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O-Zone: Rare air

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Mario from Oviedo, FL

Hi, John. Hope you're doing well. So, now the Jags are starting the rookie quarterback. In a way, I hope Jake Luton succeeds. At the same time, I hope this doesn't make the team not draft a quarterback in next year's draft. The team must draft a quarterback next year no matter what. What do you think the best-case scenario is as far as Luton starting a couple of games?

Luton, a sixth-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, indeed will start for the Jaguars against the Houston Texans Sunday – and nothing is written in stone that it will be just for "a couple of games." If he plays well, he could remain the starter this season. Still, the chances of Luton playing well enough to make the team not select a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft are relatively slim. He would have to play well enough to make up for a struggling defense and he would have to play 10-to-14 points better than quarterback Gardner Minshew II played in the first seven games of this season. Luton also would have to do this consistently enough to win, say, six or seven of nine games against what looks like a brutal second-half-of-the-season schedule. Short of him doing that – i.e., short of him playing a lot better a lot more consistently than Minshew did as a rookie last season – I can't see any way the Jaguars won't select a quarterback with their first draft selection next offseason.

Fabio from Jacksonville

Hey Zone, I'm in the bahbah shop and I started pondering the effect Jake Luton will have on wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr.'s and DJ Chark Jr.'s fantasy performance. Have you seen any type of mesh within this group in practice?

The bahbah shop indeed is a good place for pondering. But neither I nor anyone in the media can answer your question. Media only observe the early, non-team portions of practice during the regular season. But the reality is Luton hasn't worked extensively with the first team offense until recently. Any sort of mesh will develop as the season continues.

Bryce from Waterloo, IA

Blake Bortles, Chad Henne, Nick Foles, Minshew. Maybe Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone does deserve a chance to return next season ...

Henne never started at quarterback during Marrone's tenure, but no … the Jaguars haven't had an elite quarterback during his time as head coach. Or for a long, long – long – time before that, either.

Scott from Atlantic Beach, FL

The chase pack thins slightly – with the incredibly gorgeous teal car, disturbingly ugly red car and the big blue car pulling away from the dirty black car and the purple car with the funny sounding horn. The incredibly fast green car still leading, with rumors they dropped a jet engine in the green car. How they got that by race officials we'll never know. #theLawerence500

Vroom, vroom.

Lou from Jacksonville

What are your thoughts about K'Lavon Chaisson moving to outside linebacker next season? If this does happen, would the defensive scheme change to primarily 3-4? What would the personnel alignment look like?

Chaisson could play outside linebacker in a couple of scenarios. One would be as a strong-side linebacker in base situations and a pass rusher in passing situations in the Jaguars' current scheme. Another would be as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. If the Jaguars were to move to a 3-4 scheme, Josh Allen also could play outside linebacker and players such as Myles Jack and Joe Schobert could play linebacker. Defensive line likely would need to be addressed in the offseason.

Mac from Jacksonville

Any shot we can bring back Bortles? It worked pretty well for the Eagles when they brought back Foles ...

Well …

Ken from Jacksonville

With all the employees that are not playing up to the low standards that we have set in the defensive backfield, how is it we can't find a few snaps for Luc? We have a number one pick playing back there who has the body language of a person who acts like he's not interested. What happened to the undrafted free-agent cornerback that led the colleges in interceptions his final year that we gave a signing bonus to so he wouldn't sign with another team and we can't activate him for one game to see what he can do? He certainly can't do any worse than the hand clappers we have back there. Every time they get torched, they clap their hands together. We got a coach who has decided that it's time to "bust his ass" … well, what have you been doing for the last two plus years along with a general manager who believes in this team is competitive? Wait until we try and sell season tickets next year. Of course, we'll be asked to accept a token price increase because of the minimal revenue streams this year. AAARRRGGGHHH ! It's darn tough being a supporter of this group of misfits!

Rookie cornerback Luq Barcoo isn't yet as good as players playing ahead of him. If he were, he would be playing. Remember: Never, ever, ever say it can't get worse. It can always get worse. And Marrone has been busting his ass for three and a half seasons; all he did wrong last week was say he was going to bust his ass despite the 1-6 record. But yeah … being a Jaguars fans is tough. Too tough. No doubt.

Joe from Fleming Island, FL

John. It may have been a flash. However, Quincy Williams has looked pretty good in the past couple of weeks. Going forward, using the "get your best players on the field," while acknowledging Jack is a better weak-side linebacker, how you would you – Coach O-Zone – get Williams on the field more? If not this year, then next?

It's probably unrealistic to think Williams will get significant snaps with Jack healthy. The option would be to move Jack to middle linebacker, but the Jaguars aren't going to bench Schobert and they're not going to move Jack back to middle linebacker. Williams may not hold the edge well enough to play strong-side backer and it would be a reach to put him at safety in the NFL. Could he be tried at safety moving forward? Maybe.

Rob from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Pretty sure both Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Peyton Manning have both won the same amount of college championships at zero. Did I miss something where Lawrence won?

You evidently did: the national title following the 2018 season. (Editor's note: Lawrence was 20-of-32 passing for 347 yards and 3 TD in a 44-16 Clemson win over Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, Calif.)

Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC

Watching the Bucs game Monday, I was once again witness to how much Leonard Fournette loves running right into defenders. The man could have been All-Pro in another era, at fullback.

Miss-ability never has been a strong point for former Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette. It appears that remains an issue.

Adam from Wescosville, PA

My apologies, but what is grizzled funk?

If you don't know, you probably don't want to know.

Art from Drexel Hill, PA

I don't understand why fans would be upset with Minshew for not saying he was hurt. This is a job he's dreamed about since he was in middle school, he's worked his entire life for it, went across the country in college to try to achieve it. You don't win the job in the trainer's room, that's something you're told in high school.

A player has to "gut" it out and play through injury to make it in the NFL. But gutting it also must be done within the context of the team knowing about the injury and playing a role in deciding if the player should be trying to play through the injury. This always a tough line to walk. Not informing team of an issue is walking on the wrong side of the line.

Geoffrey from Orlando, FL

The New England Patriots' dynasty started the day Tom Brady walked into Foxborough, Mass., and ended the day Tom left town. It's not all the time we get to see real time examples of such questions as coaches versus players. I guess is this case, just maybe, it might have been players... nahhh.

It's a little more subtle than that. The Patriots lost a lot of talent in recent seasons, and Brady leaving in the offseason created something of a perfect storm that has led to this year's 2-5 record. But yes … quarterback play trumps coaching as a reason for NFL success. This always is true. Having an elite quarterback doesn't guarantee success. But rare are the coaches who have long-term Super Bowl-level success without elite play at the position. Look at the list of coaches who have done so in the last 50 years. It's pretty much former Washington Head Coach Joe Gibbs and perhaps Bill Parcells when he was with the New York Giants – and perhaps Tom Flores with the Oakland Raiders. That's it. That's the list.