JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Ryan from Reality
John: Sure, now you say that Josh Allen is "the current Jaguars player with the most potential for true NFL greatness." But he has played in the NFL for one year. I remember you saying the same thing about Leonard Fournette and Cam Robinson after their rookie seasons. I remember you saying the same about Ramsey, Jack, and Ngakoue, and how that 2016 draft class could be transformational for this franchise. I'm pretty sure you even said Luke Joeckel looked destined for NFL greatness as a foundational left-tackle. I hope Josh Allen is great! But the fact that a second-year player is "the current Jaguars player with the most potential for true NFL greatness" speaks to how terrible this Jaguars regime has been at acquiring and keeping talent - especially given how many chances we've had to draft in the Top 10.
A couple of thoughts about your version of "reality." One is that while I don't remember exactly everything I say or write years after it's said or written, I don't recall ever feeling either running back Leonard Fournette or left tackle Cam Robinson had the same potential as defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen. I did feel cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Myles Jack were destined for greatness following the 2016 season – and I absolutely believed the '16 draft class that also included defensive end Yannick Ngakoue would be transformational for the franchise. Who didn't? (I'm relatively certain I didn't say that about Joeckel, mainly because he missed so much of his rookie season; but eight years is a long time when you're aging as rapidly and poorly as yours truly, so who knows?). What I can tell you is Allen feels like a surer bet for greatness than any Jaguars player I've seen in the last decade except possibly Ramsey, whose ability was as evident quickly as Allen's. The difference between the two seems to be that Allen may be less prone to "discontent" than Ramsey. As for your final point … a second-year player being the current Jaguars player with the most potential for true greatness doesn't "speak to" anything except Allen's potential. He looks like the future of the franchise. He looks like a player around whom a team can build. He would look like that at many franchises. Just because the Jaguars haven't done a great job building at times in recent seasons doesn't lessen his potential.
Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC
Why wasn't it obvious from the onset of Jimmy Smith's career that he would be great?
Former Jaguars wide receiver Jimmy Smith spent the first two seasons of his career in Dallas, where lack of opportunity and serious illness kept him from getting an opportunity. He indeed didn't develop into a great player until 1996 – his second season with the Jaguars and four years after he was drafted by the Cowboys. Sometimes, it takes time.
Peter from Summerville, SC
Tudor's Natives American friend needs to know that the Cleveland Browns are named after Paul Brown, not minorities. But OK, sure ... somebody's surname is offensive?
People interpret things as they see fit. Those interpretations often are logical, reasonable and merited. Those interpretations are not always logical, reasonable and merited.
Shhawwn from the Arlington Mean Streets
Have you seen or do you remember the Goldie Hawn movie from the 80s called Wildcats? That wasn't too bad, was it?
I saw it. It was fine. It was no "What About Bob?" but it was fine.
Ed from Ponte Vedra, FL
As far as you know, if the COVID-19 crisis remains status quo as of today, what is the percent chance the season will start on time?
This won't depend on the overall pandemic as much as the effectiveness of the measures teams take to reduce risk and make the season possible. If those measures are working, the regular season probably will start on time – though I'm less sure about training camp or the preseason. I don't know how to place a percentage on that as the measures never have been used before. I can tell you the measures are extensive, and that all remotely possible options have been taken to ensure social distancing and to ensure team facilities/environments are a "bubble." And I do think the measures have a good chance of working. We'll see.
Marty from Jacksonville
John, regarding the sound of the game with no or few fans in the stadium, it strikes me that it would sound like a road game for both teams. There's very little cheering to be heard when a visiting team scores, even when the stadium is packed. So, what I'm saying is, it won't be as strange as people think, because we've all seen lots of touchdowns with very little cheering.
Michael from Melbourne, FL
Mr. O: With the pending name change for one or possibly two NFL teams, I say they be based on the superfans. The DC Hawgs and the Cleveland Dawgs. As you know the DC superfans like to wear pig snouts and the Cleveland fans are the Dawg pound, so WHY NOT?
Scott from Gilbert, AZ
Zone, it seems like if Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell was on more stable and favorable footing with Owner Shad Khan and the fan base, a Yann trade fortifying future draft capital would've happened. This feels more like a desperation move by a general manager thinking a guy that may help win one of the six games he ultimately suits up for at a million per is better for that general manager's future than a potential four-year starter on a very reasonable salary beginning in 2021.
If I'm following your logic, it seems you are saying that Caldwell is keeping defensive end Yannick Ngakoue because of a desperate desire to win now as opposed to building for the future. If that's what Caldwell's doing with Ngakoue, the approach runs directly counter to everything else Caldwell has done throughout the 2020 offseason.
Bob from Sumter, SC
I think the reason Caldwell is still general manager isn't that complicated. He has hit on a bunch of draft picks and missed on others. All general managers do this except for an elite few who hit on a bunch regularly like Ozzie Newsome did with Baltimore. Caldwell has managed the cap well. He just missed big time with quarterback Blake Bortles, which dwarfs all the other good things. If some key players improve and there are some impact players from this current group – plus next year's draft capital and cap room – things could be really good. If not, his run will probably end. An 8-8 season depending on their level of play might be enough to keep him. What do you think?
I think there's not much more to add.
Kenneth from Fernandina Beach, FL
O-Zone, What is the advantage of rookies waiting to sign their contract?
There's no advantage of disadvantage. But there is a global pandemic that is reducing travel and taking precedent over all else in the NFL. The vast majority of NFL rookies this offseason will sign in time to be with the team for anything important that happens in training camp. Until that doesn't happen, it's a non-issue.
Sascha from Cologne, Germany
Hey, O: The Jags reportedly declined an offer including a Pro Bowler for Ngakoue because he doesn't fit their system. Can you try to explain how a team with so few wins can say they don't need Pro Bowlers?
First, I don't know the accuracy of the report nor the identity of the "Pro Bowler." I do know no one around the Jaguars believes they don't need good players. Is it possible the Jaguars have received trade offers involving good players for other good players that didn't make sense for a number of reasons? Sure, but it's not the same as them saying they don't need good players.
Chris from Space City, TX
Maryanne from Jacksonville has a valid point. I may stop just short of calling Yann great, but you yourself believed cornerback Jalen Ramsey was elite before he skipped town due to the disfunction of this organization and our losing culture. It's pretty telling that bums like Bortles, quarterback Nick Foles (morphed from champ to bum as soon as he was behind Jags o-line), guard Andrew Norwell and linebacker Myles Jack get the big contracts and above-average players like Ramsey and Yann are looking for the nearest exit. One can only hope Josh Allen, wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. and quarterback Gardner Minshew II become "great." Even if they do General Manager Dave Caldwell will probably find a way to let them walk while overpaying an underperforming bum.
Maryanne asked why the Jaguars released great players. My answer was that I didn't recall the Jaguars releasing great players. The conversation about why Ramsey and Ngakoue were/are unhappy is a legitimate one, but it's still not correct to say that the Jaguars haven't recognized great players or foolishly released them.
Jaginator from (formerly of) Section 124
It's my birthday. What'd ya get me?