? Seems counterintuitive to let other teams know who your best players are. Thanks!

Teams release depth charts as part of their weekly media releases. All 32 NFL teams have access to coaches' video of every other team, so depth charts don't give other teams much information they don't already possess.

David from Chuluota, FL

O – In Week 1, the Jaguars will be facing the Washington Commanders and quarterback Carson Wentz. This is the same Carson Wentz that laid an egg in the last game he played against the Jags, that knocked the Indianapolis Colts out of the playoffs and likely played a role in his release. Now, on his new team, he has to learn a new offense, face a stouter Jags defense, and face his former head coach/offensive coordinator Doug Pederson that knows him inside and out. Throw in the fact that Washington's two best pass rushers, Chase Young (ACL) and Ryan Kerrigan (retired) will miss the game, and this game is ripe for the taking. #Start-the-stack

Sure it is. And in Washington, Commanders observers see a 3-14 Jaguars team in transition that forced nine turnovers last season and was last in the NFL in total offense. They also see a team with a lot of questions and without a lot of players who have proven they can play at a high level. I believe the Jaguars will be improved this season. I believe many players can and will prove they are good NFL players who can win. I believe, like you, they can win in Week 1. But the Commanders believe that game is just as winnable as the Jaguars do.

Dave from Jacksonville

KOAF, it's the week of Bo. I don't have a particular game memory that stands out. I just remember he was better than every defender he played against. It's a great week to be a Jags fan. Thank you for your articles. He has been an excellent ambassador to the community.

Hey … one fer Bo.

Bruce the Just from Owensboro, KY

Dear Sir Zone of O, I am somewhat surprised to see Tyler Shatley and not Ben Bartch getting the reps at left guard. What gives? Is Shatley that much better at the position or are they wanting experience next to a rookie center or what? Any input on this front?

The Jaguars currently believe Shatley is the better option at the position, and that he gives them the best chance to have the best offensive line possible on the field. That's the thought in this early part of training camp with no preseason games having been played. The Jaguars are working to find their best offensive line combination, so some things could change on this front during the preseason.

Kevin from Jacksonville

Yeah, given that Corey Grant ran an unofficial 4.18 forty at Auburn, I think it's safe to say Travis Etienne Jr. isn't as fast. Very few are really.


Ed from Jax by Lionel Playworld

How do players who wear red jerseys during practice prepare to get hit on game days? Are quarterbacks and those special skill players put through drills that simulate getting tackled or hit? Do they get trained on how to fall? Or, are coaches just winging it and hoping that the players can figure it out on game day?

NFL quarterbacks typically wear the red "practice" jerseys. Quarterbacks and any other player wearing a red jersey usually have played football for a decade or more. They presumably have been tackled plenty of times. They don't need practice falling.

David from Orlando, FL

Ozone. You recently said, "With teams now able to have 16 practice-squad players with six of those players able to be veterans of any amount of experience, the practice squad feels far more like an extension of the roster these days." The problem with the 16 practice-squad players is that other teams can poach your practice squad for free. It's just not right! Isn't there a rule that allows teams to protect a certain number of practice-squad players from being poached?

No. Teams can protect the 53 players on the active roster. A practice-squad player essentially is a free agent, which is only fair to the player.

Doug from Jacksonville

I apologize in advance KOAF, but when I see "I was watching film" I cringe. You weren't watching film. You were watching highlights or a re-televised or taped game. That's NOT film.

YouTube is awesome. People like it.

Joseph from Saint Johns, FL

What is the status of Rayshawn Jenkins? Has he recovered from his injury from last season?

Jaguars safety Rayshawn Jenkins is recovered from the ankle injury that ended his 2021 season. He is participating 100 percent in 2022 Training Camp.

Mr. Terry Staley from Jacksonville

When is someone going to put the gold back in/on our uniforms? A real Jaguar has MORE gold than any of its other colors.

I don't know. I also don't know who put the Bomp (in the Bomp Bomp Bomp). I don't know the identity of that man, come to think of it. I would like to shake his hand.