CINCINNATI, Ohio – Let’s get to it …
Saud from Virginia Beach, VA
I don’t understand why our offensive line isn't opening lanes for Fournette. I remember seeing better offensive line play making lanes and opportunities when we had Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew. I feel this is a big problem not allowing us to win. We also need a good complementary back for Fournette. I am not sure if Ryquell Armstead is that guy (yet), but I do feel our offensive line is really hurting us with the lack of lanes and opportunities for our running game and the repeated penalties. What will it take to see better O-line play, reduced penalties and a better running game?
The Jaguars’ offensive line isn’t opening lanes for running back Leonard Fournette because while there is talent on the line, it has yet to come together and play well enough as a unit. Center Brandon Linder is a solid player, though not among the NFL’s elite players at the position – and guard Andrew Norwell has not been the player the team expected when he signed as an unrestricted free agent last offseason. Both tackles – Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor – are young, and second-year veteran Will Richardson has yet to play consistently enough to beat out veteran A.J. Cann at guard. That’s the line as individuals. As a group, it’s still seeking continuity and cohesion. The positive here is that Head Coach Doug Marrone said earlier this week he believes the line is beginning to play better in the run game than it did earlier in the season, and that he believes the struggles are caused by one player making a mistake on each play rather than complete breakdowns. What will it take to improve? Playing together more and reducing the mistakes.
Jeremy from Omaha, NE
Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin is a great leader. He’s not the one who’s out of touch with the expectations of well-paid professional athletes. The Jags could use even more leadership!
Tbone from Deeeland
Of the past five Super bowl-winning teams, the Philadelphia Eagles retain the most first-round picks (six) while the others (New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos) retain three or so each. Also, the Seahawks had no first-round picks from 2013-2015. Is a first-round draft selection overemphasized? How important is it really to hit on these picks? How much scrutiny should general managers and the front office receive based on picking in this round alone?
The first round matters. You ideally need to at least get significant contributions from all first-round selections and difference-making contributions from many of them. If you’re not getting this, you must draft extraordinarily well in other rounds to make up the difference.
Crash from the Westside
I love this roller coaster! So, we win the next three, hit the bye week, Nick Foles comes back and we go on a run. Playoffs? Playoffs? Yes, Playoffs!
You go, girl.
Ryan from Reality
Zone - a lot of talk about "urgency" as we head up to Cincy this week. What do we expect this "urgency" to change about the team? Were we not "urgent" enough for a win last week against the Saints? There's only 16 games in the regular season. Why wait until you fall to 2-4 before you start to get "urgent"?
C’mon, Ryan. I assume you’re better than this. This is an urgent situation because the Jaguars are 2-4 and playing two teams – the Bengals and the Jets – in the next two weeks they should beat. That doesn’t mean they didn’t play with urgency before. They didn’t beat the New Orleans Saints last week because the Saints were better than the Jaguars, not because the Jaguars lacked urgency. Do we really not understand these things, or are we just being argumentative in reality these days?
John from Jacksonville
I find it odd why sacking a quarterback is cause for celebration and has its own stats column but tackling any other player for a loss is just a good play. Seems like they should be treated equally.
Jordan from Jacksonville
What are your thoughts on the Jaguars building a new stadium? A few years ago, I thought it would not happen, but now I think it actually might be viable option for this team. Build something that is indoor/outdoor and cut down capacity to say, 52,000, so that every game will be sold out. Make every seat feel closer to the action. It would be years away, but do you see the Jaguars going this direction or just continuing to improve the current stadium?
The Jaguars will have to address the stadium sometime in the next decade. I would anticipate a major renovation more than a new stadium.
John from Jacksonville
I find it silly that we now have a trend on the Jaguars' 25th anniversary of fans complaining about the heat at the stadium. Hello, it's Florida. If you don't like the heat, move to Wisconsin where you can enjoy sub-zero temperatures for the Packers games in December and January. Wait - then there will be complaints about it being too cold. This is football. Suck it up!
The heat in Florida games is real. When people are getting physically sick from it, it’s about more than “sucking it up.”
Keith from Section 436 Since 1995
Howard from Homestead and Scott from Wichita are not wrong. My question is what is the league definition of limited versus full practices? Does limited mean riding a bike on the side and light stretching? Does full mean all-out (in today's terms)?
Remembering something a reader wrote for a previous O-Zone question requires a level of interest and commitment for which I shall not strive. As for the definition of full-versus-limited practices, it’s not very helpful. “Full” is a player participating with no limitations. “Limited” is anything less than that and can range from participating in one individual drill to participating in the entire practice and leaving with an injury on the final repetition.
Brian from Jacksonville
Having four first-round selections over the next couple of years is outstanding. It'll be great if the picks just acquired are in the Top 20, but it should be noted that three of the Jaguars’ Top 10 picks now huddle in LA. They were going to be foundational. None worked out. Will the Jaguars’ brass do better this time around O? Will Owner Shad Khan even have it? Did TC's seat just get quite a bit hotter?
If the Jaguars play well in the final 10 games of the season and finish .500 or better, I imagine the people who have been making the selections in recent seasons will be around to make the selections in 2020. that doesn’t happen, I don’t know what will happen in those positions. Only Khan knows that.
Kyle from NYC
I know it’s not likely to happen midseason, but it would be great if we could get Yannick a long-term deal now that we don’t have to worry as much over the truckload it would have taken to keep cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
I think the Jaguars ideally would like to keep defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. I don’t know how much his long-term contract situation will be influenced by what happened with Ramsey. The Jaguars made Ngakoue what they believed was a fair offer this offseason. Even without having to pay Ramsey, I don’t get the sense that will change their feeling on Ngakoue’s worth.
JT from Fort Worth, TX
Has anyone heard anything from Telvin Smith? After this Ramsey mess, I’m curious if he comes back to us next year or if he also asks for a trade.
I’m sure someone somewhere has heard from former Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith. I don’t anticipate him ever playing for the Jaguars again.
Tom from Shanghai, China
Nick Foles is back in training. No pressure Gardner, but the rest of your career depends on the next few weeks.
Minshew is a quarterback in the NFL. He’s always going to face pressure.
ABC from ABCTown
Why do teams not switch between two quarterbacks that are at about the same level, so the opponent cannot game plan so well? I don't mean having a quarterback as running back, like the Saints. I mean, that the teams like the Jaguars, Panthers and Saints (with Teddy Bridgewater), which have backups that perform very well, could say both quarterbacks are sharing the snaps.
Because if you’ve got a guy you play the guy.
Bill from Ponte Vedra, FL
Up to the moment Ramsey was traded you were assuring your readers that his back was really injured, that he loved football too much to fake an injury. He gets traded, and now you seem sure that he will play Sunday. What gives?
What I said was players who truly love their teammates and football don’t opt not to play when they are physically able. And I’m sure Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey will play Sunday because he’s going to play.