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O-Zone: Who cares

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Charles from Savannah, GA

After Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey guaranteed the Jaguars were going to the Super Bowl in January, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said, "just play." And won. Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson is now guaranteeing a 16-0 season. Do you think after losing to New England that they will learn? Why don't they take Tom Brady's advice and just play?

C'mon Charles … if you really think the Jaguars lost the AFC Championship Game to the Patriots because of what Ramsey or Brady said – or if you really think Jackson talking about going 16-0 will adversely affect the Jaguars' season – then you probably won't glean much from my answer. Players talk before games. They talk in the offseason. They answer questions when asked and try to have some while doing so. People read these things and talk about them. It's fun. It's good talk-radio fodder, and it's great for those loud debate shows that have become oddly popular. It's a nice diversion until the games begin. But once the games begin, do things said before games really matter? Rarely. Besides, this is a confident team that thrived on that personality last season. As Head Coach Doug Marrone once said, this team was confident in itself even before it had real reason to be confident in itself. And you know what? That confidence was a big part of why this team was able to change the fortunes of this franchise last season. So, if you're asking me, "Should the Jaguars stop being confident? Or bold? Or having fun?" I say, "Absolutely not." Maybe some teams would be better off being humble. Not this team. This group thrives on its swagger. Thrive on.

Dave from Oviedo, FL

O - At TIAA Bank Field the home team's locker rooms are first class. Are the visitor's locker rooms required to be as nice?

No. That's why they're not.

Steve from Nashville, TN

On the Summer School videos how is the writing on the grease board left to right for both the coaches behind the board and the viewer in front of the board?


Mike from Jax

It seems as though the trash talking and chest pounding the Jags defense does on the field has spread to Jags fans. So, did the NFL award the Lombardi Trophy to the Jags on Friday when quarterbacks report? Or will they wait until next week when the rest of the team reports? I work in a high rise downtown. I need to know when I should start making confetti for the parade.

I feel about this concept pretty much how I feel about people being worried about Jaguars players talking confidently about the coming season. This fan base has waited a long, long time for this team to be good enough for fans to be confident and bold. This team's players like the cockiness of the fans and the players frankly don't see why the fans shouldn't be confident. So they talk a little trash? So what? Enjoy it. It's football. It's supposed to be fun.

Chris from Mandarin, FL

The percentage of local revenue earned in London has declined over the five years the team has played over there. Is there any plan in place for the team to stop playing games in London if we reach a certain level of sustainability here? Or are we doomed to always be looked at as an inferior franchise that can't fill a stadium for 10 weeks per year?

I will be very surprised if the Jaguars don't play a home game in London each season for the foreseeable future. It has proven to be a reliable and sizeable source of local revenue, as well as a means to expand the team's' presence internationally. My guess is that in time the Jaguars' presence in London will be seen more as a formula that many teams attempt to copy rather than as a sign of weakness. Such a shift in perception takes time, but I expect that's how history will judge the team's London initiative. Remember: the aim of Owner Shad Khan and President Mark Lamping in this is not to worry about perception nearly as much as it is to continue stabilizing the franchise in Jacksonville. The game in London has significantly strengthened the local revenue equation, and the franchise is on far better footing than five years ago. Considering that, I don't anticipate a major reversal in the way the Jaguars do business on that front.

Andy from Roswell, GA

We've made it! Finally reached the obligatory "I'm not from Duval so I don't like the Duval chant." I think we are on Year 4. Still not from Duval. Still love chanting. Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuvallllllllllllllll.

Year 4? Andy, I've been back in Jacksonville since 2011 and the obligatory topic of "I'm not from Duval so I don't like the Duval chant" predates me. By a lot. Heck, I've gotten to the point I even sort of like the debate. #Duuuvvvallll

Mike from St. Mary's, GA

I've never lived in Jax, but Duuuuvaaaall is easily my favorite rally cry for the Jags, and maybe period. I've been to some other NFL games, and I gotta say, chanting "Here we go Brownies" isn't something I'd want to jump in on, and while I kinda like the "J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets," I've always thought they were a little too proud of their ability to spell a four-letter word. Maybe it didn't originate with the Jaguars, but Duval is where the team is from and when people call it out, everyone knows it's for the team, not where the fan is from.

Duuuvall is about as cool as it gets.

James from Phoenix, AZ

So, rookies reported on Wednesday and quarterbacks reported Friday and veterans report on next Wednesday. Why do they stagger it like that and what are the players doing after they report? Are the rookies already going through meetings with the coaches now or ...? I'm genuinely curious about what goes on in these situations. Thanks O.

Yes, rookies are going through meetings with coaches and quarterbacks begin going through meetings immediately upon arrival. For rookies, it's essentially a review of what they learned during minicamps and organized team activities; the idea is to get the material in front of the young players two or three times before training camp. Teams stagger the reporting schedule as they do because rookies and first-year veterans need more meeting time to come close to getting up to speed mentally with veterans – and because quarterbacks need time to be prepared before other veterans arrive.

Culligan fan from Right Below Freddy T's Ring of Honor

Karen can sit next to me.

I have no idea what you're talking about.

Mac from Jacksonville Beach

I would shout this from a mountain, but since we don't have any of those here in Jacksonville, I'll write in this forum. Jags fans need to be at the Pats and Steelers games. Those teams have huge fan bases that travel and any fan over the last ten years has experienced home games against teams like that that didn't really feel like home games. If you have a ticket and can't make it, try to sell it to a Jags fan rather than just on NFL Ticket Exchange. If we can all agree to do that, there won't be any room for the away fans in the stadium. Home-field advantage is huge for those games and it'll also be a statement from us, as fans, that we're behind this team. I realize it's kind of like voting where people think "How much does my one teal jersey really matter in the grand scheme of things?" But, like voting, if everyone thought that way then no one would be heard. I'm trying to start a movement- #jagsathome. Let's all get in on this together!

This is a cool movement. A lot of people will like it. But I wouldn't worry too much along these lines. This being the age of the secondary market, there undoubtedly will be Pittsburgh Steelers and Patriots fans attending the two games in question, just as there were significant pockets of Jaguars fans at several big road games last season. You can fight this with hash-tagged movements all you want, but you won't prevent road fans being in games. Still, having a few road fans at a game in no way means a fan base must overwhelm the stadium or even have much impact on the game. There were Seahawks fans at the December regular-season game in Jacksonville. There were Bills fans at the January AFC Wild Card Playoff game. Once those games began, Jaguars fans dominated the situation and the visiting fans were an afterthought. I expect much the same scenario when the Jaguars play host to the Patriots and Steelers this season.

Scott from New York, NY

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