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O-Zone: Both eyes down

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Romeo Born in the (904), Live in San Diego

Love the Zone, brother! If the Jags win six games would that be a building block considering lack of depth on whole team and a brutal opening four-game stretch?

I wouldn't lock in on the whole "lack-of-depth" storyline around the Jaguars this week. Just because an entire second- or third-team doesn't match up as a group in a preseason game doesn't mean there are no backups who can play well given the opportunity. The Jaguars might be relatively deep along the offensive line, at running back and perhaps along the defensive line – and at inside linebacker. As far as what will constitute a building-block season for the Jaguars … this is intriguing – and a huge question entering the 2022 season. I don't know if there's a specific victory total. I expect the Jaguars to win at least six or seven games – and perhaps as many as eight or nine if much goes well. If quarterback Trevor Lawrence looks the part of a future franchise quarterback by season's end, then there will be a lot of hope for the future. If three or four players from the last two draft classes also look like building blocks, then there will be more hope. If those things happen, you figure the Jaguars to win seven or eight games – but not necessarily. Bottom line: The Jaguars were bad the past two-plus seasons, worse than any other team in the NFL. If this team looks improved by the end of the season, that's a major move in the right direction – a building block, if you will.

Big on Blake from Philly

Zone, what? Chad Reuter just gushed about Aidan Hutchinson for a paragraph and a half during his rookie grade segment. If that wasn't enough, the rookie he chose to evaluate from the Jags-Browns game was a Cleveland Browns fourth-round running back. That can't be real. I guess we're still the Jags. Man, forget that guy.

Your last sentence is your best sentence. If you're going to let what national media choose to write and say about the Jaguars – or what not to write and say about the Jaguars – you're going to put yourself through a lot of very avoidable stress. The Jaguars, like all NFL teams, will play 17 regular-season games this season. Enjoy those. That's why you love the sport, not the preseason projections or even the in-season analysis. If the Jaguars win a bunch of those 17 games, national media will talk more about the Jaguars and what they say will be more positive than recently has been the case. That's it. That's the meal, Bania.

James from Jacksonville

I know that we have had only two preseason games, but our backup quarterbacks worry me. What are the chances we go out and sign a veteran backup? Just in case something happens to Lawrence. Watching C.J. going up against second- and third-team defenses does not give me a lot of confidence that we will manage if Trevor goes down. I pray that he never gets hurt.

The Jaguars' backup quarterback, C.J. Beathard, is in his seventh NFL season. That means he is a veteran backup – and he has looked good more often than not when with the Jaguars. If Lawrence gets hurt, the Jaguars are probably in trouble. If most teams' starting quarterbacks get hurt, the teams are probably in trouble.

Jim from Middleburg, FL

Thanks to expansion, true league parity (mediocracy) has been achieved. Sky-high contracts, billion dollar stadiums. The average American family consider an unexpected $400 bill as an existential crisis. About the price of one admission. The NFL has a television future for those who have access to Sunday Ticket at 300 bucks for Sunday ticket. Fubu cost over $70 a month. A great thing the NFL? Aw … hell no. The vulgar behavior of players grabbing their crotch on air for all to see. Or better yet … that wild showboating from players on the field who did nothing of import. The league seeing the fandom leaving. Take this team anywhere else, PLEASE.

The NFL is not for everyone. That's fine. Perhaps just don't pay attention and let those who enjoy it … enjoy it. Does anyone do that anymore?

Mark from Jacksonville

Hey big-O. Do you think they're gonna steal the show this year??

No doubt.

Jonathan from Jax

By no means was I disrespecting the Ravens. Ozzie Newsome was a helluva player and general manager. Was just pointing out that preseason has no bearing on the regular season when it comes to wins and losses. The Browns, though … good gracious … they, too, had a ton of preseason wins during their 3-win season stretch. Again, I just focus on one on one and position groups when watching preseason and rarely take my eye off the line of scrimmage. With that said, Jags look pretty good so far.

Preseason records mean nothing when projecting how a team will fare in the regular season. There's just no correlation. Never has been. Probably never will be.

John from Sebastian

Mr. O, what is the advantage in bringing outside linebacker Wyatt Ray back?

To see if he can show he is one of the best 53 players available to be part of the Jaguars' 2022 roster.

Marcus from Jacksonville

John, I don't quite get the angst over the lack of depth on the team this year. I do realize that there was a major drop off after the first team left the game the other night, but I still don't get that concern. The reason is because most of last year's team is still on the roster. I get that last year's team was bad, but it has to mean something that at several key positions, last year's starters are this year's backups. That may say more about last year's roster than it does about this year's, but I think it means something that the guys rotating in have that much starting experience in the league.

This is an insightful twist on this week's "Do-the-Jaguars-have-enough-depth?" theme. I don't expect the Jaguars will be deep at every level of the roster in 2022. Such depth is rare in the NFL and the reality is most teams aren't deep everywhere. But you're correct that last year's starters are now depth in some positions. And it's going to be more difficult to make this year's roster than was the case last season. I don't know if that makes the Jaguars deep. I don't know if they will be in the postseason. But it's difficult to think this team won't be better – and deeper – than last year's team. That's the first step.

Lane from Winter Garden, FL

O man … Let Frank from St. Augustine know if our draft picks are good and we need to be able to re-sign them, that means we're good. If we keep them, great. If not, we'll finally get some compensatory picks for the first time in … forever!


David from Orlando, FL

Zone – In his first few games in the league, Lawrence was holding onto the ball too long. Now, it appears to me that he's getting rid of the ball too soon. Receivers have barely enough time to get off the line of scrimmage and the balls already in the air. What I'm hinting at is that we seem to be running a lot of timing plays designed for one player rather than asking Trevor search for the open receiver. Thoughts?

Lawrence did throw quickly on a few plays in a Preseason Week 1 loss to the Cleveland Browns Friday. The quarterback must get the ball out quickly on a consistent basis in the modern NFL. Was it too much? Is this a disturbing trend? Lawrence has played three preseason series and thrown 12 preseason passes. I don't think we're at "trend" yet.

Alan from Ellington CT

Lawrence talked about the defense throwing different things at them in practice. It made me wonder, do offensive and defensive coordinator's share playbooks with each other? What would be the benefit or disadvantage of this?

Offensive and defensive coordinators don't intentionally not share their playbooks with one another. It's not a disadvantage – or advantage – one way or the other. The one time it matters a bit is in training camp, which is the only time starting defenses practice against starting offenses – and even then, it only matters a bit.

Bryan from Virginia

Other candidates for the Pride of the Jaguars: Jaxson de Ville, David Garrard's thighs, Shad Khan and Gardner Minshew's mustaches, your streak, the Culligan girl, Gene Frenette and anyone he's ever made eye contact with.

One fer the Cat. OK. Absolutely and meh. What streak? I have no idea what you're talking about. And no one – I mean, no one – makes eye contact with longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette."