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O-Zone: Believability

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Wade is Woke from Westside

The season has not turned out like many had expected or hoped. Should we expect some sort of changes this offseason? Maybe on the coaching level or higher up? Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Sounds like the Jaguars in a nutshell.

This premise is intriguing. While many Jaguars observers certainly hoped they would contend this season, did many really expect that? Really? This was a team that won four games over the past two seasons and by any measure had a depleted roster that had to begin rebuilding. Head Coach Doug Pederson was entering his first season with the organization. Not only did he have to implement a culture to move on from the mess that was the Jaguars under former Head Coach Urban Meyer, players had to grow and gain experience in a new offensive system. And quarterback Trevor Lawrence had to continue to grow and develop in that system. The Jaguars are on pace to win five or six games this season. I expected them to win six or seven, and many local media projected about the same. While Pederson wanted to win more games, I don't believe deep down he is shocked that they have struggled at times in his first season. The encouraging thing is that the Jaguars in Pederson's first season have been close contending – closer than many believe. They absolutely squandered an opportunity or two – or three – to be at or about .500. They weren't close to that last season. Or the season before. As for potential coaching/front office changes … I don't sense they're happening because my sense is the approach will be that the Jaguars were in the first season of a rebuild this past season and that development/growth is happening. I could be wrong. The Jaguars have played 12 games. The NFL season lasts 17 games. We're not at a time where changes are likely yet.

Brendan from Yulee, FL

I posted awhile back stating the flaws I see in Josh Allen's game this season. After a few more games, it's safe to say I am proven right. I consider Allen to be a major disappointment this year. What do you see as the biggest disappointment/whiff of the Jaguars in 2022?

Outside linebacker John Allen's certainly up there in terms of this question. I expected him to be a force defensively, and I expected him to play at a Pro Bowl level. I expected him to approach double-digit sacks. He expected the same things and they haven't happened. I think some of it may be a confidence issue and a matter of pressing too hard because I think he has been better than this in the past. I could be wrong about that, too. I'm often wrong.

John from Cape May Court House

With all these questions concerning the failure of first-round defensive picks, I remember a wise man once saying: Draft offense, buy defense. Wait … I was that wise man. That is all. As you were.

There's some truth in those wise words. It's sometimes a little more likely to find help in spots in free agency defensively than offensively. But perhaps that wise man also realized that the reality is it's better to draft everything. Free agency in the NFL far more often than not is fool's gold. We see it time and again, and yet every offseason we forget. Alas, I say. Alas.

Original Paul from Saint Johns

I guess there is another Paul in Saint Johns. I'll have to create an Alia's going forward.

Ya gotta do you, I guess. Whoever you are.

Marcus from Jacksonville

Every year there is a reason to push off expectations another year. A new quarterback and head coach in 2021, a new coach and scheme in '22. Now it appears a rebuilt defense will be the reason in '23 why we shouldn't expect much until '24. Guess we'll have to wait until then to figure out why we need to wait until '25 and beyond.

I expect the Jaguars to be improved next season and to have a real chance to contend for the postseason. I expect defense to be an offseason issue and for there to be changes. I don't have a feel the extensiveness or nature of those changes.

Ben from Cuba, MO

Is it easier, in your opinion, to build a consistent 3-4 defense or 4-3 defense? Would you picture Walker as a better rushing linebacker or hand on the ground defensive end in a 4-3 scheme?

It's easiest to build a defense when you select and sign good players – particularly good and impactful players on the defensive front. I can picture Travon Walker playing really well with his hand on the ground.

RAF from PVB

We beat the Los Angeles Chargers soundly. We're not that good. The Detroit Lions kicked our butts. We're not that bad. Right now, we are like a majority of NFL teams in that we are not good enough to win consistently this year. The difference between us and that majority of .500-and-below teams is we have quarterback Trevor Lawrence and they don't. We may not win another game all year, or we may win them all because this is the NFL. Of course, it's more likely we finish somewhere in between, and then it's 2023 and we have Trevor and they don't.

Lawrence is the key. If he is developing as well as he appears to be developing, then the Jaguars' offense should continue improving as it appears to be improving this season. If that happens, the Jaguars should be competitive and allow the team to build around him. That's not to say he's everything, but he can – and should – be the main foundation piece.

Frank from St. Augustine, FL

The irony of Griffin's bad back. Any chance we can get two first-rounders for him? Maybe trade him to the Rams?

I guess there's some irony to Jaguars cornerback Shaq Griffin having the same injury that tragically ended former Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey's time with the Jaguars. The Jaguars can't get two first-round selections for Griffin. I doubt they will be able to trade him to the Rams or anyone else.

Dave from Chorley, UK

So, this is my 10th season as a Jags fan. As much as the losing seasons make it hard sometimes to be a fan, I remain glad I picked the Jags because the fan base I have spoken to over the years has made being a Jags fan a joy. What make being a Jags fan hard though is seeing the consistent ability to get be inconsistent. One week, we turn up to play; the next week, nobody's home. Even in 2017 we went on a run of win a game, lose a game. The common theme of Khan's ownership has been inconsistency and all we have to show is the "2017 season" and year after year of silver lining victories with the most recent one being that we are "keepers by games close." How can we get up this "inconsistent play" hump that has plagued us for so long?

Lawrence can continue to improve, the offense can get better around him and the players drafted in recent offseasons can develop into core players. Then the Jaguars can continue to draft and develop and supplement – key word: supplement – the drafted players in free agency. That's the way.

Allen from St C

Not a football question; where's Ashlyn?

Working Philadelphia Flyers pre- and post-game for NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Kay from Jax

What do you make of Coach P's comments about needing to fly in Sunday, treat away games as business trips and get rid of the distractions? This team has a lot of flaws right now (particularly on defense) but I hadn't had the impression that lack of focus or low effort was among their issues, especially coming off a big win against the Ravens. Was this team out partying and looking past their opponent? With 4 wins all season?

I think Pederson was asked about this after a frustrating road loss and said something sort of vague about treating road games like business trips. I don't get the idea that lack of focus or energy on road trips is a trend for this team, and the Jaguars weren't "out partying" Saturday before the Detroit Lions last Sunday. That's almost impossible to do on Saturday night on the road, with all players required to be in team meetings and in their rooms at a very reasonable times.

Mario from West Kelowna, BC

Zone. Do you realize how much power you hold over all these readers who believe every single word you say? How do we know that? Because they get mad at you when your words don't materialize. Stop letting people down All Powerful King Of All Funk!

I am the king of all funk.

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