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O-Zone: All about the mood

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Hassan from Celina, TX

I'm very happy we are 6-2 and I don't want to complain, but this offense is so frustrating! Missed opportunity after missed opportunity. If they ever figure it out, they will be unstoppable.

While I understand the sentiment, if you're frustrated with the Jaguars right now, you're probably never not going to be frustrated as an NFL fan. They are 6-2 entering their 2023 Week 9 bye, lead the AFC South by two and a half games and have won five consecutive games without trailing in the second half. You can be a very good NFL team for a long time and not have a five-game stretch like that. As for the "frustration" over the offense, I get it. The Jaguars must improve on third downs and in the red zone. But it is the nature of professional football that a team will rarely dominate or be impressive in all three phases. If that happens, it doesn't usually happen for very long. The NFL is hard. It's that way by design. I expect the Jaguars' offense to "figure it out." You know what likely will happen when that happens? Something will happen in another area to prompt worry. The Jaguars have the NFL's longest winning streak. No AFC team has a better record. Embrace the frustration. Embrace the winning. Enjoy the ride. These are the good parts. But yeah … the offense could be more consistent. No doubt.

Matt from RADFORD

Zone, I agree ending the Bigsby "experiment" is not something they should even consider yet. He does need to stop fumbling though and the coaches need to trust him enough to give him more carries. Already worried with how many touches/carries ETN gets every game.

The idea of "ending" the "Tank Bigsby" experiment is an O-Zone topic these days. It's not a topic among coaches, nor should it be. Rookie running back Tank Bigsby has made a couple of mistakes this season. He's talented. He's the backup running back. He's transitioning to the NFL. As for worrying about running back Travis Etienne Jr.'s workload, I don't know that that's necessary. Etienne said before the bye week he felt as good as he has all season. That doesn't mean Etienne will stay injury-free. But there's no indication the workload will decrease his effectiveness.

Thrill from the 'Ville

You are what your record says you are. No question?


Mike from Azores

Hey John. As we all know that the Jags have several key veterans who need to be resigned at years end, what is wrong with holding off on signing Trevor? Yes, it will be more expensive to sign him later, but it will be the most expensive contract on the team no matter when it's signed. The NFL is obviously big business and in business cash is king! Why spend it early when so many other veterans could be signed that need contracts at year end?

There are multiple reasons for the Jaguars to extend quarterback Trevor Lawrence's contract next offseason, the first opportunity they have to do so. The biggest reason is that when you have a franchise quarterback who you believe will be the foundation of your franchise, you typically treat him as such.

Brendan from Yulee, FL

How long do we have Walker Little before he leaves and starts elsewhere? That guy has an insane amount of mental fortitude to be in the situation he is in. (starting-caliber player, repeatedly screwed, back on the bench)

Offensive lineman Walker Little's rookie contract with the Jaguars runs through the 2024 season.

Jon from Saint Johns

I don't understand the Ezra Cleveland trade. If he's a top 10 left guard and he leaves in free agency after this season, wouldn't the Vikings get at least a sixth-round compensatory pick for him? Maybe higher? What am I missing? What do the Vikings gain in this trade?

The Minnesota Vikings reportedly received a sixth-round selection in the 2024 NFL Draft from the Jaguars in the trade this week for offensive lineman Ezra Cleveland. Had he left following this season in free agency, the Vikings might have received a compensatory selection in the 2025 NFL Draft depending on multiple factors, including compensation. The selection in the trade is guaranteed. Compensatory selections are not.

Rob from Jacksonville

For a while now the rules have benefited offenses and it has showed. Defenses league wide lagged and scoring increased. Have defenses finally figured things out and is the pendulum swinging the other way?

A bit.

Bo from Winter Springs, FL

If we really want our best five on the field for the offensive line, is there any chance it's Cam Robinson at left tackle, Walker Little at left guard, Tyler Shatley at center, Brandon Scherff at right guard and Anton Harrison at right tackle? I know Shat has been put backup center and he seems like he'd be an upgrade over Fortner, who has been a consistent weak link all season. Or is there a chance of Cleveland at left guard instead of Little and still Shat at center?

The Jaguars like Luke Fortner at center. They don't consider him a weak link. I don't expect Shatley to start at center if Fortner remains healthy.

Limo Bob from Neptune Beach, FL

Not a question but a compliment. Your be-nice comments at times are cool. I have found myself starting to be mean and then your comment on O-Zone pops into mind and my attitude changes. Appreciate you.

I am the king of all funk.

Doug from Jacksonville

This first game back from the break can be a real measuring stick. San Francisco is a really good team that "upgraded" its pass rush right before the deadline. The 49ers have currently dropped a couple games but will have the same "reset" period as the Jags. It is an NFC opponent and a loss would not be the end of the season but a win against the team leading the NFC West and a Super Bowl favorite would be huge. Winning out just isn't a realistic expectation, but beating some of the teams that are expected to be in the postseason – i.e. Baltimore, Cincinnati, San Francisco – etc. would really give us an even better idea where the Jags are. In the next six games there are two divisional games, the 49ers, Cincinnati Bengals, at the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens. That seems more daunting than the beginning of the year with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Buffalo Bills in London and at the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Jaguars' schedule in the next month is tough. The NFL is hard. You're supposed to have to navigate some tough stretches to be a good team. The Jaguars by the end of this stretch will have a chance to prove they are good.

Brad from Orange Park, FL

Don't know if you saw/heard his comments on Tuesday's show about how the Jaguars should play all their games in London because that's the only way they'll sell out games, and how Jacksonville is the worst NFL city and that the NFL has been desperate to move to any other city.  But, yeah … move over Woody Paige because this Carton guy from FS1's The Carton Show is a real ****.


Kathy from Jacksonville, FL

When a "roughing the passer" is called, is the defensive player being "overzealous," careless, too aggressive or is it accidental? I know defensive players are rewarded for sacks. Is the player not following the right format?

Roughing the passer can be the result of overzealousness, over-aggressiveness, carelessness and it can be accidental. Sometimes it's a bad call and sometimes it's the result of strict rules protecting quarterbacks that make it difficult to avoid the penalty no matter how the defender plays.

John from Ponte Vedra

With the Jags on a bye, I was wondering just how much time they get off and don't have to report. Just the weekend, more?

Jaguars players were off beginning Wednesday and will be off through Sunday.

Ed from Jax by Lionel Playworld

Have fans been complaining that we haven't won enough at The Bank, yet? I expected more wins in Jax; instead, we have multiple home losses and only one win in Jax.

They're complaining now, I guess.

Tim from Fernandina Beach

John, How does the midseason trade process go from the player's standpoint? Does he run home, kiss the wife and say "honey, our dreams are realized. We're going to Duval." Does he get a physical? When does he get the playbook? Etc, etc.

Traded NFL players do undergo a physical upon joining a new team. He receives a playbook upon joining a new team. Whether a player runs home and kisses the wife depends on the mood of the player. Whether she returns the kiss depends on the mood of the wife. I can tell you from experience the latter action is not always a given.