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O-Zone: Something extra

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

David from Orlando, FL

O-Zone - Over the last few years, the Jaguars played almost every game with the urgency of playing from behind in the score. How does a team adjust to playing with the lead and not ending up on the wrong end of a double-digit comeback?

This is a fair question. I guess the Jaguars must first show they can consistently get a lead. Just because observers believe they should do that doesn't mean they actually will do so. Assuming they improve enough entering 2023 to do that, they then must learn to be a team that can play with a lead. That means running well, making clutch plays on third downs offensively and pressuring the quarterback when the other team is trying to rally. That's the physical stuff. Can the Jaguars adjust mentally to playing with a lead? There's no reason to think they can't. It's about making clutch plays at clutch times. They certainly proved capable of that last season. Remember, though: The Jaguars probably will lose some leads. All teams lose leads. The league is designed to encourage comebacks. They sell.

Clayton from Shawnee, OK

Hi, John. I look at the current crop of Jaguars skill-position players – quarterback Trevor Lawrence, wide receiver Calvin Ridley, wide receiver Christian Kirk, wide receiver Zay Jones, tight end Evan Engram and running back Travis Etienne Jr. – and think of teams of the past. Like the 2004 Indianapolis Colts with quarterback Peyton Manning, wide receiver Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Brandon Stokely, tight end Dallas Clark and running back Edgerrin James. Or the 2007 New England Patriots with quarterback Tom Brady, wide receivers Randy Moss and Wes Welker, tight end Benjamin Watson and running back Laurence Maroney. This is undoubtedly the best offensive talent the Jaguars have ever had. Is it unreasonable to think that this Jax grouping could put up other-worldly numbers like those units? Keep up the good work. #DTWD

A few thoughts on your thoughts. One is that while this may be the deepest and most versatile collection of offensive talent in Jaguars history, the Jaguars teams of the late 1990s had two Hall-of-Fame-level talents in running back Fred Taylor and wide receiver Jimmy Smith. They also had wide receiver Keenan McCardell, who was an uberproductive and uber-reliable player – and they had quarterback Mark Brunell, who made three Pro Bowl appearances. I'm not criticizing the current offense, but no player on this offense has yet proven he belongs in the same discussion as Smith and Taylor in terms of career greatness. That is still to come – if it indeed comes. As for comparing this offense with the Colts/Patriots offenses you mention … the same is true. Those teams had collections of Hall of Famers and Hall of Fame-level players in their primes. We may look back on this Jaguars offense and realize that was the case with these players. But they haven't done it yet. They haven't come remotely close to doing it. That is still to come – if it indeed comes.

Ken from Rabun Gap, GA

Hey, I thought the Dead Zone went by pretty quickly this year, but I was surprised that more was not made of your relationship with the Chicago PD. As interested minds do, I searched through the interweb and found the pics on TMZ of one Ozone cuffed to a parking meter with a swollen eye dressed only in his tidey whiteys. Care to elaborate?

It wasn't me. Boxer guy.

Brian from San Diego, CA

I have a strange feeling Trevor Lawrence is going to take less money than everyone thinks. He is extremely humble and who needs $50-plus million per year? He most defiantly would take less per year to help win and give to other teammates like running back Travis Etienne Jr.! Go jags!

Maybe he will do this. It doesn't happen often. If he does, good for him. If he doesn't, it shouldn't be seen as anything but what pretty much anyone would do in his situation. This is professional football. In professional football, you play for money and play for you worth in the time you play. Considering the current state of NFL quarterback salaries, and considering how good Lawrence appears to be becoming, he will be worth a lot and should sign for a lot.

James from Destin, FL

Hi John, looks like having back problems early in your career will lead to knee problems later. I guess Drama Queen won't have a great season to help his chance for HOF.

I received multiple emails along these lines regarding former Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey Thursday. Now with the Miami Dolphins, Ramsey sustained a serious knee injury that day. We joke about Ramsey quite a bit here in the O-Zone. Considering his oversized personality and the circumstances under which he left Jacksonville in 2019, some levity is appropriate. That levity doesn't apply when a player is seriously injured.

Brandon from Louisville, KY

I'm worried about Trevor still overthrowing WR's. It's his third year and he's still doing it.

And so it begins. It's Day 3 of Jaguars 2023 Training Camp. Lawrence has overthrown receivers at times in his first two seasons. He improved in this area last season. I expect he will continue to improve there. He showed last season he can overcome it if he doesn't.

Troy from Dover, PA

Could they at least give a mic or bullhorn to longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette so that we know this is a very important question and we should listen more intently to the answer?

I'll have known Gene for 35 years in September. I never have known him to need a bullhorn.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, I know it's early, but how is Ridley looking compared to some other "famous" receivers we may be familiar with? Is this potential Jimmy Smith kind of talent?

Ridley appears to have the ability to be among the elite receivers in the NFL. He is that sort of athlete, he is that sort of route-runner and he had one season of that sort of production in his most recent full NFL season. If he plays to that potential for six or seven seasons, he is a Jimmy Smith-type receiver.

DenMiz from Jimmy should be in the HOF

Jalen Pansy may be great, but I'm shocked that making it into the Hall is only about on field performance, and off the field behavior really isn't a "factor." IF that's correct, JIMMY SMITH SHOULD ABSOLUTELY BE INDUCTED! He was absolutely one of the best receivers of all time. His of the field issues weren't nearly as extreme as some of these younger spoiled brats who feel the world revolves around them.


Don from Marshall, NC

This country was built on nepotism. There is a father/son/daughter business in every town in America. If the boss wants to hire Tommy Boy to run the new brake line sales then that's how it works. Is it fair? Probably not but you have the option of doing the same thing. It's called freedom! Go Jaguars!

When it comes to Tommy Boy and Josh Pederson and Doug Pederson and brake line sales, Don is very definitely "all in." (Editor's note: Tommy Callahan III (Farley) and Richard Hayden (Spade) sold brake pads, not brake lines in the movie Tommy Boy. "You can get a good look at a T-Bone…")

_Richard from St Augustine, FL  _

Surely you will be featured as a KOAF masculine stud in the upcoming Roar photo shoot.

Obviously, but don't call me Shirley.

Dylan from Riverside

Zone, just came from Day 3 practice. I thought Trevor looked a little off. I was expecting a lights out performance. Are my expectations too high or are early camp struggles still to be expected?

Maybe we attended different practices. I thought Lawrence was sharp in red-zone drills. Also: It's Day 3 of training camp. Perfection is not expected or very important.

David from Oviedo, FL

KOAF - Who are the leading candidates to be our slot corner and who do you see as being our day one starter?

I expect Tre Herndon to start the season as the Jaguars' nickel cornerback.

Steve from Nashville, TN

The Jaguars are the only AFC South team to not successfully defend a division title. The Indianapolis Colts won the AFC South five years in a row and 7 out of 8 years from 2003 to 2010. Most Jaguar fans probably cannot fathom that level of sustained success. You were familiar with the Colts during that time, besides a Hall of Fame quarterback in Manning what factors lead to this level long term of dominance?

Manning was No. 1, 1A, 1B and 1C. The sustained success started there, and continued with the continuity around him.

Jonathon from Jacksonville

Big O, what happened to Ashley Sullivan?

Ashlyn Sullivan, digital reporter and host for the Jaguars from 2017-2022, is now with NBC Sports Philadelphia. Kainani Stevens is now the Jaguars' team reporter and producer.

Shawn from The mean streets of Arlington

Ridley seems to have an extra gear.

Ye, he does.