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Big Cat Country Q&A: Should the Jaguars convert to a 3-4 defense?

Jacksonville Jaguars v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Let’s answer some questions while the Jacksonville Jaguars sit at home during the NFL playoffs!

Nick from Nahunta, GA

Q: If Yannick Ngakoue is offered a contract does he want to stay in Jacksonville or explore his options?

A: Ngakoue will undoubtedly want to explore his options, but teams have more leverage than players what with their ability to apply the franchise tag to players. And if Ngakoue sits out, his salary is recouped by the team and he doesn’t accrue a season of playing time so the team can just apply it to him again in 2021. It’s in the best interest of the player to sign the tag and play out the season. I think it’s more likely that Ngakoue signs the franchise tag in 2020 rather than a long-term contract, but a long-term contract would obviously be best for everyone involved.

Ben from Sanford, FL

Q: Since Dave Caldwell and Doug Marrone will be in “win-now” mode for the 2020 NFL Draft, who are they likely to pick to help save their jobs past this year?

A: Someone not likely to get a second contract but who can easily plug and play right away. Isaiah Simmons, while a great player, is not worth the No. 9 overall pick. Grant Delpit can be a playmaker, but again... not worth that high of a pick. My money is on an offensive tackle. Sigh...

Trevor from Ellsworth, KS

Q: Since everything is staying the same and no real improvement in the front office was made, what do you expect the Jaguars record to be next year?

A: 8-8.

Teejay from Fernandina Beach, FL

Q: Will Gardner Minshew be the starting quarterback next year?

A: Barring an injury or some absolute drop in performance during training camp, I fully expect Minshew to be starting quarterback.

Art from Drexel Hill, PA

Q: I’d rather go heavy on offense as opposed to defense in the draft. Let’s win shootouts, not defensive slugfests. The defense isn’t what it was in 2017 and it’s not going back to that anytime soon.

A: I tend to agree with you, especially considering how deep the 2020 NFL Draft is at wide receiver. But if a top-tier defensive tackle is there at No. 9 overall (like Derrick Brown) I would want them to jump all over it. Then you have two picks in the next 33 spots. Go get a wide receiver and a guard. Free agency should be about getting a linebacker, tight end, and wide receiver as well.

Big On Blake from Philadelphia, PA

Q: Should the Jaguars convert to a 3-4? It seems like have a ton of pieces to make it work.

A: We do, but we also have a ton of pieces to make a 4-3 work. I think you’re looking at this incorrectly — it’s not about having the players to fit into a new defensive scheme, it’s about having the coaches to implement it. If the Jaguars stick with Todd Wash at defensive coordinators, I don’t want to see him trying to make a 3-4 work and I don’t think he wants to see him trying to make a 3-4 work. Right now, I don’t see any potential defensive coordinators coming in who want to work under a head coach and general manager who are realistically on one-year deals.

Jimmy from Gainesville, FL

Q: With the Upcoming Craptastic 2020 season ahead, besides a paper bag for your head what type of liquor do you recommend at the home games as we get blown out?

A: Something that mixes well with club soda or water. You don’t want to be drinking straight bourbon on a 100 degree afternoon with no cloud coverage. A chilled Moscow Mule would serve you well in the tailgate and then just switch to gin and club soda.

Curran from Orlando, FL

Q: Is it fair to ask if Calais Campbell has lost a step?

A: I don’t know what team you’ve been watching but Campbell has not lost a step. We all (wrongly) thought he had in the first two weeks, but then I guess he read the tweets because he is producing at an alarming rate. I’d argue he had one of his best pro seasons last year. His peers certainly thought so as they voted him to another Pro Bowl. While his production is down from two years ago, he’s still a starting-caliber player on a defensive line with a number of good, young players. He’s one of the best free agent signings in franchise history and while the bottom may drop out this coming season, he’s still a baller.

Ben from Jacksonville, FL

Q: I’m gonna be a dad in April. Any advice?

A: If your wife is already pregnant, you’re asking for advice too late.