O-Zone: Just say know

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

I guess we would all like to hear that the Jags had at least made another midseason offer to Yan. Giving no more effort until the offseason leaves too much opportunity for him to leave. He might take the money if you keep offers coming. If you wait, he might feel he was you know, “disrespected,” and make up his mind to leave no matter what we offer. We want to see effort during this season, or we will certainly assume the Jags are “blowing it.”

People will assume what they want to assume. NFL teams can’t make decisions with that in mind, and the Jaguars won’t negotiate with defensive end Yannick Ngakoue in that vein. But remember this while making assumptions: Negotiations and movement on matters such as this very often are things that not everyone hears. The best progress very often is done not on Twitter or on the NFL Network, but solely between the two parties. Second, and this is equally important: The Jaguars still have the rest of this season and the early part of the offseason to reach an agreement with Ngakoue. After that, they have the franchise tag. My sense is something will get done before the tag gets used and my sense is the Jaguars won’t “blow it.” We’ll see.

JT from Fort Worth, TX

Feel like the Jags improved their position this weekend. The Indianapolis Colts lost and the Los Angeles Rams lost. Really hope November Nick is magical this month.

Many Jaguars fans bemoaned the Tennessee Titans winning Sunday to move the Jaguars into last place. What mattered far more was the Colts losing because the Jaguars now can move past both Indianapolis and Tennessee with victories the next two weeks. And yes … quarterback Nick Foles and his magic are key to that. That’s why he’s here. He’s the hope.

Hulk from Las Vegas, NV

What happened to our defense’s killer mentality? I'm watching the San Francisco 49ers [on Monday Night Football] and they will not be denied. No matter how the game ends up (it’s the second quarter), they have a very visible killer mentality. They do not have the talent equivalent to the Jags, yet they produce at a very high level. Why can’t our defense do the same? They have a bunch of no-names and one or two big names; we have like five to seven, but we don’t play like that. Tasha.

I’ve found that killer mentality often comes disguised as a ferocious pass rush, and pass rushes are usually ferocious when a team is leading. The Jaguars’ defense played with a killer mentality/ferocious pass rush this season in games against Tennessee, Cincinnati and the New York Jets – games in which they have led. They have been less ferocious in other games. The 49ers have led a lot and I’m guessing they have been more ferocious in games they have led than on the rare occasions when they have trailed. They did a nice job staying ferocious once Seattle took the lead in the second half Monday. But I’m not sure your assessment of the 49ers’ defense is all that accurate. They’re a talented defense, particularly up front.

Keith from Section 436 Since 1995

Two words for Robert for Elton: Taven Bryan. Yes, I see your point, but there's a reason Jag fans do not trust the front office with the draft picks from a certain former Jaguar defensive back. People pretty much knew Blake Bortles in 2018 was gonna blow up in their face (which it did), but they passed on Lamar Jackson. Going back just one year, all indications were that DeShaun Jackson was going to be good, but the team took LF27 – and while he's doing well this year, the jury's still out on him. Bottom line is yeah … the fans won't have a successful intervention with the front office, but the evidence is quite clear that the powers that be have messed up on enough picks that the feelings by the fans are certainly warranted.

I’m assume you’re talking about Deshaun Watson as opposed to DeShaun Jackson – and yes, the Jaguars did pass on both he and Patrick Mahomes in that 2017 NFL Draft. And we have been over and over the Blake Bortles Timeline in this forum. But to go along with that evidence, there’s also plenty of evidence that the front office has drafted very well the past four seasons – and that the team is starting to feel like it has a good young core. That doesn’t play well with the “fire everyone” crowd, but it’s there.

Sam From Nottingham, UK

Despite the fact I love going to see the Jags every year – and without it, I wouldn’t be a Jags fan – to what extent does the annual international fixture (as a home game) disadvantage the Jags? Not only is it the travel, planning etc., but despite the strong UK-based Jags following, the atmosphere can’t be anywhere near as hostile as at TIAA Bank Field. Don’t you think it’s worth considering dropping it moving forward if we want to genuinely contend for a championship?

The atmosphere at Wembley Stadium certainly isn’t as pro-Jaguars – or as hostile – as TIAA Bank Field, but that doesn’t mean the Jaguars shouldn’t win there. They have won there three times and the loss to the Houston Texans this year was really the first time I felt the Jaguars played surprisingly poorly in London (the poor performances in 2013 and 2014 were hardly a surprise given the team’s talent level). The one thing the London game unquestionably does each season is create a large section of the schedule where the Jaguars are away from TIAA Bank Field. This year, for example, they’re going pretty much the entire month of November without playing in Jacksonville. That’s not ideal. But there’s no reason that must be an insurmountable obstacle in terms of season goals; they had a similar section of the schedule in 2017 and played in the AFC Championship Game. Bottom line: the London game is critical to the team’s financial stability in Jacksonville. It’s not going away. The team must learn to win there and negotiate the inconveniences in the schedule.

Marc from the Southside

Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is sorely missed by our run defense when he's not playing. His contract looms large, however. Do you think he'd be willing to spread out that $22 million owed in a restructured contract? Are the Jags just more likely to target a nose in the 2020 draft and move on?

I believe this will be Dareus’ last season in Jacksonville. Here’s hoping I’m wrong.

KC from SoFla

When it comes to rookie quarterbacks, especially those who are high picks, is your preference to play them right away or sit a year and learn? What are the advantages and disadvantages of both?

This depends on the situation; different quarterbacks are ready for different approaches. The main advantage of playing a quarterback as a rookie is the player gets experience you can’t get on the bench. The disadvantage of playing a rookie quarterback – particularly with an undermanned team – is the player could lose confidence, or that the team/teammates could lose confidence in a struggling player. That lack of confidence on both counts could negate many positives. The ideal situation is to have a veteran quarterback on a team good enough that the young quarterback could sit for one season then play with a good team the following season. Those good situations don’t happen very often in the NFL because good teams aren’t usually looking to change quarterbacks.

Rob from Orange Park, FL

Why don't the Jags announce actual attendance rather than tickets sold/given away? With the electronic scanning, it cannot be too difficult. I assume there is a reason. Do you know what it is?

Different teams announce attendance in different ways. Tickets sold/distributed is an important number to the Jaguars, so that’s what they opt to announce. It also doesn’t hurt to announce that number to avoid giving people wanting to shape their own narratives about lack of attendance unnecessary and irrelevant ammunition.

Jason from Jacksonville

Do people up north not sit in the freezing wind, cold, rain, and snow to watch their teams win or lose? The heat is an excuse. Winning helps but there are too many fair-weather fans. Go Jags!!

I don’t know what “excuse” means. I know when people receive medical attention and lose their insides during an NFL game I’m not going to criticize them for questioning whether they can stay in their seats or commit to attend a game. I also know I have lived in cold weather and hot weather; l was able to layer and make cold weather bearable more easily than I can make standing at a training camp practice bearable. But maybe you’re right. Maybe you know what’s best for everyone. If so, you’re hardly unique among this forum’s readers.

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