JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Jason from Jacksonville
John, you keep talking about personnel being more of an issue to the Jaguars' problems than any defensive or offensive scheme yet refuse to directly critique the person(s) at fault for that. Those individuals are General Manager David Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone, so why aren't you holding them accountable for their failure to construct a team with personnel that's good enough to win? If we can't have better players, we need better coaching and if you can't coach the players you picked effectively, then you need new coaching.
My job is to write and talk about the Jaguars – and to answer questions about the Jaguars. Playing judge and jury is not my job – this despite many readers believing I should do so. Here's reality: The Jaguars' personnel overall aren't good enough to win right now. There is good young talent on the team, but not enough experienced really good talent. And they're not getting good quarterback play. There are reasons for all these truths that I have outlined again and again in recent months. People want to blame Caldwell for all that ails the Jaguars. The reality is while Caldwell has been the Jaguars' general manager for eight seasons, he was not the final decision-maker from 2017-2019; it therefore becomes murky when assessing just how responsible Caldwell is for many of the moves during that time. He also was tasked this past offseason with getting the salary cap back in order, which required parting ways with a few veteran players. The positive right now is while the Jaguars aren't very good this season, they appear to have a lot of equity in terms of cap space and draft capital to improve moving forward. They also appear to have some good young players around whom to build. If they draft well – and if they get better quarterback play from either Gardner Minshew II or someone else, I could see the team succeeding relatively soon. I can't "hold" either Marrone or Caldwell "accountable." I don't have that power. I don't decide whether they will make decisions moving forward. Only Owner Shad Khan can do that. He's the judge and jury.
Dave from Duval
Hey, O. When is the NFL trade deadline? What are the odds the Jaguars could trade a player like left tackle Cam Robinson for a second-round pick or a third and a seventh? The thought being to add draft capital for a player that may be looking for a bigger deal than you want to pay in the offseason.
The trade deadline is November 3. I don't see the Jaguars trading Robinson. He is a relatively young player who plays a premium position. Early signs are that he is starting to play well and could be a player worth signing to a second contract.
Bill from Jupiter, FL
Is it too early to say that defensive end Josh Allen is a leader on this team? He sure sounds like one in his interviews. Need to keep drafting guys like that.
No, it's not too early for that.
Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC
For the conditional pick that the Jaguars got for defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, wasn't one of the conditions that the pick would become a third-rounder if the Vikings won the Super Bowl? Does that also apply if the Ravens win the Super Bowl, which is much more realistic?
No, it does not. To review: The Jaguars this offseason traded Ngakoue to the Minnesota Vikings for a second-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft and a conditional fifth-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, with the conditions being that the Jaguars would receive a fourth-round selection if Ngakoue was voted to the Pro Bowl and a third-round selection if he was voted to the Pro Bowl and the Vikings won the Super Bowl. The Vikings traded Ngakoue to the Baltimore Ravens this week, but the Ravens' team results have nothing to do with the conditions of the trade. The Jaguars will still receive a fourth-round selection from Minnesota if Ngakoue makes the Pro Bowl. The Vikings have one victory. I wouldn't worry about the third-round selection.
James from Jagsonville Salt Lake City, UT
O- man, everybody keeps say we should start the rookies. It seems to me that is our biggest problem. We are starting way too many rookies and the other thing: I don't see the New York Jets beating anybody. They most definitely draft Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Sam Darnold is a bust.
Sascha from Cologne
Hey John, is there any sign of hope for the Jaguars on Sunday? They have to travel far away and doesn't looked good the past years out there. And then I saw the injury report. It seems to get worse from week to week. Do you see the Jags winning more than two or three games?
The Jaguars need to get better play from the interior of the line than has typically been the case this season, and they need to follow that with better pass rush in third-and-long situations. They then need to take advantage of opportunities on offense better than has typically been the case. If they do a couple of those things, then there is hope for the Jaguars Sunday.
Cristiano from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Why is it so difficult for some people to understand that we're not tanking? We are just … well ... you know ... a bad football team.
I don't know.
Rusty from New Iberia, LA
Wasn't former offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett fired for the sole reason of just changing things up to try to get better results? Why does defensive coordinator Todd Wash always get a free pass?
Because Head Coach Doug Marrone doesn't believe a coordinator change is merited – or that it would yield better results.
James from Socorro, NM
Imagine if the Jaguars were able to get Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue on the same defensive line like the Ravens do.
That would be cool.
Dan from Varna, Bulgaria
Hi John, I found it ironical that our quarterback struggles against the soft zone defense so much since this is the defensive scheme he sees in practice all the time. Thank you.
I don't know that that's ironical necessarily, but it's easily explained. First, the first-team offense really only practices against the first-team defense during the offseason – so Minshew doesn't see all that much soft zone all the time. Second, practicing against soft zone doesn't necessarily make you better at it. You either have the arm strength to beat it consistently or you don't.
Cliff from Jacksonville
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It has already been a long season.
Munchie from London, UK
John, I completely understand that making midseason head coaching changes is not always the best long-term move for a franchise. I don't see that to be the case with a general manager. Surely with a GM, the most time you can give someone to build up to the next draft is the preferential scenario. If we keep saying that the personnel in place is not up to it on the field, then Mr. Khan should surely do something about that as soon as possible. Leaving any change in general manager to the season's end means a new general manager would surely be slightly hamstrung in his first draft by a lack of preparation time.
I have no idea what Khan will do on this front. But in theory, it's very common for general managers to take over franchises in early January – shortly after the end of seasons. Anyone who would be a general manager already is aware of personnel around the NFL and in college, and a team's scouting department has all such information at its disposal. A general manager also can watch video of all the team's games from recent seasons comparatively quickly and be ready in ample time for the draft and free agency.
Larry from Chicago, IL
Does three first-round picks (two in 2021 and one in 2022) and one in the second round (2021) get the Jaguars up to the first pick in next year's draft?
Not if the team selecting No. 1 wants to stay there.
Noel from St. Augustine, FL
Mr. O, shooting a free throw to tie the game is a different kind of pressure than shooting one while up by 10+. Do you get the sense that the pressure to win, or lose the keys to the kingdom, have played any role in Minshew's play? He's not slinging it or playing as free this year and seems like it's because the stakes are higher.
I don't get that sense. Minshew was good at times last season and he really struggled at times last season, particularly as more teams got more film on him and learned how to defend him. That trend seems to be holding true this season.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, why is it that if everyone seemingly knows the right answer to their questions they are asking you?
From your mouth to God's ears, Daniel.