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O-Zone: Not a thing

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Jerell from Columbia, SC

Why is Fragile Fournette a captain? Why doesn’t Doug take the “C” off his chest? Trade the bust in fragile Fournette and the front-runner Ramsey?

Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette is a captain because his teammates voted him a captain before the season. Head Coach Doug Marrone’s stance on this issue is that if players voted Fournette a captain, then players must be the one(s) to take the responsibility away. Which raises the question: Is Fournette deserving of being a captain? Perhaps not, considering there seems at times lately to be more going on around him off the field than on. But let’s not put Fournette and cornerback Jalen Ramsey in the same category here. Fournette in recent weeks has been thrown out of one game and has been seen in an altercation with a fan during another. Ramsey since a very difficult game in Indianapolis when he played poorly and showed bad body language on the sidelines has shown real strides in terms of how he has handled himself in adverse – i.e., losing – situations. I understand the tendency to put all players who make news off field in the same category, but that doesn’t seem right in this case.

Mr. Arrogant from Utopia

John, I know what the Jaguars need. After careful consideration I have determined all of the coaches, the front office, and the majority of the players should be replaced immediately. The replacements are out there just waiting to be called. That will give me the Jaguars team I want-- the Jaguars team that deserves me as a fan.

Welcome. You’ll fit in well here.

Jeremy from Omaha, NE

What does Taven Bryan even do?

Bryan, the No. 29 overall selection by the Jaguars in the 2018 NFL Draft, hasn’t had much of an impact on the field. That’s not entirely unusual for rookie defensive linemen. He has played better recently than he did early. It’s important for the Jaguars that he play much better next season. They need him to be a consistent, play-making player.

Rusty from New Iberia, LA

If Myles Jack wasn't down and the Jags make the Super Bowl last year and possibly win it, does quarterback Blake Bortles get benched this year and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett get fired?

Yeah, probably.

Marcus from Jacksonville

John, what was your impression of Bortles' contract when he signed it, and what is your impression of it now? I feel like when he signed, many people were saying it was a mutually beneficial deal. Not too long, not too pricey, not too big of a risk. But now it seems like it is the death sentence of the Jaguars, like it is going to cripple them in the salary cap and prevent them from doing anything this offseason. Which is it?

Somewhere in between. The reality at the time Bortles signed the extension last offseason was it was a calculated risk, one the Jaguars took because Bortles had played pretty well during the last half of last season and in the playoffs – and because there wasn’t anything else available on the veteran free-agent market that made sense given the cost. The risk was that it was going to make things difficult on the salary cap for a season if the team opted to parted ways with Bortles, or if he wasn’t starting. It appears one or both of those two things will happen. And yes: It will make things far more difficult this offseason. It won’t cripple them, but it will make it difficult to make any splash moves without giving up players they want to keep.

Tom from Jacksonville

The committee approach for the front office is not working, nor shall it ever. You give one guy the keys to the bank and call it a day.

OK.

Jess from Glen Carbon, IL

With the Jaguars being over the salary cap after this season I don't believe they will be able to sign a free-agent quarterback that will be much of an upgrade from the current roster. Also, with next year's 2018 NFL Draft class being weak at quarterback, it's quite possible that the best decision for the team next year is to have Bortles and Cody Kessler compete for the starting job next year and draft offensive line, wide receiver and tight end. Of course, that's what they should have done in last year's draft, but Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin’s and Head Coach Doug Marrone’s antiquated philosophy on how to build an offense coupled with their stubbornness have put the team in this position.

I get it. The narrative that Coughlin, Marrone and the Jaguars were stubborn – and that that is the reason the team is struggling – is the one that’s going to stick. When you win, history shows you positively. When you lose, it shows you negatively. The reality is that had the Jaguars remained healthy this season, they likely would have at least six or seven victories – perhaps more – and we’d be talking about how to retool a decent team in the offseason rather than how to overhaul a disaster. But the Jaguars are where they are. But know this: The people running the Jaguars know changes must be made, and they know they need a better quarterback. They didn’t change the position this past offseason largely because they didn’t consider the options available worth the cost. Those were the circumstances last offseason. The circumstances have changed.

Bill from Hammock, FL

O man, there is a lot of discussion about a weak quarterback class next year. Isn't it more important how many teams have the need? A recent list of draft positions and needs only showed three teams with the need. The other two were Washington and the Giants. Wouldn't you think this would bode well for the Jags?

It does if they select the right quarterback.

Jason from Ocala, FL

A rules question that always has me wondering: If anyone on the offensive line so much as twitches their nose, the whistle is blown and a false start is called, but the quarterback can go under center, start barking orders, and then completely stand up and move away from the center. Why is this? I have seen so many defensive guys jump because of this and to me it is essentially comparable to a balk in baseball. Once set, the quarterback shouldn't be able to move the other direction.

This indeed is something of a gray area in the NFL rules. A quarterback can’t make motions that the officials perceive to be trying to draw defenders offside, but he can move around behind center. To not allow the quarterback to move would prevent him from changing plays and directing the offense before the snap – and the NFL won’t move in that direction. Defenders must have the discipline to not jump at quick actions by the quarterbacks. That’s part of the game.

Bill from Folkston, GA

With no Jags game on Sunday, I had a chance to watch some other games. Have to say, the officials are really causing some problems. I know it is often said that bad calls tend to offset over the course of the game, but I saw a couple that decided games. The calls are getting really bad; do you think the NFL will do something about the bad officiating?

Like what?

Jim from Jacksonville

Take another look at Craig from Ponte Vedra’s question. Could it be that one of the biggest reasons for the defense’s poor play, often blamed on miscommunication, is because they didn’t have Poz this year to guide them?

Miscommunication typically results in big, breakout plays. If you review last season, the team had similar issues last season; reducing big plays actually was considered a top defensive priority entering the season. The difference? The Jaguars often were playing with leads last season – and the defense was getting sacks and turnovers; that made it easier to overlook. While the absence of middle linebacker Paul Posluszny hasn’t helped, remember he was on the field for about 30-to-35 percent of the plays last season. He can’t be considered the only – or even the major – difference in the two seasons.

Gamble from Brasilia, Brasil

Forget the “should-we -trade-Jalen?” talk as pure nonsense. If you’ve been a fan since 1995 — or better yet, 2008 — you know this team walked in the talent desert for years. Why would you ever trade a Hall of Fame-possible talent?

You would trade such a player if he became such a distraction/negative that he hurt the team more than he helped. That’s far from the case with Ramsey.

Jim from Jagsonville

I've seen folks suggest moving BB5 to tight end, given that we are paying him anyway. My question: Is there a precedent for a move like that in the NFL? Or would the skill set be so different that it couldn't work?

Is this really a thing? It shouldn’t be a thing. It’s silly if it’s a thing.

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