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O-Zone: One hundred or so

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Joe from Jacksonville

William in Jax Beach, you are not the only one that thought the combine as a whole was a snooze. I mean Caleb Williams declined everything, including being medically checked out. What do you think of that decision by Caleb? Smart? It screamed NBA to me.

My first thought is many teams likely thought it wasn't a great look for Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams to decline being examined medically at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine this past week, and my second thought is he and his representatives likely care little about how he looked because some team will select him very early in the 2024 NFL Draft anyway. As for the combine overall, my sense is Williams' actions likely represent the beginning of a growing trend. I expect more and more top players to reject much of the combine, and I expect there will be little teams can do about it. I also expect the combine to decrease in importance at least a bit in the coming offseasons with teams relying more on in-game generated measurables – and less on combine-type drills – to evaluate players. The continuing trend of some head coaches skipping the combine won't help the event's profile, either. I don't know that we'll see the combine cease to exist. I do sense it could be approaching a change in scope.

Fred from Naples, FL

Former Jaguar Nick Sorensen just got promoted to the defensive coordinator position for the San Francisco 49ers. Really happy to see a future head coach continuing his climb. Really good dude!

Sorensen, who played with the Jaguars from 2003-2006, indeed has been named San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator. He not only played those four seasons with the Jaguars, he spent 2021 as the team's special teams coordinator. I didn't cover the Jaguars when Sorensen played here, and because he coached here only during the "lost" 2021 season, I didn't get to know him well during that time. I've heard great things. Good for him. Here's wishing him success.

Hermun from Live Oak, FL

O, Koaf. Lest we forget, it's all thanks to Mike Mayock for showing off how smart he was by taking Clelin Ferrell at No. 4 that let us draft Josh Allen.

I won't forget.

Marc from Oceanway

I noticed something glaring during our game in Tampa this year. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence scrambled while holding the ball with one hand. It stood out to me because when Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield ran, he ran while holding the ball with two hands. Could the solution to Trevor's fumble trouble be that simple?

It sure couldn't hurt.

Don from Marshall, NC

Ridley was a little rusty, but definitely a top receiver last year. Maybe they franchise him, but a second-round pick is no little thing. Just doesn't seem to be enough slices in the pie for him with the Jaguars. He will bank if he becomes a free agent. Hate to lose that guy, though! Go Jaguars!

When it comes to whether the Jaguars should or will re-sign wide receiver Calvin Ridley, Don sort of remains "all-in" and sort of isn't "all in" and is overall just sort of "all in." Don's like a lot of observers on that front.

Bradley from Sparks ,NV

I give Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke much of the credit for the Jags rise from awful to competitive and very little blame for the collapse last year. However, in nine NFL drafts, he has never really hit one after the second round. I know that on average there are only about 50 players that end up being even five-year starters and probably 30 of those are first and second rounders, so it's not easy picking in any round but he is one for 70 (post-Round 2) with maybe eight of those pending and just for comparison his replacement in San Francisco (six drafts) hit linebacker Fred Warner in Round 3, tight end George Kittle, linebacker Dre Greenlaw, safety Talanoa Hufanga in Round 5 and quarterback Brock Purdy in Round 7. Maybe they should let Press draft after the 2nd round.


Sal from Austin, TX

Could we get some stories besides "Trevor Lawrence sucks/doesn't suck, Baalke and Head Coach Doug Pedersen suck/don't suck, the interior of the offensive line, and outside linebacker Josh Allen and wide receiver Calvin Ridley will/won't come back"? How about catching up with linebacker Ventrell Miller and outside linebacker Yasir Abdullah, or cornerbacks Erick Hallet and Christian Braswell, or running back Tank Bigsby and wide receiver Parker Washington, or defensive tackle Tyler Lacey and right tackle Anton Harrison, or wide receiver Elijah Cooks and safety Rayshawn Jenkins, or maybe cornerbacks Montaric Brown and Greg Junior? I thought center Luke Fortner's rookie season was better than solid, and I'm sure a lot of people, myself included, are interested in hearing what he would have to say about his second year as a pro.

It's a long offseason. We're in the contractual/recap/draft speculation phase. The catching-up with players for their thoughts and outlook is next. Stay tuned.

Matthew from Townsville, Tropical Australia

Hi, O. Various members of Jags media team have been getting high 5s in the Zone. I want to add one for Kainani Stevens. No knock on the previous reporter, who was great in her own way, but Stevens is just so professional and insightful. When everyone was saying, 'Hey, we're winning don't worry in the first half of 2023, Stevens was saying there was a pattern of mistakes that will cost the team.' And she was right. She tells it like it is, as well as nicely ribbing you guys at the right moments. A real star addition to the team.

One fer Kai.

Bradford from Orange Park, FL

Help me out here, please. I've recently seen and the league's social media accounts boasting of Mahomes' admittedly astonishing seven of seven conversion rate when driving the field in the fourth quarter/overtime of playoff games to tie/take the lead and leaving a minute or less on the clock. Tom Brady, for comparative perspective they go on to explain, was five of 11 in emerging victorious facing the same circumstances. Coupling that with another of their equally heralded and celebrated fun facts, that the Chiefs' offensive lines in their last two Super Bowls wins have not been penalized for offensive holding. This, if I have it correctly, after having been at least midway to top third of the league during those respective regular seasons in being flagged for that same penalty. Does that not give way to a least a little bit of legitimate hesitation to believe Mahomes hasn't gotten help? It's not sour grapes. I'm not saying he isn't great. His pocket presence and escapability certainly are. And how could you consider his perfected execution of an inevitable and faultlessly called play in the waning moments of playoff games anything but? But while embodying perfection to also maintain flawless fortune in something he can't control on the biggest stage(s) with little to no room for error, every single time? Especially with all the NFL has at stake in its ever-exploding gambling market, I'm a little incredulous it allows its own online outlets to shout metrics like these from the rooftops.

I just kind of thought the league's social media types were making note that Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes plays well late in games and in the postseason.

Marc from Oceanway

No more Moodachay!? Say it ain't so John, say it ain't so.

There's Moodachay. There's always Moodachay. What's Moodachay?

Dakota from Dupree, SD

Defense still wins championships. Brady's best teams had great defenses. Kansas City this year had a Top 5 defense. San Francisco, good defense. Don't great quarterbacks still need a good defense on the other side to be one of the elite teams in this league?

It's very difficult to win the Super Bowl these days without an elite playmaking quarterback and a top defense. You need the elite quarterback who can make an above-the-Xs-and-Os play in a few big moments to get in and through the postseason. You need a top defense that can get the other team's presumable very-good-to-elite quarterback off the field in a few other big moments. There are exceptions, teams that sometimes manage to win without or the other, but they're relatively rare.

Kevin from Nashville, TN

Why don't the turf experts at the combine help the players select shoes that help keep them from skidding all over the field? The athletes look like polar bears wearing ice skates.

I don't know.

Jay from So-Cal

You field a lot of questions in the offseason. What is your O-factor telling you for the percentage of people writing you who you think are smarter than?! A percentage will do...

I try to answer most questions here in the O-Zone as honestly as possible. Sometimes to do so would be very unwise.