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Big Cat Country Q&A: Are you more confident in the offense or defense in 2020?

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NFL: DEC 29 Colts at Jaguars Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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Let’s answer some Jacksonville Jaguars questions as we head into the dead zone!

Chevin from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Is this administration’s “culture change” with the new choir boys going to work this time unlike with Gene Smith when everyone was married with kids?

A: Gene Smith picked bad players. That’s why his rosters failed. He picked bad players and didn’t hit home runs with his picks at the top of the first round. Eugene Monroe couldn’t make it to his second contract. Blaine Gabbert was awful. Justin Blackmon couldn’t get it together. He drafted a punter in the third round. This notion that Gene Smith’s players were bad because they were “choir boys” is lazy. They were bad because they were bad.

Mitchell from Northampton, UK

Q: Now the London games aren’t happening, what Jaguars home game would you recommend to travel to the states for?

A: The later, the better. We’re not going to challenge for a playoff spot, so the next best thing is to get here when it’s nice and cool. Why not December 13th against the Tennessee Titans?

Anthony from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Why do you think ESPN ranked us 32nd in the league? I know we’re bad, but are we that bad?

A: I’d have to see what article you’re talking about, but when you’re ranked out of the top half of the league does it really matter if you’re the 22nd best team in the league versus the 32nd best team in the league? This Jaguars team is rebuilding. They’ll be lucky to finish with single-digit losses this year. They don’t know if Gardner Minshew is the guy yet. This is not the time to be nitpicking if we’re less bad than ESPN says we are.

Jake from Mobile, AL

Q: Should the Jaguars bring back Blake Bortles for cheap?

A: If they bring back Blake Bortles, I’m deleting Big Cat Country.

Jonathan from Teton, ID

Q: How do you think Taven Bryan will do this year? He seemed to take a step forward the last half of last season. Do we see the same guy, a quality starter, or dare I say Pro Bowler?

A: I think who he was last year is who he’ll always be. He’s not going to magically turn into some Pro Bowl player after two full years in the league and he’s certainly not going to be doing it in Jacksonville. He hasn’t done enough to earn a second contract here and the players we brought in this offseason only push him out further.

Austin from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Are you more confident in our offense or our defense next season?

A: It’s defense and it’s not even close. We focused on defense in free agency. We focused on defense in the NFL Draft. The defense will carry this team and that’s fine by me — the offense is incredibly young and your only chance at making a run is if the defense puts together some miraculous performances.

Ed from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Will Gardner Minshew be the starting quarterback all season long?

A: Yes, not because I’m sure he’ll succeed to the level this coaching staff is expecting (although that is my hope) but more because... who else is gonna play quarterback? Josh Dobbs is the only other quarterback with any NFL experience on this roster and I’m pretty sure they know what they have in him. They’ll want every opportunity to see what Minshew can do going into the 2021 NFL Draft to know whether or not they need to trade the farm for Trevor Lawrence or not. My expectation is a 6-10 record this year. If it creeps towards 8-8 or even a winning record (gasp!) then I think you can pencil Minshew in as the long-term guy. If it’s 6-10, you have a big decision to make. Anything less than that and I think it’s a foregone conclusion that they’re bringing in another guy.