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O-Zone: Almost time

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Keith from Soon to be St. Augustine, FL

According to Adam Rank, "The Jaguars need to be much better up front. Jacksonville's offensive tackles allowed a league-high 106 pressures last season, per PFF. Right tackle Jawaan Taylor was the biggest offender (58 pressures allowed, most among offensive tackles), and the former second-round pick really needs to improve this season. Left tackle Cam Robinson also struggled (40 pressures allowed, eighth-most among offensive tackles)." If you do the math, Robinson and Taylor accounted for 92 percent of the pressures allowed by the Jaguars in 2020. Excuse me if I'm not as optimistic as Head Coach Urban Meyer and offensive line coach George Warhop about our projected starting offensive tackles. At least there is some hope in rookie tackle Walker Little being on the team. I just hope rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence's confidence is not shot by the time changes are finally made. That's my "two cents" … for whatever it's worth. Do you ever get tired of stirring the Kool-Aid?

I don't stir Kool-Aid, comments to the contrary in this forum notwithstanding. I do write about football, and I talk with – and listen to – people who know more about the game than I do to. Mostly, what I do in this forum is try to explain with some combination of perspective, experience and measured-ness how the NFL works as opposed to how some fans and media perceive it works; it is my experience that the difference between those two worlds often is vast. To your point about the Jaguars' offensive line and the team's starting tackles: Meyer and others have said repeatedly this offseason that the tackles must improve, and they didn't always play great last season. And I don't doubt Rank's analysis, just as I'm sure Pro Football Focus' statistics are at least close to being accurate. But there's more to analysis than just statistics. Remember: The Jaguars trailed throughout games more often than not last season, and they trailed by double digits far more than most teams. Few offensive linemen – particularly tackles – are going to have stellar seasons when their teams trail that much. When opposing pass rushers know teams are going to pass all the time, that changes the dynamics of the pass rush – and pass protection. Were Taylor and Robinson great last season? No. Would they have fared better in pass protection if they hadn't constantly been facing teams that knew the Jaguars were going to pass? The guess here is yes. Absolutely.

Steve from Nashville, TN

Alabama coach Nick Saban has called linebacker Dylan Moses a steal and said the only reason the linebacker went undrafted was because of his history of knee problems. Can you update us on Moses' recovery status from his February surgery? I think the "steal" rating only is realized if he plays for the Jaguars at some point this year or next?

The Jaguars signed Moses as a collegiate free agent after the 2021 NFL Draft. Saban's right that Moses would have been drafted had it not been for his knee injury – and he likely would have been selected somewhere on Day 1 or 2 had he been healthy. Moses will begin training camp on the non-football injury list. That's not unusual for a player with an injury issue entering the NFL – and it's not unusual considering Moses' history – and the offseason surgery. I expect this situation to become clearer as training camp moves forward. But yes … Moses is only a steal if he plays for the Jaguars. If he doesn't, he will be an unfortunate story of a good player whose career was sidetracked by injury.

Kyan from Le Mars, IA

The Jaguars have no need for more draft picks and aren't struggling with cap space. Trading running back James Robinson won't happen and it would be terrible management to do so. Let's trade away good players just because we might have another good player in the same position group. I just watched a YouTube video of JRob's season, and I am pumped for him this year. He did all that while trailing most games. What can he do if Lawrence gives us some leads??

Run more. And better.

Robert from Fernandina Beach, FL

Two things. Had we drafted Lamar Jackson, we likely would not have Lawrence. Would you trade James Robinson for the Rams' 2022 first round pick?

Two responses. Yeah, probably not. I would think really hard about it – and yeah, I probably would do it.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

O, you and Ashlyn Sullivan were the only ones who mentioned stopping the run as the biggest key to success in 2021. How? Yes, we need better quarterback play. Yes, we need better everything. However, if we don't stop giving up six yards on first down with a designed run, the team is doomed regardless of either of the latter. Stopping the run is the No. 1 key to winning games in my opinion. PLENTY of games prove that, with Trevor Lawrence or Gardner Minshew II at quarterback. I want to see the offense be electric more than I want to own Apple and Amazon, but if we can't keep anyone from being able to get five yards a carry, who cares if our rookie quarterback throws 30 touchdowns?

All true. It's difficult to win in in the NFL if the only thing you do well is stopping the run. But it's probably more difficult to win if you can't stop the run at all. And reconsider that Amazon/Apple comment. Owning those two would be cool. Like, really cool.

Howard from Homestead, FL

I can understand why the league is threatening to forfeit games if games are missed due to unvaccinated players getting covid. What I don't understand is why players on the non-offending team would lose paychecks. Makes more sense to make the "losing" team pay the players on the "winning" team that week's game checks. How would the KOAF handle it?

I like the idea of making the "losing" team pay the "winning" team. But it's not my money. And I doubt the NFL Players Association would like the idea enough to have it be a thing.

Bo from Linwood, NC

So last year I started the KOAF fantasy football league. I told everyone you were in and ... you never joined. This year I have doubled down and promised you would be drafting with us on August 30. You draft third. Any idea on who your taking?

Maybe you shouldn't tell so many people so many things.

Dave from Jacksonville

Zone, can you provide any onsite insight to how the rookies are being acclimated in the early days of camp? Also, have you noticed anything new or innovative with how the new staff is approaching these early arrivals?

The Jaguars' rookies arrived Tuesday. We at Jaguars Media and local media get little access to this phase of the process, but this time is about orientation, meetings and ensuring the dozen-plus group is as acclimated and prepared as possible with the veterans reporting. Everything in the NFL typically is about being innovative and forward-thinking, but a lot of this period is simply ensuring young players are on as even a playing field as possible with veterans entering next week.

Ryan from Apopka, FL

You gave a list of potential players to make a Pro Bowl or even All-Pro in 2021 if the team were to have a strong season. One player that you missed was center Brandon Linder. In 2020 he had 2 penalties with one sack allowed on 530 snaps. In 2019, zero sacks and 13 penalties allowed on 1,080 snaps. In 2018, zero penalties and one sack on 507 snaps and in 2017, two penalties and zero sacks on 926 snaps. So in his last 3,000 snaps, he has allowed three sacks! He has been ready for the league to take notice of his skill and maybe bringing along Lawrence will help others realize we have a top 3 center in the NFL.

Good eye.

Richard from Jacksonville

Zone, My Jaguars mobile app isn't working. I didn't get the Zone. I spent all of Thursday thinking the streak was over. I wondered if you won the lottery or something happened to you. Was this just me or was it widespread? WTF (Excuse me that's a typo.) WFT was a great topic yesterday.

This was not just you. Thursday was fraught with panic as a legion of loyal, passionate O-Zone readers wondered about my well-being. Both are OK now.

Bruce from Saint Simons Island, GA

O, in honor of the last few days of the "dead zone," do you agree that the Jags will go 17-0, join the Dolphins as the second undefeated NFL team, and win the Super Bowl!

Jaguars 2021 Training Camp begins July 27.

Dan from Somewhere

Thank you for playing the Dead Zone ... your grand prize is ... Jaguars 2021 Training Camp begins July 27.

Googling this … yep.