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O-Zone: Spamalot

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Josh R. from Fernandina Beach, FL (via Fort Lauderdale, FL)

Hey, Zone: Do you mind providing the broad-brush assessment regarding the known variables relative to the Calvin Ridley decision? By example, under what scenarios do the Falcons secure our second- and third-round picks, how many picks do the Jaguars currently possess for those rounds, etc. Thanks, O, and Go Jags!!

If the Jaguars re-sign wide receiver Calvin Ridley before the start of the 2024 NFL League Year, the Atlanta Falcons receive the Jaguars' second-round selection in the 2024 NFL Draft. If the Jaguars do not re-sign Ridley before then, the Falcons receive the Jaguars' third-round selection in the 2024 NFL Draft.  The Jaguars as of now will select No. 17 overall in Round 1 and currently hold seven total selections: One in Round 1 (No. 17), one in Round 2, two in Round 4, one in Round 5, one in Round 6 and one in Round 7. The Rounds 1-2 selections are their own original selections, as are one of their Round 4 selections and their Rounds 5-7 selections. One Round 4 selection is from New Orleans. The Jaguars also could receive compensatory selections for unrestricted free agents signed by other teams last offseason. Some project the team to receive a third-round selection for offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor (Kansas City Chiefs) and a sixth-round selection for outside linebacker Arden Key (Tennessee Titans).

Bob from Sumter, SC

No quarterback can play at an elite level if the offense repeatedly cannot run for a first down when it's third-and-three or less.

This is a bit of an exaggeration as third-and-2 and 3 are often passing downs in the NFL these days. But that's nitpicking on my part and the point of your statement is absolutely correct. The Jaguars weren't effective running this past season, particularly in short yardage. When that happens, defenses stop respecting your ability to run. When that happens, it's very difficult to pass efficiently enough to win. That from this view was a big reason for how the Jaguars played offensively this past season.

Howard from HOMESTEAD

If teams had to wait until after the Super Bowl to hire new coaches, I bet you teams would be hesitant to fire coaches on a dime.


Cbar from Green Cove Springs, FL

Hi John! With all the talk about renovating EverBank Stadium over several years, playing games in Daytona, or Orlando, etc., I have a very simple question. Why not keep EverBank functioning and build a new stadium next to it? Increased satellite parking areas would solve the parking nightmare for a couple years. They have already done the "Bath Fitters" approach a couple of times. We don't need another one. Seems more cost effective and keeps the games in Jacksonville. Build a NEW stadium! Don't bring in a taxidermist to try and make an old, out of date, worn out, dead stadium look better. When the new stadium is complete, tear down the old one for parking, etc. Has been done before … Shea Stadium to Citi Field comes to mind. Thanks John!!

First, a new stadium isn't "cost-effective" at all. It would cost about $1 billion more than a renovated stadium. That's considered "prohibitive" in this market. Second, the proposed renovation to the current stadium wouldn't be a taxidermist or bath fitting. It would be a complete makeover to the point that it essentially would be a new stadium.

Kevin from Jacksonville Beach, FL

Hi, John. Everyone wants to compare Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud. So first, give respect where it's due. C.J. had a great year and things are pointing up for Houston. But my question: How much of an impact did playing a last-place schedule versus playing a first-place schedule have on the comparison?

Playing a last-place schedule in 2023 didn't hurt Stroud, though it's not remotely fair to say a weak schedule caused his success. Stroud's really good. He's a big reason the Texans made the postseason. Maybe he will be better than Lawrence. He had a better season in 2023 than Lawrence. Would Lawrence have had a similar season playing the Texans' schedule? I have no idea. Lawrence appeared on his way to a very good season and a second consecutive AFC South title. He then hit a stretch in which he left three of his final five starts with injuries and didn't play very well during that time. That in retrospect seemed to impact the Jaguars' season as much as their schedule.

The Other Ryan from Denver

People were mean Tuesday. They need to remember to be nice.

It's whatever, I guess.

Sam from Orlando, FL

Trevor Lawrence has never been good for an entire season. For whatever reason. Any ideas?

He has played three seasons. He was a rookie one season. He was adjusting to a new offensive scheme early in the next season and played well in the second half of that season. He was injured throughout the second half of the third season. Those are the ideas. He hasn't been perfect. He hasn't been elite. He must still improve, but those are ideas.

Zac from Austin, Tejas

Can I get that confirmed - do you bestow "elite" status to Josh Allen? Also (personally) I would call two of eight 8 lacking. My point was merely that it seems some teams are finding ways to prioritize staying healthy and building around decent QBs.

I haven't the foggiest idea how teams "prioritize" staying healthy. Some years, you stay healthy. Some years, you don't. As for Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen's status … I don't have the power to "bestow" anything on anyone, but if he's not elite he's nonetheless pretty damned good.

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

Even after that awful, crappy season you still suck. Amazing.

That it is, Edward. That it is indeed.

Craig from Ponte Vedra Beach

You said "First, I don't know that the Jaguars' struggles in short-yardage have as much to do with play-calling as they do with the interior offensive line. When you can't get people blocked, the specifics of a play don't matter that much." So, you're telling me it's a personnel issue. So, when does Shad Khan hold the GM responsible or is the owner just not alert, attentive, or aware? Oh wait, could it be he just doesn't care?

Jaguars owner Shad Khan is alert, attentive and aware – and he absolutely cares. And he holds people accountable. That includes General Manger Trent Baalke. Yes, the Jaguars struggled on the interior of the line this past season. They also struggled in other areas. Most NFL teams have areas in which they struggle. I suppose you could fire general managers and head coaches every time the team finishes a season with a weakness. I don't know that you would have much continuity past a year or two in any organization if you took that approach.

John from Jacksonville

Hi KOAGF - Why can't injuries be an excuse? Coaches always say it's not an excuse. If there is Player A who is better than Player B or Player C for the position, I put Player A in the game for a reason. If Player A gets injured, then I have to put Player B or C in the game. The next man up philosophy sounds admirable, but I didn't choose Player B or Player C to start to begin with and don't expect either of them to perform as well as Player A. Sounds like a good excuse if one of my starting players gets injured. I would think the same thing if you got injured and another less qualified KOAGF person attempted to write your stuff. It could never be as good.

Good eye.

Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville, FL

I have presented a large number of thought-provoking and challenging questions this last couple weeks. Almost seems like you are sending my emails to trash or ignoring me. I honestly can't remember a time as a Jaguars fan I wanted to be hopeful, but I am just ... drained. This was supposed to be the breakout season, it was for everyone else. For the Jaguars it was more like the breakdown season.

It was a disappointing season. This is a difficult time for Jaguars fans. As for the emails I receive, I don't answer all of them. Some I simply don't choose. Some are so well-crafted, thought-provoking and challenging as to seem almost pure of spirit – artistic achievements, if you will. To answer them would be to risk sullying them and therefore ruining their original form. This hardly seems just. These, I often store in a special file so that I can revisit when I am feeling sad. Recalling their brilliance is typically enough to lift my spirits – and even restore my faith in humanity. It's likely many – or perhaps all – of your recent questions found their way there. Or maybe they went to spam.