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O-Zone: Just win

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Mark from Prescott, AZ

John I for one am sick and tired of hearing the Jaguars officials bellyache about the market and this viability. The stadium has a large number of club seats, which according to them are sold. Ten percent of revenue equals one out of 10 home games, so I don't see the great advantage there. Lastly, Jacksonville is bigger than New Orleans; it's not the second-smallest market.

I suppose if you’re tired of hearing Jaguars officials discuss local revenue you need to stop reading stories or watching news coverage of such things. And while I realize a faction of fans never will accept that local revenue is a real issue, make no mistake: market size does make it an issue, and it’s one that always will be a challenge for this franchise. I could bore you with details (facts) such as a game in Wembley Stadium bringing in significantly more revenue than a game at TIAA Bank Field – or I could point out that a large percentage of club seats sold is great, but that if they’re sold at prices below other club seats in the NFL you still lag behind in local revenue – but if you’re sick and tired of hearing those things, then those details won’t mean much. Look, President Mark Lamping and Owner Shad Khan aren’t threatening to move the team. They make a point nearly every time they speak about this to make the point that they realize they’re responsible for increasing local revenue. They haven’t demanded a new stadium. They have invested millions of Khan’s money in projects to raise local revenue and improve TIAA Bank Field. They are going above and beyond what many owners and presidents would do in their situation, and I frankly am often amazed – and thankful – that Khan is so committed to Jacksonville. You call it “bellyaching,” but anyone who wants the Jaguars to remain in Jacksonville should be thankful for those bellyachers. Their commitment to Jacksonville is remarkable, and the willingness to and effort to make it work here is equally so.

Ron from Jacksonville

I wrote after Leonard Fournette got injured that we needed to add someone that could allow us to bring running backs in waves to keep Leonard from having a dozen touches in the first 20 minutes of a ball game. I think the Jags agree. Do you see Fournette’s eventual workload coming down into the 15-18 touch range, or is that too much?

I’m not sure how to estimate Fournette’s “eventual” workload. What the Jaguars want right now is someone who can play running back … right now. That’s why they traded a fifth-round selection to the Cleveland Browns on Friday for Carlos Hyde. They’ll worry about how to split workload whenever Fournette returns.

Steve from Nashville, TN

If offensive line play is down across the league, with the money we have on our front our lineman we should have 30 sacks by now (instead of 14)?

OK.

Blues Man from Jacksonville

I'm not overly concerned with the defense; sure, it was a bad showing, but at least they have the Pro Bowl talent to correct things moving forward. My concern going into this season was the offensive philosophy; a run-dominated team playing in a pass-oriented league. The Jags did virtually nothing to bring in offensive weapons, either through the draft or through free agent. The Woody Hayes philosophy of "three yards and a cloud of dust" is good for 1970s Big 10 Football, but unfortunately this is the NFL in 2018; rules favor those who open it up and pass. Hey, it's great to have a back that can run for yards, but he won't get you to the promised land - when you need to pass and have no reliable options, you're doomed in this league.

The Jaguars signed wide receiver Donte Moncrief, drafted D.J. Chark in the second round and signed tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins this past offseason. They also signed guard Andrew Norwell and re-signed wide receiver Marqise Lee. Moncrief hasn’t been close to great, but the only receiver on the market who was an obvious better choice was Sammy Watkins. The Jaguars are without Seferian-Jenkins and Lee. Those two losses have been somewhat overlooked by observers, but they’re not overlooked within the team; they hurt. Do the Jaguars need to do more next offseason to ensure they have more reliable, big-time weapons? Yes, but it’s going to be a process and there may not be many quick fixes.

Tudor from St. Augustine, FL

What about Taven Bryan being tried out at left tackle? I'm not trying to intentionally sound crazy. He does have the size and speed for it, though. Would Josh Walker or Ereck Flowers be definitively better?

Stop, please.

Tom from Jacksonville

I always hear "if they thought the backup was better they would make the change" … well, it's kinda hard to know if you don't try. I was short on breath when they put Bortles back in the game with it out of reach. Why not give Cody a chance? Are they afraid if he shows light then they will have to finally accept that Bortles was a miss?

It’s not hard to know. The Jaguars’ coaches are around both quarterbacks daily. They see them play. They saw them practice throughout the offseason, training camp and preseason. If Bortles was what was wrong with the offense, the team would make a change. It’s many things, with Bortles being one.

Jeremy from Dodge City

Did you get a lot of bench Bortles e-mails after the Patriots game?

No.

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

Seems that the other teams’ top receivers are able to run free without a defender within five yards of them. Why do our defenders not move toward wide open receivers when we play zone? They don’t react until the ball is thrown, which is obviously way too late. What is the point of having all these studs if we just sit in zone and let quarterbacks and receivers hit the soft spots all day? Please always have someone somewhere near the other team’s best receiver when the ball is snapped. Otherwise it’s a gimme and looks to me like a blown coverage.

The Jaguars’ defense had a horrible day on Sunday in Dallas. It struggled the previous week in Kansas City, too. But a couple of thoughts on this. One is that the Jaguars play zone about half the time and man half the time. That’s generally speaking. They were in man-to-man more than they were zone Sunday against Dallas, though they did seem to play softer coverage at times than would have been ideal. Also, consider this: The Jaguars are ranked first in the NFL in passing yards allowed this season. They were ranked first in the NFL in passing yards allowed last season. There absolutely are areas this defense can improve, but to paint this defense as if it’s playing awful and sitting in soft coverage “all day?” Nah. Either way, I expect the defensive approach to be different this week. Coordinator Todd Wash talked about not being as “cute” and getting back to basics this week. Could that mean more man-to-man and a simpler approach designed to let the “studs” play their game? Perhaps.

Big on Blake from Philly

John, the offense we’ve been seeing seems like it’d be perfect against stacked boxes, and I have confidence that Blake would execute it well in those situations. But because Fournette isn’t in the lineup and not garnering the attention of the D in that way, how long before offensive coordinator Nate Hackett wakes up and realizes to run what works (giving Yeldon the ball) and don’t get cute? I’m sure he’s being kept very close to Marrone these days, and I’m wondering if maybe Doug should take over the offensive play-calling?

The Jaguars are seeing a lot of stacked boxes. Hackett is running an offense dramatically different than last season’s – and different than the one that started the season – because of the injuries on offense. This week he’s running an offense with a slew of players who weren’t on the team two weeks ago. I don’t know what “being kept very close to Marrone” means, but I don’t know that Hackett is getting cute as much as he’s trying to find something that works.

Paul from Section 148

Stay positive my brothers and sisters! At game time Sunday, we'll know that the Chargers have defeated the Titans in London. That should ramp up the drama and excitement as the Big Cats battle the Texans for 1st place in the AFC South. I believe that we'll be celebrating Sunday evening!

You go, girl.

Tom from Charleston, SC

Doug Marrone has stated numerous times that the NFL is a next-man-up league. It has become quite obvious that the Jaguars are missing that "next man."

You’re right. When this many next men are injured, the next “next men” probably aren’t as good as the first “next men.” Or something like that.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, do you think everyone would be happy now with one of those "ugly wins" everyone was complaining about?

Yes.

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