O-Zone: Ultimate truth

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

James from Socorro, NM

So now we're back to the Pendulum Jaguars, swinging between the offense being good OR the defense being good, but not both at the same time. In either case, you lose.

You’re right that the Jaguars haven’t put together enough complete games this season, and they were very definitely incomplete in a 13-6 loss to the New Orleans Saints Sunday. They really only have played well offensively and defensively in the same game once this season, and that was in a 20-7 victory over the Tennessee Titans in Week 3. But you have to win in the NFL when both sides of the ball aren’t playing well; it’s professional football and all teams have enough good players that you’re not going to play well every week. Good teams win when they play less than their best, and the Jaguars haven’t done it enough this season to be called a good team.

Ryan from Reality

Hey Johnny-O: Was there still a “good feeling” with the players and coaches in the locker room after this one? All these losses are totally fine so long as everyone feels good at the end of the day.

No one around the Jaguars said losses are fine. And no … there was not a good feeling in the locker room Sunday; there was a feeling of urgency, which is appropriate at 2-4.

Chris from Waverly, GA

Can Minshew find open receivers when he is being pressured that much? First time I’ve seen him paying more attention to rush than downfield?

Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II looked like a rookie on a couple of fronts Sunday. The Saints did a good job of rushing so that Minshew couldn’t escape the pocket, and that definitely seemed to confuse the rookie. They also designed the defense to force Minshew to throw effectively into the middle of the field, and he didn’t adjust to that well; he had a pass intercepted in the middle of the field and very nearly threw two more interceptions there. As for your assessment that Minshew paid more attention to the rush than he did to his receivers downfield Sunday … yeah, there was some of that. That’s common for an NFL quarterback the first few times he gets confused by the defense, and that appeared to be what happened Sunday. The best gauge for a quarterback’s long-term chances of being good is how he adapts when defenses effectively game plan against him. That’s where Minshew is now. We’ll see where he goes from here.

Todd from Frederick, MD

Hey, John. No magic this week. What did you see from the Saints’ defense, if anything, that other teams might try to exploit? I noticed Minshew hopping around on his toes a little more in the pocket.

I noticed what was discussed in the above answer. The Saints kept Minshew in the pocket, doubled the outside receivers and forced him to make throws to the middle of the field. Other teams will follow this plan until it doesn’t work.

Grant from Duval

That one is on the Stache.

The Stache on Sunday was a rookie playing in his sixth NFL game. Did Minshew struggle Sunday? Yes. Was it reasonable to think that never would happen? Absolutely not.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

I felt like they should have taken some more shots downfield. It's a strength of this offense, maybe their biggest strength right now. Minshew throws a great deep ball and they have wide receivers DJ Chark Jr. and Chris Conley, who are good receivers to try to throw to downfield in space.

The Saints doubled the Jaguars’ outside receivers specifically to take away the deep shots and plays to the outside. When that happens, you have to win in other ways. The Jaguars didn’t do that Sunday.

Paul from St. Johns, FL

Can we count the Saints game as the game where Minshew looked like a rookie sixth-round pick?

I don’t see how we could do anything else.

John from Jacksonville

Fifteen percent off Minshew Mania tickets, 35,000 mustaches … perhaps were putting a bit too much pressure on the kid from within?

Fair.

Biff from Jacksonville

Please explain to me why, when it’s been more unsuccessful than successful, does defensive coordinator Todd Wash insist on only rushing four players? Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had so much time. He showed to be inaccurate, so why not pressure him into even more mistakes? If you don’t know, humor me and make up something.

Blitzing is awesome. Fans and philosophers like it. Blitzing is not as awesome when you’re without your best cornerback and don’t want to risk having fewer guys in coverage.

JT from Fort Worth, TX

I've been on the Keep Ramsey bandwagon, but now I'm thinking it's time to move on. I don't doubt that he has a legit back injury, but I’m also aware that when you don't want to be with an employer anymore that back injury is going to linger and linger because you don't really want to be there in the first place. Time to get the best offer that we can and move on. He isn't doing us any good by getting paid to be on the sidelines with an injury that may or may not last all year.

I’m assuming cornerback Jalen Ramsey’s back injury is very real or he wouldn’t have missed three games. I’m assuming this because I know he loves football and he’s going to have a hard time playing football for anyone except the Jaguars because there are league rules and contracts. I also agree with former Jaguars left tackle and current Jaguars analyst Tony Boselli that we’ve reached the point where it’s OK to be concerned about Ramsey’s long-term health. If he’s missed this much time with the injury, I do hope he’s OK and can return to play at a high level.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

That back injury seems like a big coincidence coinciding with him demanding to be traded. Maybe I'm just cynical. What options do the Jaguars have assuming this continues?

The Jaguars could theoretically trade Ramsey if they believe he’s not injured enough to be sitting out. They also could tell him, “We like you so much that we want you to be with us, and we don’t want you playing for another team.” What happens then? Then he practices or he doesn’t, or he plays or he doesn’t. But in that scenario, if he doesn’t play for the Jaguars, he doesn’t play at all. For a player who loves football and loves his teammates as much as Ramsey, I’ve got to think it would be painful not to play if he’s healthy. That’s why I assume the back injury is legitimate, painful and very concerning.

Stan from Jacksonville

Sadly, it appears we have been watching the slow, painful demise of “Sacksonville.” It seems age has caught up with us, and the younger guys are still developing. I understand that the offense did not provide a whole lot of help, but the “D” just seemed to be just a step too slow or in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Jaguars allowed 13 points to the New Orleans Saints Sunday.

Wayne from Orlando, FL

Why is it that the defensive play-calling is SO GENERIC? Any high school quarterback could beat our defensive scheme. After watching this I don’t blame 20 at all.

hottakes

Dan from Las Vegas, NV

Hey, John: I'm not that knowledgeable in football. Just noticed something during the game that even for me looked odd, on a third-and-five play, our defenders were lined up 10 yards from the line of scrimmage. Do you really think that this defense is still good; maybe we have decent players, but they are put in bad situations a lot by the coaching staff?

The Jaguars allowed 13 points to the New Orleans Saints Sunday playing without cornerback Jalen Ramsey, and it’s always coaching in the NFL.

Mike from Bocobel, WI

Do you think we'll see Myles Jack pull his head from his hind region anytime soon?

I got a few of these emails Sunday, and I don’t know that Jack’s performance Sunday merited the criticism. Jack struggled against the Carolina Panthers last Sunday, but those struggles didn’t carry over in any significant way Sunday. One thing to remember, too: While Jack has struggled on some high-profile plays this season, he’s not playing nearly as bad as observers believe.

Steven from Duval

At what point will you start answering our actual questions instead of trolling the fans who pay your salary? At some point, you should just be honest with us and yourself by admitting you’re wrong more than you’re right. The whole feel-good attitude is exactly what Gus Bradley brought here and look where it got him. Bye Caldwell and Marrone.

You’re more correct than you think. All this time I thought it was always coaching in the NFL. Now I’ve learned that it’s always senior writers.

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