JACKSONVILLE – The story of the 2022 season is not yet written.
Zay Jones is a veteran wide receiver – and as a veteran, he knows five games doesn't dictate an entire NFL season. As a veteran on young Jaguars team, he knows a 2-3 record in mid-October doesn't determine much about December.
In fact, it hardly determines much at all.
"It's a very long season," Jones told senior writer John Oehser on this week's 2022 Week 6 O-Zone Podcast. "The best we can do is remain poised, remain confident and trust what we're doing.
"You don't panic just because something may not go right one week."
Jones, a sixth-year veteran who signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in March, discussed multiple topics on the podcast. Among them: setting the NCAA record for career- and single-season receptions, the importance of his father – 10-year NFL linebacker and three-time Super Bowl champion Robert Jones – to his career and his opportunity with the Jaguars.
"Every season presents its own challenges, and there's a new level you can reach as years go on," said Jones, a second-round selection by the Buffalo Bills in the 2017 NFL Draft who has 22 receptions for 185 yards and a touchdown in four games played this season.
"I'm my harshest critic. No one evaluates or critiques my game harder than I do. The things I want to do in this league are astronomical. At the same time, I can't think it's all going to about me or that I'm going to do this solely by myself. The most important thing is this team winning games.
"When you place team goals first and execute your role, naturally your production comes along."
He, too, said he believes in the direction of the Jaguars under Head Coach Doug Pederson.
"Having him as a leader, him understanding what it takes and reaffirming, 'Hey, guys: This is what we need to do,' gives you confidence as a player," Jones said of Pederson, who is in his first season with the Jaguars after coaching the Philadelphia Eagles to three postseason appearances and a Super Bowl victory from 2016-2020.
Jones said Pederson's approach of staying level emotionally whatever the outcome of a particular game is key.
"It's good to make adjustments and solid adjustments, and kind of reload a little bit, recharge and bring things back center," he said. "But if you can stay balanced and understand what you can take from both the positive and the negative, and focus on the task at hand, you'll be fine."
Listen to the entire O-Zone Podcast with Jones below.