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O-Zone: A glorious day

JACKSONVILLE – Krimma! The gift-getting season! And Look-ahead Wednesday!

'Tis indeed a glorious day.

Let's get to it…

Vince from Farmington, NM

You say you don't think that Gardner Minshew II may be a franchise quarterback – that he scrambles and extends to the best of his ability, but that isn't sustainable. How does Minshew do when he has decent pass-blocking that allows his progressions? The key to disrupting the best quarterbacks is to get in their faces. Are we giving him a fair chance to evaluate his true ability?

This is a fair question, and the Jaguars' offensive line indeed hasn't given him a fair chance. But Minshew, after a very good start, hasn't played nearly as well in his last four-to-five starts as he did early this season. It appears teams have figured out a formula for defending him – one that involves keeping him in the pocket and taking away his outside receivers. It also appears there are throws he has trouble making to the middle of the field. I have said this enough that people think I'm anti-Minshew. I'm not. I like the kid. He's a blast to cover. He's phenomenally likeable. He has real moxie and he absolutely doesn't get phased by pressure. I hope he is a rock star in this league. But he also has completed six of 20 passes in his last two first halves, and mediocre quarterback play has been an issue in his last four starts. Is it true that mediocre play from the offensive line, wide receiver and tight end positions have contributed to the issues? Yes, absolutely. Here's the bottom line on this issue: Jaguars observers six weeks ago thought the team had a very good quarterback situation, with possibly two starting-level players at the position. Now, you wonder if the franchise quarterback is on the roster and it seems likely that's not the case. That means the position remains an issue, and that's disappointing considering where we were six weeks ago.

Kyan from Iowa

I am all for keeping Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone one more year and seeing what happens. He has proven he is a good coach. At some point this franchise needs to start finding some consistency. We can't keep drafting young players and changing the playbook every year and expect them all the develop.

Hey, one fer Marrone …

Geno from Wenden, Germany

If GM II was to be QB next season, what would be the logical consequence for Foles? It's business, but do you think they would trade him after a year for a first- or second-round pick despite the salary for 2020?

I think if the Jaguars could get a first-round selection for quarterback Nick Foles, they would sing zip-a-dee-doo-dah while doing cartwheels over the Main Street Bridge.

James from Socorro, NM

At the end of last season, Jaguars Owner Shad Khan said "there were far too many long Sundays" in 2018, and "that cannot repeat itself in 2019." Well, it did. Thus, it appears he must make additional changes or anything he says are unreliable falsehoods.

Khan fired Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin, who had the final say over all football decisions. This may not be enough change for you, but it is significant change nonetheless.

Joe from San Antonio, TX

There is no justifying a decision not to clean house this offseason. We have a franchise-altering opportunity coming up with four first-round picks over the next two years. We can't let General Manager David Caldwell make those decisions with his mediocre draft history and allow this lame-duck coaching staff to hamper their development. Keeping the staff in place is delaying the inevitable and blowing a golden chance to change this franchise.


Morgan from Raleigh, NC

I know next year is hard to predict because a lot of change may be coming, but I want to know your best prediction right now. Who do you think will be the quarterback Week 1 next year? Nick Foles, Gardner Minshew II, Tua Tagovailoa or someone else?

This isn't just hard to predict; it's impossible. My answer today would be Foles, because I can see a scenario in which the higher-ups and coaches opted to go with the veteran with Super Bowl experience and build around that this offseason. I also have to think that the Week 1 injury at least somewhat adversely effected Foles when he returned later in the season. Like I said, that's today's answer. Ask me tomorrow and perhaps I'll have another.

Bill from Ponte Vedra, FL

How about a tight end who can pass catches over the middle and block? How about an offensive lineman who can pass and run block? How about coaches who can coach "up?" Lots to do, don't you think?

The Jaguars need to improve tight end. They need to improve on the offensive line. I don't know what "coach up" means, though. Yes, there's a lot to do.

Devin from Charleston, SC

Two questions headed to the offseason. Are we using analytics? If so, when did we start? Seems like a catchphrase I hear about, but do they work? Also, linebacker Myles Jack on injured reserve for a knee injury. Is this the same knee that made him "drop" to the second round of the draft?

Jaguars Co-Owner Tony Khan is one of the leaders in the analytics movement in the NFL, and the Jaguars have been at the forefront of analytics since the Khans purchased the team in 2012. My understanding is Jack's injury is not related to what caused him to slip in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Nicholas from Djibouti

Zone: Do you ever see a time when the NFL changes the draft mechanics to better create better parity in the league? I know you aren't a fan of changing things just to change things but do you see an issue with the same 12-to-18 teams making the playoffs on a consistent basis while half the league goes through year-long droughts (sometimes decade longs) of unproductivity? I would be in favor of proposing that all teams that make the playoff would forfeit their third-round picks but be allowed two fourth-round picks. This allows struggling teams to the ability to acquire more talent in the middle of the draft.

I would not favor that. The league already has the draft process, and there is a major difference between selecting early in the first round of the NFL draft as opposed to later in the round. I don't believe in punishing teams too much for success. Why penalize those who have earned it?

Justin from Jacksonville

The Falcons scored on five drives, the Jaguars scored on four drives. Was the game really that far off? Does it really take an "overhaul" to win more games?

The Jaguars have lost six of seven games, and all of those losses have been by double digits. I don't know that you need an "overhaul," but there are certainly positions that need major upgrades.

Tom from Jacksonville

Abry looked like he was pushed around a lot. Is he playing hurt?

All NFL players, particularly all linemen, are playing hurt in December. Jaguars defensive tackle Abry Jones has been playing more snaps than normal this season, and probably more than he should be playing, since defensive tackle Dareus went out. Jones is a good defensive tackle. He shouldn't be starting and playing the majority of repetitions.

JT from Fort Worth, TX

Marrone's obviously a stand-up guy. The fan base is rabid that he has to go, but he hasn't been really given a fair chance. Team has been injured and silently sabotaged behind the scenes. He has been taking all the bullets coming his way.

I think Marrone is a good NFL head coach. My sense is Khan is going to retain him. My opinion is that would be good for the Jaguars.

Yoav from St. Augustine, FL

Within five years, do you think Tom Coughlin will be inducted into the Pride of the Jaguars?

I would hope so.

Eduardo from Brazil

Hey O: Season greetings from the warm south! I've been re-watching the games from this season and I must say our coaching staff has not been good at adjusting to adversity. Other coaching staffs did adjust to tough situations. I'm all in for continuity, but I'm not sure keeping Doug would be the best move.

The Jaguars won four of their first eight games with a rookie sixth-round selection playing quarterback. They won a lot of those games with former cornerback Jalen Ramsey – their most-talented player – forcing his way off the team while dealing with a debilitating back injury. They then reached a point that the run defense – and defense overall – couldn't stop teams enough to remain competitive. This staff adjusted. Marrone adjusted. At some point, players must be good enough to do their jobs.

Chris from Jacksonville

Why did they move this weekend's game vs the Colts to 4:25 p.m.?

To spite me.