JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Daniel from Johnston, IA
Hypothetical for you (aren't they all?): If Atlanta were willing to deal/release quarterback Matt Ryan this offseason, would the Jags be interested? Even if they pick up a quarterback in the draft, it might be good to have a starter while the draftee learned?
A couple of thoughts here. One is it's impossible to know if the Jaguars would have interest in Ryan in the 2021 offseason because at 1-6 it's impossible to know the direction of the Jaguars moving forward after this season. Jaguars owner Shad Khan will determine that at some point in the coming weeks/months, after which these issues will come more into focus. I also would be surprised if the Falcons parted ways with Ryan – unless they are in position to draft a quarterback early in Round 1 and move in another direction. Now, if Ryan indeed were available … that would make sense for the Jaguars on some level. He's capable, experienced and seems to have at least a few seasons left. But you would only do it if you weren't in position to draft a quarterback in the top five or so. You don't bring him in to teach or have a young player learn from him. He's too good for that.
Zac from Austin, tejas
The head coach position is like the ultimate facilitator: make sure everyone is on the same page and moving the same direction. The offensive coordinator seems to be there to give suggestions: here are the plays for the drive, but it's up to you to audible and make decisions. HOWEVER, the defensive coordinator position seems to be the most influential - predicting plays and calling the right schemes to put players where the ball is going to be seems to have a bit more pressure on the coach's mental faculties. Am I way off?
You have a good grasp on the role of NFL head coach. As for the next level, I wouldn't necessarily put the defensive coordinator or offensive coordinator above the other in terms of influence. Both positions install game plans during the week and make calls during games that players must execute. An offensive coordinator perhaps has a bit more influence than a defensive coordinator because he's coaching the players with the footballs in their hands, so they are acting and dictating rather than reacting. I'm not sure which position puts the most pressure on one's mental faculties; both are about trying to put players in the best possible positions, and both are doing pretty much the same amount of predicting/scheming. Bottom line is this: Even though it's always coaching in the NFL, as a coordinator you can call the right schemes and predict all you want. If players execute well and can beat their opponent one-on-one a lot, you're going to look like your mental faculties are operating at a high level. If the players can't do that, you're pretty much screwed.
Blues Man from Jacksonville
It's sad and concerning that here we are, at least a significant majority of us, looking forward to drafting in the top 1-3 slots. We've come a long way, but unfortunately in the wrong direction. I certainly don't have the answers. I'm not only concerned about the franchise on the field - I'm also very concerned about what's going to happen behind the scenes off the field. What do you see as the legitimate direction of this franchise?
Up, one would hope.
Owain from Sheffield, UK
Assuming Gardner Minshew II isn't "the guy" at quarterback, is he still on the roster as the backup next year?
Red from the Ozone Comments Section
Hi John, have you put the finishing touches on your postgame article praising Jake Luton and extolling his superior skills compared to the weak-armed, poor decision-making quarterback the Jags have had starting? After all the six losses are all #MinshewsFault
Seriously, Red: When did I ever write or say that it's "All Minshew's fault?" The answer: never. At the same time, my intent in the O-Zone is to assess what's going on with the Jaguars as accurately and fairly as is possible. The reality is Minshew has been a significant reason for the Jaguars' 1-6 record and I have written as much. I thought Minshew would take a step forward this season, and the Jaguars hoped he would take a step. That didn't happen. That's not to say the defense hasn't been an issue, too; it clearly has been a major problem. But Minshew's struggles in the pocket, and his struggles to push the ball downfield, have been issues. The Jaguars have enough talent offensively that with Top 10-to-12 quarterback play their 1-6 record could/should be around 3-4 or so. That's not great, but it's a reasonable expectation. As for my postgame article … no, it's not written yet. If rookie Jake Luton plays well in his first NFL start, pushes the ball downfield and plays well in a Jaguars victory … yeah, I'll write about it. And I'll praise it. The Jaguars don't win very often. Given the opportunity, you're absolutely right, I'll extoll.
Pedal Bin from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK
Oh Mighty 'O'/King of All Funk, zero percent for cranberry sauce? Good Lord, we will be having words next time you are over!
Is there, "Less Than Zero?"
John from Round Here
Zonitude, I feel as if the NFL each year now has a number of franchises that have fans hoping for their team to lose early in the season ... which frankly stinks. After the Dolphins game, it started here – where many fans were touting losing the next 13 games. Do you think the NFL should maybe consider a weighted lottery draft so that fans might be able to be happy if ... you know ... their favorite team wins a game midseason?
I understand the sentiment, and "tanking" certainly was enough of an issue for the NBA to move to a lottery to prevent teams from trying to lose to secure the rights to franchise-changing players. But my sense – and I could be wrong – is that basketball is still more likely to have this happen than football because one player in basketball can shape an entire franchise more often than is the case in football. Now, there certainly are cases when a quarterback can shape a franchise. And we might be seeing such a case with Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. But those cases are rare enough that I don't know that we need a new rule. Besides, the NFL already has a mechanism in place to prevent teams from tanking. Players and coaches gain nothing by tanking and therefore don't do it.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, losing isn't fun, but how can fans complain when a game gives us an excuse to pop open a cold one and continue our hope for the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft?
They'll find a way.
Nicholas from Fort Hood, TX
John Oehser: Which nickname do you prefer: Zone, O-Zone, KOAF, KOAGF or something else? Do you think the NFL and NFLPA would consider cancelling select games in the final week if they will have zero impact on the playoff scenario? Also, Halloween was last week, and I have yet to hear a Krimma from you, are you feeling well?
I don't care. I hope not. Krimma.
Dan from Greer
Really like your column ... always a smile or two ... be great if there were thumbs up icons to show our approval of your answers ... because fans gotta fan … hey, if nothing else it'd be something to show the wife that someone agrees with your opinion ... not that any wife cares who agrees with your opinion as long as you agree with theirs.
You can only have thumbs-ups if you accompany them with thumbs-downs. Goodness knows the "Reds" of the world have enough joy without giving them that.
Jon from Brentwood, UK
So Zone, based on your answer to Zac from Austin, Tejas, it is good to know you always give Thanksgiving Dinner 110 percent.
Damn right I do.
Big on Blake from Philly
Not sure if there's a question here, but Jake Luton is not in a very good position at all. Never mind he is a sixth-round rookie quarterback, but one win actually hurts this team significantly. His opportunity to keep this starting job doesn't depend on one or two wins. He has to win every game. That's a huge mountain for any player to climb let alone a sixth-round rookie taking his first snap under center in any NFL format. Good luck to him! #NoPressure
Yeah, well … not everyone gets to get their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in a "good position." Luton is getting an opportunity. That's more than some young quarterbacks get. I mean, life isn't fair. Look at Red. You think he chose his lot in life?