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Big Cat Country Q&A: What can the Jaguars do about Andrew Norwell?

Jacksonville Jaguars v New York Giants Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images

Let’s answer some questions the morning after the Jacksonville Jaguars’ loss to the Carolina Panthers in Week 5!

Dallas from Pensacola, FL

Q: It was clear from the beginning of the last drive that the Panthers’ defensive line was in “balls to the wall” mode with a soft zone behind them. Why didn’t we run Leonard Fournette at least once to see if he could pop one instead of throwing a Hail Mary pass to get thrown to him?

A: Short answer is because we had one timeout and 95 yards to cover. Long answer is, well, an expansion of the short answer. I don’t really have a problem with how the Jaguars schemed up their final drive. Gardner Minshew missed a few throws, but he also had some beauties — 26 yards to Chris Conley on third down, 11 yards to DJ Chark immediately after, 5 yards to Marqise Lee on third and short. They took deep shots, just missing Conley in the back of the end zone with 19 seconds left. With how inconsistent the offensive line had been throughout the game, I don’t mind not running. As far as targeting Fournette on that first Hail Mary, he was the team’s third leading receiver still in the game. He had handled the ball 27 times up to that point. The Jaguars were trying to create a mismatch by throwing to a non-receiver and therefore having a non-cornerback covering him. It just didn’t work out.

Sean from St. Augustine, FL

Q: Should Myles Jack be benched? He looks to be more of a liability than an asset.

A: He’s not very good right now and his contract extension is being questioned by a lot of fans. As far as being benched, who do you replace him with? Even with how bad Myles Jack has been, he’s still better than your other options.

Kevin from Charleston, SC

Q: Andrew Norwell... do we trade him or just enjoy the bumpy ride until the end of the season

A: Unfortunately, all you can do is ride it out and hope you get better out of him for the rest of the season. His contract has an out after this year where we can cut him and only absorb $9 million in dead cap. He’s gone in 2020.

Al from Mt. Dora, FL

Q: After seeing Gardner Minshew play well against a great defense today, what do you think is the ceiling for this team? And what’s the most likely outcome for the season?

A: I do not mean this with any exaggeration — if the 2017 Jaguars had Gardner Minshew, they’d have won the Super Bowl. That’s how much better Minshew is than any quarterback we’ve had in the past 15 years and just how far this defense has fallen. With the drop off of the defense, I think an 8-9 win season is possible. Couple that with Nick Foles and Tom Coughlin riding into the sunset (and Dave Caldwell being fired) and a few extra draft picks from the Jalen Ramsey trade and you’ve got an incredibly attractive front office job for any general manager in the NFL. A good quarterback on the cheap for the next three years? A ton of picks? Buddy, they’ll be lined up out the door to work here.

Dane from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Seriously, can we stop with all of the freaking penalties?

A: Aside from the run defense (or lack thereof) we saw yesterday, the dumb penalties have to stop — and that’s a coaching problem too. Doug Marrone and Todd Wash need to figure it out because 507 yards of total offense should not result in a loss with how much this team has invested in the defense.

Corey from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Does Todd Wash get fired this season?

A: Yes.

Nik from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Can we fire Tom Coughlin?

A: Unless this is Shad Khan’s burner, no you cannot.

Toids from Raleigh, NC

Q: If you’re the general manager, what would you want in return for Jalen Ramsey?

A: Two first round draft picks. No players. No exchanging of picks. I want your first round pick in 2020 and your first round pick in 2021.

Jim from Davie, FL

Q: I love Jalen Ramsey, but what are your thoughts on him hanging out with Deshaun Watson and his agent in Houston shortly after a loss?

A: I assume you’re referencing this. I won’t go into my larger thoughts on Jalen Ramsey any more than to say he wants a trade and he’s making it very obvious he wants a trade. There are other big name players who have wanted trades recently and Jalen isn’t quite the distraction they were. And he’s not a distraction to the locker room on game days, even if he can be slightly annoying to other players. As far as that specific instance last night, the team sent him to Houston to see a back specialist. He didn’t go there on his own, he saw a friend while in town for work.

And yes, you can have a back issue and be well enough to go get drinks with friends but not play professional football. It’s not good optics, but this specific instance isn’t a big deal. As every day goes by, however, it becomes more and more likely Jalen is not going to be in Jacksonville long-term.