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O-Zone: Clown show

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Mike from St. Mary’s, GA

So, last year Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green goes bat-excrement crazy on Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey: no suspension, no fine. This year: Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette suspended?? Also last year, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett has some plastic drink cups thrown at him and there was a nationwide manhunt to find the perpetrators; this year Fournette has a beer can thrown at him and no one cares? I think I'm done with the NFL. The league doesn't want to treat Jacksonville fairly and the team will never receive equal treatment. This kind of B.S. has happened too often to ignore anymore. Maybe I'll check back on football next year, when the sour taste of B.S. officiating dating to last season and this sorry mess of team have been washed away.

I get your frustration … on some level. Here is the differentiating point regarding Fournette’s suspension compared to last season’s Green/Ramsey incident: Green and Ramsey were on the field during their altercation at TIAA Bank Field whereas Fournette this past Sunday left the sidelines and ran across the field to become involved – in what appeared very much a premeditated manner. The Jaguars chose to address the fan situation last season; how the Bills handle their fans’ behavior is up to the Bills – and not the Jaguars or the NFL. I guess the bottom line is this: What happened in other situations doesn’t matter much because Fournette deserved his suspension. He could have avoided it. Easily. Perhaps there are some inequities with the other issues, but that doesn’t change the fact that his punishment was deserved. (Editor’s Note: Seahawks defensive lineman Quenton Jefferson was the player involved in the fan incident, not Bennett.)

Gregg from Jacksonville

Since Friday was the 25th anniversary of the Jaguars winning our NFL franchise with a 26-2 vote by the NFL owners, which two owners voted against us? Just curious.

Philadelphia and New England.

Brian from Gainesville, FL

Big O, you’ve commented a few times in the Zone lately how you understand how the fans may see what’s about to happen this offseason as yet another rebuild. But what are your thoughts as to whether that is really what’s about to happen? Seems to me that there is a core here that means we are really going in for a bumper-to-bumper tune up, not a rebuild. We have a core at linebacker, corner, safety, pass rusher, interior defensive line, center, left guard, (perhaps) left tackle and running back, right?

I don’t think the Jaguars are looking at another massive rebuild, and I don’t think it’s necessary. That is in large part because I believe the leadership team of Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin, General Manager David Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone will and should remain intact. If they don’t remain intact, it’s impossible to predict the extent of the offseason changes. But I don’t make that decision, and I doubt Jaguars Owner Shad Khan will make his final decision on that front until very late or after the season. Remember: Five games remain in this season, which is nearly a third of the season. That’s enough time for circumstances to change for good or bad.

A.J. from Arizona

The Dallas defense proved Thursday that a good defense can slow things down but offensively you need a mechanically sound – and more importantly, consistent – quarterback and that is something Blake was not.

I couldn’t agree more. The Cowboys did look a lot like the Jaguars did a lot of last season when the defense was playing at a high level and their offense was healthy. Good eye.

Ralph from Jacksonville

Kevin is funny. Kevin made me laugh. What's that? Kevin was serious? Kevin has anger issues. Kevin needs to chill.

Who’s Kevin?

Ed from Jacksonville

I'm not arguing what Head Coach Doug Marrone did this week. I just want to know what changes you would have made – if any – after the loss to the Bills, or any other losses?

I’m big on stability when it comes to the NFL regular season. It’s my experience that in-season changes usually have only a temporary effect – if any at all. I would have stuck with Hackett as coordinator and I would have had a hard time replacing Bortles at quarterback. That said, with Bortles’ confidence and accuracy waning in recent weeks, he played his way into a change having to be made.

Bradley from Oceanside, CA

Well sir, gotta keep defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, linebacker Myles Jack, cornerback Jalen Ramsey, defensive lineman Taven Bryan and safety Ronnie Harrison from the defense. Wide receiver Dede Westbrook, wide receiver DJ Chark Jr., running back Leonard Fournette, center Brandon Linder, left tackle Cam Robinson and left guard Andrew Norwell from the offense. Is there really anyone else that makes sense to retain?

Absolutely. It makes sense to retain tackles Marcell Dareus and Abry Jones, as well as cornerback A.J. Bouye. It also may make sense to retain tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins as well as multiple backup players. This makes sense because you’re realistically not going to have 42 new players on your roster. Here’s the thing: If you believe that the 11 players you mention are truly good, then you have a pretty strong core going forward. There’s a lot that must be added, of course, but those are good building blocks – if they’re all really good.

Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC

ESPN made a “top 25 under 25” list that didn’t include Jalen Ramsey. That’s actually hilarious.

Yeah, that’s silly.

Sunil from Jacksonville

John, when we started our most recent "rebuild" in 2012-2013, we were completely devoid of talent – secondary to multiple poor drafts. That obviously played a huge role in the length of suffering until we finally had one decent season. This current team has a ton of young talent. This fan base should expect this franchise to be competing for a playoff spot, division championship and Super Bowl next year ... we should NOT have to wait five years, 10 years or even 20 years to have another contending team. Agree?

I don’t know that I’m predicting Super Bowl, but should the Jaguars be able to contend next season? And win more games than it appears they will this season? Without question.

Eric from Columbus, IN

So, I asked earlier in the season if you had seen anything like this going from good to bad so fast and you mentioned two other teams ... are we in a class by ourselves now? This has been unlike anything I’ve ever seen in the same season.

Considering the Jaguars were ranked No. 1 in my power rankings and a whole lot of others – and considering they have lost seven consecutive games and are now changing the quarterback and offensive coordinator… yeah, this season is starting to separate itself from the pack.

Eder from Mexico

Feel sad about this team; I only can see a bunch of good players, not a team; lacking of discipline; Ramsey is all year using his big mouth and is humiliated on field; all looking to make the big play and failing in the team, they are broken; and if they like to come back next year and search the championship; they need to grow together. Leaders are needed.

Fair.

Rick from Jacksonville

How does our draft process work? Do individual scouts focus on position such as running back or quarterback, or are they assigned territories and asked to analyze all eligible college players within that zone?

The first level of NFL teams’ college scouting process is the area scouts, with teams assigning scouts to every region of the country.

Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville

This seems to be a recurring pattern for this team. First it was Mark Brunell losing his job to Byron Leftwich, then Leftwich to David Garrard, then Garrard to Blaine Gabbert and so on. Point is this team for the last 20 years seems to have been always looking for their quarterback. When are we finally going to get that 10-to-15-year franchise stud quarterback? I suppose from fan perspective it just seems very repetitive with little results.

I have no idea when the Jaguars will finally get a 10-to-15-year franchise quarterback. There are few guarantees in life, and none in professional football. They will keep trying, and I can’t imagine they won’t try in April.

JAW from Jacksonville

Tom Coughlin sure was quick to say, "I'll put the gloves on with anyone" who was willing to question their offseason moves from last year. There were plenty of people questioning the signing of Bortles to an extension and not bringing in someone else to compete for the job, and those people were right. Funny how he wasn't so bold enough to discuss Bortles' performance this year or his benching. His comment exemplifies the arrogance and stubbornness in the front office that got/has us in the mess.

I’ve never been around an NFL front office that wasn’t stubborn or that didn’t believe in its decisions. I’m not sure I would want to be.

Andrew from Mattoon, IL

I see you more as a sad clown ... am I right?

Sadder than you can imagine.

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