JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Jason from North Pole, AK
Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson keeps saying that James Robinson is the starting running back. What do you expect the timeshare split to look like between Robinson and Travis Etienne Jr.? I just have a hard time believing they can keep Etienne off the field with Robinson coming off a significant injury. Do you expect to start seeing some two-back sets now that Robinson has worked his way back?
I haven't gotten a sense Pederson "keeps saying" Robinson is the starting running back – at least not in a way to indicate Pederson and offensive coordinator Press Taylor plan to limit Etienne's carries. I would expect Robinson to "start" and perhaps be listed as "RB1" when healthy, but Pederson's history is he likes to use multiple running backs – at times in a rotation and at times in multi-back looks. I expect Robinson, Etienne and rookie Snoop Conner to all have significant roles and to all be effective in Pederson's scheme. That's his history.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, do you think Coach was sending a message given the intensity of the last couple of practices, or do you think this recent intensity becomes the "new normal" around here?
The Jaguars on Sunday had one of the more intense – and physical – training-camp practices seen around here in recent memory. Pederson believes such practices are necessary, and he prefers to have those sorts of practices early in camp then taper back as the regular season approaches. I wouldn't expect many practices like that. You can't constantly wear players down and risk injury regularly, but I would expect a few early in each camp with Pederson as head coach. Was it entirely a coincidence that the Jaguars' first really tough practice under Pederson came three days after a game in which the Jaguars didn't run or stop the run well? I doubt Pederson would say that, but coaches don't always reveal everything they're thinking.
Colt from Pittsburgh, PA
O, I know some people don't buy into this, but I believe it. The reason the Jaguars are losing so many games is … the uniforms. They are so, so, so painfully basic. We have such a cool color scheme and we've killed it. The uniforms of the 90s were done perfectly. Jaguar on the sleeve. The gold outline on the name.
I'm fine with the Jaguars' current uniforms. I was fine with the uniforms of the 1990s. Hell, I even liked the Gold "Color Rush" uniforms. I didn't love the two-tone helmet era, but I didn't mind the "plainer" era right before that. But a lot of people agree with you and love the original uniforms. I get no feeling they will return permanently, but who knows? Life is full of twists and turns. Maybe. Someday. Or maybe not.
Brad from The Avenues
How about this, John? We play Santoso as a kickoff specialist and bring back Matty Wright for field goals and extra points, all while developing Santoso's accuracy. That is, if we don't find "The Guy" by the time the season starts.
The Jaguars have two kickers, Ryan Santoso and Elliott Fry. They believe one of the two can win the kicking job. They released Matthew Wright in the offseason. If they believed him an improvement over either Santoso and Fry, he would be here. But we'll see. The NFL is a weird place. Never say never – even when it seems like "never" is the answer.
JayPeevv from O you know
So, all this talk about left tackle Cam Robinson going perfect in drill work and outside linebacker Josh Allen getting shut down. Does this mean we have an elite left tackle or a subpar pass rusher.
I will not get sucked into the vortex. I will not get sucked into the vortex. I will not get sucked into the vortex. I will not get …
I thought Fatukasi was here to play nose tackle, yet the first depth chart has him playing 3-4 end. Is Hamilton ready to take over the 0 so he can play further outside? Confused.
The Jaguars signed Foley Fatukasi as an unrestricted free agent from the New York Jets in March, the idea being to make the defensive line stouter and better against the run. We have referred to Fatukasi often as a nose tackle – similar to how we referred (and still refer) to Malcom Brown as a nose tackle. The reality is teams running a 3-4 defense still often need two "defensive-tackle" type players, and Fatukasi often will play alongside DaVon Hamilton or Brown in those looks. Remember: While we still use terms like 3-4, 4-3, nose, zero, etc., when discussing schemes, most defenses are versatile and use interchangeable personnel along the front line. Fatukasi appears likely to indeed make the Jaguars better and stouter against the run – whether he's a nose tackle, defensive tackle or defensive lineman.
Gary from St. Augustine, FL
Even in training camp, you still suck. Maybe worse than in April.
John from Section 206 since 1996
With Prisco helping sway the voters regarding Boselli and the HOF, does he have his sights set on helping Fred Taylor find his way in? Perhaps no player is suffering from the small market stigma more than him. If he had played in a big market, Taylor would already be in.
Taylor's candidacy has been hampered by a few factors. He may well have been enshrined already had he played in a more high-profile market, but he also has been hurt by the Jaguars' comparative lack of postseason success for much of his career. He also never really had seasons in which he was widely considered one of the best one or two backs in the league. Had the Jaguars won the Super Bowl following the 1999 season, would Taylor be in the Hall? Probably. Either way, CBS Sports NFL analyst Pete Prisco absolutely will speak to Hall voters about Taylor in the same vein as he did with Boselli. As will I. As will others in the Jacksonville media who watched Taylor play and who know Hall voters. And I do believe Taylor will be enshrined. He already has been a semifinalist. I expect he will be a finalist soon. Once he becomes a finalist, voters will look deeper into his career – and they will rewatch his highlights. That last part will help immeasurably. A lot of NFL players have highlights. Not many have highlights like Taylor has highlights.
Greg from Section 122, The Bank, Jacksonville
It is baffling people rail against fans who are craving a winning team. Like we are being unreasonable by accepting anything less than playoffs. The whole notion this is just a "Mulligan year" is ludicrous. You can't sell tickets like that. Imagine going to a restaurant or theater and coming out with "well that was mediocre, but we shouldn't expect better." The fans are paying hard-earned money to support this team, we should be able to expect the best. Trevor can be a franchise quarterback and this team still not be good enough – thinking of Marino and Kelly who were undoubtedly franchise quarterbacks but never got their teams to the ultimate goal. A winning Super Bowl.
Fans absolutely should expect and want their teams to be great every season. That's not always realistic, and I think expectations of a postseason appearance/postseason success would be a little unrealistic in 2022. I think by 2023 the Jaguars could be in such a position. You honestly lost me a bit in your reference to Dan Marino and Jim Kelly, though. No, their teams did not win Super Bowls, but they were Hall-of-Fame, elite quarterbacks who had enormous regular-season success and their share of postseason success. They just didn't quite win the Super Bowl. That's professional sports. Every great player doesn't win a championship.
Bradley from Sparks
Signs point to the Jaguars going from awful to the back end of the vast NFL middle where games are won or lost by the quarterback in the fourth quarter. Is it not true that Lawrence's improvement in great part will be measured by wins and losses?
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence is in Year 2 now. Yes, he has reached the point where he increasingly will be judged by winning or losing close games. And I do expect the Jaguars will be in more close games beginning this season; the roster is starting to look more like it can match up against more teams. Judging Lawrence by victories and losses won't always be fair. But he was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft and he was considered a generational player. The Jaguars selected him with the idea he could transform a franchise. He won't always be judged fairly. That's part of the deal.
Cliff from Everywhere with helicopter
John, a request: In future, when planning to reference both yourself and the word "formfitting" in the same sentence, please issue a warning. Some of us are trying to eat.
I am the king of all formfitting funk.