O-Zone: Thanks a million

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Chuck from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Help me understand why Mr. Khan publicly wants to “pay” cornerback Jalen Ramsey while hasn’t made the same offer to Yannick Ngakoue. Aren’t good pass-rushing defensive ends more valuable than top-tier corners? And then there’s the role model thing: Ramsey, linebacker Myles Jack or Ngakoue?

The Jaguars offered Ngakoue a multi-year contract this past offseason. While Ngakoue declined the contract, it’s not correct to say that Khan has not made an offer to pay Ngakoue. The Jaguars determined the level of contract they wanted to pay Ngakoue and decided they weren’t going to go above that. That may not have pleased fans, observers or Ngakoue, but it’s not the same as Khan not being willing to pay Ngakoue. And while good pass-rushing defensive ends are often more valuable than top-tier corners, Ramsey is an elite enough talent to be more valuable than a lot of pass rushing defensive ends – not more valuable than elite pass-rushing ends, but more valuable than good ones. As for the role-model thing … as the kids just keep loving to say, LOL … wut?

Sean from Jacksonville

The longer a used car sits on the lot, the lower the price gets. The used car that sits on the lot a long time and gets dinged up? The price drops faster. How do you fix this? Exactly! Make sure the car gets fixed up and gets plenty of driving to make sure the wheels haven't fallen off and potential buyers can see that it is still roadworthy. So, when the next car buying season heats up, you've recouped some of the value that was once lost while it sat there collecting cobwebs.

You go, girl.

Bruce from Owensboro, KY

What happened to Geoff Swaim? Is he a non-factor in the tight-end department? I don't recall hearing him mentioned more than once? Is he hurt also?

He’s playing. He hasn’t been a major force in the passing game, but he has been effective as a blocker and has contributed at times as a receiver. That’s about what was expected when he signed as an unrestricted free agent from Dallas this past offseason.

Aqeel from Toronto, Canada

OAF, I think it is now official that Gardner Minshew II is the Most Interesting Man in the World. I heard he saved a man that was trapped in a car by using his mustache to pry the door open.

You’re correct.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

Coaches coach and players play. I haven’t seen defensive coordinator Todd Wash miss a tackle, fail to cover a gap or let a receiver burn him. He’s coached a top-10 defense the past few seasons. He is good. Yet when the same players make the same mistakes play after play, isn’t it the coach’s responsibility to make in-game adjustments? Or is he trying, and the players just aren’t executing?

Head Coach Doug Marrone explained this best Monday. He was asked about why the Jaguars didn’t make adjustments when the Carolina Panthers ran effectively Sunday. He said the reality behind adjustments in run defense is they make sense when you’re getting out-leveraged – i.e., when the offense is gaining an advantage in numbers and personnel with blocking scheme to one side or the other. He said this wasn’t the issue against the Panthers, and that to adjust in that situation would have been to put the defensive players in worse position to succeed rather than better position. In that case, it was a case of players missing assignments and missing tackle. The Jaguars made one such adjustment against Carolina to address this, replacing rookie weak-side linebacker Quincy Williams late in the game. When players aren’t executing assignments, there’s not much the coach can do except realize that it’s always coaching in the NFL. Always.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

Obviously, it’s a very nagging injury that can linger for some time, but can you explain a little about rookie tight end Josh Oliver? Does he look close to what he looked like after the injury? I would think they would have looked toward the short IR with the length it’s been, but they seem like he’s just close enough but can’t go. Can he not run well and cut? Just ready to see him out there, he has the look of a STUD.

Oliver sustained a significant hamstring injury in the preseason. He was on course to return and Marrone said recently he hit a snag and the Jaguars had to “go back a couple of steps.” He has practiced the last three weeks on a limited basis, and it seems likely he will play relatively soon.

Tim from Fernandina Beach, FL

John: We can't seem to stop the opponents on their opening drive and are constantly playing from behind. How about we take the ball instead of deferring when we win the coin toss?

Coaches love having the ball to start the second half because it gives them a chance to have back-to-back possessions, and to take control of the game to start the third quarter. But in this case, I agree that the Jaguars might be well-served to take the ball at the start of the game to see if they can get a lead.

Rick from Franconia, VA

O-Zinator, I read on another website that there is no way the team can afford to pay Nick Foles his current contract for 2020 to be the back up to GMII. Why not? You would have two young players on their first-year contracts drawing minimum salaries and one highly-paid veteran. Whether it’s the Jags or any other NFL team that finds themselves in this situation, do you believe “there is no way” a situation like this can exist entering a new season where the highly paid guy isn’t the starter?

If Minshew indeed plays too well for the Jaguars to go back to Nick Foles as the starter, I believe the Jaguars would want to trade Foles. I’m just not sure how you can afford under the salary cap to trade him this season or next offseason.

Zach from Delevan, WI

I think why so many people are questioning the defense and Coach Wash this season is people are wondering why the defensive schemes being called are so different from previous seasons in which the defense was successful. Being in Wisconsin I've seen a lot of Packer games and the Jags defense seems to be having the same exact issues that the Packers had when Dom Capers was calling their defense. That doesn't seem to be coincidental to me. As they say, If it ain't broke...

People questioned Wash and the Jaguars’ defensive coaches long before Capers was hired, and they’ll question Wash – or whoever is coaching the Jaguars’ defense – long after Capers is gone. Fans question coaching when things go wrong. It’s what fans do. Fans gonna fan.

Marc from Oceanway

Hey John, Mr. No Longer a Fan, reading how you talk about Gardner Minshew, gives me a sneaky suspicion that you might actually be enjoying yourself, or do I err (did I spell it right this time?)

Sure.

Brian from Jacksonville

Will Jake Ryan be able to suit up this season? He was one of our bigger signings this past offseason, but we have yet to see him. This linebacking crew needs an upgrade. The Jaguars acquired Ryan thinking he was just that. Now he sits on the non-football injury list, perpetually inactive. What is going on O?

Ryan was supposed to be ready for training camp, but he had a setback the summer while rehabilitating a torn anterior cruciate ligament that cost him last season while with the Green Bay Packers. He spent training camp on the reserve/non-football injury list, and he was placed on the physically unable to perform list to start the regular season. Ryan will be eligible to come off that list on Monday. We’ll see when that actually happens.

Dave from Dallas, TX

Hey Mr. O: Say what now? Telvin Smith thinks he’s not getting paid enough? What dimension have I just slipped into?

Fair question.

Brodie from Orlando, FL

We have talked a lot this week about the risks when running a gap defense, being that if somebody is out of position it can lead to big plays. What are the strengths of a gap defense as opposed to other schemes? Obviously there has to be some trade-off with every scheme, right?

There’s nothing wrong with a gap scheme that playing the defense as it’s called and playing assignments correctly within that scheme can’t solve. Or by simply hanging out with Tom. (Wait for it)

Tom from Charleston, SC

Thank you for answering part of my question. However, you missed the real question in my post. "You continue to point out that players are out of position. So tell us, are the players just not smart enough for this scheme or are they not talented enough? If the issues are so "fixable" explain why they are not being fixed? It would be nice if you answer all of a question rather than just picking the spinnable parts.

You’re welcome.

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