O-Zone: Get in line

JACKSONVILLE – Happy Thanksgiving or whatever.

Let’s get to it …

Scott from Gilbert, AZ

John, I'm glad Coughlin didn't try to offer up any excuses. But, I would have respected him way more if he would have said something like, "Father Time is undefeated, and the game has passed me by. I should have recognized the success more athletic quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes of Kansas City and Deshaun Watson of Houston were having in today's NFL, and thanked my lucky stars when Lamar Jackson fell to us at No. 29 in 2018. The MVP front-runner, plus the $50 million signing bonus for Nick Foles along with the dead money we wasted on Blake Bortles, could have gone a long way toward fortifying our tight end, linebacker, and safety positions; and ultimately would have made us a much better team.”

You’re referencing Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin’s press conference Wednesday, an availability that marked the first time Coughlin has spoken to the Jacksonville media this season. The availability left many fans frustrated and unsatisfied. That’s to be expected because fans don’t want midseason media availabilities from team executives; they want their teams to win games, and nothing’s satisfying if that’s not happening. Also, as was to be expected, Coughlin didn’t give definitive answers to many questions Wednesday. He didn’t provide insight into defensive end Yannick Ngakoue’s contract situation, or the trade of cornerback Jalen Ramsey earlier this season. He also didn’t provide insight into his own future or that of Head Coach Doug Marrone. Mostly, Coughlin appealed to fans with the message that they were needed and that that the season very much wasn’t over, also emphasizing that he understands the team’s 4-7 record isn’t good enough. As far as him not saying the game had passed him by, and him not saying the team should have picked one of the quarterbacks you mention … did you really expect him to say that?

Taylor from Columbia, MD

No wonder Tom Coughlin doesn't speak to the media during the season ... that press conference was far less inspiring and tone-deaf than anything we've heard from Nick Foles. He seemed testy, despite many questions seeming to be quite fair and venom-less. What did you think?

I think Coughlin went into the press conference with the idea of appealing to the fans that the season wasn’t over and that the team still wanted their support. I think anything beyond that didn’t interest him very much.

Brackens from Duval

Yannick of all people, who has more or less done everything right for this team and been hugely productive, doesn’t have anything to “prove.” There might be a question of value but, cmon man, “prove”?! Am I so out of touch?

Coughlin, when asked about Ngakoue’s contract Wednesday, said: “We have five games to play and everyone has a lot to prove.” This part of the Coughlin availability appeared to irritate people, too. I know people will read a lot into the statement, but I wouldn’t. It seemed Coughlin’s approach Wednesday was to deflect all questions that were probing for any detail regarding the future. This wasn’t Coughlin saying the Jaguars don’t want to agree to a contract extension with Ngakoue; it was Coughlin saying he wasn’t going to get into specifics on an off-field issues with five games remaining in the season.

Dustin from Orlando, FL

The announcers in Sunday’s game seemed to have our quarterbacks confused. They kept saying Foles throws a great deep ball, yet every one he threw was terrible. Gardner Minshew II on the other hand seems to hit a lot more of his deep shots. Both QBs have shortcomings but continuing to play Foles on a garbage team isn't helping our prospects of trading him. Play Minshew. At least his 'stache looks good when we're getting blown out.

This isn’t going to happen, at least not right away. Marrone believes Foles gives the Jaguars the best chance to win. I can’t say I’m overly optimistic that Marrone is correct on this front. Foles hasn’t given the team a lift, and his passes haven’t looked as strong or as accurate as they did in training camp. That uneducated opinion aside, the Jaguars do need to play Foles if for no other reason than to figure out what they have in him moving forward – and to give the player they believed capable of being a franchise quarterback a fair opportunity to show if they were right.

Sean from Jacksonville

Great to see Fred Taylor as a Hall of Fame semifinalist!

Yes, it is.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

Two former Jaguars are now semifinalists for the Hall of Fame. Congratulations to Tony Boselli and Fred Taylor. Wouldn’t it be great to see both of them get in?

Yes.

Nathan from St. Augustine, FL

Hey John, Happy Thanksgiving! How does it work if an owner does fire a head coach midseason? Does the coach still get paid full salary? Or are they paid by number of games coached? If they are going to make full salary, I can’t blame Owner Shad Khan for waiting until the end of the season. Why would you pay a guy to sip frozen drinks on a tropical island! But I don’t even think winning out would save this group that underperformed two straight years now.

Head coaches work under contract; if they get fired, they receive the rest of their contract – for the rest of that season and for future seasons.

Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

John, as much as I admire him, I have to say that Coughlin has brought little-to-nothing to the Jaguars these past few years. From the start I was worried about the two-boss system with TC and General Manager David Caldwell. The coaching staff leaves a lot to be desired. I think the only position coach who has improved his group is Keenan McCardell. Go Jags!!

Hey, one fer Keenan!

Blues Man from Jacksonville

I’m not following some fans’ perspective that we’ve had horrible drafts. The only pick I really questioned was that of defensive tackle Taven Bryan; I felt with an anemic offense we should have went after some offensive firepower. And, perhaps Fournette, which sent the message we were going to play old school football in a league that favors passing. I personally think General Manager David Caldwell has done a terrific job, but I’m not nearly as enthusiastic about Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin, who seems to favor a philosophical approach that the NFL moved on from. We’re in an era of up tempo, passing offenses - my concern is Coughlin’s run first, old school football. I’d love to see what Caldwell could do with an offensive minded coach, and how he would draft based on that up tempo philosophy.

I agree that the Jaguars for the most part have drafted well the past three or four offseasons, but I don’t necessarily agree with the idea that Coughlin favors run-first, old-school football. The Jaguars in Coughlin’s first offseason back with the team did Fournette No. 4 overall, but that was because the belief was the team had a defense ready to win and that Fournette was the player in the draft who could make the quickest, most-obvious impact to improve the offense immediately. This was the time of “Win Now,” remember. And the Jaguars indeed did win that season. As far as who will be making the selections and what the style will be in the future, all of that will be determined by Owner Shad Khan at a later date. Stay tuned.

Chris from Space City, TX

O, let's assume that Foles continues to fold this season, and helps lead this team to another awful season and Top 5 draft pick. Let's say you were a part of the new front office regime that replaces Coughlin and Caldwell. How much would you consider drafting a quarterback with your first first-round pick? I am hoping that whomever is making the picks did not get caught up in the Mania. The kid may be a nice backup but this team has passed on too many elite quarterbacks because they stuck with mediocre to poor quarterbacks.

First, there’s not even anything close to a guarantee that there will be a “new front office” next offseason. But If I were running the Jaguars, I would strongly consider taking a quarterback in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft if one is available that I believe is a franchise quarterback.

Kevin from Jacksonville

I agree with “Kyle from Orange Park, FL.” You’re often shockingly rude and disrespectful to the fans (aka, paying Jags clients) who disagree with you and your perpetually incorrect assessments. You are part of the toxic culture of this franchise.

We should hang out.

Andrew from Mattoon

Where do I sign up to complain about the content of a free website that gives more insight than most "team-focused" sites?

The line starts behind Kyle and Kevin.

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