O-Zone: Hang on 

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Aqeel from Toronto, Canada

While Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey has thrown a second grenade on this season, I think him saying he is not happy with the scheme also involves the mistakes made by the front office. The defense watched as big contracts were handed out on offense [center Brandon Linder, guard Andrew Norwell, the Blake extension, etc.] yet on the defense side, it is taking its time. I think feeling undervalued and unappreciated are a big part of this. If Mr. Khan met with Jalen in the offseason and told him you are not getting a deal this year but we promise to take care of you [like Julio Jones] we might not be here today... or maybe this was the path it was always headed on as Jalen seems more interested in his brand and “his team.”

Ramsey undoubtedly wants to get paid, undoubtedly wants to win and undoubtedly would like the defense to always cater exactly to his strengths. Many players on some level want this. Very few players – even very few great players – behave as Ramsey did Sunday and demand a trade. And I don’t know that I buy the theory that the Jaguars handed out big contracts on offense while ignoring the defense. The Jaguars’ front office has made mistakes over the years, but those mistakes don’t really add up to an overemphasis in one area or the other. Yes, they signed Linder, Norwell and quarterback Blake Bortles – but at the same time, they signed defensive end Calais Campbell, cornerback A.J. Bouye, nickel D.J. Hayden and re-signed linebacker Telvin Smith. I’m sure Ramsey is upset about some of the things you mention. What I’m less sure about is whether there is anything that can be – or could have been – done to truly make him happy here. Or anywhere. My gut is there is not, and that’s a shame – for Ramsey and the Jaguars.

John from Jacksonville

John: It shouldn't matter whether Ramsey accepts a new coaching scheme in the future. If he doesn't, then trade him next year. The reason he is upset is because he STILL plays for a general manager and team that, despite having the most cap room and a slew of Top 5-10 picks, has managed to go 4-12 in 2013, 3-13 in 2014, 5-11 in 2015, in 2016, in 2017, in 2018, and now are 0-2.

I’m glad you know why Ramsey’s upset. The next time you guys are out to dinner – or having a personal conversation with him on your lanai – and he’s filling you in on his hopes and dreams and likes and dislikes, pop me a text so we all can know.

Darren from Fort Worth, TX

I understand it would set a really bad precedent, and I don't agree with the interaction between Ramsey and Head Coach Marrone, but I'd get rid of defensive coordinator Todd Wash before I ever got rid of Ramsey. He's made comments before about not being utilized the right way, so he doesn't seem to like the defensive scheme. I know it's unlikely to unfold that way, but do think there'd ever be a scenario where a team gets rid of a coach just to keep a player around and happy?

A team might be tempted to do that with a quarterback if the quarterback was on an elite level and had been the foundation of multiple playoff teams. This isn’t that, and here’s why: What happens the next time the player is unhappy with a play call or a scheme? Ramsey reportedly is unhappy that he doesn’t play enough press, man-to-man coverage. His complaints about the Jaguars’ scheme over the years have created a perception that the Jaguars don’t play enough man coverage when the reality is they play as much or more than most teams in the NFL. No team stays in press coverage all the time, despite Ramsey apparent wishing the Jaguars would do so. Big picture here: If you get rid of Wash, are you going to hire a coach who does whatever Ramsey wants? A coach who plays press when Ramsey wants to play press, zone when Ramsey wants to play zone and anything else he desires? What coach would take that job? It’s a non-starter.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

Who decides who you do the opponent questionnaire with and based on what? Start with closest reporter to the team and go from there based upon availability?

Like Al Haig, “I am in charge.” I pick the media person from the opposing market I most respect based on being around the league for 25 years and knowing most of the best, experience writers/media people in each city. They’re typically available – not because they’re not busy, but because I’m the O-Zone, damnit.

Greeney from Glasgow, Scotland

What annoys me the most is Ramsey talks about wanting to win. Winning is hard in the NFL. Winning is about doing the basics better than anyone else (simple INT) going above and beyond.

I have zero issue with many things Ramsey has said or done. I didn’t mind him missing organized team activities. I didn’t mind when he argued with the media at times. I didn’t mind the stuff he said to GQ or ESPN the Magazine. All of that is so much periphery and didn’t hurt the team or his play. But to say all you care about is winning and then not controlling your emotions on the field, and not running a defense that is called – and allowing key touchdowns when doing to – on more than one occasion … well, that runs counter to what you’re saying. It also runs counter to being great. Also, many players want to win. Coaches want to win. That desire doesn’t make you special – and in the NFL, the best way to win is to understand that not every decision the franchise makes is going to thrill you, or even be the best for YOU at that moment. That’s Ramsey’s disconnect this week.

Bradley from Carson City, NV

I would keep the best corner in the NFL. I would get rid of the 29th-best current NFL head coach.

I’ll continue to make this point so long as we’re having this discussion. While this is understandable being portrayed as Ramsey-versus-Marrone because of Sunday’s incident, that’s not where this decision will be made. It’s not a Marrone/Ramsey issue as much as an issue of philosophy. Jaguars Owner Shad Khan as the franchise’s ultimate decision-maker must decide if he’s going to have an organization in which individual players dictate to coaches and management what they want. That evidently works in the NBA. It doesn’t work in the NFL. If you “fire everyone” now because Ramsey doesn’t like the scheme, or what he’s being paid or how Marrone challenges call, what happens when the next coach decides to do something Ramsey doesn’t like? Do you have to clean house again? Obviously not. We do see that, right?

Al from Memphis, TN

With everything that’s happened it’s understandable that this isn’t getting the proper freak out it deserves, but for the first time in years – I’d like to say a decade – we actually had a quarterback who got better as the game progressed. The Texans were on their heels, I would have liked to see overtime. Say what you want, but so far our games have been quite entertaining.

You’re right that what’s happened on the field hasn’t gotten enough attention. The loss to the Houston Texans Sunday – while very much a loss – should provide some hope. Quarterback Gardner Minshew II played well. So did the wide receivers. The Jaguars outplayed a good opponent on the road for the final three quarters and lost a game they probably deserved to win. Those are good signs, and I think the Jaguars will win Thursday.

Bob from Sumter, SC

Do you think Ramsey's likely departure makes it more likely Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue is signed to a long-term deal?

Somewhat, though I still think Ngakoue’s going to need to come down a bit in what he was demanding over the summer. However far apart the sides were, they were far enough that there wasn’t incentive to keep getting closer. That means it wasn’t close, and it means there’s a lot of work to do – and a lot of concessions to be made. Perhaps from both sides.

Sam from Jacksonville

What was the point of Ramsey’s press conference Tuesday? Seems like the press conference made more of a distraction not less. It certainly didn’t suggest to me this has a happy ending in sight. I get that the team cannot control if a player wants to request a trade, but it can control giving the podium.

Ramsey is on the Jaguars’ active roster, and NFL players on active roster are required under NFL rules to speak to the media at least one day a week and after games. Ramsey was going to speak to the media one day this week. It was either speak at a podium or in front of his locker.

Crash from the Westside

I love the drama! Hang in there my fellow Jag fans. Better days are coming. The schedule is not tough and The Kid has some serious swag. It's going to be a fun ride.

Whee.

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