JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Mike from Atlanta, GA
John, if it isn't coaching, it's personnel. There are a lot of deficiencies on the roster. At the same time, I feel like there is more talent on this team than the record shows.
The Jaguars are 4-8 through 12 regular-season games. Is there more talent on the roster than that? The Jaguars – partly because of injuries – currently have significant deficiencies at interior defensive line, and perhaps at linebacker and defensive back; they have shown all season the front seven can't consistently stop the run – and the secondary too often struggles in coverage. This team rushes the passer very well but has done little else well defensively this season. Offensively, the Jaguars appear deficient at tight end, good but not great at receiver and thin at running back beyond starter Leonard Fournette. The offensive line is tricky; while all starters appear talented enough to be starting, all five also have been inconsistent enough that the group has struggled as often as not. Does that mean there's more talent on this team than the record shows? I'm just not sure. The record was 4-4 before the run defense disintegrated with the loss of defensive tackle Marcell Dareus. Somewhere around .500 feels about right for this talent level, particularly considering the season-long uncertainty at quarterback.
Robert from Oneonta
Gardner Minshew II was upset by the boos on Sunday. OK, I get it, we are taught from childhood booing is not polite and he felt the team was giving it their all. Fair enough. My question is how are the fans, the folks who pay to go to the stadium to watch the Jags, supposed to express their disappointment/displeasure/frustration? I guess their next option is to just not go?
Players hate boos. Coaches do, too. What are they supposed to do? Like it? But fans have every right to boo. When a team is 4-8 and has lost four consecutives games, they have every right to take full advantage of that right.
Steve from Nashville, TN
On our current trajectory, it appears that we will have a 2020 date with either the Los Angeles Chargers or Denver Broncos. Is there a scheduling rule that would dictate we would have to go to Los Angeles in 2020 since they were here in 2019; if it is Denver, would the Broncos have to visit Jacksonville in 2020?
No. The schedule is done by rotation without regard to past or future seasons. The Jaguars played the Chargers and Broncos this season because the rotation dictated all four AFC South teams played all four AFC West teams. The South also played all four NFC South teams this season as well as the corresponding team in the AFC East (for the Jaguars, the New York Jets) and North (Cincinnati Bengals) based on their standings in the division last season. The rotation next season calls for all AFC South teams to play all teams from the AFC North and NFC North, as well as the corresponding teams from the AFC East and West. The game against either the Chargers or Broncos next season would be because both the Jaguars and one of those teams seem likely to finish last in their respective divisions. For the Jaguars, that game will be a road game so the likely will play at either Denver or Los Angeles next season.
Charles from Savannah, GA
I'm already hearing people call for Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin's firing. Former Jaguars Owner Wayne Weaver said that he regretted firing the man that later beat the New England Patriots in two different Super Bowls. I don't believe the Jaguars troubles are on Tom. I hope the organization really weighs their options and hopefully history won't repeat itself.
Hey, one fer Coughlin …
Cole from Jacksonville
With the understanding that it's always coaching in the NFL, I was very impressed that Head Coach Doug Marrone made the switch to Minshew on Sunday. He effectively admitted that he made a mistake in choosing Foles when he was able to return. I respect that and it was a bright spot on a miserable day at the 'Bank when the stadium erupted as Minshew ran out on the field.
… and one fer Marrone!
Sean from Jacksonville
If Ron Rivera, head coach of the Carolina Panthers, can be fired at this point in the season …
I agree. If Rivera – a longtime successful head coach – can be fired at this point in the season, then it shows once again the quick-trigger, short-sighted nature of too many coaching firings in the NFL. Good point. Well said.
Brett from Canton, MS
Evaluating Minshew as a long-term solution at quarterback will be tough given the holes this team has, particularly up front. With that in mind, what would Coach Zone need to see from him to feel confident that he is the guy for foreseeable future?
I would start with better calmness and decision-making from the pocket, though you're correct that the Jaguars must pass protect better than they did last Sunday if Minshew is to be fairly evaluated in that area.
William from Jacksonville
This very offensive line is probably the worst in NFL history.
That's a very ridiculous statement.
Jeff from Orange, CA
Can you help clarify some salary cap confusion I have? If the Jaguars think Minshew is "The Guy" going forward, does cutting Foles free up at least some salary cap in the offseason? I know there is some dead capital, but it's not worse from a salary cap perspective to cut Foles vs keep him correct?
Foles will be a $22.15 million cap hit if he is on the roster next season. He will be a $33 million cap hit if he is released.
Tom from Section 141 (two more games) and the Mean Streets of Nocatee
Would it be fair to say that Nick Foles has lapped Hugh Douglas, Joey Porter and that DB whose wife won the Olympics as the worst free agent signing in Jaguars history?
Paul from St. Johns, FL
Two questions: 1) Do you think we would have won any of the three divisional losses after starting 4-4 had Minshew been the quarterback? 2) How realistic is it that Yann is part of the defensive core of this team for the long term?
Minshew was the quarterback in the first division loss after 4-4 – a 26-3 loss to the Houston Texans in London – while Foles was the quarterback in the ensuing two losses (33-13 at Indianapolis and 42-20 at Tennessee). There was no discernable difference in the three games, so I do not believe the Jaguars would have won any of the games had Minshew been the quarterback. As for Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue's future with the organization, it's tough to answer this question without knowing who will be making decisions going forward. Any coach/personnel official would like Ngakoue's pass-rushing ability. Will they envision him a conventional defensive end, or as an off-the-ball pass rusher? Where will they see his value compared to what Ngakoue wants to be paid? Ngakoue's future will depend a lot on these questions.
Ed from Ponte Vedra, FL
It really irritates me when some commentators make remarks totally out of the blue. Minshew is bigger than New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and nobody really can judge his potential in the short time he has performed. Why do they go make this assessment that he is not a franchise quarterback and will not be?
That's their job.
JT from Wort Worth, TX
In the offseason they have to either trade or cut Foles, right? Can't have his contract on the books and just be a backup.
I would lean toward Foles being traded if it's determined he won't start moving forward because his cap figure will make it difficult to cut him. We'll see how this works moving forward. I'm with you right now that it's likely, but you never say never in the NFL.
Crash from the Westside
The rest of the schedule is not tough. Leave the kid in. Win four in a row. Finish 8-8. Happy New Year! I love this ride!
Jordan from Jacksonville
People talk about change in the offseason with the coaching staff and front office, but I truly believe it starts with change at the very top. Tom Coughlin has to go and everyone else with him.
Owner Shad Khan's opinion ultimately is the only one that will matter on this. Considering the Jaguars' current record, it's apparent he must examine all facets of the football team closely. At some point, he will announce what those examinations have determined. Until then, this will be a topic.
Fred from Jacksonville
John, do you ever have days where you feel like a White House press secretary? I would hope people realize you don't make the news, you just report it and give your perspective. But you seem to become the lightning rod for all the frustration. So hang in there and try to not take it personally.
I take nothing personally. My hatred of people is strictly business.