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O-Zone: String music

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Don from Marshall, NC

What James Robinson has been able to do with his injury is incredible. That is some super power stuff. That's great news. Go Jaguars!

Robinson, the Jaguars' leading rusher the last two seasons, indeed appears to be making a remarkable recovery from the Achilles injury that ended his 2021 season last December. Robinson is not on the physically unable to perform list to start training camp, and is working on the side to start practice. Head Coach Doug Pederson saying Monday a targeted return date of mid-August is possible for Robinson. We'll find out upon his return the extent of his super power.

Jason from North Pole, AK

I hate training camp. Wake me when it's over and nobody is injured, too scary otherwise.

This is a fair view on training camp, a view head coaches and general managers share. Training camp is necessary. Hitting in camp is necessary. Hitting in preseason games is necessary. At the same time, there's a very real risk of injury and teams don't have depth to withstand training camp injuries – particularly injuries to key players. It's a necessary risk, but a risk nonetheless.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

Bummer for Devin. I know he's been chomping at the bit to get on the field, as have all our rookies. Thankfully it doesn't look too concerning, just a one fer hoping he's back full in no time. That kid is going to be special.

Jaguars rookie linebacker Devin Lloyd, the No. 27 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, indeed will miss some time at the start of camp with a hamstring issue. Pederson announced this Monday, and it was tough to tell the extent of the injury – as is often the case when coaches discuss surprising injuries. I don't sense it's a long-term thing, but a hamstring injury is something to watch until it's not. Stay tuned.

Seamus from Sioux Falls, SD

I have to disagree with the answer you gave "Jonathan from Jax" regarding fan negativity regarding General Manager Trent Baalke. I don't dispute any of your points, but from my (admittedly distant) vantagepoint and perspective, *most* of my fanxiety centered upon Baake's final seasons at San Francisco, where it was reported that he ran off never-had-a-losing-NFL-season-as-HC Jim Harbaugh, and then followed him with Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly and three >10-win seasons. After Tom Coughlin's tumultuous player-antagonizing years and the Meyer Error, the clean break made the most sense considering Baalke's rumored people skills. I just wanted to make sure this wasn't overlooked.

Some indeed saw it this way.

Levi from Cd'A, Idaho

What happens if the Jags sweep the AFC West? Will time stop? Will existence implode? Will the media handle such a feat?

If the Jaguars sweep the AFC West in 2022, it will be a major accomplishment. It would ensure at least a 4-13 record, but it also would mean victories over four teams projected to be very good – the Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs. Time will not stop. Existence will not explode. The media would mention it and likely express surprise, and understandably so.

Ray from Vernon, FL

Zone, after months of offseason doings, we are finally here, Training Camp! My question is how long does it typically take for a team to come together and play like a well- oiled machine? We understand our talent level appears to have increased a lot. But can a team full of pros come together quickly or will it indeed take most of a season or two? Thanks, Zone. Enjoy your daily read.

I wish I had a good answer for this. If the quarterback plays at a high level, and if the chemistry and talent are right, then teams can play well and succeed quickly. I don't know about the "well-oiled-machine" part. If you're talking about an offense that functions at a record-breaking level, that usually takes at least a bit of continuity either in terms of a veteran quarterback or a group of players experienced in their current offensive system. That's a lofty goal, one the Jaguars realistically likely will be working toward rather than achieving in 2022. I continue to say what I have said all along – that the realistic goal for this team is to start looking better and giving a very encouraging feel by the end of the season. The NFL is a league of moving parts, and the parts have been moving crazily – and inefficiently – around here for a while. If the parts start looking more in synch this season with a strong possibility of getting more in synch going forward … well, if that happens that would be the best season in these parts in half a decade.

Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA

Hi, John. What day do pads go on? some things I'm interested in learning: power and quickness of linebacker Travon Walker, guard Ben Bartch and offensive tackle Walker Little; development and impact of cornerback Tyson Campbell and safety Andre Cisco; speed and quickness of running back Travis Etienne Jr.; Lloyd. What will you look for (other than TLaw jump and JRob health)?

These are all good topics. A huge area to watch is the stoutness and pass rush of the defensive front seven. I expect it to be better on both fronts. We'll get an early feel for these things in training camp and preseason. It's difficult to get a full idea for these things the way teams approach training camp and preseason in this era.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, so did we learn anything on the very first day of camp?

I did. I can't remember what?

The real JT from Fort Worth TX

Loved to see the hint of fandom in your response to KC from Orlando ("Here's hoping.") I think that's all that most want to see from you, just a wink. Not blind 'homer-ism' like watching any White Sox or Astros game; that's annoying and it insults our collective intelligence. We get it, you have a job to do, and objectivity plays a big part in how valuable you can be to us as fans. But I imagine that your job gets a helluva lot more fun when league observers are asking you for Jaguar comments and including our team in conversations, tv bits, and playoff scenarios. We have a way to go to EARN our way back into that world, but I admit, it is really cool when you throw a bone our way to those of us who wake up renewed every August and dream a little dream for this team's success. Kind of shows that you remember from long ago how good the slightest "hope" can feel to a long-suffering fan base.

I hope the Jaguars win. It's better for Jacksonville, better for most readers of this column, better for my fellow Jaguars employees – and yes, this job is more pleasant when they win. Call that whatever you want.

Ivan from Hollywood, CA

Has anyone told you that you would not be the KING OF ALL FUNK if you changed your underpants more often?


Alan from Jacksonville

O-Funk, Can people needing prescriptive eyewear still be deemed to have a "good eye?"

I am the king of all funk.

Nick from Virginia Beach, VA

If we ever had a quarterback like Roger Staubach, I'd be doing backflips every Sunday. Since we never have won the big one, what are the biggest wins in Jags history in your opinion?

Any postseason victory, particularly the four divisional playoff victories – 1996 over the Denver Broncos, 1999 over the Miami Dolphins, 2007 over the Pittsburgh Steelers and 2017 over the Steelers. Any victory that gets a team to the conference championship game is a big one. I also would add the victory at Buffalo in the 1996 postseason – the first playoff victory in franchise history – on the list.

Eric at the Beach from Jacksonville Beach

With the dead zone coming to an end (thankfully!) I wanted to get your take on this. There's been a lot of talk about you living in Springfield. I agree that the area is up and coming and can't wait to watch it grow over the next 5-10 years. My question is, what would you tell someone who's not as familiar with the area (like myself) that we would need to know. What's an undercover restaurant that you like down there but people outside of the area don't know about? Favorite attraction or thing to do in the area?

I'm not cool enough to know what people outside Springfield know about Springfield and what they don't know. Favorite restaurants: Strings, Crispy's, The District and Silkies. I haven't been to Stumpy's Axe House on Main Street, but I have heard good things. I love the new brewery, Historically Hoppy, and Hyperion remains very good. Main Street Food Park is gaining momentum. Springfield Scoops is a good spot, and Dreamette Ice Cream is scheduled to open soon. Top choice? I'm a Strings guy, with Historically Hoppy second. That's how I roll.