O-Zone: Training day
JACKSONVILLE – Let’s go…
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, our starters gave us enough to keep the hope alive. They probably exceeded what I expected, but clearly need to improve. Our backups, on the other hand, require a lot of work. O-man, I admit it: isn’t it great to complain about our backups?
You couldn’t be more right. The Jaguars lost to the Cleveland Browns, 24-13, in a Week 1 preseason game at TIAA Bank Field on Friday. The Jaguars starters were dominant, scoring 13 points and giving up seven yards with the first-team offense/defense. They were leading 13-0 at the time, then allowed the game’s final 24 points. The Jaguars stagnated in the last three quarters, while missing too many tackles and allowing the Browns to take control. It doesn’t look like the Jaguars have much depth yet. This is to be expected. The Jaguars have been bad the last two or three seasons. They seem to work themselves out of trouble, but depth takes time – and it’s often the last piece to build. With the obvious caveat that you can’t get much out of the preseason, Friday was undoubtedly a good night for the Jaguars. The Jaguars were very good when the starters were playing. It’s the No. 1 goal in an NFL preseason game.
With the reduction to 85 players on Tuesday, is there any particular position you see the Jaguars adding a player from another team’s cups next week?
The reduction to 85 players means that approximately 150 players will be available in the NFL by the middle of next week. They will be the final five players from 32 rosters. Some players in the group will undoubtedly make rosters in the NFL and have careers. But the odds of any team improving significantly from this group are slim enough that I don’t feel guilty for not giving the opportunity much thought.
If Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence isn’t elite, then I’ll take him for the sole reason that it’s better for the brand to keep a consistent face. I’m going to take a mid-level quarterback to build around, then maybe one day replace him with a nonstop quarterback search. We at least have an identity with him, he’s easy to love and he’s proven he can at least be a professional player off the pitch through leadership and press. That’s me personally, but 10 years of relevance on another 10 years of change with a singular playoff run. I just want a team, I guess. But hey, I’m a fan not an analyst and I understand that it’s different.
We use words such as ‘elite’, ‘franchise level’, ‘generational’, ‘upper level’ and ‘foundation’ so much that sometimes the concepts blur and numb the mind. If Lawrence is big but not elite, he’ll be the best quarterback in franchise history and give the Jaguars stability/production they haven’t had in two decades. Yeah… the Jaguars would take “big” from Lawrence. They’d like it to be “generational”, but they’d take it damn well.
Officially in the vortex. Trevor Lawrence looks like Jesus at Red Rocks. Am I overreacting?
Of course not. But is it generational? Or elite? Or just awesome?
No, Jalen Ramsey’s trade hurt because we have [blank] back and his back has improved noticeably thanks to the beautiful LA weather.
The Jaguars got the picks that became linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson (No. 20 overall, 2020 NFL Draft) and running back Travis Etienne Jr. (No. 25, 2021) in the trade. former cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Chaisson has yet to live up to his draft status, but Etienne at this early stage doesn’t appear to be [blank]. He certainly didn’t look [blank] on the first three sets of Friday’s game.
Start with a three-and-out, then a 32-yard zinger, followed by a stealth quarterback? ! This is where our future begins! Go jaguars!
Does Hall of Fame play count in official NFL stats? For example, would we be considered 0-4 in pre-season instead of 0-3?
The Hall of Fame Game does indeed count in NFL stats and standings — at least it does count in how all preseason games count, which is to say, well…not at all.
Kca32084 from St. Augustine, Florida
_It appeared the receiver who had the ball ripped off for an interception return for a touchdown on Friday was No. 88 Jeff Cotton Jr., but they repeatedly announced on TV that it was by Tim Jones. Which player was he? _
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, Florida
The cousin of my sister’s best friend’s ex-boyfriend works in a sign. He says he’s working on a big order to replace 37 “Ponte Vedra Beach” signs with new ones that say “Boselliville.” I just thought you would like to know.
Boselliville? If they put it to a vote, I know a very tall – and sometimes very tall – man who will be on the “yes” side. It won’t be hard to spot. It is he who will wear the golden jacket. Still.
A little surprised that Tony isn’t wearing his gold jacket in the radio booth. What’s up with that?
The season is still young.
_Steve from Sunroom Couch_
Dear John. So in the section under your blog or whatever the kids call it these days, there was a discussion about the Gardner Minshew II trade. Could you explain to us why the Jaguars would trade a very competent backup or a solid starter at QB for next to nothing? He was still on a rookie contract and GM Trent Baalke or whoever there was, decided to bring in another guy for a lot more money. Help us understand!!!
CJ Beathard is the backup quarterback for the Jaguars. The Jaguars liked Beathard more than they liked Minshew, who, while indeed a usable replacement, is currently not considered a “solid starter” in NFL circles. The Jaguars have made many regrettable decisions over the past 10 seasons. I have no idea they regret this one. I doubt that will change.
Holger from Zurich, Switzerland
I just rewatched the last game of the regular season, Colts vs. Jaguars, and what stood out to me was how good Lawrence was in that first half. He started 14 of 15 with the incompletion being a perfect pass that wide receiver Laquon Treadwell dropped. He threw to wide receivers Marvin Jones, Laviska Shenault Jr. and Treadwell; all are still on the team. We have now added running back Travis Etienne, running back James Robinson, wide receiver Christian Kirk, wide receiver Zay Jones, tight end Evan Engram, right tackle Brandon Scherff and a healthy left tackle Cam Robinson. In the second half, the attack weakened a bit but the defense forced the turnovers. The Colts had 150 total yards going into the fourth quarter. Sometimes we forget how good the defense was last year at times. What’s my point? If the attack improves a bit and Lawrence plays like he did in the first half and the defense keeps at least the level of last year, we could improve quickly. And these are reasonable expectations.
What did you think of the Cleveland game?
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, my wife speaks French (among many other languages, given that she is a linguist). Anyway, she said it wasn’t “ETN”, but rather something like “ETN – with a barely French thing at the end.)” It’s she is wrong !?
Daniel, my wife speaks English (only that language, since she’s from Arlington). She wouldn’t know Travis Etienne Jr. if he was sitting with us in our house and didn’t have a clue how to pronounce the name. But it pronounces it ETN, so that’s what we’re going with.
Richard of Jacksonville
Oman. On third down of first down, Jaguars outside linebacker Travon Walker entered the backfield and would have reached the quarterback had it not been for an inside, still-powered handoff to hit the running back on the tackle. All indications are correct.
Walker played well in the Hall of Fame game last Thursday and again Friday against the Browns. He’s disruptive, incredibly strong, and shows that he belongs in the NFL – and he’s capable of physically crushing opponents. So far, so good.
Jason from the North Pole, AK
I coached/played the offensive line for several years and after watching the first quarter a number of times, what I take away is that we don’t have to worry about our rookie center. Luke Fortner and Brandon Scherff had combo blocks, hard to time, that would make Big Bo blush. This kid can play.
I haven’t been a coach or an offensive lineman for many years. But yeah… Fortner — a center for the University of Kentucky and a third-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft — has all the traits of a long-term starter. He played well in both preseason games and played well in training camp. It has the early feel of a good selection – and a good draft overall.
Emiliano from Houston, TX
With wild dogs, usually bare-chested. I eat meat, usually raw.