Welcome to the Week 8 edition of our Jacksonville Jaguars film room mailbag! Thank you to everyone who submitted questions on Twitter. You can expect an Ezra Cleveland film room early next week, as well as a bye week mailbag covering season-long questions a few days after.
What was Trev seeing, if anything, on the INT? (via @IrishJaguar)
This Trevor Lawrence pass was as ugly as his two endzone interceptions last season.
I think Lawrence wanted to go to Calvin Ridley before the play even began. After the run fake, Lawrence looked to his left -- but he didn’t need to turn his helmet as much as he did just to see whether Evan Engram would be open running to that side. He did it to try to hold any defenders covering Ridley, who came from Lawrence’s left to right.
Lawrence was hoping/assuming the Steelers would blitz with man coverage on the back end (because the Jaguars came out with a 3-tight-end set at the 5-yard line). In that case, a Ridley touchdown would be near-guaranteed. He was wrong (Pittsburgh responded with heavy personnel but rushed four and dropped seven) and that’s okay! What’s not okay is sticking with the original plan and forcing a throw to Ridley. Lawrence could’ve zipped a pass to Travis Etienne or Luke Farrell, or better, a fan in the third row.
Was the Bigsby play actually a fumble? Like I know the ball did move but it didn’t look actually loose until well after his knee was down. (via @JagsAndUF)
I’m inclined to agree with you. It looked like Nick Herbig loosened the cap but the ground deserves credit for popping it open. But I also get how it can be thrown under the umbrella of calls that are too close to be overturned.
The replay is here for anyone who missed it.
Jacksonville’s coaching staff will continue to put the ball in the rookie running back’s hands. Tank Bigsby could completely lose his confidence otherwise, and Travis Etienne shouldn’t be close to leading the league in carries (which he currently is).
How did Press Taylor’s play calling impact his head coach candidacy heading into next year? (via @JT_inKC)
It’s a big deal. News that Press Taylor would be calling the Jaguars’ offensive plays this season broke just a few hours before the season opener. Someone wanted to make sure he earned credit for what was expected to be, and is turning into, a successful season in Jacksonville.
Zay Jones’ absence has been a bigger obstacle than you’d think. The Jaguars don’t have any other pass-catchers who can consistently win outside, which leaves Calvin Ridley doing more dirty work than anticipated as both a blocker and receiver.
Via last week’s mailbag:
Jags offense really misses Zay Jones. On this play, I’d expect him to be the point man and Ridley to be the motion man (and run a crisper route than ag) pic.twitter.com/6xh1jGOnWU— Gus Logue (@gus_logue) October 26, 2023
The offensive line hasn’t been a big help, at least to start the season. Cam Robinson missed the first four games; Anton Harrison is a 21-year-old rookie; Walker Little hurt his knee; Brandon Scherff turned both ankles; and Tyler Shatley and Ben Bartch clearly weren’t cutting it.
But as the front of the offense slowly gelled together, the Jaguars have been able to stack wins. And Taylor does deserve a lot of credit.
Sure, there will be some bone-headed turnovers where you can’t help but blame the play call. But then Etienne will take a wildcat snap to send the Bank into mayhem.
The Jaguars ran a similar Counter Bluff QB Keep that the Bears used last week— Shawn (@SyedSchemes) October 16, 2023
*Bears ran it with Justin Fields, Jaguars ran it with Travis Etienne as the Wildcat QB pic.twitter.com/GXy6RP6pTX
Though it’s possible another coach suggested the wrinkle below, Taylor should and will take credit for plays like these during head coach interviews.
Taylor’s off-the-field record is just as important, though. How well he, or any head coach candidate, interacts with the locker room and every other person in the building goes a long way.
Taylor has been great during media availabilities, and not just because he’s a nice guy.
I’ll take any video about Dewey (via @BrianIsTired)
Speaking of credit, gotta give it where it’s due. Andrew Wingard has embraced the “next man up” mentality as a starting safety in lieu of budding star Andre Cisco, who missed Week 8 with a hamstring injury.
Wingard -- and Montaric Brown in place of no. 1 cornerback Tyson Campbell -- haven’t been perfect replacements (see: the Pickens touchdown). But those spots haven’t also cratered, even as opposing offenses pick at the Jaguars’ wounds. Props to Dewey and Buster for doing their part.
Hamilton’s first snaps of the year (via @LarryMPW)
I was wondering how Davon Hamilton looked in his limited snaps. What were the expectations for him in this ramp up/return game, and what impact did he have (especially in comparison to Ledbetter/Blackson performances in similar situations this season). (via @lfjean)
Hamilton played 14 defensive snaps (21%) on Sunday. He didn’t record any other statistics and didn’t show anything on film worth posting. He’s very much still ramping up -- let’s check back in after Week 10.
In the meantime, here’s Jeremiah Ledbetter (listed at 299 pounds) doing a nice job in coverage late in the game.
Are we ready to have the Trevor Lawrence conversation yet? (via @ScottBarrettDFB)
I wasn’t asked this personally, and it was probably just clickbait, but I answered anyway.
(Lawrence’s best throws against the Steelers are in the sixth link.)
Are we ready to have the Trevor Lawrence conversation yet? pic.twitter.com/tOpBayUWIr— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) November 2, 2023
"Why are perceptions of Trevor Lawrence and Gardner Minshew so disparate?"— Gus Logue (@gus_logue) November 2, 2023
Because football isn't played on a spreadsheet, Scott. The rest of us are using our eyes https://t.co/Ajky4soqsj
Our top film guy says he's rushing through his progressions and the footwork is sloppy. Greg Cossel has said the same thing.— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) November 2, 2023
He's fallen short of ADP-based expectations for 3 years now. Supposedly best prospect ever playing the Alex Smith role
Here's an example of a QB who is "rushing through his progressions and the footwork is sloppy" pic.twitter.com/f5sV9vRhUC— Gus Logue (@gus_logue) November 2, 2023
HERO% = BTT (which is in Minshew's favor)— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) November 2, 2023
QB SK = sacks that are on the fault of the QB
Yes, the TWT% is huge. You're right. But I'm not arguing Minshew is better. It's "if Lawrence is the greatest prospect ever" / "a top-7 NFL QB" why is it even a conversation vs. Minshew
And here is your "greatest prospect ever" / "a top-7 NFL QB" in bad conditions at Pittsburgh last week pic.twitter.com/zEZNNCApGt— Gus Logue (@gus_logue) November 2, 2023
Blake Bortles had 20 career games of 300+ yards. Like, who cares. Jags are 13-4 since last year's byehttps://t.co/Eu2nyBBrLh— Gus Logue (@gus_logue) November 2, 2023
Last thing I'll say is Tlaw turned 24yo just last month. Lamar's MVP, Burrow's 2nd-year SB run, Allen's development, & Mahomes in general have created some incredibly unrealistic expectations for young NFL QBs. Give him 1-2 more years and he'll finally be good in fantasy for you— Gus Logue (@gus_logue) November 2, 2023
Thank you for reading!