JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Bill from Folkston, GA
I don't remember exactly where I saw it. It might have been in one of your answers. But I seem to remember reading that General Manager David Caldwell said once that he felt he made too deep of cuts during the rebuild back in the 2013-2014 time frame – that he removed too much experience from the team. It sort of feels like he did that again with the defense this time. Do you think this is a failing trait for him as a general manager?
Perhaps, but here's the difference in the two situations. In 2013-2014, Caldwell trimmed a lot of experience from the roster primarily because there was a clean slate from an organizational standpoint. The idea was to draft and develop the vast majority of the roster and build a young, sustainable team under Caldwell and Head Coach Gus Bradley. It was a pretty idealistic time – and the Jaguars were among the first teams to try such an approach; it felt in a way as if there was no real timetable or pressure to win in those first two seasons under that leadership approach. There undoubtedly was pressure to win this offseason – and the moves were made because the Jaguars had to fix the salary cap and shed strikingly cumbersome veteran contracts such as those of defensive end Calais Campbell, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, cornerback A.J. Bouye and quarterback Nick Foles. The Jaguars also thought those players were passing the point of contributing significantly. Through the first half of this season, Campbell appears to be proving them wrong on that front; we'll see how that develops moving forward. Did the Jaguars cut too deep this past offseason? Perhaps, but remember: they went 6-10 with their 2019 roster and the salary cap allowed little room for future high-profile signings. The thought was the Jaguars needed to get that fixed to have a chance for financial freedom and future roster improvement.
Crash from Section 134
Time to replace a sixth-round pick with another sixth-round pick. Stick rookie quarterback Jake Luton in there. He's 6-feet-6 and has a stronger arm. Bet we open up the passing game with him in there. Air it out! Might be fun to watch.
I don't see the Jaguars pulling quarterback Gardner Minshew II for Luton as an imminent move. I do see it as a possibility if 1-6 turns into one-and-a-lot-worse. And Luton does have a strong arm. You're right that it could be fun to watch. It also could be an absolute fiasco. Luton is a talented rookie who never has taken an NFL snap of any kind. There's no telling what you might see.
Eric from Jacksonville Beach
Hi, John. I know I'm in the minority, based on what I see in the questions/comments here daily, but I'm pretty bullish on the Jaguars' future. I think we have some solid base players in defensive end Josh Allen, linebacker Myles Jack, wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. and center Brandon Linder – and some up-and-coming performers in right tackle Jawaan Taylor, the Robinsons (left tackle Cam and running back James), cornerback CJ Henderson and wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. Throw in one of the best salary-cap scenarios in the league next year and arguably the best draft capital in the whole league. I think that adds up to some great optimism for us as a team going forward. Whether it's this coach/general manager combo or another, I'd have to think we're in a position to really improve in the years to come. Do I have my rose-colored glasses on, or do you agree?
Your glasses are a little rosy, but you're not completely wrong. There is some encouraging talent on this roster. Now, they must figure out quarterback.
Jimsure from DBS
Big O, the only game I see us having a chance to win is the Texans game. I know this should be "On Any Given Sunday, "but the schedule for the rest of the season gets brutal. Thoughts??
I think the rest of the Jaguars' schedule is brutal.
Michael from North Charleston, SC
It was mentioned in the What We Learned article that "He also continues to check down too much instead of throwing downfield, the same concerns that have been issues here for a while." After watching film, are there in fact opportunities that he is missing and if so, does he have the time in the pocket to take advantage of those opportunities? If this is a reoccurring issue, what can be done to get it corrected?
Yes, there are opportunities downfield for Minshew. They're not always wide-open opportunities, but they're throws NFL quarterbacks must make. There often is time to make the throws – though not always; there's no such thing as "always" in the NFL. And it is a recurring issue. What can be done to get it corrected? You gotta see it and you gotta make the throw.
Chris from Jagsonville
I understand about A.J. Booya, Cialis Campbell, and Marcell Darius being let go for cap reasons, and Ngokwe and Jellin ramsey not wanting to play here, but every Sunday I see cast off Jaguars contributing to new teams (Marcedes Lewis, Alan Lizard, Sheldon Day) Even Timmy Smith went on to Play at a high level after the Jags couldn't use him. Isn't this an indictment on talent evaluation in this orginazation?
It has been a tough season all around.
Mark from Richmond, VA
Nightmare scenario for you that is a total Jags possibility. Minshew gets benched, Luton comes in the last four games and looks just OK. We don't take a quarterback with our Top 3 pick. Instead, we take a future Hall of Farmer at another position that we trade in his prime. This has a 93.3 percent chance of happening.
I understand your pessimism. Enough has gone bad around here that pessimism is merited. If the Jaguars are selecting in the Top 3 in the 2021 NFL Draft, I don't see them passing on a quarterback.
Bo from Linwood, NC
I have been rooting for Minshew ever since he put on the teal uniform. And I've been hoping he would be successful. But, my optimism has faded. He looks too unsure of himself in a clean pocket and at times runs into sacks instead of stepping up. I know this was a prove-it year for him to become the quarterback of the future but it's looking pretty bleak. The verdict is in for me, what about you?
If the Jaguars are selecting in the Top 3 in the 2021 NFL Draft, I don't see them passing on a quarterback.
Luke from Brisbane, Australia
Coming at the whole "coaching" question from a different angle … the primary job of the coaching staff is to develop and maximize the talent available to them. Given the relative youth of the team, do the rookies and Year 2/3 players appear to be developing as one would expect them to? How much has COVID-10 played havoc with their ability to "coach up" the young uns? Cheers!
The young players on average are contributing, some more quickly than others. As far as how having no offseason affected the coaches' ability to work with young players … everything was virtual. There was no on-field work. It sure didn't help.
Sascha from Cologne, Germany
Hey John, some of the reactions from Chark after Gardner misses throws were a little bit frustrating to see. Am I overreacting here or is it a concern going forward? Will he be the next one to go away from this organization?
This is an understandable concern considering the number of players who have left the organization. It's a trend, and whatever the reason for the trend, it must stop. I don't think it will be a long-term concern for Chark. The Jaguars must hope it's not.
Mike from BillMurrayHill
Hi John, Look into your crystal ball. Will the Jaguars be active in any sort of trade before the November 3 deadline? Where might they try to acquire some help?
I would be surprised if the Jaguars trade for veteran players of any significance before the November 3 trade deadline.
RG from Orange Park, FL
Seattle, Atlanta, LAC, Jacksonville: all defenses linked to Seattle, all horrendous right now. Is it fair to wonder if the current NFL offenses have learned to beat the Seattle Gap D and it's time for teams to evolve from it?
Sure, it's fair to wonder it – and it might be a valid point. It also might be a valid point to note that the San Francisco 49ers played the scheme in the Super Bowl last season. They had good players. There's a connection there.
Steve from Jacksonville
Can someone let the football Gods know we have done our part. We understand someone has to lose the game. Maybe it can be someone else's turn. Thirteen years is plenty long enough.
So very true.