O-Zone: Darts at a board

JACKSONVILLE – Look-ahead Wednesday.

Let’s get to it …

Jeff from Orange, CA

There are several recent younger one-year-wonder quarterbacks such as RGIII and Vince Young, but they seem to be more the running variety of quarterback. Does history tell us that quarterbacks who succeed early more with their arm are more likely to translate the early success into a sustainable career or are we still too early with Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II to know?

It’s early, and the reality is every young NFL quarterback is different. We won’t know with Minshew for a while – and that “while” could be another few months or a bit longer. But the belief here is that what Minshew has done in four games as a starter is sustainable because the traits that have made Minshew successful thus far are ones that typically foreshadow long-term success. He’s reading defenses well. He’s poised. He’s accurate. He has good pocket presence. He understands the offense. He looks downfield when pressured. He runs to throw rather than running to run. The issue with a lot of quarterbacks who fared well early before struggling was that they depended upon their mobility to be productive early in their careers; when the mobility went away or when teams figured out how to take away their strengths, they fell off. Quarterbacks who can win from the pocket are less susceptible to such a decline and therefore typically have better success for the long term. Minshew is showing he can win from the pocket. He’s not a runner; he’s a quarterback and it appears he’s going to be a good one for a long time.

Andrew from the Other Side of the Water Cooler

Just heard Jalen Ramsey say he doesn't care much for you ...

Tell him to get in line.

William from Savannah, GA

Some questions . . . 1) Is it time to legalize intentional grounding to better protect quarterbacks - the "A" listers of the NFL; 2) would we better off to go back to replay review for just turnovers and spotting the ball?

Some answers …. 1) Quarterbacks are able to protect themselves pretty well under the current rules, and I’d hate to see intentional grounding legalized because it would create a lot of ugly, frustrating situations in which a defense earned a sack only to have it unfairly turned into an incomplete pass; 2) I’m all for eliminating this whole idea of challenging pass interference; I wrote at the time the league was putting in the new rule this year that it would solve very little and unnecessarily extend games, and nothing has happened this season to make me believe I was wrong.

Bob from Sumter, SC

It’s not imminent, but how do the Jaguars avoid what happened with Jadeveon Clowney where they waited too long to trade and received what seemed like a small return for a valuable player? 

Don’t wait too long.

Pedal Bin from Farnborough, UK

When does the team sit down and have THAT conversation about who starts at QB in Week 11?

There may not actually be THAT much of a conversation. Head Coach Doug Marrone will decide who starts at quarterback. I’m sure he will get input from offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, but this is a head coach’s decision. I believe he will choose Minshew. Unless Minshew turns into a disaster, I don’t see how you could choose otherwise.

JT from Fort Worth, TX

Can you see Dom Capers taking over the defense this year?

No. Capers, a longtime coordinator and head coach in the NFL, was hired as a defensive assistant this past offseason and I have zero sense that that will change. Todd Wash is the Jaguars’ defensive coordinator – and while it’s vogue among fans to criticize Wash, I also have zero sense that that will change.

Snidely from Disappointedville, NC

Dear Bo-Zone, would you please let nfl.com know that they haven't credited our $65.5 million offensive guard with a strip-sack?

I laughed at this. How could you not?

Mark from Prescott, AZ

John, I try to keep my opinions to myself, but why is there tolerance for Norwell? He has underperformed ever since he's been with the team, and this past Sunday was sickening; he almost got our quarterback killed! I would put his signing in the same category with Hugh Douglas.

I’m never very good at answering questions such as, “Why is there tolerance” for a player? Is your question, “Why isn’t guard Andrew Norwell being criticized more by observers and readers?” Well, he’s being criticized a lot by those people. Is your question, “Why is John Oehser of the O-Zone not criticizing Norwell more?” Well, I’ve written that he’s struggling and that a lot of his bad plays have looked really bad – and I’ve written that he hasn’t been awful all of the time. That’s the truth, and that’s what I strive to write here in the O-Zone – along with the occasional breakdown of the life of longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. “Gene” Frenette. Is your question, “Why don’t the Jaguars bench Norwell?” Well, the answer is they believe he’s the best option at left guard. Until that’s not true, he will start. All that perhaps adds up to a certain level of tolerance, but that’s how it is sometimes.

Bryan from Tampa, FL

Word on the street is that in the NFL, "it is always coaching." How much credit does Jaguars offensive coordinator John DeFilippo really deserve for this glorious offensive resurgence we've been enjoying so far?

He has done a nice job. Players are playing well and doing what he asks. When players make some mistakes and they have a game in which they don’t perform as well, he will inexplicably have forgotten everything he knows about football and he will deserve to be summarily dismissed and jettisoned to Siberia. If he’s unclear about this, he can ask Todd Wash.

Saif from Washington, DC

If in gap coverage, a player is assigned to cover a gap, what are the reasons they would leave that gap? Forgetting the play? Thinking they can do more good elsewhere?

Gaps are mostly about run fits, and getting out of gaps can happen for multiple reasons: over-running the play, reading a key incorrectly, getting blocked out of a play, getting to the gap slower than necessary or forgetting the assignment. One of the major reasons also is often what you indicate – that a player gets out of a gap because he is pursuing the ball and thinking he will make the tackle instead of sticking to his assignment. It’s why you often see running backs cut back and have huge runs against gap-based defenses.

Michael from Fruit Cove, FL

I have a question about how people think about football as a sport and teams they’re fans of. It seems that many fans follow/criticize the coaches and front office more than the players. Why do you think this is and has it always been this way? I enjoy watching the players and thinking about how well or poorly they’re playing more than breaking down every aspect of play calling and caring about every free agent I wish they would sign. Criticizing coaches over play calling is just so boring and is a very lazy way to follow a team. Same can be said of “we should’ve drafted this guy not that guy.” The games are decided by the players on the field, I wish more fans realized this and acted appropriately.

Fans gonna fan, Michael. It’s what they do.

Chris from Space City, TX

What's your assessment on Myles Jack’s play so far this year? It just seems like he is out of position far too often. Not to mention the missed tackles and losing his cool. It will be tough for Jaguars to win unless he plays significantly better. Have you ever seen a Captain C stripped off a player's jersey during the season for poor play? Hard to respect a captain that is playing so poorly. If that is the criteria, might as well make Oh-Well Norwell a captain. He has been equally as awful.

Jack hasn’t played well this season. I don’t expect to see him stripped of his captaincy, at least in part because players vote on that with the Jaguars and I can’t imagine players gathering to vote away Jack’s captaincy. Besides, he hasn’t come close to playing poorly enough to merit such an action.

Jerell from Columbia, SC

How is it teams spend millions of dollars on scouting and miss on a player like Gardner when he shows he can play in college and show the most important attribute a quarterback can have and that’s accuracy. Yet players like Josh Allen of the Bills and Blake Bortles get picked high because they are big and look the part. I wish they would just call it guessing. Admit they have no more of an idea than any average Joe.

I may hate myself for saying this but, “Jerell ...you make a good point.”

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