JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Sam from Nottingham, UK
At what point does Jaguars Owner Shad Khan get rid of Head Coach Doug Marrone and General Manager David Caldwell, not because they don't give us the best chance to win now, but because they could start making short-termish decisions that could hurt the franchise in the long run? Surely now is the time to give offensive coordinator Jay Gruden an 11-game job interview; give all the rookies a go and at the very least have strong draft position to restart the franchise next season and an idea about whether or not you have a head coach?
At 1-5 with five consecutive losses, the question is fair – and it will persist so long as the Jaguars continue losing. My only answer won't satisfy readers and fans – and that's that only Khan knows the answer. That's how it works in the NFL, because teams are owned by individuals and only those individuals know what it will take to retain or release their franchise's most important leaders. As for your concern about Marrone and Caldwell making short-term decisions that hurt the Jaguars in the long run … that really hasn't happened since they began reporting to Khan on equal terms following last season. The 2020 offseason very definitely was conducted with an eye on the future – drafting a strong young foundation and resetting the salary cap for coming seasons. I don't expect decisions that run counter to that approach in the coming months.
Chris from Mercury
Do you think Byron Leftwich will be a great head coach?
Former Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich appears to have developed into a first-rate offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I didn't cover Leftwich with the Jaguars and therefore don't know him personally – so I don't know have a gut feeling about his ability to lead and run an organization. I have no idea if he will be a great head coach; the qualities that make a great coordinator/playcaller have little to do with being a great head coach. And no one ever knows for sure if a candidate will be a great head coach. That's why so many more head coaches fail than succeed. I expect Leftwich will get a chance in the role. We'll see how great or not great he is then.
Sascha from Cologne, Germany
Hey John, I know it's too early for that, but K'Lavon Chaisson doesn't look like a first rounder as of now. I know about all the circumstances but sometimes it seems like he really has no chance to beat any tackle. Will that be a Taven Bryan-like pick or do you think he will be better as the season goes on?
I've covered comparatively few first-round draft selections who look like first-rounders immediately. Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen did last season – and former cornerback Jalen Ramsey did a few seasons back. Remember, though: They were Top 5 talents, which is a different circumstance than a Top 20 player. Some of the better players I've ever covered – former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor and former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne chief among them – had "bust" whispered about them early in their careers. Taylor did not look good early in his rookie season … and then suddenly after a few weeks, he did. Wayne didn't fully develop into an elite receiver for several seasons in Indianapolis – and he was playing in a very good offense with an elite quarterback in Peyton Manning. I think Chaisson will be a good NFL player. I don't know how much he will improve during this regular season. It's quite common for pass rushers to struggle in their first seasons and improve in their second seasons because of having an entire offseason and training camp. It feels as if Chaisson could be that.
Robert from St. Augustine, FL
Just a thought. What kind of draft/trade value do you think the Jags could receive if they traded quarterback Gardner Minshew II before the trade deadline?
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL
I agree that it is a bit early to give up on Minshew. It would be nice to see how he does if (a) his offensive line improved and (b) his defense didn't have him constantly playing from behind. We can understand the defensive struggles – too much youth, not enough depth, and multiple injuries. But how do you explain the O-line? After a decent season opener, they seem to be getting worse by the week. They have essentially the same players and have been relatively health
There's little question the defense has forced the Jaguars to play from behind too much, but you're watching a different offensive line than I am. The group struggled in Week 6, but it overall this season has played at a decent level – one more than capable of having this team at .500 or better with better quarterback play and defense. Part of the issues with the line against the Lions was that Detroit was able to play eight men in the box much of the game and bring safety help via the box. Few offensive lines can hold up against defenses overloading to that degree – either in run blocking or pass blocking. When teams are doing that, the quarterback must be able to make throws to get the defense out of that scheme. That didn't happen Sunday.
Neil from Jacksonville
Is there a chance Dede Westbrook gets traded by the deadline, since he's not active and the Jaguars may not end up getting compensatory picks for him if they are active in free agency next offseason?
Sure. Why not?
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, perhaps now is a good time for us to root for the Jets and other terrible teams to win in order to improve our chances for a #1 pick?
Sure. Why not?
William from the Contemplator
The Jaguars have no leadership. Not from the QB, not from other team members, not from the coach, and certainly not from the absentee owner. Who is in a position to step up and provide the missing leadership?
I consider Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone a good leader, and that's indeed his job – to lead the team. I wouldn't say players on the team are providing the best leadership I ever have seen in the NFL – primarily because it's a young team and the best leaders in the NFL typically aren't young. But from this view, the leadership on the Jaguars is OK. It's certainly not why they're losing.
Taylor from Columbia, MD
You've consistently written "fans gonna fan" ... well, it appears senior writers gonna senior write (not acknowledge the truth, couch negative sentiments, refuse to acknowledge that the team they write for is unquestionably terrible).
I get it. I suck. This has been well-established.
Robert from Fredericksburg, MD
How can Marrone say he is willing to bench Minshew when it is clear that Minshew is not the problem? Doesn't Marrone think it would be smart to get Minshew better protection and some more weapons and giving Minshew a fair chance before calling Minshew the problem? Seems to be Marrone is the problem if he can't properly diagnose the problems on his team.
First, Marrone didn't say he was planning or even willing to bench Minshew. He was asked following a loss to the Lions Sunday if he considered it and he said no. He also said he wouldn't rule out such a move in the sense that he wouldn't rule out any move if he thought it would make the team better and give the Jaguars a better chance to win. As for the reasons the Jaguars are struggling … you and Marrone seem to be watching different Jaguars games. You and many people seem to be watching different Jaguars games.
Kyler from Jacksonville
KOAGF: We play the Chargers. We are 1-5. They are 1-4. We are a 9.5-point underdog. Discuss.
I'm not sure how much there is to discuss. The Los Angeles Chargers have played good teams close. The Jaguars have gotten beat badly by struggling teams. Why shouldn't the Chargers be favored?