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O-Zone: Sob story

LONDON – Let's get to it …

Michael from Orange Park, FL

I must admit, Zone. I don't like your attitude this week. You seem very defeatist.

Moi? The Jaguars play the Buffalo Bills at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Sunday, and I suppose my thoughts on the game might be perceived as pessimistic. They weren't meant that way. The Bills are perhaps the best team in the NFL entering the game, with one of the best offenses and best quarterbacks in Josh Allen. They also have an aggressive defense that is forcing turnovers and consistently pressing quarterbacks. The Bills as three-time defending AFC East Champions were expected to be good, and they might be outplaying those expectations by winning their past three games by a combined 90 points. That doesn't mean the Jaguars have no chance. They absolutely have a chance. Whatever pessimism might have been perceived on my part is perhaps rooted in the reality that the Jaguars haven't played consistently enough through four games. If they play to their potential offensively Sunday and play pretty much as they have most of the season defensively, they can win Sunday. The need to pressure Allen into mistakes. They also need to play well on third down offensively and convert consistently in the red zone. Those last two elements from this view are the most important. The Jaguars haven't done either enough this season. They must be good in those areas Sunday.

Mike from Azores

Hey, John. Simple question today, where's Waldo – i.e. K'Lavon? How many more games will it take for the coaching staff to give up on the idea that he is a dependable pass rusher? If a normal fan like myself can see that K'Lavon has no pass rushing skills, no speed/bend around the edge, no swim move, no spin move nothing! He simply engages the tackle head on, attempting to bull rush a guy that outweighs himself by probably 75 pounds on average every week! It doesn't work and hasn't worked for over three years now! What do they see in this guy?

I admit I'm struck by your passion for the subject, and by your seeming premise that the coaches have outsized opinions of outside linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson – or that they are somehow playing him in an underserved role. Chaisson, the No. 20 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, undoubtedly has not played to his draft status with four sacks in four seasons. But he is playing this season as a special teams player and a reserve outside linebacker. He is playing 34.8 percent of snaps compared to 81 percent for starter Travon Walker and 70 percent for starter Josh Allen. Chaisson is a reserve and is being used as such. That was pretty much the expectation entering the season and it's how it is playing out.

Brian from ROUND ROCK, TX

Could you use your reporter skills and find out if Jaguars offensive coordinator Press Taylor will promise to never beat Pederson if he gets a head coaching job, like Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson apparently promised Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid?

With some questions I receive, I wonder if the questioner really believes the premise. With other questions, I can only hope for their sake they don't.

Matt from Jacksonville

While I've never visited either one, I suspect Gilbert, AZ, is much like Round Rock, TX. That said, while watching the first half of the Chicago Bears game Thursday, I noted that quarterback Justin Fields seemed to have a huge, clean pocket and wide-open receivers on almost every pass play. While I'm no football expert, I think we should try some of that. It looks effective.

Good eye(s).

Big Jags Fan from Jacksonville

Win or lose on Sunday, I feel the return of wide receiver Zay Jones, wide receiver Jamal Agnew and defensive lineman Dawuane Smoot provide be a big lift to the Jaguars starting with the home game against the Colts. These three have all provided big plays for the Jaguars the past couple of years. We need the depth and play-making abilities of these veterans.

I expect Jones and Agnew to play against the Bills. Jones has been out the last two games with a knee injury and Agnew missed this past Sunday's victory over the Atlanta Falcons at Wembley Stadium with a quadriceps injury. The Jaguars really missed Jones' reliability and playmaking ability on third downs, and Agnew's always a threat for a momentum-changing play as a returner. Smoot (Achilles) won't play Sunday after having his 21-day window to return from the Physically Unable to Perform list opened this week. I expect he has a good chance to play against the Indianapolis Colts on October 15. Smoot's return indeed could help. He's a sneaky effective pass rusher. While his career-high sacks for a season is six, he gets consistent pressure and pushes the pocket from multiple spots. He's missed when he's out.

Princefigs from Jsx

O, what happens if a kid is drafted but he decides, after being drafted, to go back to college for another year to avoid paying for that team?

If a player is drafted and does not sign a contract, that player can be drafted again the following year.

Zac from Austin, Tejas

Do we not remember Cam getting handled against backups in preseason? I'm not saying that's going to be the book on him, but let's not quite put the superman expectations on him yet.

Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson, who likely will start Sunday after missing the first four games on NFL suspension, is a seventh-year NFL starter. His level of readiness – and level of play – likely will be different for a regular-season game in which he knows he's starting than for a preseason game when he's months from playing a game that matters.

No Use For A Name from JACKSONVILLE

Hello, is the game against the Bills this Sunday only on NFL Network? When I look at the schedule on the team website, it only shows NFL Network listed. Thanks in advance for your assistance or clarification.

The game also will air locally on WFOX30.

Colin from Orlando

In a recent article, you quoted Press Taylor saying that the offense is working on being efficient, which he seemed to contrast with being explosive. Can you explain what being efficient means for an NFL offense?

Efficient typically means getting into positive down-and-distance situations consistently, consistently gaining first downs and sustaining drives/consistently scoring. Explosive typically means hitting big plays. Having a mix of both is cool. Offensive coordinators like it.

Rob from Jax

If they paid you a little bit more O, could you be just a little more disgusting?

I could certainly use the money.


OZONE, a follow up to a question about crediting "pass interference drawn" to receivers. If we're going to credit them with drawing a foul, they should be charged with an interception if the ball bounces off their hands first. The quarterback did his job getting the ball there, the receiver didn't do his job of catching it.

I'm starting to get an idea why we just stick to receptions, yards and touchdowns – and sort of drops – when tracking statistics for receivers.

Johnny from Howey In The Hills

Mr. O: I love waking up and reading the O-Zone first thing in the morning. Will you be continuing on this early morning habit when you return to the States?

Not unless something goes horribly awry.

Thomas from Moncks Corner

It is obvious that you can't stand to be challenged.

People ask questions. I answer. Though I do agree that I am fortunate as the author of this daily column to be have been blessed with equal doses insight, intellect and humility. I thrive on all fronts, particularly the latter. (You added a couple of extraneous words in your sentence, fyi. You didn't need "stand to.")

Cristiano from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

A two-year pass would ruin the chances of running an up-tempo offense. That would be a shame.

I laughed at this.

Harr from Northern Ireland

Players always talk about watching film. How much do they watch themselves and see what they can improve on compared to watching the opponents to pick up on their strengths and weaknesses. What's the balance there?

Players watch video differently at different times of the year. During the offseason, they will often watch their previous season extensively looking for areas to improve. They also will often watch video of other players at their position to study what they do well. During the season, players typically will "self-scout" early in the week – Sunday evening or Monday – then study opponents the rest of the week in preparation for the following week's game.

James from Salt Lake City via Jagsonville

O-man. I said back before the season started that hurries are almost better in a sack especially when it causes all the turnovers we keep getting. Also, there's no crying, especially in football.

That's good advice.