JACKSONVILLE – Happy Monday.
The Jaguars were off Sunday after playing Thursday – and not having football responsibilities Friday and Saturday. Me?
I watched a little football Sunday, not much.
I hung Halloween decorations, mostly. They look OK, not great. I'm better at Christmas lights, though I'm not great at that. I guess I'm not great at all that much. I'm old and getting older.
Pumpkin beer stinks. I don't get the fascination.
Let's get to it …
Jon from Ocala, FL
Hi, O, I heard a quote before, I believe from a former NFL coach, that said a rebuilding team with a franchise quarterback loses big, then loses little, then wins little and then wins big. You can see the Jaguars following this pattern with growth each game. Losing sucks, but I believe they will start winning little soon and hopefully winning big later this year, next year.
That's a fair expectation. The Jaguars lost big in Week 1 and indeed have been improving the last three weeks. I don't expect a straight arrow up in this area. The next two months still seems like a very tough stretch with some potential games in which the Jaguars will be outmatched. But I do expect to see a general upward trend for rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence and an accompanying general upward trend for the Jaguars as a whole. I don't know that that means winning big late in the season. I do think it will mean the Jaguars winning some games and having a feeling of optimism heading into the offseason. It's fair for fans to expect that. Absolutely.
Polo from DC
Is this team more talented than the 2013 version? I think so, but why do I feel like four wins is a stretch for this team?
I do believe this team is more talented than the 2013 Jaguars, primarily because this team is more talented at quarterback – but also because this is a more-veteran offensive line. I don't know if this team will win four games. The schedule gets really difficult coming up. Maybe that's why you feel like four victories is a stretch. I can't say for sure. You perhaps can explain your feelings better than I can. I certainly would hope so.
Mike from Jaguar dead zone (Pensacola)
Given our diminished capacity/talent at corner, shouldn't we be looking more at zone/Cover 2? I mean let's face it: opposing quarterbacks are looking at Tyson VERY closely.
It's possible we will see some of that. I wouldn't expect a steady diet. This is a defense that wants to win at the line of scrimmage with a lot of different looks and fronts – and play a lot man-to-man, press coverage in the secondary behind those looks. That's why they brought in a lot of the players they brought in in the offseason – cornerback Tyson Campbell included. But yes … quarterbacks are looking at Campbell. He's a rookie who has struggled so far this season. They won't stop looking until he makes them stop looking. It's an area to watch. Closely.
James from Jacksonville
Does this look like the end of DJ Chark in Jacksonville?
Not necessarily. It will be something to watch. A lot will depend on how Chark and his team view his market value. I don't expect resolution next week. Or the next. I suspect we'll be talking about in January. Stay tuned.
David from Wallingford
Why is our best pass rusher consistently in coverage? I first noticed it on third and 12 Thursday, so I watched for it. I could not believe how much he dropped back and – and it's a big and – he did not cover well. Come on, now. We need to put our players in position to succeed.
You're referencing Jaguars defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen dropping into coverage rather than rushing the passer. This is not something that's going to stop. The Jaguars now play a 3-4 defense, not the 4-3. Defensive end/linebackers sometimes drop in coverage in a 3-4 scheme. This is not exclusive to the Jaguars or Allen. It's across the board for every edge defender in every 3-4 scheme. Pretty much ever.
Nick from Palm Coast, FL
So, what is going to happen now with Josh Lambo? Is he out as our kicker? Do we know why he was not available for the game Thursday night?
Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo missed Thursday's game after missing practice Tuesday or Wednesday because of "personal reasons." That's all the team said on the matter, though it's reasonable to assume based on him missing his first three field goals of the season – and two of three extra points in a Week 3 loss to Arizona – that the personal reasons were related to these unusual results. That the Jaguars did not release Lambo following Week 3 and chose to keep him the roster with Matthew Wright kicking was unusual – and also indicated that Head Coach Urban Meyer didn't want to give up Lambo. I would expect something on this early this week – either a roster move or a thought on what's going on with Lambo. Stay tuned.
Mike from Shelby
Is it time for the young guys to get a chance like offensive tackle Walker Little, defensive end/linebacker Jordan Smith and defensive tackle Jay Tufele?
These aren't necessary things you can force. Little and Smith were drafted with the idea that they would be good players – eventually – and Tufele to an extent was drafted with the same idea. Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor have played fine at tackle, so I don't expect Little to supplant either player. And I don't get the idea that Smith has developed enough to be an improvement over players such as Josh Allen and K'Lavon Chaisson on the edge. Perhaps the Jaguars will work Tufele in on the defensive interior – though again, there's no reason to force a young player over a veteran if you don't think the young player is better.
Jason from Da 'Hass
Hi John, I haven't heard any word from Meyer about that rock and how close they are to breaking it. Has it been chipped at least? Is there an actual rock in the locker room? Inquiring minds want to know!
There's no locker-room rock. The rock is a symbol of winning. They feel closer. We'll see.
_Adrian from Alpharetta, GA _
I haven't seen Malcom Brown's name show up much on the stat line thus far, but I am inclined to think that Joe Mixon's 67 yds in Thursday night's game is more indicative of his impact on this team. What say you?
Brown likely won't show up in statistics. As a down linemen with mostly interior, run-stuffing responsibilities, he has few statistical opportunities. But yes … if the Jaguars are stopping the run – and they're doing this much better than last season – that's where Brown's impact is being felt.
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL
_I find it both amusing and frustrating to see the mainstream media throwing massive shade on head coach Urban Meyer. I think back to Tom Coughlin's last season with the Jaguars (as head coach, not as V.P.), and remember that the 2002 roster was decimated by a cap hell fire sale. Yet Coughlin still got six wins from a group that probably shouldn't have won any. In hindsight, possibly Coughlin's finest coaching. Now, we have Urban Meyer coaching a rebuilding team that, while improved, still lacks (among other things) top level talent in the defensive backfield and the tight end room. Yet this Jaguars team is obviously becoming competitive. I see coach Meyer not as a failure, but rather a coach who is getting better and better performances from a roster that still has some rather gaping holes. It is reasonable to expect that some wins are coming, right? But is it also reasonable that in terms of numbers of wins, the ceiling is fairly low due to the weaknesses in some of the position groups? _
Yes. And yes.
David from Ada, OK
While indeed Trevor Lawrence had a good game it is incredibly important that Minshew has had a better game than that in last year's opener. I think crowning Lawrence as this "great ride" we are about to go on is ridiculous and premature. If you are a Jags fan you know that quarterbacks almost never pan out.
You're right that previous Jaguars quarterbacks have disappointed. Everything about Lawrence makes it seem he will be an exception. For people who continue to believe there is a comparison in terms of the futures of Lawrence and Minshew … I don't get it. I really don't. This isn't about statistics. It's about Lawrence having the potential and traits to be elite and beginning to show he is working toward fulfilling that potential. Minshew, while effective statistically in some games with the Jaguars, is not that. He's a fine person, I suppose. I wish him well. But he's just not that.
Robert from Oneonta
OK, this is not about the Jags. Guilty as charged. It is rare you see the Giants, Jets and Bills all win on the same day. Giants and Jets both in OT. Time for a happy dance :)
I'm glad you're happy. Wait. I'm not.