Let's get to it . . .
Ryan from Nashville, TN:
John, I absolutely loved what I heard from David Caldwell. What about you? What did you think?
John: I thought it would have been hard to do a better job than Caldwell did in his press conference Thursday. He has been in the NFL for 17 years, but before Thursday he had relatively little experience with the media, particularly in that situation. He set the tone for what he wanted to do, handled the questions about the departure of Mike Mularkey the right way, and he was decisive and sure on the issue of Tim Tebow. A general manager must make difficult decisions with confidence, then communicate those decisions to others. Caldwell did that Thursday.
Brett from Ridgeland, MS:
Caldwell seems to have all the credentials, knowledge, and experience needed to do the job, as Gene Smith did. The main thing he needs, that Smith didn't have much of, is luck. Fewer injuries, less turnover in the staff, things like that. I feel with a bit of luck, Gabbert may well have developed into a solid quarterback by now which obviously would've cemented Smith's role here. Just an observation.
John: Luck helps. No doubt about it.
David from Jacksonville:
Who’s the next head coach?
John: That’s the next step for Caldwell. He released Mularkey on Thursday, and now the top priority is hiring his replacement as head coach. There have been many names mentioned, and I expect the search to be extensive. You hear San Francisco offensive coordinator Greg Roman, St. Louis offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, San Francisco defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and others. I don’t know that there’s a favorite right now, and it’s obvious from recent weeks around the NFL that predicting the results of a coaching search before it begins is a fool’s game.
Jerell from Columbia, SC:
It was good to hear Khan say the team has gotten worse over the years and is not as close as everyone tries to make the fans believe. The truth really goes a long way.
John: Khan indeed tries to be as truthful as possible, and did so again Thursday. As I’ve said often, the Jaguars this season could have pieced together a six- or seven-victory season had they gotten some breaks and had they been healthy, but they were not particularly close to being a playoff team.
George from Savannah, GA:
The excitement is back in J'ville and the Jags! I was happy to hear that this is a new beginning and that the Tebow circus is not coming to town. Having said that, what are your expectations going forward in the coaching search? Do we get an entire new O and D coordinator positions?
John: I don’t have a gut for the coaching search, though with Caldwell having roomed with Roman at John Carroll, that will be an oft-heard name in the coming weeks. As for the final question, yes, I’d expect the coordinator positions to change and most of the staff as well.
Jerry from Tamarac, FL:
Do you believe any of the assistant coaches will be kept? I believe Jerry Sullivan cannot leave this franchise because of his impeccable ability with the wide receiver corps and what he has done in a short amount of time.
John: Sullivan is one of the coaches who could be kept. He did a great job with the receivers. I don’t know if Sullivan wants to continue coaching and don’t know if he wants to do it here. Time will tell. I’d think Greg Olson is a possibility to stay, too. That’s just a gut, and others could be retained. There won’t be much known on that front until a new head coach is named.
James from Bunnell, FL:
Why would you hire a young GM like Caldwell? What have the Atlanta Falcons done under him? They might seem promising but they have been in the same boat as Jacksonville for a long time, too. A closed mind in the NFL is a lost cause. Good luck, Caldwell.
John: Thanks, James.
Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
I was shocked and disappointed that Tim Tebow has no future as a Jaguar. However, that's the way you handle it. No use sugarcoating it. That was a bold statement and took a lot of courage on his first day! It told me right away that the Jaguars are in good hands. That baby face does not fool me, there is some fight in that dude! Well Done Shad Kahn! Time to rock.
John: What you hope is that most Tebow supporters feel the same way. Caldwell handled that situation as well as could be expected, stating clearly that he did not see a scenario in which Tebow came to the Jaguars even if Tebow is released from the New York Jets. If that’s the case, then it was important for Caldwell to establish that immediately, to make a clean break from the issue. That break has been made. Time to move on.
Nick from Annapolis, MD:
What a great quote. I guess that settles the Tebow thing.
