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O-Zone: Fun and fellowship

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Roger from White House, FL

John, since fans are convinced the Jaguars are going to make a bad choice drafting a quarterback maybe they just shouldn't – and then they wouldn't pick the wrong one.

Your suggestion would mean pointlessly and purposely doing the wrong thing – and it would mean succumbing to silliness, and to the incorrect perception of the misinformed. Yes, the Jaguars have struggled to find quality quarterback play during much of their history. That's partly because of bad decisions, partly because of misfortune and partly because it's just hard to find elite quarterbacks. Perception of Jaguars fans to the contrary, this is far from the only franchise to struggle with this in the last two-and-a-half decades. Most teams, in fact, have struggled in this area at one time or another in their histories. So, what to do to address this? Keep trying to find one until you have one. If it doesn't happen in this year's draft, then try again soon. It's frustrating and difficult, but it's madness to stop trying.

Mark from Prescott, AZ

Thanks for your honest answer … but I still think I'm right! :)

I don't remember your question, but I'm still certain you weren't.

Matt from Fort Worth, TX

What makes running back Leonard Fournette so expendable as you said a second- or third-rounder would be a fair deal, maybe even a good deal for the Jags? This talk is totally absurd. While we're trading people for second- or third-rounders why don't we add to that list defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, cornerback Jalen Ramsey, guard Andrew Norwell, center Brandon Linder, left tackle Cam Robinson, wide receiver Marqise Lee, linebacker Myles Jack, wide receiver Dede Westbrook, linebacker Telvin Smith, defensive end Calais Campbell and cornerback A.J. Bouye.

The talk about trading Fournette is not absurd. People talk about trading him and not other players because he has been more of a distraction and has struggled more on the field – not to mention, being suspended more often – than all of the Jaguars' other players. This is not to say Fournette's not talented, or that he can't contribute in the future. It's not to say he can't change his storyline; he's a young player and there is time to do that. But to call talk of trading him absurd is … well, absurd.

Bill from Jacksonville

John, do Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin and Head Coach Doug Marrone want to utilize a run-heavy, play-action offense because that's just the style of football they prefer to play? Or do they want it run that way because they believe that's the best way to win games in today's NFL? I guess the easiest way to answer this is if Patrick Mahomes was a Jaguar would they let him be Mahomes? I get the feeling they wouldn't. Thanks! Go Jags!

Marrone and Coughlin want to win, period. If personnel dictate the best way to do that is to go run-heavy, that's what the Jaguars will do. If personnel dictate that the best way to do that is to go pass-heavy, that's what they will do. Neither Coughlin nor Marrone have anything against passing. They're all for it if the personnel are such that it gives them the best chance to win.

Bryan from Stumptown

Yo, Funk! How tall would Blake Bortles or Chad Henne have to be to successfully throw the ball over the linemen? Seems they're too short to play the position, too.

Batted balls are one issue when considering a quarterback's height and build. They are far from the only one … and no, no one ever said a tall quarterback was immune to the problem.

James from Salt Lake City via Jacksonville

I really think probably for sure the Jaguars are going to pass on Murray. Basically, because Coughlin is old school. Yes, I know he had Doug Flutie. But like you say, "That was college." Well when Murray becomes the next Patrick Mahomes, we can add him to a long list of quarterbacks Jax could have had.

You like Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray. You assume Coughlin doesn't like Murray. And you for some reason believe Coughlin coaching Doug Flutie nearly four decades ago is pertinent to the discussion. But your boldness and premature anger aside, remember: Murray, as was the case with Mahomes, is a boom-or-bust prospect. Sometimes, they boom. Sometimes, they bust. How do you know which will happen? You don't. You just scout, project, select, develop and hope. Probably for sure that's what the Jaguars will do.

Jeff from Jacksonville

I don't know how much Nick Foles film you've watched recently, but have you seen anything in his game that's significantly different from the guy who washed out in Kansas City? I have a hard time believing in a quarterback that can't succeed with Andy Reid.

Whew. Thank goodness someone asked about Foles today. I was starting to worry. But this isn't a fair knock on him. Foles was signed in 2016 to be Alex Smith's backup in Kansas City, and that's what he was for a season. He played in three games, started one and threw three touchdowns and no interceptions. He didn't "wash out." He spent a season doing his job and moved on.

Pedal Bin from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK

Oh Mighty 'O' / King of Funk, in response to Peter from Norcross' question about the Jags playing back-to-back games in London – one as the home team, the other as the visitor – you said you could see this happening in the "very foreseeable future." Would not the NFL and indeed the other 31 teams object to this as the Jags would clearly have an advantage already being in the country and adjusted to the time difference and general routine?

The other 31 teams might object a little. I don't know if the objections would be loud enough or resonate enough to keep it from happening.

Leon from Austin, TX

I for one am glad Joe Flacco isn't coming to Jacksonville, especially after the Jalen Ramsey comments. I like Tyrod Taylor due to his work ethic and leadership that is lacking in the locker room. What are your thoughts on this, O-Zone?

I think Taylor, Josh McCown or Case Keenum or some quarterback of that ilk would be fine as a short-term solution. There are a bunch of quarterbacks who seem interchangeable in that role, with affordability and availability the overriding factors. Those three players head up that bunch. And Ryan Tannehill is in there, too.

Johnny from Jax

Email for August 2019 .... Play the kid!


Brian from Gainesville, FL

Big O, besides his height, weight, and daintiness, the problem with Kyler Murray is he has been playing in a league that doesn't believe in defense. Perhaps if he'd played for a real school (i.e. an SEC school) then there would be a sampling of him taking a beating to see how he holds up. As it stands now he's basically like a high-school kid who throws really well in a seven-on-seven camp.

The SEC undoubtedly is a more physical conference than the Big 12. They're both different worlds from the National Football League.

Tom from Charleston, SC

Kyler Murray is increasingly being mentioned with the Jaguars. He is certainly not a sure thing. His height is troubling. It is may be true that he only had five batted balls and that he has possibly a high ceiling. You have often made reference to the larger, faster players in the NFL. Add to that complex defensive schemes and you have to move Murray to the "has-potential" list. The last two quarterbacks that the Jags drafted both had potential that did not develop. You have to look at history and consider that when drafting, especially in the first round. As you have repeatedly stated, "sometimes it's time to move on." Now is that time take the quarterback with the least risk, move on and forget the gamble choice.

There are few quarterbacks in any NFL Draft who aren't "gamble choices," and that's perhaps truer in this draft than many. But yes … the most-prudent course when drafting is the course that minimizes the most risk.

Rob fron PV

Don't watch much college ball, zone. Never seen Murray play. When people describe him, it sounds like they are talking about Russell Wilson. One fer drafting the next Russell Wilson.

One fer Murray.

Sonny from M

"And the ability to be durable in that environment always must be considered." Who has been the most durable quarterback in the AFC South the last four years? I understand it is time to move on and I agree, but I also think BB5 would be a good back-up for Jacksonville.

Durability has been a strength for Bortles, but he is going to be durable for another team next season. Because sometimes it's time to move on.

Fred from Deadpool

Why am I here?

For the witty banter and camaraderie.

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