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O-Zone: Chiming in

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Mikey from Beach

Despite the record, the Jaguars' general-manager job appears to be a great opportunity, no? Lots of high draft picks, cap space, some serviceable young players and an owner who clearly has no scruples about spending.

I understandably got many emails Sunday night and into Monday regarding the firing of Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell. The dismissal happened immediately after the Jaguars' 27-25 loss to the Cleveland Browns at TIAA Bank Field Sunday, and the news expectedly far overshadowed the loss. This email seemed as good a place to start discussing Caldwell's departure as any, because the gist of the question absolutely is correct – that the Jaguars' general-manager position undoubtedly should be attractive to future candidates. Whatever Caldwell did or didn't do as general manager, he more-than fulfilled his mandate last offseason to straighten the Jaguars' salary cap moving forward – perhaps doing so at the expense of this season's roster. And the Jaguars absolutely are good position in the draft for a second consecutive offseason. I also would say that the Jaguars' roster has far more than "some" serviceable young players. This is a young roster with much potential, and it can win quickly – provided the new general manager can correctly identify the future quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft. And your final point about Owner Shad Khan being willing to spend big is correct, too. Caldwell has left his successor a very good situation. The successor's challenge will be taking advantage of the situation.

The Other Michael from Middleburg, FL

While I agree with what I would assume are the overwhelming majority of Jags fans that it was time for Caldwell to go, these are real men with real lives. Hate that he had to receive that news during the holiday season. I appreciate the class with which Shad Khan communicated the news. Thoughts and prayers with Caldwell and wish him the best in the future.


Josh from Atlanta, GA

One fer Caldwell. Ton of great picks over the years and some things just didn't work out. But moving forward we have ample space and picks with a shot at a true franchise quarterback. Thanks for cleaning up the salary cap Dave, your successor will be truly grateful. As am I.


Paul from St. Johns, FL

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is the same height as Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II, so why is he so much more successful? Is it because the Browns run a lot of bootleg plays for him and he doesn't have to stand in the pocket? Or is Mayfield a better athlete and/or has better weapons than Minshew?

I'm not sure Mayfield is destined for a career as an elite franchise quarterback. But the reason many consider him to have a better chance than Minshew to have such a career centers around his arm strength.

Zac from Austin, TX

It's almost like when you send six blitzing, it's easy to throw a first down against rookie corners. Don't tell the comment section, though.



Mr. O. Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said that quarterback Mike Glennon gives the team the best chance to win. Why was that not the case weeks ago?

Because weeks ago, they thought someone else gave them the best chance to win. Events happened between now and then. Now, they think someone else gives them the best chance. The NFL happens fast. Things change. So do perspectives and decisions.

Biff from Jacksonville

I'm not going to argue that Marrone deserves to stay as head coach. I'd imagine a new GM will want his own people. But how do we evaluate the job Marrone has done with the youth, injuries, and having lost the majority of his star players? Of their 10 loses, seven are by 10 points or less. Five are by three points or less. Again, I'm sure you're getting enough "fan" questions and comments, but I'd appreciate your framing of how to assess Marrone's job performance.

I long have said this season that Marrone has done a good job considering the situation. It's difficult to win consistently in the NFL without front-line quarterback play, and it's particularly difficult to win without front-line quarterback play if you're young at a lot of your talented positions and not talented enough at others. Add the unreal number of injuries the Jaguars have sustained this season and Marrone is in a next-to-impossible situations. That has been his lot in life during much of his tenure with this team. With Khan having dismissed Caldwell, the Jaguars will be searching for a new general manager. That general manager will look for a head coach. It would be unusual if a new general manager keeps a former head coach after a season with a record this poor – if for no other reason than wanting to choose "his own guy" for a new position. But unusual things happen in the NFL. We'll see how this plays out.

Daniel from Fort Collins, CO

Eight rookies contributed Sunday and we started a third string quarterback and had a chance to beat a playoff contending team. Doug has to be doing something right?


Hunter from New Hampshire

Why, just why, do we not give the ball to Robinson on two-point attempts? It's two yards. Give it to the stud of a running back!

I get this question often, and it's a fair one. Jaguars rookie running back James Robinson is good enough that it's easy to think the best call on short yardage is always to give the ball to him. But teams typically go to the line in short yardage with a run play and a pass play. If the defense is giving a certain look, teams check away from it because even the best NFL running backs can't beat defenses stacked to a certain point against the run. That's why the Jaguars didn't run Robinson on a third-quarter two-point attempt Sunday. That won't sit well with many, but that was why.

Tony from Jacksonville

Why does Marrone always go for two at the stupidest times possible? Rather than up by three and holding momentum go for two and then go down one. Just like in 2018 when he cursed us forever by going for two against the friggin Jets. That is the exact moment the team went to hell. And now who knows how long that curse will hang around?

I don't buy into the idea that Marrone going for two against the New York Jets in 2018 caused the Jaguars to slip into decline; there were a lot of reasons realer than that. As for Marrone going for a two-point conversion Sunday when ahead 19-17 in the third quarter, he explained it after the game. Officials had just penalized Browns defensive end Olivier Vernon on a successful extra-point kick, which gave Marrone the option of going for two from the one-yard line rather than the usual two-yard line. Marrone opted to go for two because he said he almost always goes for two in that situation – and analytics typically support that decision. Remember, too: The Jaguars were 1-9 when Marrone made that decision. They were dealing with a slew of injuries. Marrone entered the game wanting to be aggressive. The decision went against conventional wisdom, but it wasn't all that ridiculous.

Tony from Farmington, UT

The defense played pretty well Sunday despite all of the second-, third-string players. Should defensive coordinator Todd Wash take a few more games off? Like all of them! <-passionate punctuation

The defense has played pretty well the last three or four weeks despite all of the second- and third-string players. Passionate belief of the fan base notwithstanding, of course.

Rob from Tennessee

Why? Why? Why? It's the coaching calls all along. They have first and goal by running and then throw away a potential touchdown trying to pass on all downs and don't score a TD. Why? Every game?

Why? Because it's always coaching in the NFL, Rob. Always.

Jeremy from Omaha, NE

Jawaan Taylor does not appear to be a good right tackle. Or is it just me?

He's good. He has potential to be better and has not played as well this season as hoped. I anticipate he will be the right tackle moving forward and he will have to improve on how he has played this season – particularly in pass protection.

Dan from Somewhere in the Back

Johnald McDonald, hear me now when I say this game is proof the coaching staff of the Jaguars football team must be retained after this season. After all this team has suffered through, they are still fighting. Imagine what they could do with even a remotely competent GM.


Art from Drexel Hill

Imagine taking Taven Bryan in the first round.

Remember: Jaguars defensive tackle Taven Bryan went late in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, which is a lot different than going early in the first round … but yeah.

TJ from Orlando, FL

Now that Caldwell's gone, I look forward to all the experts in the comments section submitting their resumes and showing us how it's really done.

No wait necessary.