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O-Zone: Professional and capable

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

JohnnyD from Cedar Rapids, IA

Same old Jags, this is gonna be a LONG season.

I'm not going to go on and on about this point, primarily because it seems so obvious. Nothing about a 28-12 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the 2022 preseason finale Saturday should remotely change your thought about how the Jaguars will fare in the regular season. That would have been equally true had they won or lost. Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson essentially played no starters, and Falcons Head Coach Arthur Smith took much the same approach. Preseason records do not indicate how teams will fare in the regular season. With the exception of how teams fare when starters are playing, preseason games are a pretty meaningless indicators of record – and even how starters fare in preseason isn't always a great gauge. When so few starters or front-line players play, as was the case Saturday, anything that happens in the game is essentially meaningless except to players trying to make the roster. Saturday was about getting to the regular season healthy. It was also about evaluating the bottom of the roster. That's it. No more.

Thrill from The 'Ville

While I'm not disappointed with the talent General Manager Trent Baalke has brought to the Jaguars, when a team has the worst record in the league two years in a row, any free agent move and every draft pick has the potential to be an immediate improvement. Acquiring enough talent to improve from two wins to eight-to-10 wins should be routine for any NFL general manager. The true challenge is infusing enough talent to move from to 12-to-14-win range with FULL CONSISTENCY. Once Baalke gets the roster to a place where it is competitive, do you think he has what it takes to then take it to the next level? Or is there a ceiling for general managers the way we often reference a ceiling with players? If Trevor Lawrence meets expectations at quarterback, I don't think he'll have to work any general manager wizardry. I'd think all he has to do at that point is not screw it up.

Wizardry is less important to success as a general manager than having a sound plan and making wise decisions. And having a good quarterback, of course. Baalke, despite a lot of noise late last season and early this offseason, appears to have a sound plan and to have made a lot of wise decisions. I don't believe general managers have a "ceiling." If they are fortunate enough to acquire great quarterback play, and are fortunate enough to hit on most early-round draft selections and handle contracts wisely, then that general manager's team quite often will qualify for the postseason. If the team is fortunate enough to be healthy and get favorable matchups, that team will have a chance to get to – and possibly win – a Super Bowl or two. I've seen nothing about Baalke to make me think he can't succeed as a general manager. A lot of it does depend on Lawrence. A lot of the success of most general managers depends on the quarterback. It's how football works.

Spazman from Jacksonville

Not trying to be a Donnie Downer, but I really haven't seen much from the Jaguars so far to give me a cause for optimism. I realize it is only the preseason, but if the guys in charge cannot judge talent of potential second and third stringers as well as their rookie free-agent signings, then why should we have any confidence in our starters?

Not trying to be mean or condescending, Donnie, but it is the preseason.

Vince from Farmington, NM

Mr. O. Something that has been consistent for way too long now is managing the second half. It has been a weakness for years now. I understand this is the preseason, but it doesn't inspire confidence or hope before we start this season. Am I making too much of this?

It was the preseason finale. Anything more than watching Saturday's game, shrugging, and turning it off, by definition is "making too much of this."

Sean from Jacksonville


This was sent Saturday during the second half of a preseason game. There is no "oof."

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, Do you think we found our kicker?

Jaguars rookie kicker James McCourt went two of two on field goals Saturday, from 54 and 38 yards. He looked good. I expect he will get the first chance at being the Jaguars' kicker this season. I asked Pederson about this after Saturday's game. He wasn't ready to say McCourt had won the job. Stay tuned.

Wade from Westside

Tim Jones deserves a roster spot. If it comes down to Laquon Treadwell and Laviska Shenault Jr., I think Treadwell is the better player. Any insight on who the odd man out will be?

Jones has led the Jaguars in receiving in three of four preseason games. Though preseason production is often a poor indicator of whether a receiver will make a roster, I agree it may be tough for the Jaguars to release Jones. If indeed the Jaguars choose between Treadwell and Shenault, I expect they will retain Treadwell. We'll see.

Zac from Austin, Tejas

There's a theory that you are your own plant in the questions. Some say you're Unhipcat. Others say you're Jarrell. Me? I know for a fact you're Gator.

I'm Zac from Austin, Tejas.

Tom from Charlottesville, VA

Recent interviews with various experts seem to have the same theme when discussing the great quarterbacks; they commanded respect because of their work ethic being first in last out and being a film "rat." You were there for the Manning years. Does Mr. Lawrence have the same study traits? He has the physical skills, but is he dedicated to being GREAT?

All reports are that Lawrence has a first-class work ethic and the desire to succeed. I have heard nothing to suggest he lacks in this area, and all indications are he is exemplary. I'm not prepared to say Lawrence has the same study traits as Peyton Manning, who set the standard in this area by which others are measured and did it at high level every day, every week, every season for nearly two decades. Lawrence is just starting his NFL career and learning how to get the most out of himself and his abilities. It's not a fair comparison.


And we STILL can't stop the screen!

Please refer to Answer No. 1.

John from Jacksonville

Hi KOAGF and then some. When teams sign players and then waive them the same week, in this case quarterback Jake Luton from 8/23 to 8/26, do they tell the player in advance they only need him for a few days? I had thought he was going to get a chance to put some play on film against the Falcons. What gives? Does the player get enough pay to make it worth it?

Teams are as transparent with players and their representatives as possible in these situations. In this case, the Jaguars signed quarterback Jake Luton with a plan that he would play if necessary Saturday, though the idea from the beginning was for E.J. Perry to get most/all snaps against the Falcons. The late-week roster machinations, which included claiming kicker Jake Verity off waiver from the Indianapolis Colts, necessitated waiving Luton Friday. And no … beyond a comparatively minimal stipend, there's no salary for players in the NFL preseason. And yes … what happened to Luton this week is tough on a young player. It's a tough business. It's not always fair.

P Funk from Murray Hill

Do you think Travis Etienne has a shot at Comeback Player of the Year?


Bradley from Sparks, NV

I'm sure your correct when you said that most teams have no real depth at QB. It would be nice to find a back-up that enters the game with some well-earned swagger. A guy where you know good things could happen whether it be for three plays, three quarters or three games. How about a guy that has a 4-1 touchdown-to-interception rate, completes 64 percent of his passes and has a quarterback rating just under a 100 after 25 starts. I would call a guy like that " a generational backup." Probably impossible to find a backup like that.

You're referencing former Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II. I understand many fans will always wish the Jaguars hadn't traded Minshew and that he was still on the roster. This team over the last decade has made many moves that have set the franchise back and would therefore be categorized as "regrettable." I wouldn't say trading Minshew is high on that list.

Sal from Austin, TX

How about we ease up on the "elite," "special" and "superstar" talk going on around here, and maybe stick to "professional," "capable" and "productive"? That is at least until they can guarantee not picking first again next year.