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O-Zone: Highest of speeds

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Brad from Spokane, WA

John, you state Trevor's performance "is a little alarming." That just made me laugh. Your comment is not based on statistics, but more on confirmation bias. So much leeway is given to high draft picks and rarely to low picks. Low picks have to prove it every day whereas high picks can be brushed off as a bad day. Gardner was thrown into the first game without a lot of snaps with the first team and performed well. In fact, if you look at the statistics for the first two games by Gardner vs. Trevor the overwhelming winner is Gardner. I'm not saying Gardner is the better quarterback, but I am stating the level of criticism of high draft picks is often downplayed. You have now fallen into this group of people of that ignore statistics, which is evidence of performance, in favor of confirmation bias. You need to be more objective of his bad performance or lose credibility.

While your thoughts on my credibility are "awesome," my views on Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence are based neither on statistics nor confirmation bias. They're instead based on more than two and half decades covering the NFL and knowing the traits necessary for quarterbacks to succeed. Lawrence has those traits, with perhaps the most important trait being the ability to stay in the pocket, keep eyes downfield and avoid hyperventilating into a panicky froth when under pressure. He has been criticized for not running enough and not taking the checkdown? Well, those are the very traits that eventually will make him an elite quarterback. Partly because of that, I could care less about the statistics of Gardner Minshew II and Lawrence in their first two games. As for what I need to do … I've been doing this a minute, so I'll keep doing what I always do: Observe, speak to people more knowledgeable than myself, rely on experience and try best I can to explain what the Jaguars are trying to do. Some people will like approach. Others may not. I won't lose sleep over the latter.

Daniel from Johnston, IA

O, I get that the Jaguars got down big in their first two games, but they're a team that went 1-15, they're going to be down big a lot this year. Maybe they should just stick to the gameplan and ignore the score. Don't let the defense just come after Lawrence simply because the scoreboard says they can. Keep playing in the third and fourth quarter the way you wanted to play in the first … no?

This question comes from the perspective of someone who expects the Jaguars to be bad – and to lose – because they lost 15 games last season. While the Jaguars have lost their last two games, coaches and players are not looking at the season from that perspective. They want to do everything possible in every game to win. As they should.

John from Jacksonville

Hi KOAGF - On Friday morning, we'll wake up to the Jags being 1-3. They will have squeaked out a win in one of these next two games. I can't figure out which one but the losing streak will finally be over. Are you feelin' it, too?


Garrett from Jesup, GA

You recently answered a question about whether Lawrence has a longer leash and is seen with rose-colored glasses by stating that he's A "Generational talent and the ability to make plays above the Xs and Os." Can everyone who keeps saying stuff like this let Trevor prove it in the NFL? As of yet he has not proven these statements.

He absolutely has shown these things. He has not been consistent and he has not done these things often enough, but he without question has done them.

Rodney from 'round here

Johnny Zone, Bo said a running game is a quarterback's best friend. Can I please be a senior writer's best friend?


George from Blue Ridge

John, will there be scrutiny because Jaguars owner Shad Khan selected a college coach rather than an experienced NFL coach?

There is scrutiny whenever an NFL owner hires a head coach. But certainly there will be scrutiny over Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer for that and multiple other reasons.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, just between me and you ... Do you expect us to get beat Sunday as bad as they've ever been beat?

Just between me and you, no.

Austin from Jacksonville

How much does Urban Meyer miss Travis Etienne? Do you think this has anything to do with the lack of rush attempts thus far? The dynamic he would bring with speed and agility is very much missed in my Madden game.

Sorry about your Madden game, but in real life – or what passes for real life in the NFL – I absolutely think the Jaguars miss rookie running back Travis Etienne Jr. I can't in good consciousness say the Jaguars' offense would be dramatically better were he not out for the season, but the plan definitely was to attempt to use his speed and explosiveness.

Jerry from Amelia Island

Do you think Cowboy fans wanted to bench Aikman his first season in NFL?

Of course.

David from Broward County, FL

We expect the rookie mistakes from Trevor. Sometimes looking overwhelmed and rookie bad throws etc. But the rest of this team is not loaded with rookies. Through two games, this team looks unprepared and dysfunctional, to say the least. Something else that really bothers me is what Vic Fangio said that Urb said to him after the game last week. Urb told him that the NFL was like playing Alabama every week. Did Urb not know this and why the heck would he say that to a 30-plus year NFL veteran coach? Fangio clearly didn't like it and none of us Jags fan should either. What is going on here?

The Jaguars had a bunch of pre-snap penalties and communication issues that indeed made them look unprepared in the regular-season opener, issues that weren't nearly as evident in Week 2. I suppose we'll see where that goes moving forward. Regarding what Meyer told Denver Broncos Head Coach Vic Fangio last Sunday regarding Alabama … it's frankly beyond me that this "bothers" people so much, and it strikes me that people are again looking for things not to like about Meyer. I went back and listened Fangio's quote regarding what Meyer said. Fangio was simply making a point that "favorites" and "records" mean nothing in the NFL because every team is good. Fangio didn't seem upset by Meyer saying it and nothing about Fangio when relaying the anecdote indicated he "didn't like it." He merely seemed to be stating the truth – that there are no easy games in the NFL and that in that sense it's different than college. Fangio didn't indicate that Meyer was surprised by this. It was simply what it was – a couple of NFL coaches stating the truth. I wonder when this sort of thing started bothering people so much. Probably around the same time people started feeling the need to be bothered and critical of everything. Get off my lawn.

Marc from Oceanway

I'm surprised by all the angst regarding Trevor Lawrence. How long has it been since we have had as beautiful an opening drive as we did on Sunday? That drive alone gives me great hope. I expect a talented rookie to do better on a rehearsed and scripted drive and am not surprised he has struggled outside of that this early. I am impressed with his pocket presence and his downfield awareness. I am going to enjoy this year and watch Trevor grow. All signs in my view still point to greatness. I am even more assured of that now than I was before the season.

Good eye.

Mark from Greenville, SC

How come rookies start on other teams and have an immediate impact yet just about any rookie on the Jags has to "season" in order to be productive?

Sometimes it's a positional thing; certain positions such as running back often contribute quickly in the NFL. Sometimes, it's an individual thing; some players need time to develop and some don't. And sometimes it's a selective-memory thing, as evidenced by me receiving this question in September 2021 when defensive end Josh Allen made the Pro Bowl as a rookie for the Jaguars in 2019 and when Minshew quarterbacked six victories for the Jaguars as a rookie the same season -- and when running back James Robinson rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a rookie for the Jaguars in 2020.

Robert from Oneonta

Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio told reporters on Wednesday that after the Broncos beat the Jaguars in Week 2, Meyer told him that the NFL was like playing Alabama — a college football powerhouse — every week.

You have the interweb, I see. Very cool. Is yours high speed or dial up?