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O-Zone: Tryout time

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Bingus from Jax

What do the Jaguars do with Cam now? Walker seemed to play well the last couple games, and he's a starter. Do you keep Cam on a franchise or long term, and move Little to right tackle? Do you move on from Cam and go with Walker and Taylor? Thinking of the halcyon days of Tony Boselli and Leon Searcy, I'd almost love to see us move on from Cam, start Walker, and with the number one pick go with the top offensive tackle. What would you do?

This is a fair question, and it will be among the major Jaguars 2022 offseason topics. Multiple moving parts make a detailed answer tricky. What is the future of offensive line coach George Warhop? How will the Jaguars' decision-makers – general manager, new head coach, offensive line coach – view the line's personnel? Left tackle Cam Robinson by most accounts had his best NFL season, and undoubtedly will start somewhere in the NFL next season – very possibly for the Jaguars. In fact, the entire Jaguars offensive line – right tackle Jawaan Taylor, right guard Ben Bartch/A.J. Cann, center Brandon Linder, left guard Andrew Norwell and Robinson – likely will start somewhere in the NFL next season. And as a group, the line generally has been OK-to-good in recent seasons. But it has not been great at a group, with the question therefore being "How do the Jaguars get the offensive line to great?" That could mean drafting a left tackle and allowing Robinson to leave as a free agent. Maybe it will mean moving on from Norwell and trying to upgrade the position. Or moving Taylor inside. Once there's a clearer idea about direction of the coaching staff, we'll start learning more about the direction of the offensive line.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

Who do you like to make a run in the playoffs? Seems like maybe nobody in the AFC this year can beat the top two or three NFC teams. The Titans have Derrick Henry back, which would worry me if I were anyone. Outside of that I don't trust any team in the AFC much. I liked the Arizona Cardinals earlier in the season. The Dallas Cowboys are playing good defense. It might be between the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers; their quarterbacks are pretty good. I suppose the Cardinals are my dark horse pick with some good playmakers on defense to complement quarterback Kyler Murray. Who do you like?

My selections are boring. I like the Packers over the Buccaneers in the NFC and the Kansas City Chiefs over the Tennessee Titans in the AFC because the Packers and the Chiefs appear the two most complete teams entering the postseason – as complete as teams get these days, anyway. I would be surprised if a team outside those four won the Super Bowl.

Micah from Chicago, IL

Bill O'Brien? Why not interview Adam Gase and Rod Marinelli?

Because Gase and Marinelli haven't won four division titles.

Nick from Annapolis, MD

How realistic of a shot do you feel Cullen has of retaining his role as defensive coordinator, and continuing to build upon some of the progress on that side of the ball? I would imagine he's going to at least get strong consideration, especially considering the performance against the Colts. Is this something where an offensive-minded coach likely will retain him, while a defensive coach most likely will want to bring in "his guys?" Will the opinions of players be consulted and play a significant role in this decision?

It's far from out of the question that the Jaguars could retain defensive coordinator Joe Cullen. He got a lot out of the defense this season – enough to merit him remaining on staff. Whether that will happen is impossible to know before knowing the identity of the new head coach. A "defensive-minded" head coach could want a new direction. Even an "offensive-minded" head coach could have his own idea about the direction of the defense. When head coaches change, all is unknown. It's nature of things. The opinion of players usually is a minimal factor. While defensive players publicly praised Cullen last week, a head coach typically is going to believe in his own direction more than the opinion of players. Such support can sway a head coach and can resonate, but it likely won't make or break the decision.

Clay from AB, FL

If you love Big Macs but they keep messing up your order, you switch to Wendy's in protest. That same action does not work for pro sports teams for myriad reasons. At the same time, you and I didn't love the clown protest, though it got attention. So, what SHOULD fans do if their franchise keeps messing up?

History suggest Jaguars fans need little help on this subject.

Cory from Jacksonville

What are the odds the Packers don't re-sign and we end up with Davante Adams out of free agency? I haven't been able to read the zone much lately, so I don't know if you've covered this subject or not. Thoughts?

Opinions vary on this. I would be surprised if the Green Bay Packers allow wide receiver Davante Adams to become an unrestricted free agent because he is an elite player and teams typically don't allow elite players to become unrestricted free agents.

Nicholas from Fort Hood, TX

KOAF: With the end of the season comes the inevitable exodus from players and the front office. Please keep an eye out to avoid the Culligan Girl being fired.

I have no idea what you're talking about.

KC from Orlando, FL

Do any of the recently fired head coaches intrigue you more than the list of prospective coaches that have or will interview with the Jaguars?

I always have admired former Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer and it's hard not to notice that Brian Flores performed at least – at the very least – adequately as the Miami Dolphins' head coach. I haven't gotten any sense that the Jaguars are interested in pursuing either as a head-coaching candidate.

Jeff from Atlantic Beach, FL

Credit to Interim Head Coach Darrell Bevell. At the end of a bizarre and tumultuous season, he found a way to motivate a team that was playing for nothing. That's the sign of a good coach.

Hey, one fer Bevell …

Marji from DeLand

How is Travis Etienne doing? Will he be back and a Jaguar next season?

Jaguars running back/wide receiver Travis Etienne Jr., who sustained a season-ending Lisfranc injury in August, said Monday he could have returned this season, but doctors wanted to ensure he would return 100 percent – so the decision was made to hold him out the entire season. It is expected he will play for the Jaguars next season.

Jared from Cantonment, FL

So, no one gave us a chance to beat the Bills or the Colts and now it's being said no way we make the playoffs next season. Well, if rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence takes a jump from his rookie year to next then I believe anything can happen next season.

Bless you, Jared.

Al from Orange Park, FL

My preference is Caldwell, but what are your thoughts on Darrell Bevell as head coach? We know that Mr. Khan likes continuity ...

I like the idea of former Indianapolis Colts/Detroit Lions Head Coach Jim Caldwell as head coach, too. He's a leader of men who players undoubtedly will respect and follow, has high integrity – and demands it of and inspires it in others – and is very good with quarterbacks. I would be surprised (though not absolutely stunned) if Bevell got the job permanently, not because of anything he wouldn't perform well but because it feels like a coaching reset will be the direction.

John from Jacksonville

Him King of Zone - What is your opinion on the various records being broken this season largely in part of there being 17 games instead of 16? Doesn't seem fair to the prior record holders.

It's not fair, but I don't spend much time worrying about NFL single-season records. Football records rarely have held the same magic for fans as records in, say, baseball – and you don't see them discussed necessarily as measures for greatness. The NFL didn't suddenly restructure its record book in 1978 when the league expanded to 16 games from 14, so I didn't expect it to happen this season when it expanded from 16 to 17. I suppose fans and observers super-interested in such things will take the time to make sure a record was attained in a certain number of games, and it will be a good topic for barroom and watercooler discussion. Beyond that …

John from Jacksonville

Hi King of Zone - I kinda chuckled when you commented that Jaguars Owner Shad Khan is taking more time on the head coach search because he wants to get it right. After not getting it right several times so far (his hiring win/loss percentage aligns with the recent Jags team record), I think him closing his eyes and flipping a coin might have a better outcome.

John's got jokes …

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, do you think the next coaching team will bring Tebow in for another tryout?

… and so does Daniel.

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