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O-Zone: Better all the time

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Mike from Atlanta, GA

It's the Trevor show now. Everything else is secondary. Relax and enjoy. Like when Aaron Rodgers said on that radio show, "Relaaaax. It's all fine." And I'm not being sarcastic, it's all good. Let's sit back and enjoy the ride.

I've been answering fans' questions for more than a decade, which is more than long enough to realize they don't typically "sit back and enjoy the ride." And they're not all the good at relaaaxing, either. What they want is for their teams to win. Now. Not later. Today. And that's what they should want. That doesn't mean you're wrong. In fact, you're right that this season and the immediate future for the Jaguars very much is the Trevor Lawrence Show. His development this season is the main storyline – and that is showing signs of being a very position storyline. That won't mean fans relaxing. It might mean bright days ahead – and at some point, a more enjoyable ride.

David from Orlando, FL

Zone - Our defense has a lot of issues, but I think not enough attention is being given to stopping running backs and tight ends from running free in our secondary. Who on the defense is responsible for covering opposing running backs and tight ends? When we drafted Myles Jack, one of his strong suits was in coverage. If so, then what the heck is going on?

Responsibility for tight ends and running backs varies based on defensive scheme and situations. It is most often linebackers and safeties. Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack typically is good in coverage. He has been good at times this season. He also at times this season has not been as good as would be ideal.

Rob from Pittsburgh, PA

Hey, Zone. I love the way the Jags have been playing. Do defensive back coaches teach the players to play the ball? It seems like Tyson is in good position but can't play the ball #Duvall

Coaches work on all aspects of every position. Once players arrive in the NFL, particularly in the regular season, coaching is as much or more about game preparation and details as more fundamental issues such as playing the ball in the air. But in the case of Jaguars rookie cornerback Tyson Campbell, his struggles locating passes are enough of an issue that coaches have addressed it during training camp and the regular season. This also seems like something that will – and must – be addressed in a major way in the offseason. NFL Media and Jaguars Media analyst Bucky Brooks suggested on our recent Huddle Up show – starring Brooks and J.P. Shadrick – that coaches work with Campbell in the offseason by having him catch fly balls as baseball coaches and players would do. Brooks' theory was that could help Campbell better identify the path of the ball. Whatever the approach, it is an area Campbell must improve.

Don from Marshall, NC

Good football teams rally around dysfunctional behavior. They build trust around their support. Some of the greatest teams of all time were totally dysfunctional. Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, New York Yankees, Oakland As. If Billy Martin and Mickey Mantle were alive and playing today they would be locked up. I do not know what is being said in that locker room, but I bet they are not crying mama! It's football man. Take it out on the other guys. Let's see what happens with this team because don't blink after they beat the Titans. Go Jaguars!


Ryan from Reality

John, for all the high draft picks and high-priced free agents acquired to improve our defense - why is our defense still so bad?

There isn't any one answer. To start, a lot of the high draft selections – cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and CJ Henderson, for example – aren't with the Jaguars anymore. The same is true of defensive end/linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. and others. Also: Some of those high selections such as defensive lineman Taven Bryan and even linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson to date haven't been as productive as their first-round status suggests should be the case. As a result, there are only a few truly front-line players defensively for the Jaguars – Jack, defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen and cornerback Shaq Griffin perhaps among them. Specifically … while the defense is good against the run, it doesn't generate enough meaningful pass rush. When teams don't generate disruptive pass rush, opponents convert third downs too often and the defense doesn't consistently create takeaways. That's not a formula for good defense.

Dave from Ortega Forest

No way we break the Bucs' record, right?

I don't think so.

Russ from Jacksonville

With the obvious exception of QB, is this team more talented than last year's team? I don't think there is any position group that was noticeably improved with free agency or the draft and a few feel worse. With all the available cap space and draft capital, it seems like the 2021 offseason was a failure.

The defensive line is improved against the run from last season; there's little question about that – and that was a major offseason objective. The pass rush is about the same through four games, though that book hasn't been finished yet. It's hard to make a case that the secondary is improved with the loss of Henderson and it's hard to make a case the receivers are better with the recent loss of wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. Tight end appears a bit better. The offensive line is essentially the same personnel as last season, though it has played better through four games than last season. Special teams appear to be performing much better, primarily because of returner/wide receiver Jamal Agnew. Remember, though: The Jaguars didn't go overly aggressive in free agency last offseason – opting to save a lot of the cap space for future offseasons. And it's too early to grade the draft. Stay tuned.

Adrian from Alpharetta, GA

I've never shied away from wearing my Jags gear out in public. Never. Not even during 1-15. I could take any jabs the masses may have had about supporting a losing team. Hell, being a diehard Jags fan since the beginning, I was well-conditioned for it. This week, on my evening walk, was the first time I've felt differently. I felt embarrassed to look down and see the big Jaguars logo on my shirt. It felt dirty. Meyer is seemingly a fish out of water in the NFL and now he has a scandal to top off the other handful of missteps he's already had in his short tenure here. I don't see him coaching in Jacksonville next year, possibly not past the bye.

I've received a concerning number of these emails this week – and make no mistake: This is the expected fallout from the situation involving Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer last weekend. The emails I've received in the O-Zone this week suggest that not every Jaguars fan feels this way. They also strongly suggest that many do feel this way. And make no mistake: No head coach wants to be the reason fans look down on their team's logo and feel embarrassed. Meyer has been around long enough to know that. He also has been around long enough to know all he can do now is do his job to the best of his ability, solve a lot of the discontent by winning as much as possible and behave in such a way to regain trust. That's it. That's the path. Stay tuned.

Jake from Cary, NC

We were 1-15 last season. We have a lot of positional needs. Yet, it feels like a lot of the players we drafted early in the draft were for depth (i.e., those players are not starting or playing much, even though they were drafted at positions where we seemingly needed to improve). If we draft players that don't more directly improve the roster, it's tough to imagine how many drafts it will take to turn this thing around. Please help me understand the process, and how it leads us to turning around our misfortunes.

The Jaguars didn't draft players such as left tackle Walker Little or safety Andre Cisco for depth. They did draft them with the idea that they might not start immediately – but that they would start and play at a high level from perhaps their second season onward. That leads to turning around a team's misfortunes, though perhaps not as quickly as some want.

Erik from Jacksonville

While we saw a lot of potential in this team, what I'm really looking forward to is how we'll be next season, because I think we've seen flashes of days to come. So my question is what does the future hold? What should we expect going forward from a team that's widely regarded as one of the worst teams in the NFL?

Steady improvement. That's a fair expectation and it should be delivered.