O-Zone: Bring it on

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Order from 666

I know it's hard to guess a record, but you say this is a six-win team. Looking at the schedule we have and ignoring the national media, what teams do you think we can (not will) beat with this team? Just curious. I see four wins for sure. I wonder what the other two for you are.

I understand people love going through the schedule team-by-team and predicting records. I also understand it's pointless four months before the season. When I say I think this could be a six-victory team, I mean I don't think the Jaguars are worse than last season when they won six games. I also have been around the NFL long enough to know any team can always beat any other team. The Jaguars could be a couple of games better in 2020 than they were last season. If injuries hit and quarterback Gardner Minshew II struggles, then they could be worse. Understand: I'm not avoiding the question. I just don't see any way to answer it in a meaningful way.

Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

I have not seen one comment (perhaps I missed them) about the Jaguars ranked No. 32 by ESPN. Or perhaps nobody cares that we are ranked last?

I haven't seen the ranking to which you refer. I've heard about it. Some people apparently care. I'm not one of them.

Dave from Los Angeles, CA

Michael DiRocco: "What do tight end Marcedes Lewis, defensive tackle Tyson Alualu and quarterback Blake Bortles have in common? They're the only first-round Jaguars draft picks that have signed second contracts with the team since the 2003 draft." Holy moly.

Who's Michael DiRocco?

Steve (yes, really) in Jax

Any good or noteworthy Shula memories?

Former Baltimore Colts and Miami Dolphins Head Coach Don Shula, who died at age 90 Monday, left coaching after the 1995 season. I began covering the NFL that season, so I never had any significant interaction with him. But I grew up a mammoth NFL fan from about 1971/1972 on – and Shula was perhaps the NFL's dominant coaching figure at the time. He was a legend – easily as, if not more, influential than New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick is today. He was an absolute giant, and his impact on the game can't be overestimated.

Logan from Wichita, KS

I don't think the Jaguars players and coaches want to tank. They want to win. There is zero reason to go 0-16 on purpose... that being said, the lack of talent, skill, depth and ability all means it doesn't matter how much they try, the result is not going to be good. This team is bad no matter how you look at it. Teams don't get pegged as No. 32 of 32 teams for no reason. They get slotted last because they are the least talented, most imploding, most poorly managed/owned team in professional sports. But hey, at least they get to try and not be zero (number of games played).

The Jaguars don't see it that way. Stay tuned.

Scott from Gilbert, AZ

Zone, with the announcement that there will be no international games played this year, and the subsequent loss of local revenue that Mr. Khan has stressed is so important for this team to be competitive, do you see that as possibly further complicating a Yann extension if he were to decide he'd like to revisit negotiations this offseason? I realize Shad isn't going broke any time soon, but I am confident his financial model doesn't include endeavors that lose money.

The London games are key to the Jaguars' financial stability, so not having those games absolutely isn't a positive. These are unusual times, so the Jaguars must adapt in the short term. I would expect a presence there to continue once the COVID-19 regulations become less restrictive. I don't expect the situation to have any effect on Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue's contract.

Disgruntled 25-year Ticket Holder

So, the Jags' London games are canceled for this year? How will poor Mr. Khan make up his lost revenue now? Serves him right for having taken away our second game ... karma, baby!

You're right. That's the big takeaway from the last two months. And, remember: neither Jaguars Owner Shad Khan nor anyone else ever implied he is poor. The reason the Jaguars need the London games is to make the local-revenue equation make more sense compared to the rest of the NFL. I don't know if karma comes into play there. I do know people who own sports teams need positive revenue equations to make the teams work.

Paul from St. Johns, FL

I read your question about Michael Jordan and I have to say that the current documentary is absolutely worth watching. Regarding your all-time starting five ... Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is your 5, Magic Johnson is your 1, Michael Jordan your 2...but how do you line up forwards Larry Bird and Lebron James? Is Lebron your 4 and Bird your 3? Also, what about Bill Russell?

My starting five was simply the best five I have seen play. I never saw Russell play.

Radley from Orange Park, FL

Tom Coughlin did lead this franchise to otherwise unprecedented, sustained, success in its to-date tenure in the NFL. However, being in the position he was during his second stint with the team - to deliberately plow through the clear-cut barriers of the Collective Bargaining Agreement - put an already downtrodden organization in position to get further pummeled on so many different levels. When you consider the NFL Players Association's rebuking the organization, coinciding with two different starting-tier players being disgruntled with the organization and wanting off the team at all costs over issues with the front office - while he was the top decision maker with all player/personnel dealings during the time frame in question. And considering he hasn't breathed a public word of contrition to anyone over anything. If Coughlin doesn't deserve to be insulted - neither did the owner, players & fans of the organization deserve how Coughlin abused his authority to the ultimate disservice of the team, the way he did either.

OK.

Rob from Section 114

Why is it the first team our old fired Executive Vice President of Football Operations – Coughlin – goes too is in trouble for violating the rules already? Coincidence, every team does it, or could we all have seen this coming? Weird scenario but against the rules no less. Has the NFL passed Tom by? It's actually sort of sad.

The Carolina Panthers over the weekend denied a report that they had agreed to a free-agent deal with former Mississippi State quarterback Tommy Stevens before the end of the 2020 NFL Draft. The New Orleans Saints drafted Stevens and Saints Head Coach Sean Payton reportedly said the team did so because Carolina had a deal in place. If true, it's a violation. It's also from this writer's perspective a comparatively minor violation because all teams talk to potential free agents before the end of all drafts, with the main point of the rule being that teams can't talk money before the end of the draft. Either way, to associate the event with the fact that Coughlin reportedly agreed to work with the Panthers in an advisory role is – to be kind – a bit of a "stretch."

James from Salt Lake City via Jacksonville

Tell everyone no team is gonna tank. Players and coaches aren't going to tank. But the front office can put together a roster so bad that they don't have a chance to win a game. Kind of like what the Patriots are doing, and what the Colts did to get Andrew Luck.

I would be surprised if the New England Patriots are bad enough in 2020 to get the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft – although if that happens it sort of ends that whole debate on who mattered more to the Patriots' "dynasty," Belichick or former quarterback Tom Brady. As for the Indianapolis Colts, they didn't intentionally put together a bad roster with the idea of selecting quarterback Andrew Luck in the 2012 NFL Draft. They were a perennial playoff team from 2002-2010 that was declining a bit. Then quarterback Peyton Manning suddenly and unexpectedly missed the entire 2011 season, turning that team into enough of a disaster that it finished 2-14. Most of the team's coaches and front office also got fired after 2011, once again disproving the idea that NFL teams and front offices "tank" for players.

Darren from Fort Worth, TX

K'Lavon Chaisson reminds me a lot of Dante Fowler Jr. How'd that work out for Jacksonville?

It didn't work out well, and you're right: The Jaguars never should draft an athletic player with explosion again. Good call.

Greg from Boise, ID

Did you turn in your man card? You're too scared to "Stick it to the man" anymore?

The man knows where to find me.

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