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O-Zone: No matter the level

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Gary from Jacksonville

Not a question, but more a statement: This is a young team making corrections. Doug and his coaches will get it right. It will take time.

Not a question, but more an answer. It feels from this perspective that you're right. The Jaguars in Head Coach Doug Pederson's first season are 2-5 with four consecutive losses – with all five losses by a score or less. That statistic gets repeated here and other forums enough that fans tire of hearing it. Many fans also correctly note that close doesn't matter in professional sports, and that only winning matters. All this is true. But Pederson believes in the direction of this team and it feels as if players believe in that direction as well. Pederson has made clear in multiple public comments that he believes continuity and experience together are very important in the NFL, and the Jaguars don't quite have those things yet. Every indication is that Pederson believes quarterback Trevor Lawrence and the entire offense – and indeed the entire team – will improve once this continuity with players and coaches happens. The positive within this for Jaguars fans is you're already seeing improvement. Games are being decided in the final minute whereas that was rarely the case last season. The offense is seventh in the NFL after being in 26th last season. They are a play or two – a mistake or two – here and there away. They are closer. We'll see where it goes, but it feels like progress and it didn't feel like that in recent seasons.

David from Ada, OK

The problem with these close games is I feel overwhelmingly that we'll lose if we get behind because we can't do that. Either the defense will give it up, or T Lawrence will start overthrowing or simply fail to get a TD in the red zone. It feels hopeless and sad. Even worse than blowout games. It's just you have hope until the opponent has the lead. Then turn it off.

This is a fair feeling because this is how most Jaguars losses have gone this season. While Lawrence has looked better in the fourth quarter in recent weeks than he did early in the season, the team has yet to close a close game. It's on the team to close out a game and make you feel differently.

Mark from Ponte Vedra Beach and Section 111

Although not winning is frustrating, the offense is definitely better. When the Jags are third and eight or longer this year, they have a decent chance of converting. In the previous five or so years there was almost no chance.

Good eye.

Art from Williamstown, NJ

If we had a time machine to go back to the draft, would you still make the deal for Devin Lloyd or would you keep your second rounder and draft wide receiver George Pickens? I know Lloyd is a good young linebacker who is preforming, but not having an X receiver who can win deep is killing the offense and our most important player.

I said and wrote multiple times before the 2022 NFL Draft that the Jaguars' biggest issue wasn't who they would select No. 1 overall as much as it was not having four of five selections in Round 1. My point was that the Jaguars needed many positions at the time. They still have some critical needs. That's an admittedly roundabout way of saying while the Jaguars do still need an X receiver who can win deep, they would need a player such as Lloyd if they hadn't drafted him. Just as they need another elite cornerback. And other elite positions. The Jaguars probably would benefit from having Pickens, but it doesn't feel accurate through seven games to say he would have been a better selection for this team than Lloyd.

Crash from Glen St. Mary

O Man! I think the Big Cats can still win the division. The Texans? Done. The Colts with a rookie quarterback? Nope. The Jags will be rockin' and rollin' when they play the Titans later this season. I predict a sweep and a division title.

Crash remains "all in."

Ron from Orlando, FL

Trading a starting running back for a conditional sixth? How Jacksonville of us.

The Jaguars traded running back James Robinson to the New York Jets this week for a sixth-round selection that reportedly will become a fifth-rounder if he rushes for 600 or more yards. Robinson was not the Jaguars' starting running back and a conditional sixth-round selection for a running back nearing the end of a contract isn't unusual compensation.

Brendan from Yulee, FL

You must be in love with Zac from Texas. You post his questions every single day, while questions from other interested readers go by the wayside. I might start siding with Gary.

I am not in love with Zac from Texas.

Red from the O-Zone Comments Section

Riddle me this, o wise one - if running back is a devalued position then why did the Jags use a first-round draft selection on Travis Etienne Jr.?

Fair question, and many teams and draft analysts believe a general rule of thumb indeed is to not select the position in Round 1. The exception is if the player is a difference-maker who can consistently change games. Etienne in the last three or four games has shown signs of being that sort of difference-maker.

Gary from Fleming Island

Trading Robinson is certainly not a "win-now" move. It feels more like a move by a general manager that likes having the first pick of the draft so he can build for next year.

I can't control how it feels. That's not what it was.

Wade from Westside

This organization has made some questionable moves. Drafting quarterback Blake Bortles No. 3 overall. And later re-signing Blake. Reaching for a project player with the No. 1 overall pick, trading away Minshew for peanuts and now again trading away a key member of the team for next to nothing. The Robinson trade will likely go down as the worst move this organization has ever made. I do not get why this organization is determined to produce a bad product.

Trading former Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II was not "trading a key member of the team for next to nothing" and the Jaguars don't see the Robinson trade that way, ether. I would be stunned if trading Robinson goes down as the worst move this organization as ever made.

Michael from Middleburg

Griffin to IR ... should be outright released.

The Jaguars placed cornerback Shaquill Griffin on injured reserve this week with a back injury, meaning he will miss at least four games. While he struggled mightily in his last game – a Week 6 loss to the Indianapolis Colts – I would be surprised if Griffin is released this season. His salary-cap figures indicates that there's a good chance he will not return for next season. We'll see.

Logan from Wichita, KS

The team is still in the bottom 10 of the NFL. If the rebuilding stays on track, we should be hopeful. They should be middle of the road in 2026. Then by 2027 they may even reach the playoffs. Everyone just needs to be patient and not expect any happiness for the next four years. Let's not rush anything! If the jaguars are still rebuilding and not successful by 2032, maybe we can start to get a tiny bit upset. But till then, let's just kick back and enjoy the losing while it lasts.

Who in the world said anything about 2026 or 2027? The Jaguars were 1-15 and 3-14 the past two seasons. It was fine to hope they could jump from those depths to the heights of the postseason in one season, but to expect to happen … well, that would be expecting a lot in the first season of a regime. Expectations will and should be higher next season. Either way, no one expects anyone to enjoy the losing. That would be silly.

Scott from JACKSONVILLE

Shaq Griffin to IR? That escalated quickly. Considering Shaq said this was an issue since training camp, but it never showed up on an injury report, who gets in trouble for not reporting it?

No one. NFL teams must report injuries that affect players' practice status – i.e., if a player is limited in practice or misses practice. Many NFL players practice and play through many issues. Griffin practiced full much of the season until Indianapolis.

Nick from Virginia

I coach middle school football and we frequently lose games. The parents keep asking me why we lose, why our line can't block, linebackers miss tackles, and our quarterbacks throws interceptions. I tell them we spend all week teaching, and it's up to the players to execute in games. Is this principal fundamentally different in professional football? Am I missing something?

It's always coaching in middle-school football.

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