JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL
As an NFL head coach, Tom Coughlin is tied for 13thon the all-time wins list. He also won two Super Bowls. As the executive vice president of football operations, he has done a very good job drafting new players and acquiring free agents. He was brought back to Jacksonville to change the culture inside the building, and he has done that as well. Is it unreasonable to wish for him to improve his interpersonal skills to a level that matches his professional accomplishments?
People can wish for what they want, but it seems there’s some lost perspective here. Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey reportedly requested a trade after a meeting with Coughlin following the Jaguars’ Week 2 loss at Houston, a meeting that reportedly went poorly. The meeting’s primary subject presumably was Ramsey’s behavior during that game, which any reasonable observer would acknowledge was inappropriate. If we assume for the sake of argument that Coughlin handled the meeting poorly, then we have a situation in which two parties handled situations inappropriately that day. Either way, are we really expected to believe that that postgame conversation was so over-the-top inappropriate compared to Ramsey’s behavior that it merited a trade request? And that it was so over-the-top inappropriate that the Jaguars should trade an elite cornerback? That’s just a lot to have to believe.
Travis from North Dakota
Cohesion always has been the best way to establish a consistent offensive line. Why are we using a committee at right guard between A.J. Cann/Will Richardson Jr? Is it because we view them as equal in talent and both deserve to play, or they are they still trying to decide who is the better fit between the two?
Marc from Oceanway
Two questions if I may. Is it typical for a general manager or team president to scold a player, or is that usually left to the head coach? And more importantly, has anyone else on the team started growing a Fu Minshew yet?
A head coach almost always handles discipline; how much others are involved varies depending on the structure of the team. For organizations with someone who oversees football operations it’s not unusual for that person to be involved in discipline or for that person to address a player when the player steps out of line. As far as Fu Minshews … it’s best if most players stay away from trying. It takes something special to pull off that look.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville
The next two games are really going to test the mettle of this team. The Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints (even without Drew) are no joke. Both are similar to the Jaguars in that they have lost their starting quarterback early, but have risen to the challenge to still be successful. I think the Jags have a good chance to win both games provided our defense shows up and Magic Minshew doesn't get too reckless. It would not hurt if No. 20 could see his way to actually joining the team and contributing.
I expect the Jaguars to lose one of the next two games, either of which likely will send the fan base into a panic because it doesn’t realize that Carolina is a good team without quarterback Cam Newton and difficult to beat on the road – and because it doesn’t realize grasp that New Orleans without quarterback Drew Brees is still good. I then think they will win the three games after that, sending the fan base into euphoria with Super Bowl dreams. As for Ramsey, he will see his way to “joining the team” when he is healthy enough to do so.
Jeremy from Jacksonville
Dear Mr. O, I hear commentators talk about how running backs will “get skinny" going through the line of scrimmage before opening up once they get through. I've never heard it said of a quarterback, but it almost looked like Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II "got skinny" in the pocket when evaded four would-be tacklers and found Armstead in the back of the endzone. Is getting skinny in the pocket a thing for a quarterback? I am just flat amazed at the pocket presence he showed on that play!
I’ve never heard of quarterbacks getting skinny, either – but if any quarterback can do it, it’s the Stache. The Stache can do anything. Anywhere. Anytime.
Dbsuperbiker from Daytona Beach, FL
Most football fans, bloggers and other "experts" vocalize that penalties are a lack of discipline or sloppy play. It appears to me most penalties are the result of a player being beaten man-on-man. A false start or offsides is trying to get an edge on a guy who has been winning his battles. Holding is another way a player tries to gain an advantage when being beaten. Late hits are often frustration fueled by being beaten. Most penalties will diminish if/when individual players can out-play their personal opponent. Thanks for listening to my two cents.
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL
Let’s say Minshew continues to perform at a high level and, under his leadership, the Jaguars win more games than they lose. Then Nick Foles returns, performs well, and the Jaguars end the year with a winning record. The resulting quarterback controversy would divide fans, and more importantly, might divide loyalties in the locker room. Wouldn’t that make Minshew a very attractive trade target next offseason? My understanding is that the Jaguars could trade him if they put 85 percent of his salary into the rookie pool. Don’t get me wrong – I’d hate to see Minshew leave. But isn’t this a realistic scenario?
We’re waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay away from this. Relax. Enjoy. Breathe.
Hugo from Albuquerque, NM
To everyone who keeps asking about how long the Ramsey trade request "distractions" will go on, a pretty safe bet is that they will probably exist up until October 29, the trade deadline. The Jags ain't getting an offer they like enough before that.
I doubt the Jaguars get many more offers for Ramsey – in large part because Owner Shad Khan said this week he doesn’t want to trade Ramsey. I suppose the questions will continue, but trust me: This is not a distraction for anyone around the Jaguars except Ramsey. Is it a distraction for those covering and watching the team? Probably. Are the players and coaches bothered by it? No. They’re used to Ramsey being in the news. They would like him to be playing. If he doesn’t, they will prepare and play. They won’t be as good without as with him, but they won’t be “distracted.”
Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC
Hypothetically speaking, if the Jaguars shop Ramsey for trade offers following the 2019 season, will teams be attracted by the ability to obtain the rights to Ramsey while only having to pay him as much as his fifth-year option (and potentially tag him after that)? Or would Ramsey be able to force them to negotiate an extension? Also, does he have any leverage in terms of rejecting trade offers from teams he would not want to play for? I feel as though I have seen that before, but maybe not with players still on rookie deals.
A team trading for Ramsey likely would want to speak to his representation to either negotiate a long-term deal or at least get a feel for his interest in such a deal. That would be the way he could at least discourage trade offers. But he would not be able to reject or void trade offers under the terms of his contract.
Rico from the Mountain
About Jalen, it is important to him to make Pro Bowls and rank high in Top 100 (and it should be, it acknowledges individual success in a team game, similar to being player of the week). I think also because of that, he would not sit out unless warranted.
I agree and I believe Ramsey indeed is hurt. I believe this because this is what I’ve been told, and I believe it because to believe otherwise would be believing that Ramsey is doing something reprehensibly unprofessional. I don’t yet believe that’s what he’s about.
Mike from Jacksonville
John, after the first quarter of NFL games in the 2019 season, 13 teams sit at 2-2. The league loves parity obviously but, do you think this stat is a result in part, of how teams operated in the preseason in terms of playing and sitting starters?
No, I think it’s a result of there being a handful of really good teams and a handful of really bad teams. All others – and even a few of those aforementioned two handfuls – can pretty much win or lose to pretty much any team in any week.
Brian from Middleburg, FL
With this trend of players wanting to be traded due to unhappiness, what can the owner/team do to protect themselves?
Not trade the players and have them play out their contracts.