Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

O-Zone: No-friend zone

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Keith from Saint Augustine, FL

Hi, John. Do you feel some Jags fans have become spoiled rather quickly? I just don't get it. After enduring years of really bad rosters and records, we've finally achieved back-to-back winning seasons, an AFC South title and an improbable comeback playoff victory. From my perspective, the roster appears young and talented with more wins than losses in our future. Yet, many sound as if they would like to show the door to the general manager and coach. I can only guess some fans are just frustrated last season's results didn't match their SUPER expectations.

This requires a specific answer regarding popular opinion – and my experience answering questions in this forum tells me this is a fool's game. This fool's thought on the matter is that Jaguars fans aren't spoiled, exactly – and neither are they silly or out of line to expect more from the franchise. There indeed was a general feeling among Jaguars fans following the heady 2022 AFC South Championship season that the dramatic improvement shown that season would continue on an interrupted ascension and result in nothing but deep postseason runs – and possibly Super Bowl victories – for the foreseeable future. This feeling understandably grew during 2023's 8-3 start. The 1-5 finish and missed playoff appearance therefore felt particularly gutting. That finish indeed seems to have caused many Jaguars fans to forget that the team has had winning records the past two seasons, and that it has been in contention for the division title in the last two regular-season finales. They also seem to forget that the roster is infinitely better than it was three or four seasons ago. "Just" having winning records isn't necessarily "good enough." And Jaguars fans have every right to expect more. But clamoring to show Head Coach Doug Pederson and General Manager Trent Baalke the door does seem a bit overreactive.

Brian from Round Rock, TX

I believe the value of the draft is at the top. There are finds to be had after Round 3, but they are basically gravy. Assuming one pick per round, I'm guessing around 40 percent of the value is in Round 1, 30 percent in Roind 2, 20 percent in in Round 3, 10 percent in Round 4 and approximately 0% the rest of the way. I think judging a draft should follow this expectation. What say you??

I say you're probably right – or at least pretty close to right. I also say I now have one of those headaches I used to get trying to follow along in pre-cal.

JK from New York and Fernandina Beach, FL

John - I am thinking the Jags' fifth-round pick, running back Keilan Robinson from The University of Texas, could potentially be an impact player this season out of the backfield, slot or on returns. He may be a sleeper. From his tape, it looks like he has the speed and moves to get into space and then off to the races, but a bit concerned about his size and whether he can take NFL hits. What say you? P.S. I will miss Zay.

The Jaguars see Robinson as a potential immediate contributor on special teams, and I expect he will get a chance to be a third running back/third-down back depending on how quickly he adapts to the NFL and learns the offense. We'll see how his body stands up to the NFL. P.S. – I also will miss former Jaguars wide receiver Zay Jones. I enjoy covering players who appear to appreciate the opportunity to play in the NFL and who have their careers in perspective. Jones was certainly that.

Darwin from Cebu, Philippines

Howdy, KOAF! What are the Jags planning to do on both the left and right guards? I'm surprised about the selection of Javon Foster of Missouri. Seems like we're stockpiling too many tackles. Do we have enough guards, or do the tackles currently on the roster can slot right into any of the guard spots?

Regarding "stockpiling too many tackles," remember: Left tackle Cam Robinson and swing tackle Walker Little are entering the final seasons of their contracts, so some stockpiling at the position makes sense. Regarding the guard position … Brandon Scherff (right) and Ezra Cleveland (left) are the likely starters in 2024, and Little has played guard quite a bit in three NFL seasons. I also expect 2023 seventh-round selection Cooper Hodgers to have a chance to be the swing guard. The Jaguars also recently re-signed veteran guard/center Tyler Shatley. Never, ever forget Shatley.

Zach from Jacksonville

If you ever need an underwriter for a day or two, I got you. I think I've got the formula down. Jaguars make a move, I piggyback off a fan's comment and use it to write a mini-article summarizing case in point. Throw in a little snarky reply here, maybe a little goofy reply there, and then throw in some opinions on what I see them doing for a couple others. Finish it off with the last question being what I title that day's "Zach Zone."

I thought you said "undertaker" at first. It didn't change how I viewed the question. I just thought that was what you said at first.

Benjamin from Jacksonville by way of Upstate SC

O-Zone Readers: Thank you for the streak! We love the streak! We love your dedication to the O-Zone! Also, O-Zone Readers: 1 p.m., John? What the *expletive?*

Fans fan. It's what they do.

Don from Marshall, NC

Shad Khan bought the team for $770 million and now it's worth $3.5 billion. He could have moved the team and he didn't. Now it seems the city has reached a deal for a new stadium. Congratulations to the team and the city! Movin on up!

When it comes to Jaguars Owner Shad Khan and the team's future in Jacksonville, Don remains correctly "all in."

Bill from Bostwick

O-Zone, the Jaguars' offensive line has been maligned as middling the last few years. I found Los Angeles Chargers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh's comments on drafting an offensive line over a "weapon" for the offense very thought-provoking. He said he views offensive lineman AS a weapon and the "tip of the spear" for the offense. Makes sense to me. In baseball, you can never have enough pitching. With the Jaguars and its franchise quarterback, it seems the mantra should be to never have enough quality offensive linemen. O-linemen get hurt every season. Do the Jaguars have enough quality depth and competition, particularly among the interior offensive line?

The Jaguars have five offensive line starters with extensive starting experience – Scherff, center Mitch Morse, tackles Anton Harrison and Cam Robinson and Cleveland. All either cost big free-agent money, significant draft capital or both. They have two other interior linemen – Shatley and center Luke Fortner – with extensive starting experience. They also have a second-round swing tackle in Little with extensive experience as well as a rookie fourth-round selection (Foster) and a '23 seventh-rounder Hodges. That's nine experienced or recently drafted linemen. Does it mean the line will be great? No. But that's a perfectly acceptable commitment of draft and free-agent equity on the offensive line.

Brad from The Avenues

You know John, after 66 years on the planet, I have come to realize that you couldn't pay me enough to be a general managers in the NFL. One fer every guy that ever accepted the job.

One fer all the general managers.

Lawrence from Blair, NE

I think people need to expand their minds about how things can be done. We can all be told to make a cake. Many will get there with completely different ingredients. Most will just buy the box cake and follow the instructions. Baalke believes his recipe is best for the cake they are trying to make. It's what he's paid to do. Let him do it. Second, I found myself thinking about how ridiculous it is that players pay life-changing money to other players just for a number on their jersey. Hearing Jaguars rookie defensive tackle Maason Smith refuse to divulge more information about it because he didn't want to step on anyone's toes, and he'd just be grateful for whatever he gets, really touched home. Tons of character in this draft class, would you agree?

It doesn't bother me all that much when players pay exorbitant money to a teammate for a uniform number. Most of these guys are grown-up kids and are suddenly wealthy beyond anything they've previously experienced. They're excited and rich and numbers are important to them. I wouldn't spend my money on a number. But it's not my money. There are sillier and more dangerous ways to spend it, I suppose. As for the character of the draft class … it indeed seems at first glance like a good group. Rookie minicamp begins Friday.

Marcus from Jacksonville

You put my question first in two consecutive O-Zones. Does that make us best friends?