O-Zone: All together now

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Matt from Linthicum, MD

Regardless of who the starter is after the bye, do you see the coaching staff sticking with that choice for the rest of the year? I enjoy having the problem of two good quarterbacks, but that creates a situation where any bad stretch of play from either quarterback will have everyone clamoring for the other to play. Seems like it could turn into a fiasco real quick, and I hate fiascos.

That’s indeed the potential downside of the Gardner Minshew II/Nick Foles story. When you have two quarterbacks who realistically may be relatively close in ability, productivity and results, what do you do if one struggles a bit for a game? If, for example, the Jaguars started Minshew over Foles and Minshew had a game such as he had against New Orleans when he lost three fumbles … do you automatically start Foles in the next game? Perhaps not, but the temptation would be understandable. If the Jaguars started Foles over Minshew and Foles throws an interception against a good team and the Jaguars lose … do you automatically start Minshew in the next game? Perhaps not, but the temptation would be understandable. One good part of this is the Jaguars have two capable quarterbacks; that outweighs any potential negatives. Another good part is that it’s Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone’s decision, and Marrone’s not going to listen to “clamoring.” But you’re correct that the potential for a fiasco is there if the situation is mishandled. No argument there.

Josh from Fernandina Beach, FL

Zone: Great win. I flew up from South Florida to catch the game and thought the gameday vibe was great. I had the feeling that the team and fan base fully believes we can contend and is in it to win. Great win. Thanks, and Go Jags!!

Winning is cool. Fans like it. It’s even cooler winning at home.

Tank Hughesville, MD

O Great King of all Funkster, my question is this: As I watched the Stache being forced to run around and make something happen, which he did, I kept asking myself what would have happened if it was Foles forced to run around and make something happen? Would he? Could he? Is this the wrong lens to see the quarterback through?

It’s a fair question. It’s also fair to ask if Foles would be getting the ball out quicker and more efficiently because of his command of the offense, experience and his style of play. Yes, Minshew has been making creative plays, but would Foles be operating in such a way that such creativity wasn’t needed? That doesn’t make your lens wrong. It does mean there is more than one lens.

David from Jacksonville

The extra gate and extra ticket scanners were amazing Sunday. I left my tailgate in lot P at 12:30 just like I have for eight years now. But this time I was in my seat 15 minutes early. Normally, I barely make it or just miss kickoff. No lines at all to get in. So awesome.

Good stuff.

Ed from Ponte Vedra, FL

Just letting you know: My friend and were season ticket holders from Day 1. He needs a wheelchair now. We bought tickets to the Jets. Went through the process in Guest Services and sat in one of the handicapped zones. The experience, the courtesy was beyond outstanding and exceeded our expectations. Go Jags!

More good stuff.

JT from Fort Worth, TX

John, the front office has to take care of defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. He has stayed a true pro and is playing out of his mind. Between him and Josh Allen, the Jags could have a dangerous tandem for a very long time.

The front office tried to extend defensive end Yannick Ngakoue’s contract this past offseason. The sides couldn’t agree. I imagine the Jaguars’ front office still would love to extend Ngakoue. It remains to be seen whether the sides can agree. But, I have a better feeling about this now than I did last offseason.

JG from Silver Spring, MD

Hello, John. On the topic of the week, Minshew now has eight games under his belt. If we extrapolate his performance to a full season, he would have 3,952 yards passing, 26 touchdowns and four interceptions, a 61 percent completion percentage and a 98.8 passer rating. In terms of single-season Jaguars records, that would be third in yards, second in touchdowns and second in passer rating. In other words, by any measure, a Top 3 season all-time by Jaguars quarterbacks. How can Marrone put that on the bench? No one can reasonably expect Foles to perform better than that.

One fer Minshew!

Chris from St. Augustine, FL

Let's recap: The front office spends $50 million on a quarterback (Blake Bortles) who they believed to be the future of the franchise. Couple years later he is a backup for the Rams and eating our cap space. Next, they go out and pay $90 million for a quarterback who they believe is elite and will bring Jax a Super Bowl. And after that same quarterback has played less than five plays, we're saying we're done with the guy and would rather start a sixth-round rookie who we are CERTAIN will now be the new future of the franchise. No offense, but seems a bit extreme and sounds like we need a more robust process of quarterback evaluation?

Who’s saying the Jaguars are done with Foles? Not the Jaguars. And what the heck does “robust process of quarterback evaluation” mean? Teams all evaluate quarterbacks the same way. You scout them, draft them and hope they develop. If they don’t, they go try to find the best alternative. With that in mind, let’s recap: The Jaguars have a couple of quarterbacks they believe worthy of starting, which means they have two decent quarterbacks. Maybe that’s not robust, but it’s a better situation than the team has had at the position in a long time.

Mark from Richmond, VA

When people talk about game stats, why do they always want to take away that one big play? It was a play that happened. Let’s take away Aaron Rodgers’ 70-yard touchdown pass, too and he just has an OK game. Take away the Minshew play to wide receiver Chris Conley while you’re at it and let’s go ahead and take some big plays away from former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor. I say let’s keep the big plays because didn’t talent and technique have something to do with it?

Fair.

Curran from Orlando, FL

Smoot is a very, very large man and has been playing very well recently. What do you think his role is in this defense this season and beyond?

Jaguars defensive end Dawuane Smoot has added size to his frame this season, and he has contributed as part of the line rotation. That sort of depth is key on the defensive line, and I expect that to continue to be Smoot’s role this season. Beyond that likely will depend on the future of Campbell and Ngakoue. If those players remain with the team, Smoot’s role next season probably stays the same. If they’re gone, it will be larger by necessity.

Thinking Fairly from Jacksonville

The broadcast showed a pretty heated Fournette yelling at the coaches after one of the runs Sunday. Should we expect to hear about our front office having a sit-down with him after the game? While it was pretty clear that the Jalen trade was addition-by-subtraction-but-also-by-addition, would it be correct to think that – while Jalen had thin skin – that our front office needs to thicken up, too? Calling out players for missing voluntary workouts, sit-down meeting for getting heated with the coach, even though the coach says he had no problem with it ... maybe both sides can learn from it. Fair?

A player getting heated and yelling at a coach is one thing; not being able to regain composure and behaving a Ramsey did for an extended period in Houston is another. But should a coach or someone in the organization be able to speak to Fournette about what happened late in Sunday’s game? I would think that conversation should be able to take place with both sides behaving respectfully. I would also think that players should be able to positively respond to a conversation or even criticism without requesting a trade.

Thomas from Chicago, IL

With cornerback Jalen Ramsey, safety Tashaun Gipson, defensive tackle Malik Jackson and linebacker Telvin Smith gone, has the team taken a Calais Campbell mindset? Work hard, team first, play for each other? You see it in Ngakoue, Allen, cornerback A.J. Bouye, running back Leonard Fournette, wide receiver DJ Chark Jr., etc.

It’s not fair to lump all departed players in same group with Ramsey in this conversation, but if you’re asking if the team this season had a vibe of togetherness and resiliency? Yeah, you could say that. And if you’re asking if that vibe has felt a little stronger in recent weeks? Yeah, you could say that, too.

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