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O-Zone: Can’t base it on the past

Posted Oct 30, 2013

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it . . .

Jerry from Atlanta, GA:
I just listened to the press conference from Tuesday and I am a bit puzzled. Did the head coach really say the team was having a big player-evaluation meeting after the trade deadline? It certainly seems like a meeting prior makes a great deal more sense...just curious.
John: Your puzzlement is understandable, but the big player-evaluation meeting Tuesday wasn’t about trades. A decision such as trading a player would have been made between Dave Caldwell and Gus Bradley on a more day-to-day basis, and any such deals would have been discussed far more often and far earlier than on the week or day of the deadline. The overall evaluation meeting that took place Tuesday was about taking a detailed look at the entire roster, and evaluating and reevaluating where position groups and individuals stood. Think of it as more of a more of a “fine-tooth-comb” meeting than time permits on a normal week.
Olly from Oxford, England:
It was fantastic to have the Jags in London - I can't wait for next year when I hope the score will be more important than the experience. How did the team and extended staff react to the trip and the experience in London? Was it positive, or are some yet to be convinced?
John: The reaction among team and extended staff couldn’t have been more positive.
Seth from Baton Rouge, LA:
Are you kidding me? The trade deadline comes and goes and no moves from this team. Why, John? It just makes no sense.
John: It’s great to speculate on possible trades, but you need two teams to trade in the NFL. The Jaguars received no trade inquires and no offers, and therefore there were no trades. There were few trades at the deadline around the league and none of much significance. That’s because teams are usually looking to deal players for draft selections, and teams usually want draft selections far more than they want older players being discarded by their teams.
John from Fleming Island, FL:
Any comment on Mark Brunell's statement on JAGs future? Are we being misled?
John: I covered Brunell for six seasons, and have no problem with Brunell personally. But Brunell’s comments about the Jaguars’ future in Jacksonville were misguided to a bizarre and staggering degree. There is a perception that because he once played quarterback for the Jaguars, and because he did some television work and appears on a team radio broadcast, he is privy to some information about the future of the franchise. This is not the case.
Logan from Big Bear City:
From the sounds of it, Matt Schaub is going to be on the market in 2014. I know he’s not great, but he has experience on a good team, he knows what it’s like to win and knows what it takes. By picking him up, we could save ourselves a draft pick.
John: This probably won’t happen.
Eric from Jacksonville:
Is it time to make a few bucks and bring in Tebow for the second half of the season?
John: It’s not the remotest consideration.
Cleon from Palatka, FL:
This year, the 49ers were a home game that went to London;next year, it is the Cowboys. It seems to me the NFL is really trying to push the London Jaguars. If the NFL really wanted the Jaguars to stay in Jacksonville why are they moving to of the best home games to London leaving home games that will be hard to sell out? What Gives!!!!
John: The league is trying to push the league in London. With the 49ers being good and the Cowboys being popular, it makes sense that they want those teams to play games in London. Shad Khan wants to build a fan base in London, so it makes sense that the Jaguars play games there. In these first two seasons, that has meant the 49ers and Cowboys not playing in Jacksonville. Yes, the 49ers and Cowboys probably would have sold well in Jacksonville, and yes, a game against, say, the Browns probably would have sold out in London anyway. So from the Jaguars’ point of view, it might have been ideal to play the Browns in London and the 49ers at home. But the Jaguars don’t control everything about the London series. Either way, remember this: it doesn’t matter if the NFL wants the Jaguars to stay in Jacksonville or not. It’s up to Khan, and he wants the Jaguars in Jacksonville with an international presence. That’s what the London series is all about.
Timmy from Jacksonville:
Sometimes you have to re-break a bone in order for it to set and heal correctly. Caldwell & Co. have done just that. They've broken the old mold and are setting the Jags right. It's painful right now, but long term it's going to heal properly.#StandUnited despite the frustration. Go Jags.
John: #StandUnited
