JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Josh from Atlanta, GA
Regardless of position, has any player stuck out the most or made a more significant impression on you to this point in underwear?
I'll preface this answer by reminding readers that it's difficult for defensive linemen, offensive linemen and even linebackers and running backs to make an impression during non-padded practices. That limits the players from which to choose when answering this question about Jaguars 2021 Minicamp and 2021 Organized Team Activities presented by Baptist Health – the so-called "Phase 3" of the offseason program that pretty much ended at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex Tuesday. So, the answer to your question is … no, no particular player really stuck out that much in the last four weeks. What was impressive – and not unimportant – was the play of quarterback Trevor Lawrence in the second and final day of minicamp this week. This was Tuesday – and Lawrence easily had his best practice of the six sessions open to the media in the last four weeks. He appeared to be making quick decisions, was accurate and effective in the red zone and threw with striking accuracy. This wasn't unexpected, but we hadn't seen a day such as that from Lawrence yet this offseason. The day fell in line with what veteran cornerback Shaquill Griffin had said the previous day – that Lawrence was beginning to show the arm talent and decision-making that made him the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. The performance Tuesday doesn't guarantee Lawrence a bust in Canton, Ohio, but there are worse ways to end the offseason program.
Zach from East Palatka, FL
Our schedule is brutal in 2021. The football gods gave us a break with the Houston Texans; two wins against the Texans will go a long way this year. Which game in the first half of the season do you see as a catalyst? I am going with Week 6 against the Miami Dolphins. Because if we lose that game, the next three games are really tough to secure a W. A four-game losing streak can be a killer. Then again this is just the first half of the season.
I admit I'm not great at offseason schedule analysis (or many other things, for that matter); I tend to believe the NFL adage that you really don't know what a team is each season until about Week 6 – and you therefore don't know much about schedule strength until around the same time. And NFL seasons usually don't play out according to conventional wisdom. Think back to the Jaguars' 2017 season. They beat a bunch of teams during that regular season that on paper looked tough before the season – the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Seattle Seahawks, the Baltimore Ravens and the Los Angeles Chargers among them. They also won in Houston in Week 1 when most observers thought that would be a brutally tough game. They also lost games to the New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers that observers thought they should have won. The schedule will play out as it plays out. If the Jaguars are improved, they'll win a lot of games that surprise observers. If not …
Kevin from Jacksonville Beach, FL
John, Meyer has mentioned during a couple of interviews that they have been working with Trevor on the offense "well before the draft. How does this work based on the Collective Bargaining Agreement and rules in general?
The rules allowing teams to hold pre-draft videoconferences with prospects allowed the Jaguars to work with Lawrence on multiple occasions before the draft.
Darren from Las Vegas, NV
Not a fair comparison. Kids don't know any better. They'd rather play with their friends all day, because that's what kids do. Athletes are adults and can comprehend and understand bigger pictures. A better comparison would be, young adults go to college, with a choice, because it's good for them and their career. See how they had a choice though?
I have in two-and-a-half decades covering the NFL known many players who indeed are "adults and can comprehend and understand bigger pictures." I've known other players, too.
Dave from Jacksonville
Zone, what are we to make of the four players brought in for workouts? Seems like normal business. Are they allowed to practice with the roster players during minicamp?
The Jaguars had four tryout players participating in rookie minicamp this week: wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, cornerbacks Simeon Thomas and Keiarae Russell and offensive tackle Jerald Hawkins. It indeed is normal business – and the players did practice in minicamp.
Mike from Atlanta, GA
Could you see a situation where one receiver leads the Jaguars in yards, another leads in touchdowns, and someone else leads in yards per catch? This offense won't scare opposing coordinators, at first at least, but as far as personnel, it looks like one of the new-wave offenses like the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers. The Jaguars won't be on that level, but in that vein. The Chiefs put a lot of stress on opposing defenses with the sheer number of playmakers at the skill positions. This offense and personnel don't remind me of a traditional offense. I think we will have to use our imaginations on what they plan on doing, because Meyer and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell are going to do.
It seems in somewhat roundabout fashion way you're asking if the Jaguars will be versatile with multiple weapons and formations offensively. I absolutely believe that will be the case. I expect this will manifest itself not only with players such as wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. and running back Travis Etienne Jr. playing hybrid roles, but also with multiple pre-snap looks and a lot of motion designed to create one-on-one matchups – and to create confusion on defense. It's tricky to compare the scheme to the Packers and the Chiefs, mainly because those teams have elite quarterbacks (Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay and Patrick Mahomes of Kansas City) while the Jaguars have an unproven player (Lawrence) at the position with potential. But yes … Bevell and Meyer will use their imaginations offensively. No doubt.
Chris from Mandarin
I don't understand how any professional free-agent tight end – like literally any of them – would not be a better option than Tim Tebow. Look at Tyler Eifert last year: 36 catches for 350 yards and two touchdowns. A reasonable person would consider these stats as pretty decent for a player like Tebow that is coming into his mid-thirties having never played the position before, but for someone that has always played the position I would think it would be the minimum expected behavior for a receiving tight end.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, can you elaborate on "Leon Jacobs, a strong-side linebacker in the 4-3 scheme the Jaguars played in recent seasons, is playing the strong-side outside backer?" I'm not sure what I am missing about why that is notable.
When Meyer spoke to the media Monday following Day 1 of 2021 Minicamp, he specified that Jacobs will be playing that position along with K'Lavon Chaisson and Lerentee McCray. The Jaguars are transitioning to a new defensive scheme. When the head coach offers specifics about who will play where, it's "notable."
KC from Orlando, FL
KOAF, this whole media access issue appears to be way overblown. Access to athletes is good for the league and the media. However, a great athlete that does well with interviews only makes themselves more marketable for endorsements. I know if I had a product that I wanted to have endorsed, I wouldn't want an athlete that was a pompous jerk, a recluse, or sounded ignorant. What are your thoughts?
Of course it's overblown. I mean, right?
Matt from St. Augustine, FL
A non-football question for you as the Dead Zone approaches: this coming Monday marks the 30th anniversary of the release of "The Rocketeer," which is one of my favorite movies of all time – it's a love letter to the serials of the '30s and to the golden ages of aviation and Hollywood that's almost perfectly executed. However, it didn't perform as well as hoped at the box office and basically fell off the face of the Earth once it left theaters. Some would attribute that to the fact that it was a Disney movie and perceived as too kid-friendly, but I think a large part of its underperformance came from the fact that it opened a week after Kevin Costner's "Robin Hood" movie and less than two weeks before "Terminator 2," both of which were massive box office successes. Anyway, my question: Did John From 30 Years Ago see "The Rocketeer" in theaters? If John From 30 Years Ago was offered the option of seeing those three movies, which one would he have chosen? Which one of the three would you choose today?
None of the above, but I damned sure would go see "Point Break" – which was released the following month. JOHNN-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y UTAAAAAAHHH!!!!!