O-Zone: Black Friday cheer

JACKSONVILLE – Black Friday O-Zone.

Let's get to it … Ray from North Augusta, SC:
Since Myles Jack has been a starter for several weeks now, I haven't heard his number called much for big plays. Is he just not in the correct position to be noticed or is he just not ready yet to make a big splash like we were hoping?
John: Myles Jack is an NFL rookie playing a position in the Jaguars' defense – Otto linebacker – that gets limited snaps compared to other positions. He is sharing that position with veteran Dan Skuta, meaning Jack gets about half of the aforementioned comparatively limited snaps. He has shown flashes. He is very talented. He is very fast. The play he made running down Lamar Miller of Houston two weeks ago was as impressive a display of speed as you will see from an NFL linebacker. It's not uncommon for talented players to be relatively quiet as rookies. Seasons such as the one cornerback Jalen Ramsey is having as a rookie are rare. Jack will be fine and he will be fine very soon.
Steve from Woodbine, GA:
John, how can you not laugh at this point? It's like watching the follies every week! CMON, MAN!!!
John: Hrumph.
Daniel from Jax Since Day One:
I like Gus a lot, and I'm going to be sad to see him leave. His first three years were very tough, but the definition of success during those first three years would be for this fourth year not to be dominated by errors all over the field like we have. The fact is, we've got better players and lots of talent, but no results. We have not gotten better every day. The goal may be valid, but the execution of the plan to achieve that goal has completely failed. Ultimately, the buck has to stop somewhere.
John: Yes, 2-8 in the fourth season of a building process is by any measure not good enough. Because of that, blame falls on the head coach. That's not to say there are not things beyond his control, but that's where blame falls. Many, many teams make errors. Winning teams typically overcome those errors – usually at least in part by getting better quarterback play than the Jaguars have gotten this season. But the buck doesn't completely stop at the quarterback as often as it does at the head coach. That's how it is.
Dan from Fort Dodge, IA:
Scouts should be on hand for the Iowa-Nebraska game. Desmond King and a few power runners.
John: OK.
Logan from Wichita, KS:
I am thankful that the Jaguars' season is almost over. I will be so damn happy when I can say "I am thankful the Jaguars are above .500 at this point in the season." Go Jags!
John: I am never thankful for the end of football season. Once football season is over we wait until the next football season to watch more football. That wait is a long one.
Keith from Palatka, FL:
You said recently concerning Blake Bortles, "There is every possibility that they will need to bring in competition for him in the offseason. And if they do that, that competition needs to real." Could you elaborate on that? The upcoming draft is weak at quarterback, and Tony Romo will probably want to go to a contending team and – is old. The only viable option seems to be Jimmy Garoppolo and Dave doesn't like to part with draft choices. I think you are spot on that Blake needs real competition. I just don't know who or how that would happen. Any ideas?
John: Nothing specific yet. Stay tuned.
Aaron from Chantilly:
I am thankful we have a team and that we have a talented roster after years of disgraceful performances. It feels like if we just had decent play out of quarterback we wouldn't stink so bad, and that is a lot better than we have been in a long time!!
John: If you're thankful that the roster is better and the Jaguars appear closer to being good than they have been in a while … yeah, it's reasonable to be thankful for that. It's not a particularly popular point of view right now, but that doesn't make it unreasonable.
Mike from Section 238:
People that don't understand giving Blake every chance are missing the point: the 20 teams that have starting quality quarterbacks significantly better won't give them up; and spending another first-round pick on a quarterback that hasn't graded out means we're missing out on a game-changing pass rusher or offensive tackle for another year. Why wouldn't we give him every possible chance to be even a mid-tier quarterback? Sure, bring in legitimate competition, but there's no reason whatsoever to kick him to the curb during his rookie contract.
John: True that.
Chris from Houston, TX:
It seems in the last couple of weeks of the season the interests of the coaching staff and the Jaguars organization will inevitably diverge. The coaching staff's goal will be to win at any cost. But, if this team has only two or three wins heading into the final few weeks of the season, the team would likely benefit by playing less-experienced players to better evaluate them going forward (e.g., Sheldon Day, Josh Wells, Chris Reed, Chris Smith, etc.) – not to mention draft position.
John: I can easily see the Jaguars playing a few younger players in the final weeks of the season. In many cases, this will happen naturally as players get injured. I could also see a scenario in which the Jaguars play a player such as Josh Wells because injuries have precluded him from playing in recent seasons. They won't do it to enhance draft position, though. The Jaguars will play to win.
William from Jacksonville:
Do you think we will ever see Marcedes on the field again?
John: Yes. I believe Marcedes Lewis will play for the Jaguars again.
John from Jacksonville:
I agree with Bortles regarding a lot of good stuff overshadowed by the losses. When referencing that Bortles has accounted for 16 of the team's 22 giveaways, I think it's somewhat misleading as probably half of them were a combination of either tipped balls, fluke plays, or last-minute Hail Mary passes. The receivers get good money to catch the ball even if it's thrown a little off. Bortles will never admit this because he is a leader, but the eye test does. Do you agree?
John: It's perhaps somewhat misleading, but not overly so. Yes, a few of Bortles' 16 giveaways have been fluky and some have come on tips. But the better a quarterback's accuracy and decision-making, the fewer times fluky things seem to happen. Still, you are correct on a very important front. Everyone on the Jaguars – Bortles included but hardly just him – could be playing better. He's not the only culprit.
Daniel from Urbandale, IA:
Setting aside Gus Bradley's win-loss record as a head coach, I find it hard to trust someone who has fired two offensive coordinators and two defensive coordinators in four years. Who wants to come work for this guy? Shad has been exceedingly patient in letting Gus Bradley finish out the season; can't understand why Gus couldn't at least do the same for Olson.
John: I wasn't a big fan of the Olson move, either. I didn't honestly see a lot that he was doing wrong that couldn't have been improved by better play from the players. That said, the emphasis on the run game that Bradley and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett envisioned when Bradley made the coordinator change seems to have happened – and the Jaguars at the very least have improved offensively since the change. Bradley, by the way, has fired three coordinators: Jedd Fisch and Olson on offense and defensive coordinator Bob Babich. Bradley's reasoning behind the Olson move was pretty simple. Something had to change offensively and nothing else had worked. It's not an ideal reason for a coaching change, but that was the crux of it.
Joe from Hall of Fame City, OH:
OK, I get it losing suuuuuucks! I'm not sure what team most people are watching, but I see a team that for the last three games has crept closer to winning. Nobody ever said it was easy to win. Every Sunday we huddle around the game and cheer for the Jags. I'll never stop cheering, because we as fans need –no, must – let the team know we are behind them. So here's to the Jaguars, from at least one of the faithful. You guys are going to #SHOCKDANATION – and yes, you heard it here first …
John: #DTWD

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