JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Sam from Winter Park, FL
You say that a certain school has no bearing on if a team drafts a player, but Good Lord … When has Ohio State ever had a quarterback do well in the pros? How for decades upon decades is that still just a coincidence? Dwayne Haskins, J.T. Barrett, Troy Smith, Craig Krenzel, Cardele Jones, Terrelle Pryor and I'm sure I am leaving people out … but yeesh. At some point you become weary of drafting positions from a particular school because you know the school runs a successful system.
My mind spun at the ridiculousness of this question. First: how a player who played nearly two decades ago (Krenzel) has any bearing on the present is beyond me. Second: of all the failed (in the NFL) Ohio State quarterbacks you listed, one – Haskins – was a first-round selection and none of the others were selected before the third round. That clearly shows the NFL had little belief that most Ohio State quarterbacks in the past two decades would succeed in the NFL despite their collegiate success. And enough people had serious questions in the pre-draft process about Haskins that he slipped to midway in Round 1. To assume that current Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields won't make it in the NFL because other players before him didn't wouldn't just be unfair to the player, it would show a negligence and undue bias that would be very close to a fire-able offense for an NFL general manager. I don't know if Fields will be good in the NFL. We'll find out starting next season. But the inability of other quarterbacks from the school will have no bearing on his draft status or whether he succeeds or fails.
Scott from Atlantic Beach, FL
I love the team, like the players as individuals as far as I know or have had experience with. I like the coaching and general manager. But if a guy name Fields or Lawrence isn't quarterbacking this team next year, this season is a failure. It seems the franchise's best interests and the coaching staff's interests are at odds. Fire the coach, so he can stop the bleeding and the team can remain losing, which is in the best interest of the franchise. Why is that not the case?
And I thought my mind was spinning at Sam's question.
Michael from Middleburg, FL
So very tired of "no training camp, no preseason..." What other teams had either? Eight weeks into the season it's time to start playing football.
Read more carefully, Michael. I never wrote that the Jaguars were 1-7 because there was no offseason program or preseason. I wrote that I never expect much from rookies, particularly in a season in which there was no offseason program or preseason. Yes, it's time to start playing football, but rookies are rookies – and specific to them, not having an offseason program can be at least a small factor in their performance.
Steve from Woodbine, GA
My point was ... there's not a quarterback in the league that is going to put up 30+ points every game. Put the blame where it belongs ... squarely on the defense.
I understood your point. There are currently four NFL teams scoring 30-plus points per game and two more scoring 29.4 points per game. All are in playoff contention. No one ever said the defense wasn't an issue. But to say quarterback play hasn't been an issue for the Jaguars this season is to miss the most important part of the NFL – and the most important part of this franchise's long-term story.
Darren from Fort Worth, TX
You can't possible think this all falls on quarterback, can you? Your response to Mitch implies being wrong at quarterback is the reason this team can't win. Four posts above that you stated that you expected the defensive tackle and secondary to be an issue, albeit not this bad. Those two positions are leading to one of the worst defenses in team history, yet you then defend the rest of the roster by implying that quarterback is the issue???
To think that I think this "all falls" on the quarterback is to not have read the O-Zone in recent weeks and months. But yes … quarterback play is a major reason the Jaguars are struggling and have struggled most of the last decade and a half. That's not "defending" the rest of the roster. It is stating reality.
Adam from Round Here
Isn't it funny how the Week 2 e-mails and the Week 10 e-mails both have extreme conviction, but are also extreme opposites?
I'm not laughing.
Mike from Jacksonville
How many times did the Jags run on first down last week for how many yards? The other team seemed to know we were running and stacked the box.
Jaguars rookie running back James Robinson rushed 17 times on first down for 62 yards in a 27-25 loss to the Houston Texans last week. Did the Texans know the Jaguars were running on first down? Probably. The Jaguars were, after all, playing a rookie quarterback in his first start. And offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said this week a priority is to get Robinson touches. If you're going to get a running back touches, a lot of those touches must come on first downs. Is the offense a little predictable when that's the case? Maybe. I do think the Jaguars will throw more with rookie quarterback Jake Luton on early downs moving forward. But it doesn't sound as if the Jaguars will get too far from running Robinson early on series any time soon.
Richard from Duval
I think the reason that us Jags fans are so quick to sign up for Gardner Minshew II or Luton is that our perception of quarterback play has been skewed by the years of bad quarterback play. Minshew is competent so he must be a star! Now Luton is competent he is also a star! I like both of them, and it's great that we've found some players that can play the position, but part of the problem is Blaine Gabbert.
It would be nice if I could come up with some answer to refute this. Yes, that would be nice. The Jaguars haven't been good enough at quarterback in a long time. Do fans sometimes confuse OK quarterbacking with "good-enough" quarterbacking? Of course. How couldn't they?
Johnny from (now) Denver, CO
Just dropped in to see if the lights were still on. It's pretty clear no one is home… But seriously, is it "tanking" if you weren't good enough to compete in the first place?
Of course not.
Dan from Varna, Bulgaria
Hi Zone, in your expert opinion do you think the Jaguars will beat the New York Jets if they played each other this season. Also, the league could think about this as entertaining value for us the fans at the end of the season. Instead of awarding the team with the worst record the first overall pick they should implement a playoff version in play for that No. 1 pick with winner being awarded the top pick.
I don't know if the Jaguars would beat the Jets because I don't watch the Jets all that closely. I suspect it would be close. The game you suggest would never happen because the NFL Players Association wouldn't agree to it because of injury risk, etc. As far as your theory that the game might offer "entertaining value" … well, I guess we'll just leave that one alone.
Matt from Tamarac, FL
Great One, what say you about Zach Wilson, quarterback out of Brigham Young University? To me, he looks every bit a mold of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and the new prototype for future generations of elite NFL QBs.
I've heard good things. I've seen a highlight or two. I haven't seen much more than that.
Pete from Queensbury, NY
John, If we can grab a franchise quarterback in the 2021 draft, do you think we can be competitive, or even a contender while that quarterback is on a rookie contract? How quickly could the team turn around, given said rookie, and presumably a new coach/GM?
I don't presume anything until things happen, but a rookie contract lasts three-to-five seasons. The Jaguars absolutely could be competitive in that time frame. There is a lot of young talent on this team – a lot of potential front-line talent at pretty much every position except safety, defensive tackle, tight end and quarterback. That's a lot of excepts, but they certainly can be addressed and improved in the next offseason or two.
John from Jacksonville
Hi KOAGF - Can you explain to me why on Earth the Packers would be favored to win against the Jaguars this Sunday? I just don't get it. The madness. The lack of respect.
It's bias. Without question. The media hates the Jaguars.