Max from Jacksonville:
Umm, Mark Brunell went on ESPN Radio and said "all indications are the Jaguars will eventually move to LA or London." Does he know something you don't?
John: Not anything factual.
Sunil from Jacksonville and Section 240:
Mark Brunell should not be allowed in the "Pride of the Jaguars." He made some insane comments on ESPN radio Tuesday. Thanks for supporting your "hometown" Mark! I guess you have to bash Jacksonville to work at ESPN.
John: This was a pretty common feeling in the inbox. I won’t go as far as to say Brunell shouldn’t be in the Pride because of this. I will say the comments were misinformed and unfortunate.
Chris from Crestview, FL:
If you put Tom Brady on this otherwise exact Jaguars team - what is our record? What do you think our record would be?
John: Probably 1-7 or 2-6. A quarterback playing at an elite level probably gets them close enough in Oakland and St. Louis to have a chance.
Steve from Section 215:
You wrote that playing in London was a significant financial benefit for the Jags. How can that be? First thing that comes to mind is huge travel expenses compared to no travel for a home game in Jacksonville. They leave earlier than for a normal away game. Nobody is in the stadium buying merchandise or refreshments. Does the league write a big check?
John: The Jaguars as the home team get revenue from the game from ticket sales and sponsorship deals.
Paul from Jacksonville:
I'd love to have some short-term winning now versus what we have going in now. You guys blew it on Alex Smith. Jags front office = Buffoons
John: I don’t know that it’s a safe assumption that Alex Smith would mean short-term winning. A game? Maybe. More? I don’t know.
Steve from DeFuniak Springs, FL:
From the coverage, it would appear the 49ers took this game more as a business trip whereas the Jags were at every fan function and promotional event associated with this game. Maybe if the Jags spent more time in the film room and not at pep rallies there would not have been the blown coverages where the defense was confused by a formation they had not studied.
John: The Jaguars while in London kept to the same schedule all NFL teams follow each week. They practiced Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and had meetings the same days. They then attended the NFL Fan Rally in London on Saturday for less than an hour. I’m not saying there were no distractions in London, or that it wasn’t different, but the events around the game didn’t take away from preparation.
Manuel from Jacksonville:
The way things are developing, the London games are for Khan’s business public relations reasons and to pave the way for eventually moving the Jaguars to London after the fourth Jacksonville "home game" in London. If one "home game" in London leaves much more revenue than in Jacksonville, a season played in London will leave 10 times that revenue. That's why wins do not matter much now to management, after all the rebuilding is for London fans to enjoy in 3-4 years.
John: You write with a very authoritative tone. That would mean a great deal if you were correct. It means little when you’re not. Khan has pushed for new video boards for EverBank Field, in addition to a slew of pending improvements. He invested $3 million into the locker room last season and $7 million into training facility and weight room this offseason. He didn’t go to London alone last week, by the way. He went with the mayor, city council representatives and multiple leaders of the business community. Those business leaders were there to build relationships with the idea of bringing business and jobs to Jacksonville. Khan also continues to invest in and explore investing in Jacksonville business interests. Perhaps all of this is an elaborate ruse to move the team. Perhaps I’m naïve. It just seems like a tremendous amount of work and commitment when he could easily and far more cheaply not do any of it at all.
Gavin from Jacksonville:
Here's an idea to keep the team financially viable. Put a competitive product on the field. We've won seven games since 2010.
John: That’s a good idea, and that is indeed the plan. The Jaguars’ plan right now is about the long term, and while the short-term is difficult, this approach should yield improvement over the long-term. I get that it’s difficult to see. I get that Jaguars fans have been through a lot of losing. I get that right now stinks, and that it’s frustrating. But none of that means the plan is wrong. It just will take longer than a lot of people want to come to fruition. You can’t operate based on what fans didn’t like about the past. You have to operate based on what you believe is best for the future.

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