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O-Zone: Three-day weekend

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

One kewl Kar from Daytona Beach, FL

John, couple questions for you. One: How do you see the offensive line – all positions – performing this upcoming season? Do you think they will be able to give Lawrence enough time to complete some throws or will he be running for his life like last year? Second: How 'bout run blocking as well?

I'm not sure yet what to expect from the Jaguars' offensive line in 2022. Brandon Scherff – a five-time Pro Bowl selection with the Washington Commanders who signed with the Jaguars in March as an unrestricted free agent – should be a significant upgrade at right guard, and I expect Cam Robinson to continue to be a solid performer at left tackle. I expect rookie Luke Fortner and Tyler Shatley to compete at center to replace longtime starter Brandon Linder, with Fortner eventually taking over as starter; I don't know that it's reasonable to expect improvement there immediately because Linder was a longtime starter for a reason. I expect Walker Little to win the right tackle job in a competition with three-year starter Jawaan Taylor, so that's an area that could improve from last season. Will Taylor move inside to play left guard if Little wins the right-tackle job? And if so, will that be an upgrade? Or could Ben Bartch start there and improve on the progress he made as a starter at right guard last season? Those answers remain to be seen. Either way, the pieces are in place for this offensive line to improve. Scherff is better than anyone on the Jaguars' offensive line last season. Overall, this group should be a good-run-blocking unit with quality depth. The development of quarterback Trevor Lawrence will help on that front, too. The better the quarterback's awareness, and the better the quarterback's ability to check in and out of the proper plays, the better an offensive line often performs. We should see improvement there.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

Based on previous teams, Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson hasn't had a thousand-yard rusher, to my knowledge. Do you think the current stable we have could look the same? Not have a thousand-yard guy, but 800, 700 and 600?

Much about how the Jaguars' running backs will look and perform next season depends on health, particularly the health of third-year running back James Robinson. If he is fully recovered from the Achilles injury he sustained in December of last season, he is capable of being a 1,200-yard rusher in any system. Second-year running back Travis Etienne absolutely is capable of being at least an 800-yard rushing guy with a major big-play element mixed in. He is practicing full after missing last season with a Lisfranc injury, and it will be intriguing to see how he can contribute as a receiver/big-play threat. But yes … the Jaguars' running backs if healthy could have multiple runners contribute at least 600-to-800 yards – and more.

JT from Palm Coast, FL

Genuinely appreciate the effort that goes into "The Hunt" videos. Admittedly I've become slightly pessimistic due to the years of losing, but those videos get me hyped for our future. I feel like we have a solid core of young men that will help turn this damned thing around. Now there's nothing to it, but to do it!

JT is "all in."

Daniel from St Johns, FL

I'm not unhappy with the current final two minutes. If your opponent is behind and out of timeouts, you have earned the victory formation. But … if we did want to extend the completion a bit … how about stopping the clock on every play in the last two minutes? Seems like that would add some suspense instead of coasting to the finish line.

That indeed would add time – and suspense – to NFL games. But I doubt there ever would be sentiment for this and I would be surprised if it were ever considered. There's such a thing as too much and this feels like too much.

Brian from McMinnville, OR

No team has won the AFC South more than two times in a row since the Colts won seven in eight years with Peyton Manning at quarterback. Do you think the Jaguars can dominate like the Colts did with Peyton Manning in the 2000s?

Such runs of success are rare – and they usually require an elite quarterback playing with rare consistency. Such stretches are also usually remembered as a franchise's glory days. If Lawrence is what the Jaguars hope, he is that type of quarterback. We'll see if he's what the Jaguars hope.

P Funk from Murray Hill

Which Jaguars games that you recall had the largest talent gaps between the two teams? Both in our favor and against it? How did those games turn out?

The biggest talent difference I recall for a Jaguars gam was in 2013, when the Jaguars played the San Francisco 49ers at Wembley Stadium in London. The Jaguars were in their first season under Head Coach Gus Bradley and went 2-14 the season before. They entered the game with an 0-7 record. The 49ers had played in the Super Bowl the season before. When you looked at the two teams on the field before the game, you wondered how the Jaguars could compete. They didn't and the 49ers' 42-10 victory felt as one-sided as any Jaguars loss I recall. As far as games when the Jaguars had significantly more talent than the opponent, few stand out. That scenario has been far too rare lately.

Zac from Austin, Tejas

My thoughts on at any point knowing if Pederson is the right guy: we will know when we have inevitably lost four or five in a row. To me, THAT will define the coach fit. Because by Week 6 last year, I feel like I could smell what was being waded in.

I wouldn't consider a four- or five-game losing streak for the Jaguars next season inevitable. I do consider adversity inevitable, and I agree that Pederson likely will handle adversity well. I expect it will be perhaps his best attribute as a head coach. That certainly was among his many strengths when leading the Philadelphia Eagles to three consecutive postseason appearances and a Super Bowl victory between 2017-2019. We'll see.

Ken from Yulee, FL

O-Zone, why do you think there's such a weight put on sacks? I think it's the NFL's version of dunking the basketball. Look at the Pittsburgh Steelers. TJ Watt had 22.5 sacks last year and the Steelers still needed Jacksonville to win AND Los Angeles Chargers to lose or tie to get into playoffs in Week 18. Additionally, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was sacked nine times in the playoffs and still won. It's quarterback pressures and strip sacks with turnovers that win games. Burrow was sacked 70 times last season and still made it to the Super Bowl! Turnovers matter much more than sacks in determining the outcome of games.

Sacks are cool. People like them – and media darned sure likes them. There's a high value on them because they're easy to understand and see, and because they do impact the game. I agree that pressures are often undervalued, though. Why? They're harder to quantify and they're not as flashy. Players don't celebrate as often after them. I don't know that I'm with you on turnovers being undervalued. I think most observers, fans and media understand that they're the league's most critical defensive stat. That's actually what makes sacks and pressures so important. That sort of pressure is what most often leads to turnovers.

Brian from Gainesville, FL

Big O, not to toot my own horn or anything, but I am a SVU prosecutor, which is a fairly important role in our community. I, as all lawyers do, use the Oxford comma. It helps guard against ambiguity and provides less room for interpretation as to the writer's actual intent. It's necessary. That's that.

I am a senior writer, not a lawyer or prosecutor. I tend not to think of myself as all that important, mainly because I am not all that important. I don't use the Oxford Comma because it's incorrect according to Associated Press style.

Nicholas from Fort Hood, Texas

KOAF: I like the idea of gaining yards to keep the clock moving at the end of the game. My question is it one yard or just "any progress" to keep the clock going? Will we have a situation where an official pulls out a tape measure or a mini-set of chains one yard long to make the measurement? That would be funny to watch.

This idea, while a discussion point in the O-Zone in recent days, is unlikely to happen – mainly because measuring after each play, no matter the measuring method, is more likely to tedious than funny.

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

I love three-day holiday weekends and I still hate you. A whole, whole lot.

See you Tuesday, hoss.

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