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O-Zone: Time to work

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Robert from Manassas, VA

Does trading away defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. mean that the Jaguars have given up on this season and are already planning for next year?

No. First, Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin and Head Coach Doug Marrone are more about “Win Now” than “Wait ‘Til Next Year.” Second, the decision to move Fowler was about a reality that they were going to lose him to unrestricted free agency following the season – not to mention multiple off-field distractions that ultimately were more trouble than his on-field play merited. I believe the Jaguars aren’t as good defensively without Fowler than with him. And although he didn’t live up to his status as the No. 3 overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, I always liked the intensity he brought and believed he was an asset because of the on-field disruption he created; he had a knack for being around the ball and making impact plays that the Jaguars will miss. At the same time, the Jaguars had to make the move when they did. With the trade deadline approaching, Tuesday was the last chance they had to move Fowler and get equity in return. And the equity received from the Los Angeles Rams – a third-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft and a fifth-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft – made it too attractive to not trade Fowler. But no, it’s not a move about giving up on the season. If that were the case, the Jaguars could have moved any number of other high-priced defense players. They didn’t do that because the idea is still to win now – even though they’ve been struggling to do that lately.

JT from Fort Worth, TX

I know this is your question page, but not one answer to the Fowler trade? and Landry Jones? Come on man!

That’s on me: I was remiss in not answering a Fowler question in Wednesday’s O-Zone. I had discussed the topic on Jaguars Happy Hour Tuesday with J.P. Shadrick and I discussed it ad nauseum – including an O-Zone mailbag question – on Jaguars Drive Time Wednesday with Brian Sexton and Ashlyn Sullivan. I also discussed it in a segment discussing “10 Things” the Jaguars must do after the bye to improve that ran on the site Wednesday. When compiling the Wednesday morning O-Zone I overlooked discussing it there, too. As for the Landry Jones signing, that happened Wednesday after the O-Zone had been posted. Anyway, I guess we all need a bye week. I’ll try to be better. Don’t hold your breath.

Jonathan from Jacksonville

It's 6-10 at best, O.

Fair.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

Landry Jones career stats: 108 completions out of 169 passes (63.9 percent) for 1,310 yards and eight touchdowns with seven interceptions. Cody Kessler career stats: 160 completions out of 248 passes (64.5%) for 1,662 yards and seven touchdowns with four interceptions. Since the stats don’t justify the trade, what does?

What trade? What justification? The Jaguars signed former Steelers backup quarterback Landry Jones Wednesday as insurance because starting quarterback Blake Bortles reportedly sustained a left-shoulder injury against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday. The move isn’t about replacing Kessler. It’s not about replacing Bortles, who is expected to play against the Colts. The Jaguars didn’t give up anything in a trade. They didn’t acquire him with the idea of dramatically improving the position. Justifying a trade isn’t really a pertinent conversation.

Bud from Jacksonville

Zero Pro Bowlers on this year’s roster!

Josh Lambo?

Mike from Atlanta, GA

It looks like a lot of people will be using the “R” word to describe the Jaguars in the offseason. How much of the receiving corps and offensive line do you think will be turned over?

Receiving corps: about 50-50, with Donte Moncrief, Jaydon Mickens and Rashad Greene likely not returning and Marqise Lee, Dede Westbrook, D.J. Chark and perhaps Keelan Cole returning. Offensive line: about 60-40, with left tackle Cam Robinson, left guard Andrew Norwell and center Brandon Linder returning.

Chris from Mandarin, FL

The Colts are a really bad football team. They also happen to have the same record as the Jaguars. If the Jaguars lose after the bye, sure there will be seven games left, but the season will be over and the team will not make the playoffs. If there's ever a must win, this is it …

The Colts actually are improving in recent weeks, but yeah … this is one the Jaguars absolutely have to win.

Eddie from Jacksonville

O-Man, I agree with Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. It is negligent of the coaching and personnel staff to not have a contingency plan in place for each possible injury an individual player could suffer during the season. It just shows a complete lack of effort and concern from management.

I hope for your sake I’m missing at least a drip of sarcasm here. Teams must plan for injuries, and I would agree that the Jaguars should have done more to address running back and tight end because of the importance of those positions to the running game. Specifically, the decisions to release tight end Marcedes Lewis when it wasn’t necessary and to not have a second power running back to back up Fournette appear to be “misses.” But if your point is that an NFL team should be able to adequately replace all 22 starters with a player close to the ability of the starter then it’s not only an invalid point, it’s a laughable one.

Bruce from Surf City, USA

Remember when I was talking about surfin' with Gene at the North Shore in Hawaii this summer? That was cool. I liked it. Can we go back to those times? BTW - Gene has never been out with a hamstring! Cultural icon AND tough as nails.

Reminiscing and reflecting upon the deeds of longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. “Gene” Frenette last summer indeed was cool and time well spent. I liked it, too. Ah, the lazy, hazy crazy days of summer … I wish that summer could always be here …

Gordon from Jacksonville

This is my first question ever and I’ve been a fan of the Jaguars since 2005 when I was 12. This isn’t even really a question I just wanted to say that in the 12 years I’ve watched the Jaguars, I’ve watched them suffer more losses than I care to remember. But I’ve also enjoyed every second of it. Whether or not this team goes to the playoffs this year, the future is bright for this team. Instead of constantly criticizing the quarterback and demanding the whole team be thrown away, how about we just enjoy the fact that we’re one of only 32 cities with an NFL team, and that we got something to be excited about watching every week, win or lose . I know 12-year old me would agree.

Fans aren’t going to do that, particularly the ones who write here. But your point is a valid one and there are those – a silent group, it is true – who undoubtedly agree. #DTWD

Kevin from Jacksonville

While the idea of being a run-first team may be a little antiquated, isn't it weird that we said we were going to do it, but then didn't actually follow through? We drafted a(nother) backup defensive lineman, and a fast receiver for the outside while we still needed upgrades on the offensive line and tight end ... and when our bell-cow back got hurt, took almost a month to get another player on the team to fill in. Is it too much to expect that even if you're going to run an old-school plan, that you at least do it right?

Fair points. Though the Jaguars did sign offensive guard Andrew Norwell and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins – as mentioned in the previous answer – neglecting to retain Lewis and not signing another “every-down” running back in retrospect has hurt.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

With the trade of Fowler, is it more clear who they plan to keep on the defensive line next year?

Well, it makes it clear they won’t be keeping Fowler. As for who will return from – or how they will approach trying to retain – the trio of end Calais Campbell, tackle Malik Jackson and tackle Marcell Dareus, that’s still fluid.

Michael from Ocala, FL

I heard Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue say Tuesday that the players were off until Sunday. What about the coaches and/or staff? Do they stick around for the week or take a break too? Just curious if it’s mandatory and how things work behind the scenes. On a side note, appreciate your patience w/ these other "fans." Go Jags.

Players under league rules must be off at least from Thursday through Sunday during the bye week. That rule does not apply to coaches, who in the Jaguars’ case indeed are working throughout the week. As Marrone said following Sunday’s loss to the Eagles, “The players get a chance to leave. We get a chance to work.”

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