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O-Zone: Never change

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Mike from St Augustine, FL

Did you notice all the throwing motion "flaws" that Chris Simms referred to? I thought Trevor was so let down by the receivers that he didn't trust them to be in the right place. What say you?

I confess I didn't hear Chris Simms of Pro Football Talk recently discussing Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence's throwing motion "flaws." I didn't purposely not hear this; I just don't listen to everything all NFL analysts say about the Jaguars, not even analysts so renowned as Simms. I don't know that Lawrence has the purest throwing motion in football history. I suppose there are flaws. But I didn't see anything in Lawrence's motion last season that made me think he was or is technically flawed anywhere near the point he can't play at a high level. The best overall approach when analyzing Lawrence may be to wait until the end of the 2022 season – or at least until a few games are played in that season. It's hard to imagine the mess around this team last season didn't negatively affect him on some level. How much did it affect him? How would he have looked in a normal environment? How will he look moving forward? Who knows? But let's give him at least a few games this season. At that point, we'll have a better idea about his flaws and ultimate potential.

Johnny from Westside, via East Palatka and the Navy

The NFL measures for first downs, but how often is the ball placed incorrectly (if only by a few inches) on, say, a second-and-six, which (by dint of those few inches) results in a first down or a turnover on downs later in the same drive? Is the same attention given to placement on every play? Sometimes (I just watch on TV) it appears the ball is placed rather haphazardly. Thanks.

Officials place the ball for more than 100 plays per game for every NFL game every season. Every placement is not perfect to the inch. This doesn't mean the ball was placed haphazardly. It means it's impossible to be perfect to the inch on every play. Does this sometimes result in a missed first down later on a series? I suppose. Every game can't be officiated to the inch. There are human elements to sports. It's played by humans and officiated by humans. It's the nature of the game.

John from Pacific, MO

Just a shout out to you and the entire Jax media team. The depth and quality of coverage is first rate. I look forward to the daily O-Zone and all the weekly podcasts, Drive Time, Happy Hour, Huddle Up, Jaguars Reporters and all the Podcasts. For a Jags fan who lives far away, your coverage helps me stay informed. A big thumbs up to all!

Word.

Dn from Port Charlotte, FL

Why do the Jags suck?

The Jaguars have been bad for a while. They have been really bad – the worst team in the NFL – for the last two seasons. So yeah … the Jaguars have sucked in recent seasons. This has been true for many reasons. My sense is the Jaguars are doing things right with Doug Pederson as head coach. My sense is he's the right guy for that job. My sense is Lawrence is the right quarterback and that he will start showing it this season. If those two things are true, the Jaguars won't suck anymore. Stay tuned.

David from Chuluota, FL

KOAF - According to Wikipedia: In 2015, while with the Kansas City Chiefs, following a 1–5 start, Andy Reid gave Pederson play calling duties. The Chiefs proceeded to win their last 10 games. This success earned Pederson the head coach position with the Philadelphia Eagles the following season. The Chiefs' season appeared to be headed for an iceberg before Pederson righted the ship! That's a pretty impressive stat! Do you know if those 10 games represent the entirety of his play-calling history?

Those 10 games don't represent the entirety of Pederson's play-calling history. He also called plays as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles from 2016-2020.

JR from The Squatchlands

Zone, in this lull of football action, I thought I'd recommend a video to you and your content starved enthusiasts. ESPN's 30 for 30: Who Killed the USFL. It's on YouTube. A little old, but well done and highly entertaining. Have you seen it?

Yes. I was highly entertained.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

Isn't this a contract year for Jawaan Taylor? If so, could that factor into his willingness (or lack thereof) to move to a different position?

Taylor, a right tackle and a second-round selection by the Jaguars in the 2019 NFL Draft, indeed is entering the fourth and final season of his rookie contract. A couple of thoughts on his willingness (or lack thereof) of moving to a different position. One: Taylor currently is expected to compete with second-year veteran Walker Little at right tackle and there's far from any guarantee Taylor won't win that competition. Because of that, there's no guarantee he will be asked to move positions. Second: While Taylor did say after last season he didn't want to move to guard, he was asked this the day after a long and difficult season. To portray that as a Taylor absolutely and forever not being willing to move is perhaps extreme. My guess is if he doesn't win the right tackle job and the Jaguars want him to move, he likely will move. He likely wouldn't love it, but he likely would do it. Maybe that's wrong. We'll see.

Brian from Gainesville, FL

Big O, what is your general thought about how players, coaches, and executives in the NFL view fans? Do you think they understand that fans are the very reason there is an NFL in which to play, coach and work – often for substantial amounts of money? I ask because it seems there is a lot of negativity aimed at fans from some stakeholders in this league. Perhaps we deserve it; fans gonna fan, after all. But it doesn't seem to make good business sense to vocalize that negativity. I don't know. Perhaps it increases the drama. In your interview on your podcast with Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke recently I got the sense that he saw himself as above the fans in a way. To be fair, there was a massive campaign to take the man's job away, but still.

I got no sense from Baalke that he considers himself above fans. I do know that any general manager must separate himself from caring about what fans and observers think to do those job effectively. As an old NFL adage says, "Those general managers and coaches who worry about what the fans think will soon be sitting with them." Or something like that. That doesn't mean fans, players and coaches don't understand the importance of fans. It just means you can't effectively do your job if you're overly concerned about what fans are thinking and saying.

Steve from Nashville, TN

You recently wrote that Jamal Agnew should only see "spot duty" in 2022. I see, however, he is the third highest-paid receiver on the team behind Marvin Jones Jr. and Christian Kirk. Should not he be contributing on offense in 2022, or because our defense will be so much improved he will have many more punts to return instead of watching kickoffs sail over his head for touch backs so he needs to be fresh?

I expect Agnew to contribute on offense in 2022. Perhaps he will do so extensively. I expect the Jaguars' receivers will be improved and healthy enough that he will be used sparingly there and extensively on returns. We'll see.

Rob from Jacksonville

To be clear, I only expect modest gains in the win column and agree that your idea of six-to-eight wins seems right, but does last year really have anything to do with it? I mean for any team, not just the Jags. NFL teams are not really teams anymore, just the latest collection or talent and leaders. To that point …. I'd be equally unshocked at 13-4 or 4-13.

Fair point. At the same time, this team has had the NFL's worst record two consecutive seasons. It seems fair to want to see the Jaguars win seven or eight games before predicting them to do so. Also: Lawrence must show he is making the strides to the level he and the team expect. If he is showing that early in the season, who knows what this team can achieve? If it takes him some time …

Dave from Jacksonville

Zone, Why do you refer to the upcoming season as next season? John, the year is 2022 and the season is 2022, which means it is this season. You got it?

You may be right on this. Maybe I'll change. Maybe I won't. I'm stubborn that way sometimes.

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