JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Gary from St. Augustine, FL
Wow, Zone. You called it. I heard you say that not only would the Jaguars win, they would win big. How did you know?
I thought the Jaguars would beat the Tennessee Titans Thursday for a couple of reasons. They were playing at home, and they were a motivated team trying to save their season; that's a tough combination in the NFL when the team has as much talent as the Jaguars. Plus, the defense had played very well against the Houston Texans the previous week, and I didn't figure that would change. Mostly, I didn't buy into the idea that the Jaguars would be "distracted" by the whole Jalen Ramsey saga. My experience is that players/teams sometimes get distracted and lose focus late in the season when their teams are out of the postseason race. This sometimes leads to players trying to do too much or playing for themselves, something that often leads to one-sided losses. Most teams early in the season still have a lot for which to play, which helps maintain focus. Also, the whole idea of players being "distracted" always has felt a little overhyped. These players don't think about football all the time during the season. They have lives. They have other interests. They watch television. They gossip about life. Having one more topic – in this case, Ramsey – to consider doesn't so overload their minds that they can't function on a football field. Either way, yes … I called it. I am the king of all funk.
Mike from Jacksonville
Did Nick Foles just get Wally Pipped?
We're not there. Yet. I'm not saying we'll never get there. We're just not there yet.
Brian from Gainesville, FL
Big O, I'm not taking issue with your overall argument that a player can't dictate how he wants to be used, but is it fair to say that defensive coordinator Todd Wash calls zone defense a bit too much based on his personnel? Also, when the team inevitably trades Ramsey for nowhere near as much value as they should get, does that make Tre Herndon the new starter? That's bad, right?
No, it's not fair to say that about Wash. First, the Jaguars with Wash as defensive coordinator have ranked No. 6, 2 and 5 in the NFL in total defense; that's better than most teams. And the Jaguars play as much if not more man-to-man coverage as any team in the NFL. The idea that the Jaguars don't play enough man has gained traction the past few seasons because Ramsey has discussed it publicly and people assume if a star player says something publicly it has to be right. That's not always the case. You can't play press man or man every down. First, it takes too much physically for a cornerback to do it every play; even Ramsey can't do it. Second, when the offense knows you're in a certain defense, they can more easily scheme to beat that defense. The idea that the Jaguars do this "too much" is a gross misunderstanding. I understand that writing this won't change this misunderstanding, but it is a misunderstanding nonetheless.
Kevin from Jacksonville
Your idiotic and sarcastic response to a perfectly reasonable comment from John from Jacksonville is exactly why you suck at your job and why so many Jags fans are so sick of you. You are part of the incompetent nature and feel of this organization. I hope when they inevitably clean house that you are part of it. We are so sick of the losing and sick of your stupid comments, sarcasm and disrespect for fans.
You know what's awesome? That's only one of the reasons I suck. I'm not only bad, I'm versatile. #themoreyoucando
Mark from Archer, FL
John, when is it time to admit that Leonard Fournette is not an elite running back and we need to stop treating him like he is? He should not be an every-down back. When are they going to at least try and let another running back get some runs?
Fournette absolutely should be an every-down back in the sense that he should play on early downs and third downs; you don't want to take him out on third downs because he has been effective in those situations. As for when to try another back, I don't have a feel for that. Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo seems committed to using Fournette as much as possible for now. We'll see.
Logan from Wichita, KS
I am at a loss for words. I really am. On one hand ... and on the other hand ... I just ... what can I say??? WE WON!!! GO JAGS!!!!
They not only won, they won impressively. May you continue to enjoy your hand. Both of them.
Aqeel from Toronto, CA
Another player lost in the Nick Foles and Ramsey headlines is DJ Chark Jr. Talk about jumping the Chark. He has been a great story so far. One fer the Chark attack!
Good eye. Chark is turning into a huge story for the Jaguars' offense. The Jaguars needed him to take a second-year jump this season, and he apparently is doing that. He has surprised me. I thought he would be OK this season; I didn't anticipate the consistency with which he is making impressive, body-controlling big catches. He's starting to make the difficult look normal.
Dakota from Dupree, SC
Zone, you have often talked about the ability or inability to pay all three in Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack and Yannick Ngakoue. Ramsey has the most talent of the three and I really wish he stays Jax, but doesn't this situation kind of provide an opportunity to be compensated highly for a player the Jags might have to give up for salary cap reasons later?
It does. In an ideal world, you would sacrifice a lot – perhaps even a quality player at another position –to secure Ramsey for the long-term. He's that good. But this isn't the ideal world and Ramsey's on-field behavior the other day must give you pause. In that respect, it will provide an opportunity to get compensation for Ramsey. I would still rather have Ramsey, though – provided it works within the overall team.
Tyler from Jacksonville
Do you think some fans desire to be correct on a previous snap judgement they made outweighs their ability to just enjoy watching football? The quick-trigger anger of calling for everyone's heads on a certain other fan site was unreal. I hope the Minshew Magic is enough to put away the pitchforks. A few more dimes like he was dropping on the Titans and even the cynical side of Jalen's heart might be turned into a believer. Go Jags! #Minshewperbowlshuffle
I don't pretend to know what exactly causes fans to do what they do. I do know they gonna fan, and I don't see that changing. As for Ramsey, it's hard to say if winning would turn his cynical heart. But he is on record as saying he only cares about winning, so perhaps Thursday was a start. I still believe he will be traded, although I still wouldn't trade him. I would tell him he's playing here because he's under contract for the foreseeable future. I would also tell him that there is definitely a plan in place to pay him handsomely, and that nothing has happened to him in his career here to indicate he would be treated unfairly. I might also tell him that considering how the team has played in the past two games, particularly defensively, that maybe – just maybe – this season might still be a good one in which to be part of the Jaguars.
From a Reader
Didn't Tampa fire their coach a few years ago so they could promote the offense coordinator because they thought he worked great with the quarterback, Jameis B Winston? Sort of the same thing as firing a coach for Ramsey.
It's the same thing except it's not. Jameis Winston is a quarterback and Jalen Ramsey is a cornerback. You might consider changing coaches and organization direction based on a quarterback provided he was an elite, proven player. You wouldn't do it for a cornerback no matter his talent level.
Greg from Satsuma, FL
We need team players not selfish players!
Every NFL player is selfish to a point. The nature of the business has made it that way. But there is a limit, and it's difficult to make a team work if too many players are beyond the limit.
So angry from Rage
My anger has subsided and now I'm actually excited. No longer do I want to burn everything. But still. Just pay Jalen. He's the tops. MJD talked about this. You're not setting a president by paying Jalen, so long as you pay people that are worth Jalen money Jalen Money and other folks "other-folks" money
There's very little in life quite so important as setting a president.