Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

O-Zone: Barely good enough

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Chris from Roseville, CA

I'm surprised you didn't have any questions comparing Cincinnati taking a quarterback No. 1 and going to the Super Bowl the next year with the Jaguars taking Lawrence. Guess you're probably busy dealing with a head-coaching hire. Do you think Mr. Khan is paralyzed by a fear of making the wrong choice again?

I received a few emails discussing this – and indeed the Cincinnati Bengals qualifying for the Super Bowl one year after selecting quarterback Joe Burrow No. 1 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft should give all struggling franchises hope. I didn't get many such emails, likely because fans understandably – and likely correctly – see the Jaguars being further away from contending entering 2022 than the Bengals were in 2021. As for Jaguars Owner Shad Khan … no, I don't believe he is "paralyzed by a fear of making the wrong choice." I believe quite the opposite. I believe he's being diligent in his search for a head coach and doing essentially what he did at the beginning of the 2017 offseason – taking his time in the search, talking with (and listening to) many people and seeking the right combination of people to form the correct coaching/personnel/decision-making structure moving forward. He did this in '17 by announcing Tom Coughlin as executive vice president of football operations, Dave Caldwell as general manager and Doug Marrone as head coach. That qualified as a major surprise, and the possibility of that structure had been little-discussed by observers before the announcement. I don't know that this search will yield so major a surprise. I do strongly believe that most people assuming they know much about the search's results are assuming incorrectly.

Nelson from St Augustine, FL

Do feel that the Jaguars' executive team has done a good job of managing this team?

The Jaguars' executive team has done remarkably well managing the business side of the operations; the team has stabilized in Jacksonville despite not performing well on the field, and stability is the ultimate goal for that part of the organization. The football side of the operations has not been managed well because the way to gauge that is winning and losing. The intentions of those managing football operations have been correct, and there have been circumstances that have led to failure. Khan has tried multiple approaches to that area. He currently is working to find the right approach, and his success will depend upon the people he puts in key positions. Stay tuned.


_When Khan bought the team, he promised transparency. To date, he has provided anything but. Does he realize that this disjointed dumpster fire that he is orchestrating is going to hurt attendance greatly next season? The disfunction that is the Jaguars is going to make "sustainability" that much more difficult.        _

I expect ticket sales to be challenging next season – predominantly because the Jaguars have sustained four consecutive rough seasons, and because of public perception of the franchise over the last year. The surest way to sustainably improve ticket sales is to win consistently and the way to win consistently is for Khan to make the correct choices in the current search. That must be Khan's focus, and I expect that's the case.

Gamble from Jacksonville

The problem with this coaching search is it is no longer about getting the best coach for this team and its valuable assets like quarterback Trevor Lawrence. It is about finding the best coach willing to work with General Manager Trent Baalke – which is a very, very limited pool. Not firing him already is an amateurish mistake by the Khans.

That's a commonly held belief. We'll see if it's true.

Lewis from J'ville

Shah Khan has turned the coaching search into a complete mess. Instead of finding someone that can turn this team around, he is looking for someone who can get along with Baalke. He's a very smart man as we all know, but he's not smart enough to know that when it comes to making decisions about an NFL team, he just shouldn't do it. Change my mind.

My words won't change your mind. I've been doing this long enough to know that. Only Khan's actions and the subsequent results can do that. Stay tuned.

Charles from Riverside

Hello, John. Maybe the extended timing on hiring a new head coach can be attributed to a methodical approach. Maybe Khan wants to get it right after the Urban Meyer Experiment. Serious vetting of all candidates with patience, exploring ALL options. Let's give him one more benefit of the doubt and wait and see what the final outcome brings. The reality is regardless of who he picks, we won't really know the value of the hire until sometime in the 2022 regular season.

My belief is you're seeing things correctly. We'll find out.

Garrett from Edgewater

Zone, even your hero Gene Frenette has written several scathing articles not only this coaching search but Baalke himself. Sure, Khan is aware of the league perception around Baalke? He has clearly been an impediment to finding "the right guy" thus far. I am just a bit baffled. What is Khan's loyalty to Baalke? Why is this man still in the building? Do you have any insight? I am just exhausting myself looking for answers that don't exist.

My sense is that Khan values Baalke's football knowledge and believes he deserves a chance to be general manager without former Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer making the final decisions. I also get the sense that Khan does not believe that Baalke is impeding the head-coaching hiring.

MrMakersMark from Pewee Valley, KY

Bullet Bob lover, to distract from head-coach talk, it seems that Detroit is our extra away game this year. Since the Jaguars are the only team to never play on Thanksgiving, who do we need to bribe to make it this year?

I doubt this is a bribable situation. A Thanksgiving Day game would be cool. Jaguars fans would like it. But the Detroit Lions had the NFL's second-worst record in 2021 and the Jaguars had the worst record. Selling that as a national television game could be "tricky."

Nick from Virginia Beach, VA

You say winning will make this all go away. Why on Earth would anybody believe in Baalke's or Khan's history to reassure them winning is on the way? To expect anything different is denial at best.

You're correct. Only time and results will change perception.

Nathan from St. Augustine, FL

"I understand fans' perception of Baalke." That's good you understand the fans' perception, do you also understand that it's the perception of former players under Baalke, former players of the Jaguars, coaches that have worked with Baalke, as well as reporters and some in media who have been covering the NFL since you were wondering what to wear to prom! The only person thinking Baalke is qualified to be general manager is Khan! Are there any rules in the NFL that allows for an owner to be forced out for ineptitude?


Zac from Austin, Tejas

I'm genuinely with you that coaches are more project managers than anything else and that they get over blame a lot of the time. But, had Meyer recognized that James Robinson was a reliable running back and Trevor Lawrence did not need to throw 45 passes a game, we may have won more. Had he done several other intrapersonal things differently, he would still be rallied around. I think it's important to get a coach right right now. Not because it will guarantee good, but it will keep us away from tragedy.

Your statement that had former Head Coach Urban Meyer had done "several other intrapersonal things differently he would still be rallied around" rings true. That's because the "intrapersonal things" trump all else when it comes to determining success or failure for an NFL head coach. It's important to get this head-coaching decision right because the organization needs strong leadership, vision and tone – and someone who understands what it takes to succeed in the NFL on a daily and long-term basis. It won't guarantee anything, but it damned sure would be a nice touch.

Sean from Jacksonville

The Washington Commanders took almost as long to come up with their new name as the Jaguars did to interview the longest list of HC candidates.

I laughed at this.

Joe from Jbcity

Does the owner know everyone is mad at him?

Khan unquestionably knows fans are upset about various issues, most notably the dismal results on the field. My understanding is he is doing the only responsible thing a professional sports owner can do in that situation, which is to do everything possible to hire the right people to improve those results.

Marc from Oceanway

John Oehser, it saddened me to read your statement that you're not smart enough about something. You are good enough. You are smart enough. And doggone it, people like you.

Suuuuuuuuure they do.