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O-Zone: Enough said

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

Recently Trevor Lawrence talked about having a "greater appreciation for winning." In his high school and collegiate career, winning was all he did, but that streak came to an abrupt halt in his first year as a pro. I know all NFL players want to win, but to overtly talk about it in detail is refreshing. I can't help but think last year's season finale win over the Indianapolis Colts, knocking them out of the playoffs (and quarterback Carson Wentz out of Indianapolis), was a great outcome for Lawrence and all the Jaguar players in that game for this season. If all you know is how to lose, then that mindset shows up in the next game?

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, entered the NFL with one of the most impressive "winning" backgrounds imaginable – and his rookie season indeed hardly could have been more different than that. Considering that, it's logical that Lawrence this offseason would have had moments of reflection, reassessment and refocus – and that from those moments would come a greater appreciation for winning. Lawrence during the 2022 offseason program seemed very much in a good place mentally, and many factors likely contributed to that: The reassessment and refocus. His own self-confidence. His ability. The new Jaguars coaching staff, including Head Coach Doug Pederson. And yes … I think the Jaguars' victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the 2021 regular-season finale helped Lawrence, too. He played his best NFL game that day, looking like many expected him to look when he entered the league. Lawrence always has seemed to have the right mindset to be a winning NFL quarterback. He absolutely seems to have that entering Year 2.

No one of consequence from THE 904

KOAF, I get it that so many are caught up in the prediction of win totals during the DEAD ZONE, and truth be told, I continue to fight the urge to do the same. So, no real question here. Instead, just an acknowledgement that the franchise is competitive throughout the season and is trending in the right direction to be postseason considerable in the not-so-distant future and – as a previous "poster" wrote –"Passes the Eye Test. I think all Jaguar fans just want the team to be relevant. The past couple of offseasons offer hope that quality changes are forthcoming. As a fan, I'm looking forward to it.

No real answer here. Your assessment of the 2022 season is spot on, as I see it. Everything about Pederson indicates that he can maximize the potential of a quarterback and a team, and nothing we have seen from Lawrence indicates he can't be an NFL franchise quarterback. This franchise rarely has had such a combination at head coach and quarterback. If they "are" as they "appear," that should mean special things for this franchise. My expectation entering '22 continues to be that the Jaguars will improve, but probably not enough to make the playoffs. I expect Lawrence to give fans significant hope by the end of the season, with contending for the postseason in 2023 a realistic expectation. Maybe the Jaguars can accelerate that timeline. Stranger stuff has happened. Stay tuned.

Richard from Lincoln, RI

Daniel from NJ asked if you are now a Very Senior Writer. You absolutely will be Thursday! Correct?


The Fan from Hilliard from Abilene, Texas

So as the "dead horse" lies there, is it true that writers – unlike yourself – are not allowed to speak (write) the former mascot name of the Washington Football Club? You recently indicated that you were a fan of the Washington Commanders back in the 1990s era, which causes me to doubt your voracity for the first time. I'm pretty sure the Commanders didn't exist then. Are you no longer permitted to mention the so-called offensive Native American moniker?

No, the "Commanders" moniker didn't exist when I was a fan of the Washington franchise. As for the franchise's former moniker, I haven't delved deep enough into the issue that prompted the name change to have an intelligent opinion on the matter. I don't cover the franchise or follow it, so it's just not my area. I refer to the franchise by its new nickname because that's now its name and it's a way to identify the franchise so that fans will understand what I'm discussing. As for what other writers and media are "allowed" to do, that would be up to those publications – though most legitimate outlets use the new moniker. And correctly so.

Steve from Sunroom Couch

Dear, John. How do you feel about Ashley in the comments section?

What's a "comments section?"

Harold from Palatka, FL

No bs. No explanation. The five Most Important Jaguars players in 2022 – meaning, if they're good, the team will be good.

Lawrence. Defensive end Josh Allen. Tight end Evan Engram. Defensive end/linebacker Travon Walker. Linebacker Devin Lloyd. I'll break your "rule" and give a teeny explanation. I didn't include wide receivers or running backs on this list because I expect those positions to have a "committee" feel, with multiple players being important and therefore single players from those positions not quite making this list.

Joe from Jacksonville

Regarding the question about former Jaguars Head Coach Tom Coughlin, your old "friend" Peter Prisco indeed talks about how challenging he was to media. He swore that Tom Coughlin didn't like him. Can you confirm?

I covered the Jaguars with Prisco for the Florida Times-Union from 1995-2000, with Coughlin serving as head coach the entire time. Coughlin and Prisco certainly had their "battles," sometimes daily, and most beat writers and Coughlin would have had such battles. Prisco's job was to break news regarding the team, and Coughlin – like most NFL coaches and general managers – saw media as outsiders and the enemy. Such adversarial relationships between beat writer and coach hardly is uncommon. My impression is that the relationship between Coughlin and Prisco evolved into one of respect and remains that way. That's not uncommon for head coaches and good beat writers, either.

Scott from Aruba

I spent several good moments trying to picture you with "guns out." Then I ...

… celebrated. And felt much envy.

Bo from Winter Springs FL formerly Jax

How come so few people close to the Jags' organization ever just say it outright to the fans on all the articles and podcasts that former Head Coach Urban Meyer was a total disaster of a coach and an embarrassment. I've been a diehard Jags fan for most of my life and gone through a lot of bad seasons but there was nothing that made me hold my head in shame like last year did. Is it just that he is still liked in some professional circles and nobody wants to be the one that puts their foot in their mouth possibly? I just don't get why everyone hints and winks towards it but so few of you guys paid to report and analyze this stuff really speak the truth. Not so much disgusted as confused. I feel like only my close friends and I that are Jags fans speak openly about that disaster how it really was. The guys' sideline demeanor was enough. Hands on the knees the whole game looking ridiculous! Ugh

It was bad. Plenty of people have said it was plenty bad and this has been said plenty of times. Publicly. I'm not sure how much the point has to be belabored.

Nathan from Utah, US

Dead Zone, allow me. Fellow fans, listen. When a team wins, its players feel good. Connected to the interviews being more welcomed. Connected to being more relaxed, perhaps funnier, more positive. Connected to it making that team's Senior Writer's job more enjoyable and perhaps easier. Why would anybody not be a fan of all of that? And don't most coaching careers outlast most of the players? Fan on this- PASSION, baby! C'mon! #Snooopval!!!


John from Jacksonville

Hi KOAGF - When a player returns to action again after recovering from a season-ending serious injury, how much does the psychological aspect come into play? Do you think some players become cautious and, as a result, lower their level of play? How much of their recovery is physical versus mental?

This mostly depends on the player. I have seen a few instances when a player sustains a season-ending injury and seems to play more cautiously after that, though obvious instances are rare. When players discuss this, they speak in terms of degrees. A player might, for instance, favor a surgically repair knee when he initially returns. This might only be a marginal favoring, but even minimal favoring can matter at the sport's highest level. A player typically gains confidence in the knee or injured area over time, though the timeframe on that again depends on the player.

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

I don't even need to say it.

No, you don't.