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O-Zone: Stay the course

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

JT from Palm Coast, FL

Did the Jags bomb on this past draft? Hardly anybody they drafted except rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence is even seeing the field. The only other one is cornerback Tyson Campbell, and he is getting torched left and right. Some teams seem to stay bad forever. Jags feel like they are doomed to be bottom feeders forever. They changed the whole regime in the offseason and we look just as bad as last year, if not worse. I hope Jaguars Owner Shad Khan's tolerance is much less than it has been traditionally because this regime already looks like one on the way out. Has a coach and his staff ever been fired after one year?

There's much to address here – and while I sense you are frustrated, your frustration is understandable. Very understandable. First, you're correct that the Jaguars have gotten comparatively little thus far from the 2021 NFL Draft class. The exception indeed is Lawrence – the No. 1 overall selection – and there's no question that Campbell (first selection of the second round) is struggling. First-round running back Travis Etienne is out for the season, and second-round left tackle Walker Little and third-round safety Andre Cisco are behind veterans who coaches currently feel are better options. It's not uncommon for teams to get little from rookies as they develop, but it's far easier for fans to be patient with rookies when their team is contending rather than 1-6. You're also correct that this team currently doesn't look significantly better than last year's team – though we did see signs of improvement before the bye, and the story of this season can't be written after seven games. And yes … regimes and coaches have been fired after one season – Mike Mularkey lasted just one season as the Jaguars' head coach in 2012 – but I don't sense this regime is on its way out. What I do sense is we're seven games into this season, and NFL seasons last longer than seven games.

Seamus from Sioux Falls, SD

Do the Jags change their daily routine/schedule any on weeks they travel to the West Coast? For instance, do they ever shift the day by three hours so that by the next Sunday, the players are accustomed to West Coast timing? I can't imagine that wouldn't help even a little bit. Thoughts?

The Jaguars to my knowledge never have changed their schedule that way – and I've never heard of a team taking that approach to prepare for a time change. But teams do take steps to adjust to these circumstances – with the Jaguars flying to Seattle on Friday last week (as opposed to Saturday as they would on a "normal" trip). The reality is good teams have a decent chance to win when traveling to different time zones and bad teams have a less decent chance. There's a similar science behind many such mysterious trends in the NFL.

Bill from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

To add to the fans' frustration, do you recall the team and safeties are coached by professional level rookies, and the defense is also coached by a defensive coach rookie?

I do recall this. This doesn't automatically mean Jaguars safeties coach Chris Ash is a bad coach, or that defensive coordinator Joe Cullen has done a bad job. But yes, Cullen is a first-year coordinator and Ash – like Head Coach Urban Meyer – is in his first season in the NFL.


_What's your favorite strip-mall Mexican restaurant in Jax?          _

Tequila's, at Baymeadows and I-295.

Nathan from St. Augustine, FL

Wide receiver DeSean Jackson was waived by the Rams after being unable to make a trade by the deadline. Is he now a free agent because of his years in the league? Or does he have to clear waiver wire first? And surely being at the top of the waiver wire the Jags will pick him up right?

Jackson was "waived" rather than "released" by the Los Angeles Rams because the transaction took place after the NFL's trade deadline. Had the move been made before the deadline, Jackson would have been released and therefore a free agent. The way it happened, Jackson indeed is subject to waivers. The Jaguars are currently No. 4 in the waiver-claim order behind the Detroit Lions, the Houston Texans and the Miami Dolphins. I don't get the sense the Jaguars will claim Jackson because I believe they're more interested in younger veteran players who likely would be with the team for the next two or three seasons as opposed to a so-called "rental player." And don't call me Shirley. Obviously.

Kevin from San Antonio, TX

Not a question so much as an observation: at least the Jaguars aren't at the bottom of the division standings!

Yes, they are.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, I'm looking ahead now this week, and looking ahead it looks like this week has the potential to be even worse than last week. Am I seeing things correctly?

The Buffalo Bills are one of the best teams in the AFC. They're a dangerous offense with quarterback Josh Allen and they're the NFL's top-ranked defense. Are you seeing things correctly if you believe the game Sunday could be worse than the Jaguars' 31-7 loss to the Seahawks? Without question.

Tom from Jacksonville

When we fall behind, maybe we should ignore the scoreboard and try to get good at being balanced. Similar to picking up your golf ball out of the trees and placing it in the fairway so you can get better playing the game the way it is meant to be played. Besides we won't catch up with this group.

This makes sense in theory, but coaches often don't see their teams through the same lens as fans – and in this case Jaguars coaches aren't going to coach with the idea of, "Well, we're not going to catch up when we're behind so let's just run when passing might get us back in the game."

Chris from San Diego, CA

Considering we have 195 coaches on payroll, do you think it's possible that we can have one of them in charge of counting how many men we have on field and make sure it is under 12?


Corey from Madison, WI

So, after wide receiver DJ Chark's injury the Jags moved Laviska Shenault Jr. to the outside from his usual slot position. The results have been underwhelming at best. Why isn't Agnew a better option outside with his speed? Currently is appears the Jags have weakened 2 WR positions unnecessarily.

Coaches have been trying to find the right combination at receiver since training camp. I suppose it's possible they could try Jamal Agnew outside and Shenault inside next. Sometimes, the answer isn't A, B or C. Sometimes it's none of the above.

Micah from Chicago, IL

It's not even fun watching OTHER teams play because you can see the difference in the coaching, playing, management, everything. Jags killed the joy in the entire league for me. They're that bad.


William the Contemplator

Hidden in all the Jaguars' misery is a small and unexpected gem. Tight end Dan Arnold has outperformed all expectations, catching eight passes for 68 yards against the Seahawks. Can you explain how it took this long for the Jags to fill this glaring need?

Tight end is a difficult position to fill. First-round, can't-miss tight ends are relatively rare in the draft – and many teams for many years didn't consider it a premium enough position to select super-early in Round. It therefore became a draft-and-develop position, and the Jaguars didn't do a good job developing the position. The Jaguars tried multiple times to fill the position via free agency. Remember Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Julius Thomas. But Arnold has been good. I wouldn't call him special yet, but he's a better receiving tight end than the team has had in some time.

Randy from St. Regis Falls N.Y.

Do the Jaguars practice during the week between games?


Caden from Brandon

When will James Robinson be healthy and do you think Carlos Hyde will be a good replacement while he is gone?

Jaguars running back James Robinson is considered day-to-day, which seems as if it would mean playing Sunday against Buffalo or at Indianapolis next week. I think running back Carlos Hyde will play OK if Robinson can't play. He has run well – and run hard – while replacing Hyde in spots. I don't think he will be as good as Robinson. If he were, he would start.

Mitch from Duval

The only good thing the new regime has done so far is make a pick that any drunken hillbilly that read two mock drafts could have made. Can you think of anything else? Cornerback Shaquill Griffin is OK, but he's the leader of the minimal impact club. Coaching atrocious. Decisions atrocious. Front office atrocious. How do we get out of this?

Keep at it. Get better.