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O-Zone: Speaking the truth

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Al from Fruit Cove, FL

Mr. O - As one of the teams playing in the Hall of Fame game this year, the Jags are entitled to start their training camp a week or two earlier than all but their opposing team, right? It appears that they've chosen not to do that. Why?

If we're learning anything about Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson, it's that he's not one to nitpick over a few days during training camp or the offseason. And good on him for that; it shows an understanding of how the NFL works – and it shows that he understands what he wants to do and how he wants to do it. The Las Vegas Raiders, the Jaguars' opponents in the Hall of Fame game, are scheduled to report to 2022 Training Camp July 20. The Jaguars – veterans and rookies – will report July 24. Pederson is an experienced head coach who knows how many days a team needs to prepare for the regular season. He opted to start the offseason program a week later than could have been the case and he opted to not have the veterans participate in the team's three-day minicamp. He's not about practicing for practice's sake. He's about preparing for the season and having the team ready when that season begins.

David from Oviedo, FL

O. It's hard to believe that the Hall of Fame game is less than one month away! I take it you will be in attendance to witness Tony Boselli being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame? If he owes you any money, it might be a good time to collect since he'll feel added pressure to do the right thing. Also, just a reminder that there will be national television cameras on the scene, so whatever you do, don't let them catch you with tears streaming down your face.

I will attend Boselli's Hall of Fame enshrinement in Canton, Ohio, August 6. And I'm not crying. You're crying.

Fred from Naples, FL

Going through some old boxes I came across a copy of my original GAMEDAY program of the Jaguars' inaugural game against the Houston Oilers on September 3, 1995. It has the gold seal of our logo in the center of the cover. Any idea how many of the original Jaguars might be going to his induction ceremony? I imagine it might be quite a few. I would love to have as many of the Jags sign this program as possible!

I think I still have a copy of that program. Either that, or I don't. I would expect multiple original Jaguars players such as guard Jeff Novak, defensive end Jeff Lageman and quarterback Mark Brunell to be present when Boselli is enshrined. And maybe a few others.

Shawn from The dead streets in the dead zone

I don't care what anyone says … you aaaight.

Good eye.

David from Orlando, FL

Zone – Bruce Smith was sore because he claimed that Tony Boselli's people were using a playoff game where Tony kept him in check as evidence that Boselli belonged in the Football Hall of Fame. I read "people" as Pete Prisco, am I wrong?

Smith, the Hall of Fame defensive end who played most of his career with the Buffalo Bills, indeed seemed "sore" when he posted thoughts on Boselli on Instagram last month. That soreness stemmed from Boselli's "people" discussing a 1996 Jaguars playoff victory in which Boselli dominated Smith when discussing Boselli's career. Prisco indeed has discussed that game often when discussing Boselli, as have I. As have many other media outlets. Those same outlets also have discussed Boselli generally being considered the best left tackle of his generation, a three-time Associated Press first-team All-Pro selection, a five-time Pro Bowl selection and a member of the 1990s All-Decade team. I made a couple of efforts through a couple of different to speak to Smith about Boselli. Perhaps I could have asked him about Boselli's people had I spoken to him. He didn't respond. I doubt he will.

Bill from Jacksonville, FL

John, trust me when I say that I'm not trying to be sarcastic, but what's the point of the indoor practice facility the City of Jacksonville and taxpayers built for the Jaguars? Because they're not even using it. Now the team will be practicing at a high school, and fans won't even be able to attend. Not a single practice. So why was it built, John?

I trust you, Bill. Of our many issues, trust – or lack thereof – is not one. The Flex Field at Daily's Place was built so the team could use it to practice for inclement weather. The intent was not for daily use or an entire training camp. The Jaguars indeed will hold 2022 Training Camp at the Knight Sports Campus of Episcopal School of Jacksonville. Future training camps are expected to be held at the Jaguars' sports performance facility currently being constructed adjacent to TIAA Bank Field.

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

It seems like your readers and yourself have positive feelings about this year's success partially based on it can't possibly get any worse for this team after losing 29 games in two years and firing the new head coach after 13 games. The coaching staff upgrades having a track record of success in the pro game and quality players added in free agency and through the draft at positions of need also add cause for hope for this season. Today, I read that the Detroit Lions have won one playoff game in the last 60 years (the Jaguars have won seven playoff games in their 27-year history). It can always get worse.

Of course it can always get worse. I can't speak for why readers feel positively. I can tell you my positive feelings come from a belief that these players will believe in Pederson and that his approach will keep players believing in him. They also come from a belief that quarterback Trevor Lawrence will improve in Year 2. Those two factors should help the franchise move in a positive direction, and good can follow from that.

Pedal Bin from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK

Oh Mighty 'O'/King of All Funk, any truth to the rumor that longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette can cook minute rice in just under 59 seconds?

Yes.

Scott from Aruba

Who are your top 5 all-time interviews? The player or coach you could rely on to help you write your story?

I chose a list based on a few things. That the player or coach be someone I covered on a regular basis. That the player or coach was prominent enough to have quoted regularly when I covered him. That he be reliably good enough – and helpful enough – when interviewed to interview frequently. The list: Former Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell, former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor, former Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy, former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and former Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny/former Colts linebacker Bob Sanders. In no particular order. I'd also throw former Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew and former Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne on the list. And Boselli was always good, too.

Capt Bob from Jax

My God, man! The Roman colosseum in A.D. 70 had a shade canopy. Why can't we have shade? The People want shade. Give the People shade!

OK.

Stephen from Bad Kissingen

Only saw one game at RFK after two tickets were gifted to my G-man father by another Governmenter (just go with it), and because you had to wait for someone to die before you moved up on the season-ticket waiting list, Sure, I loved the Joe Gibbs era, what with John Riggins and three Super Bowl titles, but my 'Skins fandom's teeth were cut on George Allen's Over The Hill Gang and my favorite football player to this day; Larry Brown. To be a fan of the franchise is to be a Cowboys hater. I had a T-shirt that I wore until it was dissolved in the washing machine that read: I Have 2 Favorite Teams. The Redskins And Whoever's Playin' Dallas. So, to test your Fandom worthiness, I must ask you: Just how much do you HATE the Cowboys?

When I loved that franchise, I hated the Dallas Cowboys with a passion that knew no bounds. I perhaps hated Roger Staubach more than I ever have hated a player in any sport. I no longer dislike the Cowboys because I don't feel about any NFL team the way I once did. I still can't bring myself to like Staubach, though. Some feelings die hard.

Dan from Greer

I googled Oehser's claim that the Jags training camp commences on July 24. I received, "If the king of all funk says it's gonna happen, then it's gonna happen…"

Veterans report to Jaguars 2022 Training Camp July 24. Practices begin the following day. I am the king of all funk.

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