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O-Zone: What if…

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

KC from Orlando, FL

KOAF: Do you think we have seen the last of the 'stache? Mike Glennon isn't the long-term answer, and he had his chance to shine before and blew it in Chicago. Wouldn't it make more sense to play Gardner Minshew II and hopefully get some of his mojo back? If all he does is ride the pine, he will not garner any trade value. What do you say?

Always remember this when trying to determine why some players play and some don't: coaches above all else want to play players they think give them the best chance to win. If the Jaguars' coaches thought starting Minshew at quarterback helped them win more than Glennon, they would play him. The exception to this might be if an organization thought it had a young player who would benefit from the experience of playing – and that that experience would help the organization in the future. The organization doesn't believe that's the case in this case. As far as getting his mojo back for trade value … I don't know if playing Minshew realistically would help toward that end. He has played in 21 NFL games. Most scouts and general managers studied him at Washington State. They saw him at the Senior Bowl. They saw the 21 games. They know what this is.

Unhipcat from Carslbad, CA

Hi, John. Seven starts, 1,855 yards, 13 touchdowns, five interceptions, with no monster games. Extrapolates to 4,420 yards, 30 touchdowns 11 interceptions on the season. Those are easily Pro Bowl stats. Statistically, a pretty good year; but to the eye, it just wasn't. Why wasn't it good enough?

Not enough throws downfield, too many check downs, too many times holding the ball too long and not enough throwing receivers open. That answer makes it sound like Minshew has no positives. It also makes it sound like Minshew was the only issue on the team this season. Neither is the case. But the positives don't outweigh the drawbacks enough to make him the answer at quarterback going forward.

Ryan from Detroit

Zone - there is a chance that veteran quarterbacks such as Dak Prescott, Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford, Teddy Bridgewater, Cam Newton and Sam Darnold might be made available via trade or free agency this offseason due to the lowering of the salary cap? Would you consider any of these more experienced players instead of gambling the No. 2 pick on a non-Trevor Lawrence quarterback??


Chiana from Munich, Germany

Collin Johnson looks like a better version of Chris Conley. Feeling like Conley will be traded next year, with the good younger options we have.

I would be surprised if Jaguars wide receiver Chris Conley is traded next offseason. I would be equally surprised if he's with the Jaguars next season.

Steve from Sunroom Couch

Dear John. Do you think Caldwell will accept a position or decline and have a nice paid vacation?

I expect former Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell to work in the NFL in 2021.

Shanghai Steve from Jacksonville

I just don't get how you can commend Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone for having the defense ready to play in the absence of (lists players and coaches here). But when the players aren't ready to play, you pass no blame to him. Do you really think coaches should get the praise but not the blame?

Oh, I absolutely think coaches deserve criticism when teams aren't ready to play. What is far overblown in most cases is when coaches are blamed for schemes or play calls. What also is missed by many observers and fans is when the players on the field simply aren't good enough or experienced enough. That has been the case for the Jaguars' defensively and at the quarterback position much of this season. I don't know that Marrone and the staff should be praised. It's hard to be praised when your team is 1-10. But has this staff underachieved with this roster? That's a hard argument to make – reasonably, anyway.

Tim from Doboy Island, GA

While the Jags do look like a great opportunity for an incoming GM, essentially they will ultimately be graded on if they find a quarterback. And it's expected that we'll find a quarterback in this upcoming draft. Barring a miraculous Jets win, the consensus expectation is we'll be drafting Justin Fields at No. 2. I suppose our new GM could shock everyone by taking a different position and passing on QB this year but that feels like an even riskier strategy. Feels odd and perhaps unfair but it seems very likely he'll be hitching his wagon to the success of Justin Fields before he even gets here.

Life is odd and unfair, Tim.

Nicholas from Fort Hood, TX

KOAF: For anyone that questions the importance of a quality quarterback I present you the New Orleans Saints versus the Denver Broncos in which only a handful of passes were attempted. Do you think the NFLPA or NFL Rules Committee uses that game to help further protect quarterbacks on the field?

The NFL Players Association and the league long have known the importance of protecting quarterbacks, and it has been constantly on the minds of league officials – and evident in their actions – for decades. The Saints-Broncos game was a circumstance-created outlier and won't influence much about how the league operates in the future. The league's built on quarterbacks. That won't change.

Chris from Winchester, Canal Winchester, OH

I guess the Ford family doesn't share your opinion that firing the head coach and general manager in the middle of the season isn't something that should be done. I'm guessing that since they're all in the car business, they have Khan's cell number.

This is a "burn," right? Am I "burned" now?

JT from Aledo, TX

The franchise would be better off praying for one Jets win, encouraging five close losses and just asking players to look their best in camp this offseason for the 2021 squad (while thanking them privately for tons of heart.) You can say players will want to shine now for other teams, but short of a couple of players, they are not likely to out-talent many other starters. If both Jets and Jags finish with one win, whose strength of schedule gets the first pick?

Your sentiment that losing in the short-term is best for the franchise in the long-term is understandable. But while 1-15 certainly is possible, I wouldn't rule out this team winning. While you dismiss players wanting to play well in the last five games, that's a real thing – and the last month suggests that this team absolutely hasn't quit on the season. If the Jaguars and Jets finish tied for the worst record, the team with the worst strength of schedule will select No. 1 overall. That currently would be the Jaguars, but both teams' strength of schedule can change based on how their opponents fare in the season's final five games.

Alan from Jacksonville

Jaguars football is like pizza: when it's good, it's really good. When it's bad it's still pretty good. We are lucky to have had a season at all and we should count our blessings. After all, how many teams have three good backup quarterbacks? On February 8, we'll start four months of endlessly mocking the draft followed by four months of endlessly criticizing our picks. The horror... the horror that is the offseason.

There are precious few things like pizza in that sense. Football is indeed one.

Fred from Naples, FL

With the recent dismissal of Caldwell and not Marrone, is it safe to say that the new GM will report directly to Shad Khan and the new head coach (assuming he hires his own guy) will report directly to the GM?

Perhaps, though not necessarily.

Steve from Woodbine, GA

With Caldwell out and college scouting still in full swing, is there some kind of turnover process with the incoming GM? Or does Caldwell just leave the building and take all this year's learned scouting knowledge with him? This seems to give a first year General Manager quite a disadvantage.

The Jaguars' scouting department and front office remained intact upon Caldwell's departure with former director of player personnel Trent Baalke currently serving as interim general manager. Personnel staffs often remain largely in place immediately following a general manager change, with the new general manager often waiting to make whatever changes he plans to make after the ensuing NFL Draft. That's because of exactly the concern you cite. Even if the general manager were to make changes, remember: most prospective general managers have been scouting in recent seasons, or the people they bring in to their personnel departments have been scouting in recent seasons. They typically have more than enough knowledge to execute what needs to get done in their first offseason.

Shawn from the Mean Streets of Arlington

What if? John, what if? Therein lies the answer.

If then, Shawn. If then.