O-Zone: Apt description

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

John from Jacksonville

A lot of talk about moving on. The fans wanted to move on after a bad stretch with Tom Coughlin as head coach in the early 2000s – and how did that work for us? The Pittsburgh Steelers on the other hand seem to opt for stability in coaching and I would trade our win-loss record for theirs, wouldn't you?

NFL stability typically takes on a chicken-egg feel – as in … which came first? The stability or the winning? Teams such as Green Bay and Pittsburgh do show stability, but the reality is it’s hard to be stable if you’re not finishing at least .500 every season. The pressure to win is that great. The other reality is circumstances beyond a coach’s or general manager’s control often lead to losing – and changing coaches/leadership too often can lead to a cycle in which there’s never enough continuity to achieve stability or the desired results. Even if an owner believes a coach or general manager is best for the job, fan pressure and perception can become so great it’s very difficult to keep a coach or general manager after even one losing season. I am always fascinated and saddened this time of year when so many head coaches are fired – particularly ones fired after 7-9 or 8-8 seasons, or in seasons when their teams lost key players to injury. Those fired coaches as often as not are hired by replacements similar enough that the whole process takes on a musical-chairs feel. Coaches understand the business, and they understand the instability that comes along with it, but it still seems like perception reigns over reality as often as not.

Michael from Orlando, FL

Is it far-fetched to think that aside from the video guy/gal and the janitor, there will be completely new faces in the quarterback and running-back rooms this upcoming season?

That’s mammoth turnover to the extent it probably won’t happen, but it could be very, very, very, very close. Did I say, “Very?”

Mark from Archer, FL

O-Man, I am not sure why everyone says right tackle is going to be a need this next year. Did we not draft Will Richardson to take the job next year?

That indeed is why the Jaguars drafted offensive tackle Will Richardson in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He was placed on injured reserve on October 20 with a knee injury, and perhaps didn’t play or practice enough for the Jaguars to feel certain one way or the other about his future. How they approach that position is an area to watch in the coming weeks and months.

Daniel from Urbandale, IA

Apart from the game in Dallas, the Jags fought hard in every single game. The injuries were devastating particularly to the offensive line. I think this team has enough pieces it can compete next year. I'm glad we're retaining the coaching staff and general manager. The only thing I'm disappointed about was firing our offensive coordinator. I really don't think this year was his fault and I'd argue that the offense's performance since his ouster greatly reinforces that notion. Agree?

I thought the dismissal of coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was curious when it happened, and I never thought it would have its desired effect on the offense. But in the game of musical chairs that is assistant and head coaching in the NFL, someone must be “blamed” when a season goes awry. True fault often has little or nothing to do with it. In this case, it was Hackett, running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley, offensive line coach Pat Flaherty, secondary coach Perry Fewell and defensive line coach Marion Hobby. All apparently were smart in 2017. All suddenly became less smart in 2018. Crazy.

Michael from Jacksonville

From 2011-2016, a 5-11 season was a good one. If 5-11 is now our bad season, then I can handle it.

Nope.

Dave from Dallas, TX

Hey, Mr. O: How about Adam Gase as our offensive coordinator? He broke scoring records as the Broncos’ offensive coordinator, is something of a quarterback whisperer and needs to rehab his reputation. Have a great 2019, and thanks for being you this year. A bright beacon in an otherwise grim season.

Former Miami Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase is getting head-coaching interviews, and I expect he will be a head coach in the NFL again by no later than 2019. I also suspect he will have a chance to go to a situation with a more established quarterback.

Sam from Orlando, FL

In the words of your mother, your wife, your children and anyone that has had the displeasure of knowing you, “This is all your fault.”

Yes.

Bill from Dansville, NY

I am glad the leadership is staying. I will be extremely disappointed if Leonard does as well!

As of now, I expect Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette to return next season. That’s not to say the Jaguars wouldn’t explore the idea of training or releasing him. They clearly made that an option when they voided the guarantees in his contract. But it’s highly unlikely considering Fournette’s behavior/availability/production that another team would give up a lot for him – and it’s quite likely that the Jaguars will decide his ability makes it better to keep him than release him.

JAW from Jacksonville

Trade up and get Haskins. Pocket presence, arm strength, accuracy, mechanics and ability to read progressions. All in Jags, no excuses!

Hey … one fer Dwayne!

Matt from Bracknell, UK

John, talk of trading Leonard Fournette is pure madness. He is the only offensive player with any sort of spark. Glimpses we have seen of Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole out wide are due to the fact that a firing Fournette opens up other offensive dimensions. Introduce a quarterback that can throw, keep Fournette and all of a sudden the rest of the offensive line doesn’t look that bad at all. This is about people management. If Fournette was a completely unmanageable person, then he would have unraveled in a bigger way and earlier than simply buddying up to Yeldon on the bench Sunday.

Fournette missed a game for violating team rules as a rookie and was suspended for a game this season. Yes, Fournette has shown flashes in two seasons of big-time tackle-breaking ability and power – but he hasn’t been available nearly as much as you want from a “franchise running back.” This is not meant to pile on Fournette, but the issues go far beyond his behavior on the bench on Sunday.

Morgan from Mandarin

Trevor Lawrence of Clemson. I haven't heard people talk about a quarterback like this since Andrew Luck. He can come out in 2021. Do whatever it takes to get him.

Like lose for two years?

Michael from Ocala, FL

How does the offseason work for all the rest of the Jaguars staff (equipment managers, ticket sales, etc.)? Do they have other jobs during the time away? Also, how does it work with Tom, Dave, Doug, and other staff? Do they work every day in the office like a normal “8-5?” I guess being in the business world makes me curious on how the “day to day operations” works after the season ends for all the Jaguars employees? #DTWD

The pace, as would be expected, slows for most staff following the season, but there’s not as much “time away” as one might think; there’s really not much at all. Remember: free agency begins March 13, the offseason program begins in mid-April and runs through mid-June and ticket sales/sponsorship/etc. is pretty much a year-round process. Scouting and personnel also work pretty much year-round, though their pace actually increases significantly between now and the draft – and while coaches will get some time off in January, planning for next season and preparing for free agency/the draft means there’s not a significant “offseason.” The NFL isn’t a “normal” 8-5, but it’s pretty much a year-round league these days.

George from Harrisburg, PA

John, at least the Jags didn't waste money on Kirk Cousins.

When Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was being pursued as a free agent last offseason, it raised the intriguing question of just how much moderate upgrade at quarterback was worth as opposed to a mammoth one. Cousins was very good statistically this season, but he didn’t make the Vikings better – therefore leaving that intriguing question unanswered.

Bill from Jacksonville

John, why would any offensive coordinator worth a damn come to Jacksonville? The man in charge (Coughlin) wants to run an offense from the early 90s, he’s built the team to do so, you’re going to be given a either a rookie or castoff quarterback to do so, the offense has maybe one playmaker (Dede Westbrook)...maybe – and if you don’t produce almost immediately there’s a good chance you and the rest of the coaches will be fired after one season.

It’s a challenge for many of the reasons you cite.

Keith from Palatka, FL

I should not have called you a moron.

Debatable.

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