JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Nick from Annapolis, MD
Dare we compare Robinson to Emmitt Smith? I believe they have similar physical traits, including running various 40 times in the 4.5-to-4.7-second range (Robinson reportedly ran in the 4.5s after the combine, as Smith did at his Pro Day). I was young, but I distinctly remember not seeming that impressed with Smith, which makes me believe he was a straightforward, powerful, get the most out of every run style of running. Should they get his gold jacket ready?
I'm on record saying Jaguars rookie running back James Robinson has many of the same traits as former Dallas Cowboys and Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith. He gets the most out of every run as Smith did and – like Smith – he doesn't have breakaway speed for a lot of long runs. He also appears to have elite vision, which was a strength of Smith's. But don't underestimate Smith; he also had rare elusiveness and missability and used those traits to be one of the NFL's best running backs for more than a decade. Robinson appears to have those traits, too – but he has played 10 NFL games, so I'm not on record saying we need to enshrine him in the Hall of Fame yet.
Crash from the Westside
Man! Can you get them to stock some Guinness at the concession stands? We're going to need something stronger to get through the remaining hone games.
Guinness is comparatively light despite feeling and looking quite heavy. Might I suggest a nice local IPA? Or perhaps many Guinnesses? And an Uber?
Redacted from Redacted
If you say you've never held off on printing something because of who your employer is, you're lying. Writers only have integrity as far as they are being paid. I just don't believe in you anymore, John.
Your horse is impressive. Ever consider coming down off it?
Neil from Cheltenham, UK
Dear Mr. O. As regards cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and their reasons for being disgruntled and leaving, do you think that problem would be alleviated by a team that competes and wins on a regular basis? Also, if there is to be a change of general manager and coaching staff, when is considered the ideal time to do this and why? Thank you.
It takes much time and many sentences to dig deep into the reasons for Ramsey and Ngakoue leaving. Were they disgruntled? Sure. But I've always sensed the reasons were different. Ramsey, from this perspective, got disgruntled pretty much whenever things didn't go his way – and I do wonder how long he will remain gruntled at his current stop; I hope for his sake that he is content there, but we shall see. Ngakoue's gruntledness in Jacksonville went awry for financial reasons more than anything – and I wonder if he and the Baltimore Ravens can find enough common ground to make him gruntled this offseason. Again, I hope this happens for him; like Ramsey, I genuinely enjoyed covering him during his time here. Would their stories have ended differently here had the Jaguars been competitive and winning? Perhaps. Players typically complain less complain when winning. There's also a school of thought that perhaps those players – great as they were – could have done something to make the team more competitive while they were here. But that could never be the case, could it? As for the ideal time to change general managers and coaches … near or immediately after the end of the season is fine. That leaves ample time to prepare for the following offseason and season.
Steve from Sunroom Couch
Dear John, RIP Glennon.
I have an oddly good feeling about how Mike Glennon will play for the Jaguars Sunday in first NFL start in three seasons. Steve from his Sunroom Couch feels differently. Steve's probably right. You can't believe anything I write, anyway.
Jim from Home
Hey, John. Just a reminder: Peyton Manning had 28 interceptions his first season with the Colts.
Steve from Hilton Head, SC[OJ1]
This "franchise quarterback" is an oddity. The obvious example is Tom Brady. Drew Brees was a second-round pick, then traded away. Ryan Leaf was picked by many ahead of Peyton Manning. Aaron Rodgers sat in the green room forever until Green Bay picked him. Then how many years did he sit the bench? I guess hindsight is always 20-20.
Can't-miss franchise quarterback indeed is a bit of a misnomer. They always can miss until they prove otherwise. At the same time, history does indicate that your chances of hitting improve the earlier you select one in the draft – and recent history shows that generally speaking it's becoming easier for quarterbacks to transition into and succeed in the NFL.
Steve from Nashville, TN
Is the Jags 2021 backup quarterback currently on the roster?
Sure. Why not?
Bill from Hammock, FL
Zone, I think it is pretty universal that our first pick in the draft should be a quarterback. After watching the Kansas City Chiefs/Oakland Raiders game recently, I'm starting to believe a tight end should be chosen early as well. Can't imagine either of those teams being nearly as successful without theirs. Also, should we be giving more love to Tyler Shatley. He plays every line position and plays it pretty well.
The Jaguars' long-standing need at tight end is well-documented. It's not fair to call it as important an issue as quarterback, but it's absolutely fair to say the Jaguars would be better if the issues finally were adequately addressed. And yes, Shatley needs love. Interior offensive linemen aren't loved enough in this world. Someone needs to show it. You go first.
Steve from Nash
If the Los Angeles Rams win the Super Bowl, will the Jaguars' second first-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft be the 32ndselection of that round?
Jason from North Pole, AK
Is there really six games left? Man, this feels like a long season. Not sure we will have any starters left out there on defense come Week 17. I am trying to get excited to watch some of our young players develop. Is Luq Barcoo the projected starter this weekend and is he someone to keep an eye on?
I expect either Barcoo or fellow rookie Josiah Scott will start at corner Sunday. That's pretty much what's left for the Jaguars at cornerback with Sidney Jones IV out with an Achilles injury and rookies CJ Henderson and Chris Claybrooks – and DJ Hayden, for that matter – on injured reserve. And yes … Barcoee and Scott are both worth keeping an eye on. They need to show they're "NFL capable" and they figure to get a chance Sunday.
Charles from Riverside
Hello, John. As an avid Jags fan since the first game against the Houston Oilers, there is one mantra that has been ingrained in my head – as pointed out by you on multiple occasions – the draft is not science. We seem to have had more than our share of disappointing drafts over the years, but – I admit – a fair amount of success too. Because, well, it's not science. Which has me paranoid putting the whole future of the franchise on drafting Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence or Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. Also, while having a great number of draft picks, I wonder about the current age of the team, and the idea we may even average out at an even younger age next year! With $80 million in salary-cap space, how does that translate to a plan by the team to upgrade our level of play?
Paranoia will destroy ya – but you can't let it make you fear selecting a possible franchise quarterback early in the draft. As far as the Jaguars' salary-cap space, I expect it will be used to address defensive line first – with a possible veteran safety to follow.
Yoav from St. Johns, FL
Hi, John: The Texans (3-7) and Eagles (3-6-1) gave large second contracts to their franchise quarterbacks, but their records stink this year. Conventional wisdom states that a $100 million man will make up for deficiencies elsewhere on a team. As we consider the Jaguars' prospects to find their quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft, do we need someone *better* than a Deshaun Watson or Carson Wentz to even give us a chance for consistent postseason success?
Fair question. One down season does not mean a player isn't a franchise quarterback. When everything else is going wrong around him, sometimes even the best quarterbacks can't make up for all deficiencies. Do the Jaguars need a better quarterback than Wentz or Watson? I consider both good-to-really-good but I've always wondered if either was truly elite, so yeah … you would hope that a quarterback drafted first or second could be an improvement from that.
Rob from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Trevor Lawrence … clap, clap, clap, clap, clap … Trevor Lawrence … clap, clap, clap, clap, clap!!!
Free time is a good thing, maybe the best of things – and no good thing ever dies.