O-Zone: same feeling



It’s so hard to be a Jag fan. We clearly need help everywhere. Embarrassingly, our front office takes a hit by trading for a wide receiver who is currently suspended. Wow…just the Jags. The worst part is now that we still have Josh Allen. Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke will set the deal with a guy who is second string at best.

You’re right that it’s been tough over the past decade to be a Jaguars fan. No one with perspective would disagree. But misreading/exaggerating the present won’t help matters. Trading for wide receiver Calvin Ridley last week was by no means a “stunt”. It was a calculated and relatively low-risk decision to acquire a potential No. 1 receiver for a reasonable capital project. If Ridley is as good with the Jaguars as he was with the Atlanta Falcons, the Jaguars will have given up a fifth- and second-round pick to make the difference. If it is not, the compensation will have been much less. It’s a way to acquire a necessary piece while maintaining premium draft capital to acquire another front-line talent in the 2023 NFL Draft. As for Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen… I don’t know how Baalke will manage his second contract, but Allen is not a second-tier player. He didn’t have the number of sacks you were hoping for, but he’s far from a second-team player.

Seems to me Ridley’s trade is signaling that Jaguars owner Shad Khan has canceled the 2022 season when it comes to increasing receiver talent for Trevor! I am still trying to understand this movement in light of current skill needs…

The Jaguars are indeed unlikely to acquire more high-level receiving talent for quarterback Trevor Lawrence this season. We’re past the trade deadline, so the time for major moves has pretty much passed until the next offseason. The only other major trade involving a wide receiver at the NFL’s trade deadline this week was the Chicago Bears acquiring wide receiver Chase Claypool from the Pittsburgh Steelers for a second-round selection in 2023. I’m sure the Jaguars viewed Claypool as they viewed any player, but they viewed Ridley as better suited with more payoff for cost and risk.

Nick from Virginia Beach, Virginia

We want to win, O. We’re tired of losing streaks that make up the majority of the season. The question will it ever stop? It does not appear that will be the case.

I still believe in Trevor Lawrence and I think he’s still learning. Not all quarterbacks are going to come in and light up immediately and not all quarterbacks are going to develop in the same amount of time. That said, is there any concern that Trevor could keep making the same mistakes and therefore maybe the other guys in the dressing room are starting to lose a bit of faith in him? We’ve seen it in the past with our last two quarterbacks…

It’s always a risk if your quarterback isn’t playing well. I haven’t heard that expressed by Jaguars players this season, and it’s not something they’re likely to express publicly. I don’t feel like we’re there yet with Lawrence. I feel the confidence in him remains high among his teammates and it is understood that he is young – and still doing a lot of positive things as he grows. But can he keep making the same red zone mistakes and maintain that confidence? No. At one point…

Jonathan from Blackfoot, ID

I love Trevor. I think I’ll just wait and see what happens.

After all, there’s really nothing else to do.

What is your opinion on Travon Walker so far? To me, he seems to have all his physical traits and is solid against the run, but limited on the pass (which was expected). What worries me is that there seems to be a lack of development in the pass-rush moves. Looks like he really only uses two moves. Wouldn’t it make more sense for him to try other moves to develop them, even if they don’t work?

So far, your assessment of the Jaguars rookie outside of linebacker Travon Walker is pretty accurate. He is talented, athletic and his physical qualities make him an asset in defense, especially against the run. He gives a lot of effort and has sometimes been able to put pressure on the passer. I would expect him to develop more pass-rush moves over time. Will that come as a rookie as he works to adapt to a faster, more physical game? It’s tough and I expect that to happen more in the offseason than in the regular season. We will see.

Cliff from everywhere with helicopter

Without getting into the circular and unnecessary elite/non-elite argument, I would point out that Lawrence is in his *second* professional season, which also happens to be his *first* under a professional head coach. . I find it hard to believe there are so many fans clamoring for his head, but I don’t listen to sports radio or read “comment sections” so my expertise may be lacking.

Right, but what is a “comments section?”

Hey, O. Has there been any talk of moving Walker indoors in the event of likely deaths? I’ll admit I don’t touch his every move, but when I see him rush at the quarterback, it’s the same shoving move over and over. It seems like it would be more efficient to collapse the pocket rather than win by the edge. While Walker has plenty of time to develop his passing-rush skills, something must soon change with this passing rush or the Jags will once again pick in the Top 5.

I expect the Jaguars to use Walker more extensively on the inside at some point in passing situations. I don’t feel like they’re close to that yet because they want him to continue to develop as an outside linebacker before using the versatility that made him the No. 1 selection in the total in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Mike from Cartersville (aka Trevortown), Georgia

I think those who criticize your answers from Trevor don’t appreciate the nuances. Perhaps they are looking for binary answers: Trevor bad, Trevor good. Guess that’s easier than digesting a deep dive. Social media destroys our attention span.

Jason from the North Pole, AK

From what I’ve read and seen, Jaguars cornerback Tyson Campbell is playing at an extremely high level. Is it possible that between linebacker Devin Lloyd, Campbell and Walker, the Jaguars will have an elite player at all three levels on defense next season?

Campbell, Lloyd, and Walker all need to take a pretty big step to become elite, though all of them can reach that level.

“I would expect Zay Jones, Christian Kirk and Calvin Ridley to be the Jaguars’ top three receivers in 2023.” Does that mean you’d be surprised if the Jaguars drafted a wide receiver in Round 1 or 2 of the next draft? Or even Round 3?

Not shocked, maybe, but a little surprised.

Why do you think the defense can’t stop fourth quarter winning drives? Are they tired? Do we stop being aggressive and play “not to lose” instead of playing to win during these times? What is that?

It looks like the Jaguars have exposable weaknesses and some youthfulness in some key areas, and they don’t have enough dominant disruptions up front to undo those weaknesses. The opponent of recent weeks seems to identify these weaknesses and capitalize on them late in games. It’s a theory.

John (aka Jagtattoo) from Ramsey, NJ

Do we all realize we’re a few silly penalties and turnovers away from being 6-2? Instead, those fixable errors got us down to 2-6 at the halfway point. We have very tough games coming up in Baltimore, Tennessee and Kansas City. I don’t see us finishing above 500 this season. However, finishing strong could prepare us mentally and physically for next season. Is my glass more than half full here?

Well, this Las Vegas Raiders game marks the end of the “easy half” of our schedule…if we lose this game, do you even see a reasonable path to five wins this year?

I’m not a big fan of easy and hard games in the NFL. Teams generally have a chance of winning if they play well and will likely lose if they don’t. Remember: The undefeated Philadelphia Eagles may be the best team in the NFL and the Jaguars were a red-zone interception and/or late practice to have any real chance of winning the game of the week 4 of the teams. If the Jaguars play well, they’ll have a chance to win three or four more games — at least. Otherwise …

The 2021 Jaguars started 2-6. The 2022 Jaguars started 2-6. Sure, the games are closer, but it doesn’t matter if you keep losing them.


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