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O-Zone: Seeking help

JACKSONVILLE – Look Ahead Wednesday.

Let’s get to it …

Daniel from College Station, TX

With the way we are playing right now, I don't see us even winning a division game this year and possibly finishing (4-12). What do you think this defense will look like if this happens? I see us maybe keeping end Calais Campbell and that's about it. The other guys up for free agency and the ones we need to cut for cap room haven't done much.

An awesome thing about O-Zone emails is the overreaction. Your email was particularly awesome. Aside from projecting the Jaguars to lose 11 of 12 games, you essentially refer to the following players from the NFL’s No. 2-ranked as having not done much: safeties Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson, defensive tackles Malik Jackson and Marcell Dareus, end Dante Fowler Jr. and (perhaps, though I can’t be sure) cornerback Jalen Ramsey, defensive end Myles Jack and end Yannick Ngakoue. The Jaguars are 3-3 and in first place in the AFC South. If you’re projection is correct and they’re 4-and-something in mid-to-late December, this conversation can happen in detail. As for now, too many moving parts remain. Yes, the Jaguars will have to part ways with some of the older veterans on the above list. Just which players likely will be determined closer to season’s end.

Carlos from Mexico City, Mexico

Give me 4-4 and the bye week, and I think we'll be fine. Call me an optimist, but this adversity might just make the Jaguars stop all the talk and become a better team for it. #DTWD

“Optimist.” #DTWD

Steve from Sunroom Couch

Dear John: If the Jaguars’ offense, particularly No. 5, continues to struggle this season can we expect to see Kessler?

If a bunch of parts of the Jaguars’ offense improves and quarterback Blake Bortles continues to struggle as he has the last two games, then I imagine we could see backup quarterback Cody Kessler play. If Bortles continues to get hit ridiculously quickly and the running game continues to stagnate and injuries continues to make the offense ineffective and receivers continue to struggle, then no … I don’t think you’ll see Kessler. There would be no point.

Red from Jacksonville

#FreeCodyKessler! C'mon John, you know it's just a matter of time.

Stop.

Logsdon No. 17 from Row A Section 408

Mr. O, Yannick did play well by getting pressures and sacks, but what had him ready to fight? He is always very hyper, but it appeared Sunday’s frustration was about to get him suspended. Thanks for what you do.

I haven’t asked Ngakoue about it, but the Jaguars were down 24-0 at halftime Sunday; that may have had something to do with his frustration. Or perchance it was the press box public-address guy in Dallas who not only couldn’t get Ngakoue’s name right but couldn’t find the right consonants. That last part probably had nothing to do with it; it was just bizarre.

Keith from Jacksonville

Do you think the Jags should sign Dez Bryant?

If the Jaguars thought Bryant would help them, they would have signed him already. Bryant was once a dynamic, big-play, No. 1 NFL receiver. All evidence suggests he is not that anymore. So, no: I don’t think the Jaguars should sign Bryant.

James from Upper Marlboro, MD

Last year around this time the Jaguars were 3-3. Why does this years’ 3-3 feel different than last years?

Because the Jaguars have lost two consecutive games this season as opposed to one through six games last season – and because expectations were higher this season.

Josh from 904

I know there are many fans who, like me, don’t understand the total failure in all five phases (including coaching and personnel management). I want to give a HUGE shutout to all my fellow Jags who took the trip to Dallas. The NFL, the media, and even the players and this column give the Jaguars’ fans a lot of grief, and fans are gonna be fans. However, the 904 was WELL-REPRESENTED in Dallas all weekend and our presence was evident throughout AT&T Stadium. Random people were hugging and cheering beforehand and were incredibly positive and supportive of each other as the game became a humiliating and downright embarrassing experience. If there was something positive to take from that game, let it be that the Jags fans believe in this team, are passionate, handled a horrible situation with class, and might be the best and certainly most consistent piece of the Jaguars’ team.

I do on occasion mention in this forum the long-held truth that fans gonna fan. This is not a comment on Jaguars fans; it is a statement of fact regarding the general lack of logic shown by all fans of all teams of all sports. Jaguars fans are phenomenal. That may get questioned elsewhere, but never here. Loyal readers – and he knows who he is – know this. #DTWD

Dane from Jacksonville

How Donte Moncrief stays employed as an NFL player is beyond comprehension. If the front office wants a 6-feet-2, 220-pound dude to lethargically jog around the field, I'd be happy to offer my services – and I'm certainly willing to do it for $60 million less than what Moncrief is making.

You would pay the Jaguars $50.4 million to work for them? I don’t know if the Jaguars will hire you, but I damned sure will.

Mike from St. Mary’s, GA

Any chance Poz comes back to quarterback this wayward defense?

No. The Jaguars are ranked second in the NFL and have had a couple of bad games – one sort of bad and really bad. It’s not time to bring people back from retirement.

Chris from Nashville, TN

Two weeks in a row the "best" defense in the NFL looks mediocre. The offense was atrocious, and we lost the turnover battle again. I think next week is a must win, no?

Yes. Absolutely.

Michael from Arlington

Last year at this time we were 3-3 with a lot less injuries.

This is not last season.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

The Jaguars’ long-range rebuilding play featured building defense first, offense second. The plan was (obviously) coming together last year. Now the biggest issues seem to be lack of depth on the O-line and at running back. Will those areas be priorities next offseason?

The Jaguars likely will have to address running back in the offseason, and I anticipate them adding at least two players at the position in the offseason. I say that not as a criticism of anyone on the roster, but because T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant are both in the final seasons of their contracts. As far as putting together a deep offensive line … if you figure out a way to get that done, send a memo to all 32 NFL teams. They’ll all be fascinated to see how it’s done.

Rob from Ponte Vedra, FL

Fournette is great!!! He played great last year when healthy and was hurt the whole second half of season. Was he not good in the playoffs against the Steelers? I expect the fans to have the memories of humming birds but more fortitude out of you zone. You said he didn’t play that well last season? You are crazy. I think he is a top three-to-four player on the team and one of the youngest of our future stars. Have some patience. It’s the NFL, players get hurt. I don’t want to trade for the guy who refuses to suit up with his brothers in arms over $. I want Fournette who I believe also has stronger character. One for Fournette against all you haters (including you John!)

Fournette was good for the Jaguars as a rookie. He wasn’t great. He rushed for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns and was only 100 percent healthy for about half the season. I’m not saying he was lousy. I’m not saying he was a bust. I’m not saying his presence didn’t help the Jaguars to the postseason. I’m not saying the Jaguars shouldn’t have drafted him. I’m not saying the Jaguars should trade Fournette. I’m saying he has to get better before he’s considered a great player.

Chris from Nashville, TN

Who is the best team in the AFC South at this point in the season? Any prediction on who wins the division (so we can make fun of you later on)? Next Sunday will be a big test for both teams, and I'm thinking the winner...

The Texans deserve to be called the best team in the AFC South right now. They have won three consecutive games while the Jaguars and Tennessee Titans have both lost two consecutive games. I would have to pick them to win the division right now based on what I’ve seen the last two weeks. Now, if the Jaguars’ offense finds some life and the defense responds Sunday, I would feel dramatically different. I don’t know how to feel right now. I struggle with feelings. Maybe I need to see someone.

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