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O-Zone: Plain disdain

JACKSONVILLE – Look-ahead Wednesday.

Let's get to it …

Nathan from St. Augustine, FL

John, you have covered the NFL a long time. In your opinion, what make teams become perennial losers like the Jags have become? We are not alone. The Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions have more losing seasons than we have had a team. I can't believe an owner would pay millions of dollars for a product and want it to fail. Coaches certainly are trying to win knowing it's the only way to keep getting paid. Players make more money if they perform well. So, what is missing with teams like ours? Can it be turned around?

NFL owners indeed don't pay millions to fail. They want to win. And Jaguars Owner Shad Khan absolutely wants to win; anyone who believes otherwise doesn't understand reality. But while no one in the NFL wants to lose, professional sports are uber-competitive. Someone must win, someone must lose and just wanting to win isn't always enough. Just working hard to win isn't always enough. All teams want to win, and all teams work hard to win. There's timing involved. And good fortune. Teams must draft well, develop players and hope those players stay healthy and have good chemistry. But what mostly has kept the Jaguars from having a chance to win consistently in the past decade and a half or so has been the lack of an elite quarterback – or even a very good quarterback around whom the franchise could build. That's what has been missing for far too long. Can it be turned around? Yes. How? Get a big-time quarterback. That's a start.

Jeremy from Omaha, NE

When will Khan realize that Head Coach Doug Marrone, General Manager David Caldwell and quarterback Gardner Minshew II will never lead this franchise to a Super Bowl? It's time to move on and it needs to be done sooner than later. It's time for a change (and yes, I realize that doesn't guarantee future success).

I have no idea what will happen between now and the end of the season or after the season regarding Marrone and Caldwell. Whatever does or doesn't happen, there's no truth in this instance to, "It needs to be done sooner than later" if you mean it needs to be done now as compared to after the season. Midseason change is meh.

Zachary from Washougal, WA

His defense just needs at least 11 Pro Bowlers in order for it to be effective. Don't blame the system #istandwithTODD

The Jaguars' defense was effective in 2016 and 2018 without a slew of Pro Bowl players. It was unreal in 2017 when it had five Pro Bowlers. It doesn't need 11 Pro Bowl players. But it does need more good players than it has now.

Neil from Jacksonville

I know teams have a responsibility to not play injured players, but I imagine there is a bit of gray area in when an injured player can play or not. Given the Jaguars are not contending for the playoffs and the issues with the team's reputation among certain former players, it seems it would help the team to really err on the side of caution in resting injured players this season to ensure core players recover fully.

The goal is to keep this area as clear – and un-gray – as possible. It's the job of doctors to clear a player, after which it is up to the player to determine if he can play.

Eric from Columbus, IN

Are we being hard on Minshew? I mean, next week is only his 17thgame. He still has never had a real offseason, is on his second coordinator and played one year of high-caliber NCAA football. Was Drew Brees that good year two? Russell Wilson? Kyler Murray? Is it fair for us to expect some Top 10 QB already? Or is it that the concerns are ones those other players didn't show in Game 17? I'm just trying to understand how to evaluate what we are seeing at Game 17.

I don't know that anyone's overly hard on Minshew. He's playing quarterback in the NFL. It's a hard job. Expectations are high. He is the starting quarterback. He has a chance to show he should be that for the long term. He's being evaluated every week. It doesn't get fairer than that.

Josh from Einstein a Go-Go

I saw three helmet-to-helmet hits on receivers on Sunday. Only the Jaguars' defender was ejected or disqualified. Do you know why the consistency in that call is not there? I'm just curious why our guy got the boot, but others did not.

The NFL rule is a player can be ejected for a helmet-to-helmet if officials determine the player had an unobstructed path to the player he hit and if the helmet-to-helmet contact was clearly avoidable. Under those rules, it's understandable that Jaguars safety Josh Jones was ejected Sunday. I didn't see the other plays, so I don't know what the officials did or didn't see. The NFL strives with its rules to take subjectivity out of officiating, but this – like pass interference – is one where the referee's judgement necessarily is a factor.

Johnny from Syracuse, NY

Hey, John. I am usually the most optimistic about the Jaguars team but this season it is sooooo hard to stay that way. I'm sure you'll get mail like this a lot, but I had to say it: Tank for Trevor or not, we still suck this year. Like really, really bad. Speak the truth, John. Quit with the sarcasm as the truth is more interesting.

The Jaguars are 1-4 and have lost by eight or more points in three consecutive games. They have allowed 30 or more points in four consecutive games. There are questions about the quarterback. I say and write these things pretty consistently. How much more truth is there?

Dave from Duval

On a positive note, I thought Sidney Jones played a real good game at cornerback on Sunday. How does he continue to see playing time?

The way this could happen is moving Tre Herndon inside to nickel and playing Jones opposite CJ Henderson. I don't know that this will happen Sunday. I imagine it's something coaches are seriously considering.

Larry from Duncan, OK

Great and powerful O, do you expect the Jaguars to make a deal with Washington to obtain quarterback Dwayne Haskins? Give them whoever they want including Brian Sexton!

I do not expect that.

Hulky Baby, Yeah! From Las Vegas, NV

Minshew doesn't have a 70-yard cannon, he's not 6-feet-3 and he needs better pocket presence still. As far as the pocket presence, he's a second-year quarterback and needs more time. The other "issues" can be addressed and masked tastefully with proper scheming. New offensive coordinator Jay Gruden needs to find that happy place with Gardner. Jamarcus Russell could throw 80 yards on his knees. Where is he now? Josh Allen has a cannon, and it took him three years to be a good quarterback. Good quarterbacks make everyone around them better and Gardner has done that to a respectable extent. The offense is the best in the last three years. Timing passes will be Gardner's friend. We don't need to ruin this kid and the progress the offense has made. Fix the defense and fix the losing. He shown he can lead, but he's on OFFENSE. Allowing 30 plus points three weeks in a row to teams with no wins is not an offensive problem. That's a Todd Wash problem.

I hope you're right about Minshew. I really do. And I absolutely believe he will get time the rest of this season to show the growth you're discussing. And the Jaguars' defense absolutely is an issue. We don't agree about it being a defensive coordinator issue. That's fine. We're allowed to disagree.

Jeff from Orange, CA

If the Jaguars are 3-8 (more or less) and we don't learn anything new about Minshew (So not more or less confident in him as the franchise quarterback, does rookie quarterback Jake Luton get a start or two in December?

One would hope.

Chris from Houston, TX

So, when is Josh Lambo coming back? Any update to his injuries? If not, #bringbackscobee

Head Coach Doug Marrone said Monday the team hopes to get kicker Josh Lambo back October 25 against the Los Angeles Chargers – at the earliest. It sounded from listening to Marrone that Lambo – if he doesn't return for the Chargers game -- almost certainly will return after the team's November 1 bye.

Adam from St. John's, FL

Thank you for your concern of my health, which I'm sure was heartfelt. Do records of owners, general managers and coaches actually matter? I mean, I know they don't in the Ozone, but just wondering. Just confused if there is an actual, like football thing that you would expect to reach to be considered not as good by the O-Zone. I know your disdane for me is easy to see.

It's "disdain," FWIW.