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O-Zone: A lot of hope

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

MrMakersMark from Sec 408 Row A

Jaguar fans December: "Doug Pederson? Heck yeah, he is awesome." Jag fans today: "Great, another Top 5 pick the next three years."

I imagine some fans don't love the Jaguars hiring Doug Pederson as head coach, just as I imagine some would have disliked any eventual hire. I also understand there was enough criticism and scrutiny regarding the Jaguars' head-coaching search to leave a residue of fan distrust/dislike over the hire. That residue undoubtedly changed how some fans perceive Pederson. That's OK. Not every fan is going to love every hire immediately; not every head coach is going to be liked. The Jaguars must improve. They must win. That's how to change perception. Still, my impression is those disliking the hire are in the minority. And I sense most Jaguars fans will like the Pederson hire sooner than later.

JT from Palm Coast, FL

"This time we got it right" is like putting two picks in my ears. Can we please stop saying that nonsense because it rings hollow to Jags fans? Actions speak much louder than those words ever will.

I assume you're referencing Jaguars Owner Shad Khan on Saturday being asked about the statement he made when announcing Urban Meyer's hiring as head coach last January. The statement? "This time I got it right." The pain/heartache you feel when remembering the original utterance makes sense. Khan clearly didn't get it right with Meyer and it would be difficult to get it more wrong. Khan's response when asked Saturday about having made that statement? "Well, I was just a year premature. So, I did get it right." He was humorously acknowledging the situation, and I thought it played well. He erred hiring Meyer. He has been criticized for it. He publicly admitted that hiring Meyer was wrong by dismissing Meyer in December and he's trying to make it right. What else can he do at this point?

Richard from Boulder, CO

Why would the Jaguars need to get permission from the league to hire an executive vice president?

Teams must submit interview requests and follow an NFL-monitored process on high-level hires to ensure they are in accordance with the Rooney Rule.

Jonathan from Jax

Why in the world would you think Trevor wouldn't follow the same path as others who were highly-rated draft picks and request a trade? The coaching search was a microcosm of the disfunction of this organization. There are plenty of knowledgeable, passionate fans like myself who were going to preseason games in the Gator Bowl that helped get the franchise going back to the '80s. I still have Jacksonville Bulls swag from childhood. The Khans clearly don't subscribe to lead, follow or get out of the way. He needs to get out of the way or sell this team. The man can still be a moron and manufacture and sell bumpers. People need to stop giving him a pass due to his accomplishments outside of football. We have had 10 years to form an opinion and that opinion is he is lacking everything to run a successful NFL team. Go watch soccer and cricket and leave American football behind, Mr. Khan. We deserve so much better.

I understand frustration and passion, and the anger of many long-standing and loyal Jaguars fans is justified. I also understand that to refer to Khan as a "moron" is to grossly misjudge the realities of this situation – and to not know Khan or what he is about in the least. As for Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, here's why I don't believe he will follow the same path as cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue: Because I believe he has communicated with Khan enough during his short time here to know that Khan is serious about turning the franchise around, and serious about getting the right people in the right positions to do that. Yes, Jaguars fans deserve better. Khan's first step this offseason to delivering better was to hire Pederson. There's another step pending in Khan's decision to hire an Executive Vice President of Football Operations. These are positive steps. Stay tuned.

Chuck from Ponte Vedra Beach

Thanks for being the Jaguars' whipping boy! It's great to have an outlet to relieve our frustrations with the team. After these last 30 days, if I were you, I'd ask for a big raise!

What's a "raise?"

Joe from Hall of Fame City, OH

Hey O. So Doug is the new head coach?? What type of culture and mentality do you see him bringing in? I'm kinda on the fence on this one. His pedigree alone gives me hope. Maybe DUUUUVAAL can rise from the fire and become what it is meant to be!!!

I expect Pederson to establish a professional culture and mentality, one in which this franchise can grow toward winning. I expect the team to be better in 2022 and to have a chance to start winning consistently in 2023. This is going to start feeling like a professional football team again soon. That's a good first step.

Eric from Jacksonville Beach

Hi, John. I feel like the HOF opportunity for Boselli is getting lost in the mix. I know this is his last year of eligibility and I remember hearing a lot that there was a good feeling this year could be his year after they cleared out the backlog of o-line candidates in recent years. Are you hearing anything about his chances? Wasn't sure if there was any buzz on the streets about him this year. Would love to break the streak and get a Jag in the HOF! Once he's in, we can start beating the table for Freddy T and Jimmy Smith!

Former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli has four more years of eligibility remaining as a modern-era candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Yes, the good feeling about him among voters has increased in recent seasons. The "backlog" of offensive linemen – Kevin Mawae, Steve Hutchinson and Alan Faneca – indeed has been cleared. The buzz among voters is this is the best chance he has had to be enshrined. We'll learn whether I'm right on Thursday, when the modern-era enshrinees are announced. And yes … when Boselli is enshrined, I expect more discussion about Taylor and Smith – particularly Taylor.

Malachi from Bakersfield CA

Hey John! Why did you not ask any questions at the press conference? Was there anything that you feel did not get addressed that you would have liked to ask about? Or anything said that you would have wanted more clarification on?

J.P. Shadrick and I were scheduled to speak with Pederson following the press conference for our coverage on and our other channels. We did this.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

Touché, Mr Khan. He saw my wanting to hire Byron Leftwich as head coach because he played quarterback and worked with one of the greatest quarterbacks ever and raised me a Doug Pederson, who played quarterback and backed up Dan Marino – my all-time favorite quarterback. So we got the having played quarterback experience, but one upped it a head coach who has won a Super Bowl. I think there's a lot of value in that for Trevor Lawrence. I thought getting a good head coach the players will respect and listen to was the necessary part, but the quarterback experience – plus having worked with an all-time great quarterback – would be the icing on the cake so to speak. Well played, very nice.

So, one fer Pederson – and whaddya know? One fer Khan …

Rob from St Augustine, FL

I'm sure there will be comparisons between the Jags and Bengals for the foreseeable future. Apparently they have struggled with early picks too: 2015-2019 they've drafted Cedric Ogbuehi, William Jackson, John Ross, Billy Price and Jonah Williams. Is finding a QB/WR all it really takes to turn this thing around?

No, finding a quarterback/wide receiver is not all it takes to build a Super Bowl contender. The Bengals also have a very good defense that they have built over the last few offseasons, and they have very good skill players around quarterback Joe Burrow on offense. It's difficult – if not impossible – to build a sustained Super Bowl contender without an elite quarterback, and the addition of Burrow/wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase in the last two drafts unquestionably were key to their build. But it does take more.

Chris from Mandarin

What do you think the odds are of Willie Anderson leap frogging Tony Boselli into the Hall of Fame? If Boselli doesn't make it this time, do you think he's unlikely to get in without being a senior member later on?

I think the odds of former Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Willie Anderson being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame before Boselli are next-to-nil. The Hall is expected to announce its 2022 modern enshrinees Thursday. I firmly believe this will be Boselli's year to be among them. I don't think we'll be discussing this after this week. I just don't.