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O-Zone: Three rules

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Richard from Jacksonville

O'Man, Does it feel a little bit like '96?

Not really. My wife's not pregnant and my back hurts more – and more often – than it did 26 years ago. And the Sonics aren't in the NBA Finals. Hell, they're not even in Seattle anymore. Does it feel like 1996 in the sense that the Jaguars could again be poised to shock the NFL world? That's not really a fair question. That '96 run was historical, special and unique. It's not possible – or fair – to predict a late-season, out-of-nowhere run like that. I think the Jaguars will be better in 2022 than last season and they have a good chance to make the fan base feel really good about the future. We'll see if that happens. The best thing about the franchise continues to be the presence of quarterback Trevor Lawrence. He gives the team a chance for sustainable winning for the next decade. We'll see if that happens, too.

Jason from SoCal

All I gotta say is: Hope all the positive surrounding the Jaguars and the way the players and coaches, coaches and such talk about the talent, drive, thirst for wins will ... actually produce on the field during the regular season. That's all.

This is entirely true and entirely fair. It's also entirely to be expected for Jaguars fans to be skeptical when they hear positive offseason talk – and it's entirely to be expected that they want to wait to see results before getting excited. Jaguars fans have heard plenty of offseason optimism over the last decade. Maybe too much. There has been talk of hope, improvement and long-term potential in far more offseasons than not. What Jaguars fan haven't seen much during that time is winning. A lot about this offseason feels good and different, particularly the approach and experience of Head Coach Doug Pederson. And the potential of Lawrence. Those feel like real reasons for hope. We'll see if they produce results.

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

We are about two months away from that first Saturday in August for Tony Boselli's official induction ceremony to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton Ohio. Your job description compels you to cover this event in great detail and in the most flattering and complimentary way possible (which includes Tony's Presenter, legendary Jaguar quarterback Mark Brunell). Since Mr. Boselli knows where to find you, curious if you are nervous about this assignment and what your approach to it will be?

What's a "Tony Boselli?"

Tim from Ortega

I've noticed a lot of talk about the kneel down at the end of games. How do you feel about "clocking" the ball? Shouldn't that be called what it really is? Doesn't it meet the definition of intentional grounding?

The rule that allows NFL quarterbacks to "clock" the ball to stop the clock was implemented sometime in the 1980s. Until at least 1984 or so, quarterbacks wanting to stop the clock late in games had to throw the ball out of bounds in at least the general direction of a receiver to have the same result "clocking" the ball does now. Yes, in theory, throwing the ball directly at the ground should be intentional grounding. The rule was implemented to save the second or so it takes for an incomplete pass to travel out of bounds – and to make the maneuver easier to officiate. When the quarterback had to throw out of bounds to stop the clock, there was room for the official to rule it as intentional grounding. With "clocking," there's less of a gray area.

Chris from Mandarin, FL

I never really have thought Jawaan Taylor did a bad job as a right tackle, however his penchant for false starts and holding penalties does make him a bad football player. He makes those two mistakes way too often to be considered acceptable. He has to be replaced.


Richard from Lincoln, RI

Let's say the Jags won the "Myles Jack was not down" game and went to the Super Bowl. Do you think they had a chance against our current Head Coach in that game?

You're referencing the AFC Championship Game following the 2017 season, a game the Jaguars probably should have won – and a game they probably would have won had officials not incorrectly ruled linebacker Myles Jack down after a fourth-quarter fumble recovery. The Jaguars would have played the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl two weeks later, a team then coached by Pederson. The Jaguars absolutely would have had a chance to win that game. They had an elite defense good enough to give them a chance against any team. I don't believe they would have been the lock to win the game that many Jaguars fans believe, but they without question would have had a chance.

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

I haven't checked in in a few days. I see now some people are saying you don't suck. This is wrong. You do suck. And you deserving my hate.

Well said.

Don from Marshall, NC

Myles Jack knows all about the culture of the Jaguars. As a matter of fact, he was the leader of the culture since he was a team captain.

Jack, a linebacker with the Jaguars from 2016-2021 now with the Pittsburgh Steelers, recently spoke to the Steelers' media. He indeed spoke about the difference between the Steelers' culture and the Jaguars' culture and said: "Coming from where I came from and coming here, you see why this team is successful. … I feel like that's the only way to win — if everybody is held accountable." He said more, and also discussed the difference in the Steelers' crowds at Heinz Field and the Jaguars' crowds at TIAA Bank Field. I received a few emails from Jaguars fans bothered by these comments, but they're not unexpected. Players have these sorts of media availabilities when they switch teams, and Jack typically is honest when speaking to the media. I doubt he went out of his way to be critical. I imagine he just answered what was asked. Why wouldn't he be honest speaking to the Pittsburgh media? The Steelers have won consistently for a long time. They're well-known for having a strong culture. The Jaguars have won four games over the past two seasons. Of course the Steelers now have better culture than the Jaguars did the last two seasons. Of course the Steelers' crowds have been better during that same span. Anything else would be unusual. Pederson has been transparent in recent weeks about gaining trust and improving culture. That's the task. That's where the Jaguars are right now. Where else could – or should – they be?

Cristiano from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

I don't get all that hate some readers are showing towards you recently. You're such a nice guy. Meeting you was one of the highlights of my life these last few years. In related news, hate leads to suffering.

You've got the wrong guy.

Diego from South of Tierra del Fuego

Diego sees Travon Walker as a possible reincarnation of Lawrence Taylor. Total disruptive force that no offense will want to have to deal with. What are your thoughts? Take him over Aidan Hutchison any day for the position they are creating.

O-Zone sees Jaguars rookie outside linebacker Travon Walker as a potentially very good player who must play at least one NFL snap before being compared to Taylor, who is perhaps the best defensive player in NFL history. Taylor was so good that many analysts and observers believed he would change the game before those analysts realized no one else could play outside linebacker the way Taylor did. Walker has the physical skills to be special, but will need to work on specifics in terms of pass-rushing technique and beating NFL offensive linemen. O-Zone is optimistic he will use those skills to be a very good player. O-Zone has yet to see Walker practice in pads yet so he will wait a few months before suggesting they order a bronze bust. O-Zone has decided referring to himself in the third person is cool, and worries doing so will annoy family and friends. Stay tuned.

David from Ada, OK

Trevor Lawrence's low weight is concerning. I've started a go fund me page for beer and pizza for him till he gets his weight up. Excess donations will be given to a worthy cause.


AJ from Pensacola, FL

In regards to a, "section at the end of the Ozone where people offer opinions," many websites have them and they are commonly referred to as Comments Sections. They can be dark and totally devoid of reason. I strongly recommend you resist any temptation, or sense of professional obligation to investigate them. A sensitive soul could be permanently scared. I live by three don't. Don't drink and drive, don't do drugs, and don't read the comments section.

What in the world are you talking about?