Let's get to it . . . Brian from Jacksonville:
Does Chudzinski's second interview automatically make him the favorite, or maybe it's a chance for him to meet Mr. Khan. Are they patient enough to wait for McCoy for an interview?
John: We've stated clearly since this process started that with Shahid Khan and Gene Smith keeping the search very private there is a limit to what we will know on this issue, but I do want to try to clarify the issue of Rod Chudzinski possibly having a second interview. First off, I don't know if he has or not. But here's where the report began. A CBS RapidReporter in Carolina wrote the following: "A Jaguars official on Monday would not comment via e-mail on the possibility of (Panthers) OC Rob Chudzinski receiving a second interview for the head coaching vacancy. Initially interviewed last Thursday, 'Chud' is one of at least six reported candidates, including Bengals OC Jay Gruden, Broncos OC Mike McCoy and Jets OC Brian Schottenheimer." If I'm not mistaken, that is the genesis of the idea that Chudzinski had a second interview. If you read back over the item, it does NOT say that Chudzinski had a second interview. It said a Jaguars official on Monday would not comment on the possibility of Chudzinski receiving a second interview. The team in fact is not commenting on anything about the coach search. While it widely has been reported that he and Schottenheimer interviewed once last week, if there's another report out there involving a second interview for Chudzinski, I haven't seen it. Chudzinski may or may not get the position and he may or may not have received a second interview, but if he has, this report – and the re-reporting of this report and viral nature that followed it – does not verify it, nor does it seem that that was its intention.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
Since totaling 14 sacks in 2009, the Jaguars have shown steady improvement in each of the past two seasons. Unfortunately, they're still in the lower 50th percentile. Can we expect the Jaguars' sack numbers to once again increase next season?
John: The increase in the last two seasons has been about effort and desire and focus on the area, and I'd give defensive line coach Joe Cullen a lot of credit in that area. I'd expect that area to continue to improve, because the players there are generally improving, and I'd also guess that a pass rusher is added in some capacity.
Joe from St. Augustine, FL:
Have you checked your contract for any fortunate typos?
John: I prefer my typos where they belong, thank you – right here in the O-Zone.
Steve from Jacksonville:
On January 9, Michael from Atlantic Beach, FL asked you a very valid question. He was polite, lucid and to the point in his query. You on the other hand made a backhanded insult with your opening remark of "If I understand your question correctly"... and then went on to not answer the question! I think that you missed your calling John; you really would've been better as a speech writer for some politician.
John: I wasn't trying to be insulting with the answer. On the contrary, it struck me as odd that someone would think Khan bought the team with the idea of turning around and selling it. That's generally not why people buy NFL teams and Khan said last week he planned not only to keep the Jaguars, but that it is his intention for the franchise to stay in his family for the long-term.
Joseph from Jacksonville:
When will the Cowher rumors be dispelled? On the radio, on message boards, there is a lot of talk about him being in town secretly. You say that you wouldn't worry about it, yet people keep talking. The secrecy of the coaching search only makes it seem like he actually might be in negotiations. I think these reports of offensive coordinators are more smoke screen and due diligence than anything.
John: People can talk all they want. I'm still not worrying.
Tom from Jacksonville:
Which is more important. The head coach, or the general manager?
John: There will be a chorus of people saying I'm not answering the question, but I honestly believe you must have both. A good GM without a good coach doesn't work and a good coach without a good general manager doesn't, either. The two people must be on the same page, and they must have generally the same operating philosophy when it comes to what's happening on and off the field. I do believe the general manager most often has to be the first step, and I believe that an operating structure in which the general manager has power over football operations works, but that's most likely because I saw it work up close in Indianapolis for many years. There are many ways to succeed in the NFL, but it rarely works if a general manger isn't acquiring good players and if those players aren't being coached correctly.
Frank from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Did the Falcons' and Bengals' dreadful offensive showings in their playoff losses take the shine off of their respective coordinators as potential head coaching candidates? I'm not big on Mularkey being a converted Bills fan and seeing how the ATL offense folds in the playoffs and I'm not sold on Gruden's coaching history (or lack thereof), but I'd be interested to hear if Shad/Gene took notice of their offensive struggles this weekend and said maybe not so much on either of them. Tough sell to the fan base, I'd say, for each of them too.
John: This word of warning may come too late, but here it is anyway: don't drive yourself nuts during this coaching search focused on one-game or even one-season performances. What I mean is this: there is much more to what goes into a successful head coach than how a coordinator's defense or offense ranked in a particular year or how it performed in one game. If Mularkey and Gruden were candidates before this weekend, then they are and should absolutely be candidates now. One game doesn't change that, just as you wouldn't bench Maurice Jones-Drew for one bad game. This process is going to be about Khan/Smith finding the coach they believe is right to set the tone for the organization, and that person may very well have been the coordinator of an offense that at some point has lost a game and not been ranked in the Top 5 in the NFL.
Brian from Jacksonville:
Why the exception for a TD in the new overtime rules? Why try to ensure each team gets a possession and then make that sort of an exception?
John: The idea behind the change in the rule was to ensure that a team couldn't win a post-season game by receiving the kickoff and driving a relatively short distance before kicking a field goal. The thought on the part of the league was that requiring the team to at least score a touchdown made it a more fair situation while still trying to ensure the games were decided as quickly as possible.
Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
So let's tally it up, one division championship, one playoff win in his first full year. Lesson No. 1, you never know if a guy is going to make it so why not get the guy the fans like? The fans are mad because they never have got the coach or the players who got them excited. No matter how smart you think you are if the fans are not buying it then you are the donkey! If Tim Tebow wins a Super Bowl, the Jacksonville Jaguars will forever be the donkeys! If I was Mr. Khan I would clean house.
John: For many, many reasons, I'm so glad you're not Mr. Khan.
Scott from Jacksonville:
How many people called Drew Brees a bust after his third season?
John: Four hundred seventy-four . . . no wait. Four-hundred seventy-seven.
Guillaume from Paris, France:
Mario Williams is a free agent in a few weeks. He is an odd fit in Houston's scheme and they played great without him. Do you think the Texans will try hard to resign him? Do you think the Jaguars would be interested enough to sign him to a big contract?
John: That is maybe the situation that intrigues me most in free agency. The Texans have a serious decision for the reasons you cite, and if he is free, the Jaguars would almost certainly have to be interested.
Jason from Jacksonville:
Hey O'MAN, thanks for the Saturday/Sunday O-Zone bonus! Two questions for you. Do coaches have agents? Has Mel Tucker interviewed for the other open head coaching jobs, or will he interview?
John: Yes, coaches do have agents. To my knowledge, Tucker has not interviewed for a head coaching job elsewhere, although there are reports that he may interview for the Minnesota Vikings' defensive coordinator position.
Stan from Jacksonville:
Which nickname do you prefer: O-man, O-dawg, or Vitamin O?
John: I prefer Zane the Invincible, but of your list, O-Man is fine.
Chase from Jacksonville:
John, you're a pretty funny guy. How long does it take you to come up with these witty answers?
John: It took me about 20 seconds to come up with Zane the Invincible. My first thought was to go with Thor, He of Great, Heroic Strength But Not Necessarily Wisdom, but I don't know, it jumbled a bit rolling off the tongue.
Insight into my method
Let's get to it . . . Brian from Jacksonville: