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O-Zone: Get him in

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Garrett from Edgewater

So, Jaguars right tackle Jawaan Taylor says he will not move to a guard position? Then do better or go somewhere else, bro. He has not been a good tackle – this year or years past. Offensive tackle Walker Little got backed up into rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence a few times this year – but he's a rookie and looks good for one. To quote Jawaan: "So yeah."

There's no reason to be snide or angry about this. Taylor, a second-round selection by the Jaguars in the 2019 NFL Draft, has had some rough moments in three NFL seasons and has been penalized way too often. There has been talk among observers that he could move to guard – partially because some observers believe he may be better suited to play there, and partially because moving him there could be a way to move Little into the lineup. Taylor was asked this past Monday if he would consider such a move an insult. He answered that he would. This is hardly an unexpected response. The season had just ended the day before. He always has played right tackle. Guards typically earn less than tackles. He identifies as a tackle. I would have been surprised had he said anything else. That doesn't mean he wouldn't do it if asked by the team. Perhaps he would or perhaps he wouldn't. It doesn't even mean he would be a better guard than a tackle. It means he was asked a question and quickly answered it. We'll see where this goes – if it goes anywhere at all.


I would think we may do better if we trade out of the No. 1 spot in the draft with a team who wants the No. 1 overall selection really, really bad. Usually, teams do that because a quarterback is on the board and they really want him. Looking at the draft board this year, is there a player – any position – that stands head and shoulders above others in that No. 1 overall spot?  Do you see us possibly trading down to get more draft picks this year?

I haven't done the ever-valuable "deep dive" into the draft yet. I'm getting started on it this month and will really start diving at the Senior Bowl early next month. The early word is that trading out of No. 1 will be tricky because there's really not a player who stands out "head and shoulders" above the rest this year. Sometimes that changes. We'll see.

Nick from Annapolis, MD

Remember heading into the draft last year there was a sense there were no glaring needs and we could draft best available? That was funny.

Was it?

Al from Dowling Park, FL

"Most important offseason." I agree, but who's running the show now? Are the assistant coaches still around and working? The scouting department? The support staff? I'd think some portion of them are thinking ahead and trying to find their next job. How about the senior sports writer?'

The scouting department is working. The assistant coaches are taking time off, waiting and seeing – and in some cases, accepting college positions. The support staff is working. As for the senior sports writer, he's just doing what he does. When I figure out what that is, I'll text you.

Ben from Cuba, MO

Which of the top defensive ends fit the Jaguars' scheme, Aidan Hutchinson of Michigan or Kayvon Thibodeaux of Oregon?

The Jaguars have yet to decide their new head coach moving forward, which means they have yet to decide their offensive or defensive scheme moving forward. Once they decide those things, then we can get an idea about who will fit those schemes the best.

James from Salt Lake City via Jagsonville

I sure hope they don't pick Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich as our head coach. He's only Mr. Superman because he has Tom Brady. The fans also will not give him a chance. He was booed unmercifully when he was here as a quarterback. I just don't think it's a good fit. But hey … what do I know?

I don't know who the Jaguars will select as their next head coach. I do know Leftwich reportedly has a very good chance to be named to the position. I don't know Leftwich, but I do know his relationship with Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady – and even his success as an offensive coordinator/play-caller – will have little to do with how he will fare as a head coach. If he can lead and communicate and set an organizational tone, he will fare well. If not, he probably won't.

Abe from Catonsville, MD

With Los Angeles Rams and former Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey just getting his third All-Pro selection, what do you think his chances of hitting the Hall of Fame are?


Scott from Aruba

So, our extra games next year are Detroit Lions, New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens. That's a good way to pep up the win column. Plus getting to play the NFC Eas(y)t makes up for the AFC West. I know many things change each year and it's hard to read the SoS until a few weeks into the season, but things could for sure be worse. Is there a specific game you are looking forward to next year?

The Jaguars have finished with the worst record in the NFL the past two seasons. I don't know that there any games that will automatically "pep up the win column" – particularly not a game against a team as traditionally strong and consistent as the Baltimore Ravens. There's really not a specific game I'm anticipating. Let's go with the road game at the New York Jets. I didn't go into the city the night before the Jaguars' game against the Jets this past season because we arrived Christmas Day. I expect I'll go next season – and everyone knows no one bites the apple like the 'Zone.


I came here to write to you about how much of an equal, or better, Fred Taylor is than other running backs in the Hall of Fame. Then I looked up who was in the hall, and the only running back whose careers started after 1995 and are in the Hall of Fame are Edgerrin James and LaDainian Tomlinson. Tough to say the hall is flooded with backs less deserving than Fred Taylor. But he should still get in. His career yards per carry, as well as his consistency in this area, is pretty remarkable. Not to mention he is as talented as there ever was.


Justin from Jacksonville

Hey, John. I'm genuinely curious to know how you would assess the play of DaVon Hamilton and Malcom Brown this year. I remember at the beginning of the season, the consensus was that Hamilton would be a rising star on this defense. Clearly, he wasn't some massive stat guy, but would you say his play overall, was underwhelming, overachieving, or somewhere right in the middle for what you expected?

Brown performed well, particularly for a player acquired in a trade for a seventh-round selection. Hamilton flashed at times and was inconsistent at other times. Both players are bona fide NFL players. The Jaguars need to get stouter and more disruptive – better and more dominant overall – on the interior of the defensive line.

Peter from Tallahassee, FL

More of an observation … Trevor Lawrence's scrambling touchdown pass on the final series against the Colts was eerily familiar to "The Catch" with Joe Montana pass to Dwight Clark. I liked our version. Thanks for your column. I look forward to it daily.

Good eye. And good eye.

Mark from Landrum, SC

John, I watched the Colts game twice because it was our best game of the season. However, there were still a number of dropped passes from the wide receivers as well as the running backs. The score could have been higher if they would just catch the dang ball! So, my question is, can a new coaching staff teach this or do we just need better receivers with sticky hands?

Coaches can only do so much. When I was covering the Indianapolis Colts, then-Colts President Bill Polian told me once the first thing he and the team's personnel staff looked for in a wide receiver was to make sure they caught the ball well. I think I asked if that shouldn't be a pretty basic thing teams sought in a receiver. He said a lot of scouts and coaches looked for speed, physicality and other traits and neglected to remember that if a receiver can't catch he can't do much else. At some point, receivers have to be able to catch the "dang ball."

Don from Marshall NC

Maybe our luck will change and they will do the right thing and put Don Bosco Anthony Boselli Jr. in the Hall of Fame. Go Jaguars!

I'm expecting this. Here's hoping.