JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville
You said the next month would determine the course Jaguars Owner Shad Khan takes on the franchise and retention of the front office. Correct me if I am wrong, but I can almost swear he said he would accept nothing less than making the playoffs this year. If the Jaguars lose to Tennessee on Sunday, then they are all but out of any playoff consideration. Wouldn't that mean then Khan should keep his word and make changes? I am not saying this as an angry fan; I am saying this as someone seeing what is not working and needs to be addressed. Part of this also is the perception of the fans because if the impression is presented that this mediocrity is acceptable, you are going to have a hard time selling that to your fan base.
Khan released a statement immediately following last season essentially saying that the long Sundays experienced in the final three months of last season wouldn’t be acceptable this season. He didn’t specify that “nothing less than the playoffs” would mean massive changes in coaching and the front office, nor should he have said that. What he said has been interpreted that way, and perhaps that will play out that way – but such ultimatums aren’t the way to manage people anywhere, including the NFL. Such an ultimatum also doesn’t leave room for adjusting to the circumstance of a season. Khan is a rational leader, so I expect he will do what rational leaders do: examine all circumstances about this season and this team’s football leadership when appropriate and make the decision he feels best for the team. I expect he will take into consideration quarterback Nick Foles’ injury and the trade of cornerback Jalen Ramsey in addition to many other factors. I expect the play of the last two weeks also will be taken into consideration. Mostly, I expect that the Jaguars must play much better in the coming weeks than they have the last two. Either way, I don’t know what Khan will do or when. Only Khan knows those things.
Josh from Pensacola, FL
Why does everyone want Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell out so bad? I’ve been a fan of this team since inception and in my opinion, we have had the best draft classes under his reign and pretty good free-agent signings as well. I really don’t think Dave Caldwell is the problem and I hope he stays.
Hey, one fer Caldwell!
Nelson from Jacksonville
Is it time for Coughlin to address the fan base? Not the angry sarcastic Coughlin, but the hat-in-hands Coughlin saying, “We are really trying to come up with a plan to improve.” Looks to me like the head coach could use some help explaining the mistakes they are all making. Players and front office.
I suppose Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin speaking to the media – and therefore, to the fans – would appease a portion of the fan base for a few hours, or a few days. But the idea during the regular season isn’t to “explain mistakes” or “speak to the fans.” It’s to win games. Any “appeasing” that might be done by Coughlin speaking probably would wane quickly if the team doesn’t win.
Nelson from Jacksonville
John, I have sent in a lot of questions lately that have gone unanswered. I just began to realize that's on me as a fan, I've got to do a better job. I'm gonna do better because honestly, it starts with me and I'll wear it. I thought I've come up with good questions, but It's not good enough. I will keep my nose to the grindstone and go back to the basics of question asking. I hope by acknowledging my issues with asking questions, I can one day provide you with a better question.
I admire your gumption. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Travis from High Springs, FL
There were times when Brandon Linder was considered the Jaguars’ best offensive linemen. He had a really good rookie season at guard and made the move to center and there was talk of him possibly being the next Brad Meester. Now there's talk of him possibly being replaced. He was drafted in 2014. That doesn't seem like a long career for a good offensive lineman. So, what happened? Was it the injuries he sustained? Or did his play just drop off that much? After a promising start I thought he would be a constant on the line for a long time.
You write as if Linder has been bad during his time with the Jaguars. He hasn’t, though it’s absolutely the case that injuries have been too much of an issue before this season. There’s a chance he couldn’t be here next season because of salary-cap issues and roster decisions. If that’s the case, his career wouldn’t end. He likely will play in the NFL for a long time. My guess is he will be with the Jaguars. We’ll see.
Jesse from Layton, OH
Firing a head coach before the plane lands sends a message that the owner cares more about appeasing fans and selling tickets than a well-thought out approach at improving the product on the field. A well-thought-out approach at a time that you can replace the coach with an upgrade shows more “seriousness” for actually solving a problem.
Suffering Jas Fan
John, I was wondering when someone will introduce "Flipp" to Fournette. I get that Foles is "Flipp's" golden boy-I don't judge-but, is it not an identity, a mindset that says, "We will dominate the game by being more physical than you?" I will be surprised if Leonard Fournette doesn't ask to be traded. If you're still reading, what is Fournette's mindset through all of this? I wonder.
Fournette is ninth in the NFL in carries. And remember: While Fournette should have had a few more touches in the first half Sunday, the Jaguars were down by 10 points by the time the offense got the ball in the second half. He carried three times on the ensuing series. The next time the offense got the ball, the Jaguars trailed by 17 points with :58 remaining in the third quarter. It stretches logic to think there were truly a bunch of fans watching the Jaguars at that point thinking, “They need to get Leonard the ball to make up this 17-point deficit in the final 16 minutes. Yes, Fournette should have carried more Sunday, and I expect offensive coordinator John DeFilippo to use Fournette extensively going forward, but this whole idea that he was completely ignored for no reason is way overblown.
John from Jacksonville
Help me out here, King of all Funk. There has been a lot of talk from the coach about spending time this week on things like tackling. These players have been playing ball since high school or earlier. I don't think they forget how to tackle. I prepare lots of documents and spreadsheets for a living. If I provide bad content in a document or spreadsheet, my manager doesn't ask me to look at my typing skills again. Is this all just coach speak for the fans to think something big is being done this week and that we'll see magical tackling dust on Sunday?
NFL players shouldn’t forget how to tackle, but the Jaguars didn’t tackle well against the Colts Sunday. I suppose one option for Head Coach Doug Marrone would be to ignore that and hope it improves. It seems focusing on it during practice is the better option.
EJ from Jacksonville
Leonard Fournette is considered to be having a good year on the field and off. His stats seem to be inflated by a few long runs. Is the offensive line not doing the job to let him be more consistent or is it his running style?
Long runs count. As for why the run game isn’t more consistent, it’s a few things. The offensive is a good – though not great – run-blocking unit. Teams bunched the line of scrimmage a lot when Gardner Minshew II was playing quarterback. Fournette’s not a great “missability” runner. Fournette for the most part is playing at a high level this season. The offensive line has blocked well at times, OK most of the time and has struggled on occasion. It hasn’t been a great running offense, but it has been OK when given enough opportunities to perform.
JT from Fort Worth, TX
John, I read a quote from our head coach that is making me have flashbacks of all the previous failed regimes. “We have to coach better, and we have to play better.” That screams Gus Bradley to me all over again. I hate starting over because it always sets you back (or at least it seems that way). I'm seriously hoping for a turnaround on this season because after reading this quote, I’m afraid that this is the last season for them.
Saying “We have to coach better and play better” isn’t a Gus Bradley thing or a Doug Marrone thing. All coaches say that. What else are they supposed to say?