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O-Zone: Love and acceptance

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Steve from Woodbine, GA

Do Doug Marrone and Company get fired Sunday evening or Monday morning? I like Doug as a person, even though I've never really met him in person … but his decision-making regarding the starting quarterback and "gives us the best chance to win" is simply ludicrous. Of the three quarterbacks on the roster, Minshew without question gave the Jaguars the best chance to win. And, for all those worried about Trevor Lawrence returning for his senior year at Clemson … there's no way, right John? We've seen too many times where a college player gets injured in his final year of college and his entire career is abruptly ended. There's no way he puts close to $40,000,000 on the line … right, John?

I don't know if Head Coach Doug Marrone will be dismissed following the 2020 season, though the Jaguars' 1-14 record certainly indicates it's a strong possibility. Either way, I can't predict the timing of such a move. I do know this: nothing about Marrone's decision-making regarding the quarterbacks was close to ludicrous. He was in a situation this season with Mike Glennon, Gardner Minshew II and Jake Luton in which no quarterback was a great option – including Minshew, who did not play well and whose statistics evidently caused many observers to believe otherwise. As for Lawrence, I've already written – and expect to write often in the coming weeks – that I expect him to enter the 2021 NFL Draft for many reasons. One is the reason you cite – that to play another college season would be to needlessly risk a very expensive injury. The biggest is that there is no guarantee staying in college for another year will land him in any better situation than the one in which he will land this offseason. The Jaguars will have new football leadership soon, a ton of salary-cap space entering the offseason and a slew of early selections in the '21 draft. This will be a good situation. Very good. Would he have a better one next year? The odds are strong he would not.

Chris from Mandarin

How would you rate and/or summarize the development and play of Laviska Shenault Jr. this season? Fifteen games in, he has 52 receptions for 532 yards and three touchdowns. At a minimum, I would consider this to be serviceable for a multi-year veteran backup receiver. Given that he's done as well as he has with three subpar quarterbacks, I would say that the Jaguars are very lucky to have him moving forward. Rookie running back James Robinson understandably got all of the press this season, but Shenault quietly had a pretty good year for a rookie receiver considering he missed a few games in my opinion.

Shenault, the Jaguars' second-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, flashed regularly as a rookie this season – and he appears to have a chance to develop into a very good receiver. He still must improve in a lot of detail areas, particular as a route-runner, but the playmaking ability is very encouraging.

Brian from Greenwood

Okay, now that the Jags officially have the first pick in the draft, how fun would it be to knock the Colts out of the playoffs?


Larry from Duncan, OK

Great and powerful O: Let's say that the new general manager offers Kansas City the Jaguars' two first round selections for quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce. Would you like that trade? Also, Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will be a free agent in March. The Jaguars should sign him as the backup to whomever is the new quarterback. I believe Fitz magic trumps Minshew Mania! What say you?

I would trade two first-round draft selections to the Chiefs for Mahomes and wouldn't need Kelce. This is because Mahomes is a proven entity and you would take the proven entity over the unproven one – even an unproven entity as enticing as Lawrence. And yes … Fitz Magic would be preferable over Minshew Mania for similar reasons.

Logan from Wichita, KS

I don't understand how anyone is happy about the No. 1 overall pick. I am gonna keep beating this damn dead horse: a single quarterback, no matter how talented, will not and cannot fix this team! We are one or two preseason games away from actually being 0-16 this year. Week 1 was a fluke. This team is a disaster. Lawrence will not right the ship. Sorry!

You really don't understand how people are happy with their favorite team having the No. 1 selection in the draft in a season in which there appears to be a franchise quarterback available at No. 1?

Claudio from Barcelona, Spain

Hi, John! All going well, next spring Jaguars will have Trevor Lawrence (a unanimous generational talent), a new front office, a roster with new 11 draft selections, a bunch of young talented players (linebacker Myles Jack, running back James Robinson, cornerback CJ Henderson, wide receivers DJ Chark Jr. and Shenault, defensive end Josh Allen, defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton and right tackle Jawaan Taylor) – some of them with enticing personal stories. Are the Jaguars 2021 the perfect fit for the "Hard Knocks" series? Some time ago you said that that was a nightmare of yours. Why?

It's very possible the Jaguars could have a first-year head coach next season, which enables them to turn down Hard Knocks if they so desire. I expect they would turn it down because pretty much all teams turn it down when given the choice. Why? It's an extra thing they have to deal with. It's meetings and time spent on the show when they could be spending time on something else. It's a change in routine. Why do I consider it a nightmare? Again … because it's change. And change is evil until proven otherwise.

Zac from austin, tejas

The several sports analysts that are upset Lawrence is bound for Jacksonville instead of New York because we are not a legacy team is irksome. How else is it supposed to be built?

I wouldn't worry much about what the "sports analysts" are saying. The Jaguars have the No. 1 overall selection in the draft. They appear likely to be selecting a generational quarterback who could change the trajectory of the franchise. This has a chance to be really cool. Enjoy the moment. And if some analysts don't like it … hey … so much the better.

Jeff from Orange. CA

Now that the Jaguars have locked up the first pick, I suspect we'll see the "real" Jaguars show up now that tank mode will be turned off?

I suspect you will see pretty much the same Jaguars team Sunday against the Colts as you have seen all season.

Kenneth from Vero Beach, FL

My biggest concern about drafting Lawrence is how long will it take for the Jags to ruin him. Every quarterback they drafted they tried to make him a pocket passer. Change his footwork, change his throwing arm so on and so forth. Do you think they will change him or let him do his thing?

It sounds as if you're comparing Blake Bortles and Minshew to Trevor Lawrence. Don't do that. It also sounds as if you're saying what has happened in the past in a previous situation applies to the future. Why would either case have anything to do with the other?

Kletis from Funkytown

One of our greatest minds, Isaac Newton, once stated "If I have seen farther than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants". O-Zone, what would you see if you could stand on the shoulders of Mr. Frenette?

The Bolles School.

Bryce V from Waterloo, IA

Jags need to draft and sign a couple upgrades at lineman. Time to protect our quarterback of the future so he doesn't end up like Joe Burrow.

I'm sure the new general manager will make having a solid offensive line a major priority. But your question implies that the offensive line has been a problem this season and needs an overhaul. I don't know that that assumption is correct.

Geoff from Duvallll

NFL 360 shared a video featuring big Jaguars fan David Bloch, who is on the severe end of the autistic spectrum. It was such a moving story to watch; when David started to speak at about age 15(?), his first question was "Would someone like me?" It made me bust out crying. All people have a deep need for human connection, love and acceptance! It was such a caring act, and I'm so appreciative and proud that the Jacksonville Jaguars went out of their way for David to help him feel loved and accepted. Makes the world a little bit of a brighter place. Love each other; it's the most important thing we can do in this world. If you haven't had a chance, go watch this video!

All true. Here's the link.