JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Bradley from Sparks, NV
The Jags would need virtually all of their "ifs" to become reality in order to win the AFC SOUTH and make the playoffs, but do you think they will score more points than they give up this year?
Good eye. The Jaguars' reality is as you cite – that they very well could improve enough to contend for the postseason this season if all improvements they attempt this offseason indeed work as planned. That means solidifying the offensive line, upgrading at receiver and tight end, improving the run defense, overhauling the linebacker corps and deepening the secondary. It also could mean addressing the pass rush and other areas in the draft. And it probably means having rookies make significant, immediate impacts early. And it certainly means quarterback Trevor Lawrence making a big Year 2 jump, with the entire team getting quickly in lockstep with a new coaching staff. Such offseason moves involve varying degrees of uncertainty, and it's difficult to expect all moves made to have the ideal effects. But I do expect improvement – and a push for seven or eight victories is possible. That's because I think many of the above improvements could happen – even if not all of them happen. Could that translate to scoring more points than allowed? Sure. That should be in the discussion, particularly if Lawrence makes a second-season improvement.
Justin from Jax
John from TIAA and Chris from Mandarin are delusional and conspiracy theorists if they think the perfectly timed penalties in the Super Bowl weren't as bad as Myles being down.
I'll assume (perhaps incorrectly) that there's some sarcasm in your email; either way, I'll also (correctly) assume that there are those who indeed believe the league indeed is "out to get" smaller-market teams. That's fine, I guess. People believe what they want to believe – and like many theories that are conspire-ish in nature there's no definitive way to "prove" it's not real. Particularly to people inclined to believe the theory. The reality is there's simply too much to lose as a league for this to be true, and it would be impossible to keep such nefarious plans secret. I long ago stopped believing all people would accept reality, but there it is.
Russ from Jax
Any chance jags are interested in joining trotter?
The problem with joining trotter is once you join, there are many fees and weird rituals. Then, you have to unjoin. And you're not always allowed to unjoin. It's basically "a whole thing."
Seamus from Sioux Falls, SD
I have four questions for you (well, four sets of questions), if you are willing: Q1) Why is there OT in the regular season anyway; aren't ties allowed? Q2) How do all these jagFans know so much about college players to be able to put forth opinions on their draft-ability? Q3) Is there a system for introducing/inducting former Jaguar greats into the Pride of the Jags or is it more whenever Owner Shad Khan gets a whim? Q4) Are there any countries or states from which you have NOT received questions over the past decade? Thanks!
A1) Because ties, although allowed, suck; A2) because YouTube; A3) there hasn't really been a system for choosing Pride of the Jaguars inductees as much as a feeling that a player's time has come – though my understanding is that's changing; A4) I don't remember receiving a question from Tuvalu, though my memory may fail.
Dan from Greer
Is it a poor draft because no one fills our needs or is it a great draft because it fills someone else?
Charlie from Jacksonville
Hey John, I can't remember whether this has been stated before, so I'll ask: What effect, if any, does the home game in London have on the cost of season tickets? I would think one less home game might lessen the cost of the package, but I don't know whether that is the reality.
Having one fewer home game does reduce the cost of season tickets, though that's not the reason for playing the home game there. The Jaguars play a home game in London because they make significantly more money from a home game in London than one at TIAA Bank Field – and because it helps grow the Jaguars' brand internationally.
Jason from North Pole, AK
I have seen articles documenting the number of first-round busts that came out of that 2013 draft class. Were there any extenuating circumstances that lead to such a poor class? I know the COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on the availability of players in the last couple drafts. Can you think of any reason that class was so historically bad?
I've never heard a theory about why the 2013 NFL Draft was overall a bad one, and there were quality players available: tackle Lane Johnson, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and tight end Travis Kelce among them. You're right that COVID-19 weakened the 2021 draft class, particularly in the later rounds, but there weren't really any such circumstances that year. One factor that did hurt the draft was it was a particularly weak year for quarterbacks, which often dramatically influences how drafts are defined/remembered.
Nancy from Negative
Doesn't matter who the Jaguars take at No. 1 overall. The player will inevitably be the worst of the choices in hindsight two-to-four years from now. That is how it always works out for the Jaguars. This franchise is cursed.
Dallas from Sioux Falls, SD
What has been your most memorable interview as a writer for the Jaguars? Was it a coach, a GM, a coach? Why was it memorable?
Many interviews involving former cornerback Jalen Ramsey were memorable, mainly because of how he seemed to consider the process so beneath him. They were entertaining, and usually noteworthy enough to write about and discuss. I liked Ramsey when he played here, though I always wondered how much he enjoyed being an NFL player. He never seemed particularly happy. Perhaps he's happy now. Let's hope so.
Daniel from Johnston, IA
The question about Matt Jones got me thinking; it does seem like teams don't really do that anymore – probably because it hasn't really worked well for most of them. Do you foresee that being the case?
The Jaguars selected Arkansas quarterback Matt Jones No. 21 overall in the 2005 NFL Draft, selecting him as a wide receiver. It was an unusual move to select him so early, but it wasn't as if he was completely ineffective as a wide receiver: 166 receptions, 2,153 yards and 15 touchdowns in four seasons. I don't know that Jones' selection/career really speaks to a trend. Teams have selected players and transitioned them to various positions over the years. It works sometimes. Sometimes, it doesn't. In cases when a person's skill set warrants it, I imagine we'll see it again – and as teams look more for versatility at skill positions, we might even see it more.
Unhipcat from B Bar H, CA
Hi John. Since their inception, the Jaguars are 7-7 in the playoffs. During that same period, one of "the faces of NFL ownership right now" is 7-11 in the playoffs.
Daniel from Jax
Hey Mr. KOAFF! I'm enjoying laughing at some of the crazy OT suggestions and you Meh'd mine. So give us your insight please. How should overtime be played in your highly skilled and valued opinion?
I never minded the original sudden-death format – i.e., the first team to score in overtime wins. I also was fine with having regular-season games end in a tie after one scoreless 15-minute overtime. But the reason I was partial to those formats was I grew up watching the NFL under that system, and a change was needed. In my opinion, the change to the most recent format was ideal. Under that format, both teams were guaranteed a possession unless the team possessing the ball first scored a touchdown. Perfect. Why should it be so ridiculous to expect a team to hold a team to a field goal to win a game?
Tom from Shanghai, China
In the days of competent quarterbacks going over 4,000 yards passing as a matter course, how is safety not a premium position?
Fair question. The thought here is that the game has evolved so much in favor of the pass that it's difficult for even the best safeties to dramatically impact the game. Rules also make it difficult for safeties to play intimidating fashion over the middle; it's too difficult for safeties to hit receivers over the middle without drawing fines and penalties. Such rules are necessary for player safety, but they have made safeties less effective. It's also really difficult to expect safeties to be both a dominating run defender and great in pass coverage. Safeties are still important, but those factors perhaps keep it from being a "premium" position.
Gary from St. Augustine, FL
Why don't more people hate you? I don't get it.