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O-Zone: Way-back Wednesday

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Michael from Orange Park, FL

We're a week from training camp. It can't get here fast enough. I like what I see, Zone. Talk me out of my optimism. Where are the flaws on this team?

I'm hesitant to douse optimism. No one likes a douser, after all. But I'm used to not being liked, so I would say there are many reasons to be concerned about the 2022 Jaguars. There are unknowns along the offensive line and at wide receiver – and while the Jaguars made a lot of offseason acquisitions, we won't know the effectiveness of those acquisitions until we see them perform in the regular season. There's also the obvious concern of running back health. While James Robinson and Travis Etienne Jr. could perform a dynamic and productive tandem, both sustained season-ending injuries last season and must show they are ready to perform at a high level in the NFL. But this isn't unusual in the NFL. It's a league of transition, and most teams enter seasons with unknowns. The reasons for optimism – Head Coach Doug Pederson, quarterback Trevor Lawrence, a slew of young players – are real. If the reasons for optimism turn out to be legitimate, that will trump a lot of unknowns.

Stephen from 113 via Pennsauken, NJ

What are the plans for "Tony Boselli Day" at The Bank? I'm assuming there will be a game where Tony will be the special event for the game (pregame and halftime). Which game, opening day? Will they change The Pride paint to gold for Tony? We need to make sure it's a game that gets a good turnout of LOCAL fans and not dreaded visiting fans. Thanks.

Boselli, the former Jaguars left tackle who will become the first player in franchise history enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 6, indeed will have a day in his honor at TIAA Bank Field. That is scheduled to be a home game against the Houston Texans October 9. I don't yet know the specifics, but it will be a special day for Boselli, the franchise and fans. It will be a long overdue day at that.

David from Ada, OK

Hair bands are great. Don't forget The Beatles are the original "hair band." So I'm guessing that's why you like Seal? Rob Halford? Billy Corgan? Pitbul? Joe Satriani? Moby? Tupac? Paul Shaffer? Sinead O'Connor? Nowadays, Billy Joel? And of course, Phil Collins?

I get emails like this sometimes.

Charles from Riverside

Hello, John. So The Survey Says we don't like having a losing team, and we need shade in the stadium. No. 1 and No. 2 answer, respectively. Well, yeah … we all want a winning team. And sure, shade would be nice, but it is Florida. Lambeau is what it is in the winter we are what we are in the fall. Are there any definitive stats that the heat helps the Jags early and the cold helps the 'Pack late? I personally believe football should still be played outdoors, just sayin. BTW, my answer after winning, would have been to give the 'Bank a good scrub. Starting to look worn out and crispy everywhere. And in some places actually dirty. Yes, it is a huge structure, but at least the public spaces should be addressed for a good power wash and paint?

The current incarnation of TIAA Bank Field is 27 years old. There are going to be some rough edges and some TLC needed.

Scott from Jacksonville

"Very" Senior Writer ... That was kind of funny.


Jason from North Pole, AK

Alright, I'll bite. Who is on your Rushmore of lead vocalists?

I'll miss on this in the eyes of many because it's impossible. But in terms of dynamic lead vocalists across genres I'll go with David Ruffin of the Temptations, Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, Freddy Mercury of Queen and Debbie Harry of Blondie. Those are my four today. They will change tomorrow.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, can you provide an update on how the Culligan girl's offseason is going?

I have no idea what you're talking about.

Jason from North Pole, AK

Had the Jaguars won the Super Bowl in 2017, how might the following season(s) have played out differently?

This is, of course, an impossible question to answer definitively – but my belief is a Super Bowl title in 2017 wouldn't have changed the Jaguars' future much. The 2017 Jaguars were in retrospect a team constructed for the moment rather than the long haul. That is often the case in the NFL these days when teams succeed without a franchise quarterback. While a franchise quarterback can be re-signed and form the foundation for long-term success, teams built as the Jaguars were built – with an elite defense – are harder to hold together for the long term. That theory aside, I don't know how different 2018 would have played out had the Jaguars won the Super Bowl following the 2017 season. That '18 team began the season as a motivated team, starting 3-1 with a resounding victory over the defending AFC Champion New England Patriots. Would they have been as motivated for that New England game had they beaten the Patriots in the previous year's AFC Championship Game? Hard to say. But I never got the feeling the 2018 team's disintegration had much to do with the end of the previous season. Injuries became a major factor quickly that year. Unsteady quarterback play also contributed. As did a few midseason, disheartening blowout losses. The confident swagger of 2017 and early 2018 disappeared after that. My sense is it would have disappeared even had the team won the previous Super Bowl.

Doug from Jacksonville

The discussion about former Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack as a Steeler got me thinking. Seeing former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor in a Patriots uniform and former Jaguars running back Maurice Jones- Drew in a Raiders uniform, for me, have been the two "hardest" to see.


Joe from Jacksonville posted a question about physically impressive running backs and there's a resounding wave for Adrian Peterson. Do you think he's a Hall of famer?

Peterson in addition to being physically impressive had an uberproductive – and ubermemorable – NFL career, particularly his first nine seasons. He rushed for 14,918 yards and 120 touchdowns in 15 seasons, and his 2,097-yard, 12-touchdown, Most Valuable Player season 2012 was one of the most impressive rushing seasons in recent memory. Yes, he's a Hall of Famer – likely first ballot.

Mollycoddle from Fantasyland

Too much work? You're eating meat that you neither raised, processed or packaged and you're complaining that chicken wings are too much work. Sad.

I recoil from work, physical or otherwise. Rest: good. Effort: bad. But my dislike of chicken on the bone has nothing to do with the work involved. It's just sort of bleh.

Zac from Austin, Tejas

It feels like former Coach Meyer was berated for not giving Lawrence "enough reps," but current Coach Pederson is being praised for his fewer reps a la fewer practices. /ducks

I don't keep track of who berates who, and I can't speak to who did or didn't like former Head Coach Urban Meyer's approach to quarterback repetitions in 2021 Training Camp. I thought the criticism of Meyer for having rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence share repetitions with quarterback Gardner Minshew II was dramatically overblown, and I have no problem with Head Coach Doug Pederson holding a few fewer practices than the maximum allowed. Meyer's training-camp approach was pretty low on the list of things that went wrong for the Jaguars in 2021. As far as Pederson's 2022 approach … he has plenty of NFL experience and has had plenty of NFL success. This isn't something to praise or criticize, necessarily. It's more a case of a head coach knowing what he's doing and there not being much reason to praise/criticize either way.

Zac from Austin, Tejas

This feels like a safe place to say this - even if you're here. I cannot stand Peyton Manning. Every time I see his stupid face it fills me with a rage plunging as deep as oceanic trenches. And it's 100 percent because of how well he played against us. His wins were nearly ALWAYS at the most inopportune times. Wow, I hate the Sheriff. Even his stupid name is cool, which just plunges me deeper. Big ol fan of Eli though. Nice family.


Marc from Oceanway

So, John. How do you feel about Clint Longley? Yes, he brought the Cowboys back to beat Washington on Thanksgiving Day in 1974, but the next year in training camp, he punched an unsuspecting Roger Staubach in the face while he was removing his shoulder pads. Staubach still has a scar over his left eye to this day.

I don't have any feeling toward Longley one way or the other, but yes … 1970s O-Zone sort of liked the idea of someone punching Staubach. He didn't mind that a bit.