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O-Zone: All Fairness

NEW ORLEANS, La. – Let's get to it …

Vince from Farmington, NM

Wow. And not the good kind…

This was a common refrain among O-Zone readers throughout and immediately after a 23-21 loss to the New Orleans Saints at the Caesars Superdome Monday night. The Jaguars struggled offensively and defensively early – and despite a small surge offensively late in the first half, the starters left after the first half trailing 14-3. This is still the preseason, so such a result is not a tragedy. It is perhaps evidence that transitions from 1-15 seasons take time; dramatic improvements from such records are the exceptions and not the norm for a reason. The Jaguars have a lot of young talent and a lot of new players. They have a talented young quarterback in Trevor Lawrence, who showed some encouraging things on a couple of late first-half drives Monday. There were also some things to like from the run defense. But there are still a lot of concerning areas – and there were a lot of concerning areas Monday. The secondary struggled. So did the pass rush and a patched-together offensive line. And other areas. Such is life in the early stages of a significant building process.

Michael from Middleburg, FL

As I stated last week, they don't look any better than last year. And we don't care how much you stress how good the offensive line is ... they are not ... Lawrence will look bad this year with that bunch.

Well, just two of five projected starting offensive linemen played Monday, so maybe that had something to do with some of the struggles … but yes … a lot of parts of the Jaguars must look better than they have looked thus far this preseason. That includes the offensive line, which struggled at times Monday with three starters – left tackle Cam Robinson, center Brandon Linder and guard Andrew Norwell – out for various reasons. Will it be the best offensive line in the NFL at full strength? Probably not. Can it be a functioning unit this season? Yes, that's still possible.


When will the Jags admit the offensive line is their weakness?

I wouldn't expect that to happen soon, and despite Monday's performance it's still too early to write a final book on the 2021 offensive line. Particularly with three starters out.

Wade from Westside

Not having much confidence in the offense or defense. Last year's team actually looked better than what we have been seeing from our first teams.

That's an exaggeration but Monday wasn't great. The run defense looked better. Lawrence improved as the game went on. Those are the positives. There were more concerns. It's the preseason but that's how it looked Monday.

Dan from Charlotte, NC

KOAF, I know many people think our O line sucks, and you think they aren't as bad as people say.   Regardless of where you rank them, they certainly need a pretty substantial talent boost. Walker Little may be good someday, but he is not ready. What do you think of sitting Trevor until this line shows it can protect the pocket? Right now, the Culligan Girl could get QB pressure. I think Trevor is on injured reserve by Week 3 if we don't figure something out.

I don't think the Jaguars should sit Lawrence. I do think it's fair to wait until the regular season – or at least until there aren't three starters out – before considering such an action (not that it should ever be considered).

Robert from Middleburg, FL

Preseason or not, I don't think it's an overreaction to be extremely concerned about this offense right now. These two teams looked like they're playing different sports. Every offensive snap the Saints took looked efficient, deliberate and almost always ended with positive yardage. Every offensive snap for the Jags? Strained, haphazard, sluggish and almost never ends in positive yardage.

It didn't look good when the starters were playing Monday. It has to look better.

Fender from Reality

Girl, you cannot spin this horrible Jaguars performance as anything other than tragic. This season is almost garbage before it has even begun. What have you or say??

The run defense looks pretty good – and that's not spin. The group has done a nice job limiting the run in each of the first two preseason games. And I still like how Lawrence is developing. I don't see a team that's going to push for the postseason this season, but I never thought the Jaguars were going to compete for the postseason. I see a team that can win five or six games and that can improve around a young quarterback. This was always going to take time. The Jaguars were 1-15 last season. Improvement from that place doesn't happen by magic or with a snap of the fingers.

Jordan from Mandarin

I thought fans said moving to a 3-4 would fix things.

Changes in schemes don't fix things. Better players fix things.

Guy from Sitting in the stands

That is two weeks in a row that the third-string QB looks the best (quick, accurate throws with good pace and touch). Terrible practice player?

I don't think C.J. Beathard has been bad in practice. I do agree that Beathard has looked like the second-best quarterback on the Jaguars' roster during the two preseason games.

Logan from Wichita, KS

Go right on your merry little way and say "it's just the preseason." and "it will get better when it counts." and "missing players makes a difference." and "there were some positives." and "It's a process." The fact is- this team sucks, STILL. We will be drafting in the top 3 if not #1, AGAIN... And it will mean NOTHING in 2022, again... Meyer will quit by 0-5 this year. But it's just the preseason so bring on the "bright side" or some $#!%. 2027 can't get here fast enough... I am so sick of how pathetic and worthless this team always is except for fluke seasons every 10 years.

Logan's back.

Derek from Brookings, SD

Is it time to start being a little concerned about the first-team offense? I still have hope things will get on track, but it's also hard to judge the first team offense missing three starting offensive linemen against the Saints.

Yes, it's time to be concerned. The Jaguars haven't gotten into a rhythm yet through two preseason games. It's not time to panic. It's not time to cut people. It's time to get better and it's time to mature in a lot of areas. It's also time to get your starting offensive line back and it's time to run better.

Micah from Chicago, IL

Sorry to be a ray of sunshine in your inbox, but I'm actually encouraged by what I saw last night. Trevor plays smart and he has a great safety net in both James Robinson and Jones. This is a year for experience. The O will look better with Chark and Linder and Norwalk.

Gotta get Norwalk back. No doubt.

Lisa from Jacksonville Beach, FL

Zone, with five picks in the top 65 and $70 Million in cap space, who stood out to you other than the consensus number-one overall pick as a possible improvement over last year's team? Is it too early to start talking about whether or not to trade out of the number-two overall pick we'll have next year?

Re: Who stood out offensively Monday … wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., and the run defense. Other than that, fair. Regarding: the No. 2 overall selection … yeah, too early.

Roger from Houston, TX

Yes, it's the preseason, but at some point you have to stop spotting your opponent two touchdowns every bleepin' game!


Mark from Archer, FL

John, Meyer not naming Trevor Lawrence the starter is just funny. I get he wants him to earn it. But let's be honest you do not draft a quarterback No. 1 overall not to be the starter. It would be different if there was a solid established veteran quarterback on the roster. Gardner Minshew II is just not it. Name the kid the starter and let him take all the reps with the first team to learn and build that chemistry.

The Jaguars obviously selected Lawrence to be the starter. He will be the starter. Meyer at some point will make this official – and it will probably happen sooner than later.

Tanner from Orlando, FL

Lots of talk that Meyer can't handle losing. If he can't handle losing, then he will be out by Week 2. We are screwed!

Tanner has weighed in.

Rob from Jacksonville

Ok it's just preseason but it's time for this fan to fan. This doesn't look good.

And you know what? You should fan. The Jaguars haven't looked good enough in the first two preseason games. They have a couple of things around which to build particularly Lawrence and the defensive line. Remember, too: this was a pretty good run-blocking team last season, so it stands to reason the offensive line will run block effectively when healthy. Those are reasons for hope. Those are some good things. But the pass rush must be better than it was Monday. So, too, the coverage. So, too, a lot of things. It's not the time for panic, but is it fair for fans to not like what they've seen. Sure, that's fair.