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O-Zone: Jade scorpion

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Michael from Columbus, Ohio via DUUVAL

Peeking ahead to next year, I see some salary cap issues. Looking at the rest of the division, THIS was probably the SEASON for a Jaguars deep playoff push. Losses like this and seasons like this are painful and frustrating!! Where do we go from here??

I suppose I understand people thinking this was a season for the Jaguars to push for – and deep into – the postseason if you base that off the overall state of the AFC South; the division does seem a bit down this season – except for the Tennessee Titans. But I just never saw this as a season which the Jaguars realistically should have been expected to contend. This was a young roster with a young quarterback (Trevor Lawrence) in a new offensive system under a new head coach (Doug Pederson). It also was a roster trying to build from back-to-back seasons of 1-15 and 3-14, the worst records in the NFL in each season. The roster was depleted and largely without drafted core players. As much as the Jaguars tried – to do and did – in the draft and free agency last offseason, trying to build from the state of the roster/team last season to a mature/contending team in one offseason is extremely difficult. A key word in the last sentence is "mature." It's one thing to fill needs. It's quite another to have a roster with the right sort of mature, playmaking core leaders at the right positions. When General Manager Trent Baalke and Pederson talked last offseason talked about needing to develop and re-sign homegrown talent, that's what they meant. It's hard in the NFL to win consistently with a young roster with everything new. The Jaguars are trying to build toward a mature roster. That takes time.  My sense is that Pederson believes they will be much closer to maturity next season, and that Lawrence will be better in Year 2 in his system than he is this season. That doesn't mean they won't try to win or can't win more games this season. It does mean there will be higher expectations and a better chance to contend in 2023 than was the case in 2022.

WJBIII from Yulee, FL

Any thoughts on the passing of Tom Coughlin's wife, Judy?

Yes. Judy Coughlin, wife of former Jaguars Head Coach Tom Coughlin, died early Wednesday morning at age 77. I didn't know Judy as well as many who were around the Jaguars from 1993-2002 because I worked for the Florida Times-Union as opposed to being inside the team on a daily basis. But I did in that capacity have the opportunity be around Judy on multiple occasions. I covered the team with Pete Prisco – now with CBS Sports – and the relationship between the newspaper and Tom Coughlin wasn't always friendly and was sometimes contentious. Judy was always as genuinely gracious, kind and classy as could possibly be imagined – which completely lines up with everything I ever have heard said regarding her. She was always smiling, and the love she and Tom shared was obvious. You always looked forward to seeing her and came away from any meeting with her feeling good. She has been described as a rock of the Coughlin family and a force in any community in which she lived, and those seem fitting descriptions. My thoughts, condolences and heart sincerely go out to Tom, the entire Coughlin family and all who loved her. Hers was a wonderful soul.

Don from Marshall, NC

Fans seem to be worried about themselves a lot. The Jaguars are a better team than their record and they are just getting started. They are coming along pretty good. The have some holes to fill but not many. Fans want the coach fired and the quarterback to take a long walk off a short pier. Calm down. It is not that bad and you are overreacting. Go Jaguars, for crying out loud!

One fer perspective …

Bill from St. Augustine, FL

Sorry. Trevor is not the answer

… and one not fer perspective, I suppose.

Diego from South of Tierra del Fuego

Diego likes to pick winners using a very simple method. Which team has the better quarterback? Having said that, looks like Jaguas are doomed to lose the rest of the season. In your heart you know Diego is right. Time to jump off the TL bandwagon and face reality. Go Jags.

Lawrence had his roughest game of the season this past Sunday in a 21-17 loss to the Denver Broncos. It was one of the roughest games of his career. He struggled in many ways and if he had done a couple of things differently the Jaguars probably would have won. He shouldn't have thrown the pass when he was intercepted in the end zone in the first half, and he appeared to lose confidence after that. It was a bad game. He hadn't played that poorly often – it at all – previously this season. It doesn't mean he will play that way moving forward. Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders feels like a big game for Lawrence. You would like to see him make better decisions in big situations and handle adversity better. Sunday against the Broncos was rough on those fronts.

Tom from The 'Ville' (Burnsville, NC)

July me: "I'd be happy if we're just competitive." October me: "On second thought..."

I sense this is a common phenomenon among Jaguars fans, but how couldn't it be? Improving sounds great when your team wins four games over two seasons and gets blown out in a bunch of losses. When reality strikes and your improved team loses a bunch of close games … well, that sucks because losing sucks.

Fred from Naples, FL

Regardless of Calvin Ridley's status for next year the Jags gave up a 2023 fifth-round draft choice to te Atlanta Falcons in this week's trade for the wide receiver. Do you think they have a pretty good idea that he will be reinstated for 2023?


Brian from Greenwood, IN

Are the Jaguars allowed to talk with Ridley? Did they get an opportunity to interview him, and ask him questions?

No. Because Ridley is suspended by the NFL the Jaguars could not do those things before this week's trade.

Jason from North Pole, AK

I love the low-risk, high-reward nature of the Calvin Ridley trade and from his social media, he seems excited to be coming here. My only concern is I'm worried the Jaguars will see their wide receiver position as "fixed" and not spend premium draft equity at the position in May. If they don't, and Ridley isn't the answer, then we are back at square one.

I don't know how the Jaguars will spend their draft equity in 2023. I do know that there's a decent chance they will have some positions other than wide receiver at which selecting a player with first-round talent will make sense.

Jason from Green Cove Springs, FL

Hey O! Is it better to have a higher draft pick or go on a late season winning streak with no chance of playoff contention? At this point, in my opinion, it's probably just better if the Jags just keep losing. Especially considering the Jags struggle to pick players in the top 10 draft choices, they would probably really struggle to hit with a pick after that. Wouldn't winning from here on out be pointless and counter-productive?

Nine games remain this season. This is a young team that needs to learn how to win. Winning would not be pointless or counterproductive.

Ben from Cuba, MO

O', I think the fans rushing to judgement of Lawrence need to remember that we've held a lead in every fourth quarter if I recall correctly, which places a lot of blame on the defense, too. That means Lawrence has had us in the position to win every game. His mediocrity has been good enough to make every game winnable. He had us within a touchdown of beating the Philadelpha Eagles while committing five turnovers. I'll take it this year, next year not so much.


JT from Palm Coast, FL

I fully expect the recently shutout Raiders to take advantage of our mistakes and miscues. I also expect them to take the lead late in the fourth. Finally, I expect the defense to not get off the field and Mr. Lawrence to throw a boneheaded interception to lose another close one. I'm fully jaded with this team now John.

Fair. The Jaguars have lost all six games by a score or less. They have allowed a go-ahead touchdown in the last six minutes of four consecutive losses in four weeks. They have had red-zone turnovers in three of the last five weeks. It's almost mind-blowing how close this team has been to winning pretty much every week this season. How could a follower of this team not be a little jaded?