Let’s answer some questions ahead of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ matchup against the New England Patriots!
Nick from Jacksonville, FL
Q: Should we bench Leonard Fournette for a couple of weeks so he doesn’t have a nagging hamstring all year?
A: No. No, no, no, no, and no. Any game where Leonard Fournette is not playing will be one where the offense will be absolutely ineffective. This team runs (no pun intended) through Fournette. Everything and everyone else literally depends on him — T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant are not at their best without him, Blake Bortles will see more defenders in coverage, the receivers will see less separation... the defense would be our only hope in winning games.
Jim from Kingsland, GA
Q: Is Donte Moncrief our biggest disappointment from our offseason signings?
A: No, but only because it’s just Week 1. It’s not his fault the most important piece of the offense was injured in the second quarter of the only game he’s ever played. Let’s let the season play out until at least Week 8 or Week 9 until we start drawing those sorts of conclusions.
Cmass from Ormond Beach, FL
Q: Why do they not give Corey Grant more touches? He’s the fastest player on the field and hardly ever turns the ball over unlike T.J. Yeldon who has a habit of dropping the ball. He barely played Sunday.
A: We wrote a piece talking specifically about this issue, but the long and short of it is Grant is a special player that you have to manufacture touches for. If the defense doesn’t give you the right look, then the play is dead. You’ve got to constantly be evolving the looks or having looks you can also use with other plays so it’s not a dead give away to the defense that Grant is getting the ball and going a certain way.
Johnny from Philadelphia, PA
Q: What is the real reason the Jaguars aren’t calling Dez Bryant?
A: He’s not that good.
Luke from Carbondale, IL
Q: Is Yannick Ngakoue lowkey the best player on the team?
A: Jalen Ramsey.
Vasya from Svetlogorsk, Russia
Q: Do you expect a lot Ronnie Harrison on Rob Gronkowski this Sunday?
A: I expect Ronnie to be part of it, yes, but like the AFC Championship Game you should expect to see a number of different defenders — including Jalen Ramsey — to be defending him.
Mike from Jacksonville, FL
Q: Will they bench Blake Bortles in favor of Cody Kessler by Week 5 if he continues to play like he usually does?
A: Not if they’re 3-1.
David from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
Q: Being that Leon Jacobs is a seventh rounder starting on a top-five defense — is Jacobs that talented or are the Jaguars just that thin at linebacking talent?
A: Probably a little from Column A and a little from Column B. But Jacobs has been good so far and he fits what the Jaguars are trying to do on defense. He’s not a plug and play guy for every defense in the league, but he’s good enough that he can learn while he plays.
Joey from Jacksonville, FL
Q: Do you think a comparison of Yannick Ngakoue and Myles Jack to that of Kevin Hardy and Tony Brackens is a fair one or do you think they will be better?
A: I don’t think they’ll be better players, but I think they’ll have more productive careers. Brackens’ career was cut short by injury but he’s probably one of the most dominant athletes the Jaguars have ever had. He was so, so good in real time. Hardy was such a good linebacker, especially in blitzes, but his time in Jacksonville was cut short because of injury too or else he’d have probably stayed another three or four years. In all, Brackens played about seven seasons worth of games and Hardy played eight. I think Yannick and Myles both surpass them in how long they’re here in Jacksonville.
Mark from Santa Maria, CA
Q: Help me to understand why the offense is so reliant on Leonard Fournette in order to function effectively and why Doug Marrone goes into an ultra-conservative mode when the team has a second half lead? It sounds like a great strategy when everyone is healthy and breaks fall in your favor but disastrous when the opposite happens. Is there some truth to this?
A: An offense can either rely on its run game or passing game, Leonard Fournette or Blake Bortles. Look at what the Jaguars have spent in beefing up the run game (an All-Pro left guard, highest paid center, a first round draft pick, a second round draft pick, and an undrafted free agent who got a second round tender) compared to the passing game. As far as getting ultra-conservative, Marrone is a big believer in turnovers being the number one indicator of whether a team is going to win or not,
Bostonjagsfan from Boston, MA
Q: Home opener coming up, with a lot of out-of-town Jaguars fans flocking to The Bank. What are the top three places to go or things to do before the game?
A: Hmmm... well, you’re gonna get more than three. Breakfast at Maple Street Biscuit or Metro Diner (or both). Lunch at Nacho Taco. Dinner and beers at Intuition Ale Works. Make sure you’re at the tailgate early, the traffic gets horrendous.