O-Zone: Most wonderful time

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

RG3 from Dallas, TX

With quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich doing no better than former offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett with the offense (and some might say worse), do you think there is any chance Head Coach Doug Marrone sees the error of his ways and brings Hackett back to coach the offense next year?

You’re correct that the Jaguars’ offense has been no better (and some might say worse) with Milanovich calling plays for two games than it was when Hackett was calling plays. The Jaguars had climbed from a miserable three-game stretch in which they scored 14 (Kansas City), seven (Dallas) and seven (Houston) points to a not-as-bad stretch of scoring 18 (Philadelphia), 26 (Indianapolis), 16 (Pittsburgh) and 21 (Buffalo) in the four weeks preceding Hackett’s firing. Since Milanovich took over the same week as Cody Kessler was inserted into the lineup, the Jaguars have scored six and nine points with the lone touchdown coming last Thursday when the Jaguars were trailing the Tennessee Titans, 30-2. Should Hackett have been fired? I thought it was an odd move at the time, with Marrone saying he simply needed to do something to spark the passing game. That hasn’t happened for many reasons, not the least of which is an offensive line that continues to struggle to protect Kessler. But whatever happens at the end of the season, I don’t see the Jaguars trying to rehire Hackett nor would I see Hackett wanting to return to the Jaguars so soon. Some things you don’t undo quickly. A late-season coaching/coordinator change is one of those things.

Art from Drexel, PA

When Jaguars rookie wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. comes back from his quadriceps injury he's going to play over Donte Moncrief, right?

One would think. And hope.

Fred from Naples, FL

I get there is a very real possibility BB5 will not be on the roster next year. However, right now he gives us the best chance to win. For Marrone to go in front of the media and say how much better Kessler looked than his first game is ridiculous. He has no mobility, is quick to throw it away and afraid to turn the ball over. As frustrating as it is to watch this team decimate itself, BB5 still gives us the best opportunity to win.

I’m not sure what else Marrone is supposed to say – and it’s not as if Marrone was doing cartwheels at the podium. I wouldn’t hold your breath for Bortles to play for the Jaguars again, though. Just as you don’t go back to a fired coordinator, it’s very difficult to go back to a benched quarterback. But hey … one fer Blake!

Ron from Tallahassee, FL

It was difficult this past weekend seeing some dominant defenses shut down high-powered offenses without thinking what could have been for the Jags this season.

That it was, Ron. That it was. The Jaguars had a workable formula for winning this season, just as they did last season. It would have been fascinating to see the offense stay somewhat close to what it was last season. If it had stayed there, we would know if the formula would have worked.

Zain from Orlando, FL

Zone - I read a recent Orlando Sentinel article that asked the questions of who ruined who in the Jags-Bortles relationship. The writer referred mostly to the Jaguars’ environment throughout his career -- the various coordinators, starting just a couple games when he was supposed to sit an entire year, etc. My question is with the utilization of his skillset. Blake went from a big, tough, athletic prospect with a plus arm and plus-plus guts that made big plays but sometimes big mistakes and had some accuracy issues to a quarterback who became afraid to throw the ball more than five yards down the field, and who seemed to leave the pocket less than he ever had the last four-to-five games. I think the biggest issues Hackett had were not further developing the playbook around Blake and his strengths, particularly once your general manager doubled down on his contract in the offseason.

I agree that Bortles didn’t throw downfield enough in his last few games, and it also seemed during that time that his confidence and accuracy dropped. I do believe the Jaguars’ constant emphasis on not throwing interceptions contributed to him taking fewer chances; this approach made sense because Bortles needed to reduce turnovers, but there’s a fine line between reducing interceptions and not taking enough chances downfield. As for Hackett’s approach, remember: wide receiver Marqise Lee, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, left tackle Cam Robinson, running back Leonard Fournette and running back Corey Grant have played a total of 18 regular-season games this season. I don’t know if we ever saw Hackett’s playbook this season. I do know he spent a lot of time tailoring this offense to the strengths of players who wound up not playing very much.

Jeffrey from Atlantic Beach, FL

If/when Bortles is released are the Jaguars able to split his dead money over two years?

If that’s their desire, yes.

Steve from Jacksonville

Why do people say this is a poor quarterback draft class for next year? I see a couple or maybe three or four quarterbacks that look pretty good to me.

People are saying the quarterbacks available in the 2019 NFL Draft aren’t a great class because they’re not perceived as good as some recent quarterback groups, particularly the ones that made up the ’18 class. That’s a little concerning for the Jaguars, but not cause for panic. The reality is a lot of pre-draft projections don’t work out. There wasn’t much of a consensus on Patrick Mahomes. He wound up being selected No. 10 overall, which means teams – and not just the Jaguars – passed on him. He looks like he might be good. If the Jaguars opt to select a quarterback, the number available in a draft doesn’t matter. What matters is that there’s one the Jaguars like enough to take where they’re selecting – and that he’s as good as they think. There’s no guarantee that will be the case. There’s also no guarantee that won’t be the case – no matter what “people” say.

Richard from St. Augustine, FL

John, who if anyone on the offensive line, is currently playing well?

The Jaguars’ offense has scored 15 points in two games. No one at any position is playing well enough with the possible exception of wide receiver Dede Westbrook.

Evan from Section 37 and Ponte Vedra, FL

If we had selected Khalil Mack instead of Bortles and J.J. Watt instead of Blaine Gabbert, think of how much better this team would have been even with an average quarterback. My point is if there is not an elite or potentially elite or even very good quarterback available in the first round, you pick the best player for a position of need. What do you think?

Sure, and if everyone could see the future and know exactly how every draft selection’s career will play out then the Jaguars and every other team would make those decisions.

Keyan from Le Mars, IA

Do you believe if the Jaguars do take a quarterback in the first round this year it would be the best situation a new quarterback for the Jaguars would have? Last two quarterbacks drafted (Gabbert, Bortles) came to a team with a horrible roster. This roster would be much more helpful and allow them to develop much easier, no?

Yes. If the Jaguars draft a quarterback next offseason, he would appear likely to have the luxury of a very good defense. He also would appear likely to have a decent left side of the line with guard Andrew Norwell, Robinson and center Brandon Linder. He also would appear to have a chance at a strong running game. There would be some serious issues at wide receiver and tight end that would have to be addressed in a big way and quickly.

Steve from Stevensville, MD

This season has certainly not played out the way we thought. Last year was MAGICAL. Next year hopefully the players aren't as hurt. But the fans must rise together and support the team through thick and thin. #DTWD

DTWD

Ben from Tallahassee, FL

Your response to Dustin from Orlando about when the Jaguars might say "enough" to Fournette raised my eyebrow. Your reply wasn't the emphatic no I'd anticipated, but a short, simple, "Not yet." I'm reading that response as you getting the impression that there are those inside the building ready to move on from him, but others in higher places disagree at this time. Would that be an accurate interpretation?

Don’t overthink it. It just meant the Jaguars aren’t tired enough of Fournette’s actions to move on from him yet. If they were, they would have … you know… moved on.

Pedal Big from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK

Oh Mighty 'O' / King of Funk, I ask again: Krimma?

Krimma!

Advertising