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O-Zone: Only having fun

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Let's get to it …

Andy from Newark, NJ

How long, if at all, will the starters play this Saturday?

I don't expect the Jaguars' starters to play much – if at all – in their Preseason Week 2 game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich., Saturday. This is only a guesstimate and should not be taken as inside information. The guesstimate is based on the starters getting significant repetitions in the joint practices against the Lions this week. Head Coach Doug Pederson considers those repetitions perhaps more important than in-game preseason repetitions because they were in controlled situations and therefore very valuable for evaluation/practice. Considering there are now only three preseason games instead of four for evaluating younger players on the bottom of the roster, I would expect Pederson play the young players extensively Saturday and get the starters extensive "warm-up" work for the season in Preseason Week 3 against the Miami Dolphins at EverBank Stadium next Saturday.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

Yasir might contribute early.

This references Jaguars rookie outside linebacker Yasir Abdullah, perhaps also alluding to my longstanding reluctance to believe players will contribute as rookies. Not that rookies never contribute significantly, but experience has taught me to limit expectations in this area. It's just that the difference between college and professional football is that great, and the transition is that difficult. But some rookies can contribute in certain roles, and Abdullah has the feel of a player who can make at least a noticeable impact as a pass rusher. He has natural pass-rush moves that seem to translate to the NFL. I wouldn't expect Abdullah to be a double-digit sack guy as a rookie. But does he look like a player who can affect the passer in the regular season immediately? Yes, he's starting to have that feel.

Robbie from Jacksonville

I still have nightmares seeing Frank Wycheck wide open over the middle or back of the end zone. How do today's Jags solve the open middle of the field?

Rush, apply pressure and cover well.

Tom from Nocatee

What if the losingest NFL team playing was coached by an all-time terrible NFL coach, like, say an Urban Meyer. Would the outcome still be the same?

That professional team in this scenario would beat the best college team because of the same reason all professional teams would beat the best college teams – size, strength, talent, etc., etc., etc.

Sean from Jacksonville

I'm a man of few words.

Sometimes the world throws us a break.

Dave from Jacksonville

KOAF, Wizard can you give us a comparison of development between the two No. 1 overall picks at quarterback that you are witness to this week. Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff is a couple years older now than Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, but both are physically about the same size. Can you notice a physical difference between the two that comes with age or a skill difference that distinguishes one from the other? Can we foresee any future for Trevor based on Jared?

Goff unsurprisingly is a bit "thicker" and therefore sturdier than Lawrence. This makes sense because Goff is six years older than Lawrence. People naturally thicken – senior writers, particularly – in their 20s, and NFL players add strength and sturdiness because of offseason training, nutrition, etc. I don't know that Lawrence's build will ever be as "sturdy" as some quarterbacks. He's 6-feet-6 and comparatively lean. At the same thing, he never has shown signs of anything close to fragility, which leads one to think his build and bulk may not be a major issue.

Big on Blake from Philly

Zone, I'm so glad you and Mike brought up color rush. I remember that Buffalo Bills-New York Jets game. I was watching with my friend who is a huge Bills fan. First play from scrimmage, Jets on offense, quarterback steps back throws a pass and Boom! Interception. I was celebrating and wondered why my friend was not. Turns out I couldn't tell the difference between a Jet and a Bill. That was a tough watch for me. So this brings me back to my last question and I think I figured it out, have you been sending me emails with red type on a green background this whole time? I'm sorry for accusing you of not making good use of my email entry and verification for these submissions. Deadish Zone On!

Did you not get them?

Jorge from Edmonton, Alberta

Is there any chance Nathan Rourke can play well enough in preseason to take the backup job? I live in Canada and watched him in the Canadian Football League and the guy makes all the throws and has much higher upside than C.J. Beathard imo.

Rourke had a nice game in the preseason opener last Saturday and a very memorable play. I don't yet have a sense that the Jaguars' quarterback depth chart will change before the start of the regular season. But the NFL is about competition and winning. Let's see where we are in a week and a half.

Bill from Jacksonville

John, I had an epiphany on Saturday night when Trevor Lawrence threw what appeared to be a terrible interception on his first pass attempt. With a talent such as Lawrence and aggressive coach such as Doug Pederson, Trevor is going to throw some picks he shouldn't and Doug is going to run some trick plays at inopportune times. That's just the way it's going to be, and that's ok. Brett Favre threw more interceptions than anyone, and no one loves to run trick plays more than Andy Reid. So I hope Trevor lets it fly and Doug has The Annexation of Puerto Rico keyed up. My body is ready.

While I would caution epiphanies experienced in Preseason Week 1, there's some truth to what you say. All NFL quarterbacks, particularly young ones and even great ones, throw ill-advised interceptions. Sometimes they throw them in big moments. And NFL coaches make decisions that don't work. Even great ones, and even ones that win Super Bowls. The key is how they overcome those mistakes and keeping them to a minimum.

Jim from Middleburg, FL

Hey, John. It took a long time, but the Jaguars seem to have a lot of outstanding football players. How did that change? We been drafting high and playing real low. Management change? Or just better footballers. DUUVVAL

The Jaguars first selected Trevor Lawrence No. 1 in the 2021 NFL Draft and he began developing, improving and playing closer and closer to a franchise-quarterback level. Quality play at that position lifts all other positions. The Jaguars also have done outstanding signing unrestricted free agents who have raised the talent level. They also for the most part appear to have drafted well and are developing well. Hey, one fer General Manager Trent Baalke. Credit where it's due.

Brad from Orange Park, FL

I saw you mentioned not ruling anything out as far as the guardian caps becoming mandatory for regular season play in the future for the NFL. My question is how would that impact teams' logos better mg visible on their helmets? Would we see designs on the caps themselves, or would distinction to teams' helmets just go the way of the dodo bird?

There are creative people in this world. I expect one of those creative people could figure out how to put a logo on something visible in the name of player safety.

Tony from Richmond

You say the Jags' brass isn't worried as much about the pass rush as everyone else. Do you mean kind of like when they weren't worried about the wide receiver room when we had Cecil Shorts III or Marqise Lee or Keelan Cole running around as our WR1? Or maybe like when they weren't as worried about trading away/cutting all of the cornerbacks on the roster because they were confident Chris Claybrooks and Tre Herndon could carry the load? Kinda like those times?

I say the Jaguars aren't as worried about the pass rush as everyone else because they like the players along their front seven. They believe players such as lineman DaVon Hamilton, Roy Robertson-Harris and Foley Fatukasi and outside linebackers Josh Allen, Travon Walker and Yasir Abdullah and a few others can pressure the passer and affect the pocket. Perhaps they're right. Perhaps they're wrong. Whether past front offices were right on similar issues doesn't have much to do with the discussion. If you're inferring that the front office should make moves because fans and observers believe they should … the reality remains that you can't run a team that way. Fans fan. That's fine. But there's an adage that general managers who listen to fans wind up sitting in the stands with them. That's a wise adage.

Doug from Jacksonville

A dancing in the streets reference. Gary might be wrong ... you might not suck.

For all I know, he may be wrong, but he may be right.