Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

O-Zone: Never easy

JACKSONVILLE – Look-Ahead Wednesday.

Let's get to it …

Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Some fans have short memory. Trevor already looks better than the last three quarterbacks. Give him a break and hope nobody breaks him.

This is now officially The Hot Button Jaguars Issue, and it could remain so for a while. That means we're probably going to overanalyze, overthink, overstress and overeverything about it for the foreseeable future – and understandably so, considering rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence's short- and long-term importance to this franchise. There's no way to sum up all points of this issue in one question and answer, but know this: Lawrence has struggled in some areas in recent weeks. He must improve his accuracy. He's also a rookie and going through some learning on that front. There are some plays where his mistakes have been obvious, and he has missed some throws. That's undoubtedly part of the issue for an offense scoring 11 points a game in its last three games. The absence of running back James Robinson also has hurt the offense, because defenses don't have to fear the running game as much. That doesn't help Lawrence, either. But the major issue for Lawrence and the offense remains the receiver position. There have been too many drops by all Jaguars skill players, and the lack of separation – and lack of playmakers – at receiver have caused the offense to have to operate in shrunken field. It's the equivalent of always playing in the red zone, which is a difficult task for even veteran NFL quarterbacks because of the compressed nature of the area. Bottom line: We're not going to come to a definitive answer on What's Wrong With Trevor Lawrence in this space in the coming days. He's a rookie with limited tools around him. He must play better and he will improve. There's no reason at this point to believe he won't. Stay tuned.

Tim from Jacksonville

So, the offensive line is better than we believe, eh? They have backups playing at two positions and who could tell the difference? What it tells me is our starters are no better than their backups from what is essentially a 1-15 offense from last year. My only hope is Trevor actually survives this poor decision by the people in charge.

The Jaguars' offensive line for the most part this season has been fine. The offensive line for the most part last season was fine run-blocking and OK pass-blocking when quarterbacks sensed pressure, maneuvered in the pocket correctly and didn't run into sacks. The offensive line for the most part was fine this past Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

Roger from Heidelberg, Germany

Oh, dear. Looks like the victory over the Buffalo Bills last week was just a sweet dream. I don't know if it was such a good idea to let T-Law be the starter right away and to let Gardner Minshew go.

Oh, please.

Roscoe from Rhodesia

Mr. O - NBC stats show that the Jaguars only have eight dropped passes for the season. Why does everyone say "dropped passes" are a problem?

Because dropped passes are a subjective and there's no real official statistic. Pro Football Reference currently has the Jaguars with 14 drops in nine games, which feels more accurate than eight but which still feels low. If you watch the games, there's little question dropped passes are an issue. They're not the only issue, but they're an issue.

Matt from Elk Grove, CA

I think it's safe to say now that a true No. 1 wide receiver is the top priority next year.

Yes – and short of that, one or two wide receiver who can truly strain a defense.

Kevin from Jacksonville Beach, Fl

Hey O. Knowing our weakness at wide receiver, why do you think the front office let OBJ clear waivers? Everyone keeps talking about how our receivers cannot create separation. I know he's a diva and brings baggage, but even if it was for one year he could help. The longtime fans deserve better than this.

I don't know enough details about wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to know if he truly brings baggage. I do know that the Jaguars at this stage of this building process have little-to-no interest in renting a player for a little more than a half a season.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

Here we go again. Bench or cut Trevor Lawrence? Did Trevor commit all those offensive penalties? He doesn't have a single receiver that would compete for the X or #1 receiver spot on any other team. I thought Marvin Jones Jr. was a great idea for the third receiving option. The field is compressed and we have seen this before in Jacksonville. We have more experience with that than we should. The receivers aren't separating or getting open and they're dropping balls. I don't know what Lawrence is supposed to do. He needs to improve as a rookie, but I don't know how much we can expect with nobody to throw the ball. It's going to have to be a big focus on the offseason maybe the biggest focus.

Good eye.

Art from Drexel Hill, PA

Whoever thought Laquon Treadwell, Tavon Austin, and Phillip Dorsett would be better than Keelan Cole and Collin Johnson fits the classic jaguars decision making.

I would have liked to have seen the Jaguars keep Cole, who is now with the New York Jets. I expect he will be a productive receiver in the NFL for several more seasons. I liked Collin Johnson (now with the New York Giants), too, though that's still based more on potential than any serious production.

Sam from Nottingham, UK

Early days, but the last two drafts (Trevor Lawrence aside) are looking pretty toothless. I will give the front office credit, however, in that a number of the free-agent signings look very good. Cornerback Shaquill Griffin, defensive tackle Malcom Brown and in particular safety Rudy Ford look like crucial parts of the jigsaw moving forwards. Question, given the hits in free agency and the misses in the draft, why don't the Jags front office take a "Rams-esque" approach and try and trade their way into contention. Granted the OBJs and Von Miller's might not want to come here just yet, but another Rudy Ford or Malcolm Brown probably will!

If you try to trade and free agent your way into contention, you risk an aging roster with little depth. You're also favoring pricey personnel over more-affordable personnel, which is difficult in the long-term. The Rams-esque approach typically is not sustainable. Maybe the Rams will sustain it. We'll see.

Josh R. from Fernandina Beach (via Ft. Lauderdale)

The improvement on the defensive side of the ball gives some hope for the future. Perhaps fewer pieces are needed than was originally believed. If the defense from the last two weeks shows up regularly moving forward, I feel we could be a couple of receivers and an ETN away from being a respectable team. Anyhow, thanks and Go Jags!!

The Jaguars' offseason focus must be on improving the receiver position dramatically. I would expect heavy emphasis on the position in free agency, which can be a difficult path because true elite players are difficult to find in free agency for the simple and obvious reason that teams don't often let true elite players sign elsewhere. I also would the Jaguars to address it early in the 2022 NFL Draft. This can be tricky because wide receivers historically face a difficult transition from college to the NFL. This trend seems to be lessening a bit in recent seasons, and it's not impossible to find quick impact at the spot in the draft. But it's a priority. A big one.

Justin from Iowa

In player conversations, whether it's Andre Cisco versus Andrew Wingard at safety, Walker Little versus Cam Robinson at left tackle, the answer is the coaches play the person that gives the team the best chance to win. That's logical and part of me wants to stop there. But when I see live-tweeting during the game – "Drop 4," "Drop 5" – it makes me wonder what is done to send a message to those that are underperforming or dropping those passes. Do we give Jeff Cotton Jr, or John Brown or Josh Hammond some playing time to see if they can provide a spark, at the same time telling the other wide receivers that those drops shouldn't be acceptable?

NFL wide receivers know drops aren't acceptable; they don't need to be told. We could see a player such as Brown – acquired last week – get an opportunity once he's ready in the offense. But coaches generally are going to play the players they believe have the best chance to succeed. If the coaches believed Cotton or Hammond were better than Laviska Shenault or Jamal Agnew or Marvin Jones Jr., they would have played already.

Zac Austin, Tejas

Next game is not looking as certain...

No NFL game ever is …