O-Zone: Moving on

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Brian from Fresno, CA

Zone, I've read your thoughts that Ramsey has the right to say whatever he wants in interviews. I am fortunate to have intelligent football-fan friends and acquaintances representing a multitude of ethnicities, economic backgrounds, hometowns and favorite teams that have historically supported my Jag fandom until this year. The aforementioned, as well as others I've overheard at various sports bars, represent a growing contingent delighted with Jacksonville's demise as the direct result of Ramsey's perceived agenda. They view him as selfish, classless, clueless and lacking the requisite sportsmanship fans have come to expect from those we root for. After his comment regarding Coach Marrone Sunday, I have come to agree with that assessment.

Another week, another round of overreaction to something uttered by Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey I suppose. A couple of thoughts on this topic. First, I don’t doubt some people root against the Jaguars because of Ramsey. He has said enough things that irritate people that that’s sure to be the case. That doesn’t change the fact that he has every right to say what he wants to say in interviews – and besides, who cares if someone supports your fandom of a team? As far as his comments after the game Sunday, what he said about Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone indeed came off poorly. But while Ramsey was correctly quoted as saying “I ain’t worried about nobody but myself,” this was a case where Ramsey’s words didn’t reflect his intentions. Ramsey did not say that meaning he hoped Marrone was fired, and he didn’t mean it to come off selfishly. What he meant was he can only control what he can control. It was an unfortunate misstep for Ramsey, who has been better in interview situations and more careful choosing his words in recent weeks than he had been early in the season or during his career. I wrote last week that Ramsey is progressing in terms of his attitude/approach and that remains true. One final thought for those who believe he is a selfish player. I can tell you he easily could have missed a game against the Indianapolis Colts earlier this month because of a knee issue – and that he currently is still playing through that issue. If he cared nothing about the team, he easily could miss games or be on injured reserve. I get that Ramsey won’t be portrayed that way. And I get that the way Ramsey phrased what he said Sunday, he’s going to be again portrayed as selfish. But I can tell you he’s absolutely not a problem for this organization and that he’s a player the Jaguars can build around going forward. That’s also exactly what they should do – no matter what your brilliant, diverse friends may think.

William from Jacksonville

So, basically, we have no quarterback for next season.

Duh.

Undisciplined from The Office

What do you think will be done with Leonard Fournette? He is absolute trash as a runner and a person. He offers little-to-no trade value and cutting him doesn't make sense financially.

I agree that Fournette is not running as well right now as he did before his recent one-game suspension. His return from injury gave the Jaguars’ offense some life against Pittsburgh and Buffalo, and he’s not running as angry in the last couple of games. He seems more hesitant than normal, and it’s fair to think that perhaps he’s understandably lost confidence in his offensive line. As for what will happen to Fournette in the offseason, that’s a fair question in light of his suspension early in the season. I believe he will be back with the Jaguars next season.

Paul from Gainesville, FL

Economically, does it not make sense to promote Tanner Lee and start him at quarterback for the last two games? It’s clear that the offensive line is not going to provide an adequate sample to determine Cody Kessler's quality. Blake Bortles is almost certainly gone. Shouldn't we get two games of film showing Lee playing behind the same patchwork line and with the same cast of skill players to determine what he has learned over a year in the practice squad, and whether he seems to have grasped enough to warrant bringing him back next year?

Just because you haven’t seen something in a player doesn’t mean coaches haven’t seen something in a player. Remember: coaches have seen Lee practice. They saw him play in the preseason. Coaches are still trying to win. If they’re not playing Lee, there’s a reason.

Dave from Duuvall

Dear Johnny O: I believe Marrone has finally had enough Fournette and decided to treat him this past week as he has performed up to this point in his career – as an average running back. The Head Coach has given him every chance to live up to the potential that the franchise, his teammates and the fans have placed on him and it hasn’t happened. So, I believe the Head Coach finally had enough and by having Fournette return kicks and share playing time with Dave Williams was meant to send the message that you are just another running back on the roster. Unfortunately, Leonard has earned that designation.

Fair.

Thomas from Williamsburg, VA

Why is everyone so gloomy? That was a meaningless game in a season that has been over for weeks. If anything, people should be happy that the Jags didn't completely screw up their draft position by doing something as stupid and meaningless as winning this game. We need a franchise quarterback and you usually find those at the top of the draft. Be happy and look at the big picture folks.

People get your point on a logical level. On an emotional level, fans want their teams to win when they watch them play. As they should.

Tim from Delray Beach, FL

Big O: why the lack of interest in the league for Nick Foles? All he did last year was lead his team to the super bowl and outgun the GOAT? And whenever he’s asked to step in, plays very well in (many times) difficult circumstances. I don’t get it.

The lack of interest in Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles is because he hasn’t always played well whenever he’s asked to step in. He has been inconsistent. Still, what Foles has done is play very well in big games and on the national stage. If he finishes the season playing that way, I doubt there will be a “lack of interest” this offseason.

Don from Norfolk, VA

Mr. O, After I watched the Redskins game, it got me wondering. Is your streak still intact?

Yes.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

I know it’s a bit early, but I’m speculating on where Bortles will end up in 2019. We know he tends to be at his best when behind a strong, healthy offensive line. When we look at which teams have a good offensive line and are in desperate need of a quarterback, one comes to mind: the Redskins. Given that the Redskins are projected to have about $17.5 million in cap space next year, is this a realistic possibility?

I believe Bortles will play next season. I believe it will be as a backup. The Redskins make as much sense as any team, I suppose.

Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

There is the time a player spends with the team and there is free time. If a player does not stay in shape during his free time, then the chances of injury would most likely go up. We know under Marrone they are doing what they are supposed to do. There has got to be a reason or some reason for injuries.

There indeed is a reason for injuries: Professional football is a violent, physical game played by large men. Injuries happen. Some seasons you have more than others. The Jaguars have had a lot this season.

Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

John, I believe the downfall started when Coach Marrone went for the unneeded, two-point conversion at the end of the Jets game and then gave his "explanation" why after the game. It seems for all Jaguar fans that bad Karma equals a sad Krimma.

Or maybe the downfall came when injuries wrecked the offense early and built up to the point that it now can’t function.

Cliff from Orange Park, FL

I cannot watch Cody anymore. Blake gives us a heartbeat. He also deserves a chance to put some film out there. He has given his all for this franchise and us fans. Let him finish the season, stupidest decision in Jags history to bench him. Total Baloney, pun intended. WTH?

Bortles has put plenty of tape out there. I agree that he gives the Jaguars the best chance to win. But I get no sense that the Jaguars will return to Bortles. Sometimes, it’s time to move on.

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