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O-Zone: Unconvincing

JACKSONVILLE – Well, that was Krimma.

Let's get to it …

Sam from Winter Park, FL

Sorta weird and nonsensical to say we need to find another pass rusher to go with our two young guys after knowing we let two good ones walk last season. Seems like we fix a problem by causing another one.

It's not sorta weird and nonsensical to say it at all. The Jaguars traded defensive end Calais Campbell because his salary-cap number was prohibitive if they truly wanted to fix the salary cap going forward – and because he had reached an age where they believed he no longer merited such a high figure. This season seems to be proving that out. They traded defensive end Yannick Ngakoue when they determined that he wanted more than reasonable market value – a point on which they may yet be proven correct, incidentally. Yes, the Jaguars now need pass rushers. But I don't know that the departures of Campbell and Ngakoue will be seen in the same disastrous light in the future as they were framed this season.

Chris from Nashville, TN

_It's a simple equation really: Wins = increased local revenue. What was the average increase in attendance in 2017/18 from previous years? No one goes to the stadium for a swimming pool or a big scoreboard if you can't compete on the field.    _

Attendance rises and falls based on performance. There's no question about that. But even in 2018, when attendance was at its peak for the Jaguars, the team was low in the NFL in local revenue. Yes, winning would help. Winning always helps. But even beyond winning, the Jaguars because of the market challenges must be more creative than most NFL teams. This makes many people angry to hear this. It doesn't make it untrue.

Howard from Homestead, FL

Players don't tank and coaches don't tank. But let me ask you this: If Indy has secured a playoff berth the final week, why wouldn't they rest all of their starters to avoid having to play Trevor Lawrence twice a year for the next couple of decades? That has to figure into their thinking, doesn't it?

The Colts won't have clinched their playoff seeding when they play the Jaguars in the 2020 regular-season finale. They'll play hard.

James from Salt Lake City via Jagsonville

If I were a receiver on this team, I'd want to lose. Who would you rather have throwing the ball to you: Lawrence or whoever the other quarterbacks on this roster are?


Charles from Riverside

Hello, John: Assuming we take a quarterback in the first round, which of our three current quarterbacks do we keep heading to the 2021 preseason? If any? Coaches believe in competition and there are always several squads operating in training camp. Of our three quarterbacks, which one(s) can we expect to be here at the start of next year's preseason?

This is a tricky question. It's very possible all three quarterbacks on the Jaguars' roster – Gardner Minshew II, Jake Luton and Mike Glennon – will be elsewhere next season. It's very possible a new general manager will draft a quarterback with the team's first selection then bring in a veteran with whom he is familiar to be the backup and to be the "wise head" in the quarterback room. If that's the scenario, the Jaguars perhaps could keep a young player with potential such as Luton on the practice squad. That's one scenario. Because we don't yet know the general manager moving forward, it's nothing more than that – one scenario of many.

Sean from Jacksonville

I think some folks have a mental block when it comes to remembering how we thought Leonard Fournette was the bees-knees in his rookie year and then sort of went kerplunk. I don't see that happening with James Robinson, but the team better have better alternates than they had this year, injuries or COVID-19 notwithstanding.

That sounds like a threat. Is that a threat?

Kathy from Jacksonville

I didn't know the team record could keep deserving players from the Pro Bowl. Does a team have to be in the playoffs for individual players to be selected for honors?

Playing on a team with a poor record by rule doesn't keep a player out of the Pro Bowl. But players on teams deep in the standings often get overlooked by those voting because they're not discussed as much or on television as much as players on more successful teams. It's not right. It's not fair. It's how it is.

Rob from Jacksonville

I am excited about the idea of Trevor as well, but I hope Jags fans don't believe he's a miracle cure. Not too long ago, there was a debate over which quarterback would go No. 1 overall and now five years later one is a third-stringer in New Orleans and the other one is a backup in Las Vegas. You just never know.

It's true that you just never know. It's also true that Lawrence is considered much more of a can't-miss prospect than either Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston – and much more of a can't-miss prospect than pretty much any quarterback prospect outside of Andrew Luck in decades. But no … you just never know.

Don from Marshall, NC

It would be hard to tell players to lose, but it is even harder to believe this team could win. They have been trying the whole season. Fans do not need to worry about this team winning.

We'll see. Stranger things have happened.

Jordan from Mandarin

I spent my twenties watching a bad Jaguars team. I never missed a snap. I never left a game early. I love this team. I recently turned 30 and for the first time, there is hope for long-term success. Lose these last two games and my thirties as a Jaguars fan could be pretty special. Here's to the hope of having our franchise quarterback and here's to the hope of hoisting a Lombardi Trophy.

Happy birthday, I guess.

Sascha from Cologne, Germany

Hey John, can you explain why the Jaguars are a small-market team? How is that defined by the NFL? The population of a market seems not to be to only factor, right? Is this something that could change?

There's no "official definition" of a small market. The Jacksonville market is one of the NFL's smallest markets in terms of population and television market. It's also small in terms of potential for corporate sponsorships. Could it change? Sure, in the long run. But likely not in the short run.

Don from Marshall NC

Without Owner Shad Khan there would be no team in Jacksonville. Who do these fans think they are, anyway? Stop with the bs about Shad Khan not wanting to win. I saw his face in 2017 and he was pretty happy. Of course that is what he wants for the team and the city. It's hard to win in the NFL; an educated fan knows that. Everyone wants to win. Only one team a year is champion. A good draft, some added free agents and a franchise QB things can change pretty quick. Shad Khan should be every Jaguars fan's hero!

Nailed it.

Chris from Roseville, CA

I don't doubt Marrone and the coaches want to win along with Minshew, but the rest of the players, especially the young studs probably want to lose for a brighter future in Jacksonville.

Players aren't as far-sighted as you might think, and players also have a vested interest in playing well so they can continue playing in the league. But maybe a few of them want to lose for long-term reasons. I guess odder things have happened.

Brian from Jacksonville

Doug Marrone is an excellent coach. He wouldn't be where he is if he weren't. Coach Marrone does not have a winning record as a head coach, but his players continue to show grit and play hard every week until the end. I have no doubt coach Marrone will be coaching in the league next year. His position group will be tough for opponents to deal with. My hope is that he'll be fulfilled.


Steve from Sunroom Couch

Dear John, Cut to the chase. How can you defend 1-13? O-line is better than most observers believe? They are awful. Marrone and all are doing a good job? Like a CFO I know once said, "sometimes your best isn't good enough." Thankfully, I don't need to go into the ineptitude of our former GM since he is gone now but this whole team sucks top to bottom. And it has little to do with Minshew.

The offensive line isn't awful. It has been bad at some critical times at the tackle position. And if you truly believe quarterback play isn't a large part of the Jaguars' issue, then I probably can't convince you otherwise. That's OK. I learned long ago people who don't want to be convinced of things probably won't be convinced no matter how hard you try. So, yeah.