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O-Zone: Simply spectacular

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Chris from Mandarin

John, I think we both know that if the Jaguars go on to success with Trevor Lawrence, we're going to see national sports commentators saying things like "Jacksonville doesn't deserve this, blah, blah, blah." There are other small market teams. What the hell is it really that makes our team get viewed this way? Is it because people like Tony Kornheiser didn't think we should have gotten the team in the first place? They act like Jacksonville is a terrible place where people can't walk and chew gum at the same time.

I suppose some national media will say such things if Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence is generational – and if the team becomes a power. Others will praise and say other things. The negative will resonate with Jaguars fans because that's what negative words do. Why is there an anti-Jacksonville sentiment among some nationally? Jacksonville is a small market. It's in Florida. People like to make fun of it. It's an easy target. I guess I'm past the point of worrying about this. I love Jacksonville. I grew up here and have lived here most of my life. I choose to be here and work here. My roots are here and some of the best people I know are from here. I guess I just can't get that worked up if people unfamiliar with the city and the area don't agree. I don't like the anti-Jacksonville sentiment. I think it's amateurish and lazy. I imagine winning will change the perception over time. We'll see.

Jason from North Pole, AK

I am excited about Walker Little as well, but I do not want him taking over a starting tackle position at any point this season. That feels like a bad thing for the team because it means that Cam Robinson or Jawaan Taylor is not playing well. Isn't the best-case scenario that both tackles elevate their level of play, Cam earns a big contract elsewhere and Little starts his first games in 2022 so the Jaguars can spend money on other positions?

I understand your point, and I agree that the Jaguars want both Taylor and Robinson playing at a high level in 2021 – and that scenario could keep Little out of the lineup. But the best­­­­-­­­case scenario for the Jaguars here is that all three tackles play at a high level in 2021; if that happens to mean Little playing so well that he starts as a rookie, so be it. If Robinson plays at a level so mind-blowingly high that the Jaguars can't help but sign him to a long-term deal, they can figure out where to play Little/Jawaan Taylor. Having great players is a solvable problem.

Scott from Jacksonville

There's not enough talent on this team to go 10-7 if our quarterback is a dud.

With rare exceptions, there's not enough talent on most NFL teams to go 10-7 if the quarterback is a complete dud.

Radford from Orange Park, FL

Ryan, went ninja-style on the topping/calzone subject, eh? Speaking of combat … would love to get Sir KOAF's perspective on the state of professional boxing. Its biggest audience draws and paydays for fighters now seem to be from prominent YouTube and former MMA stars. Being from an older generation, it would have never seemed that MMA could have supplanted professional boxing in the public's eye ... but that's seemingly exactly what has happened. The powers that be (were) in professional boxings' fault or is it the times just a changin'?

I don't follow professional boxing close enough to know exactly why MMA has supplanted/is supplanting it; in a sport with as many layers – and as many sanctioning bodies – as boxing it's difficult to offer insight unless you're familiar with those layers and the nuances/storylines/issues that go along with them. My instinct as a very casual observer is that MMA has done a great job marketing and offers quicker, fights with more non-stop action to appeal to younger viewers. That's a rather obvious "take" and probably adds little to what is probably a fascinating conversation – so pretty much par for the course for this forum, I suppose.

Rob from Jacksonville



Bill from Ponte Vedra

My answer to Federer vs Djokovic: Rod Laver.

Fair – and if Laver had played in tennis' open era, he might well have more grand slam titles than either Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic. And Laver might be Federer's answer to this question, too.

Dave from Jacksonville

Back-to-back Stanley Cups, Super Bowl Champs and World Series runner up, KOAGF, did I mention they are partying in Champabay? Should this be a bigger story? Has the story moved from the big market to us here in Florida?

Tampa is on a remarkable run. It's a story. It's on social media. People are talking about it. How should it be bigger?

Steve from Nashville, TN

With the 17thgame this year and assuming Trevor Lawrence stays healthy, is Justin Herbert's rookie passing record of 4,336 yards set last year in jeopardy – or would that be a bad thing implying our running game is not productive in 2021 causing more throws?

It absolutely could be in jeopardy, but your point is correct that the Jaguars would like very much to run well enough for Lawrence not to need to set that record.

Iron John from St. Augustine, FL

Enjoyed "Rookies to Watch" but for my vote, it's Andre Cisco. Where do you see him fitting in the DB room?

As a starting safety when health and knowledge of the defense permit.

Blaine from Prescott, AZ

Hey Grand Funk Treadmill. My vote, Led Zeppelin I, but I am old. Serious comment to Jaguars fans ... the tight end position this coming season will not be how many passes did they catch, how many touchdown receptions did they make. While any will be welcomed, the real question will be who are the two best blockers? Your left and right tackles will need their help protecting your new shiny quarterback. By the way, GFT, who are the two best blocking tight ends on the roster?

Chris Manhertz is one – or at least that was the expectation when the Jaguars signed him as an unrestricted free agent from the Carolina Panthers in March. Stay tuned on the other.

Steve from Wallingford, CT

Hear me out on this one. Teams often overpay mediocre players. In turn, top players have a basis to demand larger money. So, by holding a summit and improving the bottom end, you in fact are creating an opportunity for a mediocre player to be overpaid – and then using them as a basis for why you need a bigger contract. It's in fact genius.


Big on Blake from Philly

Despite the results of a Jaguars game, would you consider the day a win if you're eating a Taco Bell while mocking up the Late Night O-Zone? What's your current winning streak?

That might make the day a win. The results of the night might be far different and less pleasant.

Josh from Yulee, FL

How does Aaron Rodgers not realize how off-putting his behavior is?? Or does he just not care?

I don't cover the Green Bay Packers or their quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. I can only imagine that he believes he's well within his rights to say and act as he is doing – which he is – and that he believes that being within those rights makes it OK. He never has struck me as someone who cares all that much about people's perception of him and he is certainly comfortable speaking his mind and doing as he sees fit – whether those words and actions are popular or not. He's a megastar who's presumably financially secure for life. When that's your situation not everything you do or say has to be popular.

Fred from Naples, FL

I was a baseball catcher for 12 years and then a runner. I had my left knee replaced six months ago and my right knee replaced six weeks ago … so you keep running?!

I "NordicTrack" more than I run, which takes wear and tear off the knees and ankles. But if I didn't have the NordicTrack … yeah, I would probably keep running.

Sean from Jacksonville

What upgrade do you think would benefit the team the most? Doesn't have to be something already being planned. I think a covered stadium would be the biggest benefit. It would serve the fans and the team from having to play in the blazing sun. Or, a Sno-Cone machine. That would be spectacular.

Some sort of shade is a must. I would be stunned if any major renovation to TIAA Bank Field didn't include it. But yes … nothing would be quite as spectacular as a Sno-Cone machine. Maybe they can borrow the one they had at Arlington Little League in '74. That machine made the best ones I ever tasted.