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O-Zone: Steady dose

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

David from Chuluota, FL

KOAF – Maybe I'm slipping on keeping up with my Jags news, but I haven't really seen much on the repercussions of a team leader losing his green dot. Myles Jack has always been considered a building block on this team, but he recently lost his job to direct the defense, which feels like a demotion. Now, the guy who rarely misses a game has a back injury? Sure, it may be legit, but may it also be something bigger?

Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack has played better throughout his career without the green dot on his helmet than with it. And let's not overplay the green dot: It's not necessarily a symbol of leadership. It's the guy who gets the call in the headset and relays it to teammates. "Losing it" it is not a demotion. And Jack has an injured back. It's legit. It's not something bigger. It's just the coaches looking for the best way to run the defense – and the best way to get the plays in and out from the sideline.

Tucker from Gallatin

John, you're right about the defense not creating turnovers. So why isn't Cisco playing? We are 0-5. We also know what we have in Wingard.

Jaguars rookie safety Andre Cisco isn't starting or getting repetitions ahead of third-year veteran Andrew Wingard because coaches believe Wingard currently is the better option. They split repetitions early in the season, but now it's pretty much Wingard. I understand this seems odd because Cisco seems to be the more athletic player with more potential – and because with the defense struggling to create turnovers, a player such as Cisco with a reputation for interceptions would seem the better option. It can take time to learn a defense and be ready. I would expect Cisco to play and start sometime this season, but a coach's job is to play the more-prepared, capable player – not to give a player they believe not ready "a shot." The belief among coaches when they selected him in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft was Cisco would start quickly. I don't sense that's particularly close to happening because Wingard is playing all snaps. Stay tuned.

Hilarious from Funnytown

"I'll sit on the sidelines with no skin in the game and voluntarily purchase tickets as a consumer, but since I don't like the way this billionaire who never has met me runs his business and I don't like his choice in management, that management's gotta go." That's some next-level logic right there! Shad Khan meet this fan! Then fire that man! Oh, man, O-man. Fans gonna fan.

Fans are supposed to question management when a team's not winning. That's how it always has been and it is how it shall be. That's the contract. And the Jaguars under owner Shad Khan have given fans an inordinate number of reasons to question and criticize football-related decisions. As is always the case with an owner, it is up to Khan to make see the big picture – and to see "behind the curtain," as has put it – and make the right decisions that lead to winning. Those decisions aren't easy. The NFL is ultracompetitive with no guarantees of success. Khan will continue doing whatever possible to succeed. Stay tuned.

Taylor from Columbia, MD

Fans gonna fan, but the Jags are gonna Jag (make poor choices and subsequently lose games). I wonder whether fans or Jags execs have a better grip of reality and that is very bad.


Wingus from Duval

As a Jaguars diehard that cannot leave even if I tried, I get the impression the team is actually playing more aggressively then the quality of the roster allows. Fourth and goal at the half, take the points, you need the points. I understand the call but I get the feeling the team is definitely playing to win, which is probably a good long term sign but a short term disaster.


Clayton from Mandarin

Can the Jags win the turnover battle? It's the key to victory.

I don't know if the Jaguars can win the turnover battle against Miami Sunday. They only have done so twice in the last twenty games. This is not quirky. Teams that aren't as good as their opponents often lose this statistic not because they are careless with the ball or because coaches aren't emphasizing it, but because struggling teams find themselves in situations in which they must take risks – and taking risks often leads to interceptions and mistakes. Also: teams with good pass rushes and disruptive defenses tend to create the chaos that forces turnovers. The Jaguars haven't been good enough recently in those areas, although they absolutely showed some signs of life on that front in the second half against Tennessee last Sunday. Is it the key to victory? Yes. The last time the Jaguars forced two more turnovers than their opponent was Week 1 2020 – a victory over Indianapolis and the last time the Jaguars won.

Al from Orange Park, FL

How many current Jags coaches and staff know how to "do" a London game? Is there any remaining institutional knowledge? Or, will it be a total re-learning experience for this team?

A few Jaguars coaches have "done" a London game. But pretty much the entire Jaguars' logistical/travel staff has done pretty much every London trip the team as made. All the coaching staff needs to do is listen to them.


Hi King of Zone - Is strength of schedule ever determined after the fact or only in advance? For example, the Jags have played five games this season. Based on results, the opponents have a 15-10 record (60%). If the Jags won all those games, the opponents would have a 10-15 record (40%).  With help from the Jags, the strength of schedule after the fact appears much more difficult.

Strength of schedule is based on whatever the person or persons determining strength chooses. Strength of schedule during an offseason typically is based on records from the previous season. Once a season begins, it can – and often is – based on results so far that season.

Sean from Jacksonville

The theme song for the season, so far? "Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M.

It sure ain't "Shiny, Happy People."

Robert from Jacksonville

_Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer is playing scapegoat with Myles Jack. If Myles' quality of play was actually the coaches' concern he would put Jack back outside were he demonstrably plays at a higher level. Meyer is obviously an emotional, stressed coach who finds himself in a position of self-inflicted discomfort. Meyer is used to winning in college by out-recruiting his opponents; Florida and Ohio State are big names in college football, giving him a recruiting edge. It does not work that way in the NFL. A handful of NFL rules try to maintain some form of parity (I do not think those rules work well – i.e., Jags and Lions). Taking it out on a player shows Meyer's true gamesmanship and his need to feed his Napoleon complex. The reason Meyer is still here is that Khan and Co. made a huge promotion of his hiring. Firing him now shows they may have picked the wrong guy. Ego is a big deal, we all have one, no one likes theirs stepped on. Back to Jack. If the Jags are truly and seriously concerned with his play, put him back outside. Otherwise the motivation is transparent. Are you sure Meyer has the locker room? Jack gets the "dot" taken away and now he has a back injury, not traveling to London. Does this look familiar?           _

Again … we're overplaying the "green dot" here. The dot is the helmet with an earpiece so that a player can receive calls from the sideline. It is not captaincy. It is not a cool prize. You don't find one in the little cardboard box by the exit door at the dentist office. Players don't necessarily covet it. It's actually received more attention this week among O-Zone readers than I can ever remember it receiving … like, ever. Your extensive psychoanalysis of Meyer aside, there's no scapegoat in this story. Jack was an outside backer in a 4-3 scheme. The Jaguars play a 3-4 now, and Jack is far better suited to the inside in that scheme. He's not faking injury. He's not making a point. He hurt his back/oblique last week and didn't travel to London. That's it. That's the story. No scape. No goat. Just not.

Jason from Port Orange, FL

Zone, The Dolphins are a team both giving up more points on average and scoring fewer points on average than the Jags. There aren't many teams doing both of those things this season. They also aren't very good at stopping the run. I know we won't be rolling out the wing-T offense this week, but a more steady dose of J-Rob could be a temporary cure for what ails the Jags. Am I being too optimistic?

Perhaps not.