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O-Zone: Working hard

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

John from Jacksonville

Please make it stop!! Enough is enough!! Can we at least see Luton?

I got a few more versions of this email/question this week than I did last week, and I got a few more last week than I did the week before that. I suspect that trend will continue, because fans want the backup quarterback – rookie Jake Luton, in this case – when the starter struggles. But it doesn't feel as if Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone has reached the point that he wants to replace Gardner Minshew II with Luton, a rookie from Oregon State selected in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. While Marrone said after a 34-16 loss to the Detroit Lions Sunday he wouldn't rule such a move out moving forward, he said he didn't consider benching Minshew Sunday. One reason for this may have been that Luton – who was very impressive in 2020 Training Camp – wasn't active Sunday, and the Jaguars pretty much already know what they have in veteran backup Mike Glennon. Another is if you replace Minshew with either Glennon or Luton now, it could mean the end of the Minshew era; it feels a touch too early to make that move. I wouldn't expect the Jaguars to play Glennon over a healthy Minshew; there seems little to be gained in the short- or long-term by such a move. I could see Luton playing this season, but it doesn't seem imminent. Give it a few more weeks – and a few more difficult games for Minshew – then you could see it considered.

George from Harrisburg, PA

John, I keep hearing a lot of Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence talk. My question is this: In your opinion, if the New York Giants and New York Jets finish with a worse record than the Jaguars, do you think that either team would draft Lawrence before the Jags had an opportunity to do so?


John from Jacksonville

Zone, I would like to know your opinion on this. I think the coaches and media have hurt Minshew as a quarterback. "He's gotta play from the pocket." "You gotta stay in the pocket." I think the Fran Tarkenton aspect of his game was a big part of why he won six games (more than any rookie) last season. He was exciting in 2019. He created "The Mania" outside the pocket and on the move. We have barely seen that this season. Instead, we have seen less accuracy and less creativity from him this year and as a result ... very little Mania. People say you can't play that way in the NFL for 15 seasons and maybe you can't, but perhaps you could have eight-to-10 really good ones?

I do not think coaches and/or media have hurt Minshew as a quarterback.

Lance from Lebanon, TN

If you owned the team, at what point would you decide to make any changes? My first "clue" would have been way back when "someone" drafted a punter in the third round! Enough is enough!

Former Jaguars General Manager Gene Smith selected punter Bryan Anger in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Smith is longer employed by the Jaguars.

Royce from Jacksonville

Mr. O. how is losing five in a row and giving up thirty plus points while doing it inconsistent?

It's not.

Fred from Jacksonville

From your experience If the jaguaRs havE The secOnD pick in the Draft, WhAt would it take to Leap up to the firSt pick in tHe draft?

If the teaM selecting No. 1 wanTs LawRence there's probably NoThing that Would Enable another TeAm to trade up to No. 1.

Royce from Jacksonville

Is this just a bad team doing what bad teams do?

Right now? Pretty much.

Biff from Jacksonville

Joe Schobert. Apart from him, did anyone else have a good game? Hug me Oehser.

Longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette had a very good game. His consistency is comforting. (Re: hug. Text me. We'll set up a time).

Steve from Nashville, TN

It was interesting to see the elaborate incentives built into Andy Dalton's contract with the Cowboys, do the Jaguars do similar incentives with their players?


John from Jacksonville

John, it's sad when your team peaks in Week 1. Minshew and this offense look worse each week. The defense is a train wreck and Marrone has no solutions. It might not always be coaching, but when your coach admits what they're doing is not working and doesn't know what they can do to fix it, you have a coaching problem.

Your premise, though confidently stated, isn't necessarily correct. When the coach admits what he's doing isn't working and doesn't know what he can do to fix it, it can also mean you have a personnel problem – meaning that no matter what the coaches try, the players can't execute it. So, while it can mean a coaching issue, it absolutely doesn't automatically mean that.

Tony from St. Louis, MO

What did they really think was going to happen after what they did in the offseason? You get what you pay for and if you want to be cheap and not bring in talent then you get what you deserve.


Jason from Yomitan, Okinawa

Hey O, why should we care when the owner doesn't? He went out and got the best when he hired the best in Mr. Lamping for the side money side but gave us a rookie general manager and head coach for the football side.

Hiring rookie general managers and head coaches doesn't mean an owner doesn't care. It is, in fact, more common than not to hire general managers who haven't had the role before; general manager isn't a big "second-chance" profession. Hiring young head coaches isn't necessarily wrong, either. Look: It's an easy shot to say Khan "doesn't care," but it's incorrect. The Jaguars have mostly struggled in his near-decade as an owner. That's undeniable. But this is lack of execution, not a lack of want to.

Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville

Not only did the Jaguars lose badly again Sunday. Later that evening, I lost my dad. One of the best memories I have with him is us going to see Washington versus Raiders at RFK stadium with Joe Theismann and John Riggins playing. He was the one who introduced me to football and why I love my Jags now, even if they are not that good. RIP, Dad.

This sport bonds people. Absolutely. I saw a game at RFK that season with my father, too. That season – and that 1983 team – remains one of my favorite football memories. And that team brought us closer. Yeah, Greg … absolutely … RIP, Dad. No doubt. Hang in there.

Jeremy from Wise, VA

To me, it is obvious that this team is going nowhere. The quarterback is not the answer. The coach is not the answer. I hate watching this team lose each and every week.


John from Herndon, VA

The Jags were being accused of "tanking the season" before it began and they denied it. A 1-5 start sure looks like they're doing their best to do just that. Competitive at times? Yes. Talented? Yes. Play calling and execution...doesn't seem to exist. We haven't gotten better under offensive coordinator Jay Gruden's offensive play calling, where do you feel the Jags are out of sync between the players and coaches?

One and five doesn't mean the Jaguars are tanking. One and five means they have gotten beat in five of six games. You're right that the execution is lacking. The play-calling was really good for two games. As opposing coordinators have continued to adapt to what Minshew does and doesn't do well, play-calling around those strengths and weaknesses gets more … challenging.

John from Jacksonville

Are punters not good FG kickers and vice versa? I'm assuming they are very different kicking styles but just curious if there has been any success with anyone doing both.

They're dramatically different styles and there hasn't been a player do both at the professional level in a long, long time.

Roger from Whitehouse, FL

John, in the last 10 years how many generational quarterbacks have there been? Seems like there is one on every draft.

If you're talking consensus, generational quarterbacks in the last decade … Andrew Luck. He was as "can't miss" as there has been in the last decade – and he played like it for the most part when healthy. Lawrence feels like he will be in that vein. Stay tuned.

Nick from St. Augustine, FL

Does the "O" in O-Zone stand for ostrich? Because you seem to be keeping your head in the sand.

Attaboy. I'm on your side here, because I like a good one-line barb as much as anyone. You worked at this one. You swung the bat. Keep trying. You'll get a hold of one.