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O-Zone: Proving a point

JACKSONVILLE – Look-ahead Wednesday.

Let's get to it …

Bradley from Sparks, NV

Perhaps I'm wrong to be irked when you and other experts constantly use the excuse about a quarterback in the first year of a "new" offense. Are there not many examples of quarterbacks doing well, even having career years, in a new offense?

Perhaps I'm dim, but I never understand people who read/hear explanations and complain about excuses. But I digress. When I'm asked to discuss Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence this season, I indeed often discuss that he is in his first season in Head Coach Doug Pederson's offensive scheme. This is important in part because Pederson believes it's an important factor in how Lawrence is playing and developing this season, and it's also important because many productive young quarterbacks currently in the NFL have had a major jump in their second season in schemes. It's Pederson's belief that experience and continuity in a particular system is perhaps as important for a young quarterback as general experience. And considering the importance of comfort within the scheme and playing instinctively for a quarterback, it's hard to see how a quarterback wouldn't benefit from experience in a scheme. Sure: There are young quarterbacks who have played well in their first season in a new scheme. And Lawrence has done that at times this season. He's on pace for 21 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions this season compared to 12 and 17 last season. Lawrence hasn't been bad this season. He has been inconsistent. The point of noting that he is in his first season in a new offense is that he should be more consistent in his second season in that offense.

Big on Blake from Philly

Zone, this team seemingly always falls victim to its own hubris. Play great one week, then come out so amped up the train runs off the rails. Make bonehead plays then spiral into a losing streak. I enjoyed the team's ability to claw back from a deficit last week and persevere through a late missed field goal, but if they come out next week and lose the professionalism and even keel then it will be right back on the losing-streak roller coaster. I'm glad Pederson seems to be able to hold these guys steady, but time will tell.

The Jaguars play the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City Sunday. The Chiefs are one of the NFL's best teams and playing them on the road is one of the NFL's toughest tasks. I would hesitate to use Sunday's result to draw overarching generalities on where the Jaguars currently stand.

Scott from Jacksonville

Hey, O-Man! hope all is well for you and yours. I was hoping you could do me a favor. Every time I read "Good Eye," I want to claw my eyes out. Can you please stop saying it? Thanks so much for understanding, and have a great day!

Writing "good eye" is cool. Senior writers like it.

JR from The Squatchlands

Pardon my unbridled optimism, but the Chiefs needed overtime to dispatch the Tennessee Titans and their rookie quarterback at home on prime time Sunday. Could this week be a trap game for the Chiefs or am I just basking in the glory of the second biggest comeback in franchise history?

Sunday's game might be the Jaguars' toughest matchup of the season to date along with Week 4 against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Chiefs are capable of scoring fast and often, and they play at a pace and intensity that can be difficult for a young team to match. It's not pessimistic to see this as one in which the Jaguars could struggle.

Justin from Jax

I've got it, John! I know how to get the coveted "good eye" reply from you. I, sir, have 20/20 vision.

Good eyes.

Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

What is your opinion on the firing of the Colts' head coach? I think there is less tolerance on these elite positions that send a message to all the teams. Win now or else atmosphere?

The Colts fired Head Coach Frank Reich Monday and hired former center Jeff Saturday as interim head coach. I expect Reich to be hired as an NFL head coach in the next two seasons if he wants to coach again – and I expect he will be successful if he has decent talent, as he was and did in Indianapolis. Reich went 40-33-1 in four-plus seasons and made two postseason appearances, a good record considered the Colts never could find success and settle on a quarterback after the surprise retirement of Andrew Luck before the 2018 season. Colts Owner Jim Irsay typically is patient with head coaches, but I sense he felt he needed to make a change and didn't want to part ways with General Manager Chris Ballard, who has built a front office that has built a winning roster outside the quarterback position. I agree there is an increasing win-or-else atmosphere in the NFL, but this feels more like Irsay feeling he had been patient enough with Reich and wanting to see if Saturday is right for the position rather than a leaguewide lack of tolerance.

Boxcutter Bill from Mass

I am very excited about this team's future. Not since the Tom Coughlin years as head coach in the late 90s and early 2000s have I had this feeling. Trevor is the guy. Our defense will continue to grow, and we'll add pieces this offseason. I really think this team is primed to win some games now, though, and will really push the Tennessee Titans until that last game. Am I way off? I know we have to win some big games, but sometimes it's not how you start, but how you finish. I think it starts this week. Duvaaaaaaal.

Boxcutter Bill is "all in."

Chance from Windsor, Canada

I loved how much Trevor used his legs on Sunday. It reminds me of how and why we lost to the New York Giants when quarterback Daniel Jones ran everywhere. The more Trevor runs, the more the defense would have to be aware of it. Linebackers sitting back a little more, ends playing wider, I feel it opens up a lot of possibilities. Do you think Doug should almost plan to have him take off four-to-six times a game?

I expect Pederson to continue using Lawrence essentially as he as used him to date – i.e., as a threat to run, and as an occasional runner, but not as a regular runner. Three or four times a game (ish) is fine, but not much more than that. Not regularly.

Eric from Bryyyan County, GA

Snoop Conner has a goose egg statswise and appears to have been a healthy scratch in all but a couple of games. Any sense on what is going on there and when we might see him spelling Etienne and Hasty?

Jaguars running back Snoop Conner, a fifth-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, indeed was a healthy inactive for the first seven games of the season and he has played one offensive snap in each of the last two games. Conner as a rookie wasn't ready for a bigger role early in the season and was the fourth running back behind Travis Etienne Jr., James Robinson and JaMycal Hasty early. When the Jaguars traded Robinson to the New York Jets, he moved up to No. 3 and has been active since. If either Etienne or Hasty were injured, Conner likely will play a larger role. Considering the productivity of Etienne/Hasty – particularly Etienne – I get no sense that the Jaguars want to disrupt the running-back rotation. That's not as much a statement about Conner as about Etienne. To paraphrase Pederson after Sunday's victory over the Raiders, you want Etienne on the field as much as possible right now.

Bill from Hammock, FL

Zone, you were right again. When fans were fanning about letting Jalen Ramsey go, you said wait until times get difficult. Well, times are more difficult and Ramsey has come through as you predicted. I guess this is why you are always mentioning how awesome you are.

I am the king of all funk.

Adam from Saint Johns, FL

I have a nagging question. You agreed with my thoughts on trading JRob so, this isn't too negative. I'm concerned about the 25-plus carries ETN is getting in games. That's a lot but, I do think he should get 20 for sure. Seems like a big work load that JRob could really help the last nine games. I just don't see Hasty being better than him. Still don't see a sixth-round pick being worth more than that. Am I wrong there?

I sense the Jaguars see Etienne getting 20-to-25 touches a game. If so, Robinson likely would have played sparingly. We'll see if Etienne can maintain that pace. He has been proving a lot of people wrong about a lot of things in recent week. Stay tuned.