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O-Zone: Judgment time

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Steve from Nocatee from Ponte Vedra, FL

Mr. O. I'm trying to phrase this as a question. However, it's more of a statement. It's true that Cann had a hiccup that resulted in a sack. If each of the linemen just had one hiccup a game that would result in 85 sacks for the year. I'm sorry, O. However, perfect is good enough for me. Our acceptance level must improve in order for our Jags to improve.

Thank you for your statement – and you're right: The Jaguars absolutely should release every player that misses a block in a preseason game. Or that misses the block just a bit and has the quarterback not get the ball out to avoid the sack. Or that drops a pass in a preseason game. Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence held the ball too long a few times Saturday, so the team should release him. I once saw Peyton Manning throw six interceptions in a game. To the best of my recollection, this was between his second and third Most Valuable Player Trophy. It was absolutely before his fourth or fifth – and before his recent enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Either way, it's difficult to figure in retrospect why the Indianapolis Colts allowed him to fly home that night from San Diego when they easily could have released him. This is professional football, which means players beat other players. Not every player plays perfectly. It's impossible for every player to play perfectly. A.J. Cann is a good NFL offensive lineman. If the Jaguars were to release him this training camp – which they won't – they would probably spend the entire season searching for a player who's as good. But sure. Release him. Whatever. Do what you gotta do.

Kathy from Jacksonville

I have a question about recent transactions. They involve money and talent. Inside linebacker Joe Schobert was traded and there was mention of saving money. Tight end Tim Tebow was waived because of lack of talent in his position. Many have been encouraged by Tim Tebow. I remember Joe Schobert as standing out last year as a very productive player. He was an encouragement in a difficult season. Hearing about him being traded and hearing about Tim Tebow's poor showing caused me to question the Jaguars' ability to choose talent, also reminding me of the past when experienced players were traded to "save money." I had a pit in my stomach. When you asked what harm was done in giving Tim Tebow a try, I thought … well, it causes doubt in the team's ability to evaluate top talent in a position.

A lot of the outside talk and mentioning on these two topics is just that: talk. Schobert was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers more because of scheme fit than money; if the Jaguars thought he would be a major contributor this season, they would not have traded him. This staff didn't think he was going to play nearly as extensive a role as he did last season. I don't know that I necessarily agreed with the trade because it seemed Schobert at minimum would have been quality depth, but that was the reasoning. Tebow was waived because he wasn't good enough at age 34 to play tight end or special teams. For whatever other "talk" you hear, it's not significantly more complicated than that. As for the Tebow situation causing people to doubt the team's ability to evaluate talent … well, I can't control what you doubt and what you don't. I can tell you that giving one player at the bottom of the roster a chance doesn't mean a team can or can't evaluate talent. This regime appears at first glance to have drafted pretty well. We'll see if it keeps appearing that way, but that's a better gauge on this subject than how the team handled Tebow.

Brian from Douglas, GA

Meyer loves to put pressure on his players. Is it possible that he wanted that first play to result in a sack? That is the ultimate welcome to the NFL for a quarterback. Maybe he called a play that would take a little longer to develop? We all know pressure creates diamonds and I believe that is what Meyer is trying to accomplish with Trevor.

I don't believe Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer wanted the first offensive play of the 2021 preseason to be a sack on rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence. I can't imagine ever really believing that Meyer wanted the first offensive play of the 2021 preseason to be a sack on rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

Bradley from Sparks, NV

I'm a big fan of cornerback CJ Henderson. Are the Jags really going to trade him?

That's looking less and less likely.

Mr. Stone from Marianna, FL

Was Tim Tebow the only Heisman Trophy winner to play for the Jaguars?

Quarterback Andre Ware was on the Jaguars' offseason roster in 1995. He won the Heisman Trophy for Houston in 1989. Desmond Howard, the Heisman Trophy winner for Michigan in 1991, played for the Jaguars in 1995. Tebow was on the roster this offseason. Beyond that, no Heisman Trophy winner to my knowledge has been on the Jaguars' roster.

Dave from Jacksonville

Zone, who doesn't like Tebow's warrior spirit? At 34, he dropped all and gave it everything he had. He caught every pass I saw throw his way. He practiced every drill like his last. In the end, he needed those special teams practice. That basic instinct of a 22-year-old to throw his body hard into any situation was difficult for any 34-year-old. He was five inches smaller than every tight end in the room. He couldn't quite reach his hands out to grab passes. It was a lot to overcome. I personally rooted for Tim. He has worked with my brother in the past. We have a saying: Live legendary. Tim embodies that.


Nick from Jacksonville

If I recall a Google search I just did, the Browns had a 4-0 preseason once and then they went on to go 0-16 that regular season. Maybe too much stock being put into W/L in preseason. But then again this is a bad team trying to change a horrible culture, so maybe 0-3 will result in 0-17 or maybe 9-8 or even 16-1 (the only impossible thing is jags going 17-0)


El from Grass Valle, CA

Not a question here, but the more I see the more I want to work for Urban Meyer!

This is understandable. I didn't know much about Meyer before his hiring as the Jaguars' head coach – at least not beyond what I heard from media who had covered him and what I had read and seen on television. During the seven months he has been here, he has proven to be high-level motivator – and perhaps a higher-level communicator. He has done a nice job of inspiring confidence among players and fans – and a very nice job of resetting the culture of the organization. Does that make him seem an exciting person for and with him to work? No doubt.

Jason from North Pole, AK

I had hoped that people who saw Tim Tebow struggle to make the transition to tight end would then stop suggesting people like Blake Bortles, Collin Johnson, and the Culligan Girl can do it. But alas, fans gonna fan. When will people realize how incredibly difficult it is to block an NFL defensive end? Stop it!


Eric from New York, NY

Trevor's rookie hype often gets compared to Andrew Luck's, so I went back and looked at Luck's rookie year: nearly 4,400 passing yards on 54 percent completion rate, with 23 touchdowns, 18 picks, and 41 sacks. The Colts were outscored on the season, but still finished 11-5 and were then stomped in the first round of the playoffs. I see that as the absolute best-case scenario for Trevor and the Jags this year. Looking back at Luck's rookie year, what lessons should we as Jags fans take from that?

One lesson is certainly that anything is possible – even a record single-season turnaround with talented rookie quarterback. Another is just as certainly that a lot – maybe even everything – must go right for that turnaround to happen.

Marcus from Jacksonville

John, what is the learning curve for a former collegiate head coach in their first year in terms of understanding the talent that is needed to win at the NFL level? You've said for years that the worst NFL team would wipe the floor with the best college team, so obviously the talent level on an NFL team is much higher. I imagine when Meyer looks around and sees a team that is far more talented than even his best college teams, he thinks they're going to be great. So how does he know if he has enough talent to win at the NFL level?

When they start playing regular-season games.