JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Art from Drexel Hill, PA
Whoever is deciding to bench J-Rob needs to be fired. I don't care if it's the running backs coach, offensive coordinator, head coach … get your best player on the field. No more excuses.
This is the Jaguars' Big Issue of the Week in the wake of a 37-7 loss to the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. Sunday – and unsurprisingly so. Jaguars running back James Robinson on Sunday lost a fumble for a second consecutive game, a play that led to an opponent's touchdown for a second consecutive game. And for a second consecutive game, Robinson was out of the game for an extended period after the fumble. The disconnect here between fans/observers and coaches is the reason for Robinson's absence. Many observers and fans are convinced Robinson is at worst being "benched" for the fumbles or at best being misused by the coaching staff. Head Coach Urban Meyer on Sunday reiterated what he said last Sunday – that the reason reserve running back Carlos Hyde has played extensively for Robinson in recent weeks has been the lingering heel/knee issues that have hampered Robinson since a Week 8 loss to Seattle. Robinson, as Meyer noted, has missed or been limited in practice for a month and a half. He was questionable entering this past weekend. He also clearly isn't 100 percent healthy. Has there been an element of "punishment" after the fumbles in recent weeks? I get why observers and fans believe that to be the case, I guess. But it just doesn't add up. Why would the coaches intentionally not play the best player? They wouldn't. As I said in O-Zone Late Night last night, maybe I'm being naïve. But this just doesn't feel like a benching. If there was no Robinson injury and this was happening, I'd feel differently.
Tom from Nocatee
Who's the third running back in case Hyde fumbles?
Dare Ogunbowale was the Jaguars' third running back behind running backs James Robinson and Carlos Hyde Sunday.
_George from Blue Ridge, GA _
Time for serious evaluation of team and coaching. Jaguars Owner Shad Khan made a huge mistake picking Urban Meyer as head coach. Please let's get more professional like the Steelers!
I do not expect the Jaguars to part ways with Meyer during the 2021 regular season or during the ensuing offseason.
Rob from Jacksonville
I expected four-to-five wins this year and definitely thought this would be a painful season of growth. Even though the win total versus last year has been doubled, the product on the field last year certainly looked more competitive. I'd say so far this year the trend line has gone down. Right or wrong?
The offense has trended down a bit this season compared to last season. The struggles of the receivers and the passing game have hamstrung the offense, and those struggles have gotten more pronounced as injuries have further hurt the area. Robinson being hampered with heel/knee issues has caused the running game to struggle in the last six weeks. The defense has been better than last season for the most part. It has been much better some weeks and just a little better other weeks. So, overall, the trend is about even. That's not a positive.
David from Wallingford
Even though we are a bad team right now, shouldn't the refs protect our quarterback like they do others? Roy barely hits Stafford with his hand and gets a call. Trevor takes a helmet under the chin and … nothing. Do the Jags contact the league about this? Thanks
Yes, the Jaguars will contact the league – and yes, the league is supposed to protect all quarterbacks the same. It appeared the call you referenced on rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence was missed. Jaguars defensive tackle Roy Robertson-Harris, for his part, was called for roughing Rams quarterback Matt Stafford twice Sunday. One was when he "barely" hit Stafford's helmet with his hand. It's true that it was a harmless incident, but the penalty was within the rule. Robertson-Harris was called for roughing early in the game on what appeared a clean hit with his facemask in Stafford's chest. I don't know how Robertson-Harris should have played that play differently.
Jacob from NY
Have the Jaguars firmly established themselves as a get-right game for opposing teams?
Of late? Yes.
BrokeDown from Fernandina Beach, FL
When will the pain end? I was just reminding myself, and my brother, about the "salad days" of Jags receivers ...
I expect the Jaguars to focus on wide receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft and the 2022 free-agency period in a big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big way. You have to go back to the 1990s when Keenan McCardell and Jimmy Smith were the wide receivers to find the salad days, but yeah … those two remain the best the franchise ever has had at the position. It's not close. It's not close to close.
SbarroEmP#1 from Avenues
Do you think Wright will go down as the worst kickoff kicker ever?
Jaguars kicker Matthew Wright does not have a strong leg for kickoffs. He will not be remembered as the worst kickoff kicker ever.
Brian from Gainesville, FL
Big O, I know you get questions like this from time to time, but given the youth coupled with the dearth of starting level playmakers on this Jaguars team, do you think this is the rare NFL team that could lose to a great college team. By great I'm talking Trevor's national championship team, or 2019 LSU, 2008 Florida, or last year's Alabama that had three Heisman candidates on the same offense.
No. No, no, no, no.
Jason from Green Cove Springs, FL
I watched the Eagles play at 1pm and then my Jags at 4pm. In hindsight the Jags should have kept Minshew. Our current offense could use that kind of accuracy and excitement. I didn't realize how much I missed Minshew Mania. Do you think it was a mistake trading him away?
No. No, no, no, no.
Mitch from Duval
The one thing that this team did decently last year was run the ball. The new regime looked at that and flushed it down the toilet. Why? Why with a rookie QB do we not focus on the run?
The new regime focused on running well. The Jaguars were running well and getting marginally better offensively before the bye – largely based on Robinson playing very well. Robinson sustained a heel injury October 31. The offense was averaging 19.33 points in six games before the bye. They're averaging 10 points in six games since. It's not a coincidence.
Rog from Mandarin
Staring at my framed photo of Mike Mularkey screaming at tight end Marcedes Lewis for spiking a football after a touchdown right now and softly crying.
For old time's sake, I laughed at this.
Sascha from Cologne, Germany
Hey John, you can see the impact of defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton for the rushing defense, it seems he really is a core piece for the Jags.
Hamilton was a healthy scratch Sunday.
Mike from Atlanta, GA
This is the very last team in the NFL that should be trying to run a hurry up/up tempo offense. What happens if you can't get first downs is you go 3 and out so fast the defense spends inordinate amounts of time on the field. And the opposing defense stays rested and fresh. It's a real bad recipe if you can't throw the ball effectively. It's almost like doubling down on your weakness.
There are a few "cons" when listing pros and cons of up-tempo offenses in the NFL. What you outlined is pretty much the main "con." I didn't sense this issue defined Sunday's game, but it's something to watch.
Terry from Caseyville, Illinois
Please get a NEW offensive coordinator. They don't know how to let rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence develop. Time to clean house before opportunity is wasted. Thanks again.
It's always coaching in the NFL.
Austin from Jacksonville
You are going to get Minshew is better than Lawrence emails today. What do you think those people fail to understand about how special Trevor will be? How do you think Minshew would fair under the Jags current situation?
It sounds as if former Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II fared well in a start for the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday. I can't control people thinking he's as good or better than Lawrence and I haven't the foggiest idea what "people" fail to understand about Lawrence or how Minshew would fare in the Jaguars' situation. What I know is I watched Minshew for about two seasons. He's a good NFL backup quarterback. I think he can play that role in the NFL for a long time.
Jon from Jacksonville
Why does our quarterback start winning some games before he does all these ads? He needs a haircut also.
Wow. Frankie Fashion has checked in. Awesome for us.