JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Billy from Orange Park and Section 412
Please explain the different defensive backfield schemes – namely Cover 0, Cover 2, Cover 3, etc. I'll buy you an IPA at Strings next time I see you there.
We'll keep it basic because every scheme has subtleties depending on situation, personnel, overall defensive philosophy, etc. Cover 0 essentially is when defensive backs play man-to-man coverage with no help from safeties against the deep pass. Cover 2 is zone defense with defensive backs and linebackers responsible for an area, and two safeties playing the deep halves with corners playing the corners and linebackers responsible for zones underneath in the middle. Cover 3, like Cover 2, is zone defense with three defenders responsible for deep areas. The corners typically drop into outside deep areas with the free safety defending the middle and the strong safety and a nickel corner/inside linebacker dropping underneath. As for buying me an IPA … not if I see you first. Otherwise, we'll make it a Bullet Bob and remember: There's only thing better than a Bullet Bob. That's two Bullet Bobs.
Bushhog from Wake Forest, NC
You noted we have had problems with stopping the run against teams with a quarterback who can run. How do you shore this up knowing it is a weakness with some pretty good running quarterbacks left on the sked?
Be more situationally aware. Play cleaner. Have better recognition. Tackle better. Win more consistently at the point of attack. Get to the quarterback quickly enough that he can't react and turn bad situations into good. If the quarterback is Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs or Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens, realize that the quarterback is going to have some success even if you do all those things well. Prayer is said to help sometimes, too.
Gerry from Neptune Beach, FL
If we win one of our next two games, we will be 4-7 setting us up for a run just like 1996. We are still in the race.
Gerry remains "all in."
Steve from Nashville, TN
What does the report card of Jaguars outside linebacker Travon Walker, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, look like halfway through the season?
Good overall. Flashes in spots. Presence makes the defense better. Needs to mature and develop more moves, and more consistency as a pass rusher. Very good against the run.
Gator from Gainesville, FL
Do you ever sit round and think about how cool I am?
I don't think so. Wait … no.
Max from Jax
Curious what was the situational difference between the fourth-and-1 against the Las Vegas Raiders (field goal attempt) and the one against the New York Giants (went for it)? Was there a major difference or did Head Coach Doug Pederson have a change of heart after what happened two weeks ago?
The Jaguars led the New York Giants 17-13 with 11:30 remaining when Pederson opted to go for it on fourth-and-1 from the Giants 20 in Week 7. They led the Raiders 24-20 with 3:03 remaining when he opted to kick a field goal with 3:03 remaining Sunday. I suspect time of game played into the different decisions, and my guess is Pederson felt a bit more confident in the defense against the Raiders than he did against the Giants. It's a good question. I'll try to remember to ask about it.
Justin from Burlington
What do YOU think our biggest issue or worry should be going into next year?
Cornerback, though we'll see how the rest of the regular season plays out.
Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA
Hi, John. Not a question, but I did the math again. The top 10 running backs in the NFL average 5-feet-11, 225 pounds. ETN is typical RB size.
The size thing has been overblown with Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. He is bigger than he appears and doesn't play small at all. It's probably time for this not to be a topic until something happens to make it pertinent.
Hilarious from Funnytown
Tapes or CDs, John?
Reel to reel.
JT from Palm Coast, FL
Tight end Evan Engram has been a pleasant surprise. I know he is only on a one-year deal, but he seems to genuinely like playing for this team. Do you see him signing long-term with us in the offseason?
I think Engram would like to do this. I also think free agency in the NFL isn't always about the player liking the idea of signing with a particular team.
Brandon from Clemson
WAIT, ETN is Top 5 in rushing yards?!
Yes. He also leads the NFL in runs of more than 40 yards. He's really good.
Rob from Jax
My favorite Jags of all-time tend to be the starters that you can pencil in every week for the next 10 years and just not worry about that position. Maybe not Pro Bowl or All-Pro level, but dependable, quality, starting level NFL players that allow you to focus on upgrading the roster elsewhere. Linebacker Daryl Smith, cornerback Rashean Mathis and center Brad Meester come to mind. Do you see any players on the roster that might fit that bill going forward? The rookie center perhaps? Thanks, Zone.
Those three players were damned good players – maybe a little better than you describe. Center Luke Fortner has an early look of a player like that. And even though they're not always starters, center Tyler Shatley and defensive lineman Dawuane Smoot maybe have that feel, too.
Blues Man from Jacksonville
John. I'm very concerned about our secondary leading into this Chiefs game. We just seem to be struggling quite mightily; hence, I get the feeling that Mahomes is going to carve us up like a hot knife through butter. I realize next year is too early, but we must address our secondary. In my humble opinion it's our weakest area. How concerned are you about Mahomes versus the Jaguars' secondary?
Quite, but that's as much about Mahomes as the Jaguars' secondary.
Beavis from the SouthSide
One hypothetical question keeps running around in my pea brain. If you could trade your next first-round pick for any player of any era (in his prime), who would you trade for? I know a franchise quarterback solves a lot of problems for a long time, but if Trevor keeps progressing, would an all-time receiver or pass rusher be a better addition?
Jerry Rice was a good receiver. Lawrence Taylor rushed the passer well. Once you get to era defining players of that caliber, I don't know that one player helps more than the other. But both would be worth a first-round selection. And then some.
Colt from Pittsburgh, PA
One fer Andrew Wingard. Dude showed up in Rayshawn Jenkins' absence. And is consistently showing up making plays on special teams. Might not let that starting job go.
Jenkins is in the concussion protocol. I expect him to be the Jaguars' starting strong safety when healthy. He for the most part has played really well this season.
Mike from Hearnburg and Jacksonville, FL
Captain obvious here. Not enough of the Jags are winning the one-on-one battles. Josh Allen is a great athlete, good person but lousy tackler. Can he improve?
Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen hasn't had the sack numbers or impact plays he or the Jaguars hoped this season. He is not a "lousy tackler."
NC Combo from Portland, ME
Two questions, one email combo. 1) If the Jaguars decide wide receiver Calvin Ridley is a one-year rental and opt to let him test free agency, would they be awarded a compensatory pick? 2) If Doug Pedersen designs and calls the plays, what exactly does offensive coordinator Press Taylor do during the week and on Sundays?
Two answers. 1) Yes. 2) Game plans and helps call plays.
Bill from Ponte Vedra
I sit on the west side of the stadium and have been shocked to look across to the east stands and see the majority of seats occupied by people wearing the visiting teams' colors. If this phenomenon is the result of Jags' fans monetizing their tickets, it is very disappointing. But there is another possible explanation: Is the team selling large blocks of season tickets to resellers – StubHub, for example?
It's a phenomenon of the Jaguars having struggled in recent seasons, playing in a non-traditional market and playing host to teams with strong, national fan bases – i.e., the Giants and Raiders. When the Jaguars win consistently for a few seasons, this phenomenon will lessen.
Nathan from Utah
Zone, at 6-2, the Chiefs are beatable. I say the Jaguars can win on Sunday. I say double tight end Travis Kelce every play, ignore quarterback Patrick Mahomes and challenge the rest of their offensive players. I say the Jaguars win a 24-21 game. #DUVAAAL! What say you?
I say the Chiefs are beatable if the Jaguars can pressure Mahomes consistently and if the Jaguars can score touchdown instead of field goal in the red zone. And I say Nathan is "all in."