JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Josh from Lakewood
All the reflective surfaces on the outside of the proposed stadium design remind me of that building in London that was melting cars about a decade ago.
I suppose people can find something to dislike about anything, even the most-impressive things. I supposed this before the Jaguars introduced conceptual designs for the "Stadium of the Future" Wednesday and the reaction in the days since has confirmed the supposition. Can people find flaws in the design? Sure. Will the design be debated, and perhaps changed, as we move through the process of negotiating an agreement and eventually building the facility? Sure. But the bigger picture here shouldn't be lost, and that's the design is for a stadium and surrounding infrastructure that will reshape downtown Jacksonville – and secure the Jaguars' future in Jacksonville. Those are the overriding objectives.
Steven from Charlotte, NC
You have had similar answers lately to questions regarding Jaguars outside linebackers Josh Allen and Travon Walker. Something along the lines of "they are really important players, and the sack numbers don't tell the whole story." I get it O, but at some point, don't we need to draft and develop pass rushers that actually DO sack the quarterback? The last guy that we drafted who did actually sack the quarterbacks was essentially run out of town. Sacks are pretty important, right?
Sacks are important, and Allen and Walker must finish plays better. Remember, though: Elite sack specialists sack quarterbacks 15-to-20 times a season out of about 1,250 plays run by opponents. While sacks indeed matter, what matters more is persistent disruption, pressure, affecting the opposing quarterback consistently, etc. Teams value those more than a player who registers eight or nine sacks a season and does little else.
Bradley from Sparks, NV
Sean Payton has lived in Denver for three months and has the temerity to be courtside smugly cheering for the Denver Nuggets like he's been a fan since the David Thompson era – against my beloved Miami Heat. The Broncos give up a first- and second-round pick just to get him, then give him like $100 million, and the first thing he does is blame kicker for the Broncos failures. Let us not forget he sanctioned giving bonuses to his players for beheading opponents. A decent coach but bad human. #heatculture
So, one not fer Payton?
Mandy from Duuuval
Mr. O. I know being a season-ticket holder for the past 18 years doesn't mean much to Jaguars Owner Shad Khan in decision making, but this Teal Girl has certainly paid her dues in watching some terrible football for many years. And now that I have a great team to go watch in my seat, there is a possibility of some of the best football will be played elsewhere – including possible playoff games. Imagine the last Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Chargers games being played outside this city? Now, I'm a taxpayer and I am all for a new stadium and the higher ticket prices that will definitely come with it. However, I believe management should foot the extra $120 million to keep the games in town for four years during renovations to show appreciation for the loyal fans that continued to support this team during extremely frustrating decades that season-ticket holders had to endure. It's my two cents and I know it won't fly and fall on deaf ears because it's about the almighty dollar and money will always trump loyalty and fan support … but I just had to get it off my chest.
According to Jaguars President Mark Lamping, it's about $120 million to upgrade a stadium such as Hodges Field at the University of North Florida or the Baseball Grounds in downtown Jacksonville to play home games there for two seasons while upgrades to TIAA Bank Field take place. It adds about $190 million to the costs to opt for the four-year, renovate-in-the-offseason plan. I will say this: Your feelings have merit, and the team is sensitive to those feelings. How much traction that will have when this thing gets decided, and whether that $120 or $190 million is deemed affordable to accomplish your objective … that I can't predict.
Seamus from Sioux Falls, SD
It is time to get something off my chest. I hope you understand, but I just don't enjoy Sbarro's. Every other slice, I gag on that little square of tomato skin, and then I cannot even be sure I know how to pronounce it right! Is it "ess-BAH-row" or is it "suh-BAH-row?" There, I said it.
I support your right to be wrong.
Rob from San Antonio, TX
KOAF, at a $1.3-$2 billion price tag, it feels like a 50-50 cost split is fair. I know it's easy to say as someone who's not a local taxpayer, but the fact that a private individual is willing to invest potentially $1 billion of his own money into the city of Jacksonville is significant. Thoughts?
I think Khan's commitment to growing downtown Jacksonville is remarkable and I think the Jaguars essentially splitting the cost of the stadium/surrounding area project is evidence of that.
GPP from Savannah, GA
Love the new stadium design with the exception of a longtime persistent problem of not having a pedestrian bridge over the existing roads so traffic is constantly stopped to allow folks to walk to their cars. This has been noted many times and the new plans don't seem to create a pedestrian crossing bridge. Arriving and exiting traffic would be more efficient.
Adam from Allentown, PA
What are your thoughts/perspective on the comments made by Renaldo Wynn saying that Gregg Williams used the Jaguars playbook to beat us in the 1999 season?
Wynn, a defensive tackle on the Jaguars' 1999 team that lost to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game, first said this publicly about a decade ago. Williams, the Titans' defensive coordinator in 1999, later coached Wynn. According to Wynn, Williams told him he had the Jaguars' playbook before that '99 title game. Could there be truth to it? Sure. But I've always wondered if having a playbook is all that valuable. Teams watch video of other teams before every game. All teams know what plays other teams run. The key is knowing when another offense is going to run a certain play. Having a playbook doesn't tell a coordinator or an opposing team's players that information.
Josh from Atlanta, GA
So, the first stop on the public road trip is Strings. The person I am typing this to happens to like Strings a bit. Do Lamping and Khan have a suggestion box, or did you tell them that's where it would start?
Jaguars President Mark Lamping indeed will begin a 14-stop series of "Huddle Up Jax" events around Jacksonville with a stop at Strings on Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lamping didn't ask my opinion of this. He's a phenomenal sports executive and a savvy judge of character.
Mike from Omaha, NE
Hello, John. How in the heck is asking the city of Jacksonville to pay half playing hard ball? Between concerts, a bowl game, Florida-Georgia game, etc., the city will probably use the stadium more days a year than the Jags. What do you think? Thank you.
I think both the Jaguars and the city will benefit from a stadium upgrade. I think that's true of Jaguars games and of other events. I also think the Jaguars and the city will benefit from the projected improvements around the stadium. I think the city leaders and the team will agree on that.
Josh from Green Bay, WI
I just saw that the Minnesota Vikings had received calls on defensive end Danielle Hunter. Do you think the Jags might have an interest and if so, what do you think the cost would be to acquire?
Johnny from Jax
Zone, for the people complaining that we play away from Jax during the good years… would they rather those be bad years? Or can you predict which two will be the bad years? Just wondering?
David from The Island
Do the players have access to the training facilities and trainers in the offseason? If so, roughly how many players are in the building during the off season?
Players always have access to training facilities and trainers. If by "offseason" you mean the weeks between the mid-June end of the offseason program and the start of training camp … you see a few players when they're in town. The number varies. It's minimal.
Mike from Azores
In general, I like the new stadium design. However, it appears as though it is a very flat design resulting in fans being further from the field. Wouldn't a more vertical design not only put fans closer to the action, but also create a louder noise level providing the Jags an improved homefield advantage? Shouldn't that be a major consideration of any stadium improvement?
My understanding from talking with people designing the stadium is the design will enhance crowd noise. That was a focus during the process.