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O-Zone: Dark, dark day

Posted Nov 26, 2017

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Let’s get to it …

David from Charleston, SC:
Just for kicks, Zone, what do you think the chances are that Kirk Cousins is behind center for the Jags next season? I'm going to say pretty high.
John: First, it would probably be OK to table the “next-Jaguars -quarterback” questions for a while. The Jaguars have six regular-season games remaining and they’re in first place in the AFC South, so are we all that sure there’s going to be a quarterback change next offseason? And whatever happens on that front by definition is unbelievably fluid. History tells us that quarterbacks who people believe in November will be available as free agents the following March often are unavailable when March actually rolls around. Cousins seems a prime candidate to be such a player. I’ll believe the Washington Redskins allow Cousins to sign elsewhere as an unrestricted free agent when I see it, just as I’ll believe pretty much any team with a front-line quarterback will allow that player to sign elsewhere when I see it. If a team does indeed allow such a player to leave, it begs the question … why? Why would a team that by definition knows a player better than any other team not re-sign such a valuable player? It’s a question worth asking before investing in that player.
Romeo from San Diego, CA:
I don't care about national coverage. Keep the wins coming and we will get our attention.
John: True that, and I honestly don’t know if this ongoing gripe is all that gripe-worthy this season. I see the Jaguars’ defense getting discussed a lot nationally. Cornerback A.J. Bouye, linebacker Telvin Smith and defensive end Calais Campbell all have been named AFC Defensive Player of the Week, and wide receiver Jaydon Mickens has been named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. Rookie running back Leonard Fournette was getting a lot of mention before he missed a couple of games; if he strings together a few more big games, I imagine discussion around him will start again. I sense a lot of people nationally are having difficulty putting the Jaguars in the Team-to-Beat category because the offense is struggling – and I find that assessment pretty fair. If the Jaguars continue to win, the “respect” and “love” people so crave will take care of itself.
Michael from Jacksonville:
It says a lot about how good our defense is when Poz is just an average Joe on it.
John: It does, and it also says a lot about the situations that offenses have been in against the Jaguars. The Jaguars have been leading a lot, which means opponents are going to be throwing a lot. The Jaguars play nickel in that situation, which means middle linebacker Paul Posluszny is not going to be on the field. Teams at times this season also have tried to run against the Jaguars out of receiver-heavy formations, and the Jaguars play a lot of nickel against those formations. That again means Posluszny is usually going to be on the sidelines. All of that that means Posluszny is playing a lot less than in the past, not that he is playing at a lower level.
Keith from Ceaser, MI:
I have concluded that your are a moron devoutly to be ignored …
John: … says he who continues to write questions devoutly.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
With the Jags not having a Thursday night "prime-time" game, is it an advantage for the team this year?
John: It’s probably an advantage, albeit a small one. Coaches prefer routine above all else, so their ideal schedule would be 16 1 p.m. home games. But this Jaguars team doesn’t seem particularly bothered by changes in routine. They have lost just one road game and they won their London home game for the third consecutive season. This team seems to play at its level whatever the circumstance, something that’s not uncommon for teams with a dominant defense. I don’t get the idea a Thursday game – or any other prime-time game – would throw things too far out of whack.
Logan from Wichita, KS:
Without Jalen Ramsey our defense CANNOT shut down Larry Fitzgerald. Blaine Gabbert will have a career day picking on Jalen Myrick, or whoever we put in to replace Ramsey. If Aaron Colvin plays slot, Fitzgerald will just streak downfield and own the deep ball. If Colvin moves out, then Gabbert will be allowed to throw on one-step drops, so we will never get to pressure him. Gabbert is very good when he has time. We are undone!
John: (Yawn) What?
Matthew from Jacksonville:
Hi, John. Just wanted to say I'm enjoying relishing the Jags record. I, too, was there at the stadium in January 1997, but didn't stay for the jet as I was only nine at the time. If the Jaguars keep this up, though, maybe one day my copyright-infringement pennant with Tony Boselli and Steve Beuerlein's (okay, whiffed on that second one) signatures will be worth something!
John: It’s worth something to you, but fear not: that pennant will be worth something someday. People love very good, well-known former NFL players who have become broadcasters who carry themselves with dignity and offer keen insight. And for some reason, some people love Boselli, too.
David from Travis AFB:
O-mania, another thing frequently lost in the conversation about players taking less to win is the players' union. When top players take a discount, they are resetting the market and that cascades down the entire free-agency class. Not exactly something the union, or players looking to get paid, appreciate. I know you know this, but many readers seem unaware.
John: True, but that doesn’t come into play as much as people think. The reason players don’t usually take less money to play somewhere is because careers are short and people in this world only get so many chances to make life-changing, family-securing money. Usually, the number of chances is zero. If you’re very fortunate, very talented or both then the number might be one. Rarely is it two, so you take advantage of the one time.
Jason from Jacksonville:
Why did Tyler Shatley not play last week? Seemed like he had done well. Was it as simple as he provided depth at three positions?
John: The Jaguars thought Chris Reed was the better option. Reed actually perhaps played as well as any of the offensive linemen last Sunday. Left guard Patrick Omameh will miss a second consecutive game Sunday; I wouldn’t be surprised if Reed starts again. But yes … there also is value to having Shatley available at all three spots in case of injury.
Charlie from Fort Mills, SC:
Hey O, Krimma?
John: Krimmmmmaaaa!
Keith from Carson, WA:
I have been a Jaguar super fan since the beginning. I was living in Duval before we had a team and my job has since taken me away but with the help of technology I have not missed a game in 20 years. I have lived in Eagles, Giants, Steelers, and now Seahawks land but have never failed to proudly support the Jaguars. Yes, winning and a chance to win makes Sunday’s much more enjoyable. The character of this team and the entire organization makes me proud to be DTWD!!!!!
John: #Krimma!!!!
Fred from Naples, FL:
So what do you think, O? Is this the year Tony Boselli gets in the Hall?
John: I think so. Putting my personal distaste for the man aside, Boselli deserves to be in the Hall of Fame – and a significant number of Hall voters appeared to realize that last year. He gained momentum leading to last February’s vote, making it not only to the final round for the first time but making it to the final 10 candidates. That doesn’t guarantee he will make the Hall this time around, but it gives him his best chance yet and it makes it all the more likely he will get in sometime soon. Good for him. May he choke on it as it goes down.
Thad from Albuquerque, NM:
The reason why fans don't like Gabbert is because he sucked here. When a good player leaves, we are sad. When a bad player leaves, we want them to be just as bad elsewhere as they were here. It's one thing to play good and go elsewhere and succeed (Keenan McCardell, Mike Peterson, Marcus Stroud), but when a player is garbage for your team and then becomes a winner somewhere else it just feels like a slight.
John: OK.
Edward from Los Angeles, CA:
Hey John, if you run into Gabbert this weekend can you ask him to un-block me on Twitter? Asking for myself and possibly thousands of others.
John: I’ll ask.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville:
My wife asked what I wanted for Christmas, I asked for the only thing that mattered. A Jaguar home playoff game.
John: My wife asked me what I wanted for Christmas and my answer was for her to not spend so ##*&% much on Black Friday. Her dismissive look of confused contempt chilled me to my core – as it turns out, correctly so.

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