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O-Zone: Let it snow

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Ted from Le Mars, IA

We have so many fans who want Ramsey traded, but why?? Sure, he talks – and sure he is looking out for himself. Who doesn't put themselves and their families first? The truth is he is an amazing talent and is playing like it. For a team that has no one currently in the Hall of Fame we sure do have a lot of fans that want to throw a good potential Hall of Famer away. Why do fans want to get rid of talent?

Some fans want the Jaguars to trade cornerback Jalen Ramsey because they see him as selfish –  and because many people who are rarely if ever around the team have concluded he is a problem. Ramsey in large part created this narrative with what he said in interviews last offseason, as well as his words and actions early in his career and early this season. What the people who currently believe Ramsey is a problem fail to realize – primarily because they aren't around the team – is Ramsey is not currently an attitude problem and that he in fact has worked the last month to improve his approach on and off the field. Ramsey's recent quote when asked about Head Coach Doug Marrone's future – that he was only thinking about himself – has been held up as an example of selfishness. What he in fact was trying to say was he could only worry about what he could control. He could have selected better words, but it was not said maliciously. I understand the "Ramsey Narrative" for many already is set and that some will always see him as a selfish cancer on this team. I also understand that me writing that that's not the case will only sway so many minds. But know this: While this team obviously has many concerns, and while many offseason decisions must get made, one of the easiest decisions for this team should be retaining Ramsey and building around him. I wouldn't have considered the decision all that easy after the Jaguars' loss in Indianapolis last month. I would consider it easy now.

Jaginator from (formerly of) Section 124

This century, the Jags have managed three seasons with 10-plus wins, while racking up 11 seasons with 10-plus losses. I understand why you say there's "not 10 years' worth of work" to do, and I realize that the present owner/general manager/coach can't do anything about the sins of prior regimes, but I gotta say … I'm not feeling good about the philosophy and the direction of this team. I have no confidence in their ability to turn this around.

Your feelings are understandable. The Jaguars have lost enough for more than a decade that long-term trust must be earned.

Thomas from Williamsburg, VA

Do you think it's possible the hamstring injury hampered Fournette's conditioning, and that's why we're not seeing the dominant runner we know he can be? I stopped running for three weeks recently; when I started again I was nowhere close to where I was when I stopped. I can only imagine not being able to run for eight weeks and trying to pick up where I left off.

It did seem Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette was working his way into game shape in his first game back after his hamstring injury – at Indianapolis. He looked fine against Pittsburgh and Buffalo the next two weeks – and actually looked in those games as good as he has in two NFL seasons. Those two games are what should give the Jaguars hope that he can be worth the No. 4 overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Anooj from Scottsdale, AZ

Clearly the organization is not going back to Blake Bortles at quarterback and Cody Kessler has not done anything to help this offense. Why doesn't the organization give Tanner Lee a shot? Can't hurt right?


Tyler from Jacksonville

Maybe it has already been suggested, but why not make the onside kick an option where the players get the old running head start? It is impossible to do without the running start or without the element of surprise – like how Josh Lambo did earlier in the year. If the running start is a safety issue, maybe move the recovery team a few yards past the line of scrimmage to somehow get the percentage of successful attempts back in line with historical norms.

You're right that the onside kick is bordering on impossible. I don't see the league bringing back the running start because of the high probability of injury on the play. I can see a scenario in which you give teams the ball with a chance to make a first down on one play – something like fourth-and-15 – in lieu of the onside kick. That would enable teams a chance to regain possession in a safer fashion than the running-start onside kick.

Roger from London, UK

Not the biggest surprise to see Barry Church cut from the roster, his level of performance being below par in recent weeks. But I'm always going to remember October 2017, Heinz Field, "Big Ben" intercepted and returned for a TD in Jaguars 30-9 win over the Steelers. That was special! Thank you, Barry.

Hey, one fer Barry!

Wade from the Westside of Jacksonville

Injuries happen to all teams, but not all teams crumble like the Jaguars. Please stop using injuries to explain this disaster of a team. There is more going wrong here than a few injuries.

Of course there's more going wrong with the Jaguars than just injuries. I've never said otherwise. But injuries are the reason the season is a disaster. If the Jaguars were healthy remotely healthy offensively, I believe they would be about 7-7 or 8-6. That might be disappointing, but the Jaguars hardly would be perceived as "crumbling."

John from Oldsmar

Why we should not have released Church? Two injured safeties in the Redskins game sound like a good reason? I am baffled by recent management decisions that seem to remove our depth and eliminate our trade abilities?


Logan from Wichita, KS

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait … why do we want a higher draft pick? Our front office can't draft worth a dang and to add insult to injury it just gives all the draft picks traded away for NOTHING look even more stupid. Also, please correct me if I'm wrong, I'm not, but don't higher draft picks count as a higher $ on our salary cap compared to a lower pick? Already in cap hell due to stupid bust picks. Besides that, we had what? Eleven drafts in a row in the top 10 … golly gee, that worked so good for us didn't it?!?!?! I can't stand good draft position knowing dang well our front office will botch it.

You want an earlier draft selection because it increases your odds of getting a better player and the player you want. Whatever you think of the decisions of the Jaguars' front office in recent drafts, to truly not want an early draft selection is to completely lack logic and reason.

Mark from Richmond, VA

I know our players are pros and are supposed to LOVE and RESPECT the game, but I totally get their frustration. Can you imagine being Leonard and running behind this line? With zero threat of pass, and he's been banged up all year. What about Jalen? All he can do is take away one receiver when all the opposing teams do is run because they are always up and we can't stop it. They have every reason to be a little ticked off. The same as the fans. It's no fun when your team is this bad due to injury and a miss at quarterback.

Of course the players are frustrated. So are the coaches. For the most part this season – even late in the season – the players have seemed to have done at least an adequate job remaining focused and playing together despite that frustration. We'll see if that continues. That's a challenge for Head Coach Doug Marrone this week. It's a big challenge.

The Other Michael from Middleburg, FL

O-Man, put on your "GM" hat. Let's say for funsies that the 49ers own the No. 1 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft and the Jags have the fifth selection. There's a quarterback in the draft the team likes far-and-away better than the others. San Francisco offers them the first overall pick in exchange for their first rounder and Leonard Fournette. Do you make that trade?

I don't do things for "funsies," but I absolutely would make that trade. I doubt the 49ers would make that offer, though. Fournette needs to play well more consistently to draw that sort of interest.

Mason from Palm Bay, FL

These snowflake Jalen haters need to leave John. Tired of them writing in every week, with non-football-related questions. Who cares what he says? If you don't like it, don't listen.


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