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O-Zone: A-team

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Bruce from Owensboro, KY

A little (not a lot) surprised Allen and Minshew got overlooked for rookies of the year. Hard for me to find anyone else more deserving, though. Your thoughts, O Great O'Zone.

I typically spend little time thinking about Rookie of the Year or other awards. Loyal O-Zone readers – and he knows who he is – know I don't consider these honors important, and history shows they're not representative of the best or most deserving players in the categories being honored. But I am confused about why neither Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen nor Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II weren't mentioned more for their respective awards this season, with Minshew's omission particularly odd. It came to my attention this week Minshew wasn't even nominated for the NFL's Pepsi Rookie of the Year after winning the Pepsi Rookie of the Week award seven times. Seven times.In 12 starts. No other player won it more than once this season. It seems they shouldn't only give the Rookie of the Year award to Minshew without a second thought, but that they ought to consider naming the Rookie of the Week award in his honor. But you know what? Whatever. Both Minshew and Allen are good players. Their futures are bright. That's what matters.

William from Jacksonville

If former Pittsburgh Steelers Troy Polamalu makes the Hall of Fame, then it should be a cinch for former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor. Fred ate Troy's lunch every time the Jaguars played the Steelers.


Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

John, trying to keep things in perspective, if Owner Shad Khan fired Caldwell and Marrone, where else in the NFL would they get jobs as a general manager or head coach? Go Jags!!

I doubt General Manager Caldwell would get another general-manager job because general managers don't often get second chances. I think Head Coach Doug Marrone would have a realistic chance at another job because head coaches are more often recycled multiple times.

John from Jacksonville

What is the distinction between All-Pro first team and second team?

First team is considered better than second team and first-team selections receive more votes than second-team selections.

Warren from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

We expected Tom Coughlin to be strict in his views and player expectations - one of the reasons we asked him back and gave him so much authority - so his fines are almost excusable EXCEPT there should have someone in senior management responsible for actually reading the Collective Bargaining Agreement and then speaking up to confront Coughlin about the "illegalities" of his actions. Do we have an inept and/or spineless executive team? This may sound snarky, but all organizations need executives that speak up. Where was our legal counsel?

Coughlin as executive vice president of football operations had final say over football decisions. That meant final say over fines. That's how it works – no matter how much that may frustrate you.

Garrett from Edgewater

Zone, if you were running the show who would you be taking at Picks Nos. 9 and 20?

The best lineman – probably defensive tackle – available unless there's a major reason to select something else. I'll work on specifics as the Senior Bowl approaches. Give me a week or two. It has been a long few months.

Brian from Carlisle, PA

Big O, I am tired of this fan base! Good Grief: Calm down. Support or don't support, as soon as this team starts to win you will be back. I will still be here, and I will support. Khan is a great owner and any city would love to have him as an owner. You all want Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones?? Hell no.

This is worth remembering. I understand there is anger among a portion of the fan base. The team's record since 2012 under Khan without question is disappointing, and no one understands that more than Khan. But you're absolutely right that the city of Jacksonville – and its football-loving fans – are incredibly fortunate to have Khan as an owner. A strong argument can be made that Jacksonville wouldn't have an NFL team without him, and I still marvel at the commitment he has made – and continues to make – to Jacksonville. Have the Jaguars won enough with Khan as an owner? No. Is the city and the franchise better because he owns the team? Without question. This is inarguable.

Kathleen from Augusta, GA

At the end of every season, it feels like we are always telling ourselves we are just a couple of key players away from being a very competitive team. It feels like we are more than just a couple of key players away from being a solid, competitive team next year. Am I being too pessimistic?


Nathan from California

People keep saying Yannick's stats aren't good enough for what he's asking for his contract. A player like him has benefits to the team that we don't see: his work ethic, how that rubs off on new players and the culture he brings. Defensive end Calais Campbell even said he's one of a kind, and he has been in the league for a long time. I say our team is better with him.

No one has questioned whether the Jaguars are better with defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. Fans know it. Management knows it. Players know it. The question is whether the sides can agree to a number that makes sense. It's easy to scream "Pay Yan" and throw #payyan hashtags on Twitter. But there are two sides to these negotiations. Is the team being unreasonable not paying him? Is he being unreasonable? Both are possible.

Alejandro from Ciudad de México

Dear KOAF, recently you talked about the Yannick offer. I'd put 21 million plus one dollar, Mexican peso, or whatever. In other words, making him the best paid in his position. This is because: 1, It's free agency and you overpay for players; 2, culture, because you could send a sign that Coughlin matters are in the past; 3, IS A TOP PASS RUSHER IN HIS PRIME. Do you think that I'm wrong?

I think I like Ngakoue and think he's really good. I also think making a player who has one double-digit-sack season the NFL's highest-paid defensive end – as good as he is – is a very, very difficult proposition.

Corey from Madison, WI

Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo got snubbed from the All-Pro list (although he is second team). Nothing against Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker, but Lambo's stats are better in every kicking category except extra points attempted. Small-market bias wins again...

Making second team Associated Press All-Pro is not a snub; it's one of the biggest honors an NFL player can receive. But this wasn't about small-market bias. This was about Tucker being widely considered the best kicker in the NFL and people voting off that reputation. It's not fair, but it happens.

Blake from Minot, ND

It's not said enough - one fer Lambo.


Rusty from New Iberia, LA

What exactly was Caldwell's job when Coughlin was here? Lately you have been making it seem like Coughlin was the general manager and Caldwell's hands were always tied when it came to building the roster. But previously you stated that the two more worked together to reach a consensus on a decision as opposed to Coughlin banging his fist on the table and saying I want this player! So which is it?

This admittedly is something of a mystery, and likely will remain as much. Caldwell's job under Coughlin was to run the scouting departments, and he and Coughlin certainly talked often about decisions and draft selections – with consensus eventually being reached after many discussions. We'll probably never know how much input Caldwell had into specific decisions, but we do know this: Coughlin had final say over the roster. Period.

Jack from Jacksonville

Do you think Coughlin still would have been fired if that letter had not come out from the NFLPA?


Chris from Section 437

Hi Zone, Something I forgot about until you mentioned it recently. I'm surprised Yan played for $2 million this year. Both sides must have been very far apart not to make a deal last year. Because anything close you would have to think he is losing money in the long run with the $2 million season.

I was surprised, too – and yes, my impression is the sides were very far apart.

Jordan from Jacksonville

Owner, head coach, general manager, quarterback. Having A-level in those spots is how you succeed sustainably in the NFL. The New England Patriots have it and the Indianapolis Colts had it. Beyond the 90s run, I don't believe the Jaguars have ever had all four in place. Is this the recipe you see for a great franchise or in your experience, is it something else?

Having an A-level quarterback tends to make people think teams have A-level coaches, owners and general managers.