JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Sam from Winter Park, FL
CJ Henderson looked unenthused on draft day and people seem very quick to point out how uncaring and flippant he looks whilst playing. Is this just his personality, as you've said in the past? Or are there issues and he doesn't want to suit up in Jacksonville, either?
It's his personality. Henderson – a cornerback from the University of Florida and the No. 9 overall selection by the Jaguars in the 2020 NFL Draft – is a low-key, mild-mannered player who's not going to show much emotion on the field or in interviews. That's not the same as not being happy or enthusiastic about a situation. A second thought on this: if Henderson by chance did have issues and didn't want to "suit up in Jacksonville" – and there's no indication that's the case – what, exactly, has he done to make himself believe he should be unhappy playing anywhere in the NFL? He's a rookie who has had one good NFL game – a Week 1 victory over Indianapolis in September that is now a long time ago. Let's let him play at a higher level before speculating on – or worrying about – how he feels about where he's playing.
Carlos from Mexico City, Mexico
Losing to the Houston Texans Sunday will pretty much lock the Jaguars into a Top 2 pick, since the New York Giants look ready to win another game. Should I feel bad about wanting the Jags to fight, keep it close, but lose anyway? This sucks, by the way, but the prospect of securing Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence or Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields makes it feel a bit better.
I'm always hesitant to call anything "locked" eight games into an NFL season. As bad as the Jaguars have looked at times in the last six games, they have had two or three chances to win games. That's not to say that's good enough, but it is to say winning a game – or games – in the second half of the season is far from out of the question. But no … never feel bad for wanting your team to either win or lose for whatever reason. It's your fandom. It's your choice. And considering the Jaguars' quarterback play for the last decade and a half or so, it's fair to want them to improve the position. What fan wouldn't want that?
Biff from Jacksonville
Hey, John. So, I did some research on NFL rookie of the year data. Since 2014 (arbitrary starting point), only two teams have reached the playoffs with the OROY: the Dallas Cowboys in 2016 (quarterback Dak Prescott) and the New Orleans Saints in 2017 (running back Alvin Kamara). Neither was a playoff team the previous year. Dallas improved from four to 13 wins while the Saints improved from seven to 11 wins. As for DROY, only the 2014 St. Louis Rams (defensive tackle Aaron Donald) and the 2016 San Diego Chargers (defensive end Joey Bosa) didn't make the playoffs. The 2017 Saints also had the DROY in cornerback Marshon Lattimore. I thought there might be a question to ask, but really this is more just anecdotal information to talk about. Of course if you have some observations to make, please don't hold back.
I once was given the choice to drink one beer or two beers. I chose to drink two beers. This was the right decision.
Gary from St. Augustine, FL
More and more NFL teams are closing facilities because of COVID-19. This is starting to look bad again.
There indeed are increasing instances of NFL teams closing facilities and working remotely because of COVID-19, with the Jaguars' opponent this week – the Houston Texans – doing so on Thursday because a player tested positive. Is it "looking bad again?" I suppose you could see it that way, but let's put this in perspective. The NFL is now essentially midway through the 2020 season. Teams have rescheduled games, but halfway through the season no games have been lost and the schedule is still on schedule. If you think back to where we were in May or June, few would have believed that possible. With winter approaching, it wouldn't be surprising if the NFL faces more COVID-19 issues in the second half of the season than it did in the first. It wouldn't be surprising if an extra week is needed between the regular season or postseason – or if some games even got canceled. The league certainly has contingencies in place and will continue to adjust. The league never was going to get the entire season in without close calls or trouble spots. But getting to this point was significant and there's every reason to believe the league will get this season played and completed, which is a remarkable feat considering the circumstances.
zac from austin, tejas
Can you weigh in on the statistics of your Thanksgiving plate: percent turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, assorted vegetables?
Turkey (42 percent), mashed potatoes (19 percent), gravy (2.5 percent), squash casserole (20 percent), green beans (five percent), dressing (21.5 percent), beets (zero percent), cranberry sauce (zero percent).
Aqueel from Canada
Mr. O: Gregg from Jax confused me yesterday (and as you know being confused can be confusing. Is Jake Luton free from Gluten or is Jay Gruden free from Gluten now that Luton is free? Well here's salutin both Gruden and Luton for making the Jags Gluten free... now if something could be done about the weekly bootin we could really be rootin for FreedJakeLuton... does the King Of All Funk agree?
KC from South Florida
If you can have one former Jags player, active or retired, to put on this current team to help out right now, who would it be?
John Henderson or Marcus Stroud. The Jaguars need many things – better quarterback play included. The "quarterback" part makes me tempted to say former Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell, but Henderson or Stroud would go along way toward addressing the issues on the interior of the defensive line – and it's hard to overestimate how much that area has hurt this team this season.
Neil from Jacksonville
In reference to some questions about playing more rookies, I would be afraid there comes a point that the unit is just so overmatched it becomes impossible to evaluate anyone since the entire unit is playing so bad. Maybe the Jaguars offense could feature a bit more rookie playtime, but the defense is probably the worst in the NFL as it is. How much more are you going to learn if it gets even worse?
Your theory is correct, and it's why teams – even struggling ones – rarely take the approach of just "playing all the rookies." You only play rookies by choice if you think they're ready to play; you don't play offensive linemen who aren't ready, for example, because it makes evaluating difficult – and because doing so could cause undue injury risk to other players. As I've said often in recent weeks, the whole idea of playing young players to get them experience often takes care of itself through attrition – and because players on the 53-man roster with the exception of offensive line and quarterback often get into games situationally or in rotations.
Jeff from Orange County, CA
Remember that one time the Jaguars picked that one guy and that other team took that other guy after us who turned out to be good? I can't believe we picked that guy when everyone knew the other guy was guaranteed to be good.
Ah yes … I remember it well.
Keith from Miami, FL
If you were the Jags GM, and based on play so far this season, which potential Jags free agents would you re-sign? Has left tackle Cam Robinson played well enough to try bringing back? Or can the Jags upgrade at that position? Same with wide receiver Keelan Cole, defensive end Dawuane Smoot, etc?
I would put Robinson at the top of the list followed by Cole – though much in this vein would depend on how those players saw themselves and their accompanying contract demands.
The Other Michael from Middleburg
This Sunday, if I'm correct, Jake Luton will be the 13thstarting quarterback for the Jags in the 18 seasons since they moved on from Mark Brunell (the only quarterback to take the team to multiple playoff appearances). My greatest fear is Luton somehow wins two games and pushes us out of position for one of the Top 3 quarterbacks. Because that's the kind of luck this team has had for 18 seasons.
You're right, and that's a fair concern.
Sascha from Cologne, Germany
Hey, John. You are the general manager and the Jags have the first pick. The No. 2 New York Jets call you and want to send quarterback Sam Darnold, their first- and second-round pick for the No. 1 overall selection. Would you accept that?
No. I'm assuming I need a quarterback and I'm assuming I love Lawrence. Assuming that, nothing would keep me from selecting him.