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O-Zone: Here's hoping

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Marcus from Jax

Can you help me understand the situation at wide receiver? Among fans, the narrative seems to be that we have an abundance of roster-level options. The conversation seems to center around who is going to be the odd-man out of a solid group. Kirk, Davis, Johnson, and Duvernay seem to be mortal locks, and Parker Washington and Joshua Cephus are hot topics to fill the other spots. So, my question is why are the Jags so active in pursuing – and in some cases, signing – other receivers? Is the position much less settled than fans think, or is this all just a matter of filling out a 90-man roster for training camp?

A couple of thoughts here. One is I don't know that there a "situation" at wide receiver. Another is the Jaguars aren't making roster moves based on fan narratives. Fans should certainly hope not, anyway. Christian Kirk, Gabe Davis, Brian Thomas Jr. and Devin Duvernay indeed are essentially locks at the position. There are no "locks" beyond that, and the Jaguars are trying to make sure the roster spots behind the four "locks" are as strong as possible. Remember: There was a perception last season that the Jaguars were really strong at wide receiver after Kirk, Zay Jones and Calvin Ridley. That turned out not to be the case. The moves this offseason are about ensuring the position is as strong as possible.

Ronnie from St. Pete, FL

So, get this O Man, someone on a Sports Illustrated article "boldly" predicted that the Jags will be worse this season and their Week 17 home game will determine who gets last place. The way I see it, I don't think we'll be as bad as certain media outlets say based on the moves we did this offseason plus what quarterback Trevor Lawrence mentioned during the press conference after his extension got finalized. What's your take on this?

My take is the Jaguars can be really good in 2024 and win the AFC South if they're healthy, particularly along the offensive and defensive lines – and particularly if defensive lineman Arik Armstead and center Mitch Morse have their expected impact of solidifying their positions and making players around them better. I also think Lawrence must show better ball security and game awareness. If those things happen, there's little reason the Jaguars will be bad.

Sal from Austin, TX

The offseason is a great time for cleaning house, and I'm ready to let go the-helmet-logo-of-the-Jaguars-is-unbelievably-wack argument once and for all. I just figured out why, and it's because the ornate, unique design of the spots of the Jaguar is what sets it apart from the other great cats, but the current rendition – while supposedly "more literal" – is not actually true and correct in this regard, but the original Jaguar – while more conceptual – actually is.

Jaguars 2024 Training Camp is scheduled to begin in late July.

Steve from Nashville, TN

You can count on one finger the number of non-franchise quarterbacks who have won a Super Bowl in the last 20 years (Nick Foles - SB 52). Do you believe now more than ever that time has passed where an average or journeyman quarterback can win a championship?

I expect it will remain relatively unusual, which has been the case for nearly 100 years. I expect most of the better teams each season will have top-level quarterbacks, which means most Super Bowl teams will come from that group. Remember: Super Bowls in the last two decades have been lost by teams with Colin Kaepernick, Jimmy Garoppolo, Cam Newton, Matt Ryan and Rex Grossman at quarterback. Opinions may vary on that group, but there are some non-elite names in there. If those teams can get to the Super Bowl and lose, a team can get there with a similar-level quarterback and win. Occasionally.

Andrew from Halifax

I neither believe that the Jaguars reset the wide receiver market when they signed Christian Kirk nor that they reset the quarterback market when they signed Trevor, two players believed to have underperformed. Do people believe that the Jags were operating in a vacuum and that other teams weren't right up there with contract value in the bidding?

There were no other teams bidding for Lawrence this offseason. If there were, someone's got some 'splainin' to do.

Steven from Charlotte, NC

Some of your recent posts have brought up an interesting question for me. I grew up in Jacksonville and have been a huge Jaguars fan ever since. I haven't lived in Jacksonville in 20 years. I now live in Charlotte - which I hear also has an NFL team. Despite this, I could never imagine cheering for any other NFL team. Even living in another NFL city, I have never felt a pull for the team. I don't root against them as the city is generally happier if they win, but certainly not a fan. I have seen several posts lately in regard to fans that used to love one team or another and are clearly now Jaguar fans. How is this possible? Maybe this isn't a question for you and really should be asked to those other fans but I don't have their emails, so maybe you could shed some light on this very confusing phenomenon. Go Jaguars!

I side with you to a degree on this one. Though I don't count myself as an avid fan of any particular team these days, I recall enough about my days as a fan of the Washington Football Team, the Seattle SuperSonics and the Oakland A's to know I never could have imagined switching allegiances. To me, part of the joy when Washington won its Super Bowls was having lived through the heartache of losing – and part of being a fan was wallowing in misery and anger. But just because I probably wouldn't have done it doesn't make it wrong. Remember: Fandom isn't about rules or logic. Fans fans. It's what they do. Even if one or two switch allegiances for whatever reason.

Tim from Fernandina Beach, FL

Wait, I'm the loyal reader. Scratch that, your check bounced.


Sean from Oakleaf, FL

Trevor Lawrence has averaged more or less around 300 yards rushing each of his first three years. Do you feel this is around the "right" number for defenses to have to account for his rushing ability on each play combined with the risk of injury? Would you say the majority of his rushing attempts occur when plays break down and he sees a lane or are they designed and called?

I'm never sure what statistics are right or wrong for a player, mainly because NFL statistics are often so dependent on game circumstance and how a player is used. I've never had the feeling that Lawrence is running too much, or that Jaguars coaches are over-depending on his mobility. Lawrence for the most part runs when the opportunity is there or when the situation forces it. I expect he will remain in the pocket more as his career moves forward, but for now it seems he runs the appropriate amount at the appropriate times.

Brian from Round Rock, TX

How long will Josh Pederson stay with the Jags? I predict that if he is released before the season, the Jags go to the playoffs and do some damage. If he remains a paid employee after the final cuts, the Jags miss the playoffs and the other Pederson is fired after the season. What say you?

Jaguars tight end Josh Pederson is a young, reserve player who has played three NFL games as a reserve. I do not believe his roster status will determine the Jaguars' 2024 season or Head Coach Doug Pederson's job security following the season.

Bo from Linwood, NC

Everyone is in angst over Trevor's contract. I'm over here looking in my cup cabinet finally happy I have a player on the Jags memorabilia cup that's gonna be on the team for more than 3 seasons!

One fer Bo's cup cabinet.

Jonathan from Formerly of Jax Beach

I think what people are missing and what I haven't read here or anywhere is that the beauty of Trevor's deal locked him in for the foreseeable future while not compromising the oh so important first contract window. Yes, other teams have gone a different route and found success but only the Chiefs gave a megacontract during Machine's first contract window and won super bowls.

No one can blame the Chiefs for that. When you have a Machine, you pay the Machine. He is, after all, a Machine.

Charles from Riverside

Hello, John. Wondering about your opinion on home game venues in 2027? London versus Gainesville versus Orlando? Your thoughts? Thanks.

I think the Jaguars will tell me where they're playing home games in 2027 closer to 2027 and I'll get on a bus or a plane and cover the game wherever they play it. And I hope they allow me on the bus or plane.