JACKSONVILLE – Look-Ahead Wednesday.
Let's get to it …
Marc from Duval
Before the season started, you attempted to temper somewhat the fan expectations of a Jaguars "runaway" with the division. Now at the quarter pole of the season, the entire division is knotted up with each team at 2-2 and each seemingly very much believing that they have a shot in a wide-open race. I still believe at the end that the Jaguars' experience and talent at key spots – particularly quarterback and head coach – will inevitably help them clear the finish line ahead of the pack, but it's clear this will indeed be a race through December.
I indeed wrote and said often throughout the offseason that the AFC South likely would be far tighter than many Jaguars fans/observer expected. It just felt premature to project otherwise. This was partly because a lot usually must go wrong for multiple teams for one team – even a very good team – to pull away for a "runaway." That's true even if the projected weaker teams have inexperienced quarterbacks. Also: The Jaguars entered the 2023 season as a team with a lot of potential, but one that hadn't shown itself yet to be consistently dominant. I expect the Jaguars to have a very real chance to win the division this season. I would still call them the favorite. I still can't see a "runaway."
Dave from Jacksonville
Just curious, when was the last time the Jaguars were never behind in a game? Seems like it's been a minute …
The Jaguars did not trail in their 31-3 victory over the Houston Texans in Week 17 of the 2022 season. That was the last time they did not trail in a game before this past Sunday's 23-7 victory over the Atlanta Falcons at Wembley Stadium.
Jim from Middleburg, FL
Hey, John. When the offensive line is complete and healthy, the sun will shine again.
Bet your bottom dollar.
Chuck from Ponte Vedra Beach
Trevor is averaging 6.6 yards per pass, lower than last year and among lowest in the league. Is this short-toss play-calling intentional to avoid turnovers – ala Blake Bortles? With our talent, a lot of fans expected a quick-strike game plan. Personally, I find our quick short pass annoying and ineffective.
I'm sorry you're annoyed. Being annoyed can be, well … annoying. We're four games into the 2023 season and the Jaguars' offense indeed hasn't been as effective down the field as many projected. My sense is a lot of it is because of the time quarterback Trevor Lawrence feels he has to execute on most plays. There also may be an element of offensive coordinator Press Taylor trying to call plans to protect the offensive line and allow Lawrence to throw quickly. I don't know that this is the plan entering games as much as reacting to in-game situations. As the offensive line improves and gets some cohesion, and as Lawrence gains more confidence behind that line in the pocket, I would expect his timing and effectiveness with receivers downfield to improve. That's my sense through four games. That's only my sense.
Brian from Round Rock, Texas
Four games in, where does this rank in terms of worst coaching jobs in Jaguars history to start a season? The only explanation for the poor start compared to expectations and talent level is that this team was not ready to start the season. It was mentally unprepared, overconfident and mentally weak. Furthermore, the decision to weaken the offense by transferring responsibilities from the head coach to the offensive coordinator has been an unforced error. Finally, the offensive talent level is on par or better than last year, yet we are inexplicably performing significantly worse.
Hold please …
Matt from Jacksonville
Round Rock, Texas - where they are rarely correct, but never in doubt.
You said it, not me.
Jordan from Mandarin
I would put Shatley at center this week. I think that's the way to get the five best linemen on the field with Cam coming back.
You're reasoning as I see it is the Jaguars could start Cam Robinson at left tackle, Walker Little at left guard, Tyler Shatley at center, Brandon Scherff at right guard and Anton Harrison at right tackle. That makes sense and wouldn't be shocking. My sense right now is they will leave Luke Fortner in the lineup at center because continuity is important at the position. Shatley would likely be the backup center/guard in that scenario. These are guesses. My sense after last week is that different things could be considered on the offensive line from what might previously have been considered. Stay tuned.
Nick from Palatka, FL
Hey, Zone? Do you have a sense of Cam Robinson's game shape? Do you think when he returns next week that the O-line will be instantly improved or will it take a couple or three weeks? Just trying to muster a little hope for a Jags win next week. Thank you.
I have no sense of Robinson's game shape. The Jaguars will be trying to get a sense of that this week in practice. My sense is they hope he feels ready to play Sunday. It could take a week of practice before that's the case. We should have a better idea of this in the coming day or two.
Johnny from Howey in the Hills
Dr. O: I'm fired up to see a rested Big Cam and Big Walker Little shoulder to shoulder punching gaps in defensive lines for ETN and the Tank. Think Coach Doug P will accommodate?
That's my guess.
Ricky from Jac
How do you see Cam being worked back in and what can of effect do you think he'll have on the line and offense? I have to say when he was suspended I was thinking so what we are transitioning away from him but boy do we need him back.
I think coaches would like Robinson to play this week if he is ready. I also think it's easier sometimes to move on from good players in fact than in theory.
John from Cape May Court House
Walker Little should remain the left tackle. He's the only lineman playing with any consistency. The eye test and analytics both support this. He's finally getting comfortable in his natural position and I'm not sure Robinson would be an upgrade. That is all. As you were.
I expect the Jaguars will believe differently.
Paul from Saint Johns
Remember when people thought trading Cam Robinson before the season started was a great idea? That didn't age well. Now everyone is begging for him to return.
Trading good players and fiddling with the depth chart are fun offseason activities for NFL fans. It's nice to have those good players on the roster when reality happens.
Fred from Naples, FL
Perhaps this is oversimplified. However, I believe getting Cam Robinson back will go a long way in improving our offense. We will get our running game going again which in turn will open up the passing game. Cam could not be coming back at a more opportune time.
One fer Robinson.
Jeff from Renton, WA
I'm fine with going for it on fourth down. I always think, "If the situation was reversed and the other team was going for it, how would I feel?" The fourth-down attempts put a lot of pressure on the other team. Particularly when the team knows you are a team that will not be afraid to go for it.
This is fair. Fourth-down attempts don't always work. But if a team you're following forces an incomplete pass on third-and-4 from the opponent's 40-yard line, there's a deflated "uh-oh" feeling if the opponent doesn't send out the punt team. There just is.
Amy from Jacksonville
Dear Mr. O, Will you please explain Tyler Shatley's comments regarding paying taxes to London? U.S. citizen with a U.S. employer? Thank you.
Professional athletes competing in the United Kingdom are subject to taxes up to 45 percent. Being a citizen of another country and having your employer located in another country do not change that.
Steven from Upper Tract
How many more games will the Jags play this year that can only be seen on subscribed streaming services? Hard to stay interested if I have to search for ways to watch.
The Jaguars' game against the Buffalo Bills Sunday will be on NFL Network with their October 19 game against the New Orleans Saints on Amazon Prime Video. All other Jaguars games this season are scheduled to be on CBS, ESPN or FOX.
Dave from Jacksonville
Can you tell our Josh Allen that he is playing the other Josh Allen Sunday? That worked pretty well last time.
Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen is well aware he is playing Bills quarterback Josh Allen Sunday. He is also well aware that his best career game before this season came in that game. He gets it. He will be motivated. Perhaps no more than usual, but he will be motivated.