O-Zone: Kith and kin

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Paul from Jacksonville

Running back Leonard Fournette was suspended last season for one game for violating team rules. This year, he comes off the bench and starts a fight and the team takes no action; the league suspended him. Now, Fournette is on video threatening to assault a fan and the team does nothing. It is no wonder that the team plays with no discipline on the field; it seems like the players are not being held to any standards.

Fournette was held out of a home game against Cincinnati last season by Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone for violating team rules, so it’s difficult to see how he wasn’t being held to standards in that situation. The league suspended Fournette a little more than 24 hours after the incident in Buffalo last month, which is a pretty standard timeframe/procedure for such incidents. As far as Fournette not being disciplined for “threatening to assault a fan” in Nashville last Thursday, Marrone addressed this Monday: he said Fournette told him a racial slur was involved, which made it difficult to discipline the player. Had Fournette done more than he did in the situation, I imagine more would have been done. Since it never got further than words exchanged, I’m not sure much more was warranted.

Dave from Los Angeles, CA

I’ve searched the whole internet and I can’t figure out what you’re referencing with this “Krimma” thing. Can you please enlighten me?

Krimma is our most-beloved season. It’s awesome. It’s the time for gift-getting. I thought everybody realized this.

Robert from Jacksonville

Zone, if the Jags do take a quarterback do you think it would be wise for Owner Shad Khan to assemble a team of consultants consisting of former general managers like Bill Parcells-Bill Polian and former quarterbacks like Peyton Manning-Steve Young to get feedback on who they would draft? I feel this is the most important pick this franchise can make and the people in charge have proven they cannot hit on first-round picks.

If Khan thinks it’s necessary to assemble a team of consultants to select a quarterback in the first round, then he needs to have other people selecting the quarterback.

Sam from Winter Park, FL

Couldn't we have franchise tagged Allen Robinson for $4 million more than the Jaguars paid for Donte Moncrief? What is the thought process behind overpaying for one guy for one year and not overpaying slightly more for a slightly more proven wide receiver?

The Jaguars opted against re-signing Allen Robinson last offseason because they didn’t want to pay long-term, franchise-level, No. 1 receiver money for a player they didn’t believe was a franchise-level, No. 1 wide receiver.

Steve from Jacksonville

Is it possible that strength-and-conditioning coaches are responsible for the high rate of injuries this year? Were they the same coaches we had last year?

No. Yes.

Trevor from Missouri

Most people have been talking about the head coach being on the hot seat. My question is if we do end up keeping Marrone, then are the assistants and coordinators going to stick around?

The Jaguars don’t currently have an offensive coordinator, though quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich is calling plays. As far as the rest of the staff is concerned, I imagine all will be evaluated and I imagine some change will take place.

Al from Orange Park, FL

Any hope that Mr. Fournette can mature a bit in the offseason? Would it be against NFLPA rules for Mr. Campbell to "Gibbs slap” him once in a while?

Yes. Probably.

David from Broward County

John, the Jags’ running game has zero creativity. The overwhelming majority of their run plays are straight up the gut, between the guards. Open up the playbook, run some sweeps, some pitches, etc. All too easy to defend when you know the runs will be right up the middle. And give more snaps to T.J. Yeldon and Carlos Hyde. Thoughts?

An ineffective, injured offensive line limits creativity – and it’s tough to take snaps away from Fournette if you believe he’s your best runner. A lot was working right for a couple of games with Fournette before his one-game suspension, remember. Not a lot went right on Thursday.

Robert from Oneonta, NY

The New York Giants just handed the Washington Redskins a 40-16 loss in their own building without Odell Beckham Jr. OK, Saquon Barkley is a beast. But in the first half the Giants’ defensive line was in the Redskins’ backfield more than Redskins running back Adrian Peterson. I have a hard time believing the Giants are overall more talented than the Jags, injuries included. Seems to me this would be a game the Jags can and should win.

Week-to-week scores and comparable scores don’t work in the NFL. The Jaguars beat the Colts, who beat the Texans, who beat the Jaguars – and so forth. I think the Jaguars will win Sunday, but the Redskins are still in playoff contention and the Jaguars aren’t playing well enough to guarantee victories over anyone. Stay tuned.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

In response to Bill from Folkston, GA’s question, “Do you think the NFL will do something about the bad officiating,” you replied, “like what?” The answer is something the league is already working on: full-time officials. They’ve already hired a few. They want to have all full-time officials, because full-time officials would have more time for training, study and preparation, communication with league leadership and input into rules changes in the offseasons. Not easy to do, as many officials already have full-time jobs, and negotiations are needed with the NFL Referees Association. But that’s the long-term goal.

Your question assumes full-time officials would automatically improve officiating. While I have nothing against the concept of full-time officials, on that front we’ll agree to disagree. My experience is officials don’t often miss calls because they haven’t studied enough or haven’t prepared enough. They sometimes miss calls because they make human mistakes in a game played at high speeds by elite-level athletes. Maybe being full-time would solve that. I suppose I’ll have to see it to believe it.

Christopher from Orlando, FL

Why is it a "silly thing" to talk about moving a guy with Blake Bortles’ size to tight end? Obviously, he is not an efficient quarterback, so if Blake really is a team player why not try it? What could it hurt? Just because you think it is a silly idea doesn’t make you right. So let’s ask the questions again. Why would Marrone and the front office come to Blake and say we want to try you at tight end, if you don’t want to play we will cut you and you will go sit on the bench somewhere else for less money. What does it hurt to a season already lost??

(Whispering). Because he’s a quarterback.

Marcus from Jacksonville

This might be a stupid question, but is Doug Marrone afraid of his players? All year long he has taken the blame for everything, including off-the-field incidents. He has been reluctant, if not unwilling, to publicly hold players accountable for their poor play and childish behavior, saying that he’s the one who needs to do better. Now he’s telling us that he can’t (or won’t) remove Fournette’s captaincy because that’s the players’ decision. So, if everything comes back to him as the head coach, then why doesn’t this decision? The reason a coach takes the blame is because he’s in charge and he is ultimately responsible for everything that happens, which makes sense, but if that is the case, isn’t he also responsible for who represents the team as a captain? Sounds to me like he’s just trying to not step on any toes or upset any of his prima donna players.

You sort of answered your question with your first five words. Everything does come back to Marrone as a head coach, but remember: Marrone played in the NFL. He respects what players go through and believes certain things are done certain ways. You rarely see Marrone in the Jaguars’ locker room, for instance. He believes that’s their area. He also believes players select their captains and that they should be the ones who “de-select” them if necessary. So, no: Marrone in that sense is not responsible for who represents the team as captain. He is responsible for discipline, penalties and how the team plays – and he knows he ultimately will be judged on that.

Frankie from London, UK

John, why is the noise about Malik getting cut rather than traded? Why would the Jags let a player like that go for free?

It’s pretty obvious to anyone paying attention that the Jaguars won’t bring defensive tackle Malik Jackson back next season. Other teams know this. For that reason, it’s unlikely that any team would trade for Jackson. Instead, they will wait for him to be released and pursue him as a free agent.

Paul from Jacksonville

I don't know what else to say, except it's Krimma and we're all in misery.

Those little lights aren’t twinkling.

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