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O-Zone: No experience necessary

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Daniel from Omaha, NE

Even though I live in Omaha, I have been a dedicated Jags fan since 1995. Am I being unrealistic to believe that the Jaguars will make the playoffs this year? I think our defense will keep games close and our offense is much better than some people think.

I don't believe the Jaguars will make the postseason in 2022. I agree the defense should be improved and keep games closer, and I agree the offense will be improved. Remember, though: the Jaguars' offense was unusually anemic last season at 14.9 points per game. The Jaguars can improve dramatically from that and still not be elite. I believe the Jaguars' offense will be potent at times, but I don't know that it will be consistently explosive enough to maintain pace in offensive shootouts – and the reality is that offensive shootouts happen in the NFL these days no matter your level of defense. The rules are simply skewed that far in offense's direction these days. I have received some flak from readers in recent days for continually saying I don't believe the Jaguars will be in the postseason. This team was 1-15 in 2020 and 3-14 in 2021. They were uncompetitive. A lot. There's a long way between that and contending for a double-digit victory season. I don't believe the Jaguars will be there this season, but I believe they will progress toward that and be much better than they have been in the last two seasons. Let's start there and see where they go.

Tommy from Jacksonville

I am a little perplexed at the overreacting criticism of TL. He is a young quarterback who misses some throws, but who makes big-time throws that we haven't seen around here in a long time. He is only going to get better on Head Coach Doug Pederson's watch. He is the best quarterback we've had in a long time. There is good young talent on both sides of the ball. As they learn to finish and close out games, they will learn how to win. I for one am choosing to enjoy the process because I know there better days ahead. I think we as a fan base it has been so bad for so long we focus on the negative. Truth be told, there is a lot to like about the direction this thing seems to be heading … stay tuned.

I don't know how good Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence will become. I don't know how good this incarnation of the Jaguars will become. I do know this team appears to have the best chance of being good and improving since the 2016-2017 team. That team was special for a short time. This group has a chance to sustain its success because it could have a good, young quarterback. None of this is guaranteed. A lot must happen. But there is a lot of hope for what's going on around here. Here's one fer hope.

Brad from The Avenues

This is how to bold, John. Week 18, Titans at home, time and date marked as TBD. I predict Sunday Night Football for the division. Why? Because why the hell not?

Brad, safely and snugly back in his lane, is "all in."

Sam from Orlando, FL

What is your opinion of Trevor Lawrence's delivery and release? He looks like he pushes the ball out versus a nice smooth motion, I don't know why I didn't notice last year

My impression of Lawrence's delivery and release is that when he gets his feet set properly, the ball usually gets to the receiver accurately – and that he often makes throws that many quarterbacks can't make. Lawrence has seemed early in games to be a touch inaccurate, something that can be easily remedied. He for the most part this preseason has played well, as has most of the first-team offense.

Paul from Saint Johns

Is it me, or does Taylor look much better at right tackle now that Little is pushing him for the job? I know competition often times makes everyone better, but with one week to go who will be our starting right tackle? You don't think we continue to rotate once the regular season starts do you?

Jawaan Taylor has looked better this training camp and preseason – and yes, that could be because of the competition with Walker Little. As for the right tackle competition, I'll admit I was wrong on this one – as were many others. I believed entering camp Little would win the job, and I still believed until recently that would be the case. From reading the tea leaves, from interpreting the words of Pederson this week, and from speaking with far more knowledgeable minds than my own, I now believe Taylor will win the position. I do not believe Little and Taylor will rotate.

Crash from Glen St. Mary

Oh Man! Stock up! Get some Trevor Lawrence rookie cards while they are cheap!


Billy from Middleburg, FL

Is Travis Etienne eligible to win ROY? Also, I think there may be similarities between Jimmy Smith/Keenan McCardell and Zay Jones/Christian Kirk? Maybe? And how about Travis Etienne/Fred Taylor? A fan can dream when not fanning.

Etienne, despite missing his entire rookie season with a Lisfranc injury, is a second-year veteran and therefore not a rookie – and therefore ineligible to be Rookie of the Year. As for your second point … I know this makes me the old man shouting at clouds, but I covered McCardell, Smith and Taylor. Smith and Taylor were among the NFL's best at their positions during their eras – and I believe they were Hall-of-Fame worthy players. McCardell ranked among the NFL's all-time most productive wide receivers when he retired. Let's let Etienne get an NFL carry and Jones/Kirk play a few games together before we start comparing him to the aforementioned trio. Now, please make those clouds go away. And please remove thyself from my lawn.

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

Will the completion of the Miller Electric Center next year allow the Jaguars to host a joint practice with a 2023 preseason opponent?

If the Miller Electric Center is complete, there's no reason the Jaguars can't host a joint practice beginning in 2023.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, it feels like the first time, in a very long time – perhaps even ever – that we seem to have a lot of players who just might become a superstars. Other than Trevor, who do you think we might have a future superstar?

It's incorrect to say the Jaguars never have had superstars. They had many superstars in the 1990s. As for this incarnation, outside linebackers Travon Walker and Josh Allen, cornerback Tyson Campbell, inside linebacker Devin Lloyd, Lawrence, Kirk and Etienne all feel like they have star potential. How super they become remains to be seen, but there's potential there.

Ross from Mechanicsville, VA

For roster evaluation purposes, it seems the Hall of Fame game is a good thing. True? Or just more chances for injury?

Yes, the Hall of Fame game gives a team more time for evaluation. It is also an increased chance for injury, which is a big reason Jaguars coaches opted to play few starters in this year's Hall of Fame Game against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Robert from Elkton

With the roster cuts coming in days, it would seem plenty of experienced offensive linemen would soon be available. Guessing it was only a seventh-round pick, but why make the trade for Cole Van Lanen right now? Was he that high on the Jags board when he came out of college? Not questioning the move, just curious as to the thought process.

I've received multiple questions about the timing of the trade for Van Lanen. Yes, the Jaguars could have waited to claim Van Lanen had the Green Bay Packers waived him next week. Yes, they could have waited for other linemen to become available. Why didn't they wait? They liked Van Lanen more than the other linemen they thought would become available and didn't want to take a chance on the Packers trading him to someone else. A seventh-round selection makes sense in that situation.

Mike from Neptune Beach, FL

More of a statement than a question. After reading the articles on regarding the first practice against the Falcons I decided to see what the Falcons website had to say. There was very little information to be found on their website concerning how the practice went. It made me appreciate the coverage provides.

I am the king of all funk.

Zac from Austin, TX

How common is it for NFL teams to have this young of a running back room?

Running back is a position for the young. The nature of the position gives it a shorter shelf life than any other position in the NFL, and experience is less of a commodity there than at any other position – to the point that it is barely a consideration.