JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Marcus from Jacksonville
John, you seemed to agree with a reader's assessment that all three quarterbacks are not very good – and therefore it doesn't really matter who starts. You also mentioned recently that wide receiver DJ Chark Jr.'s struggles are due, in part, to a lack of continuity at quarterback. I imagine this is true of other offensive positions as well. So, if it doesn't matter who starts at quarterback, and changing quarterbacks causes other positions to struggle, doesn't it make more sense to just pick a guy and stick with him? If the best you can hope for is not very good, then at least give the other players some consistency to work with.
It absolutely would make sense to just pick a quarterback and stick with him. Head Coach Doug Marrone no doubt would have loved to have done that this season. Gardner Minshew II struggled enough in the first seven games that Marrone wasn't in a rush to return to him when healthy. At that point, I think he ideally would have stuck with rookie Jake Luton. But Luton struggled enough in three starts that that didn't make sense. He then ideally would have stuck with veteran Mike Glennon. But Glennon struggled enough in three starts that that didn't make sense. I imagine he will stick with Minshew – unless he struggles enough that it doesn't make sense. A lot of things in the NFL don't make sense when your quarterback struggles. It's an important position.
Larry from Duncan, OK
Great and powerful O: The Lot J project is going to be similar to what Dallas did. I have been there. It's pretty cool if you're a Cowboys fan. Is it crazy to wonder why billionaire Jerry Jones has put a lot of his own money into the Dallas franchise, while our billionaire needs help from the city coffers? Perhaps a better idea would be to relocate to a different part of Northern Florida a build a huge complex there where traffic and bridges aren't a concern? After all, it has been decades since the Cowboys have played a game in Dallas.
Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones indeed has put a lot of his own money into the Dallas franchise – and into AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Jaguars Owner Shad Khan also has put a lot of his own money into the Jaguars and the projects around TIAA Bank Field. But it indeed is true that Jones paid for about 75 percent of AT&T Stadium – also known as Jerry's World – and equally true that Khan is unlikely to pay that percentage of projected costs for a new/renovated stadium in Jacksonville. One reason Jones could do what he did is the Dallas market is such – with far more corporations in the area for sponsorships and partners – that it has far more ability to return that investment, and therefore far more ability to make the deal a good one for Jones. The Jacksonville market doesn't promise that return on investment no matter how the Jaguars fare on the field. The costs for major projects in such markets must be shared for them to make sense.
Ryan from Detroit, MI
The quote from Jaguars offensive coordinator Jay Gruden says absolutely everything you need to know about this offensive excuse for an offense: "You'd like to have great protection, great routes and deliver the ball on time. That's what our goal is, but obviously that doesn't happen every play or hardly ever."
It's actually rare for many offenses to have greatness from every position on single play. I think that was part of Gruden's point, though admittedly not all of it.
Bill from Folkston, GA
I have noticed something as of late. Back a few years ago, the reason why games were lost or seasons were bad, it was because the team itself was lacking in some area – safety, cornerback, receiver, whatever. Now it is all on the quarterback. I was wondering oh mighty O, if they get rid of Minshew for next year, who is going to be your whipping boy? Are you still going to blame everything on him and former Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin?
I'll probably keep doing what I've been doing all along: answering questions based on what's going on around the Jaguars. How people interpret or how angry it makes them is entirely up to them. And incidentally, I never, ever, ever "blamed everything" on Coughlin. I did often point out that he had final say on all football decisions from 2017-2019. In that sense, it's his responsibility. This doesn't make Coughlin a bad football person. And it doesn't mean a lot of players, coaches and front office people didn't have a lot to do with the on-field results.
Leon from Austin, TX
Zone: The struggle is very real being a Jaguars fan, but I have no doubt next year will be better. Go Jags!
Steve from Nashville, TN
"The Jaguars entering Sunday's game have used 79 players this season, the second-highest total in NFL history. "" Can you explain why this is happening to this team this year?
Head Coach Doug Marrone explained it in the story you quoted: youth, injuries, player performance prompting player releases and acquisitions, etc.
David from Chuluota, FL
KOAF - In reviewing the stat sheet, here are some interesting rushing numbers. Jaguars rookie running back James Robinson has 224 attempts for 1,035 yards with all other running backs contributing nine carries for 27 yards. I thought, we were going to regret cutting Leonard Fournette, so close to the start of the season. In retrospect, it was our best offseason move, cutting Leonard Fournette and handing the job to an undrafted free-agent running back, who turned out to be our top offensive producer. Former Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell got criticized for many of his personnel moves, maybe the move to James Robinson should be seen as one of his greatest decisions?
It will be up there. I expect in retrospect a lot of the decisions Caldwell made this past offseason could benefit the Jaguars, particularly the decision to trade and release the players who were release and traded. That doesn't mean he was a great general manager. The lack of success shows he was not. But cleaning up the salary cap and compiling draft selections as he did eventually could prove very beneficial.
Scott from Atlantic Beach, FL
I can't believe Marrone had no input on the roster. I imagine, he actually had significant input. Not knowing how good Marrone could have been as a coach because he never had a front-line quarterback?!? It's as much his own fault and an indictment of his coaching that he didn't demand a quarterback. He went with Blake Bortles, Nick Foles and Gardner Minshew II. Now he probably won't be an NFL head coach again. This is not sad or tragic, the man is wealthy and will continue to work in football if that is what he chooses to do. But to say we will never know how could he could of been?!? He played who he played, he was the gosh darn HEAD COACH! He made his own bed as much as anybody.
Believe what you like. All I can do here is tell you what's reality. But Marrone didn't draft Bortles and he wasn't in charge of the roster when the team signed Foles and drafted Minshew. You think he wasn't trying to improve the quarterback position? You think he wouldn't have liked better quarterback play? Really? And no one said anything about any of this being sad or tragic. And of course, it's not tragic if he doesn't coach in the NFL again. You'll never see me shedding tears for NFL head coaches who get fired; they leave these positions with financial security beyond what most people will see in a lifetime. But Marrone "didn't make his own bed" with the quarterback situation. You can believe he did. You would be incorrect.
Spazman from Jacksonville
John, I for the most part agree with your assessment of Doug Marrone as a head coach. The one area of concern I've always had with him, however, is that he hasn't managed yet to fix the team's propensity to commit a lot of penalties. One other thing, though: If Khan does fire him, I won't miss Marrone constantly saying "you know" in his interviews. To me that is becoming increasingly maddening as the losses pile up.
The Jaguars' penalties haven't stood out as much as a defining issue as they did in past seasons, perhaps because they have had so many other issues. But you're right that they continue to commit too many penalties. They're the NFL's fourth-most penalized team in terms of number of penalties and the second-most penalized team in terms of yards. As far as Marrone saying "You know" … I'm sorry this bothers you. I guess. Or not. A lot of coaches are quirky in press conferences; all have their own style. Marrone's way of speaking never bothered me. But I'm uncommonly tolerant. It's one of the things that makes me "awesome." Text me for some more. It's an awesome list.