O-Zone: a smart guy


Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville

OTAs mean little or nothing about the true status of the team. We win pajama drills every year and look a lot less intimidating on the court. What I want to know is this: Cornerback Shaquill Griffin said last year that he would find a fan in the stands with his jersey number and deliver his first interceptor. Since he had NO interceptions last year, I wonder if he will keep this same agreement this year. This is an area that this team desperately needs to solve. We were last in the league for turnover last year. This team can’t win unless we get the extra possessions from the offense. What do teams that receive takeout do better than those that don’t? Is it coaching? Mentality? To concentrate? Why do we seem to suck at creating turnover?

There’s no one key to creating rotations – but struggling teams often struggle in this area. Creating turnovers is usually more about haste than secondary. Quarterbacks are so good these days that most don’t throw interceptable passes under normal circumstances. Their mistakes often come from being under pressure, which means a defense has to disrupt the quarterback to force interceptions. This disruption can also mean sack/fumbles – the most impactful types of turnovers. Further: a key to passing the rush is the rush of the pass Opportunities, which most often occur when infractions are lagging or in obvious overtaking situations. Forwards play much more conservatively when controlling games and in manageable situations. The Jaguars have lagged a lot and haven’t been good against the run in recent seasons. The attackers therefore felt very comfortable playing with the Jaguars. The Jaguars defense therefore did not have enough opportunities to create pass rush and turnovers. They also haven’t been as good as needed along the front seven. If you combine the lack of opportunities with a lack of elite playmakers up front, you get a pretty good reason why the Jaguars have struggled in this area. It’s more of a reason than mentality, focus or coaching. Much more.

_Scott from Fernandina Beach, Florida_

Hi, did O. Tyson Campbell show improvement in men’s coverage at the end of last season or were his improvements more attributable to playing more zone coverage? Thanks.

Campbell, a veteran sophomore cornerback selected No. 33 overall by the Jaguars in the 2021 NFL Draft, struggled early in his rookie season and improved significantly late. It seemed to this spotter that he had improved in both man-to-man and area coverage. His struggles early in his rookie season weren’t so much about wrestling with a man or a zone. He has the physical ability to do both, and he seemed particularly good in humans at times. But Campbell’s early struggles were mostly with tracking the ball in the air. He would sometimes be in a good position and then allow the reception. He improved a lot in this area over the season – enough for an argument to be made he was the team’s most improved player at the end of the season.

Why has no one thought of comparing this? Jaguars rookie outside linebacker Travon Walker can play in many positions on the defensive line, frequently using the word monster. He reminds me of someone who destroyed us for years: the original monster, Javon Kearse from TEN!!! If we could get that from Travon, I would be blown away by the choice of General Manager Trent Baalke after a year of being on the streets with torches claiming his badge! THOUGHTS?!

Tom from Charlottesville, Virginia

Last year, wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. was a leader and we fans have heard of him often. This year, he was more discreet. Did all the turmoil of the last year create bad feelings between him and the team?

The Jaguars’ 2021 season has been one of weirdness and loss. I don’t know what Jones in particular felt about what was going on, but many players didn’t like what was happening – and many expressed it. Organized team activities just started last week. It was the first mass media interview opportunity of the offseason. I don’t expect Jones to be particularly quiet or show any signs of ill will towards the organization. It’s not his style; he’s a pro. Also, keep in mind that this is a new coaching staff and new management. One might assume that the reason(s) for the bad feeling may not be there anymore.

_ Gary from St. Augustine, FL_

It’s almost June. I hated you in May. I still hate you.

Mike from St Augustine, Florida

If I remember correctly, we stink in 2016 and then we ran away in 2017. Here I am now, believe me later: 10-7 is coming. Plus, it looks like Gary from St. Aug. don’t like you very much…

What is a “Gary from St. Augustine?”

Wizard of O, do you see in your crystal ball a tight trio of Evan Engram, Dan Arnold and Chris Manhertz working in the field at the same time? I think it would be a great group inside the red zone. Should we be looking for a package or two for these three together at times throughout the season. A Tight End very amigo’s. Has our tight ends room improved so much this year?

Three tight ends would be possible in short distance. The silver lining for the Jaguars is that they now have enough talent and versatility in the tight end group to have several truly effective tight end packages. Offensive coordinators love tight two-end packages because they create tough matchups for defenses; it is the most balanced formation. The better your tight ends, the more effective these packages are. Obviously. And yes…the Jaguars’ tight position seems to have improved a lot in a year. The transformation has been quite spectacular.

I did it. I finally broke down and googled “Gene Frenette” since I’m not from the J-ville area. I admit, I am disappointed. I thought he would be much older… and more like Clark Griswold’s father.

If you’ve Googled longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. “Gene” Frenette and been disappointed, then you’ve probably Googled the wrong one. Longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. “Gene” Frenette.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, “The Hunt” was great, but I was wondering if you were going to take all the credit for it?

Michael from Orange Park, Florida

Besides Trevor Lawrence, what is the most important player or position for the Jaguars next season?

KOAF – One of the most exciting players of the last year isn’t much talked about, and that player is Jamal Agnew. He made the Jaguars’ most electrifying play of the year, returning a missed field goal 109 yards for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals. He returned another kick for 102 yards against the Denver Broncos. He also made impact plays running and catching the ball on offense before going to injured reserve. When discussing the receiver group, Agnew is usually not mentioned. I think Jamal Agnew could be Corey Grant 2.0, our speed-killing guy. Do we know anything about how the new coaching staff plays using it?

Agnew hasn’t been talked about much this offseason, mainly because he’s still recovering from a hip injury suffered late last season and is therefore not training. Head coach Doug Pederson recently said Agnew looks a bit ahead of running back James’ Robinson in terms of his return schedule, which means Agnew should return to training camp. I would expect Agnew’s role to be primarily as a returner with occasional use as an offensive weapon – similar to his role last season, but perhaps he doesn’t play offense as much as he did that midway through last season when injuries gave him plenty of opportunities offensively.

Doyle from Jacksonville, Florida

I work in construction. I build things. Do you realize how important this is to the world, Frank? But I don’t use the Oxford comma.

Many, many important people apparently read the O-Zone. Who knew?

Is Chris Simms on concussion protocol? Otherwise it should be. This guy is tripping! The mouth moves without engaging the brain. No matter what he says, it’s never good for Jaguars. Still leads a sheltered life, I bet. Go jaguars!

I confess that I don’t pay much attention to Simms. I’m never surprised when the national media says negative things about the Jaguars. They had the NFL’s worst records for consecutive seasons and had a winning season since 2007. With this record, you are going to be discussed negatively. With reason.

Hey O, do you have any speculation on who we’ll take No. 1 overall next year? I hope there is a star!

Well, well… who knew Kiwis were so smart?

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