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O-Zone: Falling down

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …


What's your opinion regarding the trade of the 'stache to the Eagles?

The Jaguars indeed traded quarterback Gardner Minshew II to the Philadelphia Eagles Saturday. It marked the end of a memorable tenure for Minshew with the Jaguars. My opinion of the trade was that it was time – perhaps past time – and that the conditional sixth-round selection received by the Jaguars was extremely good compensation. It's possible – perhaps even likely – that Minshew would have been the Jaguars' third-team quarterback behind rookie Trevor Lawrence and veteran C.J. Beathard. The move clarifies the quarterback room and gives Minshew an opportunity with a new team. Good for everyone.

Brian from Round Rock, Texas

Can't we just let the preseason games be practice games? Why do people view it as a predictor of the regular season? We won't know what this team is until at least October. Anyway, I view this season as a development opportunity for Lawrence. As long as he develops, all is well, regardless of record.

We certainly can let preseason games be preseason games – and when I say "we," I mean those who realize preseason games indeed are practice games, with the results not to be stressed over too much. Or even remembered once the regular season begins, for that matter. Now, there are certainly some things about which to be concerned when it comes to the Jaguars thus far in the 2021 preseason. You want to see the team run block better than it has done during the preseason – and considering the Jaguars were a decent run-blocking team last season with this same offensive line, it's safe to assume the team will run block at least OK this season. You always want to see the Jaguars pass block better than last season; we'll see if that happens. The team has looked better against the run than it did last season – and that's a real positive. I do agree with you that we won't know what this team is until at least October. I expect by then you'll see an improving team, though perhaps not one ready to contend or push for to be above .500. And you're absolutely right that rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence is the key to the season. If he develops, all is well regardless of record. Yes, yes, yes.

Scott from Longwood, FL

Is the streak still going?

What streak?

Jim from Jagsonville

I am excited to see the Jacksonville City Council unanimously approved the facility upgrade. I appreciate Jaguars Owner Shad Khan investing in our community and want to see more growth around the stadium and downtown, but these improvements aren't for the fans. What, if any, benefits will we fans see once this facility is in operation? Will we see more wins? Go Jaguars!

Fans won't realistically see much direct benefit from the facility upgrade. The Jaguars' football operations will directly benefit players, coaches, personnel staff and the support staff that works in the building. The indirect benefit is that a first-class facility helps draw and retain top coaches and players, which in turn contributes to winning. The other benefit to stadium and facility upgrades is it ensures the NFL will remain in and thrive in Jacksonville. You can't expect to be in the NFL and win in the NFL with outdated facilities. It's the most prestigious athletic league in the United States. Ya gotta keep up.

Jonathan from Jacksonville (retired in Idaho)

Do fans realize that quarterback C.J. Beathard is playing against third-and-fourth-string players? To my semi-trained eye, Lawrence has looked pretty dang good so far considering the lack of protection he's getting. I'm sorry but ol' C.J. couldn't hold T-Law's jockstrap (not that I think he would want to).

It doesn't sound as if your eye is semi-trained.

Bill from Jacksonville, FL

John, if you were the head coach, would you play Trevor Lawrence behind an O-Line with one starter in a meaningless preseason game? I know I wouldn't.

I would. The first-team offense has scored no touchdowns in eight preseason possessions, and you want to finish the preseason better than that. If it appears early Sunday against Dallas that the Jaguars can't protect, then perhaps you reverse course. Injuries are part of the game and there could be injuries during the regular season. I wouldn't necessarily have a game plan with Lawrence dropping to pass on every snap, but I would start starters who are healthy.

Jealous Old Guy from Wherever I Lay My Head

I'm not going to question QB1 after two-and-a-half quarters of preseason football. After having seen him in that limited time, I think it's clearly obvious that he is the Jaguars' most talented quarterback ever. It's going to be fun to watch his career progress; fingers crossed it's a long, major injury-free and successful one. My query is one of more importance. Before training camp closes, is a team veteran of tenure, unencumbered by today's societal softness, going to strap the young rookie Trevor to a goalpost and shear his long golden locks off? If not a buzz cut, perhaps a good going-over with a Flowbee?

I doubt that will happen.

Jason from Green Cove Springs, FL

Etienne is a running back that suffered a Lisfranc injury. He will never be the same again. It's going to affect him every time he tries to plant and cut or even his ability to accelerate. Do you think he will find a way to still be effective when he returns next year even if it means playing a different style of football than he is accustomed to?

Your boldness and confidence are impressive. But while the Lisfranc injury is serious for a running back it is not a fact that he will "never be the same again." IF the injury does not heal correctly or he does not recover adequately, then sure … it can be devastating for a running back. And there are no guarantees rookie running back Travis Etienne Jr. will heal from the injury he sustained Monday. There are also no guarantees he won't recover fully. IF he does not recover, then it would be difficult for him to regain his effectiveness. His game is based on acceleration, missability and quickness. He needs healthy feet to play that game.

Doug from Jacksonville, FL

With the hybrid receiver/running back being out for the season, and all the supposed talent in the wide receiver room would you think the Jags might keep an extra receiver rather than sign some running back cut from a different team?

It's very possible.

Bill from Jacksonville

In next draft, do you think we go offensive line, wide receiver or defensive tackle, defensive end?

I would think there's a decent chance the Jaguars address all or most of those positions in the 2021 NFL Draft. As for the order of the selections, I have no idea. The college season has yet to be played, so we're a long way from knowing general or individual draft strengths. The Jaguars have yet to play a regular-season game this season, so we have no real idea about short-term or long-term needs.

Abel from Westside

With fans complaining about Trevor Lawrence in the first 2 preseason games, do you think Urban Meyer could be sandbagging? It seems like the coaches are holding him back.

No, I do not believe Meyer is sandbagging with Lawrence.

Johnathan from Starke, FL

Was 1994 the high for the franchise? Seems to be!!

No. Not even close, actually. The Jaguars made the AFC Championship Game following the 1996, 1999 and 2017 seasons, so it really doesn't seem like that at all!!

Justin from Jax

Hey Mr. O. I'm not hitting the panic button by any means, but I'm a bit concerned with Lambo and his inconsistency in his field goals. Urban seems to share this concern to a degree. Do you think Josh has lost some confidence and/or his "automatic" kicking ability? Do you think there is a legitimate cause for concern in this front?

Stay tuned.

Chris from Mandarin

From now on, when it is reported that such and such Jaguars player looks good in practice, should we just throw our hands up in a who cares fashion? What's the difference if a bad player looks good against other bad players? There are like four players on this team worthy of their draft positions. 4 is an arbitrary number expressing my dissatisfaction with how much this team sucks right now, so don't Rain Man me about it alright?

I guess you can respond to what's reported on the Jaguars as you see fit. And since you wrote to my email inbox, I guess I'll respond how I see fit. The way I see fit is to provide this link to babies falling down. I think it's funny because pain and embarrassment is always funny when it happens to someone else. Maybe you will find it funny, too. Or not. Either way.