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O-Zone: Chemistry class

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Jordan from Mandarin

I think Cam is a good left tackle and hope he has his best season as a Jaguar, but I can't help but think the best tackle on the Jaguars will be Walker Little. I know it won't be this season, but with a few years, do you see Little being our franchise left tackle?

This is possible. Cam Robinson, the Jaguars' starting left tackle, has held that position for five seasons. He signed a three-year extension this offseason, which means he will be entering his ninth NFL season when his current contract expires. Little, a second-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, has three years remaining on his contract and currently is competing with Jawaan Taylor for the starting right tackle position. Little appears to have a very good chance to win that job, and all indications are he has a bright NFL future. Could he start at left tackle in 2025 or so? Sure. He seems to have the skillset to play both right and left tackle. But two years is an eternity in the NFL. Four years? That's like a double eternity. A lot can happen in a double eternity.

Ray from Jax

John: Perhaps this is related to the vortex regarding scrimmages, but if we noted after the first game that many Jag defensive starters did not play, it should also be noted that many of the Browns starters did not play. God, I wish the regular season would get here.

I kind of, sort of don't want to get sucked into the vortex, because you can go crazy comparing lineups and who did or didn't play in the preseason. It's a little like breathlessly checking Twitter every twenty seconds after a familiar NFL name requests/demands a trade. The big picture of the Jaguars' 24-13 loss to the Cleveland Browns in a Preseason Week 1 game Friday was the offense and defense both looked good in their three series – as good as those units have looked together in a preseason game in while. If you dig deep into any particular player or unit you likely will find a flaw or reason to worry. But if you look at the performance against the Browns overall, there were a lot of positives.

Marcus from Jacksonville

If there are legitimate questions about whether a first-round draft pick will make the roster in their third season, that player is a bust. Even if he ends up making the team and producing on special teams and as a reserve pass rusher. You don't draft guys in the first round to be special teams aces, you draft them there to be the foundation of your team. I hope outside linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson exceeds all expectations this season, but at this point, he looks like a worse pick than Taven Bryan.


Jack from Pennington Gap

Not much tight end action thus far. Is the head coach being sneaky? Any thought on that?

The Jaguars' first-team offense essentially has played three series, with tight end Evan Engram catching a touchdown pass to cap the first-team offense's playing time Friday. If Jaguars tight ends catch a touchdown pass every three series … well, I don't know how many touchdowns that would be, but I bet it would be some kind of record.

Pookie from Panda City

On Monday, you responded to Rich from Dacula: "Isn't it OK for fans to be excited?" I distinctly remember an article you wrote in 2012 after the preseason game against the New Orleans Saints titled, "It's OK to be Excited." Wide receiver Justin Blackmon had just made his NFL debut and had a monster game. Even Blaine Gabbert was looking like he might become the quarterback we were all being assured he was. The Jags went on to a two-win regular season, which at that point was the worst in franchise history. Your article stuck with me because I DID get excited after that preseason game, but I really shouldn't have.All of this to say: no, it is NOT OK to get excited right now. Players playing well in the preseason does not mean they will play well when the games matter. None of this matters right now. How many times do Jaguars fans need to touch the hot stove before they realize it's hot?

I hurt a Pookie.

Richard from Jacksonville

O'man, The head coach has done an exemplary job thus far in handling players playing time and the offense as a whole. It's always coaching and I am thankful it appears it is finally not. It's nice to see everyone – front office, coaching and players – pulling for a common goal, winning, with zero distractions.

I believe Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson will be a strength for the Jaguars this season. I can't say two preseason games is enough to prove this point.

Jaypee from The Vortex

Offense's first three drives all ended with points. Defense held their first three drives to zero points and had a turnover. Make sense to think we are playoff bound. Right?

Jaypee is "all in."

Charles from Riverside

Hello John, did anyone notice that most of TL's highlights were designated play action?


Zack from Jacksonville

Running back Travis Etienne Jr. at times had a really nice burst against the Cleveland Browns Friday. In the three series against the Browns, it seemed like we mostly just handed him the ball, instead of giving him creative plays to get open or screens. I can think of two plays where we threw him the ball, but it didn't seem like a play meant for that, just that he was open during Lawrence's progression. I would think using him in a similar fashion to how the Saints use Alvin Kamara would make more sense given his skill set, as opposed to just handing the ball off to him all the time. Do the Jaguars plan on using him like this, or is how we used him last week how it is going to be?

The Jaguars have played two preseason games, with offensive starters playing three series. Etienne played those three series, and I wouldn't necessarily believe we have seen all of how the Jaguars intend to use him in that time.

Josh from Lakewood

I tried to give it time, but I don't like the new [lack of] rules for jersey numbers.

I don't like them either. Those players should get off our lawns.

Jess from Glen Carbon, IL

Zone, there are no such groups as "second team" and "third team" in the NFL, right? The final NFL roster is 53 players, not 90, right? This obviously needs to be explained to some of the fans/readers/contributors to the O-Zone. There are 11 offensive starters, 11 defensive starters, a kicker, a punter, a long snapper and a return man. That's 26 players, so there will be 27 players for special teams and backups, with the backups spread across all the position groups. The angst about the "second team and third team" players is overblown. All the backups will not be on the field at the same time with all the starters sitting on the bench. The backups are there to spell the starters from time to time and in case someone gets injured. The starters from the game against the Browns are improvements over the starters from the last three-to-four seasons, and the backups are the best of the rest. I think this year's team will have at least eight wins and, if things go their way instead of against them, could be in the mix for the playoffs and/or a division title. I haven't felt this way since the start of the 2018 season. As long as the team isn't decimated by injuries as that team was, things should be looking up this season. Am I wrong?

NFL teams typically think of starting personnel as 11 players plus nickel defensive backs and third receivers, a second tight end, swing tackles and other key situational players. But your main point is correct – that "second and third teams don't play together." It's also true that any team in the NFL will be in big trouble if it lost every starter – or even every "core" player – on either side of the ball. No team has quality depth at every position. Injuries decide a lot in the NFL. Some teams can withstand a few injuries here or there. But every team – no matter how "deep" it is perceived to be -- will suffer if key positions groups sustain significant attrition.

Buddy from Jax/Mandarin

Hey, KOAF with all the talk about Evan Engram, what's up with Dan Arnold, who looked so promising last year before his injury. Is he possibly on the bubble? I sure hope not.

The Jaguars have played two preseason games, with offensive starters playing three series.

Jonathan from Jax

Zay Jones is gonna be our most productive WR. He and Trevor look to have real chemistry.

Wide receiver Zay Jones has looked extremely good in recent weeks. I wouldn't be surprised at all if he's the Jaguars' most productive receiver this season.