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O-Zone: End of an era

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Nathan from St. Augustine, FL

My question is regarding Coach Pederson saying he will call the plays on offense. I have no problem with it; if that's a strength, why not use it? But I know the argument is it takes away from a head coach's ability to focus on other aspects of the game. What say you?

I've never covered an NFL team for which the head coach calls plays; I therefore haven't had in-depth discussions on the pros and cons with anyone who has done it. I plan to speak in detail with Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson about this and look forward to hearing some valuable insight. My first thought is that if Pederson is used to calling plays, then he is comfortable engaging in the game that way – and that calling plays would therefore keep him immersed in the game, thereby making that an asset rather than a negative. It is typically the role of the offensive coordinator in this situation to write the game plan during the week, therefore easing the head coach's burden in this area. Pederson also clearly has a comfort level calling plays as a head coach, having done so throughout his time as a head coach with the Eagles. Considering that, he should do it. Why wouldn't he?

Steve from Wallingford, CT

No question. Absolutely over the moon that Bo got his call finally and it just clicked in my head how cool it is that the franchise's first-ever draft pick is also their first-ever Hall of Famer.

That absolutely is part of what makes former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli's story so fascinating. Boselli, elected to the 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, was the first draft selection in franchise history AND the first player to be inducted into the Pride of the Jaguars. He was selected No. 2 overall in the 1995 NFL Draft with the idea that he would be a franchise cornerstone, but such ideas often don't come to fruition. For Boselli to have been good enough to be a Pride of the Jaguars member made his selection memorable. And unlikely. For him to fulfill his potential to the degree he did and become a Hall of Famer? You can't write that story. Well, maybe you can but you probably wouldn't believe it.

Jim from Middleburg, FL

Dear John. Tell Tony this feels great!!!

He knows.

Marty from Nocatee, FL

John, I am so happy for Tony and the entire Jaguars' organization. The Jaguars' first pick in franchise history is in the Hall of Fame. Has this happened to any other NFL franchise?

Yes. Lee Roy Selmon was the No. 1 overall selection in the 1976 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995.

Jason from Jacksonville

Congratulations, Tony! Well deserved.


Michael from Middleburg, FL

Why haven't we read anything on the site about Pederson's assistants?

It is Jaguars policy – and therefore the policy of – to report on signings and hirings when they are officially announced by the organization. While Pederson obviously has been interviewing and reportedly hiring his coaching staff, the organization has not yet announced these hirings as official. When it does, it will be reported on the site.

Bruce from Saint Simons Island, GA

O. So happy when I saw BO selected for the HOF! Got a little emotional.

You were not alone.

Terry from Caseyville, Illinois

Excellent head coach hire. Love direction your team is going. Draft Evan Neal, get wide receiver in free agency or draft one with second-round pick. Re-sign guard Andrew Norwell. Defense is doing well. Things should come together to take a shot at Super Bowl 2023. Thank you. Terry.

Terry is "all in."

Brian from Gainesville, FL

Big O, regarding the London game, why would you be surprised if the opponent was Dallas? They're a world-famous brand after all. Why not them? The whole reason for the international games is to drum up international support right?

I would be surprised if the Jaguars' opponent in the London game in 2022 is the Dallas Cowboys because the Jaguars played the Cowboys in London in 2014. I would be surprised if the league took that game away from Jacksonville in two consecutive scheduling cycles.

Jonathan from Jax

Repeating the words "it will be a collaborative effort " over and over is a far cry from being open and honest about the structure. It's more of the same buffoonery.

I get that it's vogue in some circles to bash the franchise these days, but how in the world is this "more of the same buffoonery?" The Jaguars are in the process of hiring an executive vice president of football operations. When the process is complete, I anticipate the structure will be clear – and that the structure will be a collaborative process with the head coach and general manager working with the EVP. The structure isn't determined yet. When it is, I anticipate it will be discussed openly and honestly.

Chris from Mandarin

Do you think Tony Boselli will put his name in the ring the Jaguars EVP role? I've long thought he would make sense doing something like that, similar to John Elway in Denver.

I'd click on that.

Doug from Jacksonville, FL

Understanding it is still early in the draft process, and someone may separate themselves from the pack, I would think a game-changing edge rusher would be harder to find in later rounds than a good offensive lineman. Unless someone really jumps out on the offensive line, I go defensive line.


Nate from St. Augustine, FL

Hey, John. The Bengals are in the Super Bowl despite giving up nine sacks in a playoff game against the Titans. The Bengals' offensive line is average at best. Has the game become so geared towards the offense with rules and schemes that winning with an average offensive line will become the norm? And if that is the case, will we begin to see wide receivers taken higher in the draft? Much like running backs were in the 80s and 90s?

I think there's a decent chance you will see elite wide receivers selected earlier in drafts over the course of time, perhaps No. 1 on occasion. I don't believe that will lessen the value of offensive linemen.

Andy Boy from Halifax

Aight O, we have mourned last season long enough. Sometimes all we get in J-ville an optimistic offseason so why waste it? We have the No. 1 pick and money in free agency. My optimism is unbridled.

You go, girl.

Roger from Duval

Not as excited, you say? BORED, you say? Thank God. To my knowledge DP don't own any college bars, has NFL experience, won a Super Bowl, and knows more than three players' names. Yawn. Thank God.


_Wade from Westside    _

The Jags have had their share of coaching turnover over the past decade. I am curious how the contracts are paid out with a coaching change. I understand the head coach is likely to receive the full amount of his contract unless he is removed for cause, but does that apply to all the position coaches? Are these position coaches given a severance or paid the full amount of their contract when their position is not retained by the new head coach?

Most NFL coaches work on two-year contracts – with some working on three-year contracts. If a coach on a two-year contract is terminated, the NFL team must pay the remainder of that contract unless the assistant gets another coaching position. If the coach gets another position, the previous team is responsible for paying the coach's previous salary with the new team paying the difference up to the coach's new salary.

Ken from North port

Since the owner himself is a minority, does he have to go through with the dog and pony show when hiring his new EVP.

The Jaguars must adhere to the Rooney Rule, just like any NFL team.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

It makes me feel old because I was a young boy when he was drafted. But you, O? You were covering him. Do you still feel as young and spry as you did on April 22, 1995?

I indeed covered Boselli being drafted by the Jaguars. I was 29, had been married three years and was a year from being a father. I don't know if I was that spry then, but I'm a big dose less now. Aren't we all?

Bill from Jacksonville

John, the NFL actually changed the rule in 2020 about teams blocking interviews for assistants. The rule now reads in part, "By establishing a system that prohibits a club from denying an assistant coach the opportunity to interview with a new team for a bona fide offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, or special teams coordinator position." Appears to me any coach can interview for a coordinator position without needing permission.

This breaks my 55-year streak of never being wrong. Time to begin anew.