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O-Zone: Cleaning windows

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Zone loves L.A. (background singers: He loves it!!!!!).

Let's get to it …

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson looks like he's going to be a great coach. It's weird, though. I'm not as excited as I would normally be about next season. Perhaps I need more time?

This is more than understandable. Jaguars fans and observers have endured a long stretch of disappointment and high-stress times (comparatively speaking, anyway). The team since December 2019 has dismissed former Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin, had three head coaches, changed general managers, selected a quarterback No. 1 overall, endured what by anyone's measure was an incredibly odd series of off-field events in 2021 and – most recently – conducted a five-week coaching search that rightly or wrongly was uber-analyzed/criticized on social and conventional media. Is it odd that you're not excited? Not really. It would be odder if you didn't feel a little drained.


I'm flat-out worried after Pederson's final season with the Eagles. He looked as if he had just given up on the team and made some very questionable decisions during a difficult season.

Pederson's final season as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles was something of a mess. I don't know enough about the Eagles to speak intelligently about the wheres, whys and whens of that. I do know you don't hear anything but positives from people around Philadelphia about Pederson, and I know that final seasons of NFL regimes can be messy and don't necessarily reflect on how people involved with those regimes will fare moving forward.

David from Ada, OK

Quarterback Mathew Stafford never won a playoff game in Detroit with Calvin Johnson, a Hall of Fame wide receiver. My point is it takes a lot of things to come together at the right time to even have a chance to be in the Super Bowl, much less get a win. It's no wonder Jags fans are frustrated. We have Trevor Lawrence at quarterback. Will we ever get it together well enough to make it to the playoffs with him still on the roster?

I believe so.

James from Jacksonville

Since the GM has missed on so many draft picks, how much input will Coach Pederson have on how to build his team?

I expect a collaborative effort between General Manager Trent Baalke, the executive vice president and Pederson – with Pederson having heavy input. Owner Shad Khan has expressed desire to have a "coach-centric" organization, and I expect that to happen.

Chris from Sec 437

O, now that Pederson is in, how long does the staff build out usually take?

I would expect Pederson's staff pretty much complete by the end of this week or early next week.

Luke from Brisbane, Australia

O, what are reserve/futures contracts all about? How do they relate to early season rosters / do they protect players from getting poached by other teams? Thanks!

A reserve/futures contract essentially brings a player to an organization and allows that player to participate in the offseason program and go into training camp with the team. Teams sign players to those contracts immediately after the season and into February because teams have larger rosters in the offseason than in the regular season.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

Is there any scuttlebutt on who might be the next defensive coordinator? Do you ever just stand near the coaches or management in the chow line to try to hear what they're talking about?

The name that has been heard the most in the NFL/rumor/Twitterverse is Mike Caldwell, the defensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I typically don't stand near coaches or management in the food line at TIAA Bank Field, though I have been known to stand on the other side of the lunch room and rapidly "grin wave" until asked politely to stop.

Tom from Mandarin

Khan says that he is going to hire an EVP to oversee football operations. To date he has had one interview. Are there any interviews scheduled? Do you know who any of the candidates are? When can we expect to see movement towards filling the position? Is this just another smoke screen by Khan to soften the blow of keeping Baalke?

There are likely interviews scheduled. Not yet. Soon. No.

Joe from Jbcity

I pulled for Khan this whole time, but Baalke is still in the building. Reminds me when a long time ago when Khan told me to get on the train because it's leaving the station. Nobody can tell him anything, except Trent, I guess. Reminds me a lot of Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen … ugh.

It's probably time for fans to get their heads around the fact that Baalke is going to be the Jaguars' general manager. It's equally time for those same fans and observers to realize Khan is hiring an executive vice president of football operations, who will report to Khan and oversee football operations.

Steve from Nashville, TN

All the head coaches to have ever beaten Tom Brady in a Super Bowl have also been Jaguar head coaches.

Good eye.

Tim from Fernandina Beach, Fl

John, help me understand why Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal may be a No. 1 overall pick. Reviews are that he is not perfect, can move to right tackle, can move inside. I may be confused, but why draft a guy No. 1 at left tackle if he's not truly outstanding? There are two great edge rushers to look at.

First, the 2022 NFL Draft is nearly three months away so the Jaguars are a looooong way from determining who they will select No. 1 overall. Neal is among multiple players who many are projecting at No. 1. Edge defenders Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oregon) and Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan) are the other two most prominently mentioned. The early discussion is that none of three are "perfect" prospects, and I expect much debate about this topic moving forward. Not every draft features a prospect as universally coveted as quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Some years, it's a tougher decision and this seems likely to be such a year.

Clyde from Jacksonville

Coach Pederson has a great pedigree. I'm very happy Mr. Khan hired him. Now with all the job opportunities within the Jaguars organization, could you put my name in the hat? Where can I apply? I could be a long snapper assistant coach or something like that! I want to win!

I'll have someone get back with you. No, really …

CD from Fleming Island, FL

Hey John, my wife last season asked me multiple times why I still had the game on. My reply was that I wished I could turn it off, but I just couldn't. Such is the life of a fan, lol. As challenging as it's been these last several years, here I am again, hyped up after an introductory press conference. I get that we just went through one of these last year, but we don't always have to bang our heads against the wall. If you come away from that presser without being at least a little excited, what's the point of it all, right?

Pederson absolutely seems like he knows what he's doing. It feels like he will give this franchise a professional feel, and he seems like he will give Lawrence a chance to learn the game and grow. That gives me hope this team will start to improve and look more professional on a consistent basis. My instinct is that will mean progress in 2022 with a chance to contend in 2023. Lawrence's presence certainly makes me more confident in that outlook. I don't know if that gets you excited, but it's fair to have a more optimistic feeling than you did last fall.

Dan Sec 203

O. I feel like the Jaguars (and maybe myself as well) have been looking back to the familiar for a while now (Coughlin, Urban Meyer, Byron Leftwich). The Pederson hire seems like we are kinda moving Forward now.


Jonathan from Jax

So, if anyone else was a miserable failure, can't or won't answer direct questions and is the laughingstock of the league, you wouldn't say he may be a moron? What are your qualifications? Does he have to lick windows or something? Asking for a friend.

Your friend can suck an egg, and I don't spend a lot of time considering my qualifications for thinking someone's a moron. I guess I'm just not as insightful as most people. I do know I've been around Khan enough – and know enough people who have been around him more than myself – to know he's faaar from a moron. He has made a lot of decisions regarding the NFL that haven't worked out. He's far from the first owner whose team has had a long stretch of futility. I like what the Pederson hire and I like what I'm hearing about the direction of the franchise. Fans will roll their eyes at this, and that's fine. I can't control those rolls. I must go now. I have windows to lick.