Let's get to it . . . Todd from Sather AB, Iraq:
John, once again thanks for doing the daily O-Zone. I am finally out of Iraq making my way home in a few days. I'm hoping I can make it to the Jags' last home game against Colts if my plans work out. GO JAGS!!!
John: I hope so, too. I'm sure I speak for all readers when I say thanks for all you do. By comparison, a daily O-Zone . . . well, let's just say it's no problem.
Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
How long did it take Mike McCarthy in Green Bay? The Jaguars do not have that time and Blaine Gabbert is no Rodgers. The fans will roast a new Mike McCarthy. Mr. Khan is about building a fan base and my guess is he goes after big names of importance. Normally I would agree, but time is the problem. The Jaguars are out of time outs. This is the Bold New City of the South and I expect the next coach to be a bold pick!
John: I have no interest in a name – important or otherwise. My interest is in a coach with integrity and vision who can provide a direction. What's better? A failure with a familiar name or a success you've never heard of? You hire the coach who's right for the job. You stick to what you believe. If he's a recognizable name who excites the fan base, that's great, but I recall fans in Miami being excited about Jimmy Johnson and fans in Carolina being excited about George Seifert and so on. Winning is exciting. Losing is not.
Mark from Richmond, VA:
I think it's kind of funny how people come on to the O-Zone and tell you the way it is. Last time I checked, you were the one in the locker room doing interviews. You are the one who has the most contact with the whole organization. I take your advice because you know all of these people and I'll trust your gut. Stay fly, O.
John: I try to answer questions as honestly as I can based on 17 years covering the NFL, and as you said, based on conversations with people more experienced and more knowledgeable than myself. Sometimes those people are right and sometimes they're wrong. Sometimes I'm right and sometimes I'm wrong. That's just how it is.
Nick from Fleming Island, FL:
I was just reading on NFL.com and Michael Lombardi stated that in his 20 plus years in the NFL he has never seen a first-round quarterback look as scared or as out of place as Gabbert. He also went on to say his play borders an undrafted free agent and no good coaches will want to come to Jacksonville after a first-round bust. I know it will take another year to rightfully judge Gabbert but I feel the fans can't and won't put up with another season like this. I feel if Gabbert shows up next year and doesn't drastically change I see it getting VERY ugly in Jacksonville. I think we may need to draft another quarterback this April. The panthers drafted Jimmy Clausen in 2010 and Cam Newton in 2011, why can't we admit our mistakes and draft Robert Griffin lll?
John: Well, if MICHAEL LOMBARDI said it . . .
Dustin from Jacksonville:
On the subject of selecting a head coach based upon previous success, no head coach in NFL history has won a Super Bowl with two different teams and only five have made it to the big game with two different teams, ever. I'm not saying we should shy away from a guy because he's been there done that, but it definitely shouldn't be a priority.
John: You have the right perspective, and that's the perspective the Jaguars will take. You don't hire a head coach or anyone solely because of what they have done in the past. You hire the best person for the job at that time based on the interview process and based on what's needed for the position at the time. If that person happens to have been involved in another situation in which he had success, fine. If not, no matter. Far more often than not, the greatest runs of success in NFL history – Chuck Noll's Steelers, Bill Walsh's 49ers, Joe Gibbs' Redskins, Tom Landry's Cowboys, Vince Lombardi's Packers – have come when the coach was relatively unknown with no previous NFL head coaching experience.
Matt from Stroudsburg:
I know you're not going to O-Zone every day during the offseason, but how often can we expect you to answer our questions once the season is finished? Every other day? Once a week?
John: Monday through Friday, same as before.
Julie from Jacksonville:
I've heard a lot of the talking heads saying not many coaches would even want to come to Jacksonville and that of the three coaching jobs available right now, Jacksonville is the least desirable. Do potential coaches, whether they are a big name or not, really look at Jacksonville and just think "heck no!" and if so, why?
John: Absolutely not, and it's nonsensical when you think of it. The Jaguars have a very good defense, an offensive line that's not far from being very good, perhaps the league's best running back and a tight end who has played in the Pro Bowl. They have a young quarterback who – despite what some observers are saying – has shown he has the physical tools to be very, very good. All of that aside, Jacksonville is in Florida, has great weather, the beach, a decent golf course or two and is one of 32 jobs that are relatively hard to get. They also have a general manager, Gene Smith, who is respected within league circles. And in case anyone missed it, they have a new owner who is not only not short on cash, but who Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones called one of the league's most financially viable owners. I'm not sure I particularly see how Jacksonville isn't a desirable position.
Jeremiah from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
I'd rather have Gabbert have a few more interceptions. I know this sounds nuts, but his low number of interceptions doesn't indicate he's not making mistakes. It's a product of him not risking a throw or taking the easy throw, just as Garrard used to. He's a rookie, he's going to struggle with making bad decisions. I get the receivers aren't good but you have to be willing to try and fit the ball into a tight window. Sometimes it's going to get picked off. I can live with that. I can't live someone not willing to take a chance.
John: I know this is becoming a hot topic, but the reality is the coaches and personnel people around the Jaguars aren't worried about this aspect of Gabbert's game. Say what you want about his pocket presence, but his decision-making has been very good this season and coaches tell you privately that far more often than not when he is taking sacks of throwing the ball away it is because there absolutely is no one open on the play. This is not to say he's perfect and doesn't need work, but he's seeing the right things and making sound decisions for a rookie, and that has been consistent from the start. That doesn't guarantee greatness, but it's an important piece to the puzzle.
Lisa from Jacksonville:
Why didn't Weaver just keep the Jags within the Weaver family? Like pass it down to his son or something?
John: He long has been on record that his heirs weren't interested.
Jessie from Jacksonville:
Why are the national media outlets so antagonistic about the possibility of moving the Jaguars? Is there some sort of vested interest for them if the team moved?
John: No. There just always has been disbelief among national-media types that Jacksonville is an NFL city. It has become an easy target, and now that saying Jacksonville is a bad market and a candidate to move has been heard so often it becomes difficult to be a national media person talking the other way.
Know it all from Duval, FL:
We would be Super Bowl favorites already if we kept Garrard, fired Gene, hired me, signed T.O., traded for Tebow, cut Alualu, cut Monroe, and picked up all the awesome talent still in the free agency that every other team in the NFL just happened to overlook. Oh and we should have kept Rick. I've seen enough this season to know that you, sir, are a bust.
John: Shahid Khan, hire this man!!!
Hire this man!!
Let's get to it . . . Todd from Sather AB, Iraq: