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O-Zone: No more

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Sean from Jacksonville

Adam Schefter of ESPN has stated that Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II has multiple fractures and a strained ligament in his right thumb. Since that won't heal over the bye week, who do you expect to start the next game(s)? Mike Glennon or Jake Luton? I think Glennon will start but have a short leash. Some fans will be ecstatic with this change, but I say ... be careful what you wish for.

Minshew indeed has multiple fractures and a strained ligament in his right (throwing) thumb, according to Schefter – and there's no reason to suspect Schefter is incorrect. There has been no official word from the Jaguars on either Minshew's injury or a projected starting replacement, and there also has been nothing official yet about Minshew not starting when the Jaguars play host to the Houston Texans at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville next Sunday – November 8. I expect the Jaguars to stay quiet on this until next week because there's no reason for them not to stay quiet until Monday – or perhaps even Wednesday when the team releases its official injury report for the game. I don't expect Glennon to start, because the Jaguars know what they have in Glennon; he's a veteran whose job was to replace Minshew in an emergency if the Jaguars were contending. I absolutely do expect Luton to start because he looked good in training camp and during practice since the season began; Luton is a sixth-round rookie who was impressive enough in limited looks to earn this opportunity. Be careful what you wish for? Yeah, there's an element of that. But it also will be interesting to see what this offense can do when quarterbacked by a player who can make a variety of NFL-level throws. I expect Luton to make mistakes, but to also make throws downfield and to throw people open. Nine games remain in this season. Buckle up, sports fans.

Jason from North Pole, AK

Reports are that Minshew has a fractured thumb on his throwing hand. I am not surprised and had been wondering if he was playing hurt. He has had throws lately that have left me scratching my head when he is usually a really accurate passer. My question is if they shut Minshew down will we see Luton or Glennon? I am also wondering if Minshew returns as the starter after he gets healthy. Your thoughts?

I believe we will see Luton start against the Texans. I would be surprised if he doesn't. As far as whether Minshew will return as the starter after he gets healthy … stay tuned, but I wouldn't say it's guaranteed.

Michael from Fruit Cove, FL

All offseason you expected this team to be more likely to win six games than to draft first overall. You weren't even close, and the decision-makers were even further off when they thought this team would be competitive. So again ... What did you guys see that nobody else did??? Did the team expect zero injuries? That was your answer yesterday to a question about the secondary. If one injury makes the team noncompetitive, then they never had a chance in the first place. Everyone else saw this coming except for you and the front office/coaches ....

I expected Minshew to be better than he has played so far this season; I expected he would improve from his rookie season to Year Two. I also expected the defensive interior to be better than it has played. I thought the team would keep games close and that Minshew would grit and gut his way to five or six victories as he did last season. He has not.

Steve from Ponte Vedra, FL

So, Marrone is finally going to bust his ass. Apparently, he doesn't realize that it's going to be the eighth game we play. Maybe he should have decided to bust his ass at the beginning of the season. Maybe all the coaches and players should have decided to bust their asses at the beginning of the season and not sit on the benches laughing while they are getting beaten. Maybe they should stop celebrating after they make a play and celebrate after they win. Maybe we all should realize that you can't polish a turd.

Maybe we could all realize that just because Head Coach Marrone said he was going to bust his ass moving forward doesn't mean he wasn't busting his ass before. But you know what? I bet most people actually do realize that.

Al from Orange Park, FL

Marrone says, "I'm fired up. I'm going to go after it." I love his approach, attitude and enthusiasm. That's the best way to get the most out of the players that he currently has. I know that it's always coaching, except for when it's not. As John would say, you go girl!

Yeah, but don't tell Steve from Ponte Vedra. You might interrupt whatever he's doing with his turd.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

Those who cry "Tank for Trevor" assume that Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is a "can't miss." Is there really such a thing? I remember other collegiate standouts drafted in the first round that folks felt the same way about – until they put on an NFL uniform. Remember Ryan Leaf? Matt Leinart? JaMarcus Russell? Jack Thompson? Other than QB, what would you be looking for in next year's first round?

Defensive tackle and maybe safety, but I would be looking at quarterback far above all else. Wait a minute … Jack Thompson? The Throwin' Samoan. We are aware he's 64, right?

Hugo from Albuquerque, NM

You definitely have to give David Caldwell kudos for getting the Jaguars' salary cap under control after the "strikingly cumbersome veteran contracts," but could you remind me again who the GM was when these contracts were offered?

Caldwell was the general manager, with Tom Coughlin as executive vice president of football operations having final say over football decisions from 2017-2019.

Bruce from St. Simons Island, GA

You say often it's all about the coaching. Looking at your "all-important" team power rankings, would you agree that it also is all about the QB?


Kathy from Jacksonville

I have a question about defensive Jabaal Sheard, who was claimed by the New York Giants. It looks like that was also a missed opportunity to strengthen the defense. Why was this player on practice squad? With all the talk about holes in the defense it seems he could have been used instead of one of the rookie players.

Marrone explained the Jaguars' thinking on this shortly after the Giants signed Sheard off the Jaguars' practice squad. While Sheard made an impact in his lone game playing for the Jaguars – a Week 6 loss to the Detroit Lions – he did so while playing about 10 plays. The Jaguars had signed Sheard to the practice squad because defensive end Josh Allen was out with a knee injury. With Allen returning, the Jaguars didn't think they would be able to get Sheard many snaps because they wanted to play Allen and other young defensive ends. That was the explanation. And yes … considering the production of some of the Jaguars' young defensive ends this season – and considering the production of the position overall through seven games – it's understandable there would be confusion regarding this decision.

RG from Middle Earth

So, Minshew can make plays outside the pocket and can drop dimes downfield but can't play well from the pocket or zip passes into tight coverage. Would he be more successful in a system built for his style of play, like the Ravens did for Lamar? Should the Jags rebuild the offense for his skill set or should they trade him to the Ravens, too?

The Baltimore Ravens rebuilt their offensive system around quarterback Lamar Jackson because Jackson had traits – i.e., his phenomenal athleticism, speed and running ability – that made defenses respect those traits enough that the system is incredibly hard to defend. Credit to them. But please … let's not act as if the Jaguars' coaches are idiots for not trying to play the Ravens' style with Minshew at quarterback. It pushes the envelope of reason – even for this forum. Should the coaches have built an offense around Minshew's strengths? I don't know that's all that feasible, either.

Darren from Fort Worth, TX

In your expert opinion, what's the biggest factor for the Jaguars' current record? What needs to change that would have the biggest impact?

Quarterback play, defensive tackle play and pass rush. Better quarterback play, better defensive tackle play and better pass rush.

Marcus from Jacksonville

I don't see the Jags trading away draft capital for stop-gap players, but I could see them trading some of their players for more draft picks. Could you see a scenario where they traded a way one of their players before the deadline?

I doubt it. Goodness gracious … haven't they already traded away enough?