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O-Zone: Seeing red

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Ed from Jacksonville

Much is made of Trevor Lawrence being the best prospect since Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning. I remember Jameis Winston was described as a generational talent. Why is popular history so forgetful of pre-draft miscues, and how are popular draft analysts able to dodge their past when all their work is out in the open?

A couple of thoughts here. One is that I really don't recall former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston being considered as a generational talent leading to the 2015 NFL Draft as much as he was considered worthy of the No. 1 selection. There's a difference – and remember, too: there were significant questions about off-field incidents involving Winston in college whereas there is no such talk about Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. That plays into Lawrence's draft status, too; as good as he is on the field, he is considered low risk off it. And even without the off-field stuff, there certainly was more debate about how Winston would fare in the NFL than currently is the case with Lawrence. None of this assures success for Lawrence because nothing assures success for a quarterback entering the NFL. But Lawrence appears to be a cleaner and more-certain prospect than any quarterback since Luck, which gives him a very high chance of success. As for your final question, I suppose people forget analysts' pre-draft miscues because it's football, which is entertainment – facts most people keep properly in perspective when considering whether to dole out punishment when analysts are found guilty of the eminently punishable sin of being wrong.


Hey, John. What's up? Is it option for rookies and vets for the offseason workouts after the draft? I think the rookies could really benefit from it.

It seems you're asking if NFL offseason workouts are optional, and the answer is very much: yes. Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, all offseason practices and meetings are voluntary for players with the exception of a three-day mandatory minicamp typically held in mid-June. This is currently a newsworthy topic because entire rosters of multiple teams have announced this week they won't attend the on-field portion of this offseason because of COVID-19. Jaguars players have not made such an announcement. Personally, I don't have a problem with veterans who don't attend offseason workouts. Voluntary means voluntary, and the rules say "voluntary" for a reason. But I do believe young players benefit from offseason workouts, and I believe teams with first-year head coaches and/or first-year coordinators absolutely benefit from offseason work. I could see some sort of rule moving forward requiring offseason participation on some level in those circumstances. This will remain a big storyline for this franchise moving forward. The Jaguars absolutely would benefit from high attendance in the coming weeks.

Abe from Catonsville, MD

How long, realistically, do you think it will take for a certain Clemson quarterback, if he plays well, to roll the Jaggernaut back to a winning season?

A year. Maybe two.

Kevin from Jacksonville Beach, FL

Hi, John. If the Jags brass knows they are selecting Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 pick, is there any chance they have him on-site for the Jag Draft Party on draft night?

Lawrence has declined the NFL's invitation to attend the 2021 NFL Draft in Cleveland later this month, and instead reportedly will watch the draft with friends and family at Clemson. I have no reason to think those plans will change.

Matty from Saint Augustine, FL

Just so you know, I have an extra Mattel Electronic Football (handheld) if you need one still. But bring on the stress, the negativity, the ignorant posts about Trevor Lawrence's hair. We all know fans fan for the whole offseason. What else would they have to type about? I, for one, have faith in our new system to get the best player available to fill our needs. And as for now, no negativity. And I will sit here until draft day, playing my Mattel Electronic Football (handheld) with a big smile on my face, knowing football is just right around the corner again!! #DTWD

Matty is not the King of All Funk. But he is assured of a good time.

Richard from Jacksonville

One thing to consider regarding the Jaguars' improvement this year is that none of the Jaguars' last three first-round picks played up to their potential last year. If they can come close to playing to their potential this year, the defense should be significantly better.


Ron from Tallahassee, FL

Do recent comments from Trevor Lawrence's father describing Trevor as not having a "win at all costs" approach to football worry you at all? I typically like to base my opinions of players on their play on the field, but I admit this worries me a little.

It doesn't worry me a bit. All indications from people who have watched Lawrence play and who have studied him, and who know how Lawrence approached football while at Clemson, are that he loves the game. He is reported to be a tireless worker with high football intelligence and commitment to winning. This was inevitable, I suppose. We made it two weeks before the draft without a legitimate "knock" on Lawrence. Now, we're knocking him because his father tried to tell a reporter his son was a good person with a balanced perspective on life. If that's the flaw, I'll take it. I imagine the Jaguars will, too.

James from Jacksonville

Knowing that you and Boselli are friendly, and just as a hypothetical: If you and Boselli were to get into a Godzilla-versus-Kong-style street fight, whom do you think wins? And do you think that cheating would be involved?

If former Jaguars offensive tackle Tony Boselli and I were in a Godzilla versus Kong street fight he would win. He wouldn't have to cheat, but he probably would anyway. That's how he rolls.

Chris from Mandarin

Yes, the quarterback position is very important and can hide a lot of problems. However, Matt Ryan is a former MVP, and the Falcons are terrible, so it's not as if it's a done deal that the team is going to be any good.

Thank you, Chris.

Bob from Sumter, SC

Wow. Sounds like you need to tell Josh Allen to calm down. He's excited about a new coach and a new defensive scheme. Remind him, like you do your readers, that it's not about coaches in the NFL and every team has different looks so it doesn't matter if Todd Wash or Joe Cullen is the defensive coordinator. Good teams have good players who play good. He almost sounds like some fans who voiced opinions that he and K'Lavon Chaisson were playing in a scheme that didn't maximize their talents.

I'm most certainly not going to tell Jaguars defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen to calm down. He's a young player who's excited about a new coaching staff and new scheme, and it appears that that scheme could fit his specific talents well. He should be excited. As far as what appears to be the point of your somewhat sarcastic email, yes … scheme matters. And coaching matters. Does it matter as much as fans believe? Absolutely not, because yeah … good teams have good players who play good. Your email didn't need to include much else.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

How would the 2020 Jags beat a super team of all the best prospects in this draft? Beatdown of seismic proportions or would there be a little fight in the draftees?

The Jaguars would win easily. The difference in strength along the offensive and defensive line, and the experience level of 27-to-29-year-olds would make that the case. Remember: Some of those "best prospects" won't make it in the NFL. I understand the premise of the question, and I understand that the 2020 Jaguars had some significant weaknesses and inexperience, but a weak NFL team of grown men would still beat an excellent college team of still-developing players.

Scott from Aruba

I wasn't aware most other teams had a senior writer. I always thought you were irreplaceable.

Some do. I am.

Unhip Cat

Oh, hi John. With the draft only two weeks away, I think there are two things all Jaguars fans can agree on. The first, and by far most important, is that Trevor Lawrence will be the Jags' first pick. The other, not far behind, is uniforms. All blue is good. All black is good. Blue and white, any combo, is good. Black and white, any combo, is good. Blue and black is bad. I just don't like it. Any combo, bad. All combos, bad. Just plain ugly. Gold trim is good, as long as it's done tastefully. Thanks

I had an all-red outfit in the fifth grade: T-Shirt with thick red-and-white stripes, red shorts, red socks and sneakers with red strips. I wore this on check-in day at Camp Immokalee in '75. It was a long week.