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O-Zone: So cool

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Clyde from Jacksonville

I heard a good point about running back being devalued. Teams are more focused on building a great offensive line these days to protect franchise quarterbacks and believe with a great offensive line any decent running back can gain the yards needed. They are paying offensive linemen and not paying big money for a running back helps pay the Big Ugly guys – and keep the quarterback clean and healthy. Made sense to me. How do you feel about this idea? I like your insight, I don't care what everyone says.

This doesn't feel like a complete explanation to this phenomenon, although I just may not be seeing it correctly. And there may, in fact, may be a bit of truth here. I don't know that teams are more focused on the offensive line than years past. It always has been an important area of team-building. But teams are certainly more inclined to allocate large percentages of the salary cap there than at running back. Mostly, though, the devaluation of running back is about teams realizing – and acknowledging – the short shelf life of the position. When it comes time for a second contract, teams are disinclined to invest long-term money in players who at that stage likely are a season or two from beginning to decline. You don't reward players. You don't pay players for past performance. You pay players for future production.

John from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

DZ Question. What are your thoughts on the New York Times closing down its Sports Department?

You're referencing the news this week that the New York Times was dissolving its sports section, moving sports staffers to other sections of the newspaper and giving sports coverage over to The Athletic – which the Times had purchased last year. While the New York Times never emphasized sports, and therefore never was on the level of great newspaper sports departments such as the Boston Globe and Dallas Morning News in newspapers' glory days, it nonetheless was a front-line sports section at perhaps the nation's preeminent newspaper. To see the Times end sports coverage is sad. It's a reflection of the state and future of newspapers. It's not particularly surprising, which unfortunately – and quite obviously – is the saddest part of all.

Don from Marshall, NC

How do you expect us to be nice when you got ESPN not respecting the Jaguars. Somebody at that place better come to their senses. The good thing about getting old is you don't have to worry about dying young. ESPN sucks! Go Jaguars!

When it comes to the Worldwide Leader in Sports, Don is not "all in."

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, if Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence had the opportunity to smack a celebrity, who do you think he would choose?

No one slaps longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette and gets away with it.

Gero from Wenden, Germany

Hello, John. As an NFL/Jaguars fan from Germany, I can understand people who want to have the home games in Jacksonville and not in the United Kingdom. In my opinion these are the "fans" who rarely went to the stadium in the last 10 years except 2017 and 2022 when the team was successful. The NFL is a business and it is about commerce. So is Owner Shad Khan. I have been to Wembley Stadium in London for three Jaguars games; it has been a sensational experience for us Europeans. Last year, the Jaguars-Denver Broncos game in London set the attendance record for an NFL game outside America with over 80,000 fans. In Germany, we hosted our first NFL game last year and there are two games this year. The number of fans in the waiting rooms to buy tickets were 1.5 million for Kansas City versus Miami and three million fans for Indianapolis/New England for a total of 96,000 tickets. Both games were sold out after 15 minutes. Perhaps the people in Jacksonville, but also elsewhere in America where teams "lose" home games abroad, can understand that the hype in Europe is enormous and the desire to see games live is huge.


Steve at Work from Jax Bch

John, can you remember a time in the last decade (or more) that has had so few "positions of concern" or "position battles" as this upcoming camp? With the exception of a dominant pass rusher and maybe a few spots on the O-line it appears we are fairly cemented.

I remember comparatively few position battles in any Jaguars training camp over the last decade. This doesn't speak to the talent of past Jaguars rosters. It's just that most NFL teams address depth-chart issues and "starting positions" throughout the offseason and enter training camp with their starting positions realistically pretty much set. This may not be what they say, but this is reality. This doesn't in any way mean the team will succeed. It just means most of the top of the roster is known.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, have you started using ChatGPT to answer our questions yet?

Can you get that on dialup?

Eric from Jacksonville Beach

I know stadium discussions have been beat to death but curious on your take on this. The three options we hear about most – if we can't play here in town – are Daytona, Orlando and Gainesville. Which of those markets do you think we could play in and best expand our fan base? If part of our problem with revenue is being a small-market team, guessing it would help to figure out how to expand into neighboring markets and gaining share with their residents right? Any thoughts on which of those spots give us the best chance of moving the needle in that regard?

My first instinct is that it will be difficult to get significant benefit long-term from having any of those markets as a temporary home. I wonder if enough people in Gainesville would give themselves over to the NFL and Orlando seems a tad too far from Jacksonville for Orlandonians to feel long-term as if a Jacksonville team is their team. Could Daytona embrace the Jaguars? That would seem like the best chance of the three. I don't know that any of those cities would ever feel "part of Jacksonville" enough to give a perception of expanding the fan base, but I'm an old man with old thoughts on these matters. Old men are often wrong when projecting the future.

Abel from Westside

Hey KOAF! I'm bored, you need to bring some life to the party!


Brendan from Yulee

Parking seemed to be a major talking point coming out of the community forums. I can park under the bridge near Talleyrand, and make it to the interstate in less than ten minutes from getting in my vehicle on game days. I don't see the issue with parking, I do think a pedestrian bridge will help with the traffic around the stadium. Is the design of the stadium and surrounding area set in stone, or are these potential changes being contemplated still??

Jaguars President Mark Lamping called parking "the No. 1 thing" mentioned in every one of the recent community huddles regarding the Stadium of the Future. Negotiations with the city on the project have yet to begin, and Lamping made clear during the huddles that the hope was to continue to improve the eventual plans for the project. Nothing is set in stone, and won't be for a while, and I would expect parking to continue to be a focus for quite a while on this issue.

Stuart from Cottonwood, AZ

I remember watching Jack Sikma and Dennis Johnson. I'm a Lakers fan going back to West and Bill Sharman. If you want to write the Sports book, you've earned a ghost writer. Me! Me! Pick me!

That Sikma/Johnson Seattle SuperSonics team was good, and I've always considered those 1979 NBA Champions the last "old era" championship team before the Magic Johnson Los Angeles Lakers and Larry Bird Boston Celtics brought the sport into the modern era. The Sonics were good beyond Sikma and Johnson: Gus Williams, Fred Brown, Lonnie Shelton, John Johnson, etc. But they weren't in the class of those Lakers. Or the Celtics of that era. Few teams in NBA history ever were.

Gary from Suffolk, VA

O, I am so forward looking to the start of the season. We have tickets to the games versus the Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens. I was thrilled to see we had a Monday night game and Sunday night game as well. I expect the 'Bank to be filled to capacity and lit!!!! By chance, can you get NARDO WICK to bring the JAGS out for either of those games? I mean you are the KOAF (rap music included) DUUUUUUUUUUUUVALL

I am very hip and very up to date on all things pop culture, and I feel even more confident in saying this after googling Nardo Wick.