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O-Zone: Controversy

JACKSONVILLE – Look-ahead Wednesday.

Let's get to it …

Tim from Jacksonville

It's the same lost, finger-pointing bunch of babies it was last year. Don't kid yourself, zone: the children are running this bounce house.

It's fair for observers to assume this – and it's on Jaguars players to prove the assumption incorrect. Hopes were high in the offseason, and things looked bad during Sunday's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. It felt way too much like last season. One difference that could be notable came after the game, when players such as cornerback Jalen Ramsey, linebacker Myles Jack and running back Leonard Fournette were more forthcoming about accepting responsibility for various things that had gone wrong. I've been around this league too long to believe what players say after a loss automatically will translate to better preparation, more attention to detail and more commitment to the cause. Words are easy and those things are hard. But there were some good signs in the locker room Sunday. Stay tuned.

Al from Orange Park, FL

Seems to me that last season's defense was derailed by immaturity and "unsportsmanlike conduct." So far, looks like nothing has changed. Team can't win if players keep shooting themselves in the foot with such a lack of self-discipline.


Kevin from Jacksonville

Doug Marrone better suspend Myles Jack for next game and fine him a game check for conduct detrimental to the team. Enough of this rubbish. This franchise is a clown show.

"… Marrone better suspend Myles Jack for next game and fine him a game check for conduct detrimental to the team…" Or what?

Backup Whisperer from Jacksonville

So, if "offensive-line depth" is a myth because of its rarity, why would a team draft backup-caliber defensive linemen (Taven Bryan, Dawuane Smoot) over offensive linemen, especially with starter-capable guys available?

Because you typically play at least eight defensive linemen per game, with all playing extensive snaps, so depth is a more urgent issue there. And because the Jaguars didn't see Bryan and Smoot as backup linemen when they drafted them.

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

I wonder how many fans are still YELLING that so and so on this defense should be PAID? Well, we PAID the captain of the defense and what did we get in the very first game? I don't have a clue what the problem is, but our vaunted defense looks to be an undisciplined mess. Is there a shred of hope to be had that this will change for the better anytime soon?

Yes. The hope is that what happened after a couple of "undisciplined-mess" games last season happens again – that the players lock in, play focused and perform to their potential.

Rob from Orange Park, FL

I'm not sure our strategy of letting them throw touchdowns while we throw punches is working ...

I laughed at this.

David from Fort Stewart, GA

Can people please stop saying things like the thuggish play/loss of discipline of ALL NFL players is due to the heat of the moment almost exclusively? I spent 27 years in the Army and Air Force with three tours in the Middle East; there is no more heat of the moment than that and 18 y/o young men and women don't lose their discipline when there is much more on the line than a game. As a society we need to stop giving these people a pass on their behavior!

I started to write something about not being able to compare the NFL and the military, but you know what? You're right. There's little reason the Jaguars players have lost their composure as much as they have in recent seasons. Occasionally? Sure. But it's too much of a trend.

Don from Norfolk, VA

Would you say that the Jaguar defense has "fake swag"?

Sometimes. Other times – most times in the last two-plus seasons – I would say this defense was really good, and there had been "real swag."

George from Savannah, GA

Fifth-round pick for Dobbs! Are the Jags out of their mind? Another bonehead move by the guys that missed on so many elite players that are coming back to bite us on the butt.

Time will tell if trading a fifth-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft to the Pittsburgh Steelers for quarterback Josh Dobbs was a mistake. With Nick Foles out, the Jaguars needed a backup for Gardner Minshew II – and most teams aren't lining up to trade good quarterbacks for cheap. But yes … missing in the draft hurts forces you to give up other equity – either free-agent dollars/cap space or future draft selections. It's why the draft is so critical.

Kenneth from Jacksonville

Hey, O Man: I'm confused on what to expect this season. This team has shown it is a continuation of last season in focus and discipline. I'm not sure what to think. Is there something I am missing?

Not yet.

Gabriel from Buenos Aires

O, why trading for Dobbs? Why not a better one or a more experienced one? Personally I would have gone after Saints QB Hill, am I asking too much?... what is your opinion? Thanks!

I imagine the Jaguars looked and inquired about a lot of quarterbacks Monday. I don't imagine a lot of teams were willing to give away quality quarterbacks for what the Jaguars wanted to give.

Tyler from Jacksonville

Hello darkness, my old friend ... I've come to talk to you again ...

It's always darkest before the light.

Christopher from Goodnight, TX

What are the odds that both Will Richardson Jr. and Cam Robinson are healthy come Week 17 and Richardson is your starting left tackle? If that does happen, is Robinson the swing tackle, or is he battling A.J. Cann for snaps at guard (barring injury to another offensive lineman). I thought Richardson played admirably well under the circumstances – better than Robinson has at times. I recall Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell saying in a post-draft press conference last year that they thought Richardson had some left-right flexibility.

I wouldn't call this likely, but I absolutely wouldn't rule it out. Robinson needs to play better than he showed early last season before sustaining a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament, but he played just a game and half last season so that's a small sample size from which to project his entire career. Richardson played well Sunday, but one game is a smaller sample size than a game and a half. I know this because I am good at math things.

Jarret from Crosby, ND

Ok, so Jack was ejected for being the one to actually throw a punch, and Watkins wasn't ejected for his role in the scuffle. I get it. But I can't help but remember a couple years ago when A.J. Green tackled Jalen Ramsey with a headlock/chokehold from behind, and proceeded to throw numerous sucker punches at Ramsey, while both were ejected. Is this a good example of the officiating bias Jaguars fans often talk about?

Yes. Because the Jaguars never lose games of their own accord. No NFL team does. It is always about the officiating. And coaching.

Vladimir from Belgrade, Serbia

Hi, so what to realistically expect from this season?

I expect the Jaguars to play better in the coming weeks than they did in the opener – in part because they won't be playing the Kansas City Chiefs and in part because teams typically come together in adversity and play hard. At least while they still have playoff hopes. This team still has legitimate hope, and you got the feeling listening to players since the loss to Kansas City that there's still a belief that they can compete – even without quarterback Nick Foles. So, I expect the next few games to be close. Winning them will be tougher because the Jaguars are starting a rookie quarterback and a rookie quarterback is going to make some maddening mistakes. If the Jaguars can navigate the scary waters of the next few weeks and get into the middle of October around .500, this could get interesting. But when you lose your starting quarterback in Week 1, predictions get trickier.

Gordon from Jacksonville

I have a hypothetical question ... say Gardner Minshew absolutely lights it up over the next nine weeks. I'm talking like 300+ plus yards a game with multiple touchdowns and leads the Jaguars to an above .500 record. When Foles returns would they automatically reinstall him or do you think Minshew has an actual chance to claim the starting quarterback position? Granted we gave Foles a huge contract but if the offense gets in a rhythm with Minshew and the team is leading the division, I don't see how you could bench him.

Folks, what we got here is a good, old-fashioned quarterback controversy.

Kevin from Jacksonville

Big O, You're the coach of the Jags and Foles is ready to return, but Minshew has gone 8-1 as a starter. What do you do?

I'd talk to the media about the quarterback controversy.