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O-Zone: Keep on talking

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Mark from Archer, FL

Oh great and wise, Zone. Can you tell us what the negatives were going into the draft on Jaguars rookie quarterback Jake Luton that made him fall to the sixth round? We have been over why Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II fell that far: his height and lack of arm strength. I am curious why Luton fell to the sixth when everyone says he has great size and a strong arm and he can make all the throws.

Different evaluators had different opinions on Luton's weaknesses entering the NFL from Oregon State, and some of the assessments are bit odd in retrospect. Some analysts thought he lacked arm strength. Others thought he lacked accuracy. Others thought had too many passes batted at the line of scrimmage. Others thought he didn't look downfield enough. Still others thought he didn't look off enough defenders. Jaguars offensive coordinator Jay Gruden offered the theory last week that perhaps with the NFL seeking more mobile quarterbacks in recent seasons, Luton was bypassed by many because of a perceived lack of mobility. It overall feels like a situation in which a player might have been a bit under-scouted and overlooked. How good is Luton? How much did the scouts miss? He appeared to have a fine arm and accuracy Sunday. He had some passes batted at the line. But he overall showed an NFL skill set. I expect him to have a chance to show the accuracy – or inaccuracy – of a lot of these "scouting reports" in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

Seam from Jacksonville

Yikes! The only team worse than us is the New York Jets! Anyhow, at what point do you consider it is the coaching? At some point, as was said about former quarterback Blake Bortles, it's just time to move on. At 1-7, sure it could get worse with a new coach somewhere, but making a change seems way past due. I'm not looking forward to "It's ALWAYS coaching" replies, but your assessment of what it would take for a coaching (any coach) change during the season.

I can't say for sure if the Jaguars would be better or worse with a different head coach. I can say I've seen nothing to indicate that coaching is nearly as big an issue for the Jaguars this season as talent level – and experience level – of the players. I don't think there will be a coaching change during the season – at least not in the next month or so.

Shawn from the Mean Streets of Arlington

How can you not answer this question?


Eric from Jacksonville Beach, FL

Hi, John. Curious to hear your perspective on this now that we're sitting halfway done with the season. In your opinion, what has been our biggest positive and negative surprises on the season so far as a team and what has gone about the way you would have expected?

Positive surprise: Rookie running back James Robinson, which is an obvious choice. Negative surprise: I suppose I'll go with Minshew not taking a second-year step, but that's not a tremendous shock. What has gone the way I expected? I'll go with the defensive struggles. I expected defensive tackle to be an issue this season, as well as secondary play. I can't say I expected those issues to be so extreme, but they're not unexpected.

Big on Blake from Philly

I noticed in your What We Learned after the Jaguars' loss to Houston Monday that the Jaguars' seven-game slide is tied for fourth-longest losing streak in franchise history. What's more impressive? Merely having that many losing streaks or not ever holding a first overall pick in an NFL draft because of it?

I don't find either all that impressive.

Shawn from The Mean Streets of Arlington

Being the young team that we are, is it at all possible to put the "...." college team could beat us?" I've always despised that statement from "people" … but as KOAGF always says: fans gonna fan. No guessing involved, I'm sure ...

A college team couldn't beat the Jaguars this season. Or any season. A college team couldn't beat the New York Jets this season. Any NFL team would essentially name the score against any college team.

John from Cape May Courthouse, NJ

Draft offense, buy defense.

Pretty much.

Mitch from Jacksonville Beach, FL

If they thought they could win with this roster, while no one else did, that is in of Itself a problem-probably a worse one than tanking.

You're right. Being wrong about quarterback in the NFL means being wrong about a lot. I couldn't agree more.

Greg from Jacksonville and Section 122

I don't mean this as negative or disrespectful, but I hope we lose out and at least can get into the Top 2 so we can get Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields or maybe Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Is there anything guaranteed? No, but it would be the first time the Jaguars have selected a generational, blue-chip quarterback prospect that wasn't a "he-has-potential" tagline. Man, us fans are tired of hearing that. Heard it about former Jaguars quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert, Blake Bortles, Byron Leftwich … the list goes on. It's our turn to get a franchise changing, dynasty-building quarterback and some real hope. 2021 needs to be the start of something new for this team in the worst way.


Biff from Jacksonville

Mr. NFL's question/statement gave me a chuckle. My friend Steve has been saying how you're too hard on Minshew. Any truth to the rumors that you have split personalities and that we never know which one will respond to our questions? O-Zone ... O-Man ... King of Funk ... is it simply coincidence you have soooooo many names?

Mr. NFL recently criticized me for being a fan of Minshew. I am neither a fan nor a "hater" of Minshew. I would love for him to be a franchise quarterback because he would be entertaining to cover and because the Jaguars having a franchise quarterback would mean more success – and the readers of this column absolutely deserve to experience that. And I am the king of all funk.

Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC

While it may indeed be too early to call rookie cornerback CJ Henderson or rookie defensive end K'Lavon Chaisson busts, I think it is fair to say that they have been disappointing this season -- especially when you consider the fact that the team thought Chaisson was worthy of being selected at No. 9 overall. To make matters worse, these players were (directly or not) chosen to replace immense talents that this organization (and maybe just Tom Coughlin) drove away. Is it reasonable to have serious concerns over the future of these two players, and would you give any credit at all to the notion that maybe the Jags reached for these players to fill the void left by cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.

I never find rookie performances disappointing because I don't expect major contributions from rookies – even early-drafted ones. I particularly feel that way in a season before which there was no on-field offseason program. Either way, the Jaguars were far from the only teams who considered Henderson and Chaisson worthy of their draft positions. Did they reach for the players at No. 9 and 20? You pick the players you want when you select them. Time will tell if they're good or bad selections, and you absolutely can't tell that about a rookie after eight games – particularly this season.

Logan from Wichita, KS

At this point should we all just give up and accept that the only way Caldwell and Marrone are out is if the Jaguars win more than five games in a season before 2027? Clearly losing almost 70% of the time means nothing, especially when it's for sure not their fault AT ALL... I mean obviously it was Coughlin, a sixth-round QB and the sun rising, give them both extensions to lose through 2090, why not?

Did you say something?

Jaginator from (formerly of) Section 124

There are 65 "Power 5" college teams. But six of the Jaguars' 29 first-round picks (>20 percent) have come from only one of those schools: Florida. Other than running back Fred Taylor, the other five picks were either middling performers (for someone else) or outright busts. This is not just "coincidence." It's the product of an overreliance on the school loved by the greatest number of the Jaguars' paying fans.

I get emails like this a lot. That leads me to believe many people believe the Jaguars like to choose players from University of Florida because their fans will like it. That doesn't mean those many people are right.

Steve from Woodbine, GA

Other than a quarterback throwing multiple pick-sixes during a game, since when is he responsible for giving up 30-plus points per game? All this talk about the quarterback needing to play better is getting old.

Just wait.