JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Josh from #DTWD
Hey, John! Jalen Ramsey is an amazing talent! But his comments after the Tennessee Titans game (referencing his own excellence and publicly calling out the D, including A.J. Bouye) really makes me wonder if it's immaturity or ego. Does he not recall his play during a must win at Indy? Hence, I'm torn. Do we keep a shutdown cornerback with legit Hall-of-Fame potential who is running his mouth, OR do we listen to trade offers to help rebuild faster through the draft in an era where offense is highly valued by the league? I just want to watch this team win and, man, this is a tough one for me and I imagine other fans. Thanks!
We've reached the point where Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey can't answer a question without being criticized. I was at Ramsey's locker Thursday after the loss to the Titans. I didn't get the impression he was running down teammates or referencing his own excellence. I have spoken with multiple media members who also were there, and none saw his comments as publicly calling out teammates. He was answering questions best he could – and I thought he was trying to be as measured as possible. He said he didn't have many opportunities to make plays in the passing game. He said the Titans ran the ball down the Jaguars' throat. Both were true. He was asked if he would continue to play hard this season and he said he would. He was asked if teammates would. He said to ask them. I realize there were media who weren't there who interpreted these things as Ramsey talking himself up and his teammates down. We live in an age in which "media" sit in front of computers without having been present when something is said and portray quotes as they choose to portray them. Sometimes, those portrayals are accurate. Often, they don't really reflect the situation. That's fine. Most media are imperfect. I'm fortunate to be in the minority. Either way, the "evilness" of Ramsey has reached a point of being drastically overblown. The kid's not perfect. But he's being portrayed as what's wrong with this franchise. That's a miss.
Pradeep from Bangalore, India
Hey John, what are the chances of Jaguars utilizing BB5 in wildcat formation or as a tight end? I think BB5 can contribute in both roles. Any thoughts?
The Jaguars will not do this.
Mark from Richmond, VA
In today's NFL, why is it not important to have the head coach call the offense? If you have a genius offensive coordinator, he will just get hired as a head coach somewhere else and call the offense, right? Won't you always be looking for the next guy? I know the same can be said for defense but it's obviously not as important. Scoring is what matters.
This is a fair point. If you find a coach who calls the plays and controls that side of the ball – and he's great at it and the organization wins – you're in good shape. This certainly is a formula being followed by some good teams right now: New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, etc. It's not the only formula for success. Teams can withstand coordinator changes once a system is intact. Still, if you can find the right head coach to do all those things, by all means get him.
Craig from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
I believe the biggest reason the Jags' defense is not the same as last year is leadership at the key position of linebacker. Myles Jack and Telvin Smith just appear to lack that key attribute. So, what is "Poz" doing now? Apparently not providing mentorship to this young defense.
Former Jaguars middle linebacker Paul Posluszny retired last offseason. Why would he be providing mentorship to this defense?
Ryan from Dallas, TX
All this talk about our season and quarterback situation is getting me down, let's lighten the mood. What's your favorite Christmas Carol? "Mary Did You Know," "Oh Holy Night," and "Last Christmas" for me.
Fairy Tale of New York by the Pogues is currently my favorite Christmas song. As far as "carols" go, "Oh Holy Night" is the standard I never turn off.
Eric from Columbus, IN
O, it was alarming to read your column and read about Head Coach Doug Marrone talking about tackling. Our defensive backs have been trying to tackle high or strip the ball without tackling the runner all year. To now blame that as though it hasn't been a clear trend all year is laughable. Am I the only one who has seen incredibly poor tackling from the beginning?
There have been pockets of bad tackling all season. I wouldn't have called it "incredibly poor." Then came Tennessee.
Dustin from Orlando, FL
Video has surfaced of Leonard Fournette threatening to beat up a fan during Thursday's game against the Titans. This team seems out of control, especially Fournette. At what point does the team say "Enough!?"
Hopeless from Mandarin, FL
"Communicating a tackling plan" … I think I lost all faith in Marrone with that one answer. Is that just Marrone not throwing players under the bus publicly or are we really that inept as a franchise?
It's Marrone not wanting to blame players. How to tackle Titans running back Derrick Henry isn't a secret.
David from Macclenny, FL
I think the problem is that the team is suffering from a curse. Maybe they should contact a medium to check things out. At this point it couldn't hurt.
Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
I stopped being disappointed weeks ago and was thankful at least for last year. Injuries decide what kind of season you're going to have. Those players and coaches want to win. The team just needs to get healthy and keep as many good players as they can and they will bounce back. Let's hope for some luck going forward! Go Jaguars.
Injuries don't explain away the poor tackling and effort displayed at times Thursday, but in the grand scheme of things … yes, they took a toll.
Ryan from Disappointment
Can we start talking about the draft yet?
Bryan from Tampa, FL
John, as Jags fans many of us have grown accustomed to disappointing performances and love the team through the all-too-rare highs and the frequent lows. In my 15 years or so of watching this team, I've never once been embarrassed to wear a Jags' logo or call them my team. That all changed when I watched Ramsey flop like he was in the NBA on Thursday, while getting physically manhandled all night. It was the ultimate low as a fan, watching a player who clearly has no class and can't handle adversity. I haven't seen much about this since it happened, so maybe it wasn't the blatant dive that it appeared to be and maybe I'm making too much out of it. Is diving an unsportsmanlike penalty in the NFL? Or does player pride generally police the game enough?
Ramsey's dive against Tennessee was blatant. It's not unsportsmanlike conduct simply because "flopping" doesn't occur as much in the NFL as it does in the NBA. There aren't as many occasions to flop. My sense is you might be overreacting to this one. Ramsey's flop was sort of silly, and should make for good memes moving forward, but I don't know that it said much about his ability to handle adversity. Ramsey in the last month has handled adversity quite well – outside perception to the contrary.
Jason from Da'Hass
John, the Jaguars really loved Blake when they drafted him and that didn't work out. Sadly, it took a year or two too long for the love affair to end. The next guy won't enjoy that much patience, and we're still looking at least three years of development for the new guy whether that's Will Grier – or Dwayne Haskins if he declares. I believe that's what people are nervous about. Essentially losing another decade to poor quarterback play because the team either passes on quality since they already have a developing quarterback, (Big Ben/Aaron Rogers), makes a bad pick (Blaine Gabbert), or they pick a guy in a weak class. (Bortles or a guy in '19) It's understandable that the fan base has zero confidence that the team will pick a good quarterback let alone a franchise quarterback.
Quarterback angst is a real thing; I get it. Everyone who follows this team closely gets it. The franchise never has selected a franchise quarterback who has defined a decade of success in the draft. They're not alone in this distinction. But they'll have to keep trying to do it until they get it right.
GPP from Savannah, GA
_In light of the fact that the Jaguars' front office has an extremely poor ability to draft quality quarterbacks, how confident are you that they will be able to turn the tide this next draft? _
As confident as I would be in any other front office.