O-Zone: An all-timer

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Seamus from Vancouver, BC

Everyone calls the 2019 Jaguars a "crappy" team. However, in the first half of the season, the team was middle of the road. It wasn't until the quarterback lineup was changed that the scores went from one touchdown to runaway games. Was the 2019 version of the Jaguars *really* a crappy team, or was there more to the story? For my part, I am pleased that Head Coach Doug Marrone has another season. We'll see about General Manager David Caldwell, though ...

The 2019 Jaguars were really bad – really bad -- for five games from Game 8 to Game 12, losing all five by wide margins with the defense struggling mightily against the run. That stretch was the only time the team was truly awful, but five games in the NFL is a long time to be truly awful. Both quarterbacks – Nick Foles and Gardner Minshew II – had their share of bad games during that stretch, but I'm not sure improved quarterback play would have helped much considering how the defense played. To answer your question: Were the Jaguars "crappy" in 2019? Outside of that five-game stretch, not really. But the five-game stretch defined the season, so …

Brian from Jacksonville

The Jaguars should select a defensive tackle, a middle linebacker and a cornerback with their first three picks of the 2020 NFL draft. Tight end and safety should be addressed in free agency. Veterans should fill those positions. Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden's offense will wait until the third round to get a pick. Agree?

I wouldn't be surprised to see the Jaguars address the offensive line early in the draft, and I don't agree as much about needing to sign a safety in free agency as I do tight end.

Tyler from Jacksonville

I would like to see the team do some extra preparation for the London trip next year to make sure the team is more at home. What I mean is that they won't be in a standard hotel situation for 10 straight days. Like maybe find out what mattress will be in the hotel, bring one in for testing, and have the players test out different mattress toppers to find the one most normal for them. It just seems an abnormal amount of time to sleep in an uncomfortable bed if it is one they don't like.

Mattress toppers. Got it.

Christopher from St. Augustine, FL

What do you feel the odds are that the Jags try to trade the ninth and 20thpicks to Detroit for the Lions' No. 3 overall selection for the Jags to draft Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah? The draft trade values are equal and it'd be great to draft a replacement for Jalen Ramsey to strengthen our defense.

That trade would surprise me. Any trade up by the Jaguars in the first round that didn't involve a quarterback would surprise me, and a trade up in Round 1 for a quarterback actually also would surprise me.

Benji from Palatka, FL

OZ, with Manchester City being banned for two years from the Premier League, do you think the NFL will actually step up and ban the New England Patriots for a year for repeated cheating scandals? Also how does the MC banning affect the Jags imminent move to London? There would seem to be a sports vacuum over there that the Jags could fill.

Manchester City wasn't banned from the Premier League; the club was banned from the Champions League. I don't believe the NFL will ban the Patriots for their scandals, with one reason being they already had administered whatever punishment was going to happen. Finally: There is no move to London in the plans for the Jaguars – "imminent" or otherwise.

Carson from Jacksonville

I think the only way the Jaguars can dig themselves out of this second London game PR hole is to bring back the Culligan Cheerleader out of retirement and have her cheer this season. Any chance of that happening?

That might be a good idea except I have no idea what you're talking about.

Sean from Jacksonville

Would you please explain more about the statement, "But playing eight games in Florida – with no state tax – still allows the Jaguars to be very near the bottom of the NFL in terms of how much total tax players pay?"

The question refers to a recent O-Zone question/answer discussing player taxes of London games and other Jaguars games. The line in my answer should have read "playing six home games in Florida still allows the Jaguars to be very near the bottom of the NFL in terms of how much total tax players play." It wasn't, upon review, a well-written sentence. I was making the point that Jaguars players – because the team plays most of its home games in Florida (a non-state tax state) – are among the least-taxed players in the NFL every year. That's true even with a second home game in London next season.

ABC from ABCTOwn

Hi O. With all the reports about Tom Brady and the Patriots and the possibility of Brady going to a new team, why don't the Patriots simply franchise tag Brady instead of giving him an also expensive one -year extension?

It's written into his contract that the Patriots can't do that this offseason.

Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA

Hi, John. If I could read the mind of a billionaire, I wouldn't be reading O-Zone. No offense.

The Jaguars' offense wasn't the problem this past season as much as a run defense that struggled too often.

Brian from Gainesville

Big O, how are the Jaguars going to get their great tight end? How does this team get its Ertz, Kittle, Kelce, or Gronk? Seems like the addition of a talent like that at tight end would be huge. Waiting to make it happen through the draft is too uncertain. Notwithstanding the failed Julius Thomas experiment, should this team go after tight end hard in free agency?

Zach Ertz (Philadelphia), George Kittle (San Francisco), Travis Kelce (Kansas City) and Rob Gronkowski (New England) are all elite tight end ends. All were drafted by the teams with which they obtained that elite status.

Van from Jacksonville Beach, FL

Why would Marrone hire two former coaches who could eventually replace him down the road? By the way, Van would have done a much better job of doing his homework than Khan before buying the Jags. He would have discovered long-range problems he would be facing and invest his money elsewhere. You did not answer my question about how long it would take to turn a profit at the Lot J complex he intends to build.

Marrone hired Jay Gruden as offensive coordinator and Ben McAdoo as quarterbacks coach because he believed their experience as NFL head coaches would help the Jaguars this season; would you have preferred less-experienced coaches? And yes … I'm sure Van would have done a much better job than Khan at many things; Khan's body of work and status in many areas of business certainly indicates he could use Van's help. I don't know how long it will take to turn a profit at the proposed Lot J complex; I can't predict the future. I do know that both Khan and Cordish Companies – the latter of which is considered perhaps the world's foremost developer of such properties – believe in the project enough to be equity partners. I don't know if that's evidence enough for Van, but a lot of other smart people see it as an indicator of future success. My overriding thought as I answered this question is it's a crying pity that Van didn't have $800 million to make the purchase in 2011. Oh, what might have been.

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