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O-Zone: So much worse

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Ken from Jacksonville

Shad Khan appears to be a very loyal owner to the Jax fan base. Obviously, he is a very successful businessman. Doesn't he see the fan base eroding? Two playoff appearances in 20 years? If surveyed, I would bet that only a small percentage of those who opted out will return next year. I would hope he will change the leadership and direction of the team to get the fans fired up and back next year. I'm not sure there's a question in here somewhere. More likely it's an original season-ticket holder venting on the performance of the coaches and the team. Thanks for listening.

Jaguars Owner Shad Khan understands the need to win. He has during nearly a decade as owner invested millions and millions of dollars in players, facilities, equipment, etc., toward that end. He also has invested millions in the stadium and facilities to enhance the game-day experience for Jaguars fans. Those are measure of how much an owner wants to win. The owner also has the responsibility to put the people in charge who he believes gives the team the best chance to win. Many fans don't agree with his choices along these lines, but it's not the owner's responsibility to agree with the fans; it's his responsibility to do what he thinks gives the team the best chance to win. This answer won't satisfy fans. That doesn't make it incorrect.

Dave from Duval

Hey, Zone. The NFL schedule is a House of Cards and the pandemic is the dealer. I'm afraid this is not going to end well.

It actually has a chance to go well – or at least a lot better than it's going right now – if teams follow the league's rules and protocols. The Titans apparently did not follow the rules and an outbreak occurred that has disrupted their schedule and the schedule of other teams – teams that apparently have followed the rules thus far have had (comparatively) manageable issues.

Howard from Homestead, FL

Twenty-three positive tests for Tennessee! How many games have to be postponed and how many other teams have to be disadvantaged? Isn't it time for the Titans to forfeit games?

As my unimaginative Uncle Raymond used to say, "It's getting there."

Marcus from Jacksonville

Before the season you were adamant that there was no conceivable way that Gardner Minshew II could have a successful year at quarterback and the Jaguars still be in the running for presumed No. 1 pick Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. One quarter of the way through the season I'm beginning to wonder if that is true. Right now, Minshew is top 10 in yards, touchdowns and completion percentage. His numbers project out to 4,500 yards and 32 touchdowns and through four weeks are better than some of the elite quarterbacks in the league. Yet, the Jags have only one win. It is clear now that the defense is bad enough that the inconceivable scenario that you repeatedly rejected is quite possible. Minshew could be a top 10 QB statistically and this team could win four or less games and be in the conversation for the No. 1 pick. So, if that happens … if Minshew is statistically solid but this team still ends up with the No. 1 pick, do you take Lawrence or pass on a generational talent?

If the Jaguars have the No. 1 selection in the 2021 NFL Draft and Minshew plays the entire season he won't have played well enough for the Jaguars to pass on the best quarterback in the draft. If Minshew continues to play as he has so far this season and the Jaguars have a chance to take a quarterback early in the draft, I presume they would do so.

Rob from Fleming Island, FL

If a player returns from the IR/designated to return status, can they play right away or do they have to wait 21 days?

A player designated to return from injured reserve this season can be activated any time within a 21-day window from when he was designated.

Bruce from St. Simons Island, GA

You have written that the Jags have to score more to have a chance to win now. I agree. How many points? 30? 35? More?

I expect the Jaguars will need to score in the high 20s or low 30s in a lot of weeks to have a chance to win. Not all weeks, but a lot of weeks.


John, quite a stark difference in the ownership's mentality in Houston compared to here in Jax. They just fired the Coach/GM that won them four out of the last five divisional titles because a history of being good, not great, and a 0-4 start isn't good enough for them. Meanwhile, a history of being bad under General Manager David Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone and a 1-3 start is acceptable here.

Different teams take different approaches and have different patience levels. Circumstances are also different from team to team. I don't cover the Houston Texans, so I don't know all that went into the firing of O'Brien. I cover the Jaguars and I can tell you Khan wants to see if this management/coaching dynamic of Caldwell and Marrone – which in a sense is in its first season – can work.

Michael from Fruit Cove

You wrote this week that the Jags needed to go as young as they are to get the salary cap under control. A quick google search says that we're more than $20 million under the cap. So did we really need to go this young? It felt like a mistake in the offseason and is looking worse now. What would the drawbacks have been if we used $15-20 million of that money to field a competitive team this season?

Not having it going forward.

Shawn from Arlington, TX

I can't wait to read the repeat of, 10 things, and experts; opinions. Now to the important question: Did you make an offer on Kismet?

I can't wait to write them and read those stories either, and yes – there's some repetition in some of the stories on this website and in some of the things that are written and said about the Jaguars these days. When a team is struggling as the Jaguars currently are struggling, keys to games often come down to a few key elements that bear repeating. I did make an offer on Kismet. It was an offer Shad Khan couldn't refuse. And yet he did.

Michael from Elberton, GA

Well, I guess the days of defense in the NFL have just gone into the crapper. Jags are having a historically bad season on defense (worst in franchise history) and yet they are still ranked 23rdin points given up (29.3) and 23rdin yards given up (399.5). Holy crap! There are nine worse defenses this year than the Jags! I really don't like how this season is shaking out. You would think lack of training camp and preseason games would have impacted offenses more than defenses, but guess not. How do you make sense of that?

I make sense of it mainly by realizing the league has skewed the rules so far in favor of offenses – partly because of safety issues and partly because casual fans like offense – that it's getting closer and close to impossible to play truly high-level defense. I've heard a lot of people speculate that quarterbacks are simply that much better now than in previous eras. I don't buy it. Nearly every team has a quarterback it likes as a starter. There are so many "historically great" quarterback days now one hardly stands apart from another. The quarterbacks are suddenly that good? Sorry. The game is that much easier for quarterbacks and offense now. That's why you're seeing what you're seeing.

Gary from Wesley Chapel

Will you please ask defensive coordinator Todd Wash what are the chances we will see linebacker Shaq Quarterman on the field anytime soon. What has he seen from him, and has he come up with any creative ways to get him involved in the defense? Or if you would like to make a stab at it, what do you think? I keep thinking he could become a real difference-maker on the defense. I'm looking forward to seeing him on the field, hopefully at some point, wearing the number 55.

I don't expect Quarterman on the field if Joe Schobert is healthy. Quarterman is a reserve middle linebacker. The Jaguars don't plan to use him on the outside and I don't see any scenario other than injury that Schobert will come off the field.

Chris from Space City, TX

Welcome to Space City, Johnny-O. Is it possible to line you up at defensive tackle against the Texans? You can't be any worse than the saps (oh I mean young and inexperienced) we have on the D-line. Please tell coach to give you a shot at getting to Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson since all others have failed miserably on this roster.

I could be worse.