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O-Zone: So, so true

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Benjamin from Jacksonville by way of Upstate SC

Over the course of his five NFL seasons, Josh Allen has recorded seasons of 10.5, 2.5, 7.5, 7 and 17.5 sacks. From your perspective, what was the biggest difference between the first four years and last year that resulted in the massive jump? Did he learn a new technique? Pure luck? We know inside pressure was poor, so was it outside linebacker Travon Walker's improvement on the other side? I'm just trying to get a feel for what the expectation should be heading into the 2024 season.

The Jaguars signed veteran edge defender Josh Allen to a five-year contract extension Wednesday, and Allen indeed set a franchise-record with 17.5 sacks in 2023 after 10.5, 2.5, 7.5 and seven sacks in his first four NFL seasons. I don't know that there was a particular "biggest difference" for Allen in 2023. He has attributed his statistical improvement to "getting it," meaning after four seasons searching for the right approach to life and preparation, the circumstances came together in a big way in 2023. That undoubtedly helped, as did the presence/improvement of Walker. My thought: I don't know that Allen was all that much better in 2023 than he was in 2022 and previous seasons. I thought he had been very effective in those seasons and very consistent as a pass rusher. Sacks as much as any NFL statistic depends on circumstances. You might beat an offensive lineman only to have the quarterback release the pass quickly. Or the quarterback might move just out of the way at the last moment enough to avoid a sack. Your team might not lead much or stop the run well, which can significantly limit pass-rushing opportunities. That's why I don't know what statistics to expect from Allen moving forward. I do think you can expect a motivated, consistent player who plays well and is very good. That's the controllable part and I don't think you have to worry about Allen in that area.

Lane from Winter Garden, FL

John. How much cap space did the Josh Allen signing create?

Allen's salary-cap number on the franchise tag for 2024 would have been just over $24 million. His cap number for 2024 under the contract he signed this week is $11.150 million.

Bradford from Orange Park, FL

I don't count myself chief amongst them … but one time for good days for good guys.

One fer honest assessments – and fer Allen.

John from Jacksonville

Hi, KOAGF - You might like to see Josh Allen coming toward you in the hallway, but it would be difficult to find any quarterback liking him coming toward them after the snap. Cheers for 20 sacks in 2024, Josh.

… and another fer Allen.

Jeff from Orange, CA

With Allen now on a long-term deal and let's assume the team extends quarterback Trevor Lawrence at some "market value" contract, how would that position the salary cap over the next few seasons. It would be very tight, no?

The Jaguars' salary cap in that scenario would be relatively manageable in the next season or two because the contracts would be structured in such a way to have relatively low cap numbers in the early seasons. It would be more difficult to manage after that.

John from Jacksonville

How long will it be before someone writes you to rip Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke for the deal he made with Josh Allen?

Three, two, one …

Jim from Jagsonville

In the words of No. 41 himself, "I'm a legacy guy. And I'm gonna ramble." Here's to you getting that Super Bowl MVP! Ramble on, Josh Allen, ramble on.

Ramblin'. Ramblin' 'round. I'm a ramblin' guy. R-A-M-B-L-I-N. Apostrophe on "Ramblin.'"

Lawrence from Blair, NE

Yeah ... If anyone ever asks you again why you like Josh Allen so much, you just point them to that presser video. It's rare to see such humility and class these days. Not just in professional sports, but anywhere. Oh yeah, a question... Do you think now that Josh got paid, you can get him to take you out to a Sbarro?

Probably not.

Marcus from Jacksonville

John, I get the whole "sell out on offense and let the defense figure it out" narrative, but did people miss the fact that many of the teams that made the playoffs last year were good on offense AND defense? Seven of the top 10 teams in yards and points allowed were playoff teams. The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers were in the top 10 in both categories, and the champs were No. 2 in both. Yes, we're in an offensive era of NFL football, but don't you think defense still matters a little bit?

The NFL's best teams often are good both offensively and defensively, and the offense-centric teams that win the Super Bowl typically at minimum have defenses that are playing at a high level in the postseason. Offense can get you in the postseason, but it's hard to win the Super Bowl if your defense can't at least get stops or turnovers at critical times.

Hugo from Portland

It looks like Josh Allen signed a long-term, top-of-the-market deal to stay in Jacksonville. Does that mean that Baalke is back to being a genius amongst the fan base?

What time is it?

Brian from ROUND ROCK, TX

Great job by Baalke signing Josh to a long-term contact that is a legitimate long-term contract. Baalke does a great job again. This guy does what a top general manager is paid to do. I loved what Josh said in the press conference. He is focused on winning a Super Bowl and being a Jaguars legend. Where does this rank in terms of greatest signings in team history?

To be determined.

Bradley from Sparks, NV

It seems like Devin Lloyd has elite potential. Do you see him having a breakout year under the new DC?

Jaguars inside linebacker Devin Lloyd, the No. 27 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, indeed has big-time potential. He has flashed it at times. Getting that potential more consistently from Lloyd indeed must be a priority for new defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen and it's possible Lloyd could flourish in a new, attack-oriented system. I don't know whether to predict Lloyd will do this. I do believe it could happen.

Rob from Jax

With your knowledge of the game albeit from the perspective of a journalist, at what level do you think you could coach a team at least decently? Could you run a high school football program? Would you be the head coach and just set the direction or could you be a coordinator and scheme and call plays? Just curious as to how your knowledge would translate. Thanks O.

I like to think I have a basic understanding of the qualities it takes to be an NFL coach. Unfortunately for my prospective coaching career, one of those qualities of a good coach is the ability to connect with people and have people believe in you. Strike one, I suppose.

Pedal Bin from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK

Oh Mighty 'O' / King Of all Funk, so Josh Allen gets paid as we suspected he would all along. So do we now start with the "Re-sign Trevor now or sack Baalke" emails? Asking for a friend.

Permission granted.

Zachary from Washougal, WA

Thank God they got a deal done for (the good) Josh Allen. I hate watching homegrown talent leave. He deserves every penny and will continue to be a constant in an up and down franchise. (The other Josh Allen is good too, but this one is ours. And I'm pretty sure theirs never picked off, sacked, forced a fumble, and scored a touchdown on ours). Anyway, you need a question...who would win in a fight? Josh Allen or Josh Allen?


Bryce from Mandarin, FL

The O-Zone referenced New York Jets linebacker Quincy Williams yesterday. Wasn't waiving what is now one of the best linebackers in football one of Baalke's first official acts in 2021?

The Jaguars waived linebacker Quincy Williams shortly before the start of the 2021 regular season. This was during Baalke's first season as the Jaguars' general manager.

Tom from Charlottesville

When draft prospects visit the team headquarters, who conducts the interviews? Are current team members involved? I would think current players would be better able to access compatibility with the team. They would also be better able to determine if a prospect is "posing?"

Team officials and coaches conduct pre-draft interviews. A current player might have occasion to meet a visiting prospect. Current players are not typically officially or extensively involved in the interview process.

Bradford from Orange Park, FL

"… and it's all-but-impossible to know the true nature of even the people you know best." If you were going for great truth, you certainly connected on that one.

I am the king of all funk.