JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Peter in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
On the question about whether the Jaguars could have a Top 10 defense, you focused entirely on the defensive additions and players from last year who might step up. What about the positive effect a highly functional offense could have? Fewer plays for the defense and maybe playing with a lead on a regular basis so you can rush easier would help just as much. I think your answer was incomplete.
I answer questions daily here in the O-Zone. These questions over the course of weeks or months sometimes touch multiple times on the same subject, and I certainly have received and answered multiple questions this offseason on how the Jaguars might improve defensively in 2022. I am almost certain I have mentioned in many of those answers the benefit of an improved offense, but perhaps memory doesn't serve. Or perhaps I "suck," as the kids say. Either way, an improved offense absolutely will help this defense, particularly the pass rush. The most overlooked aspect of a pass rush is how often a defense is in good pass-rush situations – i.e., unfavorable down-and-distance situations for the offense or double-digit/late-game leads for the defense. That's something a lot of people miss when analyzing pass rush and defense. But not Peter. He didn't miss it. Because he doesn't "suck."
Scott from Jacksonville
So, Boselli believes Jaguars Head Coach Tom Coughlin stuck him on an island against Bruce Smith, and Smith says Boselli got all kinds of help all day. What does the film say?
We're still discussing Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith's Instagram post this week regarding former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli, who in August will become the first Jaguars player enshrined in the Hall. We've discussed this at length this week here in the O-Zone – and yes, Smith long has made the point that he was chipped and double-teamed in that Jaguars victory in the AFC Wild Card Playoffs following the 1996 season. Perhaps this happened at times during the game. If it did, it didn't happen often.
Jonathan from Jax
Didn't see this addressed but it was a shock to many that Bruce made the initial announcement. He's been on TV and radio for 25 years saying he was double-teamed or chipped on every play. Anyone who watched the game knew otherwise. This doesn't make me think he isn't a great guy, it makes me sad for his lack of redemption. He got owned that afternoon. Own it.
I, too, was surprised Smith announced Boselli's election into the Hall in February when the Hall Class of 2022 was announced. I thought at the time perhaps Smith was comfortable with his legacy and status as an all-time great. I thought he was welcoming a worthy player into a respected fraternity. That's what I thought.
Richard from Jacksonville
Zone, Are you going to tell the newer fans that Bo smiled when you told him Smith said the Jaguars chip-blocked, double-teamed him, etc., because those of those who were there and watched the game know it was primarily a one-on-one matchup for the entire game?
Robert from Fernandina Beach, FL
Understanding the respect that longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette has for Tony, I am a little concerned for Bruce.
Bill from Jacksonville
John, pretty much anyone that watched college football last year would have told you Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. was the best player in all of college football. It wasn't particularly close. Yet because of the NFL's archaic rules, he's going to have to play another season and risk career ending injury. Will Anderson Jr. should be getting ready for his first training camp, as likely the No. 1 overall pick, not preparing for a game against Utah State. Do you think the NFL will and should revisit the rule requiring players to be three years removed from high school?
I understand your point and it's a good one. A player such as Anderson probably is ready for the NFL. I don't believe the NFL should revisit the rule requiring players be three years removed from high school to enter the draft, though. That's because most players aren't ready physically for the NFL at age 20 and entering the NFL at that age would lead to failure as often as not. I do expect the NFL to eventually revisit the rule because such rules usually get changed – and not often for the better.
J. Hooks from Orange Park, FL
Damn near 30 years and Bruce Smith is still butt hurt about getting pancaked by big Bo. He should call Jalen Ramsey. I heard he knows a good back doctor. What a whiner.
Ted from Jacksonville and Section 221 since Day One
John, with the construction of the Miller Electric Center, training camp will be held across the river at Episcopal High School. Do you know if they plan on having any open practices there for the public?
Jaguars 2022 Training Camp practices actually will be held at Episcopal's athletic campus and not its main campus across the St. Johns River from TIAA Bank Field. The practices are not scheduled to be open to the public. Space does not permit it.
Nick from Palm Coast, FL
You say attendance was high. Was it 100 percent? Who was missing from the organized team activities?
Attendance at Jaguars 2022 OTAs indeed was high, with all players to my knowledge attending at least multiple sessions. Multiple players missed a practice or practices, which is common during these voluntary sessions. It's the offseason. Life happens.
Greg from Section 122, The Bank, Jacksonville
"We are paying Pederson large amounts of money because he has a qualified background and we trust that he knows what he is doing. So no question here, just let the coach do his job. The job we are paying him to do." You can literally replace this name with any number of coaches in the last 15 years. The reality is we have no idea if Pederson is actually doing the right things, if his approach will be successful. Will agree that the truth is we can do nothing except sit and wait. But there is nothing substantial yet which would prove we are going to be a better team. At this stage it's all paper and dreams baby. The largest concern I have is this team's horrible luck. Look at the history. Last year, wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. goes down early, lost for season. Running back Travis Etienne Jr. was lost before he even began. I think we are the only team who has lost a first-round rookie during a walkthrough first day on the field due to a freak accident. The pattern of really significant, season-altering bad things plagues this team. Maybe we need to invest in some good luck mojo?
The Jaguars have had some bad breaks in terms of injuries. No doubt. I can't say for sure their history in this area is off-the-charts worse than all other teams. I'm not big into thinking these sorts of things are long-term or that they're even "things." It's more coincidence and the breaks typically even out over time.
Vanawsum from Blountville
Quick question. I just read that Allen Lazard skipped OTA, and just received a new contract from the Packers. Didn't we dump him on the practice squad? And are there any wide receivers from 2018 on the current roster?
Quick answers. Yes, Lazard – who has 1,448 yards and 14 touchdowns receiving in four seasons with the Green Bay Packers – was on the Jaguars' practice squad in 2018. There are no wide receivers from 2018 on the Jaguars' roster.
David from Orlando, FL
Johnny O – If you were general manager, would you have signed wide receiver DJ Chark to a one-year extension for $10 million – essentially the deal he took with the Detroit Lions?
I probably would have tried. I don't know that it's certain Chark would have stayed for that. Maybe he would have. Maybe not.
Big on Blake from Philly
Big on Blake doesn't understand why other readers/fans are upset about dismissing vets from minicamp OTAs. Will these fans ever be satisfied? Big on Blake never fully bought into former Head Coach Urban Meyer's approach, but other fans got tickled by it. Big on Blake thinks Head Coach Doug Pederson's approach – Top Golf included (which is actually pretty awesome) – will yield greater results than last year's coaching approach. Big on Blake is excited to see this strategy pay out come November when, as you noted, Pederson willed the Eagles into relevance and the playoffs two consecutive seasons after their Super Bowl win. Big on Blake only wishes he could've Top Golfed with the crew, otherwise no grievances here. What's O-Zone's take? Answer, please, in the third person, to make it clear who the O-Zone is referring to.
O-Zone's tired. Maybe nappy time.