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O-Zone: True feeling

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Bill from Hammock, FL

Zone, reading the O-Zone is a bit depressing and no one can blame the fan base. At the risk of raising the ire of the masses, I would like to attempt some positivity for next year. The defense is not bad. With a real difference-maker coming on board, the unit could be reasonably effective. The offense needs help. We will have a Top 2 pick in each round of the draft. Also, running back/wide receiver Travis Etienne Jr., tight end Dan Arnold, wide receiver/returner Jamal Agnew and possibly wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. should all be back. With free agency and high draft capital, couldn't the offense be put back together relatively quickly?

A couple of thoughts. One, if you think reading the O-Zone is depressing try being the O-Zone for a day or two. Or 15 seconds, for that matter – and that has nothing to do with his chosen line of work. Second – and more pertinently – you're right that the offense and the team can improve with some improvement in a few areas. If the passing offense gets more dynamic, that could get the offense from its current state of about 10 points a game into the low 20s. That's not an unreasonable goal for one offseason – and the defense has played well enough to keep a functioning offense relatively close in a lot of games. I doubt enough offseason improvement is reasonable to expect 10 victories or a playoff appearance in 2022. Maybe I'm just beaten down with a five-game losing streak, but that's the sense as of mid-December. But can the offense be significantly better than what we've seen in recent weeks? Can the team improve and be much better than it has shown? Let's hope so.

Jonathan from Jacksonville (retired in Idaho)

I hope we go pass rusher in the draft. The defense is "OK-ish" but another stud defensive end would greatly benefit it. It is the offense that needs a complete revamp around rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence. They don't have time to let 2022 rookie playmakers develop in one-to-two years. Spend money on the top guys. Next year there needs to be guys like Chris Godwin, Michael Gallup and Chark leading the wide-receiver core. Replacing a few of the offensive linemen will be tricky, but right tackle and left guard will need upgrading, too. What do you think?

It's difficult to accurately project an entire offseason, particularly one three months away, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Jaguars' top selection in the 2022 NFL Draft is the best defensive lineman and/or pass rusher available; I would be a little surprised, in fact, if that's not the case. I don't doubt that the Jaguars will be major players in unrestricted free agency on offense – particularly at wide receiver. I'm skeptical that they will solve all problems there, because it's rare to find elite players in free agency. But elite or not, I expect the Jaguars will be active there. Because that's what teams that need desperately to improve do.

Allen from St. Clairsville, OH

It appears that this coming game against Houston will determine the No. 2 or perhaps even No. 1 draft pick in next year's draft. Do you honestly see a glimmer of hope that the Jags can pull off a win?

Of course. The Texans are struggling to essentially the same extent as the Jaguars.

Nikki from Connecticut

KOAF - In a recent O-Zone, one question addressed potential head coach backfills and touched on Jim Caldwell. Do you think Tony Dungy could ever be convinced to end retirement and lead this team? Do you have equally high regard for Tony from your days covering the Colts?

Dungy, a Hall of Fame head coach who was the head coach with the Tampa Buccaneers from 1996-2001 and the Indianapolis Colts from 2002-2008, never will be a head coach in the NFL again. He told me often when we worked together in Indianapolis that once he was done, he was done. I have joked with him in the years since that he was going to surprise me and return. I have asked him seriously if he ever would do so. Usually, I "never say never." This is different. This is "never." I wish that was not the case. I would like nothing more than for Dungy to coach the Jaguars because I hold him in the highest possible regard. On the field. Off it. In every way.

Nicholas from Fort Hood, Texas

KOAF: Can you explain how information about firing Urban Meyer is made public? Jaguas Owner Shad Khan makes his decision in the middle of the night. Does he tell anyone besides former Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer? Does someone on the staff send a report to the media? Does Mr. Meyer alert the media?

The Jaguars informed Meyer of the decision late Wednesday night. They then sent a press release to the media via email around 12:45 a.m. Thursday.

Fred from Naples, FL

Well … he finally got it right. Now if he would just sell the team and stick to bumper cars.

I understand fans feeling this way. I understand the lack of success on the field in Shad Khan's ownership. I also know this: If you love the Jaguars and care about them being in Jacksonville, you don't want Khan selling the team. Period.

Jim from Callahan, FL

New, high level of respect for Shad Khan!

Fair.

Ben from Jacksonville

What confidence can we have that Shad will get the next hire right? Every single one of his picks for head coach has been an utter failure. What is he going to do different this time?

Pick the right candidate and have a better quarterback.

Jimjim from Eugene

I was starting to become concerned that potential free agents would reject any offers from the Jaguars because of the drama surrounding Urban Meyer. Do you think all that drama would have affected our chances at retaining and attracting free agents? Or is it really all about the money?

It's mostly about the money. Will the lack of drama help the process go more smoothly with free agents and agents asking fewer difficult questions? Almost certainly.

Michael from Jacksonville

O, sometimes it's just time to move on. I learned that lesson the hard way when I was 16 years old. I asked a girl if she would like to go out for dinner sometime. She replied how about just lunch. I knew this was not a good sign; so O decided to work extra hard to impress her. Unfortunately, everything on our date went terribly wrong. I got lost on the way to her house and showed up an hour and a half late. Then when the check came at the restaurant I took her to, I realized that I had left my wallet at home. Her mother had to come the restaurant and pay the bill. I realized at that point that it was just time to move on. Perhaps, this scenario applies to the Jags and Urban? Maybe things have gone so terribly wrong that there is no way to repair the situation. What do you think? Also, have you ever had a date that went this poorly?

Close. I once asked a girl out who surprised me and disappointed herself by saying yes. I was living in an apartment near Baymeadows and Southside, and upon arriving at her apartment complex near Atlantic I realized I had left the paper with her address and telephone number at home. I had been to her apartment with a friend once before, so knew the complex but not the apartment number. I had a vague recollection of the building. I thought. Knowing I couldn't drive to my apartment and back to hers without being horribly late, I parked and knocked on an apartment door I thought might be hers. I did this multiple times and realized I was likely knocking at the wrong building. I ran into a baseball coach I knew from covering high schools for the Florida Times-Union. I asked him if maybe he knew the girl; he unsurprisingly did not. I was wearing a long sleeve shirt and my roommate's tie; this was the day after Memorial Day shortly after 6:00 p.m., so accompanying sweat became an issue. I walked from building to building. I cussed myself for being stupid. I knocked on more doors. Some opened. Others did not. I thought of abandoning the effort, driving home and calling to apologize. I knocked on one more door. It felt familiar, but I was sweating and irritated and who the hell knew? The door opened. It was her. I was more than an hour late, maybe an hour and a half. We went to dinner and have been married 29 years as of last July.

Marlin from Lottieville, FL

Well, Zone. Khan isn't the only one who is bitterly disappointed. How do you feel?

Exhausted.

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