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O-Zone: Thinking cap

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Joe from Jacksonville Beach, FL

I read now where Josh Allen has changed his name. What gives?

I'm not sure anything's being "given" here, necessarily – and there's certainly nothing untoward. The Jaguars' Pro Bowl edge defender officially has changed his name to Josh Hines-Allen, announcing the change Tuesday morning. He made the change as a "tribute to Joshua's maternal side of the family and the other relatives who have worn 'Hines' and 'Hines-Allen' on their jerseys," according to a statement. Hines-Allen added: "Legacy is forever, and I'm proud to carry that tradition on the back of my jersey, following in the footsteps of my family, who have donned the Hines-Allen last name with so much pride and joy. My last name has been changed, but I'm still that person. And I will continue to play like it, play even better." Hines-Allen's sister, Myisha Hines-Allen, plays for the WNBA's Washington Mystics. That's it. That's what gives.

Steve from Nashville, TN

I just read on that the Jaguars were last in the league last year in short-yardage situations. It is actually shocking the team was able to finish above .500 being last in this key offensive category. I will assume short-yardage efficiency will be a point of emphasis for the 2024 campaign and fans can expect a significant improvement?

The Jaguars' struggles in short-yardage in 2023 have been well-documented and much-discussed here in the O-Zone – and these struggles in a very real sense defined the '23 season. How many times when watching this team line up on third- or fourth-and-2 last season did you say to yourself, "I don't know what they call here?" Short-yardage too often felt like loooooong yardage for this team. How much different would the offense and the entire season have felt if it had been just twenty-five percent better in those situations? How many more key drives would have been extended? The thought here is that would have made the difference in two or three games, and the further thought is that these struggles mattered far more for this offense than who was calling plays, or dropped passes, or any of last season's oft-discussed storylines. The area unquestionably will be a major point of emphasis in 2024 and has been since the end of last season. I haven't the foggiest idea what to tell fans to expect, but I do expect how the Jaguars fare there to dictate how the team overall fares in 2024.

David from Orange Park, FL

Josh Hines-Allen? I worry about this, Zone. Players that change their name usually go on the decline.

I admit haven't done my usual "deep dive" into the analytics on this. I sense the same might be said of the Orange Park analytics team.

David from Oviedo, FL

KOAF - The Jaguars drafted quarterback Gardner Minshew in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Five years later, he's still active with a good chance to be the starting quarterback for the Las Vegas Raiders. Minshew Mania lives on! Against all odds, isn't it impressive what he's been able to accomplish?


Fred from The Willie Browne Trail

Free agency, the draft, and now OTAs are behind us. Don has shared his assessment of the quarterback situation. But is he "all-in" on the overall rooster?

When it comes to the Jaguars' rooster – and the hens – Don presumably remains "all in."

Greg from Jacksonville Beach, FL

At least Josh Allen is going to have a jersey exchange. That's a class move.

Hines-Allen indeed will host a jersey exchange in Jacksonville in September for fans who own his "Allen 41" jersey. More details of the free, family-friendly event will be available soon.

Phil from Jacksonville

You are such a shill. Jacksonville doesn't need the Jaguars. There are many things that are more important.

I checked my notes and could find nothing to indicate I ever said this. I certainly don't think this way. I have lived in Jacksonville most of my life – from 1973 until 1987, from 1988 until 2001 and from 2011 until now. This is my home. This town has shaped me. I love this town. It doesn't need the Jaguars to be a great town and of course many things are more important than football. But for this town, this team matters very much – and it's a greater town with the Jaguars than without them. It's within anyone's rights to disagree with this. I can't imagine many regular readers of this column being among those anyones.

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

Do you plan to watch the Preseason Hall of Fame game on Thursday August 1 between the Houston Texans and Chicago Bears to see the new kickoff rule played out during a real NFL football game?

It's July 10, which is a Wednesday. I haven't decided what beer I'm going to buy for the weekend yet. But sure … I expect I'll watch the Hall of Fame game on August 1 – at least through the opening kickoff. That seems like enough of a commitment for the preseason.

Gator from North Pole AK, wait NC, wait St Augustine … nope from the mean streets of 15 town

I dont know why you guys talk about all those expensive fancy beers. Natty Light or Busch light (which ever is on sale) is my fave. id prob come to more games if they served Natty light. just sayin

Jaguars 2024 Training Camp begins in late July.

Michael from Orange Park, FL

When does Jaguars 2024 Training Camp begin again? I don't think you said.

Jaguars 2024 Training Camp begins in late July. Sixteen dates are open to the public, with the first being July 24. The last two open dates are August 14-15, which are open practices against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

David from Orlando, FL

O-Zone. In 2027, when you're taking a two-plus hour road trip to attend home games, it might be the perfect time to catch up on your crying.


Richard from St Augustine, FL

O Mighty, KOAF. My recollection for the past three years is that Street Trev has shown up on the first day of training camp, which is designated for rookie report date. I believe injured players and quarterbacks are allowed by league rules but do you think T-Law will show up on that very first day again? I do, because that is who he is. Are other non-quarterback players allowed to attend? DTWD Go Jags.

I expect Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence to arrive on the first day he can report to '24 camp. Teams can mandate that quarterbacks report earlier than the rest of the roster, so Lawrence is simply following rules by reporting when he does. Non-quarterbacks can report early, but why in the world would they do this?

David from Chuluota, FL

Johnny O – A couple of questions about the new stadium, will the Bud Zone, Daily's Place, and the swimming pools survive?

That's really sort of three questions. Or maybe it's one question. Either way: Daily's Place is expected to remain open throughout the renovations that will result in the Jaguars' Stadium of the Future opening in August 2024. The pools are expected to be closer to the sides of the stadium in the renovated stadium, but the plan definitely calls for pools. Yes, the south end-zone entertainment/gathering area currently known as the Bud Zone will exist in the Stadium of the Future.

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

Even this deep in the dead zone, you still suck.

Here we go, Jaguars.

Marc from Oceanway

Zone, Do you know what a Googan is? Dan Hicken and Jeff Prosser often refer to people in their listening audience as "Googans". Have you heard this term? Any inkling what it means? Are you a Googan? Am I a Googan? Should we all strive to be Googans?

Hicken and Prosser work for 1010XL. Though I appear on 1010XL on Jaguars Today, I don't "work for" 1010XL.

Tim from Fort Wayne, IN

I had a wonder. With the current push for playing in international markets and the constant desire to keep things as level as possible, why is the schedule not set up for each team to play eight home games, eight away games and one international game each year? The teams with nine official home games could host the international matchups, and the teams with nine official road games could be the visitors. This feels like it would increase the parity of the 17-game schedule and offer additional opportunities in international markets. Am I missing some big obstacle that makes this unfeasible?

The NFL seems to be moving toward this. If the league were to stay at 17 regular-season games per team, I have little doubt this would be the scenario. I sense the league will move to 18 regular-season games sooner than later. Either way, it feels we're still a ways from needing 16 international regular-season games per season. Just my thought.