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Big Cat Country Q&A: Why should I renew my season tickets?

Indianapolis Colts v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images

Let’s answer some questions ahead of the Jacksonville Jaguars sitting on the couch watching the NFL Divisional Round of the playoffs!

Lonnie from Jacksonville, FL

Q: With Doug Marrone being kept on for the Jaguars, do you honestly think that he’s aware that Todd Wash is the weakest link? His defensive performance has not played out over the past three years and we had the personnel.

A: I agree that Todd Wash needs to go and that we need a new set of eyes on this defense, but I don’t think he’s been as bad as we tend to think #onhere. He has his blind spots and I think the defense should have been more productive in games this year, but from 2017-2018 this was a defense that directly won a handful of games for us. That 2017 season was a generational defense. We probably won’t see another one like it for another 25 seasons. And 2018 had us contending in games with some of the worst quarterback play in franchise history. With even average quarterback play, 2018 is a playoff season. But in answer to your question, yes, I think Wash is let go. I’d go all in for Wade Phillips.

Austin from Granite City, IL

Q: Do you think Pepsi will actually recognize Gardner Minshew as the Rookie of the Year or just continue to ignore literally everyone.

A: Who cares about a B-list awards ceremony put on by a soda company when he won the inaugural Big Cat Country Rookie of the Year Award?

Alec from Anderson, CA

Q: In your mind, what is needed to make Gardner Minshew successful next year?

A: First and foremost, he needs Nick Foles traded as quickly as possible. It is too tough a task to ask a second-year quarterback to compete with a high-priced free agent. He needs the staff and locker room to see he is The Man in 2020. He also needs to work on his pocket passing. Gardner Minshew thrives when he can scramble and get outside the pocket, but that will only work when teams can’t defend the edges and keep him inside the tackles. We saw what happened when teams like the New Orleans Saints or Houston Texans kept him contained. He needs to do better with his reads down the field. And he needs to have better ball control when the pass rush gets to him.

Joe from Wesley Chapel, FL

Q: Any chance the Jaguars use both first round picks on defensive tackle? Like maybe Derrick Brown and Javon Kinlaw? Maybe try to recreate some Marcus Stroud/John Henderson magic?

A: No... and it’s for the same reasons you don’t want to go all in on defensive tackle when you have such glaring needs elsewhere. Marcus Stroud and John Henderson were dominant during that mid-2000’s run for the team, but they couldn’t get as far as that defense deserved in the playoffs because the team didn’t address their needs on the offensive side of the ball. You had David Garrard throwing to the likes of Matt Jones and Dennis Northcutt in Foxborough. It almost got us there, but they just weren’t good enough.

David from Sacramento, CA

Q: Can Gardner Minshew be a playoff caliber quarterback? If no, what weapons would help him get there?

A: Josh Allen took Deshaun Watson to overtime. Gardner Minshew can absolutely be a playoff caliber quarterback.

Brandon from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Why would I consider renewing my season tickets?

A: This is, far and away, the most frequent question I’ve gotten over the past few weeks. I’m of the mind that until Shad Khan is out as owner that this team will not be a consistent contender. Unless Khan shows drastic growth in his understanding of what it takes to build a winning franchise, the team will be bad. It’s sad, really. My fondest memories as a child revolve around the Jaguars — going to games, tailgating with my step-dad, pretending to be Tony Boselli in pickup games at the park, waking up extra early to read the latest news in the paper, watching highlights of players like Mark Brunell and Fred Taylor and Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell and Jeff Lageman and Tony Brackens over and over and over again. Wayne Weaver built two contenders, even if they both had small windows. Shad Khan got lucky in 2017 and two seasons later has another top-10 draft pick in his lap. The team is bleeding talent and giving heaps of money to bad players. I don’t know why you should consider renewing your season tickets, Brandon, but I wouldn’t.

David from Frisco, TX

Q: Who’s your favorite receiver in the draft that the Jaguars should take?

A: This is a deep class for wide receiver, so I’m of the mind the team needs to focus elsewhere in the first round. Go get a defensive tackle, cornerback, and offensive lineman in the first two rounds and then go after a guy in the later rounds. I like UCF wide receiver Gabriel Davis in the third round and John Shipley over at JaguarMaven has a good write up on him here. Demetrius Harvey likes USC wide receiver Michael Pittman, Jr in the third round as well. I don’t think a wide receiver any earlier than the second round is a good idea.

Kyle from Winnipeg, Canada

Q: Is trading down from the ninth overall pick a possibility?

A: No, I don’t think so.