O-Zone: The highest bar

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Seamus from Vancouver, NC

How's it going, O-Zone? I have been thinking about these questions about upgrading stadiums around the league and “outdated” stadiums. My question is this: if the Roman Colosseum lasted for nearly 200 years with only repairs for occasional earthquake damage or fires, why is it so important to demolish “aging” stadiums and replace them with newly-built “state-of-the-art” stadia (did that just for fun)?

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. But this ain’t ancient Rome; it’s the modern NFL – and modern NFL teams push for new, state-of-the-art stadiums with amenities because new, state-of-the-art stadiums with amenities mean more local revenue. Local revenue is critical to a team’s operating budget – and it’s bow teams remain financially viable versus the rest of the league. Local revenue is different than shared revenue, the latter of which typically goes mostly to player salaries. Without strong local revenue streams, teams slip behind their competitors. This answer undoubtedly will cause many people to say, “Well, who cares how much money owners make? They’re billionaires.” That’s a fair argument, but it doesn’t change the answer: Teams want state-of-the-art stadiums because such stadiums mean more money. And money is cool. People like it.

Cool from Earth

Wasn't your nickname "Bulldozer Oehser" in high school?

No, my nickname as I recall was, “Get out of my way, stupid.” I forget what the guys called me.

Brad from Jacksonville

I thought the signing of Marcus Simms was two things: 1) Seeing a guy that if he had his quarterback back (Will Grier) could have been one of the top three wide receivers selected in the next draft; I loved it. 2) It shows that he and his agent feel like most of us do; we need wide receivers. Marqise Lee probably gets waived/injured eventually. Chris Conley is a stud waiting to happen and hopefully this kid makes an impact. I still think Keelan Cole can be special too. Dede Westbrook would have already broken out if he had a quarterback, but what do I know?

The Jaguars signed West Virginia wide receiver Marcus Simms this week after he went unselected in the 2019 supplemental draft. They did so because he’s a talented player who could develop into a good NFL wide receiver. I don’t get the idea the Jaguars believe Lee will be waived/injured, but yes … the state of the Jaguars’ receivers certainly gives Simms a chance to contribute eventually.

Jim from Middleburg, FL

It's almost time for the sound of shoulder pads.

That it is, Jim. That it is.

Dean from Rochester, NY

Will any of the 25 games be losses?

You’re referencing the 25 seasons, 25 games series running on jaguars.com. The first game featured in the series indeed was a Jaguars loss – 10-3 to the Houston Oilers in the first game in franchise history. Spoiler alert: None of the other games are Jaguars losses. The idea was to remember the most memorable moments in Jaguars history. Why would those focus on the losses?

Unhipcat from Carlsbad on the Deck

Here’s what I remember about former Jaguars center Brad Meester. People complained about him until he retired.

That happens a lot.

Chris from Nashville, TN

Are the Jags holding any joint practices with other NFL teams this offseason?

The Jaguars will hold two joint practices with the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore August 5-6 in advance of the teams’ preseason game at Baltimore Thursday, August 8.

Dan from Doylestown

Johnny Apple-Zone, Has Jaguars Owner Shad Khan ever caught you goofing off in the breakroom and said something like "Jonathan Oehser you get back to your office and finish your editorials THIS INSTANT?” Or is it more like a performance-review type thing?

Khan has only the vaguest hint of a notion who I am and what I do. Thank goodness.

Ed from Ponte Vedra, FL

You pointed me to watch Ryquell Armstead highlights. Fournette better get to work because this guy is awesome. I'm excited! Thanks

Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette has many reasons to get to work, most of which revolve around his performance on and off the field in his two seasons. But yes … rookie running back Ryquell Armstead looks like he could be a worthy backup.

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

Just wanted to clarify that I AM a Brady hater. Hate that guy. Hate his guts. Hope he gets planter fasciitis and has to have neck surgery twice and can no longer throw properly.

That’s not nice.

Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville

I have no issues with someone earning as much as they can. God forbid a fan want the team to win a Super Bowl. If the team loses cornerback Jalen Ramsey because they can't afford him, it would set us back significantly for a number of years. Let me use a better example that is closer to the team. Fred Taylor, before he was let go by the team, supposedly he offered to take less salary to remain on the team. There are examples of players taking less money to keep a team together. Fans act like it is some sort of crime to hope that. All I was hoping is the Jaguars find a way to keep Ramsey. In this day of salary cap you can't pay everyone on your team superstar level contract amounts. Something has to give but I suppose that is what sets up the parity supposedly, unless you are the Patriots. Sorry for suggesting something "naive" as a player taking a little less money in order to win a championship. #fansgoingfan

It’s no crime for fans to want players take less money to keep a team together, but it is indeed naïve to think most players should or will do this. The example you cite is Taylor offering to take less salary before he was let go by the team near the end of his career. This indeed happens on occasion from time to time, but taking less at the end of your career is a dramatically different proposition than taking less on your second contract – a time that represents your prime earning potential. Taylor did not offer to take less for that contract. Few players do or should.

Paul from Jacksonville

My biggest expectation and hope for the season is that the offense does a better job of Mooin' da chay.

Fair.

Sam from Winter Park, FL

Would Gene "Clancy" Frenette even need to use Rumble in the Jungle tactics to beat Greg Jones straight up? Or is Gene "Sweetness" Frenette's one punch knock out power valid?

Longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. “Gene” Frenette’s fights consist of two hits: Gene hitting his opponent and the opponent hitting the floor.

Chris from Houston, TX

One of your recent answers brought up another question. You mentioned that the Jaguars would do their best to keep Simms if they found that he had enough potential to warrant a spot. That may mean going to the practice squad, which I know other teams have a chance to pick up. If your team does decide to pick a player off the practice squad, would the Jags have the opportunity to match it first or is that up to the player and their agent?

Teams in the scenario you cite have the opportunity to match or beat the offer, or to talk the player into staying. That’s because practice-squad players are, in a sense, free agents, with the only caveat that a team signing a player from another team’s practice squad must keep the player on the active roster for three games. There is no such rule for a team signing a player from its own practice squad.

Scott from Fernandina Beach, FL

Hi John, Is Long Time Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. “Gene” Frenette aware of your claim to the title of “King of All Funk”? Be careful, be very very careful.

Good point.

Dude from Crazyland

Holding O-Zone upside down, shaking him for loose change. #FrenetteSighting

He knows where to find me.

Marc from Oceanway

Two past Jaguars from a position group in their prime? I’d have a hard time not picking Boselli and Leon Searcy as bookend tackles to replace a player coming off an ACL injury, along with a rookie on the other side (a talented rookie though he may be). I think Searcy is a bit underrated.

Searcy/Boselli would be a very good choice. I don’t think it would be quite the upgrade over the current roster that you would see with Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell, but it would be a good choice.

Lance from the Hip Side of St. Augustine

Mr. Zone, do you aspire to someday be as great a journalist as longtime Florida Times Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. Frenette? You know you can never reach those heights, but it might be fun to try.

Nah. I’m good.

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