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Let’s answer some Jacksonville Jaguars questions as we head into the dead zone!
Josh from St. George Island, FL
Q: Do you see the NFL starting the season on time and do you think having packed stadiums is realistic or not?
A: I think the NFL starts on time. The wheels are in motion for just about every major sports league in America to begin in the next two months, so the NFL will have the luxury of seeing what works and what doesn’t and planning accordingly. Baseball would be the first back if not for a major labor dispute. But the second part of your question is where I think you’re going to be disappointed, Josh. I don’t see packed stadiums. In fact, I don’t see fans in stadiums at all.
We’re just too far behind this whole thing as a country to realistically expect it. South Korea, one of the countries who best quarantined and fought their first wave off, has seen repeated waves days or weeks after trying to get back to normal. They just shut down schools for a third time after another outbreak days after re-opening. It’s debatable if we’ll have socially distanced crowds at sporting events later this year, but one thing I think is a sure thing is that we will not have stadiums at full capacity until a vaccine has been developed.
Esteban from Munich, Germany
Q: My bold prediction is that Josh Hammond makes the final roster and that Keelan Cole does not. What do you think?
A: Guten morgen, Esteban! I think that’s a fine prediction. Keelan Cole hasn’t matched his production since his breakout 2017 season. He’s had a great career so far considering he was an undrafted free agent going to a bad Jaguars team three years ago, but he has steadily declined in doing well with the opportunities given to him. I don’t know if it’s a coaching staff thing or a talent thing or what... but those WR5 and WR6 positions are primed for young talent to come in and give them a boost on special teams as well as weapons for a more West Coast offense approach from Jay Gruden.
C.J. from Lakewood, CA
Q: Do you think it was good to trade Tom Brady?
A: Yes. What I don’t think was a good idea was siding with Tom Brady in 2017 when Jimmy Garoppolo was a rising star and a steal of a Day 2 draft pick. If you remember, Bill Belichick foresaw Brady’s decline and wanted to keep Garoppolo... but owner Robert Kraft sided with the best quarterback that franchise had ever known. It extended their window another year or two, but now they’re in a mess. Always trust Belichick.
Joe from Jacksonville, FL
Q: Do you think the Jaguars are being underrated by the national media? If yes, why?
A: Slightly, but only because they think they’ll be absolutely terrible when I just think they’ll be bad. Will they end up with the No. 1 overall pick? No. Will they have double-digit losses this season? Yes.
Dylan from Mesa, AZ
Q: Which UDFAs has/have the best chance to make the final roster?
A: Well, we already named one in WR Josh Hammond. I think CB Luq Barcoo has a good chance as well. If I had to pick a third, it’d be a tight end. Maybe TE Ben Ellefson. Having a 250 pound receiver or extra blocker in the red zone wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Gray from Jacksonville, FL
Q: With the Jaguars having all the draft picks necessary to stay on a rebuild path, how feasible would it be to get rid of a couple in exchange for Jamal Adams? Or potentially drop Yannick Ngakoue in front of the Jets with a mid-rounder attached and see if they bite?
A: I’d love to see them go after Jamal Adams but the Jaguars just don’t historically trade for marquee players. Sure, they went after guys like Carlos Hyde and Marcell Dareus, but those were in response to injuries or under-performing play midway through a season. Trading for a player months before the season just isn’t in Dave Caldwell’s nature. John Shipley over at Sports Illustrated’s JaguarReport has a good breakdown on the arguments for and against going after Adams. You can read it here.
David from Maplewood, NJ
Q: What would convince you that Gardner Minshew is the man either in record, stats, or both?
A: I would need to see better passes over the middle from the pocket and fewer fumbles.
Chevin from Jacksonville, FL
Q: Do you think Jay Gruden will be good here in Jacksonville with this offense and, if so, why?
A: I do, Chevin, but most of the reason for that is that the Jaguars offense has been abysmal as of late. I wrote more about it here in detail, but in each of Jay Gruden’s nine seasons as a head coach or coordinator, his offenses have outperformed what the Jaguars did last year. Granted, some of those were with better rosters in Cincinnati, but you can’t tell me Washington’s roster last year was better.