JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Logan from Wichita, KS
After going 1-15, I am not sure how re-signing everyone but the players that did well (Cole) and signing free agents that don't want to be here is a strategy for success.
Your question belies a pretty slanted view of the Jaguars' moves this offseason, and an incomplete view as well. They Jaguars have overturned a good portion of the roster in recent weeks, with a large part of that overturn signing or trading for at least 13 veteran players. Included in that group are multiple players – wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., cornerback Shaquill Griffin and defensive tackle Malcom Brown among quite a few others – who not only very much want to be in Jacksonville, but who also appear to be good fits capable of making a difference. Instead, you focus on allowing a fourth receiver (Keelan Cole) to sign elsewhere (with the New York Jets) and on a player in defensive tackle Tyson Alualu – under odd-yet-understandable circumstances – opting to change his mind and remain with his former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Was the Alualu situation strange? Certainly, but it sounds as if it's a legitimate – if unusual – case of a player making a choice largely for family reasons. Either way, is it a commentary on the Jaguars' offseason strategy somehow being terrible? C'mon.
Bob from Sumter, SC
Can you explain what traits a team looks for to play big end? You wrote that the staff thinks Taven Bryan might be better suited for that role?
I didn't write on Sunday that the staff thought defensive lineman Taven Bryan might be better-suited for the big-end role than previous roles. I wrote that the staff thought Bryan might be a fit there. Bryan is athletic with big-time size and strength; talent and potential, remember, made him a first-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. He has shown at times the athleticism to disrupt. Those are traits that could work for many positions, including big end. Maybe it won't work out for Bryan there, but he did some decent things there late last season. Not great, maybe, but decent. Maybe it will be a fit. We'll see.
Fred Heaviside from Naples, FL
"Say it ain't so, Tyson … say it ain't so.
Sean from Jacksonville
So much for Tyson Alualu. Glad he ended up staying with the Steelers since it didn't sound like it took much to change his mind. Players that want to be here are what I see them building. C'est la vie.
Marc from Oceanway
Funkster, is it very common for a player to back out of an agreement in free agency, such as what Tyson Alualu apparently did?
Not really, no.
Charles from Riverside
Hello John, in your editorial on resetting the offense, you note the lack of any moves so far on the offensive line. While continuity is important at all positions, is this particularly important for the offensive line? If so, why? Thanks.
Continuity is considered particularly important for the offensive line -- partly because experience matters at the position, and experience playing together is important. Cohesion and knowing what a teammate is doing – and not having to think about it during the play – is as vital at that spot as with any spot on the roster. It doesn't ensure success for the group. The linemen must still be good. The players around the linemen – particularly the quarterback – must still play well. But it can really hurt not to have that cohesion and continuity.
Jordan from Mandarin
Zach Wilson's release is unreal. It is so fast. I think Wilson will be a star.
Jordan has weighed in.
Ryan from Pontiac, IL
This team is going to look very different from last season. Having said that, who do you believe the captains/leaders of this team will be? Will it be some of the new guys? Players currently on the roster? It will be interesting to see how this team meshes on the field. Go Jags!!!
Early guess (and this is only a guess): Jones and center Brandon Linder on offense, middle linebacker Joe Schobert and/or linebacker Myles Jack and defensive end Josh Allen on defense and kicker Josh Lambo/safety Rudy Ford on special teams. That could be waaay off in terms of captaincy, but those are some guys who could be leaders.
Tom from Jacksonville
After watching replay of Chargers game and seeing Cam struggle against pass rush on nearly every play, I am concerned about our next quarterback. Maybe Chris Manhertz will line up next to the left tackle and provide support?
The Jaguars-Los Angeles Chargers game last season wasn't Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson's best game – though if memory serves, that game was one of many in which the Jaguars trailed big early and throughout much of the game. Most tackles in the NFL are going to struggle to some degree in that situation, particularly against pass rushers as good as those of the Chargers. As I've mentioned here before, this idea that Robinson is somehow atrocious or a danger to the Jaguars' quarterback is about the most-overblown Jaguars-related topic I've seen in these parts in some time. He has been inconsistent at times. But he has not been awful. He just hasn't. He must be better next season and the Jaguars believe that will happen.
Mike from Jacksonville
Do you think the San Francisco 49ers overreacted a little to the C.J. Beathard signing?
I laughed at this.
Mystery from Bigger Mystery
Recently, we've seen a number of talking heads suggest the Jaguars should pass on Lawrence, most recently Chris Simms' insistence that the Jags are selecting him to sell tickets. And you know what? He's right. When the best quarterback prospect of the past decade comes into town with talent that transcends scheme, and the Jags become winners in the next few seasons, then you bet your ass tickets will be flying off the shelves. Let's not lose sight of what Lawrence is: the presumptive best player to ever wear teal and the first franchise quarterback we've ever had. Of course, he's going to sell tickets.
I, too, assume Clemson University quarterback Trevor Lawrence would create more than enough excitement to increase ticket sales should the Jaguars select him No. 1 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. I also at this point very much assume the Jaguars indeed will do just that. But to suggest the Jaguars would only select him to sell tickets and not because they believe he's the best player in the draft is silly.
Dan from Varna, Bulgaria
Hi Zone, first this is only observations not a critique. I noticed watching some of the Trevor Lawrence highlights that most of the snaps he took were from the gun, nothing directly from center. Is this something to be concerned about. I know that nobody in college takes snaps anymore from center.
It's something to monitor and watch, certainly. I don't know that it's something to worry about until he shows he can't function from under center.
Mike from Atlanta, GA
I also think it makes sense for the Jaguars late in the second or in the third round to draft a speedy running back who can catch. Look at what Kansas City has done recently with multiple good running backs. You don't want to wear out James Robinson with 300 carries per season. Also: it gives the offense more weapons, it's more dynamic. It also allows all the running backs to have fresh legs throughout the game and season. Couple that with a once-in-a-decade quarterback and several options at receiver and you have an explosive offense that can do all the things.
That would be the plan.
Alon from Malibu, CA
To follow up on Bobby from Doboy Island's observation and your answer, it looks like the Jaguars are so deep on defensive line that some players didn't make your "depth chart" but will be a part of flex positioning. It looks like at the four linebacker positions, the Jaguars may lack significant depth beyond starters K'Lavon Chaisson, Myles Jack, Joe Schobert and Josh Allen. Do you think edge linebacker and middle linebacker could be addressed early? Where do you think Leon Jacobs and Quincy Williams will fit in?
I'm honestly still getting a feel for exactly how the linebackers on the roster will fit. Second-year veteran Shaq Quarterman seems a fit at backup inside linebacker if the Jaguars are in a 3-4-type scheme in base – and Jacobs seems to have some similar traits that would fit inside. Williams, it seems, could play a similar style to Jack. Jihad Ward seems to come into play at outside linebacker, though he can line up at various spots around the defensive front. This feels like a spot that backup indeed could be addressed pretty much anywhere after Round 1 – and it also feels like a spot that could be addressed in second-tier free agency or any time the rest of the offseason.
Gary from St. Augustine, FL
Zone, you OK?