LONDON – Let’s get to it …
Jeffrey from Atlantic Beach, FL
How big is the quarterback decision for the front office’s and coaching staff’s future? It could potentially be the difference between a push to the playoffs or a losing season. Much like play-calling, if it works then it was the right call, if it doesn't ... fire everybody?!?
Seven regular-season games will remain when Head Coach Doug Marrone must make the decision between Nick Foles and Gardner Minshew II at quarterback. The Jaguars could make a playoff push during those seven games, or they could fall into NFL oblivion. There’s enough time for either extreme to occur, so certainly … Marrone’s quarterback decision could decide some futures. That’s the reality of many NFL teams with seven games remaining in a season. But don’t be so sure that Jaguars Owner Shad Khan is waiting anxiously to make wholesale changes at the first opportunity. While I understand many fans believe this is a playoffs-or-fire-everybody year, I’m not so sure. This feels like a good, young team with a lot of young talent heading in the right direction. The Jaguars have drafted well in recent offseasons, and the coaching staff has done a remarkable job this season despite the Week 1 loss of their starting quarterback (Foles) and the midseason loss of cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Despite these circumstances, a portion of the fan base seems to be rattling swords and looking for brooms to “clean house.” That faction isn’t acknowledging the progress the Jaguars have made in the first half of the season. I don’t expect Khan to overlook it.
Thomas from Blacksburg, VA
You go, girl.
Michael from Middleburg, FL
Well, O: If Minshew is benched (a large mistake because with the way the line is playing Foles won’t be able to do what Minshew does) what happens to his ROY status?
If Minshew is benched (and it might not be a mistake because we don’t know if Foles’ quick decision-making and quick release would in fact make the line look better) he would still be eligible for rookie of the year – but it would be tough to win the award if he doesn’t play the last seven games of the regular season.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, how did we end up with Campbell on the free market? I can't imagine any team letting him get away.
The Arizona Cardinals decided following the 2016 season that they needed to skew younger as a franchise, which left defensive end Calais Campbell as an unrestricted free agent. The Cardinals reportedly loved Campbell but didn’t want to pay him premium money during what they perhaps believed were his declining years. The Jaguars decided they needed Campbell’s experience, talent, leadership, character and all his other attributes enough to pay him franchise-player money. It turned out Campbell was phenomenally well-suited to the Jaguars’ scheme – and that he wasn’t in decline. The Jaguars were incredibly fortunate. Free agency rarely works out that well.
Randy from Jacksonville
It might not be the best draft, but I see a lot of value from the 2018 draft. Even if defensive tackle Taven Bryan has a Tyson Alualu-type career, we still got three starters in wide receiver DJ Chark Jr., safety Ronnie Harrison and defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (traded for a fifth-round round pick). Guard Will Richardson Jr. was a late fourth-round selection, with starting strong-side backer Leon Jacobs and a good cheap punter in the seventh. Everyone drafted but quarterback Tanner Lee will have a big part in how this season goes.
Let’s be clear about this: If Bryan – selected No. 29 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft – has the same career former Jaguars defensive end Tyson Alualu has had, he would be a very good selection. Alualu has been a reliable, NFL contributing player for a decade. Put aside “conventional wisdom,” take a look at most late first-round selections and see if that wouldn’t be considered a good selection. Also: It appears Chark has a chance to be an elite, No. 1 receiver. If that turns out to be the case, the ’18 draft was a good draft whatever else happens. Right now, it appears very likely to be good for many reasons.
Brian from Jacksonville
Regardless of the outcome of Sunday's London game, it's become clear the Jaguars have a good player in Minshew. Great news for the franchise. Great outlook for the future. On November 17, however, it will be Foles taking the field for the Jaguars. It has to play that way. Platitudes aside, money does matter. There is no way the Jaguars’ multimillion-dollar investment stays on the sideline holding a clipboard. No way. Learning Minshew can play has been a huge bonus. I'm not sure Marrone or the staff would have realized that if Minshew only practiced and played in the preseason. They may have even released him for "a blue chipper" next year. That mistake won't happen now. Nonetheless, tell it real, O. Foles has to play when he is ready, right? Are you about as excited as you've ever been covering the Jags as you look forward to the second half of the 2019 season?
Here’s telling it real: The decision will be Marrone’s. Plain and simple. It will be about who he believes gives the Jaguars the best chance to beat Indianapolis. It won’t be about money. As far as being as excited as I’ve ever been to be covering the Jaguars … sure. That.
Nick from Cooper City
How comfortable should we be with Cam Robinson at left tackle? Obviously, he has had a few mistakes, but has he done enough to make upgrading the position a non-priority in the offseason?
Eight games remain in the season. Stay tuned.
Alejandro from Mexico City, Mexico
I start to think that we undervalued General Manager David Caldwell and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin; they have been awesome in the last four drafts. However, the success rate in high-priced free agents (not so good since 2017) and the contract decisions (wide receiver Allen Robinson, quarterback Blake Bortles, defensive end Yannick Ngakoue) have shadowed a good management. Keeping Ngakoue and running back Leonard Fournette in the house, and two more good drafts (cornerback, free safety, two offensive guards and depth in defensive tackle, running back and tight end) and they will keep this team at the top of AFC South for years.
You write about Ngakoue as if it’s the past tense. Shouldn’t we wait to see if he plays somewhere else in the next few seasons before deciding that the Jaguars made a mistake letting him go? As far as the Jaguars’ success in free agency, they currently have three key defensive players starting as free agents – Campbell, cornerback A.J. Bouye and cornerback D.J. Hayden. Guard Andrew Norwell has been OK – not great, not as bad as fans believe – since signing in 2018. We don’t yet really know how the biggest signing of all – Foles – will turn out. I’m not saying this front office has been great all the time, but it’s not as if it has been awful in free agency. Not even close.
KC from South Florida
What are your thoughts on Tre Herndon's play this year? Seems like he's had his ups and downs but overall is playing well, especially for an undrafted second-year player. Do you think he could be a long-term starter at cornerback for this team, even if they decide to draft another corner in the first round?
ABC from ABCTown
What do you think was the worst draft class in Jaguars history or are there more than one?
Well, 2011 wasn’t great.
Rob from the Westside
I saw today that DJ Chark Jr. leads the AFC in TD receptions and is elsewise highly-ranked as a receiver. How long has it been since the Jaguars had a receiver so rated, especially with a running back who also leads the conference in rushing yards? Those seem to bode well for the future.
The Jaguars haven’t had a running back and wide receiver both playing at this high a statistical level at the same time since Fred Taylor and Jimmy Smith/Keenan McCardell in the late 1990s and early 2000s. And yes … that bodes well for the future.
Jason from Jacksonville
Final score prediction this week? I got Jaguars 27-24 with a Josh Lambo game-winning field goal.
So, one fer Lambo.
Marlin from Jacksonville
Hi John, I am very excited to announce I will be attending the Los Angeles Chargers game. No pressure on the team or anything, but this is the first regular-season game that I will attend since I moved away from Jacksonville a few years back (though I have been to a few training camps and preseason games). My wife bought us the tickets for our anniversary present. She is the best! What did your wife get you for your anniversary? Go Jaguars!
People give presents for anniversaries?