O-Zone: Care package

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Nelson from Jacksonville

Gardner Minshew II did a great job for this team and I think he very well could be our quarterback for the future. But reading some of the actives regarding the decision to start Nick Foles, it almost sounds as if we are sending Gardner down the road. Minshew now can better learn the pro game by watching a veteran quarterback from the sideline for a while. I think it can help his development and with Foles’ injury history, who knows? Minshew could be back soon and better prepared to lead this team. We are lucky to have Foles now and Minshew for the future. Seems like a win-win.

The point that the Jaguars are in a win-win situation has gotten somewhat lost in the O-Zone/Twitter debate about the franchise’s quarterback situation. The fan base currently seems divided for the most part between a camp that believes Minshew Must Start Or Everyone In The Jaguars’ Front Office Are Proving Again They Are Idiots and a camp that believes Maybe the Coaches Are Doing What Gives The Jaguars The Best Chance To Win By Starting Foles. The reality is the Jaguars are not in a mode in which they have a veteran quarterback clearly in his last season with the team. That’s not Foles’ role, and this is not about finding a way to part ways with him. The Jaguars signed Foles only last March and he has done nothing to indicate he’s not the quarterback they believed he was when he signed. Head Coach Doug Marrone currently believes that Foles is now the best option. I haven’t gotten the idea there was much disagreement within the building on that front. Foles might be the future for the next season, or two seasons, or three seasons. There’s zero reason to rush this if he performs well. Maybe he won’t play well or maybe he will get hurt. In those scenarios, maybe Minshew gets another chance. The timeline and storyline will play out as they play out. The pleasant reality for the Jaguars is for the first time in a long time they appear to have two good options at quarterback. That’s not a bad thing.

Bill from Hawthorn Woods, IL

I find it interesting the Jags were the only AFC South team to lost to the Chiefs. I think most of us expected those to be losses for others, too ... bringing them back to the Jags. Instead they’ve become a separator and the team exits the bye in the division’s cellar. Whatever margin of error existed just got smaller.

You’re absolutely right. It was unfortunate for the Jaguars to play the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1 when quarterback Patrick Mahomes was fully healthy. The Chiefs haven’t been the same team since he has been slowed by an injury, and the rest of the division indeed played and beat them after that.

Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA

Mr. O: According to my amateur research, 50-plus-yard runs, 1994-2017: Adrian Peterson, 24; Barry Sanders, 21; Fred Taylor, 14; LaDainian Tomlinson, 14. I think that's an interesting statistic.

That sounds about right. Former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor deserves to be in the conversation about the NFL’s best running backs of the last 25 years. Few people who saw him play in his prime and who speak with knowledgeable people from his era dispute that.

Robert from Elton

John, I get that fans are going to fan. But enough is enough with people who honestly think they know more about football than the guys running the front office now! The Jags have several talented people who have spent practically their entire lives, almost 24/7 living, eating, sweating, breathing, and bleeding nothing but football for 30-to-50 years. I’ve had it with fans that read the internet, listen to radio, or have been “watching games for years” thinking they know more than a two-time Super Bowl winner and the rest of the staff who have made our casual-entertainment-pastime their whole life’s mission. For goodness sakes people: this isn’t an exact science and for every winner there is a loser. I wonder if all of these fans also tell their doctors, plumbers, electricians and pilots how to do their jobs? Obviously many of these fans know more about everything than the people who spend a lifetime doing it. Somehow there needs to be an intervention with these people to explain to them they just aren’t as smart as they think they are.

Here's wishing you luck with that.

Jeffrey from Atlantic Beach, FL

I think the main contention the fans have with the Jaguars "not paying" defensive end Yannick Ngakoue is that they've rewarded underperforming players while allowing those that have earned new contracts to leave via free agency. So, it appears as if the Jaguars are unable to recognize talent and/or are unwilling to pay good players what they are worth. Of course, this is all speculation as we have no idea what negotiations entail. Do you ever see a day when teams are transparent as to what is happening with player negotiations? Or would that ultimately be a detriment to signing players?

I do not. The nature of negotiations in all things – not just sports – is that people will make things transparent when it benefits them and they will keep things secret when that benefits them. And you know what? That’s not a crime against humanity. It’s OK for life to include intrigue and unknown. Not everything must be streamed and live-tweeted.

Josh from Fernandina Beach, FL

Zone: As a follow up on the attendance-heat-stadium-upgrade conversation, I side with the notion that the heat and direct sun experienced in September and October in The ‘Bank is a real thing, and it certainly registers as a factor the average fans decision to attend a Jags game during that time a year (in addition to other factors, etc.). My question is whether from your observations the Jags’ Brass agrees with that sentiment, and if so what weight they assign that variable in analyzing means of increasing local revenues for the organization. Thanks, and Go Jags!!

Jaguars management understands heat is an issue during those months and understands the need for it to be addressed at TIAA Bank Field moving forward. As for when and how it will be addressed, those are tricky questions that will involve major additions/changes to the stadium and therefore are issues that will be addressed more in the long-term than the short-term.

Dave from Chorley, UK

Offensive line has been a focus for the Jaguars in recent offseasons, with right tackle Jawaan Taylor, left guard Andrew Norwell and left tackle Cam Robinson being the most recent acquisitions. Assuming Taylor makes a big leap next season and Robinson stays healthy and continues his progression, do you see the front office maybe drafting or signing some better free-agent competition/depth for other areas of the line? Given the investment the team has made at quarterback, this fan still has concerns about the protection being offered. Do you see any linemen in the draft or free agency that would be a good fit for us?

The Jaguars have serious decisions to make this offseason regarding Norwell and center Brandon Linder. I expect Linder to return, and I’m not as sure about Norwell. I expect the Jaguars to continue to address the area relatively early in the draft and in mid-tier free agency because they’re not where they need to be yet.

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

Is it hotter than it was 25 years ago? I don’t recall the heat being reported as unbearable or the reason people didn’t attend games in the past. People still sell out and fill the college stadiums, right? Ps this is an offseason issue and it’s a bummer we are focusing on it now.

I don’t know that people fill out college stadiums in Florida the way they used to, particularly if the team is not winning in a big way. I took my son to a Florida-South Carolina game at Florida Field a few years back and I was struck by a swath of empty seats I never saw when covering Florida in the early-to-mid 1990s. I don’t know if that’s a comparable situation, but it does show that circumstances change. And yes … if a team is winning consistently in a big way then attendance can withstand brutal temperatures. But if the team is average or below average as the Jaguars have been at times in recent seasons, and if going to the games has not been as fun as should be, then asking people to sit through brutally hot temperatures is a big ask. And not everyone is going to do it. That’s not a Jacksonville thing, by the way. It’s a humidity thing and a Florida thing.

Otto from Ponte Vedra, FL

John, do senior writers get bye weeks? Go Jags!!

No. No one cares about senior writers. Our is an unappreciated life of neglect and abuse, and deservedly so.

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