John: It will be remembered for a while.
Tim from Section 238:
How out of touch can you be, making a statement that there is no scenario where Tebow is a Jaguar on his first interview as our new general manager. Classic out of touch with the fan base. It would have been just as easy to say Tebow is under contract with the Jets and I will not discuss players under contract with other teams. Here we go again, just plain stupid comment. Can you justify why he would say that on his first interview?
John: I can absolutely justify it – and quite easily, in fact. Caldwell apparently does not see a scenario in which Tebow will be a Jaguar even if he is released by the Jets. Rather than have the issue hang over the heads of the organization and fan base for the foreseeable future, he chose to address it and end the speculation now. As opposed to calling it just, plain stupid, I’d call it the proper way to handle the situation. And as for being “out of touch with the fan base,” we may as well say it now: his job isn’t first and foremost to satisfy Tebow fans. It’s to build a team that can win for the long haul. Caldwell is far from alone in thinking Tebow isn’t the highest-percentage way to do that.
Scott from Jacksonville:
I found one answer from David Caldwell's interview interesting. When asked about Tebow becoming a Jaguar, he replied that he could not envision a scenario that would put Tebow on our roster. That was a pretty definitive statement.
John: Ya think?
Hogfish from Section 141 and Mayport, FL:
What's the feeling around the building?
John: Well, my knee hurts and a couple of people are fighting the flu, but overall, a lot of people are pretty excited.
Roch from Srok Kramer:
May I have your opinion on this week's playoff predictions? Please do some articles on the Playoffs. I rather give Jaguars.com my time over ESPN or NFL.com.
John: I appreciate the interest and the respect. I’ve been “a little preoccupied” with some events around EverBank. I like the Broncos, Patriots, Packers and Falcons. Those teams have the best quarterbacks in each game.
Jeff from Section 106:
I noticed in your reply to Tom in St Augustine a little contempt. Is it the question do you think that causes you to be so snarky or do your spidey-senses indicate the guy asking the question is really just a bonehead?
John: I don’t like this question, either.
Andrew from Panama City Beach, FL:
Can our new GM reach out to coaches who are in the playoffs now? Or do we have to wait until after the Super Bowl to pursue those candidates? Also...would you expect a young new coach or an "experienced" Head Coach to come from this process?
John: David Caldwell can begin interviewing and reaching out to coaches whose teams are in the playoffs after those teams are eliminated. Caldwell said Friday head coaching experience isn’t a prerequisite.
Craig from Orange Park, FL:
I know there is a lot of praise for how Khan does things, but this GM coach thing is a year late. We all knew Smith needed to go and we simply lost a year of Caldwell building. Who knows, maybe we would now have Russell Wilson or a trade that got us RGIII.
John: Khan has owned an NFL team for a year and six days. There’s nothing wrong with the pace with which he is moving.
Kristian from Belo Horizonte, Brazil:
Now that Dave Almighty shot down the Tebow-speculations with a bunker-buster drone strike, can we have a couple of weeks with no Tebow-talk? Pretty please?
John: Yes. And actually, we can probably have a lot more than that.
Bill from Hammock, FL:
Although I don't believe Mularkey had a legitimate shot at proving or disproving he would be a good head coach, I found myself feeling better about going in another direction. The more I read about Caldwell, the more I like believing in him. For some reason all of this feels good and makes me anxiously await next season. Is it too early to feel good or should I wait?
John: It’s never too early to feel good, so, sure, why not? The way you feel about Mularkey is probably the ultimate reality of the situation. Did he get a fair chance? Would things have been different had his circumstances been different? Had he had a different quarterback? Had there been more talent? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But with a new general manager comes a chance at a new direction and the reality is most new general managers will seek a new direction and new head coach if given that opportunity.
Dale from Jacksonville:
Thank you Mr. Khan! I have been renewed – new general manager, new coach and more importantly, an old topic finally put to rest.
John: It was indeed a memorable day.