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O-Zone: Too many to count

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

David from Maplewood, NJ

Super Bowl Champs!!! That's my prediction. I am more confident about this team than any Jaguars team outside of the 1999 team that hosted the AFC Championship Game. This coach has proven he can get buy-in and do special things, and this quarterback has done special things his entire football life. The rest of the team will sense it, the opportunity is real, it will drive them to push through adversity. Jacksonville will be the center of the football universe and yes … I am ALL IN!!!

Many Jaguars observers share this feeling, and with reason. Head Coach Doug Pederson indeed inspires confidence and hope, as does quarterback Trevor Lawrence. There also is an underlying feeling around the Jaguars that this team – and perhaps particularly, this offense – has a chance to be very special this season. Those elements are at the core of the Jaguars being favored to win the AFC South – and as I said and wrote often during the offseason, that status is deserved. But as 2023 Training Camp opened Wednesday, he said it's important the Jaguars not "get too comfortable." He was referencing the new Miller Electric Center, but the theme holds true overall as the season approaches. This is a team with talent. It appears to have a bright future. But it was also a team that won one more game than it lost in '22. It was a team that needed to rally from double-digit deficits in its last five home victories. All the potential this team possesses – and all the potential Lawrence possesses – must develop and become far more consistent for the Jaguars to be the "center of the football universe."

Michael from Middleburg, FL

In your years of dealings with rookie and young starting quarterbacks, does Trevor's personality and attitude seem different than the others? Also, do you think Trevor will basically remain the same or eventually with success be more like Rodgers?

I hesitate to discuss the "difference" between Lawrence and other quarterbacks I've covered too much. it's my experience that all quarterbacks have differences – and that those differences don't necessarily tell you much about future success or failure. Lawrence's maturity and approach is impressive. They were impressive during his very difficult 2021 rookie season and remained impressive throughout a second season that began with a lot of inconsistency before finishing with a lot of success. I began covering Colts quarterback Peyton Manning in his fourth season, but I assume the impressive maturity and approach I saw then existed before that. I therefore wouldn't expect Lawrence to change much. I would expect him to continue to hone his strengths and improve his weaknesses. If he compares to Manning in that sense, he likely will be one of the NFL's best quarterbacks for the next decade or so – or more. As for whether he will become more like New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers moving forward … I doubt it. I figure Lawrence will be his own person. He seems confident enough in himself to remain true to himself.

Michael from Orange Park, FL

A lot of gushing over Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley Wednesday? Did he look that good?

And then some.

Scott from Daytona Beach, FL

Regarding your comment about Urban Meyer. That's not being nice.

A great man once said all men are flawed. A far lesser man later said, "It's important to be nice." I am the lesser man.

Buddy from Mandarin

Hey, KOAF was Wednesday really the end of the Dead Zone for 2023 ?

Tuesday was the end of the dead zone. Wednesday was the beginning of the fun zone. Did you feel it? Did you have fun? I damned sure did.

John from Jacksonville

The discussion on ex-Jaguars as possible Hall-of-Fame candidates. What about Marcedes Lewis? I always wished they would have kept him around a little longer.

Former Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis has had a remarkable career. I, too, wish he had been able to remain with the Jaguars and finish his career here. He was a very good tight end, and an elite-level blocker, for much of his career. I wouldn't say he's a Hall-of-Famer, but he was a very good player and perhaps a better person. That's just as good, if not better.

Jalen from Miami, FL

Hey, King! The greatest Jaguar of all time is back with a reminder to watch for me on the NFL Top 100 list. I want all my fans in Jacksonville to have their tissues nearby when they watch. It is going to be hard seeing me again. Where do you think I will rank?

I won't pay much attention to this, and I doubt many Jaguars fans will either. The past is the past, and this feels like a franchise about the present and future.

Steve from Wallingford, CT

Why is every quarterback who re-signs paid as the best player at their position? Just seems like this is a doomed path. I can't fathom that anyone out there really thinks Murray will be better and worth more than Mahomes or Allen.

I assume you're referencing the Los Angeles Chargers re-signing quarterback Justin Herbert and not Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals – and Herbert indeed signed a five-year, $262.5 million contract extension Tuesday. That reportedly makes Herbert the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. Is he better than Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs or Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills? Most observers would agree he is not. So, why does it seem the quarterback market go up and up and up? One reason is teams pay based on projection. Another is that it has become sort of the norm for an elite player at a position to become the highest-paid each offseason as a way of agents continuing to drive up the market in a league in which the salary cap also goes up each offseason. But probably the biggest reason is a bad reason – and that's that it seemingly always has been this way. Players, agents and teams expect it. It therefore becomes the norm. It often seems to create overpaid players. Then again, the entire league is overpaid, so it's hard to differentiate sometimes.

Rich from Dacula, GA

With all the money spent on the new facilities, you think they could have spent a little more money on the AUDIO equipment for doing press conferences. I can hear the answers, but can't hear the questions very well. What would it take to invest in multiple mikes or teach guys to pass a mike?

The Miller Electric Center just opened. Some rough edges are being smoothed and I suspect this will be solved soon. Remember, too: Most media asking questions at a press conference are asking for their own purposes and not for the greater good of the streamed press conference. That means there may not be a perfect success rate getting them to use or pass the microphone properly.

Don from Marshall, NC

The average margin of victory is the only stat that ESPN can keep track of for Jaguars Fans! They are so far down their rabbit hole that they have to look up to look down. They are not nice! Go Jaguars!

When it comes to the Worldwide Leader, Don remains "not all in."         

Scott from Gilbert, AZ

Mighty O, while running backs on other teams aren't getting paid, I get the impression Trevor will have some leverage when it comes to ensuring his buddy Travis gets taken care of when the time is right.

We're probably two or three years from Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr.'s contract being a front-burner issue. When it is, the decision will be made based on Etienne's performance and projected future production. I'm not minimizing Lawrence's friendship with his college teammate, but a lot of running backs are very popular with their teammates. It doesn't change how the position is viewed.

Brian from Round Rock, TX

I've never associated nepotism with good leadership, or culture. I'm afraid this is another example of our owner failing in some critical aspects of his role. It is still the same old Jags, in some ways. Mark Long was impressive in that press conference. It's refreshing to see journalism in action. Any thoughts on the coach's spy? Is that building the culture?

I rolled my eyes on Tuesday a bit when my friend, Mark Long of the Associated Press, asked Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson about his son – Jaguars tight end Josh Pederson – being a locker-room spy. I told Long afterward about the eye roll. We laughed and implicitly agreed to disagree on the subject. I don't expect this to be an issue. Some feel differently. That's OK. Not everyone can be right all the time.

Alexa from Jax Beach

What are the stories that make you get up in the morning excited to go to work? From recapping a win, to analyzing roster moves, or personal interest pieces--what inspires you and makes it FUN to be a senior writer for an NFL team?

Hold, please.