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O-Zone: Simple formula

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Mike from Atlanta, GA

I know the team has lost 19 in a row. And a few to start this season. However, I feel that last season isn't all that relevant. They have a franchise quarterback now who looked a lot better his last game than the first few. If we ignore the distractions and noise, we should be able to see that winning is inevitable. It's just a matter of time. Sure, they might need to refill the stock in various spots on the roster, but the franchise quarterback is the most difficult to get. Without that, winning is difficult. With it, winning happens. That's why I think everything is fine despite the losing streak. Let's all relax and enjoy the Trevor Show. He's the real deal.

Good eye – and you're right that losing 15 consecutive games to end last season isn't all that pertinent when discussing this season. Where it is pertinent is discussing the talent level from which the current Jaguars' decision-makers began building; when you go 1-15, it's safe to assume there's heavy lifting involved in the process. But yes … the 2021 Jaguars are largely about rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence's development and the accompanying improvement of the team around him. The last two games have been encouraging on that front, particularly a 24-21 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last week. Lawrence showed real progress in that game – and I agree that winning feels inevitable if that development continues. I doubt that means winning nine or 10 of the final 13 games this season. I do believe it means winning at least a few games this season and looking a lot better as the season continues. If that happens, there will be a lot to enjoy about the Trevor Show.

Travis from Athens

I don't watch football; I watch the Jags. The three times I paid attention to the TV during Thursday's Los Angeles Rams-Seattle Seahawks game were somehow three of however many times Ramsey made a damn good – if not great – play. I left the restaurant resentful. I was and still am more upset at the mismanagement of the Jags than I have ever been. We suffer through terrible season after terrible season with the only consolation to get a higher draft pick – and then we squander it by giving away a generational player like Ramsey. This morning I am closer to never watching a Jags game and thus a football game than I have ever been. I honestly am asking myself why I still watch.

All fair. While I am skeptical that Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey alone would make enough of a difference for this current Jaguars team to have merited the salary he would have commanded, that's a logical – and unemotional – thought. A fan undoubtedly is more emotional and therefore sees Ramsey making big-time plays for the Rams and wonders, "Why can't we have nice things?" And Ramsey's departure unquestionably represents a major issue – that whatever the reasons, the Jaguars did not remotely get enough long-term benefit from an enormous amount of draft capital from early last decade through about the 2020 NFL Draft or so. The roster to a large extent lacks core-player talent. In some cases, such as Ramsey, that talent is playing for other teams. In far more cases, the players drafted turned out to not be core players. Either way, it can't continue. You can't have sustainable success doing that. Your email suggests you're considering not watching. That makes sense. The situation is frustrating. It's the job of Head Coach Urban Meyer and General Manager Trent Baalke to turn this into a stable, winning franchise – and therefore to make you feel differently. I can't guarantee they will do that. I don't know if they will do that. It's a long-term job and we're four games into seeing the results. So far, we've seen a little improvement but no winning. We'll see where it goes.

Fred from Naples, FL

I remember Jaguars Owner Shad Khan's first news conference announcing the hiring of Urban Meyer as he responds to a reporter's question: " 'Cause I got it right this time, OK?" Hmmm ... I wonder if he still feels this way a little over a year later?

He does. If he doesn't, he would have dismissed Meyer.

Fox from Duval

I realize fans are going to fan, but can we stop and acknowledge how brutal our first 4.25 of the season turned out to be? Houston was obviously better than people anticipated until quarterback Tyrod Taylor went down. Our next three opponents are now a combined 10-2 with all three leading or tied for the lead of their division (with two of them being the best divisions in the NFL). Here's one for the next 4.25 of the season, and what appears to be Meyer's most important game to date ... not because of a losing streak, or our most-hated rival, but to distract from what is now known as "The Distraction."

The first four games of the Jaguars' 2021 season represented yet another example of a time-tested NFL truth – that little, if anything, is known about "strength of schedule" before a season. You're correct that many believed the Jaguars' first four games an "easy stretch" compared to, say, the next two months. The 4-0 Arizona Cardinals, 3-1 Denver Broncos and 3-1 Cincinnati Bengals obviously proved that theory otherwise. One issue for the Jaguars: the next nine games feature seven games against teams that won 10 more games last season. A couple of those 10-victory teams – Miami and Indianapolis – aren't playing as well as expected through four games. But that stretch still looks pretty difficult.

Taylor from Columbia, MD

I am normally pessimistic and antagonistic when it comes to my beloved Jaguars (yes, I am jaded from all this losing), but I want to point out that Jamal Agnew's kick-six (and Gus Johnson's call) was an awesome moment. We suck until proven otherwise, but Go Jags and that was a dope moment.


Gary from St. Augustine, FL

Why does Urban Meyer do so many press conferences? It seems like he does one every day. Doug Marrone did about one a week. What's up with that?

Meyer on "normal" game week speaks to the media Sunday after games, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. That was Marrone's schedule and is a common media schedule for an NFL head coach.

Cliff from Everywhere with helicopter

Here's hoping Chark doesn't become the next Allen Robinson.

The Jaguars are in a tricky spot with wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. and Chark is in tricky spot with the Jaguars – and yes, there are comparisons to be drawn with wide receiver Allen Robinson in the 2018 offseason. Chark has had one really good season (2019), one unproductive season (2018), one inconsistent season in which injuries played a role (2020) and one incomplete season (2021). Chark now is likely to miss most – if not all – of the rest of that incomplete season with a broken ankle. It's easy to say the Jaguars shouldn't make a mistake with Chark. But what are they supposed to do? Pay him like a No. 1 receiver? Based on what? He hasn't played like it. This will depend on Chark's perception of his market value and the Jaguars' perception of that value. Chark is a good player and he perhaps fits into the future. But it's far from an easy decision for either side.

Chris from Mandarin

Well, the Jaguars have improved each week. They've gotten closer and closer, culminating with Week 4's loss on a last-second field goal. At this rate, they'll win the final 10 games of the season. Whooooo!


Charles from Savannah, GA

I'm not an NFL guru by any stretch. Why is Trevor not playing more under center in the red zone? Wouldn't it be more of an advantage to run the ball that close to the end zone?

Lawrence currently appears more comfortable taking snaps from the shotgun – which makes sense because that's mostly what he did at Clemson. Whether being under center is better for running depends on how you're running. If you're simply turning and handing to the running back with a lead blocker … yes. If you're running read-option type stuff with the quarterback … perhaps not so much. The Jaguars through four games are still learning what works best with Lawrence and this offense.

JT from Palm Coast, FL

We better spend the majority of our free-agency money and high draft capital on a major secondary overhaul. Every week those guys are getting lit up. And need a legitimate pass rush would be nice also.

Thirteen games remain in the regular season, so it's perhaps a bit early to assign draft and free-agent needs, but yes … both areas must improve.

Douglas from Mandarin

I think the first game the Jags win the turnover battle is the first game the Jags win. Do you agree?