O-Zone: A traveling show

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Brian from Gainesville, FL

Big O, why the assumption that Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles has a “command of the offense?” He played like four snaps in the preseason and then got hurt on what seemed to be his first pass of the regular season (though to be fair it might have been the best pass in franchise history). Is it because of his experience with the offensive coordinator? Regardless, this is a new team for him and the receivers are new to him. They’ve not had a chance to develop chemistry yet. Don’t you think we will see growing pains from Foles at a time when the rest of the league has honed things for over half a season?

The assumption that Foles has a command of the offense is based on him being a veteran who has played at a high level in the NFL – and who has shown the ability to make quick, correct decisions in high-pressure situations in essentially this offense. The Jaguars believed in that ability in March enough to make Foles the franchise quarterback and to pay him as such. It makes sense that they would still believe in it. Will there be growing pains? Perhaps, but there were pains with rookie Gardner Minshew II in recent weeks, too. Bottom line: We don’t know how Foles will play. We don’t know how Minshew would have played had he remained the starter. Head Coach Doug Marrone believes based on a slew of factors that Foles gives the Jaguars the best chance to win, so he will start against the Indianapolis Colts November 17.

John from Jacksonville

People keep talking about not going to games because of losing, and I get how that can be a thing in November/December, but starting out each season hopeful and a season-ticket holder it is very difficult (as a mature man, age-wise) to attend games in September. It is just way too hot and uncomfortable. If the league would help us with less early September home games and more mid-to-late-season home games, it would be so much better. Of course, a domed or roofed stadium would also be amazing.

I thought about this email for a while and tried to think of something to add. I couldn’t. And I couldn’t agree more.

Jimsure from Daytona Beach Shores

If Jaguars Owner Shad Khan wants a new stadium, why not build one like Jerry Jones did? I don’t believe in taxpayers spending our tax money for a private business.

It’s nice that you don’t believe in tax money being spent on private business, but Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones built a new stadium in Dallas because the market and demand in that area is such that the stadium is an investment that at some point will see returns. That’s a trickier proposition in what already is a challengingly small market.

Paul from Jacksonville

One thing I saw with Minshew on Sunday was he appeared to be pressing a bit, trying not to make a mistake. In previous more successful outings he was more of a "gunslinger," more improvising. He looked like a sixth-round rookie playing to save his spot in the starting lineup rather than the loose and fun character with the mustache. I think the Jags made a mistake in not addressing the quarterback situation before London. They could have said "We're sticking with the kid" or "When he's healthy, this is Nick's team." I feel this situation was mishandled and led to extra pressure to perform. Did you see any of what I saw?

I saw a young quarterback who perhaps was struggling with a shoulder issue. I also saw a quarterback who didn’t trust his protection much. I also saw a player who didn’t see the field particularly well that day and who missed some open receivers. I saw a player who didn’t get much help from his receivers. Would we have seen a different player had circumstances been different? Perhaps, but you’re going to play in many circumstances when you play in the NFL. You must deal with them successfully.

Steve from Greenville, DE

How about a salary-cap question? Heading into next year, the Jaguars have some cap room. Can the Jaguars go after linebacker Telvin Smith, and wide receiver Justin Blackmon, for that to reclaim a portion of the signing bonus that was given to them since neither player played out their contract and the Jaguars still hold the rights to both players? Is there a reason why the Jaguars would not utilize this approach?

The Jaguars under NFL rules indeed can attempt to recoup bonus money from any player who doesn’t play out his contract. This is one of the reasons for keeping a player on the reserve/retired list long after they are retired. How realistic is it to recoup signing bonus if that money already has been spent? Very.

Justin from Jacksonville

The NFL bureaucrats pick and choose which teams will win based on numbers (revenue) using their henchman officials. They do this because they're all-knowing and all-powerful. It's been going on for years. But do they really know what the future holds? If it weren't for this picking and choosing, we may live in a different Jax today. We know revenue goes up when teams win. Then the NFL complains when revenue is lower in comparison. The question is how long have the corrupt bureaucrats at the NFL chose to in fact, be the direct result for 20 years of losing, and 20 years of low revenue compared to other teams. The bureaucrats are the problem, not the schemes, or players, or front office. Friendly thoughts?

I think the illuminati is real. No doubt.

Michael from Middleburg, FL

Like I said, Foles hasn’t done anything. And that’s yet. All the other accomplishments were with other players and teams which this team is shorter of. It’s a team game and Foles is a question mark for 2019.

The NFL, like life, indeed is full of unknowns. We don’t know if Minshew would have played well or poorly moving forward. We don’t know if the defense will play well. The coaches don’t know this, either. All they can do is play players they believe give them the best chance to win.

KC from South Florida

Mr. O-Zone, the defense has shown that it could still play at a high level with a lead, but clearly, the unit is a shell of its 2017 self. Now that the Jaguars have a potential franchise quarterback on a rookie deal (despite Foles) and two extra first-round picks, do you see this team trying to re-tool the defense through the draft or are they better off trying to surround the quarterbacks with more protection/weapons to succeed since this is an offensive league?

The Jaguars have two first-round selections and a second-round selection in each of the next two drafts. I would anticipate them drafting relatively evenly on each side of the ball based somewhat on needs and somewhat on what’s available when the draft. Whichever players thrive will probably determine on which side of the ball the Jaguars excel moving forward.

Jags Fan 818 from Jacksonville

We don't need a new stadium! What we do need are new seats that are not "Club" seats. Twice now the screws in my seat have been loose or out. Replace the seats, add a roof and call that a new stadium! If London had eight games over there, who's to say the stadium would always be full? If Mr. Khan wants to know what normal people think, then he should talk to us.

Fair.

Biff from Jacksonville

A local reporter tweeted that Minshew was, for lack of a better word, angry at losing the starting job. Can you comment on how accurate this report is, and how is Gardner managing the demotion?

I assume this report is based on Head Coach Doug Marrone’s comment on Tuesday. When asked how Minshew had handled the news that Foles would starter, Marrone said Minshew was a competitor and had taken the news accordingly. That means Minshew was upset. Aside from that, I expect Minshew to handle the situation professionally. I don’t know why we should expect anything else.

Tim from Orange Park, FL

There has been a lot of talk about the quarterback position lately, which is understandable but should not be the main concern, in my opinion. We have a nonexistent tight end position along with an inconsistent offensive line, which has been the case for some time now. Our linebacker corps is young and seems to be out of place missing assignments along with tackling issues. Can anything be done this season to address these glaring needs?

Nothing of any significance. The trade deadline has passed, and the Awesome Player Store is closed. The only way positions are going to improve is for the players playing the positions to play better.

EJ from Orlando, FL

I must admit Zone, I’m a touch sad. It’s a little bit funny, this feeling inside?

I might think it was funny … if I was, say, a sculptor – heh – but then again … no.

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