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O-Zone: Trust no one

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Al from Orange Park, FL

What is all the angst about having a "WR1" and who it is or will be? Too much Madden? Too much Fantasy Football? If there are four guys who catch the ball and don't drop it, all to the good, right?

This is a fair question – and it's a pertinent one for the Jaguars and their observers. The reason it's pertinent is there's a general belief among people around the Jaguars' offensive system that a "True No. 1 Receiver" isn't in fact overly necessarily. The belief is that in this system a balanced receiving corps on which multiple receivers can play multiple receiver positions can function at an equally high level to an offense with an "alpha" receiver. An example of this is the Philadelphia Eagles' receiving corps when they won the Super Bowl with Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson as Philadelphia head coach following the 2017 season. That offense didn't have a "True No. 1 receiver" and functioned just fine. Another example is the Kansas City Chiefs receivers in many seasons under Head Coach Andy Reid, with Pederson running essentially the same system as Reid. Key to the system is the quarterback effectively distributing the ball evenly and naturally. The Jaguars were fine offensively with that sort of receiving corps in 2022, Pederson's first season as head coach. I suspect they will be OK with that sort of receiving corps in 2024.

Sean from Saint Johns City

I agree that injuries played a big part in the Jaguars' collapse last year. I suspect they would have overcome that with better offensive or defensive line play in the run game, at key moments.

When analyzing any NFL situation – season, game or individual play – it's a fool's game to cite Just One Thing as The Reason. We play varying degrees of that game here in various public forums – including here in the O-Zone – because there is high interest and because what else is there to do on June 17? Yes, the Jaguars struggled on the offensive and defensive lines at times last season. They struggled on the interior of the offensive line all season and they struggled on the defensive line as the season progressed. But they had varying degrees of success despite those struggles. The injuries mounted as the season continued, but the injuries to quarterback Trevor Lawrence and wide receiver Christian Kirk provide a strikingly clear demarcation point. The Jaguars were 8-3 and playing for the No. 1 seed in the AFC before they were injured against the Cincinnati Bengals. They were 1-5 after that. Yes, a lot of factors contributed to the struggles. But 8-3 and 1-5 is such an unusually clear contrast that it's hard to see why so many Jaguars fans don't want to acknowledge that injuries mattered last season.

JT from GA

The Atlanta Falcons gave a journeyman quarterback $180 million over four years with $100 million guaranteed, drafted a quarterback in the first round, lost a fifth-round pick, and was fined by the NFL for tampering all this offseason. Clearly the quarterback market is pricey!

Ya think?

Pedal Bin from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK

Oh Mighty 'O' / King Of All Funk, so it's 'Officially' the Dead Zone. So … read any good books lately? Or are you planning to finally get round to watching Star Wars?

I confess I don't read as much as I would like – or should – these days. I have read just two books this year. One was "Based on a True Story: Not a memoir," by the late Norm MacDonald. This was a gift and I read it because I'll devour anything about or by MacDonald. I also read Nemesis by the late novelist Phillip Roth. This was bought off a bargain table. I was going to read a Graham Greene novel this offseason, but the words were small and it was longer than the Roth novel, so I read the Roth novel because it was shorter with bigger words. The Roth novel, as with most Roth novels, was great. I don't plan to finally get around to watching Star Wars. I watched the original Star Wars in 1977. While I'm aware that it's "officially" called something else now it's still the "original" Star Wars to me. I'm pretty sure I have seen all the "other eight" or so "main Star Wars" because I think my wife and son had them on DVD or dragged me to the theatre to watch. I can't imagine a scenario under which I'll watch more. If the original Star Wars happens to be on, I imagine I'll watch it. Beyond that, when is enough enough?

Jonathan from Formerly of Jax Beach

  1. Everyone sees this, mostly in the college game. This was far from our problem if you were watching.

Well done, Jonathan. Well done.

Urban from Columbus, OH

Wait, you're telling me that there is film available of NFL players?

You don't need film on NFL players. Or college players. All that's ever needed is an I-Phone with YouTube. Watch highlights on there and you'll be an NFL expert. Ask anyone.

Julio the pool boy from Over there

K-funk, your ability to answer redundant questions in a polite way, without pointing out the lack of reading comprehension that some show (they probably don't know who they are) is quite impressive.

I am the king of all funk.

Richard from St. Augustine, FL

KOAF and ruler of Rat Dog days, I know fans are going to fan but Steazy Trev was never going to get less than $50 million per year and probably not less than $52 million per year. So, all this noise over $15 to $25 million more total! Seriously, John: What were these people thinking? Please let me in on what I am missing here. Am I not wrong? Also just curious if you were ever into Jazz? DTWD Go Jags.

The "noise" is understandable and expected. First, we live in an age of noise. Second, to understand the dynamics that ensured that Lawrence would be at least in the $50-million range required observers grasping market dynamics and realities of how these negotiations work – and many observers simply don't have the inclination to acknowledge such realities. The nature of sports-related discussions these days is that many people driving the discussions on television/social media have little interest in understanding issues and a lot of interest in shouting/tweeting their takes. This doesn't make the shouters/tweeters bad people. It doesn't mean they're not entitled to their opinions. It does mean that they're opinions – and the noise those opinions create – often have little to do with reality. As for jazz … I've tried. I wanted to like it. I've listed to Kind of Blue. I've tried others. I just can't get it. Maybe someday.

Cliff from ORANGE PARK

You seem very proud of your streak and you should be, it is just not as popular as it was in the 70s. I think the number of cameras everywhere today has discouraged many a streak. How do you avoid the cameras?

Why would I avoid the cameras?

Michael from Mean streets of Arlington

Do you think Jarvis Landry will be able to come to the O-Zone gathering?

Veteran wide receiver Jarvis Landry participated in 2024 Rookie Minicamp last month on a tryout basis. He did not sign with the team and therefore is not on the roster – and is no longer working out with the Jaguars. Loyal O-Zone readers – and he knows who he is – know that Landry would be welcome by the O-Zone in any scenario so long as Landry is buying. If there were to be a gathering. Which loyal O-Zone readers – and he knows who he is – know there is not. Or something like that.

Biff from Hard Streets of Arlington

John, I think what your loyal O-Zone readers (and they know who they are) don't get, is that some humans ain't human. Some people ain't kind. You open up their hearts, and here's what you'll find. A few frozen pizzas, some ice cubes with hair, a broken popsicle … They need to appreciate you just don't wanna go there. I must be close on that, right?

You're very close, and they could be sitting right next to you.

Sal from Austin, TX

Do brand new franchise quarterbacks have any input on what Jaguar the team is going with on the helmet?


David from Orlando, FL

O-Zone – With a five-year contract, will our $275 million quarterback of the future ever step foot in our $1.4 billion Stadium of the Future?

Lawrence's contract extension reportedly will run through 2030. If approved and completed, the Stadium of the Future appears likely to open in 2028. So, yes … the plan is for Lawence to play in that new stadium. As for anyone else on the Jaguars – or for the Senior Writer – stay tuned. Entry codes changes fast in the NFL.