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O-Zone: Rich man, poor man

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Don from Marshall, NC

Robinson is such a good-looking running back. His running style reminds me so much of former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith. He just seems to be able to get the most out of each carry. I guess Caldwell gets no credit for that player. The other thing is the offensive line play has been really good. Can we at least get a little Folding for Fields instead of Tanking for Trevor? Go Jaguars!

I like the Smith comparison in reference to Jaguars rookie running back James Robinson. It's a good one – and it's also likely a reason Robinson went unselected in the 2020 NFL Draft. Running backs who rely heavily on vision with no apparent "special" trait – a description that fits Robinson – are difficult to analyze. That's particularly true with small-college backs, of course, but it even applies to backs from bigger programs. Smith, who was incredibly productive at the University of Florida, slipped later in the first round of the 1988 NFL Draft than should have been the case for similar reasons; he simply didn't stand out to evaluators despite being hugely productive in high school and college. You're also right that the Jaguars' offensive line has been really good this season. As for General Manager David Caldwell and the Jaguars' scouting staff getting "credit" for Robinson … sure, they deserve some. That's fair. It's also fair to say if the Jaguars knew Robinson was this good they would have drafted him. Undrafted free agency is a combination of good work, good scouting and good luck. The Jaguars had all three in Robinson's case.

Greg from Boise, ID

History is repeating itself. Last year Gardner Minshew II comes in and everyone is ready to jettison Nick Foles for him because he's the "real deal." Rookie Jake Luton comes in this season, plays better than expected and now fans are ready to make him the starter over Gardner. I guess it's never too early to crown the "new guy" the best of what we have to work with. It doesn't seem Foles got a fair chance to do much as Jag. He did struggle some, but he seems pretty decent this year. Did we send him packing too soon or was the compensation worth his loss? I get trying to get rid of the huge salary cap, but it stands to reason if he is playing well now, he could (possibly) be in Jax playing at the same level and more wins. Did Foles get a fair shot or no?

Foles clearly can function in some situations. His Super Bowl Most Valuable Player performance with the Philadelphia Eagles is only one piece of evidence. But I don't know that Chicago Bears observers right now agree that he's pretty decent this season. He is 2-4 as a starter this season, which means he's 2-8 as a starter over the last two seasons. Record isn't the end-all in judging a quarterback, but Foles' interception ratio this season is 10-7. I get your question, and Foles probably didn't get a "fair shot with the Jaguars." But if you're asking if the Jaguars should have retained him this past offseason … I can't get there. I just can't.

Neal from New York

I 100 percent agree that defensive end Josh Allen is going to be very, very good. He might even be approaching that level or close to it this season, even without the sack numbers being there. But in this league and we see it right now, one pass rusher does not seem to get the job done. You also listed defensive tackle as a serious area of change for the offseason. I would argue that defensive end is more important because we do have DaVon Hamilton and Doug Costin. While it is still early, they looked good for what we saw. At least much better than defensive K'Lavon Chaisson.

OK. Then I guess that's what you will argue.

Wil from Corpus Christi, TX

I have finally accepted that by choosing to be a Jaguars fan I joined the corner of the NFL fan base that too stubborn to admit we chose wrong. We chose to be loyal to a team that is bound to be mediocre, a team whose arrow is stuck either pointing horizontally – or down – but never up. Teams like the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings and Jaguars. The Lions and Browns fans get it the worst because their teams seem to almost never show signs of any improvement. But then there are the Vikings and Jaguars, who are the NFL's worst teases. They will give their fans reasons to hope every so often just to ultimately crash and burn. Good defense, bad offense, good offense, bad defense, rebuild, new coaching staff, new general manager, make the playoffs, crash and burn, rinse and repeat. The thing is, we know this, but we are too stubborn to admit we chose wrong. We could end this nonsense by simply choosing a new team, but we are too damned loyal and too stubborn.

You're a fan. But fans aren't logical and they're not supposed to be logical. They're loyal, often to a fault. They love often despite pain and hurt – and without reason. They're sometimes insane. They're sometimes mean. They're sometimes angry. Thank goodness for them.

Kyle from Palm Harbor, FL

John, in an attempt to make your brain explode, I wanted to ask another question about the uncalled and non-reviewable delay of game penalty. If the league wanted to expedite the games, shouldn't a flag be thrown the moment the play clock hits zero? It should be the single most egregious penalty in the game if, in fact, the league holds time restraints as the priority (player safety notwithstanding). I'd be willing to meet you in Oregon so we can discuss this in a more appropriate state of consciousness.

This didn't blow my mind. Allowing a second or so longer for the ball to be snapped on occasion might add 20-to-30 seconds to an average NFL game – at the most. Any called delay-of-game penalty adds at least that.

Jason from North Pole, AK

People can blame the defense all they want. I'm not buying it. Seattle is on pace to break the record for the worst pass defense in NFL history by 1,000 yards and they're 6-2. It's all about the quarterback, baby.

Well, yes.

Diego from South of Tierra Del Fuego

Is it not fair to say that the players cannot wait until the season ends and are more interested in their health than winning or losing? Is it also not fair to say that they are not really interested in anything Doug Marrone says because he is a loser as a head coach? Team is not tanking, they just do not care anymore?

It might be fair to say it, but it might not be accurate. It's disingenuous to say no players on struggling teams ever shut out coaches' messages or become concerned about health. But most players – particularly young players – love the game and want to play given the opportunity. Remember: NFL careers are short. And players work year-round to play in 16 games every season. Most players value the opportunity to play and play hard when they have the opportunity to do so.

Scott from Atlantic Beach, FL

And there goes the teal car, running fast and smooth like a big cat pulling away from the rest of the chase pack. Now all alone in second place and trying desperately to catch the green car. The green car, however, just seems to find ways to add speed while out on the track. Got to hand it to the teal team though, they haven't always had a natural passer of automobiles in the driver's seat there. Eight laps to go. #theLawerence500

Vroom, vroom.

Bill from Jupiter, FL

Very happy Jake is finally getting a look. Here is the best scenario: Jake Luton shows he can be a franchise quarterback throughout the rest of the season and the Jags find themselves in a position to get serious compensation to trade out of its top spot. This team has a very capable offense. The Jaguars need an overhaul in talent on the defensive side of the ball. Here's for hoping Luton shows he's the guy.

That is the best-case scenario. It's probably far-fetched in reality given the circumstances, but that would be ideal. No doubt.

Sam from Orlando, FL

In regards to that Jalen Ramsey trade. We better hit a home run on the last first-rounder we got from the deal otherwise we traded a generational talent for absolute peanuts.

You're implying that defensive end rookie K'Lavon Chaisson is bad. Eight games isn't enough to know that. It's enough to think that and to write emails about it. It's not enough to know it.

Mac from Jax Beach, FL

After watching Luton's Oregon State highlights, my evaluation was, "This guy is a rich man's Aaron Rodgers." We'll see if expectations are met this Sunday.

I suppose.