O-Zone: Working it out

LONDON – Game-day O-Zone.

Let’s get to it …

Brian from Round Rock, TX

If Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone is making the decision, I think Gardner Minshew II remains the quarterback. This is because I think coach is conservative by nature. He is a “show me/prove it” guy. I don't see how he would bench someone who has proven it for someone who is an unknown as a Jag. What do you think?

There are no “ifs;” Marrone will decide who starts at quarterback between Nick Foles and Minshew. But this won’t be an easy decision. While he is a “show me/prove it” guy, Marrone also values veteran experience and command of the offense; Foles has the first and he’s a good bet to have the second. There are many unknowns, and Marrone will have much to consider. What do I think? I think we’ll know the answer a few days before the Jaguars play at Indianapolis November 17. The only thing other than that that I know for certain is Marrone will base his decision on what he believes will give the Jaguars the best chance to win this season. All of the other stuff – the future, Foles’ contract, the mustache, the bandana – won’t be considered.

Brian from Jacksonville

With each tackle or disruption, defensive tackle Taven Bryan's confidence and skill level seem to be growing exponentially. The light bulb has fired up. Bryan is looking legit. Better than that if he continues to improve as much as he has since the start of the season. It looks as if patience really does pay off sometimes. Nice going TB. Any decent recipes for crow for me from the king of all funk?

No need to eat crow. Bryan was struggling in training camp. Because he was selected in the first round, those struggles stood out and Bryan was understandably criticized; many people simply don’t understand that not all players enter the NFL ready to play at a high level. It’s a tough profession. Sometimes even talented players need time to produce. And while Bryan indeed has improved, he must become more consistent and disruptive. He’s on his way, but he must keep going.

David from Oviedo, FL

If I was Doug Marrone, I would call a meeting with Jaguars Owner Shad Khan and General Manager Dave Caldwell to come to a very public consensus regarding the quarterback. I don't want my career to be tettered to this roll of the dice.

I don’t know what tettered means, but it sounds like it’s good you’re not a head coach.

Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA

Hi, Mr O. According to ESPN, rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II leads the NFL in QBR on passes of 15 yards or farther down the field.’ I was surprised to read that considering the knock on arm strength. Any insight on how he’s getting that done?

Minshew is getting this done because while his arm strength isn’t among the league’s best, it is more than adequate. Arm strength is a concern for quarterbacks if their arms are so weak that they can’t make certain throws. Minshew is not in that category. Because of that, his awareness, accuracy and decision-making more than make up for whatever he lacks in arm strength.

Sam from Orlando, FL

Why when someone mentions this team has only beaten teams with a pitiful combined record you get snarky? It's true. Further, how does that not factor into your synopsis of how the coaching staff has done this year?

Record does factor into how I evaluate this team and the coaches. I didn’t think the Jaguars were a great team this season. I thought entering the season they were going to need to play really well to win nine or maybe 10 games – and that was with their starting quarterback and with Jalen Ramsey. They have reached 4-4 and are in very good position to be a .500 team or better without those two players, so do I think this team has performed well given the circumstances? Yeah. I do. Remember, too: You can do a lot in this league by beating teams you’re supposed to beat. If the Jaguars do that this season, they will be in good shape. And I get snarky because it annoys people, and that’s fun. I like it.

Mike from Cortland, NY

Would you say you had more hope for the Jaguars season in early August, or today? I think it's close, but not nearly in the way anybody expected. And don't say "Ask me again after Sunday’s game". That's a total copout.

I have far more hope for the Jaguars’ season now than before the season. I wasn’t sure if the Jaguars could be good and I thought they had to prove many things when the season began. Now, I’m sure they can be pretty good and that they have a formula for winning. Time will tell.

Aqeel from Toronto, Canada

One of the best things about this Minshew story is that the Jags will not need to use any of their four first-rounders on a quarterback. The team the Jaguars “should” be able to build around their already young core over the next couple of drafts should make them contenders for years to come, don't you think? Not to mention the great cap situation it will put them into allowing them re-sign players or to be active in FA if needed.

Yes.

The Other Michael from Middleburg, FL

'Zone, I'm 100 percent bought into Minshew. Bought the jersey and the jorts. Still, I don't see how we DON'T go back to Foles, regardless of how Minshew plays Sunday. Yes, what Minshew has done is remarkable, but you could make the argument this team would be 7-1 if Foles was at the helm. The game plan was very conservative the first time against the Texans, as we didn't know what we had in Minshew. You could argue that Foles doesn't fumble multiple times against Carolina and isn't flummoxed by the defensive scheme against New Orleans ... both games we lost by small margins that were winnable. If we go back to Foles, I think there's a chance we run the table the rest of the way.

Hey, one fer Foles!

Cliff from Callahan, FL

I don't mind "giving up" a home game for London. What *does* bother me is the NFL making it one of our division home games.

Some fans like division games the best and never want those in London. Others want to see new teams, and never want non-division games in London. Someone’s always going to be unhappy in this scenario. Sort of like in marriage.

John from Jacksonville

Once the bye starts for the Jags, when does Marrone need to make a decision about the starting quarterback based on practicing reps with the firsts? Would it be next week or the week after? Also, I say precedent will prevail with Noles getting the nod. The high-profile QB typically gets the nod when healthy even if the backup does a great job filling in. Minshew will get back to action again if Foles gets injured, plays below expectations, or when it makes sense to go with him as the starter in the next year or two.

Marrone almost certainly will make a decision by the Wednesday before Jaguars’ game against the Colts November 17. That’s the game Foles can return, and the Jaguars will begin practicing and preparing for the game on that Wednesday.

Tom from Charleston, SC

Before we anoint Minshew as the next coming and throw Foles out with the bath water; shouldn't we take into consideration the quality of Minshew's record? His four wins came against teams with a combined record of 7-24. None of those teams has a winning record. His losses have come to tams with a combined record of 20-11. He has yet to beat a team with a winning record. It is obvious that Minshew CAN be the QB of the future but shouldn't he show that he can beat good teams before we give him the keys to the castle?

Yep.

Tyler from Jacksonville

It seems like I have seen a lot of people excited about the young talent on the team, but also wanting to clean house on the front office. These things are often offered up together without any sense of irony. What gives O?

Fans gonna fan. It’s what they do.

Brad from Oviedo, FL

Regardless of who the Jaguars believe will be the better quarterback, Minshew has something that few quarterbacks have. He makes the fans feel something. I personally haven't had feelings this strong since my ex-wife. How could the Jaguars take this man out when he brings so much happiness to everyone in Jacksonville? Please give your thoughts. Thank you.

I think you’ve got some stuff to work through, and I think I’m OK with that. But Marrone must decide who he believes gives the Jaguars the best chance to win.

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