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O-Zone: Upside down

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Bradley from Sparks, NV

The pass catchers are a glaring weakness. You would think the Jags would spend more energy identifying, drafting and developing wide receiver and tight end talent. In 2021, wide receiver Rondale Moore and tight end Pat Freirmuth were drafted after tackle Walker Little. Wide receiver Amon St. Brown was drafted after defensive tackle Jay Tufele. This year a variety of NFL experts are saying guys like Jelani Woods, Isaiah Likely, Romeo Doubs and Kalil Skaker are the steals of the draft. The Jags could have easily drafted one or two of those guys without sacrificing much. Instead, they are paying wide receiver Christian Kirk and tight end Evan Ingram $30 million a year. Those are third- and fourth-tier guys. You have to have first- and second-tier guys if you want to contend. Will the Jags start correcting this obvious problem next off season or ever?

A few thoughts on your thoughts. While you may not like the Jaguars' approach at wide receiver and tight end, it's incorrect to say they don't spend energy identifying, drafting and developing. Something not being done to your liking is not the same as something not being done. The Jaguars opted for Little and Tufele because drafting and developing lineman is at least as – and some believe, more – important as developing pass-catchers. And while Woods, Likely, Doubs and Skaker may be fine players, let's wait until the regular season to decide how rookies will play. For that matter, it might be fair to wait until the regular season to determine if the pass-catchers are an "obvious problem." I agree it's a storyline, and I wonder about the group's size, but I also expect this area to at minimum be a lot better than it was in 2021.

DJ from Grass Valley, CA

If Jamal Agnew is NOT a top 5 returner, then who is? Who else has a 109-yard field-goal return under their belt? Do we not really have the discussion because of the ignorance of many fans about the importance of special teams?!? Also, IMO, Logan Cooke is probably the best punter the NFL has seen in a long time! Let's just hope he gets less opportunities this season. GO JAGS!

Cooke and Agnew are really good, with Cooke in particular deserving of being in the conversation with the NFL's best at his position. And there's little question they get left of conversations about good Jaguars players because they're on special teams. While coaches love to talk about special teams as a third of the game, they're always going to be behind offense and defense when ranking importance.

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

Does not seem right that our last-place schedule this year lands us a date with the Baltimore Ravens - an eight-win team in 2021 from the AFC North.

I've never understood questioning an NFL's schedule's "fairness." And this phenomenon is not exclusive to fans. I've been around longtime league people who instinctively distrust the "schedule makers," though the NFL long has determined opponents and sites by a rotating formula set years in advance. The Jaguars play the Ravens this season because the teams finished last in their respective divisions last season. Some seasons draw you a two-victory team and other years it draws a team that finished close to .500 the season before. It balances out over time.

Josh from Lakewood

Which former Jaguars kicker would you want on the field if they needed to make a touchdown saving tackle?

My memory is fuzzy on these matters, but I remember the Jaguars' first kicker – Mike Hollis – being really good in this area. I'm willing to defer to someone who follows this more closely and thinks about it more. I don't know if I would want to spend much time with that person, but I would defer to the answer.

Ray from Jax

John: Is it possible that some of those expressing optimism for this season were wearing clown costumes the last time they were in the stadium?

Sure, it's possible. And expected. Fans hate when their teams lose, love when they win and get caught up in the moment to act "fanatical" a lot of times. Fans gonna fan. Logic, reason and thoughtful approach often need not apply. That's what makes this fun.

Charles from Riverside

Hello John, has Trevor been weaponized? Last year, he got a free pass based on the lack of talent on the offense (and being a rookie). Have we really upgraded the O to the extent that he now has the weapons to have a breakout sophomore year? Also, has the Defense definitively approved, which would also give Trevor more time to improve his production? As fans we are all united in really wanting him to be a top tier QB in the league. He doesn't have to be elite or generational (yet). For now, upper quarter of the NFL this year would be great! Doable?

I never know what "free pass" means. I do know Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence received plenty of criticism and questions regarding his on-field play last season to go along with analysts/observers/fans praisng his leadership, poise and off-field actions. I do believe the Jaguars have better skill players around Lawrence than was the case last season, and I believe the calmer – more professional – atmosphere around the Jaguars along with Lawrence's natural maturation process will help him improve dramatically. I do think the Jaguars' defense approves of Lawrence. More importantly, I believe that unit has improved enough to help the offense be in better situations to allow Lawrence to succeed. As far as where Lawrence will rank this season … upper quarter in the NFL would mean he's one of the NFL's best eight quarterbacks. That may be a bit high. We'll see.

James from Socorro, NM

I was one of the (many?) people who thought the Jaguars should have cleaned house after last season, including firing general manager Trent Baalke. Is it okay to think he might actually be doing an OK, maybe even a good, job?

The Jaguars open the 2022 regular season against the Washington Commanders at FedEx Field Sunday at 1 p.m.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

It has been a long time since I've looked forward to the start of the season with this much excitement. I wanted to make a prediction for the opener at Washington, but it's tough. We've lost like 17 straight road games. The Commanders have upgraded quarterback. The Jaguars look like a significantly improved team, but questions remain: Can they figure out how to score touchdowns when in the red zone? Will the revamped offensive line be able both to protect Lawrence and open holes for the running backs? Will the defensive secondary be able to stay with speed receivers on the outside and with tight ends over the middle? Will September 11 be a good indicator of how the 2022 season will go?

The NFL regular-season opener can be a tone-setter for the regular season, but it also can be the season's weirdest game. This is because teams often have very little past game video on teams from which to game plan. NFL types believe you don't get an accurate gauge on the real strength of teams – and how a season will play out – until about Week 6. By that time, the statistical outliers and weirdness have had time to level off and you have a better idea how teams will really perform.

Lawrence from Omaha, NE

Hey KOAF, did you all take a break from podcast shows? Some of your fans really miss them. Was looking forward to this week's Bucky Brooks presents Bucky Brooks Huddle Up Brookscast.

Jaguars Drive Time will "air" Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9:30 throughout the season. Huddle Up with Bucky Brooks – also known as the Bucky Brooks Show with Bucky Brooks on the Jaguars' Bucky Brooks Network – will "air" at 4 p.m. Wednesdays.

Marc from Oceanway

Dear All-seeing Zone: Do you believe we have enough defensive line depth to rotate players and stay fresh for a full 60 minutes? (That's not even considering the possibility of an injury further thinning said line).

The season begins Sunday. There's no reason the Jaguars won't have plenty of defensive-line depth on the 53-player roster at that time. They re-signed veteran defensive lineman Adam Gotsis toward that end on Sunday.

Captain Bob from Jax

Zone, for those who don't think long snapping is difficult or that anyone can do it, try it. Like the saying goes, not until you walk in the other guy's shoes. Like cleats. It's not just getting the ball 15 yards. It's getting it there bent over, fast, without looking and to a target like a major league baseball strike zone. Before they try it, please start recording. I can always use a good laugh. Maybe this can be a new Tik Tok challenge!?

What's Tik Tok? Is that on the interweb?