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O-Zone: Nickel dreams

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it…

Richard from Jacksonville

You've stated that the Jaguars didn't want to spend-elite level money on a No. 1 wide receiver or quarterback and instead were happy with electing to go for cheaper substitutes in wide receiver Donte Moncrief and quarterback Blake Bortles. Yet, they are more than happy to spend elite-level money on an offensive guard and a center that has yet to finish an NFL season in his career having played in all 16 games. That is pennywise and pound foolish.

I absolutely didn’t state that the Jaguars didn’t want to spend elite-level money on a No. 1 wide receiver or quarterback. I said they didn’t want to spend elite-level money on players they didn’t believe were elite-level wide receivers or quarterbacks. Had they believed the available players – i.e., wide receiver Allen Robinson and quarterback Kirk Cousins – were elite, I don’t doubt they would have paid a premium price. But your point has merit: The Jaguars did indeed spend big money on the offensive line – with mixed results. Left guard Andrew Norwell and center Brandon Linder have been good. Have they been worth the price paid? It’s a fair question. Are they elite? Perhaps not. Still, offensive linemen are expensive, and the Jaguars’ offensive-line play definitely has declined since the two have been out of the lineup. Bottom line: The money spent on the offensive line hasn’t at all been a waste; if the Jaguars hadn’t spent it they would be in real trouble on the line. At the same time, they haven’t gotten the elite play from the area they believed they would get when they spent it.

Craig from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Can we get past this myopic, shortsighted opinion that a quarterback taken in the first round or the second round for that matter is the be-all savior for a franchise? Case in point: The best quarterback ever to play for the Jaguars was Mark Brunell, who was a fifth-rounder. Maybe we start looking at benchwarmers on really good teams who have sat and learned ...

Nah. Draft a guy.

Keith from Jacksonville and Section 436 Since 1995

Will the Jags be liable for Barry Church’s last three game checks? If so, why did they cut him now instead of after the season if for nothing more than depth?

Church was inactive last week. He wasn’t going to be active Sunday or the rest of the season. Sometimes, it’s time to move on.

David from Maplewood, NJ

John, assuming as a given that Bortles isn't the long-term answer, I think we can all see that Cody Kessler isn't either; all evidence points to the offense playing worse – at least marginally – since the change. Why wouldn't the team play Bortles the last three weeks? Would it be a concern that an injury would impact their ability to cut him in the offseason? With all of the known cap issues, would Bortles starting as a placeholder for our first-round pick or backing him up if he shows enough in preseason as a veteran presence be the worst thing? It would certainly be better than starting the season with Kessler starting, wouldn't it? Is that really even a question? Kessler is 1-9 as a starter in his career with the only victory coming when he engineered six points and the defense pitched a shutout. What am I missing?

Sometimes, it’s time to move on.

John from Ramsey, NJ

Hello, John. I’m thinking of starting a chant in the stadium for Bor-tles , Bor-tles, Bor-tles sort of like when the players and fans rooted for Rudy. I’d love to see him back on the field for the final home game. It would be a nice sendoff if he really won’t be on the team next year. Don’t you think?

I don’t hate this idea. And there’s a part of me that thinks it would be cool. It speaks to the class with which Bortles has carried himself, and it speaks to the fact that many Jaguars fans really like Bortles for a lot of reasons that go beyond the field. Realistically, I doubt it will happen. Sometimes, it’s time to move on.

Jason from North Pole, AK

Should we expect the Jaguars to win this Sunday? Is the Redskins’ defense good enough to hang with our defense?

I think the Jaguars will win Sunday. The Redskins’ defense in my opinion isn’t as good as the Jaguars’ defense. Then again, the Redskins’ defense doesn’t have to be as good as the Jaguars’ defense. It must be able to stop the Jaguars’ offense. That hasn’t been an insurmountable task for any defense lately.

Jeff from Atlantic Beach, FL

What has firing Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and benching Bortles accomplished?

Not much.

Jason from Da’Hass

John, the people that are saying to move Blake to tight end since the team is already paying him are the same people who have already done this in their Madden game. The graphics are so realistic that the line between fantasy and reality has become increasingly blurred.

Madden graphics are cool. People like them.

George from Harrisburg, PA

John, what do you think about Joe Flacco as the Jaguars starting quarterback for next season? Does he have anything left in the tank?

I like Flacco as a short-term option; I like the idea less as a three-year option. The question becomes how he would be acquired. If he’s acquired in a costly trade that causes the Jaguars to have to pay a lot of cash and cap space I like the option less.

Alex from Section 206

Every time I watch Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes play it hurts a little bit, and I can’t help but think what if. Especially considering how bad Blake played in 2016.

Fair.

Don from Austin, TX

Where is ASJ?

Jaguars tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins has been on injured reserve since Week 5 after undergoing core-muscle surgery. It was originally thought me might return this week. That’s not happening and his return this season now seems unlikely.

Cristiano from Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

I thought our handshake would seal a turning point for Jaguars season. I thought you were magical. I was wrong.

Evidently.

Bill from Jacksonville

John, think of how different the situation at this end of this year would be if Jaguars Owner Shad Khan had not handed Head Coach Doug Marrone and Blake Bortles extensions after last year. We’d have seen Blake wasn’t the answer and could have cut ties easily. We’d also have a head coach that had one great season and one terrible season that could be let go if needed. Instead, we have a quarterback that’s gonna have dead money on the salary cap, and a head coach people say we can’t let go of yet because the team just gave him an extension. Why is there a rush in the NFL to reward personnel with new contracts before it’s necessary to do so? Thanks! Go Jags!

Your point makes sense with Bortles, and that has been well-covered in this forum. I believe the Jaguars will part ways with Bortles, and the contract extension he signed last offseason will have salary-cap ramifications. It won’t be the crushing blow many are portraying, but there will be ramifications. The extension given Marrone isn’t as impactful, though. If Marrone and the staff returns, it will be because Khan and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin believe Marrone is the best head coach available; not because of his contract.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

What's your favorite Krimma beverage, John? I made a rum and eggnog with nutmeg cocktail that was great. I'm wondering if bourbon is better or if others have better ideas I haven't thought of.

Straight Jack. Pure Joy.

Neil from Jacksonville

If we are limited in free agency to acquiring help at either wide receiver or tight end, which do you think would be most beneficial to the Jaguars in 2019?

The Jaguars need both desperately. Assuming the tight end and wide receiver are equal in ability, I would say wide receiver would benefit them more.

Logan from Wichita, KS

We are for sure going to be bad for a long time. This preseason the front office will cut good players and trade good players and yet again draft like idiots. We have seen this before. This looks really bad and long term.

Except if it’s not.

Chris from Mandarin, FL

Is Yannick Ngakoue a better pass rusher than Tony Brackens was?

I would say through three seasons Ngakoue is a slightly better pass rusher than Brackens because he has been slightly more consistent. It’s close, though; Brackens was a phenomenal playmaker with a rare ability for making game-changing, game-winning plays.

Rocky from FrostBite Falls, TN

If you had a nickel for every time someone told you that said something that you did not say, how much we talkin,’ O-zie?

I wouldn’t be doing this anymore. I do know that.

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