JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
I think a lot of players on the Jaguars are getting better. This team is coming and they are going to get their win against the Miami Dolphins. If you cannot see how good Trevor Lawrence is, then you are blind. Go Jaguars!
A lot of players on the Jaguars indeed are improving through the first five games of the 2021 season, particularly rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The coaching staff also seems to be adjusting well to its personnel over the last few games – and the offense certainly seems to be finding itself. There's good stuff going on there with the run and game and Lawrence – though consistency is needed. That improvement at some point will result in a victory. That could even come against the Miami Dolphins Sunday at Tottenham Spurs Stadium in London, England - and many observers believe that will be the case. I worry that the Dolphins are better than their record, and they're getting their starting quarterback – Tua Tagovailoa – back this week. They also look like a team with a better defense than it has showed this season. The Jaguars need to finish drives better on offense and get multiple takeaways defensively. If they can do that, then yeah … I think this could be the weekend.
Robert from Fernandina Beach, FL
Who would play center if Tyler Shatley gets hurt?
With center Brandon Linder out with ankle/knee issues, Tyler Shatley will start Sunday. Who would snap in his place? Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell on Thursday said this likely would be KC McDermott. He signed with the Jaguars as a collegiate free agent shortly after the 2018 NFL Draft. He has played in seven NFL games, but has not played an offensive snap. So yeah … it's something to watch.
Marlin from Newberry, Fl
Hi, John. Do you think that James Robinson could wind up as the third-best running back in franchise history? How close to that is he today?
JT from Palm Coast, FL
Darrell Bevell explaining how difficult the quarterback sneak is is an insult to our intelligence. It's not as difficult for a true professional quarterback as he is making it out to be. His track record isn't that great at goal-to-go situations.
Bevell on Thursday explained in detail the thinking that went into his decision not to have Lawrence sneak on fourth-and goal against the Tennessee Titans last Sunday. He essentially said that because Lawrence hadn't practiced the sneak much in the NFL, he didn't want to risk the call. He also went into interesting detail about a sneak being a bit more complicated than many realize. Take the answer how you want it. I've never taken a quarterback sneak, nor have I been behind center in an NFL game. I've also never called plays in the NFL. I didn't see Bevell trying to insult anyone's intelligence, and he could have been a jerk and just answered the question without thought or in dismissive fashion. He tried to give an answer with some insight, using his experience in the position. Whatever his track record in goal-to-go situations, he has coordinated NFL offenses for nearly a decade and a half. It crossed my mind for the slightest half a second that maybe he knew more than I did about the subject, and I appreciated the effort.
Chris from Mandarin
The Jaguars have no operational advantage in London against the Dolphins. The Jaguars have played there seven times, while the Dolphins have played there five. I think they probably know how to handle the trip by now.
David from Orlando, FL
Zone - Do we have the tight end we've been looking for in Dan Arnold?
Tight end Dan Arnold has eight receptions for 93 yards in two games since being acquired by the Jaguars in a trade with the Carolina Panthers. That's a pace for about 800 yards receiving for a season, and he seems very capable of maintaining at least that pace. He also looks the part. He's smooth, has some speed and seems to be able to make some defenders miss after the catch. I don't know that this ends the Jaguars' longstanding Search for a Tight End, but he darned sure looks like he can contribute nicely at the spot – and he looks like a better receiving tight end than the Jaguars have had in a while. Watching his progression and how the Jaguars use him will be interesting.
Jake from Cary, NC
You note that free agency is a dangerous way to build a franchise. Apparently, so is the draft. Perhaps seeking out disgruntled stars from other teams is the answer. It may have risks, but at least you know you're getting a good player.
You're also getting players who their former teams didn't want enough to re-sign. Or who are aging. Or not great fits for what you're doing. Or who you don't know nearly as well as you know your own players. Yes, all methods of player acquisition have risk – free agency and the draft included. But free agency is far riskier – and far more expensive than the draft. Not that you don't want to participate in free agency, but it's hardly a cure-all.
Brian from Jacksonville
Thanks a lot, Oehser. Now I've got "Hangin' Tough" by New Kids on the Block in my head. Do you really want to hurt me?
Yes, and I really want to make you cry.
Shanghai Stevie from Jacksonville
J-ROB is arguably the best player on the team, followed by T Law - of course. That said, do you think Bevell will consider putting Hyde in at QB on third and long this week?
No, Carlos Hyde plays running back. Bevell will not play him at quarterback on third and long. When the situation calls for it, he might play him at running back.
Joseph from Sacramento
When can we have expectations of this team winning games again? Clearly it's not this year. So is it year 2022? 2023? 2024? 2025? 2026?
When will the team win a game? Or two or three? That will happen this season. When will it win a few more than that? There's good chance that will happen in 2022, particularly if Lawrence continues to develop. When will it contend for the postseason? If a whole lot goes right, and if a lot of players on the roster develop in a hurry – and the Jaguars get some quick-impact players this offseason – maybe that could be in 2022. It probably will be closer to 2023, though I've been wrong on issues like that before. Often.
Rog from STA
"GIVE ME THE BALL!" O, that was very clear from Shenault after his great run on Sunday. He seemed as frustrated as many of us were in the lack of participation in the game plan! After reading much about Sunday's game, this has not been a topic of concern. Am I out of alignment in my observation - Let's utilize Shenault as an asset versus a decoy!
How the Jaguars have used – and will use – wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. absolutely has been a topic this week. And it absolutely appears the Jaguars want to use Shenault. An issue is just how to get him the ball. He undoubtedly has a strong skillset, but he – like pretty much all Jaguars receivers this season – at times hasn't created a lot of downfield separation. Remember: His 58-yard reception on his one touch against the Tennessee Titans Sunday came on a play on which Lawrence had quite a bit of time to throw. Shenault last week also was playing outside receiver for the first time after mostly playing since being selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Head Coach Urban Meyer and Bevell both spoke this week of needing to get Shenault the ball. You could see the Jaguars get more creative getting him the ball this week – i.e., bubble screens, pitches, handoffs … etc. Stay tuned.
Brian from Round Rock, Texas
I say we go with the old Patriots model, elite QB and a bunch of guys. That way we have a shot at the Super Bowl next year based on Trevor's talent and progression. What do you think?
That wasn't the New England Patriots' model early in quarterback Tom Brady's career. The early model actually was a lot of good veteran players on defense – including front-line players such as defensive end Willie McGinest and cornerback Ty Law – with Brady as something of a game manager. That evolved quickly as Brady developed.
John from Jacksonville
Hi King of Zone - Which kicker flew to London with the team?
Kickers Josh Lambo and Matthew Wright both traveled to London. Meyer said Friday a decision has been made as to who will kick Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, though Meyer opted not to announce it at the time.
Myles Jack isn't in Town.