JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Ken from Vero Beach, FL
Please, please Jaguar coaches: Don't start throwing these four-yard, rinky-dink passes that we are so used to seeing. I have been waiting a long time to see somebody actually throw downfield and try to make something happen. Lawrence is a breath of fresh air. If his receivers ever figure out how to get open, those interceptions will turn into touchdowns. Keep it up, Trevor. One more thing. Please don't make him into a pocket quarterback. Let him run around a little bit and create some plays.
Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence could stand to check down a little more. He knows it. The coaches know it. Everyone knows it. The good news for Lawrence and the Jaguars: It's much easier to learn to take the check down than to learn to keep eyes downfield when under pressure in the pocket. It's also much easier to learn to take the check down than to be blessed with the talent to make the throws downfield. And while I expect Lawrence to run more as he gets a better sense for NFL speed and the offense, I do expect Lawrence to continue to be mostly a pocket quarterback. Either way, these concerns and "issues" are early-season rookie quarterback stuff. He will improve.
Mark from Atlantic Beach, FL
John: Not including Trevor (as first draft pick), which of the Jags' 22 starters could start for any other NFL team (seriously). I have left guard Andrew Norwell, running back James Robinson and cornerback Shaq Griffin. Who am I missing? In the NFL, like in life, talent wins.
Which Jaguars could start for any other team? Most, if not all, of the 22 starters – and more than a few could start for most other teams. The players you list would be on the list, as would linebacker Josh Allen, center Brandon Linder and linebacker Myles Jack. Cornerback CJ Henderson also certainly has the talent to start for most NFL teams. Most of the other players would start for multiple teams and quite a few would start for a lot of teams. The more pertinent question, perhaps, is how many elite – i.e., special, difference-making – players are on the Jaguars' roster. That's what the Jaguars lack, and it's where they must draft and develop. They haven't selected/retained enough of them and they're hard to find in free agency. That's the task, and that task takes time.
Justin from Cary
I did not think this early in the season I would only be looking forward to good punting from the Jags (as many seasons have gone prior), but man Logan Cooke is booming it. One fer?
Hey, one fer Logan Cooke!
What exactly do the Jaguars need to do in order for this season to not be a disaster?
Win a few games, look they are getting better by the month and have Lawrence look the part of a franchise quarterback when the season ends.
Derek from Fleming Island
O-Dog: Walker Little has now been inactive for both games. How do you balance getting him on the field to see some playing time with making sure Trevor always has the best protection around him? He's going on his third game now without playing; if he's going to be our starting LT next year, he needs to start seeing the field sooner rather than later. But if he's not good enough to beat out Will Richardson for an active roster spot, then maybe he shouldn't be on the field at all, for Trevor's sake. (Bonus question: how does a guy drafted in the second round, whom Urban previously said has looked even better than he thought he was, all of a sudden become not good enough to beat out Will Richardson?)
Coaches don't look at this this way. Rookie offensive tackle Walker Little has been inactive because he hasn't beaten out either right tackle Jawaan Taylor or left tackle Cam Robinson – which is unsurprising considering he is a rookie and the other two are experienced veterans. Richardson has been active because he is a swing tackle who has experience at both tackle positions and at guard. When selecting the game-day roster, coaches must choose the 53 based on versatility and managing the roster; Richardson's versatility gives them options should a variety of injury scenarios occur. If either Taylor or Robinson were unavailable entering a game, it's quite likely Little would start with Richardson remaining in the swing position. (That should answer your "bonus question," too; it's not a matter of beating out Richardson as much as a matter of not being as versatile as Richardson.)
Austin from Jacksonville
Do these fans realize that Trevor is still 21? Everything that we are seeing is expected. There were key drops that could have changed the entire game, mostly Laviska's on third down. I just don't understand how these fans can't see the arm talent. Have you ever seen anyone in a Jags uniform make the throw that Trevor made to end the first drive? Maybe Brunell in the playoff game to Jimmy, but that was so long ago. If we can run the ball more and cut down the drops how do you think Trevor will look?
Better. A lot better.
Scott from Fernandina Beach, FL
Hi John, Curious as to why Jay Tufele was inactive. I would have thought the team would like to get him some reps to see if he had a place in the rotation.
Rookie defensive tackle Jay Tufele was inactive in Weeks 1 and 2 because the Jaguars didn't believe he was among the best linemen for what they needed against the week's opponents. Head Coach Urban Meyer said this week he was close. I would expect Tufele to be active soon, but when he's active it will be because he's ready to contribute and deserving of the opportunity – not because the coaches want to see if he has a place.
John from Jacksonville
It may seem semantic/irritating to many, and overall doesn't change the sentiment of frustration with the team's performance over the years, but 2018 was not a "rebuilding year." It was a year we came into with very high expectations that we wildly underperformed which created cracks in the team that brought about the next round of rebuild faster than anticipated. You could say the same for 2008-2010 too since some are going that far back. Those weren't rebuilding teams, they featured some of the best players the Jags have had like Mojo, Daryl Smith, Henderson & Stroud, and Rashean Mathis. Now they proved not to be quite good enough to match or improve on 2007, but I wouldn't call them rebuilding years. Once we dumped Garrard and brought in Gabbert is when things took a turn for the worse and we enter a true rebuild phase.
John from Jacksonville
Being the No. 1 overall pick sure puts rose-colored glasses and a longer leash as opposed to say a sixth- rounder, huh? Having generational talent and the ability to make plays above the Xs and Os as opposed to not probably having those things is more pertinent here. There have been no above the Xs and Os yet, practice doesn't count.
You either don't know above the Xs and Os – or generational talent – or you haven't watched Lawrence closely. I'm assuming it's the latter, but whatever.
Jim from Jagsonville
John, I've noticed you've been giving blessings to readers lately. Are you really qualified to do such a thing? I thought you had to be ordained, or something...
I'm not going to bless you, Jim. In fact, you can do something else.
Larry from Duncan, OK
Great and Powerful O, Would you be surprised to know that the highest rated Jaguars player (by Pro Football Focus) is on the injured reserve list. James O'Shaughnessy was the 10th best NFL tight end. Analytics are what they are but look at these numbers: Linder is the 18th best center, Norwell is the 15th best guard and Cann is the 67th. The tackles...Robinson is 35th best and Taylor is 39th. Games are won and loss in the trenches. What say you?
I say the Jaguars' offensive line collectively has been fine through two games. The unit perhaps hasn't been dominant, but it has allowed just two sacks in two games and has run-blocked well when given the opportunity. It has been one of the better-performing areas on the team.
Rob from Jacksonville
So, if / when the coaches design more run plays for TL and he gets lit up, this board will be filled with "why the heck were they thinking, putting their future at risk?"
Of course. Fans fan. It's what they do.
_Charles from Savannah, GA _
Is it time to panic?
Absolutely. The weather is great, a hint of fall but plenty of sunshine. Grab the wife or significant other. Get a bottle of wine, and a bicycle built for two. Grab some cheese and crackers, sit back and … oh, I thought you said, "picnic."