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O-Zone: Eyes in front

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Josh from Atlanta, GA

Sounding like the prodigy looked like a prodigy Thursday. Ohhh man, is this exciting. Never too high, never too low, but it's tough not to get too high with this report.

You're referencing reports of Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence having a good day Thursday in Day 6 of 2021 Organized Team Activities presented by Baptist Health at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex. This came a week after Lawrence had a difficult day in OTAs Day 3, and Thursday's reports were correct – Lawrence indeed had a very good day, looking accurate throughout practice and throwing long touchdown passes to wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. and tight end James O'Shaughnessy. Just as there was no reason to panic last Thursday, there is no reason to start sizing Super Bowl rings or having Lawrence pose for Hall of Fame busts following this week's good practice. It's also not surprising there would be a difference in the two sessions. Thursday's good day came with the Jaguars emphasizing team drills in which the offense was working all over the field whereas his difficult day came during red-zone work – with the latter area far typically more difficult for a rookie quarterback. But yeah … if you're a Jaguars observer or fan, Thursday's performance by Lawrence was good to see. It wasn't surprising. It wasn't a final verdict on anything. But it was good to see.

Dangerous Drew from The Gold Club

Zone, we've seen these renderings before. For years, we keep seeing all these great computer-generated pics of what they're doing to downtown, and nada has happened. Why should we believe this time that they are ready to bring something like this to downtown? What has changed?

I understand the question, though the premise is a bit unfair. While the Jaguars indeed have presented many renderings over the years, and while some – particularly those pertaining to Lot J – did not become reality, renderings involving the scoreboard, Daily's Place, improvements to the East and West Clubs and the Pool Deck indeed led to major improvements around TIAA Bank Field. And the Jaguars indeed presented more major plans Thursday – this time for "a Four Seasons Hotel and Residences, a Class A office building, an orthopedic sports medicine complex and improvements to the city-owned marina and public spaces." The plan also included details "about the vision for a football performance center," which the team believes will be the first step in major renovations to TIAA Bank Field. What's different about this proposal compared to Lot J and past presentations? There was a major turnout of City Council members at Thursday's presentation, for one. And Jaguars President Mark Lamping made a point to say this plan had been discussed in detail with city leaders and decision-makers before Thursday's presentation. It feels like the city and team are more in lockstep this time, particular the team and city council. Stay tuned.

Ed from Concord, NC

Is Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II even eligible for the practice squad anywhere?


Taylor from Columbia, MD

The Jags signed Jamal Agnew as a returner/receiver combo instead of re-signing Cole. I don't mind the signing in a vacuum and truly believe Head Coach Urban Meyer has a vision. That said, Keelan Cole was a very dynamic returner (both punts and kicks) when given the opportunity.

Former Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole did do a nice job at times when asked to return kicks or punts. His resume and reputation don't match the track record of Agnew, who was a first-team All-Pro selection as a returner as a rookie in 2017 with the Detroit Lions.

Abel from Westside

I hope Tim Tebow does good and makes the team and does great things! Fans are going to fan, like you say, but there's way too much hatred out there!

Hey, one fer Tebow!

Zac from Austin, Tejas

I'm binging the Jaguars podcast coverage from since around April. In one of them you started to say that the Etienne practicing at wide receiver was the most overblown ridiculous news reaction you've ever heard. You then caught yourself and said "well, maybe not THE MOST..." In no particular order, what are (Jaguars or otherwise) some hot takes that were worse than this?

The national reaction to the Jaguars practicing running back Travis Etienne at wide receiver during 2021 rookie camp admittedly was pretty overblown. Still, in this era of Twitter "Hot Takes" it's foolhardy to say any particular hot take is the most overblown you can remember. If there wasn't something more overblown the previous week, something damned sure will knock it off in a few days.

Steve from Nashville, TN

Two of our three last-place schedule games come in the first four games (Denver Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals). To me, we need to win those two games to show the team is making progress towards a not last place schedule for 2022.

What if they lose those two and win the other two of the first four and the next five?

Don from Marshall, NC

Urban Meyer's spread offense has always used a running quarterback to work. We all know Trevor can run, but do you think that the offense will have running plays for him? Go Jaguars!

There almost certainly will be some; Lawrence runs too well to ignore that as an option. But I would be surprised if designed running plays for Lawrence are integral to the offense. I hope they aren't, at least. I would worry about the collective sanity of the fan base if Lawrence is taking a bunch of hits after run plays.

David from Ada, OK

I love how people think they can make you change your opinion. They must be new to the internet.

People are idiots.

Aaron from Aldie

Zone, I have learned it's never too early to ask who is going to tackle Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry once he gets through the line? Our linebackers, while good athletes are not scary-must-game-plan around guys. Or am I off?

You may not be giving Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack the credit he deserves. He may not be the intimidating physical presence of, say, former Baltimore Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis. But if I'm an offensive coordinator game-planning against the Jaguars, I damned sure worry about Jack during the week.

Marcus from Jacksonville

John, I have a question about Tebow that I haven't heard discussed yet, although I admit I may have missed it. With a new coaching staff and a lot of new players, how much time is being dedicated to teaching Tim a new position that could be used for other purposes? I don't question whether or not Tebow could be effective as a player, I don't question his drive or athletic ability, and I think it would be cool for him to land a roster spot. But, I have to wonder if the rest of the tight ends are being shortchanged because coaches are having to start from scratch with him. I'm not a football player or coach, but I have to imagine that if you're having to spend time teaching one guy the basics, you're not using that time to teach another guy more advanced things. Is that concern founded or is that a non-issue?

Jaguars tight end coach Tyler Bowen is coaching Tebow during 2021 OTA practices the same way other coaches are coaching their positions. I don't sense other tight ends being shortchanged.

Unhipcat from Charlottesville, VA

Hi, John. Four score and seven years ago, a date which will live in infamy, I have a dream we shall fight on the beaches, we will never surrender. I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth so ask not what your country do for you. Tear down this wall and give me liberty or give me death.

Da doo doo doo. Da da da da. It's all I want to say to you.

Ryan from Reality

John, this new proposed Sports Performance Center sounds a lot like "The Star" in Dallas. That takes up a lot of land. Where are the Jaguars planning on building this facility? And if it's on city-owned land, how likely is this project to actually happen? I think it's a great idea for the team, but every year the Jags announce some big new development that requires city buy-in and then nothing happens because we can't get approval from the politicians. The routine is getting old. Give me one reason to believe this plan will be any different than the last four or five?

The sports performance center currently is planned to be built outside TIAA Bank Field next to Gate 2 with minimal effect on parking. The vibe I get is the project is very likely to happen.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, I took a peek over the fence and saw some really good things. What did you see?

A guy with a bat telling me not to peek over fences.