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O-Zone: Tug the cape

JACKSONVILLE – Look-ahead Wednesday.

Let's get to it …

Chris from Niagara Falls, ON

Hey, Zone. I have to think the Jags are in a great position to get Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields at No. 2 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. Even if they win two out of their last four games, which I don't think they will, the teams that can finish ahead of them all have quarterbacks: Dallas, Cincinnati and L.A. I'm thinking they would love to trade out of that spot, not fall down the draft board, and recoup picks. And the best part is Cincinnati/Dallas play each other so that actually only leaves two teams. Is my logic correct?

I suppose. Here's the thing, though. If your eye is completely on the future – and it's understandable if that's the case – you want the Jaguars not only selecting as early as possible at the top of Round 1 next April, but doing so without having to trade to do it. Trading at the top of the first round means exchanging significant draft capital – and in the Jaguars' case, giving that capital away. You don't want that.

Nick from Palatka, FL

Hey, Z. I really admire Chris Conley as a person, but I don't think I would miss him if he's playing for someone else next year ... sigh ...

All circumstances considered – production this season, contract status, new general manager, younger receivers on the roster – there's a very low chance wide receiver Chris Conley will be playing for the Jaguars next season.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-Man, have you noticed that the fake cheers haven't died down since Week 1?

I'll take your word for it.

Maryanne from Jacksonville

I believe this team shortchanged quarterback Gardner Minshew II's progression as a quarterback because we have a poor offensive coaching staff. I think we will toss him aside like we do so often only to see him go on to become GREAT like so many of our previous players have done.

Maybe you're right, Maryanne. I wouldn't bet on that being the case. And Jaguars offensive coordinator Jay Gruden is by no measure a poor coach. He actually was very creative with Minshew in the first two games of the season – until defensive coordinators got a better handle on what Minshew could and couldn't do in this scheme. That's the argument against your point. But who knows? Maybe Minshew is great and has just been mishandled. Anything's possible.

Joe from Fleming Island, FL

Mr. O Zone. Not that it would affect the No. 1 draft pick, but is there any punitive action that can come from the Commissioner's office on the blatant tank job the Jets did on Sunday. Is there no rule of game integrity? It is obvious teams have tanked in the past but like a wide receiver pick, don't you at least have make it look legitimate?

I understand this sentiment. The New York Jets didn't tank Sunday. They didn't lose on purpose. A team losing on purpose wouldn't be ahead by four points with 10 seconds remaining. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams made a bad call. He blitzed on the final play of the game when he should have been in soft defense. It's what he does. He got fired for it. Disbelieve all you want. That's what happened.

Mark from Connecticut

I noticed you mentioned we'd need a young quarterback to progress quickly next year for the team to be good (loose paraphrase). So based off that, do you think the Jags would go with the strategy of drafting a quarterback and starting him immediately, or having him sit behind a veteran for a bit?

I have no idea. I don't know the quarterback. I don't know the coaching staff. I don't know the general manager. You have to know at least something along those lines to have any clue how to answer your question.

Mark from Connecticut

Per my last question, I now realize it's impossible to answer with no GM and possibly an entirely new coaching staff, so disregard that question!

This almost never happens.

Chris from Houston, TX

I know it is pretty widely known that the Jaguars will 99.9-percent sure pick a quarterback in this upcoming draft. With that said, who would you predict as the backup? Minshew, Jake Luton, Mike Glennon or another unknown entity. Would our rookie quarterback start out of the gates or will they be competing for the job?


Chiana from Munich, Germany

I honestly feel like Glennon is in there because he gives the team the best chance at 1-15. I know coaches want to win, but maybe this is not the coaches call. I can't see how Glennon was not benched during that game, as he clearly was the reason for the offensive struggles. He turned the ball over on a doomed run, threw a bad pick and should have had another that magically was a touchdown. After three quarters our defense had seven points and our offense had nine (six of them pure luck) while it gave up two directly and more with turnovers. No coach in his right mind can tell his young players it is about taking care of the football if he does not sit a quarterback during or after this game. You talk a lot about one decent drive, but if Glennon was just below average and not dreadful the Jags would not have needed that drive. I as a young player would ask my coach, how it is about performance and responsibility, when the QB who gave away the game (only his fault, no one else is to blame) still gets the nod.

This was the coaches' call. They saw Minshew for seven games. They saw Luton for three. They have seen Glennon for two. They also see all practices. The players have seen most of this, too. I doubt there will be much of a munity no matter who plays quarterback.

John from Jacksonville

"You're passionate about this. I understand this. I don't know that your passion is matched by reality, but it is nonetheless admirable. Remember: the Jaguars' last six games with Minshew at quarterback were six losses – including five by eight or more points; the last five games with Jake Luton and Glennon at quarterback were five losses – with four of them coming by four points or less. A struggling defense that has improved in the last five games has been one reason for this admittedly marginal improvement. Perhaps quarterback play had a smidge to do with it, too – at least in the eyes of the coaching staff." You lay all those losses on Minshew and not the defense? Pathetic, maybe it's Coughlins fault.

That wasn't what I did.

John from Jacksonville

I've heard it said that you keep drafting a quarterback until you find one. How far-fetched is this idea? The Jags pick Lawrence of fields with their pick and the best available quarterback with the Rams pick. Or with our second pick?

It's fine in theory and not so fine in practice. A young quarterback needs repetitions in games and practice to develop and it's difficult to get two young quarterbacks enough repetitions to either develop or fully evaluate. This is why teams typically stay away from selecting a quarterback early in every draft. I absolutely see teams moving more toward taking one every season or so going forward, but I would be surprised if you see a team with two first-round selections use two selections that high on the quarterback position.

Mike from Boston, MA

Is Dawuane Smoot the most disruptive active defensive lineman on the roster? Eyeball test says he's been playing well in recent weeks.

Smoot had two sacks Sunday and yes … he is the most disruptive active defensive lineman on the roster. He did a nice job Sunday getting two sacks. Smoot gives a lot of effort on every play and gets good pressure when coverage gives the line time to do so. I don't know that that makes him an elite guy, but you need that in your defensive-line equation.

Ryan from Duval

Well John, it seems the Jets are determined to not win a single game this season. We're a game and a half clear of the Bengals in the draft order, and they're not going to draft a quarterback anyways, and neither are the Los Angeles Chargers at No. 4. So you know what? Beat the Titans! Punch them in the mouth and maybe keep them out of the playoffs. If we're going to get another win, lets make it this one.

Go Jaguars.

Andrew from Lindale

KOAF, is there any truth to the rumor that Leroy Brown, the baddest man in the whole damn town once backed down from a bare knuckle fight with longtime Florida Times-Union columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette?

You don't mess around with Gene … bah do boom boom … boomp, boomp, boomp, boomp, boomp. Or something like that.