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O-Zone: Hobby oasis

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Brian from Wheeling

It might just be because I love the Jaguars and I'm always expecting the best, but … it feels like everything finally is coming together for Trevor and he's going to have his best season yet (as long as he stays healthy )🤞🙏. I've always had a good feeling, but this year we're definitely taking back the division title and not stopping just there.

All indeed seems good these days for Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence. He is entering his fourth NFL season and he is entering his third season in Head Coach Doug Pederson's offense. He has enough experience in the league and in this offense that the game should seem slow to him compared to his first few seasons. That should lead to his decision-making improving – and becoming quicker – and he should look more fluid/at ease in the pocket. Pederson this offseason has praised Lawrence's command of the offense, his approach and his leadership ability. This is all as it should be at this stage of Lawrence's career. The 2024 regular season starts in about three months. We will know then how much all this matters.

Bill from Jacksonville, FL

John, I think some of the angst with the fan base surrounding Trevor Lawrence can be directly tied to the expectations that were heaped upon him when drafted. Fans weren't simply told he was worthy of the first overall pick, would be a great player or was a franchise quarterback. Fans were told he was a "once-in a franchise quarterback," a generational talent. When they label you "generational" and you're just "good," that's going to create some uncomfortable feelings, right or wrong.

I suppose I've long since stopped worrying about or trying to explain "fans' feelings" about Lawrence, just as I can't control what fans "were told" about Lawrence. I can't tell you for sure how good he will be or how his career will turn out. He's good already. He had a stretch from midway through his second season to midway through his third season when he was really, really good. He wasn't as good late last season when he was dealing with injuries essentially every week. He's still young. He's still improving. He still has the potential to be generational. My thought is at minimum he will be really, really good for a long time. We will find out more in this vein in the next season or so. Enjoy. Or don't enjoy. Either way …

Sad from Happy Valley

Please tell all the NFL announcers to stop saying "line to gain" when they're presumably meaning the first-down marker. Thanks very much.

This seems to be a peeve of yours. There's this one guy from St. Augustine …

Scott from Aruba

Frenette as No. 1 is fine but who on earth doesn't put Boselli in their Top 5?

You're referencing a recent O-Zone email ranking local sports media personalities. Longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon and force of personality Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette unsurprisingly was first on the list because … well, because he's longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon and force of personality Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette. As for former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli … sure, he's in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but you need more than that to get on a list with a luminary such as longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon and force of personality Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette.

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

What kind of activities would the team's scouting department be engaged in now with the draft and free agency behind us? Is this a relatively quiet time where they can spend time and on vacation with their families before camp starts?

Scouting is a year-round game. And scouts, like most football people, are tied to the football calendar. Area college scouts, or road scouts, are on the road and working whenever colleges practice – so they're working hard during spring practice, summer practice and during the season. Other members of the scouting department use this "quiet" time to prepare and review video. And it indeed is quieter around the Jaguars during these few weeks compared to the months leading to the draft, with pretty much all NFL personnel officials and coaches then off from mid-June to late-July.

Dwayne from Jacksonville

Can we infer anything about the Jaguars not signing wide receiver Jarvis Landry? My hope is the Jags think the current stable of pass catchers is at least equal and/or has more upside than an aging veteran. But maybe a contract was offered, but Landry wanted more money? Or his skill set had declined too much? Or just taking a look in case he is needed midseason?

I wouldn't infer anything here. Veteran wide receiver Jarvis Landry participated in Jaguars 2024 Rookie Minicamp on a tryout basis and did not sign with the team. This drew attention for a few days nationally and there has remained some interest locally, but veterans sometimes try out for NFL teams. Sometimes, the circumstances are right for the player to sign. Sometimes, they're not. I don't say this is anything close to a knock on Landry, who had a stellar NFL career, but if a player is trying out for a team in April it's a long shot that he's going to be a major difference maker moving forward.

Biff from the Rough streets of Arlington

Regarding the meet up idea, you wrote, "I doubt people would enjoy it." Your humility, while admirable, is misguided, in this writer's opinion. In fact, I find you to be the affable King of All Folk. Or maybe it's the King of All Folk Music. Maybe both.

My bad. It's probably me that wouldn't enjoy it.

Nick from Palm Coast, FL

I wasn't able to hear who was hurt on Monday's questions with Coach P. I did hear they are going on injured reserve? Who got hurt and is it season ending?

Pederson on Monday confirmed a torn anterior cruciate ligament injury sustained by rookie wide receiver David White Jr. last week during OTAs. Pederson said it is expected White, who signed with the Jaguars as a collegiate free agent following the 2024 NFL Draft, will be placed on injured reserve and the injury almost is certainly season-ending.

Marty from Jacksonville

John, I love your column and I read it every single day. And now, if you will allow me, I'm going to beat this dead horse one more time. I heard Brian Sexton say rookie wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. will help this offense get in gear by stretching the defense. That's all well and good, but to me, the No. 1 way to get this offense in gear is to be able to run for a first down on third-and-short. That inability last year crippled our offense a lot more than the lack of a deep receiver.


Don from Marshall, NC

I thought Tank Bigsby was going to be good and I hope he does. He has the skill and power, it seems. Everyone speaks highly of him. The biggest thing I see that concerns me is how much of the ball I see when he runs. When he makes a move, the elbow moves away from his body. If you chicken wing it, the defense will knock it out of there. Go Jaguars!

When it comes to Jaguars second-year running back Tank Bigsby, Don remains kind of, sort of, but perhaps not completely, "all in."

JK from NY & Fernandina Beach, FL

John - I have watched a couple of the player interviews from OTAs and it seems there is a bit of a fire lit to take the team to the next level and redeem how season ended last year. What are you seeing on the field during practice? Is it just talk or is the fire real?

I am seeing in OTAs athletic players who are in good physical shape playing catch in baseball caps. I don't have a feel about their fire. I do expect the Jaguars to be motivated, organized and mentally ready when 2024 Training Camp begins in late July.

Zac from Jacksonville

I asked ChatGPT to write me a poem about the Jaguars based off the Oakland Raiders "The Autumn Wind" poem. Here it is The Southern Wind is a Jaguar, Graceful and fierce as night, With a silent prowl, he moves the field, Eyes gleaming with might. His coat is spotted golden, He strides with regal air, With a silent stealth that shrouds his path, And a growl that chills the air. He leaps as he roams the jungle, A hunter swift and sleek. And the shadows all sway and tremble in dismay, As he strikes in a heartbeat so quick. The Southern Wind is a Jaguar, Stalking just for the thrill. He'll pounce with force andno remorse, And roar when he's claimed his kill.

Here you go.