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O-Zone: Crawl to the light

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Scott from Atlantic Beach, FL

The league has created a situation where fans cheer for their team to lose. Quarterback or not, that's all that matters. But a general manager is expected to make one choice and be correct. It's like he can't pick twice. I don't care about timing and repetitions. Draft all the quarterbacks; get it right. Owner Shad Khan and coaching are not the problem. Believing "they" might be OK at quarterback and not pursuing the position have killed this franchise for far too long. Draft eight quarterbacks in the next two years and let's find somebody and grow from there. It's been too long to favor repetitions over ability.

NFL fans these days absolutely have reason to want their teams to lose if it means a chance at a franchise quarterback. Did the league want to create that situation? That's hard to say, but the position's importance darned sure makes selecting an elite one a top priority for any organization that doesn't have one. The position rules above all else in the league – perhaps more than ever. I would stop short of selecting eight over the next two offseasons; there are many logistics and realities that would make that not feasible. But have the Jaguars been down at the position too long? Does that storyline currently define the franchise? It's hard to argue otherwise.

Bryan from Tampa, FL

John, any chance we see more of weak-side linebacker Quincy Williams moving forward? For the first time in his short career on Sunday, he looked like he at least belonged on an NFL field. I thought him and Hamilton were really the only bright-ish spots on D.

I doubt you'll see Williams much defensively once weak-side linebacker Myles Jack returns; as well as Williams played Sunday, you wouldn't want him on the field at the expense of Jack. And yes … nose tackle DaVon Hamilton also played very well against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday. The play of those two players were bright spots.

Douglas from Toronto, Canada

I noticed several times in the in the last game that Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II was grabbing his shoulder after plays. Do you know if he is playing through an injury and maybe that is affecting his arm strength and ability?

Minshew said after the game the shoulder bothered him a bit. He said it wasn't a big deal. Minshew's arm strength has been an issue since before he entered the NFL. That's not related to injury.

Chris from Jacksonville

10-6. Nothing is impossible. Any given Sunday. Stranger things have happened. Why not Zoidbrg?

Have stranger things happened?

Bruce from St. Simon's Island, GA

I've been critical of the Jags, but against the Chargers they showed grit and fought through the game. I have seen them fall apart on the West Coast before. One thing is for sure, rookie running back James Robinson is a gem! In your opinion is there any way to reduce the points scored against them going forward?

Yes. Be stouter in the middle of the defense, rush the passer better and cover better on the back end. And tackle better. And intercept passes given the opportunity.

Albert from Wayne, NJ

John - diehard fan and sit and watch almost every game. This season, watching the defense play there are four or five players every game who wouldn't normally play unless it's a second half of a preseason game. How did the front office look at our secondary and think this was a group that will allow us to compete?

The Jaguars on Sunday started rookie CJ Henderson and veteran Sidney Jones at cornerback, starting Josh Jones and Brandon Thomas at safety with Tre Herndon at nickel. They thought entering the season that Herndon would starting at one corner opposite Henderson with DJ Hayden at nickel and Jarrod Wilson at safety along with Jones. I wouldn't say the projected starting five defensive backs compared with, say, the five that played for this team in 2017. But the Jaguars originally thought the secondary would be … serviceable. Injuries, particularly to Wilson, have hurt that. But the area needs to get better, particularly at safety. I expect the position to be a major offseason focus. No argument here.

Paul from St. Johns, FL

What do we have in Luton? I mean, he is another quarterback that we drafted late, but doesn't he have prototypical size and arm strength? What are his weaknesses that allowed him to be drafted so late?

The Jaguars have a player with potential in Jake Luton, who played collegiately at Oregon State. He has prototypical NFL size and an NFL arm. He looked very good in training camp. Reports entering the draft regarding Luton were mixed in terms of arm strength, with some analysts questioning it and some saying it was strong. There were also questions about mechanics and ability stand in against the rush. Luton during training camp appeared to have good mechanics and a very good arm. How those things would translate to game situations at football's highest level … only playing would determine that.

John from Deltona, FL

John when evaluating David Caldwell's tenure as our general manager, I feel you are overlooking something rather important. Tom Coughlin was hired as executive vice president of football operations because Caldwell wasn't getting the job done. If Caldwell was capable, the Coughlin 2.0 experiment would've never happened in Jacksonville. With Coughlin at the helm, we drafted running back Leonard Fournette, passed on franchise quarterbacks and extended quarterback Blake Bortles, created a toxic locker room, were called out by the NFL Players Association and had to trade our two best players in cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. Now we are stuck again with Caldwell, who somehow managed to keep his job and orchestrate our current rebuild. As often as you deny it, this reeks of a tank job. If Caldwell went into this season thinking this was a competitive roster, that's reason enough for change. Don't use injuries or players pushing their way out the door as an excuse. Both roster construction and re-signings are Caldwell's responsibility. Why should the fans trust a Caldwell rebuild?

I don't overlook anything about Caldwell's tenure. I have been here since before his arrival, so trust me: I get it. And all the points you make are valid. I've said it often before and I'll say it again: I don't know how to tell fans what to trust. It's logical that they don't "trust" or believe in Caldwell considering the results of the past eight seasons. Results are all that fans can trust, and the results haven't been good. Owner Shad Khan often has said he sees behind the curtain that others don't see, and he obviously has seen enough behind that curtain to date that he believes Caldwell should be the general manager. I don't know what the future holds on that front. Only Khan's opinion matters and a precious few have any idea what he's thinking. We'll see.

Tito from Amelia Island

Since former Ngakoue was traded to the Baltimore Ravens, do we still get a conditional fourth if he makes the Pro Bowl in Baltimore?


Red from Ozone Comments Section

John, you weren't misremembered, jackazz. From the May 21, 2020 O-Zone. The Jaguars suck and so do you! Sean from Jacksonville: In your objective opinion how do you think we will do this season? I don't think too well. We may end up drafting Trevor Lawrence. "I believe the Jaguars will win anywhere from six-to-eight games and I think they're a year's worth of experience for some young players from making the postseason. I think them having the chance to draft Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is a long shot because I think a team will have to have the worst record in the NFL to draft Lawrence and I don't think the Jaguars will have the worst record in the NFL."

I didn't think the Jaguars would be good this season. I did think they perhaps at the high end had a chance to win six-to-seven games – and apparently there was one day in a binge of summery optimism on which I irresponsibly let my unbridled optimism tell my feeble mind that they might win one more game than that. I also said often that I didn't think they were going to be bad enough to draft Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Perhaps I'll be wrong about the last part. As far as me sucking and being a jackazz … when did these things become newsworthy? We've all known for a long time. One thought, though: I know why I write what I write. It's because I am cursed to live in a puddle of bleak patheticness and hope once every six months or so to claw out of it toward a beam of mediocrity. That explains my end of this one-sided obsession-based relationship. As far as explaining yours …