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O-Zone: Still the one

JACKSONVILLE – Look-ahead Wednesday.

Let's get to it …

Steve from Hilton Head, SC

John, after two games it seems like the other teams have better players. If so, it's going to be a long season. Also, why has Walker Little been on the inactive list?

I don't know that the Jaguars have had the better roster in either of the first two games, and it's probably not realistic to think they will "out-talent" many teams this season. The Jaguars were 1-15 last season and a glance at the last four or five drafts – excluding the 2021 NFL Draft – shows that the franchise has few players left/contributing at a high level from those drafts. When that's the case, it's difficult to "out-talent" many teams. It's too early to know if that automatically will make it a long season. It does speak to the importance of drafting and developing well, because that is always will be the optimal path to a strong franchise. As for why rookie offensive tackle Walker Little has been inactive in the first two games, Jaguars coaches don't believe he's ready to start over either left tackle Cam Robinson or right tackle Jawaan Taylor. Those are the starters, and coaches have opted to keep veteran Will Richardson Jr. as the swing tackle. Richardson also has experience at guard, and such versatility matters when selecting game-day rosters.

JT from Palm Coast, FL

John, I understand wholeheartedly that the coaching staff doesn't want Lawrence to run. I don't want him to, either, but if it's the choice to run for an easy five yards or throw a hope and prayer bomb 30-to-40 yards down the field, I hope he begins to use his other God-given gift: his legs. His legs could be such a weapon if used right. Hopefully, that is something that he learns.

This continues to be hot-button issue among Jaguars fans, and understandably so. And the Jaguars – as well as Lawrence – face a bit of a dilemma here. Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence is athletic and is a good runner, as he showed often while at Clemson. He appears to be comfortable running, and he has been effective in the few instances he has run for the Jaguars thus far in his rookie season. And a running quarterback does give an offense an added dimension that can strain a defense and therefore help the entire offense. At the same time, running too often exposes a quarterback to short-term injury and long-term wear and tear – and the Jaguars absolutely want to protect a player who is expected to be the foundation of the franchise for a decade or more. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Head Coach Urban Meyer both have said this offense isn't going to call many designed runs that expose Lawrence to injury. I would expect Lawrence to run more going forward. I would even expect the offense to have some looks – roll outs and moving pockets – that use Lawrence's mobility. So, yes … I would expect Lawrence to use his legs judiciously, and I would expect him to get better in this area as he gets more comfortable in the offense and against NFL defenses.

Jordan from Mandarin

The fear isn't that this will take a couple years to turn around, it's that the decision-makers won't make the right picks to have turn it around. It's early, but so far it's hard to be optimistic about this year's draft class and FA acquisitions. I just hope we can give Trevor a great team.

The Jaguars have struggled enough for a decade that your fear is perfectly understandable. How do you know for sure the people making decisions will be right? You don't, because the future is impossible to predict. As far as the team's acquisitions this past offseason, this probably wasn't going to be a year when the free-agent signings were all superstars. They signed cornerback Shaq Griffin and wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. to big contracts and both have played well – but for the most part, this class was mostly about trying to improve the roster overall and improve the depth as opposed to signing major-impact players. The Jaguars have played two regular-season games, so it's way too early to assess the 2021 NFL Draft class. That won't stop people from assessing it, but it's nonetheless far too early.

Rob from Orange Park

Our identity is "Turnover Trevor" until it's not. There is a difference between throwing receivers open and Hail Marys. Hopefully, he gets out of College Mode and starts working the defense. Too many basically Hail Marys.

Lawrence certainly seemed to throw downfield and into coverage at times Sunday, particularly as the Broncos took control in the second half. There were times he missed some shorter routes and checkdowns. There were also times he made the wrong read. There were other times he did those things well. He's a young quarterback and it's Week 2. I expect this to improve – and I expect coaches this week to prioritize looking for the smarter, safer shorter throw when appropriate.

Steve from Nashville, TN

I was interested by the TV coverage map you posted for how to watch the game. The Broncos seem to have TV coverage on almost all the Midwest states. The Jaguars have all of Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia; Southeast Carolina; and a small, isolated pocket of Southwest North Carolina. How are these coverage maps decided on?

The networks decide this on a national level based on regional interest. Affiliates and individual teams have little-to-no say.

Bryan from Lutz

We talked a lot this offseason about how the wide receiver position was a strength of this team. Through two games that has not been the case. Dropped passes plagued the team in Week 1, and in Week 2 it felt like no one was open.


Bo from Linwood, NC

I know it's early, but our run game is way too inconsistent. It doesn't look like we are running to set up the pass at all. If a good run game is a quarterback's best friend, what must the Jags do to make their run game more efficient?

Stick to it. The Jaguars have run effectively when they have run this season, but they haven't run enough. Some of that is just getting away from the run a little too quickly. A lot of that is because down-and-distance situations and game situations have led to it.

Brandon from Fort Lauderdale, FL

When will the Jags tryout/sign a new kicker? Lambo is not the same since his injury.

Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo has struggled to start the season, missing all three of his field-goal attempts in two games – from 55, 52 and 48 yards. Meyer expressed support for Lambo on Sunday and again on Monday – and the support sounded sincere. Meyer said he has confidence Lambo will get through this – and while Meyer said General Manager Trent Baalke and the personnel staff's job is to consider all options, Meyer didn't sound inclined to make a move at the position. I don't see the Jaguars changing kickers. Certainly not this week.

Derek Emerson from Jacksonville

Will the Jags win a single game this year?

Yes. At least.

Ryan from Reality

John, it's "Look-Ahead Wednesday" - can we look ahead to the draft yet? Cause I'm already done with this season. I don't want to trade draft capital for a tight end that might net us one extra win. I don't want to play veterans who are "better" than rookies but aren't going to be re-signed. Let the young kids play and get experience; see what we have for the future and figure out what positions we need to attack in the offseason. Coach Urban won't say it, but this is just going to be a rebuilding year and I'm not going to waste my emotional investment hoping for victories this season.

You can invest what you want where you want. I'm not going to invest a whole lot of time in the NFL Draft of free agency during the regular season. There's plenty of time for such things in the offseason.

Mark from Jacksonville

A reader named "Mark from Jax" said Trevor is not a franchise quarterback lol. Well, my name is Mark from Jacksonville, and I just want everyone to know that I would never say such a stupid thing. It was not me; it was the other Mark.

How can I be sure it's you? Are you even sure? (Text me.)

Brock from Lilly

Why is Carlos Hyde getting more carries than James Robinson?

Jaguars running back James Robinson has rushed 16 times this season, including 11 rushes in Week 2. Jaguars running back Carlos Hyde has rushed 11 times this season, including two rushes in Week 2. So, while Hyde indeed had more rushes than Robinson in Week 1, Hyde is not as a rule "getting more carries" and I would expect Robinson to be the No. 1 back moving forward.