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O-Zone: Three cheers

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Bill from Jacksonville

John, why does Trevor Lawrence fumble so often?

As with most football-centric questions, there's no one Capitalized Answer with a definitive period to the question of why Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence fumbles So Often. And make no mistake: He unquestionably does fumble too often. From this view, it's a combination of not protecting the ball well enough when under pressure too trying to do too much and not knowing well enough when to "give up on the play" to live to fight another down. All plays have different elements, and many elements lead to turnovers. But if Lawrence improves on that last part – knowing when to give up on a play and not try to make something out of nothing – that would go a long way toward reducing the fumbles.

Scott from Jacksonville

Getting rid of OTAs and extending training camp is a "change" that you don't want to see? Less OTA and more training camp sounds more like a return to the "good ole days" than an annoying change. I'm surprised you aren't all aboard for that one!

You're referencing a recent O-Zone question/answer that I expect will be a topic for the foreseeable future – and that's recent news that the NFL Players Association may push to eliminate Organized Team Activities and add weeks to the start of training camp. As I thought I made at least somewhat clear in my original thoughts on this issue, I doubt that this move would "eliminate" OTAs as much as it would move them. What I mean is I can't imagine the NFLPA agreeing to allow more hitting and real football practice, having already negotiated reductions in those areas in recent decades. I would guess this would mean August would continue to be "real training camp" – i.e., hitting and full-padded work to work – with the "extended" July portion of training camp a "ramp-up," non-padded month eerily similar to what are now called OTAs. From this view, that would merely move the non-padded work rather than eliminate it. In reviewing this answer, it strikes me that it probably sounds like am more passionate about this issue than I actually am. It's my understanding that trainers and strength-and-conditioning people believe the longer "ramp-up" period could help players better prepare for the marathon of the season and perhaps reduce soft-tissue injuries. If that's a real thing, then the change obviously would be worthwhile. Even if it inconveniences 'ol JohnnyO.

David from The Island

Do you miss Jerrell as much as I do?

More, probably.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

Would Strings be able to supply the Bullet Bob demand of the O-Zone meetup?

I neither have encouraged nor promised such a meetup and I doubt people would enjoy it. People who have met me generally find the experience lacking. Either way, I trust that Strings would be able to handle the demand for Bullet Bob. It's usually in stock and it's a sad day when it's not.

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

I saw that. You think you're funny. You're not.

Point made.

Kathy from Palm Coast, FL

I enjoy your O-Zone every day and am well aware that you are writing for the Jaguars' organization and should put a positive slant on your answers. The one thing that irritates me is that you are still calling Trevor a "developing quarterback." This is year number four for him and he should be considered a little more polished than that.

People in this era of "hot takes" and Twitter rants often confuse neutrality and leveled explanations for "positive slants." When I speak of Lawrence developing, it's not to say something negative or positive but to describe him as I see him. He's still developing. He's still growing. He's still improving his pocket presence and still growing in his command of the offense. I covered Hall-of-Fame quarterback Peyton Manning beginning in his fourth season and he was still developing in Year 5. Hell, he was a lot better in Year 12 than he was when he won the Most Valuable Player in his sixth season. Most NFL quarterbacks are still developing in Year 4. Should Lawrence be more polished in Year 4? Maybe. Maybe not. But he still must continue to develop and how he develops still remains the key storyline for this franchise.

Nicholas from Fort Cavazos, Texas

KOAF: I am still way behind on O-Zone (16 April 2024). Just saw a weird rules situation about a catch/no catch. I would say one of the oddest rules I have seen and often wanted teams to implement was the deliberate "holding" on offense to run the clock out (Bengals vs Ravens) that resulted in a deliberate safety and the game clock expiring. I would have loved to see a defense do something like this near the end of game when the offense only has ten seconds and one time out and the ball on their own 30 yard line down by two points. The defense should deliberately hold the receivers to prevent them from getting down field into field goal range. Since pass interference is only a spot penalty you effectively hold all the receivers, force the QB to burn time and throw the ball away resulting in ten or less yards in penalties AND now forcing the offense to win by Hail Mary versus a field goal. What say you KOAF?


Brad from The Avenues

Hey, John. It turns out I may have been right a couple of weeks ago when I suggested using a defensive back or linebacker as a kickoff specialist in order to protect the kicker and make stops in the new kickoff game. I just read where the Kansas City Chiefs are considering using safety Justin Reid to do just that. Hey, you think maybe Head Coach Andy Reid reads The O-Zone? What with the wealth of knowledge and insight of Jaguars fans, why wouldn't he?

I readily admit this will surprise me, but it speaks to the radical nature of the NFL's new kickoff rules. The reality is no one knows for sure the best approach to these new rules. What we do know is they are designed to make kickoffs more like line-of-scrimmage running plays and less like the high-speed – and therefore dangerous – plays they have been for nearly 100 years. I expect we will see more than a few eyebrow-raising approaches early next season as a result of special teams coaches brainstorming their way through this. What is successful quickly will become the norm. If the Chiefs' approach of having a safety/linebacker kick works, I suspect you will see more of that. If so, Brad will have been right and O-Zone will have been wrong. Write the date down if it plays out that way. It will be one for history.

Rob from The duuuuuuuu

How about 17 years, $1 billion? It would get really team-friendly around Year 4 and Trevor could boast the first billion-dollar contract.

That seems high.

Deane from Daytona Beach, FL

Yo O-Zone! I was watching a 30 for 30 episode that discussed financial and personal ruin due to making hefty sums of money so young. I was wondering if you could elaborate on some of the onboarding that the Jags do with rookies and possibly newly-acquired players to help them with success outside of the football arena? Or does that fall on their agent to help them with that? I know that teams can't necessarily control what they do outside of the team. However, I would think that they could / would educate them so that that they could make prudent, educated decisions on this part of their lives. What says you, O-Zone???

The 30 for 30 episode you reference – "Broke" – indeed accurately characterizes the issue of players making potentially life-changing money in professional sports only to face bankruptcy and financial hardship shortly after their careers. To clarify: This "financial and personal ruin" does not stem from "making hefty sums of money so young." Rather, it stems from mishandling those hefty sums of money. The Jaguars do what all NFL teams do these days in this area. They educate. They provide resources. They emphasize prudence and they educate. Good agents and representation also can help. It is ultimately up to the player to manage the situation with perspective, wisdom and an eye on the long-term. Those traits unfortunately are often not the strengths of the young.

Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville, FL

Went to the huddle recently and helpfully suggested to Jaguars President Mark Lamping to have Jaguars Owner Shad Khan change the name of his hotel. Explained we didn't have "Four Seasons" in Florida. We have Two Seasons, so that should be the name to make it easier. One thing that was nice is the team has relented on the parking/tailgating, so only the stadium is being done. Personally I don't get this whole idea of having no area to tailgate in prior to the games. That is as much a part of the football culture than anything. Also: Lamping said the seats would be updated and wider. Yay!