O-Zone: Wishful thinking

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Eder from Mexico City, Mexico        

Hello, Big O: If Ramsey tells something real in that interview, and he was disrespected, I think someone in human resources in the Jaguars’ organization has to make an investigation. We aren’t in the 20th century. We don’t have bosses inside a closed office smoking a big Cuban Cigarette that can yell to everybody any insult they like. The same is for football. In this time, you can’t go everywhere and scream insults to your employee, no matter who he is and who you are. Times change and we have to adapt and be better persons. If the Jaguars defend a person who doesn’t understand the new world, it is a bad place to work.

We’ll probably never know exactly what was said to former Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey following the Houston game. But if you can’t reprimand a player for behaving as he did during that game, when can you reprimand him? And if a person who behaves that way truly thinks he has earned respect with his actions, something’s wrong with that person’s thinking. Remember, too: You can’t apply all “real world” rules to football. You can’t behave as Ramsey did during the Houston game in the “real world.” People don’t make millions for playing a game in the “real world.” People don’t risk their health every Sunday in the “real world.” Bottom line: People yell in professional sports, and that includes football. Sometimes, it happens where cameras see it. Sometimes, it doesn’t. I’m reminded as I write this of the movie, League of Their Own, when the Tom Hanks character yells at a young female player for missing a cutoff throw. The actress who later would play “Sharona” in “Monk” responds with tears. Hanks’ understandably befuddled character responds with the classic line, “There’s no crying in baseball!” There’s no crying in the NFL, either. At least there didn’t used to be.

Cliff from Las Vegas, NV

How much does defensive end Yannick Ngakoue's playing for the remainder of his contract (just over $2 million) affect his negotiations forward with THIS team? Do you think his approach this year with being the good guy and showing up in good faith is worth a little extra?

A lot. Yes.

Jeff from Jacksonville

As much as I want Nick Foles back, it kinda makes me sad to see Gardner Minshew II go to the bench. Even with the mania coming back to Earth, he’s way outperforming most rookies this year and is right there with Kyler Murray for rookie of the year in my opinion.

Don’t get sad yet. There are still two weeks or more for this story to play out. And while I believe at this point the Jaguars are likely to start Foles at quarterback upon his return in November from a broken clavicle, that decision hasn’t yet been made. Either way, remember: This is the very definition of a good NFL problem. The Jaguars are trying to decide between two good quarterbacks. This has not been a problem that has plagued this franchise often during its twenty-five seasons.

Scott from Rehoboth Beach, DE

Hey O, we know 27 looked good last week with the O-line producing lanes. But it seems when the run game ion for the week. Minshe

He hit the wall!!! The thirty-seven car is into the wall!!!

Jarret from Crosby, ND

If the Cincinnati Bengals or Miami Dolphins offered the Jaguars two first-round draft picks for Minshew, would the Jaguars do it? Would you, Zone?

I would be extremely hesitant to trade Minshew because I think he has a chance to be a good starting quarterback in the NFL. It would take a lot for me to make that trade. But considering the likelihood that the first-round selections of the Dolphins and Bengals are likely to be Top 5 or 10 selections, I probably in this instance would make the trade. I doubt the Jaguars would make it, though I doubt more seriously that any such offer would happen.

Jake from Virginia

Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette kind of made his mark by scoring during his rookie year. He's playing so well you gotta believe at some point the floodgates are going to open. Right?

Yes.

Otto from Ponte Vedra, FL

John, the other day I looked at the Los Angeles Rams’ website after the Ramsey trade. I was amazed to see General Manager Les Snead take about a half hour explaining to the press and their fans how the trade went down in detail. I fully understand Head Coach Doug Marrone's frustration with him getting asked questions about the trade. We have varying levels of management that, other than a note from Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin, has said nothing. This is so frustrating to the fans and I'm sure the press, too, to have basic info withheld from us. What's the big secret?

Some general managers and team executives speak during the regular season, and some don’t. The Jaguars’ higher-ups are in the latter category. It has been a pretty consistent policy the past two seasons. I wish Coughlin or General Manager David Caldwell would speak to the Ramsey issue, but I’m not surprised they don’t. Coughlin is old-school in that the less said publicly the better. That may frustrate fans and media, but there’s no rule against it.

Jim from Jacksonville

Who calls the offensive plays, Coach Marrone or Coach DeFilippo? How does that work?

Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo calls the plays in the spirit of what Marrone wants. For instance, if it’s late in the game and the Jaguars are trying to run clock, Marrone likely will tell DeFilippo that the Jaguars need a play likely to keep the clock moving. But in terms of most specific plays, DeFilippo is the play-caller.

Shane from Atlanta, GA

You don't always have to dance with the one who brought you. just ask my prom date.

Sometimes you can’t even find the one you brung when it’s time to go home.

Paul from Jacksonville

In 2017, the O-line looked awful in the preseason and then seemed to transform before our very eyes once the season got going. Do you think this O-line is capable of a similar, if less dramatic improvement this year?

I do, primarily because the offensive line this season hasn’t been bad as much as it has been inconsistent. The Jaguars are fifth in the NFL in rushing and Fournette leads the AFC in rushing. You don’t do those things if the line is horrible all the time.

Alex from McLean, VA

If Coughlin is going to get criticism for his handling of Ramsey, then he also deserves a lot of credit for Fournette's remarkable turnaround both on and off the field.

Fair, and sometimes it’s OK to look at the player individually and consider the character of each.

Duke from Jacksonville

What would be the cap impact in 2019 if Foles was traded? Is that even an option?

Mammoth. No.

Chris from Nashville, TB

How many years you think Josh Allen will stick around until we trade him to the Rams?

As many as it takes them to figure out they don’t want him anymore or until he behaves childlishly enough to merit a trade, whichever comes first. Because I don’t expect either of those things to happen, I don’t expect the Jaguars trade Allen to anyone.

Travis from Dayton, OH

How do you think Jarrod Wilson’s play has been thus far?

Solid and reliable.

Mike from St. Augustine, FL

The Jags have two first-round picks for the next two drafts. They should not trade them. But as a question of mechanics, if they make a deal to trade one of those future picks, how/when is it determined whether it’s their natural pick or one they received from the Rams since the draft slotting would be different for both teams?

I would be shocked if the Jaguars trade any of their first-round selections over the next two offseasons. If they did, there would be no confusion. All selections would be specified at the time of the trade as either the Jaguars’ selection that year or the Jaguars’ selection that originally belonged to the Rams.

RAS from Jacksonville

If Coughlin is Marrone’s mentor as has been stated, why can't he get the players to quit making so many penalties? Coughlin had control. Marrone let the inmates control the asylum: two ejections, two fights, and penalties galore for years.

Marrone is an NFL head coach and he has nearly a decade of head coaching experience. I’m sure the two speak at times, but Marrone doesn’t need a mentor.

Biff from Jacksonville

Forget that last question I asked. I heard you on the radio, and you pretty much answered it for me. Tell you what. Answer a question you wish someone would have asked.

Question: “Is it OK if I give you a bunch of money?” Answer: “OK.”

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