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O-Zone: A little more time

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Bill from Jupiter, FL

Do you think the Jaguars will play to their strengths in light of the newfound ability to consistently run the football? Time of possession equals keeping the defense off the field. Shorten the games.

I think the Jaguars absolutely will try to do this. They don't necessarily want to be a three-yards-and-cloud-of-a-dust offense exclusively – but they darned sure believe it should be a strength of this offense. But I also think if you fail to score on your first possession (which the Jaguars have done in all three games this season) and allow touchdowns on your first two defensive possessions (which they have done in two of the last three games) it's difficult to run as much as you want. When you're trailing all the time, you tend to take deeper drops to push the ball downfield. That makes pass protection really difficult and limits running opportunities. That's why offenses are more efficient, and offensive lines are often better, for teams that consistently get leads.

Dane from Mandarin, FL

So, "Conley is a solid NFL receiver...?" If memory serves, didn't his first three targets end in two dropped passes and an offensive pass interference against the Miami Dolphins? Guessing the bar will be set about that low all season around here?

I don't "set bars," Dane; I answer questions. Memory does tell us that Jaguars wide receiver Chris Conley had a bad night Thursday. That same memory also tells us that he caught 47 passes for 775 yards and five touchdowns last season. He's not a great NFL receiver and he's not awful. He is in his sixth NFL season and my guess is he will play a few more. If you want answers with some sort of reason and thought … I do what I can to provide them here. If you want quick-trigger "takes" based on one game … well, Twitter is a very popular app. Guessing you can download it on the interweb.

CJ from Fernandina Beach, FL

Any thoughts as to why the Jags waived defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan?

He wasn't playing well.

Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC

If we don't criticize Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash for poor defensive performances with bad players, why would we credit him for good defensive performances (2016-2018) with good players? It's hard to believe that Wash is maximizing the available talent, but why not at least try someone else? Can it really get that much worse?

It can always get worse, Gabe.

Steve from Wallingford

I'd like to point out we could be starting Ramsey and CJ Henderson, with Josh Allen and Ngakoue coming off the edge ... $81 million in cap space.

Yes, the Jaguars could be starting former Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey and former defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. But no matter how much cap space a team has, there must be a limit to what a team will pay a player – and the team must decide if a player overall is worth paying what he wants. And all reasons must be taken into account.

Tom from old forge pa

isn't it possible the dolphins game was more about a short week the coaching staff keeping it basic with a short week looking not to make alot of mistakes with r best wr out and starting center if this game was on sunday I believe it would of looked different especially if chark was playing but to bash a team full of first second year players losing on short week and to cry the skies falling how bout we see how we play this sunday and see if thursday was and outlier on the season due to young players on a short week if we come out sunday and how the Bengals out does that mean much not imo mean as much as this lost to the dolphins were 1-2 and should b 2-1 with that bad pi call on Jack would fans still b going crazy if we were 2-0 in the division with a loss to the dolphins this team is young very young they had a short week and made mistakes with out there best wr option before we jump back on tanking for trevor how bout we see what we look like by week 8

I probably agree with some what you say in fact it seems I might agree with him im an old man I lack patience and deductive ability if ur going to write me and expect an answer at least throw me a bone and pop in a period or a comma so I can have chance to understand what ur asking

Zac from Austin, TX

Do you subscribe to the conspiracy theory that the NFL is allocating penalties to make it harder to play defense and easier to protect the quarterback, so that games are more high scoring and thus entertaining? I'll take you not answering my question as "yes, but I can't talk about it online, meet me at Sbarros."

I can talk about it, and there's little question it's harder to play defense and easier to protect quarterbacks these days than in past eras. That's by design from the NFL, but I don't know that it's allocating penalties as much as having necessary rules in place to protect players from violent hits to the head – and having accompanying rules in place to protect quarterbacks. If the idea is to protect players, it automatically follows that it's going to be more difficult to play defense and easier to play offense. Making the game more high-scoring and entertaining is part of it. But even if that wasn't the goal, the objective of making the game safer is necessary for the sport's long-term existence. It certainly made the game different – and not as interesting in some respects – but it's still a great sport. Call it a necessary change, though perhaps not an ideal one.

Rob from Pittsburgh, PA

Let's say quarterback Gardner Minshew II is the guy. Do you see the Jags going after a free safety and corner early in the draft? It kinda looks like a weakness on the defense. Also do you see them giving Joshua Scott some playing time to get some experience.

We're 13 games from the end of the season, so much can change, but yes … corner and safety could be areas of interest next offseason. I expect rookie nickel corner Josiah Scott to play when/if he gives the Jaguars the best chance to win. We're a few games from playing players to gain experience.

Jeremy from Omaha, NE

Can we stop with any excuses involving COVID, no preseason, lack of an off season, etc.? The other 31 teams in the NFL have the same challenges. The Jags just aren't good and haven't been for a very long time. It's an established losing franchise.

The Jaguars are a young team, but before we completely write them off as "not good" this season perhaps we could remember that they're 1-2 and a play or two from being 2-1. No preseason could be a small reason why the team has started slowly defensively in all three games. Lack of an offseason, COVID-19, etc. … yes, you're right: all teams are dealing with those things.

Winston from Duval

Not trying to pile on, hoping for the best, but one tackle in three games is putrid for Jaguars defensive tackle Taven Bryan.

Tackles aren't everything for a defensive tackle. Bryan has been disruptive at times, but he hasn't stood out. This is true.

Bruce from St. Simon's Island, GA

I was looking at the Jags' schedule after watching the Sunday games. From what I see, I don't see five or six more wins. Where do you see possible wins?

Every week, pretty much. It's the NFL.

Shanghai Steve

In the last Zone, Zone, there was a lengthy question that received a "No" answer from you. If I may ask short and sweet like - if the team is too young and lacks talent/depth, then the GM and HC are accountable. If the players are good, but not executing, the_is/are accountable?_

Not all questions in football can be answered in one word. This is one of the questions that requires many words.

Bryce from Waterloo, IA

I know fans are going to "fan," but can everyone pump the break on Minshew's bad game Thursday? The guy is only in his second year in the league, and first season where he was declared the starter. He didn't have his center and top pass catcher Thursday, and was playing on a short week against another young team trying to prove the doubters wrong. Through three weeks he has six touchdowns and three touchdowns and three picks. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has four touchdowns and five picks against easier opponents. Let's see how Gardner and the Jags respond on an extended week before we start writing him off like every other quarterback.