O-Zone: Follow the leader

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Doug from Riverside

Yannick's agent helping him or not?

This is tricky. I don't know that Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue's agent helped him much last offseason, and I don't know what the counseling will be this offseason. I do know Ngakoue seemed to want more than market value last offseason – or at the very least, he seemed to want the highest possible end of his market value. If that continues to be the case this offseason – and there's no reason to think it won't – this already-difficult, already-long negotiation could get stickier. The Jaguars absolutely want to pay Ngakoue and they know he's a very good player. Everyone around the franchise realizes that fans want him around long-term. This is not a gray area. At the same time, there must be a number that's reasonable to both sides – and that makes sense in terms of the market. Do the fans shouting "Pay Ngakoue" expect the Jaguars to pay him $30 million a season? How about $25 million a season? Twenty-three million?" Where is the reasonable number? As General Manager David Caldwell said this week, retaining Ngakoue is the Jaguars' No. 1 priority. But the question must be "at what cost?" That still must be answered in a manner that makes sense.

Brian from Gainesville, FL

Big O, you say that defensive coordinator Todd Wash is not responsible for the horrendous run defense by noting – correctly – that the players weren't good enough. But doesn't that mean that the general manager is at fault for the way he assembled the roster? Yet, the general manager still has a job. Wash will still have a job. And a bunch of players will be canned.

Yes. The Jaguars must get better players against the run. No question about it.

Micah from Chicago, IL

Hey John! Great that we're keeping such a stellar general manager. How many players remain on the team from the 2013-2016 drafts? I'll take my answers off the air!

This is a common question these days, though not particularly pertinent to the discussion of whether to retain a general manager. NFL rosters turn over so fast that few teams have many players from drafts four-to-seven years back. The Baltimore Ravens have five selections remaining from the drafts you cite, and only one first-round selection; they're the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The Jaguars had five from the same period, so there's that. That's not to say criticism of Caldwell isn't merited. It is to say this isn't the best measure of a general manager's effectiveness.

Edward from Los Angeles, CA

I found the press conference insightful and encouraging. Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone spoke as a unifier, hoping to build cohesion between the various layers of the organization. It also appears he has acquired more power, whilst also making the organization flatter.

Good eye.

Paul from Luanda, Angola

So, do Khan's actions tell you Marrone and Caldwell will survive through 2021 no matter what? After 5-11 and 6-10, even 0-16 in 2020 might be considered "progress."

No, 0-16 wouldn't be considered progress. And I don't believe Marrone and Caldwell will be in their positions in 2021 "no matter what." I don't know what it will take for them to return, because entering the 2019 season I would have expected them not to return after a 6-10 season. Jaguars Owner Shad Khan looked at the circumstances and saw it differently, so I don't know that anyone can predict what he will do next offseason.

Captain B from Fernandina Beach, FL

Mr. O: We'll never make it to the Super Bowl without a great quarterback. So, I think the wily Mr. Khan has retained the current staff knowing they will fail and the team will flounder in 2020 – hopefully 0-16 –but then he will get his quarterback, Trevor Lawrence of Clemson, and bring in a competent staff! One for Mr. Khan!

That's not what's going on, but sure … one fer Khan.

Original Bryan from Tampa, FL

Obviously irate fans are the loudest, but what is your sense for the actual ratio of fans who are glad about the retention of the Jags' staff versus those who are opposed?

I would say far more people wanted change than people who did not, but that's always the case after losing seasons. I would also say the more vocal, angry fans are the ones who are active on Twitter – and who write into this forum. Again, that's always the case.

Adam from Wescosville

Is there any chance the front office makes decisions for the long-term? Or are they only concerned with winning now to keep their jobs?

We'll see.

Bryan from Jacksonville

I was listening to you on the radio with Rick Ballou recently and you stated that the news conference from Tuesday that Coach Marrone and Caldwell were implying that they might be the same, but just because they are the same does not mean it will be the same. That statement makes sense to me. Since the fanbase is clearly divided, how does this difference you state help unite the division between the organization and the fans?

My point was that while Marrone and Caldwell are "the same," the way they do things moving forward might not be the same. Will fans grasp this? Will it unite them? That probably will take some time; whatever changes Caldwell and Marrone implement, few fans will care much until they see results on the field. Winning brings fans together. That's the ultimate elixir.

Marc from Oceanway, FL

Is this finally Tony Boselli's year?

Goodness … let's hope so.

Jeremy from Jacksonville

Mr. O: Can the NFL please explain why Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo is not a Pro Bowler? He leads the league in basically every kicking statistic and his efforts Sunday only make the snub look worse. On a related note, can a player make the Associated Press All-Pro team and not be elected to the Pro Bowl? Seems once again Jags fans had their weekly reminder!

Lambo wasn't a Pro Bowl selection because the honor went to Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker, who most NFL observers consider the best kicker currently in the NFL. Lambo as it turns out had the better statistical season, but it's hard to say Tucker is a bad choice. Lambo, as it turned out, was named second-team Associated Press All-Pro Friday – behind Tucker.

William from Savannah, GA

O-Man, I can put up with the team having a losing season and some of the losses being quite ugly, but the management team has got to go. Any group that won't bring back the Culligan girl, . . . well it's just too much!

I still have no idea what you're talking about.

Will from Jacksonville

Former Jaguars Owner Wayne Weaver was fond of the saying "Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results." Shad Khan is insane.

Oh, to be so insane …

Mac from Jacksonville Beach

Hypothetically, if we can't trade quarterback Nick Foles, what would happen if we put him on the practice squad in 2020 and another team picked him up? Would they assume his contract? And would we still take the cap hit in 2020?

You can't put veterans such as Foles on the practice squad. It's a developmental position open only to rookies, first- and second-year players and some third-year players.

T-Bone from Ormond Beach, FL

Why are you the way that you are?

Great luck.

Adam from St. Johns, FL

Please tell us who's to blame for all of this. One time PLEASE! You act like the fans are so stupid and understand none of this. The Jax media in general does the same.

I don't act or say fans are stupid, Alan. People write questions to this forum and I answer them as best I can. This is how it always has been, how it is and how it shall remain. I'm not going to write in all capital letters and exclamation points and call for people to be fired. That's not because I work for the team. It's because I believe that most NFL teams hire and fire far too quickly for no reason except that fans and media demand change – and I know from experience that rarely is losing in the NFL a case where one person is to BLAME!! I do understand that many fans want this from this forum and get frustrated when they don't receive it. They want to read someone who agrees with them and it makes them feel better when people call for people's jobs. There are plenty of places on the interweb where you can find that. You can even start your own website and write it yourself or go on Twitter and express these views. I would recommend the latter; if your Tweets match your self-perception, it sounds like you would be a good follow. Not for me, of course. But for someone.

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