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O-Zone: So worth it

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Travis from Jacksonville

I read an article that said Jalen Ramsey posted a tweet saying, "When I'm gone from here, y'all gonna miss me." Is this frustration from a player because the season hasn't gone as expected? Or has Jalen been having problems with the coaches? I had read an article before that said he didn't want to be drafted by Jacksonville because they hadn't been winning very much. Being around the team, is there anything you've noticed lately that would make you think he doesn't want to re-sign with this team?

Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey indeed made news Monday with the above-mentioned tweet. But that he did so isn’t out of character or unexpected. It’s hardly news that Ramsey does things his way on and off the field – and that there will be off-field distractions to go with his on-field talent. And it’s not news that he makes things public that many players prefer to keep private. It has been that way since the Jaguars selected him No. 5 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, and I imagine it will be that way as long as he is with the team. My thought on the situation is Ramsey indeed is frustrated by the Jaguars’ losing streak – just as the entire team is frustrated. His mode of operation – whether fans and the team like it or not – is to express those frustrations publicly, just as he expresses many thoughts publicly. Maybe this is maturity or maybe it’s who he is. The implication of the tweet seems to be he might someday not re-sign with the Jaguars. I have no idea if that’s what Ramsey’s thinking or how serious about it if that is what he’s thinking. I do know he is under contract for one more year with the team having an option for another year. I also know the Jaguars have the franchise tag at their disposal for at least another year after that. That’s three years. That’s a long time in the NFL. Will Ramsey want to be with the Jaguars at that point? Will the Jaguars want Ramsey at that point? There is so much that can happen between now and then – shoot, there is so much that can happen between now and the end of this season – that I wouldn’t worry much about it right now. There’s every possibility that this tweet will be much ado about nothing sooner rather than later. Maybe it will wind up being a big deal. Maybe it won’t. Do coaches or even teammates love this sort of thing? Perhaps not, but it’s what you get with Ramsey. You decide if what he does on the field is worth it. If you decide it is, you live with it. If not, you don’t.

Jessup from Duval

While I can blame our management for taking a running back in the Top 5, I can’t blame the running back – two yards tall or not – if the line can’t block. Len does make a difference. Well, everyone … time to go back to the abyss. See you in hell.

Cool. See you there.

Fred from Naples, FL

So now Jalen wants out? Boy, the next seven weeks will tell us a lot about our players.

This is an emotional time. Ramsey’s an emotional person. But yes … the next seven weeks will tell us a lot about these Jaguars players. That will be good in some cases. In some cases, it might not be that great. We’ll see.

Jason from North Pole, AK

How can people possibly complain about Fournette's average yards per carry? The threat of Fournette is the very reason Bortles had time in the pocket and receivers were open. I don't care how many yards he runs for; I care that defenses have to load the box to stop him.

Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette wasn’t otherworldly in his return Sunday following a four-game absence because of a hamstring issue. And he did average just 2.2 yards per carry on 24 carries for 53 total yards. But to think that he didn’t affect the game Sunday is incorrect. He caught five passes for 56 yards, and the Jaguars were more effective on screen passes than they had been in more than a month. He scored two meaningful touchdowns, something the Jaguars’ offense hadn’t done in more than a month. And I don’t believe it was a coincidence that Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles played better than he had in a month. I can’t credit Fournette for everything the Jaguars did well Sunday, but he had 109 total yards and the Jaguars’ backs as a group produced 177 total yards. He has to get some credit for some of that.

Tim from Jacksonville

Rashad Greene caught nearly everything at FSU and I have no problem with throwing to him in that situation. What I haven’t heard discussed is why it mattered if he fumbled or not? The whistle was blown and the ball was dead before Indy recovered. So how on earth did the Colts get the ball and what play were the refs/review crew in NY watching? Do they not have any sound or are they deaf?

The whistle blew after Greene’s late-game fumble and before Colts safety Malik Hooker recovered. The officials ruled that Hooker had a clear recovery and would have recovered the ball had the whistle not blown. The NFL rules say that that means the Colts indeed were supposed to gain possession. The rule is written that way to ensure the right team has possession in the case of an inadvertent whistle. The official made the correct call.

Scott from Daytona Beach, FL

Guess I won’t have to buy playoff tickets this year.

Probably not.

Scott from Medford, NJ

I get a feeling "Big on Blake from Philly" is Dave Caldwell's burner account.

Fair.

Dustin from Orlando, FL

I have two questions. In response to a question Sunday you said, "Usually, mental errors on defense are players trying to do too much to make big plays and getting out of position." I don't think this is true for multiple blown plays Sunday. It seemed more like players not knowing their assignments in a given play. Is Todd Wash trying to do too much?

It’s true that mental errors on defense are usually players trying to do too much to make big plays and therefore getting out of position. That wasn’t the case Sunday, when the issues were about players simply not doing very basic things for which the defense called. This was not a case of defensive coordinator Todd Wash trying to do too much. The Jaguars run a basic defense and don’t complicate things much by mixing coverage. This was simply a case of multiple players missing very basic assignments and somewhat inexplicably being dramatically out of position.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

Our defensive scheme doesn’t appear (at least to my layman’s eyes) all that complex. Yet we continue to see mass confusion in pass coverage. It also appears that while the D-line is as aggressive as ever, we’re seeing softer coverage from the defensive backs. If that perception is accurate, wouldn’t that indicate more of a coaching issue than an execution issue?

Coaches tell players what to do. The assignments are clear – and pretty simple, actually. It’s up to players to execute them. Sunday was not a coaching issue.

Jeremy from Omaha, NE

If you ever wonder what it looks like for people to only care about getting paid and not doing their job look no farther than the Jaguars’ defense. Pathetic, grown, spoiled guys who only care about cash. This team is done and has major issues.

This statement implies the Jaguars weren’t playing hard Sunday. I didn’t see that. I did see a defense in the first half with a lot of inexplicable blown assignments and mental errors. That’s not a broad-brush indication that everyone on the defense doesn’t care. It is an indication that a few players need to do a better job quickly.

Will from Corpus Christi, TX

Thirty-two teams in the NFL – 32! And I chose the Jacksonville Jaguars. I just can’t believe it. I’m from Puerto Rico. Football is not big over there. The only three sports that people really follow are baseball, basketball and boxing. I only left Puerto Rico when I joined the U.S. Army. Even during my nine years in the Army I didn’t follow football. I spent most of my enlistment time in Texas. I currently live in Texas! Did I become a Cowboys or Texans fan? No. Instead, I started to follow football when I moved to Jacksonville for three years. What a damn mistake. I might as well have chosen the Cleveland Browns or the Detroit Lions. The other 2 teams besides the Jaguars that are cursed to suck for eternity. Unbelievable.

Yeah, but this is the only team with this really cool column.

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