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O-Zone: Star bright

JACKSONVILLE – Look-ahead Wednesday.

Let's get to it …

Holger from Zurich, Switzerland

The discussion around Minshew will never go away as long as people expect the result to be binary – i.e. either franchise quarterback or obviously not capable to play. Most quarterbacks end up somewhere in between. Even the great ones were not great all the time. It could very well be that Minshew ends up being average – sometimes really good, sometimes really bad. The question is, is that enough? Is a Chad Pennington-esque ceiling enough to stick to him for the next few years?

You're correct, because NFL reality is "quarterback discussions" around teams don't end until they find what observers consider a franchise quarterback. The definition for the label can be elusive, but you most often know them you see them – and when the quarterbacks sign the accompanying long-term, salary-cap-defining contract. Regarding Minshew … no, average won't be enough. If he is that, the team likely will seek a replacement. The trick there is finding a replacement. Teams with average quarterbacks typically aren't in position to select quarterbacks early in the draft, and Jaguars observers know well the difficulty of finding one anywhere. As far getting a Pennington-esque player … when Pennington was healthy, he consistently was a winning quarterback that got his team into the playoffs. Realistically, you would take that.

Justice from Atlanta, GA

But O, all the expert pundits said the Jaguars were the worst team in the NFL? It's as if they don't take the time to actually evaluate a roster, but they just assume that losing "name players" and having a lot of rookies is bad. That couldn't be the case though, right?

National analysts analyze all 32 NFL teams as opposed to focusing on one or two. It therefore is difficult for them to be as well-educated about an entire roster as people who follow those teams closely. It's also difficult to project how young players will develop. Observers this offseason saw in the Jaguars a team that lost familiar players and signed no huge names as free agents. They saw a team that finished last in the AFC South last season with a sixth-round quarterback. They saw a very young team. It's easy to pick such a team to finish last. Where else would you pick that team if you were being objective? But the NFL isn't about polls or rankings. It's about what happens on the field.

Steve from Hilton Head, SC

Will the Jags have enough stamina to stop Titans running back Derrick Henry late in the game?

They better.

Bryce from Waterloo, IA

One for Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell. He fixed former Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin's cap disaster in one offseason. Brought in offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, who seems like a match made in heaven for Minshew. Speaking of Minshew, Caldwell found him in the sixth round. I don't want to know where the Jags would be without him. To top it off, he made the bold decision to move on from running back Leonard Fournette, who he didn't want to draft in the first place. Then found his replacement in undrafted free agency.

Hey … one fer Caldwell – but Head Coach Doug Marrone hired Gruden. And don't think that Caldwell made the decision to waive Fournette alone.

Adam from St. Johns, FL

This Week 1 tastes pretty good. I have been very skeptical, to say the least, about this offensive line. So, for Week 1 … OK, Coach you were right. Now, still some mental lapses but, overall better than any time last year. It's obvious this offense will have to keep this defense in some games this season, but if the offensive line can continue and grow with continuity, they might be a reason the Jags win. Outrushing the Colts, I never thought would happen. Kind of impressive, to be honest.

Thank you, Alan.

Tudor from St. Augustine, FL

How much would defensive end Calais Campbell have cost to keep this season? I still wonder if they jumped the gun by trading him. With defensive end K'Lavon Chaisson sharing some of the workload, it could have kept Campbell fresh late into the season. A year too soon, in my opinion.

Campbell would have cost $17.5 million against the salary cap in 2020. The Jaguars' goal this offseason was to get younger, better and strengthen the core while getting the cap in order. Trading Campbell was part of that.

Matty from St. Augustine, FL

Just want to give a shout out to defensive tackle Taven Bryan. He is showing a better presence so far. I know it was only Game One, but he showed some ability to be a playmaker/breaker. I like the direction we are going! We may not make the splash we all need or want, but we damn sure won't belly flop either! Here's to the Swan dive!!! Dilly, Dilly!!


Brian from Jacksonville

It's Titans week. What is the best way for me to let go of the past and be hopeful that we'll win this game? I'm hoping you say "many beers" ... and mean it.

A couple of thoughts on the Titans. One, the Jaguars beat them in Week 3 last season and have beaten them in Jacksonville in two of the last four meetings – so it's not as if Tennessee has completely dominated the series. Also, remember: The Jaguars' really bad losses at Tennessee in recent seasons – and they have been really bad losses – have come later in the seasons when the Jaguars were entering or in declines. Or when the seasons were essentially over. Once things started going bad in those games, the Jaguars never responded. This team feels different on that front. The Jaguars' season is still in front of them. Marrone believes the team will respond well to adversity. We'll see Sunday.

Howard from Homestead, FL

KOAF, I am running out of people with whom I can talk football. Almost all my long time, football loving friends are walking away because of the flag. They won't watch it. They don't follow it. They don't even want to talk about it. What will it take to win these fans back?

Time, one would hope.

Richard from Jacksonville

What does "GM John O" do next year if at draft time he has an efficient quarterback that throws a catchable ball, can hit the window, and doesn't turn the ball over but lacks velocity on the out/dig/route tree and has trouble progressing beyond his third read (sack or scramble time). If you are drafting at No. 8 or No. 9 and the third-highest-rated quarterback is available? QB or BPA?

This is tricky because I don't know if the third-highest-quarterback is better than the one I have until I see the third-highest-rated quarterback. If the efficient quarterback is only good enough to get me to No. 8 or 9 in the draft, then I probably draft a rookie. If that efficient quarterback put me in the playoffs and the No. 8 or 9 selection is one I got from the Los Angeles Rams for cornerback Jalen Ramsey, then maybe I feel differently.

Dylan from Boulder, CO

John, it appears someone forgot to explain to the Jags' rookie class what the definition of "tanking" is. Can you remind Doug to go over this in the next team meeting?

I'll text him.

Logan from Wichita, KS

Any chance we can get the Tennessee Titans out of the South Division or even better out of the AFC? Really sick of facing them two times a year. One time every four years is more than enough.

Why? If you're going to be a playoff team and contend for the Super Bowl, you must beat good teams. You must get good enough that other teams are worried about beating you and not vice-versa. Go beat the Titans. It's not impossible. Not even close.

Zac from Austin, Tejas

There is a list floating around of the Jaguars' history of second-round draft picks. They seem to be pretty notable faces of the franchise. Do you have any theory as to why?

The Jaguars have drafted well in that round.

Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA

Hi, John. Jarrod Wilson to injured reserve reminded that I don't know something. In the past, IR meant gone for the year. Then the NFL added a "come back in 10 weeks" category. Now, I read Wilson might be out a month. Can you explain how injured reserve works now? Thanks.

A player placed on injured reserve in 2020 may return to practice after missing three weeks with teams having three weeks after that to return the player to the active roster; teams may return an unlimited number of players throughout the season. In previous seasons, two players could per team could return from injured reserve – and those players had to be out eight games. Here's hoping the NFL adapts the new rules permanently, or at least moves closer to those rules.

Shane from Atlanta, GA

Did you miss me? Wait … don't answer that. When you looked up at the stars at night, did you wonder if I was looking at those same stars?

Yes. (Obviously)