JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Brittney from Orange Park, FL
John, forgive my lack of football knowledge; just wanting to prove to my husband I can learn about the Jags in hopes he will let me hang out with him and his friends on Sundays this year. My understanding is that "West Coast" quarterbacks should have a little wiggle and escape-ability because that offensive system is based more on quick-hitting, three-to-five-step drops where there is less space to move in the pocket, and they have to be able to not take a loss if there is nothing open right away. If I am mistaken, I apologize. If that is correct, I'm unable to see how Mike Glennon or Jake Luton might fit that description if Gardner Minshew II were to get hurt?
Apology unnecessary – and there's truth in your assumption. It's nice for West Coast-offense quarterbacks to have quick feet and escape-ability, but it's important that all quarterbacks have some sort of way to evade a rush in the modern NFL; offensive lines are rarely good enough across the board to adequately protect a quarterback who can't do something on his own along those lines – either by scrambling ability or savvy pocket presence. Equally important for a West Coast-offense quarterback is the other ability you cite – to complete short passes and therefore allow that phase of the passing offense to complement the running game. That's critical to the West Coast offense and it can counter the pass rush as effectively as the ability to scramble. Either way: You know enough about football and the Jags to hang out with your husband and his friends this season. Actually, it sounds like you know more than enough.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville
Not to sound cynical or anything, but I wish there was as much effort put into winning as there was at this rally. Maybe if that were the case, we would be in the playoffs and not projected to be in contention for the No. 1 draft pick. When did the focus switch from being a bad *** football team to a social movement? Sigh. Wish Shad would show the same effort in putting something winning on the field as he does the other "passions."
This falls into the same category as questions about why Jaguars Owner Shad Khan doesn't focus more on football and less on the business side. Just as focusing on the business side in no way precludes the football operations from working tirelessly to win, focusing on issues that are currently redefining the country doesn't mean the Jaguars aren't putting their best efforts into winning. Khan and the Jaguars put enormous effort into winning, and the focus is very much on being a bad* football team; the results don't show it, but they do. That they spent part of last week to discuss social issues – and that they marched peacefully through downtown for an hour or so one morning – doesn't make that untrue.
Mike from Atlanta, GA
In my opinion, $8.5 million is too much for Leonard Fournette. There is a long list of good running backs drafted in the second and third rounds over the last few years. It's illogical taking a running back at No. 4 overall considering what else you can get at that spot and that you can get as good a running back much later in the draft.
Selecting a running back No. 4 overall – as the Jaguars did with Fournette in the 2017 NFL Draft – indeed is a big risk; he must be an elite, difference-making player – and he must truly ascend the position. Fournette in 2017 had that effect on the Jaguars' offense. He had games – particularly against the Pittsburgh Steelers – that season that it's hard to imagine the Jaguars would have won without him. It also appeared early the following season that an offense built around him was going to be able to complement a good defense and continue – perhaps even build on – the previous season's success. But Fournette got hurt in Week 1 of 2018. The Jaguars then fell apart around Week 5 because of injuries and other factors. Since that time, the Jaguars have struggled and Fournette in retrospect appears to have been selected too early.
Roy from Orange Park, FL
If the coaches can be with their players, then why cannot the players?
If to be. Or not to be. That, Roy, is the question.
Chris from Mandarin, FL
Leonard Fournette kind of plays the game slow. I don't see any reason that he should be signed to a long-term contract after the 2020 season. Where did it go wrong with him?
It never has felt to me as if Fournette plays slow. It does appear he's not as much a quick-twitch, make-you-miss back as he is a powerful, straight-ahead runner — but he absolutely has straight-ahead speed. I would be surprised if the Jaguars sign him to a long-term contract after 2020. Not picking up the fifth-year option on a player often is a hint that the long-team deal isn't forthcoming.
Justin from NYC
How do you compare our new wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. to Seattle Seahawks DK Metcalf?
That's a comparison many have made. Shenault isn't as much of a physical specimen as Metcalf; perhaps no NFL receiver can make that claim. And he doesn't have Metcalf's pure speed, but he is perhaps more physically imposing in terms of strength and running style. We'll see if that holds true at the professional level.
Bill from Folkston, GA
"If it happens, I expect many people still won't like it; not everyone is going to be educated to a point of understanding the issue by the fall. But I do expect many people to be far more understanding than was the case four years ago." Nice to know that you consider people that don't agree with the kneeling to be uneducated, says a lot about your position.
I'm not turning this into a daily O-Zone topic, but to clarify one point: When I used the word "educated," I was discussing people being educated about this issue – and understanding this issue. I never meant that people who don't agree with the kneeling were uneducated in general. Players who kneel for the National Anthem don't believe it's about disrespecting the flag – or the military, or the country. They have made that clear. But there are going to be people who disagree with kneeling during the anthem no matter the reasoning. I don't anticipate that disconnect being completely resolved by the fall.
Mike from Bill Murray Hill
John: I would prefer not to see the players kneeling during the anthem. If the decision were mine in terms of this, I would present the National Anthem before the players are introduced and take the sideline. Seems a simple solution to a raw subject.
Players want their voices and actions heard on this issue. I doubt moving the anthem on game days will be something teams do.
Tom from Just the Mean Streets of Nocatee Now
Pete Prisco doesn't strike me as somebody who would go by the pseudonym "Bright Harmony."
Chris from Space City, TX
O, by now many of us fans are aware the Jaguars' organization sometimes feel completely different about a player or position group than most fans, observers, national media or pretty much anyone with a pulse. These cases are evident by their belief in the offensive line and in Myles Jack. The organization is fine with their play, most of the world thinks they were atrocious last season. My question is simple. How does the organization feel about Quincy Williams? Many observers would say he struggled to say the least. When he wasn't injured, he looked completely lost out on the field and clearly not worth the third-round selection Jacksonville surprised the world when taking him there. What steps do you see him needing to make this year to be a decent player and not a huge liability?
A disconnect between how a team and observers feel about a certain player is hardly unique to the Jaguars. The main reason for this is teams often know reasons why a particular group or player struggled in certain situations – i.e., assignments on plays, injuries, etc. – that fans can'tknow. Teams also must look at the big picture and realize that a player is going to have rough games/plays and that you can't make wholescale changes everywhere on the roster ever year. Regarding Williams … yes, he struggled last season. He didn't appear ready for the jump from small-college football to the NFL. He will enter this season as a backup and needs to become more aware on the field to be worth the third-round selection the Jaguars used on him in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Nick from Kingsland, GA
I could care less but I don't care enough to do so.
Oh, you care, Nick. I know you and you care.