JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Tom from Cairo, Egypt
Would four consecutive postseason appearances with two AFC title-game appearances (and losses) be enough to get a place in the Green Bay Packers/Pittsburgh Steelers/New England Patriots/Dallas Cowboys/San Francisco 49ers, etc., rings of honor?
Most likely. Or perhaps not. Different franchises face different circumstances at different times in their histories, and franchise honorees therefore are honored for various reasons for varying degrees of success. And remember: Some very historic NFL franchises have so many ring-of-honor honorees that casual fans would deem obscure they barely can fit the names on their stadium wall. But remember, too: None of the franchises you mentioned were expansion teams, which meant they didn't start from nothing and compete against established teams. That was the Jaguars' circumstance – and then-Head Coach Tom Coughlin in that circumstance took them from nothing to four successful seasons that resonate positively with those who observed that era. Franchise rings of honor are different from the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Importance on and off the field to a certain franchise absolutely should be considered. Coughlin's record with the Jaguars wouldn't get him into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But are his impact on and off the field to the Jaguars worthy of being honored by this franchise? Without question.
Don from Marshall, NC
Tom Coughlin lived and breathed Jaguars football. He wasn't perfect but his efforts were pure. Life in the NFL will never see another like him. Crotchety but great. He has ticked off more players in the history of the NFL. TC was all in all the time! Of course, he belongs forever in the stadium and my hope is he goes into the Hall of Fame a Jaguar. Go Jaguars!
Coughlin almost certainly will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame – likely soon. His two Super Bowl victories with the New York Giants alone probably would merit induction. If you combine those championships with twice taking an expansion franchise within a game of the Super Bowl, it's hard to see how he wouldn't make it. As for how he would "go into" the Hall … football doesn't work that way. While baseball players have a hat on their Hall-of-Fame plaque with a team designation, there is no such designation in football. Honorees are inducted based on their accomplishments with all teams.
Fred from Naples, FL
Jaguars biggest "bust" of all time? So many choices, so little time. Lest we forget former wide receiver R. Jay Soward? He certainly needs to be in the conversation.
Scott from Gilbert, AZ
Zone, While conventional wisdom says the Jags should make a decision on whether to extend tight end Evan Engram before April 27 to best arrange their board accordingly, I agree with you that there is no rush. The Jags are going to take a tight end on Day 2 either way. And it will not be a corner in Round 1. Everything they've done this offseason has been in preparation for quarterback Trevor Lawrence's 2024 contract extension, and the draft will not veer from that approach. Cornerback Darious Williams has proven he belongs outside with a contract through next year, and they'll be able to find a starting slot corner in the fourth round in this year's draft. We will be looking at outside linebacker Josh Allen's possible replacement with our first pick, as we not only need pass rush help now, but Josh will be far more expensive to try to retain moving forward than Engram and/or the many others we'll want to keep. I love Josh and hope he balls-outta-control this year, but tagging or extending that position next year will simply be too cap-unfriendly when compared to draft capital for a three-four outside backer.
Your confidence is impressive. I don't expect the Jaguars to select a pass rusher at No. 24 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. Then again, I don't pretend to know what precisely the Jaguars will do in each round of the draft. That's because the Jaguars don't know precisely what they will do in each round of the draft. Such knowledge is elusive, not truly presenting itself until the draft begins and teams begin selecting players.
Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville
Wait a moment. I saw your article where you sat down and talked at length with Jaguars Owner Shad Khan about the team. It was a great interview, but you missed something. You never mention talking to him ONCE about the incredible performance of an invaluable element of this team. It's Senior Writer. That is the lynchpin which makes it ALL possible. Without your insight, guidance, wisdom, and occasional manifestation of KOAF coolness, we wouldn't be here! He recognizes that, I hope. Tight? And your STREAK, I submit no other Senior Writer has an ongoing streak this long! As you often say, "SHAD PAY THIS MAN!" Seriously not a suck up letter, just thanks O-Man. See you at the games.
I am the king of all funk.
Al from Orange Park, FL
To fans, Josh Wells is having a "homecoming." But to him, with all different coaches and almost all new players since his days here, it's no different than going to a new team, is it? Except for the continuity at the senior writer position.
Josh Wells, an offensive tackle who signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent Tuesday after four seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He spent 2014-2018 with the Jaguars, and there indeed remain just two players from the 2018 season with the team. One is guard/center Tyler Shatley, Wells' best friend. The two both entered the NFL as collegiate free agents with the Jaguars in 2014. The other is Cam Robinson, with whom Wells also is close. There are also multiple support staff members in video, equipment, football operations, etc., still around the organization. But in terms of coaching? And most teammates? Yeah, it's mostly new for Wells. A lot has changed around here in recent years.
Rob from the duuuuu
All of Coughlin's accomplishments occurred during Wayne Weaver's tenure as owner. During Shad Khan's tenure, Coughlin's accomplishments are as fallows: took over a team he did not help build in 2017, immediately started frivolously fining players, signed quarterback Blake Bortles to a long-term contract, then broke the bank for quarterback Nick Foles. His treatment of players caused the NFL Players Association to write a scathing letter suggesting players not sign with the Jaguars. All the while parting ways with cornerback Jalen Ramsey, wide receiver Allen Robinson – and I'm probably forgetting at least a few. The letter from the PA was just about the worst "look" in franchise history. He took us to the highest of highs (pretty mediocre by other franchise's standards) but they were followed by the lowest of lows. If shad is listening to you, he is in. But if Shad wants to decide based on his personal experience with Coughlin? Also, 1999 was Awful! We LOST to the Tennessee Titans and we were the favorites to win it all! Losing to the Titans and watching them go to the Super Bowl is our highest of highs? Doug's building a dynasty and you guys want to put zero Super Bowl appearances up on a pedestal.
So, one not fer Coughlin, I guess.
Marc from Oceanway
All Knowing Zone. What is your opinion on grass fields vs artificial turf? I not sure Dawuane Smoot would have injured his Achilles had he been playing on a grass that day. Do you foresee the NFL ever evolving to requiring grass only fields?
Sixteen of 30 NFL fields currently are grass, and the grass-turf debate is something of an ongoing issue between the NFL Players Association and the league. While some studies have shown "lower-extremity" injuries are more common on artificial turf, other studies in recent years reportedly show less of a difference in the two surfaces than once was the case. I expect the NFLPA to continue to push for grass fields. MetLife Stadium – where Smoot sustained his injury in December – will change surfaces in 2023, but the change is from so-called "slit-film turf" to what is considered a safer artificial surface. I doubt we'll ever see the entire league switch to grass. The cost savings of turf and reality of stadiums that house two teams make that difficult. I do think the league will continue veering in that direction, though.
Michael from Jacksonville
Why do you post Gary's emails? All he does is criticize you.
Because he has cool clothes.
Steve from Nashville, TN
JO. Are the Jags the biggest proponent of signing free agents prior to the draft so have more freedom to select the best available player rather than having to draft swing tackle for example?
I wouldn't call the Jaguars the NFL's biggest proponent of this. Most general managers want to get their roster to a point before the draft that they don't have to reach for positions early in the draft. This in theory keeps you from making mistakes by over-drafting players. In theory.