JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Trent from Fernandina Beach, FL:
Who has more say in who the team drafts: the general manager or head coach? And does one of them have all of the drafting control?
John: Who has what level of say over who an NFL team drafts depends on how a team's front office is structured – and that depends on how each particular NFL owner wants it structured. In the case of the Jaguars, general manager David Caldwell and executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin – as well as head coach Doug Marrone – will work as a team to come to decisions. Coughlin made that very clear throughout Thursday's press conference at EverBank Field. Jaguars Owner Shad Khan made it equally clear at that time that the ultimate decision will be made by Coughlin.
Alexis from MD:
I've been a Raiders fan for years and I've been drawn to the Jaguars for a number of reasons other than them being a top-tier team. Do you think Blake Bortles can actually get it together? Do you think the problem is him or a mix of his shoulder injury and offensive line? I'm loving the moves Jacksonville is making and I'm just praying for a great team in the years to come. I pledge my allegiance to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
John: Bortles sustained his shoulder injury in November, so whatever struggles he had this season at the most could be partially attributed to that situation. And while his offensive line wasn't elite, he more often than not had time enough to be effective. Can Bortles get it together? That is the most important question now facing this organization. He has done good things. He played better in the last two games of the regular season in 2016 than he had during most of the first 14 games. He appears likely to spend a lot of time this offseason with his personal quarterbacks coaches, Adam Dedeaux and Tom House. He worked with them extensively in the 2015 offseason and made good offseason progress – and he realistically needs to make as much or more progress this offseason. Do I think he can do it? It's possible, but far from a guarantee. As for your new allegiance … welcome aboard.
Daniel Since Day One:
He's back! We missed you, Tom, and wish you all the best. Ya got some real good tools to work with, and I know you'll get the most out of each one! May I suggest you start with this O-Zone character. … He works every day – I mean, for real. Every freakin day! And yet it seems like he's not used to his full potential! I think you can get more out of him. Bring it... #tctwd #ozthd
John: #TCTWD … indeed. #OZTHD … nah.
Dave from L.A.:
Just watched introductory event. Tom and Doug are true football men. There's an intensity and hunger for winning there that I haven't seen in Jacksonville for quite some time. Count me as cautiously optimistic. See ya in September.
John: Tom Coughlin and Doug Marrone both indeed have a hunger and intensity for winning, and they did an outstanding job articulating that during Thursday's press conference.
Cliff from Las Vegas, NV:
Here we are four days later and I still can't make clockwise circles with my right foot and draw a six in the air with my right hand at the same time … ahhhh, the offseasons in Duval.
John: Stay at it.
Tim from Lancaster:
The most positive way I can spin this hiring is hoping that it turns out like Mularkey did for the Titans with a seemingly uninspiring hire leading to unexpected success. Time will tell.
John: I wonder why people believe the Marrone hiring needs spinning, or why people believe it uninspiring. We're talking about a head coach who went 9-7 in his final season with the Buffalo Bills and who also is a rare NFL commodity: a head coach with head-coaching experience whose last season featured a winning record and who never has been fired from an NFL head-coaching job. Considering that, is success really that unexpected?
Matt from Section 133:
I'm excited about having Tom Coughlin back. The man is a champion. But didn't his decisions as de facto general manager during his tenure here lead to crippling salary-cap issues? I always got the perception that he was a brilliant head coach, but iffy GM-type. The memories of those days temper my excitement somewhat.
John: Yes, Coughlin's 1990s/2000s Jaguars ran into brutal salary-cap issues following four consecutive playoff appearances. Such cap problems are far rarer in today's NFL and there's no reason that issue must repeat itself.
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL:
Jason Garrett. Art Shell. Don Coryell. Marty Schottenheimer. Marv Levy. All interim head coaches who went on to success as permanent head coaches. None of them supported by an executive vice president of football operations who coached a team to two Super Bowls. There is hope in Duval.
Chris from Section 437:
I'm fine with Bortles being the guy. I just hope they have him on a short leash next season with a legitimate backup plan in case the season starts off like 2016. This franchise can't afford another lost season because of poor quarterback play. What do you think?
John: I think Bortles is the Jaguars' quarterback right now, and I think Coughlin, Marrone, Caldwell and the next offensive coordinator will be having some intense, serious, well-thought-out discussions over the next few weeks about just what that means.
Stephen from Glorieta:
O-man, the title "Executive VP" that Tom Coughlin has … just what does that job entail? I don't question his ability/knowledge in the least. I just want to know how involved he'll be. I hope it's a lot.
John: It entails what Khan wants it to entail. In this case, it entails that Coughlin is running the Jaguars' football operations – and in the case of Coughlin, that means he'll be involved a lot. In everything. And when it comes to the Jaguars' football operations, that ain't a bad thing.
Michael from Middleburg, FL:
After hearing who's going to do what this year ... if the Jags end up with a winning season and maybe even got into the playoffs ... do you think Marrone will get credit from the public and media or will it fall to Coughlin?
John: I've never been good at knowing who's going to get credit from the public and media when it comes to an NFL team. That's probably because I don't care much who gets credit from the public or media when it comes to an NFL team. What I do know is that if the Jaguars end up with a winning season, Coughlin and Marrone both probably will get a lot of praise. If they lose, I'm sure Marrone will get the blame. That's because studies show that it's always coaching in the NFL.
Lamar from Los Angeles:
Hi John, I've been a Jags fan from the beginning, and I need some help understanding why the Jags gave Tom Coughlin complete control over the roster. First, let's not forget that Coughlin's previous tenure with the Jags and most recent tenure with the Giants ended poorly. Disciplinarians who don't win tend to lose favor quickly in professional sports. Second, I've read that Super Bowl-winning head coaches who go on to run a franchise often have trouble repeating their previous success, and none according to reports have even won a playoff game. Finally, I think Dave Caldwell has done a fine job in the draft, while Coughlin's record as a talent evaluator/selector seems questionable, particularly in the later rounds of the draft. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
John: Khan gave Coughlin control of football operations because the Jaguars haven't had a winning season 2007 and haven't been close since 2010. And while all of the points you make are true – about the end of Coughlin's tenures with the Jaguars and Giants, about ex-Super Bowl head coaches who eventually run franchises and about Dave Caldwell – this move isn't about what has happened in other situations with other franchise. Success is difficult in the NFL. There's no sure formula for finding it and just because one former NFL head coach failed in a certain role doesn't mean a different head coach will follow suit. This is about Khan's belief that what Coughlin can bring to this situation in this moment is what's needed. Stay tuned.
Will from Orlando, FL:
Zone, I watched Tom Coughlin speak and I was immediately pumped, ready to take the field. SO EXCITED! #DTWD
John: "This is all nice and dandy, but winning is what this thing is all about."
Jeff from Atlantic Beach, FL:
Something tells me Shadrick won lunch.
John: I was absolutely, positively certain after Thursday's press conference that I wouldn't hear a better line for a long time than "this is all nice and dandy, but winning is what this thing is all about." Then, I read this email.
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Trent from Fernandina Beach, FL: