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O-Zone: Ton of credit

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Adam from Allentown, PA

OK, I get that a lot of people think it's ridiculous that Trevor Lawrence isn't getting all his reps with the ones. Could it be a possibility that Trevor is working with the twos because he is more reliable and accurate, something they need to improve? Could they be using Lawrence to get a more accurate assessment of the second-string receivers? I mean, if he is going to be the starter in the games, then don't you want to know which receivers are best with him?

This ongoing topic remained a hot topic Thursday, with Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer declining to name a "clear starter" at quarterback for Saturday's 2021 preseason opener against the Cleveland Browns at TIAA Bank Field. Meyer instead said both rookie Trevor Lawrence and veteran Gardner Minshew II will get repetitions Saturday. I admit I haven't dug this deep into every possible wrinkle of Meyer's thinking on this, but I don't know that they're trying to work Lawrence with the second-team so they could evaluate the fifth-to-eight receivers on the roster. The top eight or so receivers have gotten more than enough work with all quarterbacks on the roster that they can be accurately evaluated. There are probably multiple reasons for Lawrence not yet being named the starter, but the primary one is this: Meyer wants rookies to earn starting positions. This is not uncommon practice. Lawrence is a rookie, and he is developing very well during 2021 Training Camp. He is developing chemistry with multiple receivers and he's working consistently with the top six, seven or eight receivers. I get no sense watching practice that whatever chemistry Lawrence is developing with top receivers is being hurt by his repetitions. He almost certainly will be named The Starter comparatively soon. Remember: This is not a crisis situation. The Jaguars have yet to play the preseason opener. There's a month remaining before the regular-season opener. This is a far bigger deal to observers and fans than to anyone else. But it will work itself out soon enough. Honest.

Gero from Wenden, Germany

Joe Schobert was traded to Pittsburgh. Wow, he was a quality addition to the linebacker group. Were there problems under Urban Meyer or was the Steelers offer too good? And what kind of round pick do we get for him? Hopefully that wasn't a mistake or does Urban see more potential among the rest of the linebackers?

It was indeed reported Thursday that the Jaguars have traded inside linebacker Joe Schobert to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and there's no reason to believe the report inaccurate. The compensation was not reported. There has been no indication that there was a "problem" between Schobert and Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer. My impression is that the Jaguars acquired inside linebacker Damien Wilson for a reason – that he was a good fit as an inside linebacker next to Myles Jack in the new scheme being coordinated by defensive coordinator Joe Cullen. I don't know at this point that there's much more to read into than that.

Negative Nancy

Why the hell are we trading away good players? This team sucks as it is. Now we refuse to keep good players. I give up: 0-17 and the beat marches on for Khan breaking every losing record in the book.

Seriously … what?

Dave from Jacksonville

DaVon Hamilton and Collin Johnson have really responded well in their second seasons. They both have a good shot to make the team and make us better. Who else from last year's draft class do think has a shot at this point?

The Jaguars appear likely to get significant contributions this season from the 2020 NFL Draft class. Defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton, a third-round selection, absolutely will make the team – and he has a chance to be a front-line player on the defensive interior; coaches like what he brings and see him as a key player moving forward. Johnson, a '20 fifth-round selection, is battling for playing time and a roster spot; he has looked good over the last week and I expect he will get a long look Saturday – and throughout the rest of the preseason. The first three selections in the '20 draft – cornerback CJ Henderson, linebacker/end K'Lavon Chaisson and wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. – all appear to be working with the starters and heavily involved in front-line packages, and I would expect all to be major contributors this season. The rest of the class is a little fuzzier, with fifth-round safety Daniel Thomas currently on reserve/COVID-19 and the rest of the remaining class – guard Ben Bartch (Round 4), quarterback Jake Luton (Round 6), linebacker Shaq Quarterman (Round 4), tight end Tyler Davis (Round 6) and cornerback Chris Claybrooks (Round 7)— working with the second team and playing mostly reserve roles. Stay tuned.

Cortez the Killer from Campeche Bay, Mexico

Hey O-Zone, Does Minshew get a legitimate shot to compete Saturday night? By the way, can you please send an Uber? My boats got toasted a few years back.

Minshew will get plenty of repetitions Saturday.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

Having a new head coach, coaching staff, general manager, quarterback, etc. has made this one of the more interesting and exciting offseasons I can recall. New schemes, new players, new culture. New hope for all of us fans. None of that matters unless we see a (hopefully vast) improvement on the field on game day. Head coaches usually trot out vanilla offenses and generic defenses for preseason games. But Meyer does things his way. Realistically, what are you expecting to see on Saturday night?

Vanilla offenses and generic defenses, at least comparatively speaking. You'll get an idea for some formations and perhaps a lot of starters. But will you see the full offensive packages? Will you see the full blitz package defensively? Almost certainly not.

Bruce from Saint Simons Island, GA

O, John Madden and Pat Summerall for sure, but the original Monday Night Football crew was fun to watch, too.


Fred from Naples, FL

One of my favorite announcers back in the early days was Irv Cross. I actually got to meet him when I was 13 years old as he was living in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and my best friend at the time lived right next door to him. He spent an hour with me talking football. An incredible gentleman!

I never had the chance to meet Irv Cross, a groundbreaking announcer in the 1970s and part of CBS' NFL Today – which created the template for all NFL pregame show that followed it. I, like many of my generation, watched the show religiously every Sunday at 12:30. What was said on the show mattered. So, yeah … one fer the late, great Irv Cross.

Jim from Middleburg, FL

Ok. You have seen more than most. Tim Tebow can block or can't block. We know everything else. If he can block or not is all we need to know man. Thanks.

Jaguars tight end Tim Tebow has been OK in this area at times and needed work at other times. The preseason will matter.

Steve from Sunroom Couch

Dear, John. Our very own Cliff Lives was recently a victim of a senior citizen's inabliity to steer a mobility scooter at a Target. No word as of now if he'll be ready for preseason. How do you think the Jaguars will fare if he's not ready to go for the regular season?

It would be a blow. A severe one.

Daniel from Johnston, IA

With the NFL moving to a 17-game schedule, were you surprised (I was surprised) they didn't increase the roster size up to, say, 55-to-57 players? Seems reasonable considering the additional wear of another game ...

I wasn't particularly surprised at this. NFL owners always resist increasing roster size because increasing roster size increases player costs. I would expect it to maybe inch up a player or two from its current size of 53 over time because history shows that happens. But I wouldn't expect a four-player jump in one offseason.

Tom from Jacksonville

Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson sounds just like Elvis. Would you ask him to say, "Thank you. Thank you very much" the next time you record his interview?

No, I will not.

John from Jacksonville

If Travis Etienne Jr. can be a hybrid running back/receiver could Laviska Shenault Jr. be a hybrid receiver/tight end?

I expect Shenault to be primarily a wide receiver and to also lineup in a lot of places around the offense. I expect one of those places to occasionally be next to the line. If that makes him a hybrid wide receiver/tight end, then so be it.

Rob from San Antonio, TX

Thanks to you and the rest of the team there for cranking out lots of articles and videos for us throughout camp. Much appreciated!

You're welcome. I deserve a lot of credit for this.