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O-Zone: Subtle hints

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

John from Jacksonville

Hi, KOAGF - I'm no Urban Meyer apologist, but fans tend to only go back as far as him when comparing the bad and the good Jags. Coach Meyer was only a blip on the radar of many bad seasons – and some not-so-successful head coaches – with the Jags. We can't forget that and rewrite history as if it was the Meyer era and the Pederson era.

Few – if any – Jaguars fans believe former Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer's 2021 season was the franchise's only bad season of the last decade and a half. But it is fair – considering the off-field issues, the on-field record and the overall feel of the franchise – to consider his one-year tenure a low point. Considering the low points that came before, that's an accomplishment. Credit where it's due.

DuvalJag95 from Jville

Mr. O: Simple question, I hope. Just wondering when Jags Drive Time kicks off again? And thanks and have a great day.

Jaguars Drive Time moving forward will be called "Jaguars A.M." It will feature team reporter Kainani Stevens, senior correspondent Brian Sexton and an underqualified senior writer. It will originate from the Miller Electric Center and will debut Tuesday, July 25, at 9:30 a.m.

Dave from Jacksonville

Wizard, how big a hit is it to start with Ben Bartch on the Physically Unable to Perform list? Is he going to be ready by start of season? Is this a contract year for him? Down three starting offensive linemen (Bartch, left tackle Cam Robinson and right tackle Jawaan Taylor) from last year is not the ideal starting spot. Would you say this, or should we be excited that the line will keep getting stronger when everyone is available?

Bartch, a fourth-year veteran, indeed will begin Jaguars 2023 Training Camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list. While ideally you want every player fully healthy all the time, this is a comparatively manageable situation. Remember: Whereas a player starting the regular season on PUP is unavailable for the first four games of the regular season, teams can move players from PUP to the active roster any time during preseason and training camp. Teams therefore often start players who sustained serious injuries on PUP during training camp as precautionary measures to allow the player to return at a safe pace. Considering Bartch sustained his torn ACL five weeks into the 2022 season, it makes sense that the Jaguars would give him a few weeks of training camp to continue rehabilitating – and it's not at all unlikely he would be ready by Week 1. If that doesn't happen, it's not a crisis. The Jaguars like the versatility of the offensive line, and have faith in Tyler Shatley – who started in Bartch's place the last 11 regular-season games last season.

Jason from Orange Park, FL

Will Drive Time and Happy Hour be returning this week?

Jaguars A.M. will stream Tuesday and Thursday at 9:30 this week. The first Happy Hour/Doug Pederson Show of 2023 will be Thursday at 4 p.m.

Bo from Winter Springs, FL

Regarding recent talk in the O-Zone about the old Coke bottles from before the team ever played a game, I got one of those six packs. It was given to me in a white elephant Christmas parties from my brother, who got it from our parents years ago. I gave it to my son about five years ago as he was becoming a Jags during the 2017 season. I found the bottles empty in his closet a couple months after that. I lectured him about collectibles. He said they were actually still really good and even had carbonation. I was surprised they didn't give him a stomachache! Anyways, the memories of watching games with him each year and the bond we share over a football team is pretty cool. Cooler than old coke bottles collecting dust.


Dave from Jacksonville

Zone, what a great time to be a Jag Fan. Things are looking up and Trevor appears on track. Would you say a generational talent should be looking at a 5,000-yard, 50-touchdown season (any combo of pass/run) in his third year? I say we have that guy. Do you think if he can throw for 40 touchdowns, running in another 10 would be possible? Sure, seems like stars are all aligning. Is it possible Trevor really is generational?

Loyal O-Zone readers – and he knows who he is – know I don't lean much on statistics when judging quarterbacks. When I covered Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, his best statistical season was 2004 when he threw a then-NFL record 49 touchdown passes. But I never thought he played that much better in that season than he did in the next six seasons. Circumstances – teams blitzing him more than was wise, game situations, etc., a few struggling – helped his statistics. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence certainly is capable of being at or near the top of pretty much any NFL passing category. But what matters is whether he's making correct decisions and putting his team in position to win. If he does that, his statistics will be fine whether or not they reach any particular plateau.

CaptBob from Jax

KOAF, prepare yourself. As the Dead Zone comes to an impending end, I can see gale force winds approaching as fans get to fanning! Brace yourself. Best regards.

I expect you're correct. The Jaguars won the 2022 AFC South title and have an ascending young quarterback. They are deservedly the division favorite entering the 2023 season. My sense is that fans are expecting greatness. Perhaps the team will deliver that greatness. But even the best teams lose games – sometimes four or five of them. This is professional football and perfection is rare. Will fans fan when the Jaguars fall short of that impossible standard? Yes, I'd say that's fair to expect.

Vern from Hometown of the future

Hello again, Jon. Saw that video on Jaguars outside linebacker Travon Walker. It seems obvious why the Jaguars selected him No. 1 overall. He is a humble young man who appears to live his faith. The humility and character of the men we have in the locker room reminds me of the 1990s teams. Travon seemed to be improving as the season went on. I hope and believe he can make a jump in season two. The one I'm worried about is inside linebacker Devin Lloyd, he seemed lost last season. It felt like linebacker Chad Muma was more NFL-ready. I guess my question is who do you see taking the green dot when Shaq Quarterman leaves? Being one of the FA we got to make our team viable, I expect him to be among the cap casualties. I hope we don't have another Myles Jack situation. Oh and Jon, in my world you have to earn the H.

There's a lot to process here. One thought is that it's indeed a big season for Lloyd, the No. 27 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft who indeed was lost at times as a rookie; I expect him to be much more consistent and be a strong player this season. Another thought is that I assume you're referencing Foye Oluokun and not Quarterman – and if that's the case, I don't think you can assume Oluokon as a salary-cap casualty after the 2023 season. While his contract is structured in such a way that that could be the case, this team has shown it will work to keep critical player and Oluokun could be that next offseason. As for earning the H … OK. I guess. Whatever.

Bradley from Sparks, NV

My guess is that if former Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey's career ended today he would eventually get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His career is comparable to former Jaguars left tackle and Hall of Famer Tony Boselli – plus he has a Super Bowl ring. He has been an elite cover corner since he stepped on the field and last year was named best run defender by Pro Football Focus for all positions – not just cornerbacks: 13 of his 170 tackles were for a loss over the last two seasons with four forced fumbles in that span. His tenacity, attitude and swagger have been a vital part of two of the best defenses this century. Just 28, with his size, athletic ability and intelligence he can play any position in the defensive backfield and I wouldn't bet against him having eight-to-10 highly productive years left. Sure, the guy is a bit of a brat but like he says "Most people gonna hate me before they like me and I'm perfectly fine with that."

Ramsey, now with the Miami Dolphins is a great player and a Hall of Fame talent. He might be enshrined if he never plays again. He might need another season or two at a high level, but I wouldn't be surprised if you're correct.

Nathan from Sacramento, CA

Your subtle use of the term "subtle" is subtly appreciated.

I am the king of all funk.