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O-Zone: Clickbait

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Bryan from Egg Harbor, NJ

O-Man, at some point the message has to get old. Current and former players have voiced their concerns about the defense dating back almost four years. Every team knows what six plays we call throughout the entire game, and I'm sure it's getting old for even some of the new players. After a while, players will start to tune out the messages and things get to where we are now. We are a very predictable defense that doesn't play to the strengths of our players. We try to force them to the scheme. Sometimes you just need a different voice or approach. Count me as one fer Wash hitting the road. Your thoughts?

My thoughts begin with this: how seriously I consider the "concerns" of players – current or former – very much depends on the player. Some players opinions I value very much, depending on their history and their motivations. Others I value … well … less. The mere presence of a uniform and a helmet does not automatically mean that the player filling the uniform and helmet knows what's best for the team. My thoughts continue with this: The Jaguars' current defensive players – with a few notable exceptions – aren't remotely established enough in the NFL to be "tuning anyone out." My thoughts would conclude with loving to know what "strengths" of players on this Jaguars defense defensive coordinator Todd Wash is ignoring. Either way, count me as one fer the idea that there's nothing wrong with the Jaguars' defensive scheme and that the people who scream for a coaching change just might be overlooking some pretty glaring personnel issues on defense. Then again, it is always coaching in the NFL. Always.

Jeremy from Wise, VA

So, instead of signing defensive end Jabaal Sheard (one of the few players who produced this past Sunday) to the active roster, they leave him exposed on the practice squad and he leaves for the New York Giants. So, they get an experienced pass rusher in there and then lose him after ONE game because he is only signed to the PS. Can't even get that right. Jeez. C'mon Jags. Sort yourself out.

You got the details right. Head Coach Doug Marrone on Wednesday explained it this way: "[The] thought process was, 'Hey, let's bring him in just to make sure we cover ourselves with [defensive end] Josh Allen being out.' He played eight snaps [against Detroit Sunday] and then we looked at, 'Okay, well Josh is going to be coming back, so how can we get him snaps and keep K'Lavon [Chaisson] going and [Dawuane] Smoot and a couple of the other guys?' So, we couldn't really guarantee a lot of snaps and a veteran guy is going to make a move where he can go there [New York Giants] and get increased playing time." I don't have that much to add on this one. It would have made sense to me to keep Sheard. The Jaguars went another direction. That's what happened.

JP from Jacksonville

If you read the capitalized letters in Fred's message earlier this week, it says "Fire Todd Walsh." I personally think that's a great idea. Walsh's presence is clearly dragging this team down.

I guess I missed the capitalized message. That's fine. Clever guy, that Fred. As far as "Walsh's" presence dragging the Jaguars down this season … yeah, OK. That's what's doing it.

Steve from Woodbine, GA

Where is Dave Caldwell? I'd like to hear his take on the team he has assembled this year ... he was pretty pumped about it in August.

Fair, but most NFL general managers don't speak publicly much during the season – instead, taking the one-voice approach and letting the head coach speak for the organization during that time. Caldwell historically has taken that approach as well.

Mitch from Jacksonville

I don't believe the Jags will have the No. 1 selection in the upcoming draft so Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is likely off the table; however, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields could very well be there for them. Does he move the needle in your estimation?

I honestly don't know yet. I don't study the draft until around Senior Bowl time in January. I am aware of Lawrence because it's pretty much impossible to be unaware of Lawrence. I am aware of Fields, but less so. I plan to watch some Ohio State games to get a feel for Fields. But I don't know enough yet to speak intelligently. Watching him won't make me intelligent, either. But I'll at least have a puncher's chance.

Joseph from Sacramento, CA

Do you ever find it impressive how a team that continues to lose and lose and lose the head coach comes up with new wording and different ways to talk about losing?

I've never thought about it one way or the other.

Rico from Jacksonville

If the next ten games go like the first six of this season, Jaguars Owner Shad Khan will overtake Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam as the owner with the worst winning percentage in the NFL. His winning percentage is even worse than the infamous Hugh Culverhouse of Tampa Bay. How does it feel to be covering history, the worst owner in the history of modern professional football?

Just fine. I believe Khan is a good man and a good owner. I know the record doesn't support the "good-owner" part, but I believe Khan is doing what he can to make the Jaguars stronger in Jacksonville – and I believe a lot of the football moves he has made simply haven't worked out. Sometimes that happens in sports. Either way, how I feel doesn't depend on the Jaguars' winning or losing. I wish for Khan's sake, and for the fans' sake, and for many in the organization's sake, that the Jaguars won more. But if the aim of your email is to insult me personally or imply that I should feel bad or somehow less, because of Khan's record as an owner … try again, Rico.

Allen from St. Clairesvuille, OH

Isn't it time to sign another kicker? Just kidding, when can we expect to see Josh Lambo back?

Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo was designated to return from injured reserve Wednesday, and he was limited in practice that day. Marrone said of the situation: "There will be a lot of communication in that to see where he is and make sure he's comfortable with it and then if he feels that he can do it, then yes, he'll be out there [Sunday]. If he feels that, 'Well, I'm really not sure', [if] there's any type of doubt in it, then I wouldn't put him out there."

Matt from Houston, TX

Did I see glimpses of a 3-4 defense against the Detroit Lions or were my eyes deceiving me? I wonder if that would bring more success since the linebackers are playing best out of the whole defense right now. It was nice to see Joe Scho-up too with the pick.

You did see glimpses of a 3-4 Sunday because there are three-four principles in the Jaguars' defensive scheme. I don't see the Jaguars switching to a 3-4 scheme full time. They don't have the personnel for it on the defensive front – though it's also true that an argument could be made that the personnel hasn't played a 4-3 scheme all that great so far this season, either.

Chuck from Ponte Vedra, FL

What has changed from our first two games to account for such poor overall play since? Youth and inexperience don't account for it. You'd expect the opposite-enthusiasm and energy instead of flat effort. We've seen this before. Is it really ownership's intention to stay the course for 10 more games? Where are the improvements?

I don't know ownership's intentions. Only ownership knows this. But the Jaguars aren't unenthusiastic and it's not that they're not trying. They're not very good. That doesn't mean they don't care. What changed from the first two games? Injuries have played a part; the Jaguars entered the season with a small margin for error and injuries cut into that margin. Offensively, defenses have figured out how they want to defend quarterback Gardner Minshew II and they have defended him effectively. That helps account for an offense scoring 28.5 points per game in Weeks 1 and 2 compared to 15 a game since.

Marcus from Jacksonville

To me, the most damning thing about Minshew is that in order to stop him, other teams are implementing the very defensive scheme that elite quarterbacks generally thrive on. For years we have seen elite quarterbacks roll into town and complete 80-plus percent of their passes against our soft zone defense. For Minshew, it is the opposite … he can't make those throws consistently so even teams that favor man defense are playing a lot more zone and he can't beat it. That concerns me.


Crash from Westside, FL

Let's daydream. Let's hire Boselli as GM! Oh baby, what a ride!

I'd click on that.