JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …
Emile from Tallahassee, FL
Hey, Zone: Do you think starting Nick Foles this season and Gardner Minshew II as the future of the quarterback position are mutually exclusive? If not, what is the hypothetical road map there?
Those two concepts are not mutually exclusive. The road map would be wherever the two players take you. That’s because as much as people want a firm, easy answer about the quarterback position – and as nice as it would be to draft a quarterback No. 1 overall and watch him develop into franchise-defining player – sometimes the path is rockier, and the Jaguars’ reality is Minshew-Foles likely will play out on the field. Foles could return as the starter this season and not play well, which could mean Minshew returning to the lineup. Foles could return as the starter, play well this season, then sustain an injury and be replaced next season by a version of Minshew that plays so well the Jaguars couldn’t go back to Foles. There’s also the very real possibility that Foles will return this season, play well – and that Minshew will be a backup behind him for the rest of this season, and maybe another. The unbelievably good news for the Jaguars is both players might be pretty good options. There might not be a wrong answer at quarterback, and wouldn’t that be something? I understand that everyone wants an answer on this for the next five or more seasons RIGHT NOW AND NO LATER THAN RIGHT NOW! It doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes, situations must play out and this feels like such a situation.
Rob from the Westside
Someone should tell Dick Vermeil there's no crying in football.
There are exceptions to all rules.
Scott from Rehoboth Beach, DE
Man O-Man, losing Dareus this part of the season is a tough break to the run stop. Who on the roster do you think would be best to fill the spot, if anyone? Or should they try and get a decent plug-and-play tackle to add depth before the deadline?
The Jaguars on Friday placed defensive tackle Marcell Dareus on injured reserve, meaning the earliest he can return from his core-muscle injury is Week 17. There is nothing good about that because Dareus indeed is key to the team’s run defense. The Jaguars signed veteran defensive tackle Akeem Spence Friday, and already have Abry Jones, Taven Bryan and rookie Dontavius Russell on the roster. If by “plug and play,” you mean trading for a veteran player, I would be surprised. I’m getting a slew of emails about trades for linebackers, defensive tackles, tight ends and cornerbacks. While trades are more common now than in the past in the NFL, at some point you can’t keep trading to replace injured players. You play your backups, hope healthy players can make up for lost starters and move on. Injuries are a part of the game and you have to pick your spots when trading to replace injured players.
Tailgate: White Castle Burgers and Nathan’s hot dogs, Rennas Pizza or Urban Bean NY bagels and lox??
Is Sbarro’s not open Sundays?
Daniel from Birmingham, AL
If I would have told you that through seven games that Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette would only have one touchdown, what would you have assumed about the season?
I would have assumed the reason was off the rails and in a ditch because I figured Fournette’s ability to score touchdowns was as important as his ability to help the Jaguars control tempo and flow of the game. I still believe the Jaguars need Fournette to score touchdowns, because the ability to run well in the red zone is critical to any NFL team – especially the Jaguars. His overall NFL resume suggests he is very good at this, and I would expect him to finish the season somewhere closer to double digits than zero in this category. It’s hard to imagine the Jaguars making a postseason push if the team continues to struggle in this area.
Robert from Titusville, FL
I keep hearing rumors of defensive end Yannick Ngakoue being on the trade market. If they were to pull the trigger on that for real, I would have a hard time supporting or having any faith in this team going forward ...
What if they traded him for two first-round selections? What if they traded him and won a lot of games? Those questions aside, I don’t think the Jaguars will trade Ngakoue this season.
Peter from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
The “blame-it-all-on-Ramsey” company line is laughable. Have you once criticized Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin for calling him and former linebacker Telvin Smith lazy, unselfish and insensitive for not attending VOLUNTARY workouts in April? That was a direct quote from the state of the franchise meeting, quoted on ESPN and never denied. That’s way out of line and started this whole saga. You’ll never acknowledge it on the company website or probably even print this email. But the guy was not some terrible teammate or laggard on preparation. We are not better off without him and Coughlin’s loudmmouth is a major reason.
I learned long ago not to expect people to read everything written here or anywhere else, and I also learned long ago not to expect people to retain or comprehend everything that’s written. Issues such as this usually aren’t one thing and there are usually missteps on both sides. That’s likely true in this case, but no one here ever “blamed it all on Ramsey.” And yes, I wrote that Coughlin shouldn’t have said what he said in April – but if that’s what started the whole “saga,” it’s equally laughable that what was said that day was perceived as so awful and disrespectful to have caused Ramsey to want to be traded. I honestly can’t imagine that Ramsey truly is so thin-skinned that what was said that day caused this level of emotional distress, but it’s possible; I hope he makes it through unscathed. I also never, ever wrote that he was laggard in preparation. What I wrote is that that if player can’t be reprimanded for behavior such as Ramsey displayed in Houston, then it’s very hard to make a player happy. I also wrote that if a player loves his teammates and publicly proclaims as much, then that player usually doesn’t demand trades at midseason – and that player usually doesn’t opt not to play when he’s physically able. No, for the most part Ramsey was not a terrible teammate in Jacksonville. But he sure wasn’t a great one this season.
Aqeel from Toronto, Canada
I agree with the Jags front office for not making a statement at this time. The Ramsey circus went on too long already and the players and coaches already had to deal with it too much. In this day of social media, Ramsey would twist it as the Jags still disrespecting him and try to get more attention to himself. It would turn into a he said/they said, and the players and coaches would again be caught in the middle. As Owner Shad Khan said it is time to focus on what is most important ... the Jags and players who want to be here and are doing well.
Sean from Jacksonville
There is a tight end (Charles Jones) and a linebacker (Sutton Smith) on the practice squad. Is there something we don't know in regards to not having them to the active roster instead of getting outside help not familiar with the offense and defense? Please don't say, "The team thinks the players they signed are better." (You probably will, though.)
The outside help the Jaguars signed this week at linebacker was Malcolm Smith, who is very familiar with the Jaguars’ defensive scheme. As for Charles Jones, the team likes him a lot. But he’s a young player who the team wants to develop, so yes … the team thinks the players signed from the outside for now are better.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville
Just a quick comment on the whole Jalen respect thing. The one piece I think Jalen and many in this age group seem to forget is that along with respect comes what we call "responsibility." Like being responsible to own something when you are wrong and clearly out of line. Fournette showed us this when he was called out publicly by his superiors for behavior inappropriate to the team. And as a result he reevaluated his priorities, took responsibility and is now performing at very high level fully committed to his team. That is what we refer to as character. It is what separates the weak from the strong and those you can DEPEND on when adversity and tough times happen. Look on that ring in the stadium, every single one of those people suffered adversity and persevered because of it. We as the Jaguars have adversity now but because we as fans and team, have character and commitment, will endure and succeed in SPITE of the challenges ahead of us.