JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Drew from Redding
What do you think makes a good GM? Is it better to sign a GM that gets along with the coach? Should the GM pick his own coach?
A good general manager has an eye for talent and potential talent that will develop into effective players. That much is obvious and sometime depends on good fortune – i.e., how players develop, how they mature, if they stay healthy. He also should have a good feel for how talent and the personalities of that talent will fit together and form a team, and he also should possess vision and leadership abilities. Those latter qualities depend less on chance than the eye for talent. And if you already have a coach head in place … then yes, a general manager being able to work with that coach is a positive. As far as your final question … a general manager often is able to select his own coach. Many organizations want the general manager to have that power. It doesn't have to work that way, and there is no ideal way to structure an organization. But someone must lead the organization and be the organization's football direction. Sometimes that's a "football czar" who oversees everything – general manager and head coach included. Sometimes that person is the general manager. If that's the general manager, then he should select the head coach.
Sam from Nottingham, UK
Jaguars defensive end K'Lavon Chaisson is looking like a boy against men out there on the edge; when are we going to start using him in different positions and making the most of his "Swiss army knife" like traits that were so heralded during the draft process?
I doubt that will happen this season. You're right that Chaisson largely has been ineffective as a defensive end as a rookie this season, and the coaches clearly don't believe he would be more effective as a true outside linebacker; otherwise, they would play him solely at … wait for it … outside linebacker. They also, by the way, have played him at outside backer at times this season without getting much more production. Of all the Jaguars' drafted 2020 rookies, it seems possible Chaisson was hurt the most by the lack of an offseason; he's athletic, but he's not a polished pass rusher and he had no time to learn the nuances of NFL pass-rush moves before training camp. Also, it does seem his skill set would perhaps fit better as a full-time outside backer – be that in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. If this staff is here next season, I expect they will readdress where to use the No. 20 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. If it's a new staff, I imagine they would do the same. As for playing him at different positions, it's typically best to let a player start being effective at one position before trying him at others.
Nicholas from Fort Hood, TX
Look what I found in my vault of O-Zone questions. I miss this feeling: "KOAF: Wow, your AFC South First Place Team is the (drum roll, please) Jacksonville Jaguars. Not a pretty game, not a dominating game at times, but a well fought game where we never quit. Two Interceptions, one turnover on downs inside the five-yard line, and one missed chip shot field goal. Combined that with no turnovers, a near perfect quarterback, and an undrafted free agent running back with a great day. I don't know what the rest of the season will bring but for now I am grinning ear to ear."
So much younger then …
Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Why are some people enamored with the first pick for a quarterback? And even suggest to trash the rest of the season just to get a quarterback?
Because quarterback reigns supreme over all else in the NFL. And because the Jaguars have been deficient at quarterback for a really long time.
Shawn from the Mean Streets of Arlington
B Melancon from Shreveport, LA
Mr. O, in your opinion would a GM be more interested in this team with multiple draft picks and good cap space or a team with less cap space but a tradition of winning?
A general manager you want would favor the former over the latter. There are a few NFL teams with tradition that matters – the Pittsburgh Steelers, for example – but it's typically comparatively low on the list of factors that make an NFL job good or bad. The Jaguars' general manager position will be a good job because of the cap space, draft selections, the chance to select a quarterback early in the 2020 NFL Draft and because of owner Shad Khan's willingness to allow the general manager to run the football organization – and because of Khan's willingness to spend on salaries and the football operations. It's a good job.
Bob from Sumter, SC
What an opportunity for a new GM. Top two draft picks, some good young players, lots of cap space, patient owner with money AND the opportunity to work in the same building as you and Shadrick.
It's just like Krimma.
Mike from Atlanta, GA
So, how many players are on their way out? I think maybe defensive end Josh Allen, cornerback CJ Henderson, running back James Robinson and wide receiver DJ Chark are safe but everyone else could realistically be gone in the offseason. Weak-side linebacker Myles Jack for example has a significant contract at not a premium position. I think it would be crazy to take a position of strength and make it a weakness by releasing him, but I could easily see a new GM and coach not wanting to take a leftover on a big contract. Is a new regime going to want to re-draft the entire team or do they want to build on top of what's already there?
First off, we don't know what a new regime will want until there is a new regime. There's no predetermined right or wrong way to build a roster. If there were, the general manager wouldn't matter and every team would build the roster the predetermined "right" way. But I don't know that as many current Jaguars players are easily expandable – or that as many players should be expended – as you indicate. I would be stunned if Jack isn't with the franchise next season, and I believe most of the offensive line will return intact. I also would very surprised if most – if not all – of the rookie class doesn't return, as well as many drafted second-year players. And kicker Josh Lambo. We must never, ever forget Lambo.
Gregg from Jacksonville
You knowing that the ABV of a Guinness is less than a Budweiser and equal to Bud Light and Miller Lite is impressive. It appears that you have not only in-depth knowledge of the NFL, but also have a well-rounded scope of all things important.
You're right. I am awesome.
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL
So, Jaguars owner Shad Khan finally said "Enough is enough." Caldwell has produced only one stellar season in eight years. He cut too deep last offseason and left the Jaguars with promising – but young and inexperienced – talent and no franchise quarterback. With a new GM, we will see a whole new coaching staff. Sad, in a way. Marrone has the youngest team in the league, and is coaching players lacking experience at many positions (especially the defensive backfield). Add in a plethora of injuries - yet his team still competes to the end and appears more competitive than the talent level and win/loss record would indicate. When we look back on this era, we might just remember Marrone as an exceptionally good coach who simply wasn't given the tools for success.
Thomas from Jacksonville
Ok, Jaguars won't negotiate a new lease without stadium improvements. But the stories I have read have not described what improvements the Jaguars want. It's time to get that in the picture before Lot J plans are finalized.
It's far too early to know the specifics of what the stadium improvements would entail. That will be determined by extensive studies and planning in the relatively near future. But the stadium is two-and-a-half decades old. That's ancient by NFL standards. The improvements needed are enormous, wide-ranging and absolutely must be made for the Jaguars and Jacksonville to be a competitive franchise in the long-term. I love TIAA Bank Field. I love the Jaguars. I love this city. I consider all home in a sense. But to compare the 'Bank to nearly existing any other NFL stadium …
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-Man, do you think Gene would be interested in being our new GM, or is he too busy climbing mountains, wrestling alligators, and saving babies?
Longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. "Gene" Frenette is a visionary, civic treasure, thought leader and "face of a region." He does not "deign" to take "positions" within "organizations." Those wings must not be clipped. Gene must soar.