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O-Zone: Clowning around

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Tony from St. Louis, MO

Why do you think there is such a huge disconnect with the Jags, observers and fans? Outside of 2017, the fans and observers have been pretty spot-on about the issues, talent and moves from this team compared to what the team feeds us and how rosy they have viewed this team for years.

Yours is a common argument – because the Jaguars have lost far more than they have won of late. Still, I don't see the disconnect between Jaguars fans/observers and the team as significantly different than the disconnect between most teams and their fans/observers. Teams and observers almost always see things differently, because teams strive to see things as objectively as possible while fans understandably view things through an emotional lens. The biggest reason Jaguars fans have been "spot on" about the team lately is the Jaguars have struggled enough lately that fans expect them to struggle and they therefore think all of the team's moves are bad; when a team loses as much as the Jaguars have in the last decade, it's logical for fans to think everything the team did was wrong and awful – and in a sense, the fans are right because winning and losing is what matters. Remember, too: Most teams feel optimistic entering seasons because they spent the offseason making moves they believe will improve the team. I don't know that that's "rosy," but that's another reason understandably pessimistic fans often disagree with teams.

Sam from Nottingham, UK

What is it with the Jaguars drafting/signing "odd" personalities? Guard Andrew Norwell, left tackle Cam Robinson, middle linebacker Joe Schobert, cornerback CJ Henderson … all seem wooden and incredibly introverted. I get that "blue-collar" work ethic is important, but has Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell gone too far in avoiding personalities because of the issues with former cornerback Jalen Ramsey and to a lesser extent running back Leonard Fournette?

You may be drawing conclusions based solely on the comparably short time you see players in media availabilities. While that's understandable considering that's the only time most fans see players speak, media availabilities are often not a reflection of a player's personality. Robinson, for example, is outgoing – even extroverted – with teammates. Many players – even veteran players with experience in the area – simply aren't comfortable in podium situations. Yes, Caldwell made it a point to seek high-character players in the 2020 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't worry about this team being too wooden or introverted. I honestly don't get that sense at all.

zac from austin, tejas

I started reading the O-Zone the day after quarterback Nick Foles got injured to figure out what was going on. Then, I started reading every game day. Then started reading every day. Since then I have endured wins and losses, the draft, the Dead Zone, KOAF both shaming and ignoring questions, KOAF nearly breaking his streak and have had a few of my own questions even make it through grammar-lesson weeks. What else do I have to become a seasoned O-Zone vet? Or is it one of those "if you have to ask, you wouldn't get it" situations?

One thing is to realize there won't be any "nearly breaking the streak." When the streak ends, I won't "forget." It won't "slip my mind." It won't be a surprise. It will be relief to many, no doubt. But it won't be a surprise.

John from Jacksonville

The assumption is Ngakoue fired his agent. Could it be the other way around? I would be frustrated as an agent to have the player I'm representing sabotage my efforts through social media. I don't make a lot of money if my player doesn't make a lot of money. Maybe his agent just gave up trying.

It is said it's unsafe to assume anything. Safety notwithstanding, I'm going to assume "parting ways" in this case was the idea of Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue as opposed to his agent.

Bill from Jupiter, FL

So, with the mounting concerns on along the defensive line, is it time to reach out to Marcell Dareus?

I continue getting emails about the Jaguars re-signing defensive tackle Marcell Dareus. This is understandable because the Jaguars have lost multiple defensive tackles and are down in numbers at the position. But no … I don't believe the Jaguars will reach out to Dareus. My sense is that is a ship that has sailed.

Adam from Wescosville

I personally love it when I write in and you make fun of me with a snarky, smarmy response.

Shut up.

Andy from St. Augustine, FL

I agree that Minshew must improve on some key items, but what bothers me is all rookie quarterbacks must improve on most of those same things. I can't remember many rookie quarterbacks that didn't have most of those same things to improve upon in their second seasons, including last year's first-round quarterbacks. The issue is first-round quarterbacks are almost given a pass ; they're expected to improve in those areas, while the "hope" is that Gardner can improve. Based on results, won/loss record and passing stats Gardner had as good a season – if not better – than any of the other rookie quarterbacks last year and better than the rookie seasons of many all of Fame quarterbacks. He has as good of a chance to be a franchise quarterback as anyone else, no matter where he was drafted!

There's truth in what you say, and Minshew's draft status certainly causes some media types to overlook him. But the reality is that many in the NFL wonder whether Minshew can be a franchise quarterback not because of draft status but because of measurables. Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden mentioned them in his media availability Wednesday, noting that Minshew isn't "real tall" and that "he doesn't have a cannon." That's not Gruden insulting Minshew; those are real things that contribute to their being questions about Minshew – and that lead to the Jaguars "hoping" he can improve. As far as other quarterbacks getting a "pass" and what people say about him … what does it matter, really? He's the Jaguars' starting quarterback entering the season. He's going to have a chance to develop. He's going to get a chance to prove he's a franchise guy. How, exactly, is he being wronged in any tangible way?

Bruce from Oknowzone

I hear so much about how the Jags have a "homefield advantage" in September because of the heat and humidity. But they are 4-6 at home since 2015 -- pretty much what they have been the rest of the season at other fields. Maybe we should stop talking about what an advantage it is until we have a team that can win whether it is hot or cold or cloudy or snowing. Just a thought.

I don't recall many people saying lately that the Jaguars have a big home-field advantage in September – or any time of year. They have lost too many games at home for people to say that. I have written and said that the Jaguars should have an advantage in September because they should. But no … there hasn't been an advantage lately. At least not enough of one.

David from Orlando, FL

O – I have a big cat that likes to slap my smaller cats around. Last year, I saw this same abuse taking place on the field when I watched our "slight" receivers get pushed around by more physical corners. In this year's draft, we drafted a big cat of our own, wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. I'm intrigued by his athleticism, the size-speed combination, his physicality and overall beast-mode potential. I think, adding a can of whup a$$ to receiver room is going to add just the right amount of spice to the gumbo.


Kelly from Cocoa Beach, FL

Gene Frenette? Dude's all right I guess, but he can't surf.

Kelly, ye know not of what ye speak. Charlie don't surf and we think he should, but longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette absolutely does surf. He's a genius on the dancing sea … nay, a visionary. To see him shred an epic wave on the Pipeline in Oahu is to experience true bliss. Many a fair maiden's heart has broken on the rocks on the shores of Oahu knowing "Gene" is in fact long since spoken for. I have heard tale of said fair maidens weeping for years at their mothers' knees and chortling, "Why? Gene? Why?" through inconsolable sobs. I don't know if there in fact are rocks on the shore of Oahu, but I do know Gene is magic with a blade. Sheer, blissful magic. Weep, fair maiden, weep … for ye shall never love again.

Tim from Jacksonville

Come on, now. Don't even joke about the print media closing its doors, I can barely stand all of you clowns in the electronic media!

If you truly think there are more clowns in one type of media than another …