O-Zone: Bring it on

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Game-day O-Zone.

Let’s get to it …

John from Jacksonville

Well, not a must-win game this Sunday but it sure would be a big win. What a nice homecoming it would be next Sunday to be 3-2 for the Saints game. Go Jags!

The Jaguars’ game Sunday against the Carolina Panthers indeed isn’t a must-win game, nor is next week’s game against the New Orleans Saints. I think the Jaguars will lose one of those two games, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they lost both. That doesn’t mean I think the Jaguars are a bad team, just that these two games are two of the three trickiest remaining on the schedule – with the other being the Los Angeles Chargers game in Jacksonville. If the Jaguars do lose one or both of the next two games, I believe they will win three or four of their next four to play their way back into the postseason conversation, so I see no reason to panic whatever the outcome of the next two games. Not that I expect readers to see it that way. Rather, if the Jaguars lose one or two of the next two games, I imagine the readers will respond as they usually do in that situation, which is to say with absolute irrationality and unapologetic chaos.

Jim from Jagsonville

So, prior to the Denver game I shaved my beard down to a Minshew Mustache. I told myself I'll shave it off after the game, but then Minshew Magic happened! I don't have what it takes to keep this look up, but a friend said if I shave it now the Jaguars will lose Sunday and it'll be my fault. … What should I do, O-Zone?

Don’t be weak. Fight through it. For the good of the team.

Steve from Nashville, TN

If traded, wouldn't Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey have to "pass" a physical before the trade is official, and in his current state of health would not be able to pass?

Fair question. I don’t know the answer because I’m not the doctor who would be examining Ramsey’s back in this situation – and because NFL teams vary in what’s required to pass a physical.

Jim from Middleburg, FL

John, I know you got my email question predicting Jags by three in overtime against the Broncos. "I missed it by that much....d.smart." Thank you for not embarrassing me publicly...this time O- GREATNESS.

I get emails like this sometimes.

Chris from Space City, TX

What's with the Coughlin love in the O-Zone of late? Grumpy grandpa should have let his head coach handle that situation with Ramsey behind the scenes. When Coughlin was ruling with an iron fist 25 years ago in Jacksonville, he would have certainly handled that type of situation himself without the interference of the front office.

When Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin was the head coach in Jacksonville 25 years ago, he was the front office. But judging by your width and depth of knowledge, I know you knew that already. As for the “Coughlin love in the O-Zone of late,” I don’t know about that. What I do know is it has become vogue for some readers to identify Coughlin as a negative, and some people seem to have a belief the league has passed him by. While I understand the need to blame someone for everything, and while the front office has made errors over the past three offseasons, it’s also fair to point out that Coughlin has been back in Jacksonville for two seasons and four games. The Jaguars won the AFC South in one of those seasons and finished last in the other. They are currently tied for the division lead with a two-game winning streak and a .500 record four games into the third season. I don’t know that Coughlin should be clearing time on the schedule for the Executive of the Year dinner, but isn’t it fair to say the Jaguars are in better shape than when he took over? As for the Ramsey Incident in Houston in Week 2, we don’t know what Coughlin did or didn’t say when the two spoke after the game, but is it safe to say he was more out of line than Ramsey was hours earlier? Is it safe to assume Coughlin has had a pattern of being out of line with handling such incidents? I get that today’s players perhaps “don’t like to be yelled at” or called out when they are in error, but are people running organizations simply supposed to pat players on the back who step out of line and say, “Attaboy?” Perhaps, but that seems a bit sad if that’s true.

Bill from Ponte Vedra, FL

I take Jalen Ramsey at his word that his back hurts. But how often has he played hurt in the past? I suspect that if he got a trade he liked, he would play through this injury as well. As for the back injury, could we at least have a real diagnosis? Sprain, strain, disk, etc.? All we have now is "My back hurts."

Ramsey reportedly may see a specialist soon. Perhaps we will get more information then.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, why wouldn't we have gotten Ramsey a specialist on Day 1? I must be over-thinking about it right?

Players get injured all the time in the NFL. Specialists aren’t usually called on the first day of the injury. Usually, they’re called in when it lingers past the normal and it’s time to figure out why.

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

Any reason why Ramsey didn't see a specialist last week? He has had this injury for two weeks. Seems like a long time to wait before deciding he needs to see a specialist. No need to travel or be a distraction. Let’s just send him straight to the specialist so he can receive treatment all day Sunday.

Ramsey reportedly may see a specialist soon. Perhaps we will get more information then.

Stephen from Colorado Springs, FL

Is the specialist an accountant?

I laughed at this.

Henry from 215 TIAA Bank Field

Since you're on a first-name basis with these guys, could you tell players to splurge a little bit for a designated driver if they're going to be "out on the town" at 2 a.m.? Seriously, every time I hear stories like the latest on Dareus, I marvel at the fact that they don't do this. Pay a driver who follows the speed limit and keeps the player out of trouble as best they can. They're young and rich, so I don't expect them to not go out and have a good time, but exercise a little caution. On that note, is Dareus playing Sunday?

Players are young and young people don’t always do the smartest things. That’s even true of wealthy young people. And yes … I expect Jaguars defensive tackle Marcell Dareus to play against the Carolina Panthers Sunday.

Carol from Jacksonville

"Face Of The Franchise"... I know it is early times, but I feel a shift to (hopefully) some of our offensive players becoming the new Faces Of The Franchise. Running back Leonard Fournette is really heading in that direction and so is wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. Of course it goes without saying that if Gardner Minshew continues on his current path he also will be ... it just feels like a breath of fresh air right now!

I am the king of all funk.

Nicholas from Mogadishu, Somalia

I heard in one of the best football movies ever that "attitude reflects leadership." It got me thinking about the Jaguars’ prima donnas and where they (Ramsey, Fournette, Robinson and Minshew) get their swag from and then this occurred to me. We had Shad Khan arrive on the scene and start Mustache Mania, which now seems to be fueling Minshew Mania with everyone claiming that the "Stache" can do no wrong. We have the self-proclaimed "King of all Funk" who thinks he is the end all be all to being popular. Next we have Longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. “Gene” Frenette, who we attribute many of the great achievements of modern day man. Finally, we have Tony Boselli, who according to the King of All Funk already has a gigantic ego which will only get worse once he is enshrined into the Hall of Fame. Lastly this so-called King of All Funk has called out Tony many times stating "he knows where to find me" in an attempt to engage in a physical confrontation with a man who would absolutely destroy him. Is it any wonder why this team has so many issues and selfish behaviors resulting in unsportsmanlike conduct and ridiculous trade demands? I say start from the top and act like a role model and maybe, just maybe these attitude problems will go away.

The Stache knows where to find me.

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