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O-Zone: Go for it

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

JT from Palm Coast, FL

Bucky Brooks spoke about quarterbacks needing about 32 starts before they can be truly evaluated. I'm curious what your opinion is on that statement? Most teams (us included) are never that patient. That would mean that we can't really critique him accurately until next season? I am like everyone else, judging him week to week and looking for some sort of improvement. I am aware of some quarterbacks taking longer to develop – i.e. Josh Allen, among others.

This is among the NFL's most constant, pressing and important questions and most teams face it at some point – some teams far more than others. Pressing though the question may be, the answer often is elusive – and often depends on player, team and circumstances. Brooks, a Jaguars Media and NFL analyst, essentially is right that it often takes about 32 starts – or two seasons(ish) – to truly evaluate a quarterback. But two seasons isn't always enough. Bills quarterback Josh Allen was just beginning to show signs of being elite at the end of his second season, and he skyrocketed into that status the following season. As Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson said this week, three seasons was once considered pretty much the amount of time a quarterback needed to establish himself in the NFL. Pederson just as quickly made the point that quarterbacks really don't get three years to develop anymore. Hence, the dilemma for many teams. Quarterback is a brutally difficult position. Evaluating it often is as hard as playing it and the pressure from fans – and even within the team – to pass immediate and final judgement on quarterbacks can be enormous. Reality: evaluating the position happens over time and is often dependent on many, many parts. It's what makes it so maddening – and such a constant topic for debate. And for arguments. And for fanxiety.

Jeremy from Gilbert, AZ

Why are so many thinking that we need more playmakers on the offense? When Trevor plays well, makes good reads/decisions and is accurate, the offense moves right down the field. When he throws the ball five-to-10 yards above someone's head or to the other team, the offense sucks. The offense is fine. Trevor's play dictates the outcome in every game.

You're right that Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence's play determines the level of success or struggles for the Jaguars' offense – and for the Jaguars as a whole. And I agree the Jaguars' playmakers are good – better collectively than was the case last season. While that's the case, an above-the-Xs-and-Os playmaker or two at the other skill positions would help. Both can be true.

Robert from Reno, NV

Well done, KOAF. I see that you made it through the week, you handled it professionally. Let's hope Sunday is a win which gives you a break. If not, you might want to activate the bot, or hide. Go Jags!!

If the Jaguars lose Sunday, they will be 2-4. I have answered questions about the Jaguars in this forum every day since August 2011. I'm pretty sure I can handle 2-4.

Andy from Halifax

We were all apprehensive to believe the hype, the hype looked like it was real and now the ride back to earth has been harder to handle. How did we go from one of the most dominant teams in the league to one of the most disappointing in two weeks? Where does this place us overall?

The Jaguars have won two of their last four games. They won three of 33 games before that. The Jaguars are neither dominant nor disappointing. They're 2-3, which is right around about where many believed they would be through five games-ish.

Geoffrey from Orlando, FL

Anyone who thinks this is the same ol' jags is an idiot.

We have talked extensively in this forum about the importance of being "nice." This is not "nice."

Joe Living in St. Johns, down by the river

Hey, John, we just booked a December trip to Nashville to watch the Jags play the Titans. Can I expect that game to be meaningful to us, with postseason implications? (We are "all in" no matter what)

The Jaguars visit the Tennessee Titans December 11. That's Week 13. I'm still projecting six-to-seven victories for the Jaguars this season, so I would project them being mathematically in contention at that point – but perhaps not feeling like a likely participant. Let's go with them being on the "In the Hunt" graphic around that time. Stay tuned.

Steve from Hilton Head, SC

John. Last year didn't the Jags beat the Bills, arguably the best team in the league?

Yes.

Zach from Washougal, WA

You're the general manager of the Jaguars. It's Week 13 and the Jags still have a shot at the playoffs. Arizona calls you and offers you wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for next year's first-round pick. Do you do it?

Yes – IF Hopkins is playing like his last healthy season (in 2020), IF he's healthy, IF his contract makes sense for 2023/2024 and IF he wants to be here.

Crash from Glen St. Mary

To all the boo birds I'd like to quote The Dude. "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like your opinion, man."

"The Big Lebowski" wasn't really my thing. To my recollection, I don't think I've ever seen it all the way through. /ducks

Chance from Windsor, CA

If you would have told me before the season that we'd be 2-3, I probably would have taken it. Now my expectations are way higher. If we look at the next bunch of games: Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens … it makes me nervous. Those are all hungry and good football teams. Where might we be after 11 games?

There are no easy games in the NFL. I expect the Jaguars to win six-to-seven games this season. So, where might they be after 11 games? 4-7 or 5-6-ish?

John from SEBASTIAN

John, let's give the Jags' first quarter of the season a grade. 1) COACHING B+ good job in redirecting, rebuilding team process. Still learning identity of team. Seems a little reluctant to stick with the hot hand. 2) Offence C Trevor's development progressing, but still lacking in field management. 3) Defense C+ Young, fast and learning. Pass rush not quite there, run D and tackling up and down. 4) Special teams A- highlight of the team so far. Overall Grade C With possibility of high ceiling. What say you ?

'Bout right.

Derek from Brookings, SD

Listening to J.P. Shadrick, Pete Prisco and Tony Boselli the other day, they brought up a point I thought was interesting. They felt that because of the Cover-2, Trevor was trying to make throws he didn't need to try and make (i.e. just take what the defense was giving him in the form of a checkdown). I think Trevor did a really good job of this in the games against the Colts and Chargers, not so much against the Eagles and Texans. I think once Trevor starts to go back to taking what the defense gives him, he'll be just fine.

That's the hope. Lawrence had some very nice throws/moments Sunday against the Texans and indeed tried to force too much. The key for a quarterback playing a Cover-2 or Cover-3 is to be patient and willing to throw underneath, then read when cornerbacks press receivers – then hit the deeper passes when they're there. Lawrence did that well early in the season against the Colts. He'll get another chance in Indianapolis Sunday.

Joel from Jacksonville

Fans and to some extent coaches assume that a top college quarterback comes out of the game NFL ready. The worst NFL defense is many times better than the best college defense Lawrence ever faced. Given the program he came from, I would guess the number of times he had to put the team on his shoulders to win the game one can count on the fingers of one hand. Lawrence is working at it, and he may never be great. But he will get better and still be the best quarterback our team has had ever.

OK.

Bill from Hammock, FL

Zone, should Pederson throttle back the fourth-down attempts until this young team matures a bit?

No – and whatever I or others think about the issue doesn't matter because Pederson isn't going to "throttle back" on the fourth-down attempts. Whatever the "maturity" level of a team, he believes in being aggressive in this area. As he sees it – and as more and more coaches/other football people are starting to see it – there are certain situations that call for going for it on fourth down. I suspect over the next four or five years coaches going for first downs on fourth-down will feel a lot more normal. That's already sort of happening. The game is changing, and this is one of the ways.

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