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O-Zone: Keen eyes

JACKSONVILLE – So begins Year 11.

Let's get to it …

Dave from Jacksonville

Did you see the Trevor/Manhertz chest bump after touchdown hookup late? Wouldn't you just want to see that again 10-to-15 times this season? Maybe even for the next five seasons? That was a pretty good chest bump.

You're referencing a post-touchdown celebration between Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence and veteran tight end Chris Manhertz late in a controlled scrimmage Saturday on Day 9 of Jaguars 2021 Training camp – and yes … it was a cool celebration. Damned cool, in fact. I wouldn't have called it a "chest bump," because both Manhertz and Lawrence both turned away a bit before contact and therefore bumped hips and sides more than chest, but hey … we're nitpicking. It was a wonderful show of celebration and mutual appreciation between two excited, optimistic athletes. As far as Manhertz and Lawrence connecting for many, many touchdowns this season … yes, that would be cool for the Jaguars and their fans. I don't know if we'll see it 10-to-15 times, but if Manhertz catches between five or seven touchdowns from Lawrence and develops into a legitimate red-zone threat … yes, I imagine coaches would take that production. Maybe even for the next five seasons. Give or take.

Rich from Dacula, GA

The preseason games start this week. In the past, clubs were using the third week of preseason as their dress rehearsal. Do you think it will be the same?

I'm honestly still trying to get a feel for this – and I don't know that there's going to be a "standard approach" for preseason playing time around the NFL this season. The usual approach in recent seasons has been for teams to play front-line players minimally – if at all – in Preseason Week 1, increase the repetitions for those players the following week and indeed use Preseason Week 3 as a dress rehearsal. Preseason Week 4 then almost always was for deciding roster spots for marginal and younger players with established players usually playing nary a snap that week. I do get the idea that most teams might stay with Preseason Week 3 – now the finale – for the dress rehearsal; there is now a bye week where Week 4 games were previously played. I would expect that dress rehearsal to end immediately after halftime to allow roster evaluation throughout much of the second half of that game. What I'm less certain about is how coaches will manage playing time in Preseason Week 1 and 2. I would think we will see less time for starters in those games and more evaluation. We'll see.

Alex from Orlando, FL

Is Chris Manhertz the tight end version of Greg Jones? He looks like a physical specimen.

He's impressive. Former Jaguars fullback Greg Jones was a different, special – and frightening – kind of physically impressive, but sure … Manhertz is impressive.

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

O-Zone. Scrimmage time, bayyyyyybeeee!!! Are you jacked?

Yes. Yes. A thousand times yes.

Nancy from Negative

How much stock should really be put into the "winners and losers" thing really? I mean the team was 1-15 last year. The defense was Godawful and the offense was no better. What does it really mean if a loser beats another loser? It's like bragging about having the most teeth in a meth house. No one cares and you are still a disgusting loser until you get clean and win actual games!

I suppose this was an effort to be funny or "to keep it real" – as kids are fond of saying these days. OK. Yes. The Jaguars were bad last season. There was 1-15 record to prove it. But the Jaguars have made changes that they believe are improvements. Is Head Coach Urban Meyer not supposed to coach and use all the motivational tools he values to the maximum degree because the Jaguars weren't good last season? Is that really the solution? The Jaguars need to win this season. Meyer knows this. But perhaps we can let him coach the way he wants before we call the players disgusting losers? Perhaps?


Fans fan and that's all good. I will chime back in in September. Until then, when safety Andre Cisco, offensive tackle Walker Little and the rest of this draft class destroys the NFL, who will get the credit? My answer. URBAN MEYER. Deal with it, people, he is the real deal.

You go, girl.

Wade from Westside

In your opinion who will be the difficult cuts?

Wide receiver. DJ Chark Jr., Marvin Jones Jr. and Laviska Shenault Jr. have pretty much established themselves as the top three players at the position. Laquon Treadwell and Phillip Dorsett II have stood out at times in camp, and wide receiver Collin Johnson had a very good day Saturday. Jamal Agnew will certainly be a factor, and those aren't the only receivers who have made plays. Rookie Jalen Camp has flashed at times, as have others. This will be one to watch come the end of next month, and I expect the practice squad to be used extensively to keep multiple players the Jaguars like – and who deserve to be around the team in 2021.

Tim from Section 123

Quick health update, my wife and I are nearly fully recovered. No oxygen supplements needed and we are well on our road to recovery. Thank you for your kind words and thank you to anyone out there who prayed for us- we are truly walking miracles. Maybe it's just me but the fun energy and excitement heading into this Jaguars season is truly tangible. It just feels fun. Thank you to Shad Khan and the entire Jaguars organization for what is certain to be a memorable year! Go Jaguars and go get those vaccines everyone!

Good stuff. Again.

Dave from Jacksonville

Wizard, does Jalen Camp earn a roster spot? He caught my eye in each of the practices I've attended. Collin Johnson looked good for a minute then had two late drops.

I expect Camp – a rookie wide receiver selected in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft – to either be on the regular-season roster or the practice squad. Johnson, a fifth-round selection in '20, had his best day of camp Saturday. It wasn't perfect, but he certainly looked better to the untrained eye than he had the first eight practices.

Jason from North Pole, AK

Seems like there's a lot of players whose starting jobs or roster spots aren't safe who didn't scrimmage Saturday?

Does it? Chark and left guard Andrew Norwell missed practice with minor injuries, but I don't get much of a sense that they're in danger of losing jobs or not making the team. Wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. missed Saturday for personal reasons, but I don't sense he's in danger of not being among the top three receivers. I suppose defensive tackle Taven Bryan could fall into your category, but beyond that …

John from Jacksonville

Gardner Minshew II has stated emphatically that he wants to be the starter. While his motivation and determination are admirable is any NFL team seriously going to trade for him and name him the starter? Probably not. He is well aware that he's a twisted ankle (or broken collarbone) away from being a starter again. He was impressive against the Kansas City Chiefs when he stepped in for Nick Foles. At the moment, isn't this the best situation he could be in?


Tom from Shanghai, China

If Jaguars rookie offensive tackle Walker Little forces his way to a starter spot and Cam Robinson can't (and shouldn't) be released, what do you think is most likely outcome if the rookie continues to impress? RT? Guard?

I think you're asking where Robinson will play if Little earns a starting role. My guess would be perhaps right guard, though it's conceivable the Jaguars could move Jawaan Taylor from right tackle to right guard in that scenario and play Robinson at right guard. We're ahead of ourselves here, but those are possibilities.

David from Maplewood, NJ

Zone, what the Jags really need is to sign a few more free-agent wide receivers, I think we are short. We don't quite have a full dozen yet. How is this not ridiculous? Does anyone tell him no like ever? Randy Moss is available. Let's give him a call, too

What's ridiculous about it? The Jaguars have signed a lot of wide receivers during 2021 Training Camp. They had six wide receivers out of practice Friday and at least five out Saturday. If they hadn't signed more, they run a huge risk of the healthy remaining wide receivers running too much and also getting injured. It may seem unusual and silly to you. It's actually a smart and necessary approach to preserving the health of players on the roster.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, is it just me, or are we signing an unusual amount of receivers?

You're the only one who noticed. No, wait. David noticed, too. That makes two.