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O-Zone: Jealous again

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Brandon from Duval

John, do you think Trevor could or should run more? I know we shouldn't want it, but he's the prospect he is because of his athleticism as well as his throwing ability. I know we all want our quarterback to win from the pocket, but the scramble when applied sparingly and wisely can really take the sails out of a defense playing well.

This has become one of the Big Topics of the week as the Jaguars prepare to play the Denver Broncos in the 2021 regular-season home opener at TIAA Bank Field Sunday – and I expect when and how much Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence runs will be a topic for the foreseeable future. As your question indicates, Lawrence's running ability is significant – and that mobility indeed was among the reasons he was selected No. 1 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, as well as being among the reasons he was a generational prospect. He ran just once for negative two yards against the Houston Texans in a 37-21 loss this past Sunday. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell emphasized on Thursday that the Jaguars absolutely weren't intentionally limiting Lawrence's running and essentially said that the idea is for him to run when situations call for him to run. Bevell also emphasized that a priority for Lawrence must be running smart – i.e., knowing when to protect himself at the end of runs. So, yes … I expect Lawrence to run more moving forward. There won't be many called runs and he shouldn't be taking many hits. But when it makes sense, he will run.

Joy from Sadsville

They have now put the Jaguars as the most likely to pick No. 1 overall. Looking at one win or worse. Why should we not give up? This organization gives nothing but pain and sorrow to us fans. I guess as long as Khan and Goodell make $1 who cares right?

I don't know who "they" are, though I'm sure they exist. I also am relatively sure the voices in my head are aliens, and that my most trusted financial and legal counsel is the one-legged, cross-eyed dog (him a good boy…) that roams the neighborhood with the drifter I pass on my daily walks. Either way, I understand your frustration. The Jaguars haven't won enough over the last decade. That's not reflective of Jaguars Owner Shad Khan's desire to win, and nothing – repeat: nothing – in his history as Jaguars owner indicates a lack of desire to win. He has spent big on coaches, players and staff. He has given coaches and staff resources to win. Just because that hasn't happened doesn't mean all he cares about is money. It's a common argument, one borne of fans frustration, but it is nonetheless a baseless one.

Micah from Chicago, IL

I think of it this way. We almost went 0-16 last year. A year after the Lions went 0-16, they went 2-14 with a new head coach and a rookie quarterback. Then it was 6-10. Then it was 10-6. Is that a reasonable expectation?


Jordan from Mandarin

No coach is above criticism, and I usually don't care what the national media says about the Jaguars, but my gosh do some of these writers really want to see Urban fail. I read many articles and power rankings saying after one game that Urban is a bust and the Jaguars need to move on quickly. These are national media pundits from big sites and they sound more like fans. It's weird.

Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer is an easy target. He's high profile and polarizing – and if media writes about him, people will read it. He knows this. It doesn't seem to bother him. It's also not going to change.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, do you think all the issues from our first game can be fixed before game two?

All the issues? Almost certainly not. Can enough issues – particularly penalties and preparation – get fixed in a week? Yes. And if the Jaguars fix those issues a lot of other issues will take care of themselves.

Chris from Mandarin

This is a very early take, but I think you will find that it will turn out to be a correct one. The Jaguars will have a new offensive line coach next season. Bet the house, it's cool.

We'll see.

JT from Palm Coast, FL

I feel like this season needs to be truly judged in two halves for fans. The first half is going to be about learning and adjusting to NFL speed for both quarterback and head coach. The second half of the season we should see improvement at the very least. Am I off base on this thinking?

Not entirely. It's fair for fans to expect the head coach and coaching staff to adjust to the speed of the game very quickly – and it's fair for fans to expect far fewer avoidable mistakes and a cleaner game than was the case in Week 1. It's also fair to expect Lawrence to look better as the season continues.

David from Chuluota, FL

KOAF – How many players on the current 53-man roster weren't with the team last year? I suspect, the roster turnover would make this team significantly different than the one that had a 1-15 record.

There were 22 new players on the Jaguars' active roster entering Sunday's regular-season opener, which is about six or seven more new players than you would get in a "normal" new NFL season, so yes … it's significantly different. At the same time, remember: eight offensive starters from Sunday were Week 1 starters last season, so maybe not that different?

Bradley from Sparks, NV

The Jags always seem to get behind early, commit costly penalties, and lose the turnover battle. Do you see this long-term trend continuing all year?

Not if the Jaguars expect to win. Or even compete.

Aaron from Jax

O, please pardon my feeble football mind, but many fans, analysts, and media members are pointing to the fact that UM was "outcoached" on Sunday. What does this mean? Could you please point to the evidence as examples to help me understand why UM is already a bust after a single NFL start??

I don't believe Meyer is or will be a bust in the NFL. But when analysts analyze coaching, it's easy to point to pre-snap penalties and communications as examples of coaching. When things go wrong on this area, it gives analysts a reason to point at coaching and things went very wrong for the Jaguars in those areas in Week 1. I expect they will go better in Week 2. We'll see.

Roy The Transporter from Ridgewood, FL

John, after the draft, but before the preseason I predicted 6-11 record for the Jags. After watching them play in the preseason I predicted 3-14. Now, after watching that debacle on Sunday I predict the jags go 0-17. Let's hope I'm wrong.

Yes. Let's hope so.

JT from Palm Coast, FL

Carlos Hyde is not better than James Robinson at this stage in their respective careers. Robinson needs to be used more than him. Hopefully Urban Meyer doesn't hamper the team in name of loyalty.

I have received a few emails along these lines this week – and through you're probably correct that Robinson currently is the better of the two backs, I'm not sure I understand the urgency of many of the emails. Hyde and Robinson both rushed effectively splitting their limited carries on Sunday and neither looked that much better than the other. The issue for the Jaguars' running game Sunday was the early down-and-distance difficulties and the double-digit deficits late in the first half and throughout the second half. Who was or wasn't getting carries really didn't come into play.

Rob from San Antonio, TX

KOAF, just read your piece with Shaq Griffin … maybe I'm crazy, but it almost sounded like he was saying "players, not plays" hmm…

No. It's always coaching in the NFL. Ask anyone.

Rob from Milton, FL

I believe the league and fans elsewhere as a whole are jealous of what we have in Coach Meyer and Trevor Lawrence. No rookie won this first week. Teams all over the league looked bad. Our line looked terrible, but they had not played as a team all preseason. Yes, it looked bad. It's one game, I can't wait for Game 2. Whatever happens I know we have a chance to win now and a bright future. So when will it be brighter, I ask? Thanks.

I believe national media and national fans often criticize and make jokes about the Jaguars because the franchise and city are an easy shot. I also believe the Jaguars have played poorly enough in recent seasons that a lot of national "shots" are to be expected. I don't believe the league and fans elsewhere are "jealous" of the Jaguars having Meyer and Lawrence. Maybe that will be the case eventually. But not yet.