JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Chuck from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Our offensive line has been judged as being "adequate" – not really considered to be a strength of the team. Yet, there has been continuity among our starters and three of our highest-paid players are offensive linemen. Shouldn't it be time to move on, with the goal being to give our franchise quarterback one moment of additional time to locate a receiver or measure his throw? Status quo doesn't sound like doing what is necessary.
The Jaguars in one sense have been status quo on the offensive line because, yes, they have started the same five players – right tackle Jawaan Taylor, right guard A.J. Cann, center Brandon Linder, left guard Andrew Norwell and left tackle Cam Robinson – to start the last three seasons. And while the group has been adequate-to-good for the most part, it's true that as a collective it has not been great. But in terms of addressing the line, the Jaguars haven't been status quo. They selected Taylor in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, selected guard Ben Bartch in the fourth round in '20 and Little in the second round in '21. Ben Bartch finished this past season as the starter at right guard and appears headed to being above average – maybe really good. Rookie Walker Little played well at the end of the season as a starter at left tackle, and appears likely to start somewhere next season – though time will determine the specifics there. It does seem at least one more major piece is needed on the front, but the team hasn't been remotely negligent addressing this position.
Michael from Columbus, Ohio
J. Wayne Weaver (Jacksonville Jaguars) and Jerry Richardson (Carolina Panthers) are the two shortest tenured team owners in NFL history. Once you see the true demand of owning a team and the co$t of fielding and maintaining a competitive roster, the stress just isn't worth it. Your thoughts?
Owning an NFL team certainly is demanding, stressful and costly. But Richardson and Weaver aren't the short-tenured team owners in NFL history. Weaver owned the Jaguars from 1995-2011; Richardson owned the Panthers from 1995-2017. Victor Kiam owned the New England Patriots from 1988-1992 and there are others with shorter tenures than that of Weaver and Richardson.
Josh from Lakewood
The ire over Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke and Jaguars Owner Shad Khan's pending decision is tiresome. The majority of coaches and executives in the league are pretty interchangeable in that they're all good enough at what they do to succeed in the "right circumstances." Chances are, unless your coach is named Bill Belichick or your general manager is named Bill Polian, you've just got a guy. And replacing him will likely just land you another guy.
Steve from Nashville, TN
You say the Jaguars offensive line played "OK" this year, many teams currently in the NFL playoffs have just OK offensive lines. The two most sacked quarterbacks in the league (Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals and Ryan Tannehill of the Tennessee Titans) won their divisions this year. Sometimes just OK offensive line play is good enough to win in the NFL?
OK offensive-line play absolutely often is enough to win in the NFL. That's particularly true if you have a veteran quarterback with pocket presence and the ability to check in and out of plays to help the offensive line.
Tom from Fruit Cove -St Johns Suburb
Hi-O. I keep reading, seeing and hearing the "experts" say that Coach "A" or Coach "B" or Assistant Coach "C," etc., would be a perfect fit as the new Jaguars' head coach because he is a "quarterback" coach or has had a great quarterback in his resume. I firmly believe that if you possess a true franchise- type quarterback you need for him to get real NFL-type experience to hone his God-given talents. We have a quarterback who has 17 games of hard knocks, honing his skills. What we need is a coach who is a leader of men, a coach who can delegate duties, analyze performance and identify the results of both.
Art from Drexel Hill, PA
This is the biggest offseason in Jags history, because if we get it wrong we could ruin a generational quarterback. My question is, why should the fans have faith that Shad will get this right? Ten years of evidence tells the fans otherwise. I get he's a successful businessman, but this isn't bumpers.
It's quite possible – even likely – that Jaguars many Jaguars don't have faith that Khan will get the head-coaching hire right. Here's the reality: Whether or not fans believe he will get it right, Khan indeed is doing the due diligence necessary to get it right. He's interviewing, gathering information and taking that information into account as he determines the best candidate. Choosing the right head coach is difficult, and there is some good fortune involved in any successful hire. That's true no matter the coach or team. Having quarterback Trevor Lawrence could be that good fortune – or at least a good dose of it. Stay tuned.
Bear from Jax Beach
Why all the clowning? Baalke potentially hit a homerun draft class last year: Lawrence (no brainer), running back Travis Etienne, cornerback Tyson Campbell, offensive tackle Walker Little and cornerback Andre Cisco may all be huge contributors to helping this franchise turn the corner. Give him another year, a quality head coach, and encourage him to spend our cap space in free agency. We complain about being the NFL's laughingstock, yet we fuel the media frenzy by acting like clowns. Management does not make being a Jaguar fan hard, the Jaguar's fans do. We are our own worst enemy.
Hey, one fer Baalke …
Gary from Wesley Chapel
To me, the best thing to come out of the season has been the bond the players seem to galvanize among themselves. They seem to have been playing for each other, helping each other improve through adversity, rallying around each other and setting a standard of accountability, focus, and hard work among and for themselves. The most successful teams over long periods seem to have that same kind of players' accountability. That "culture" can be one of the hardest things to develop for any young team. Some very talented teams never seem to attain that, and thus never seem to reach their potential. I believe whoever comes in as the new head coach will reap the benefits of that bond right out of the gate. I believe this group is poised to welcome players acquired this offseason into that culture of accountability. Now bring in a true leader at the head coaching position, and I believe this past season will become a distant memory rather quickly. Do you see what I am seeing?
There did seem to be a bond between Jaguars players at the end of the season, perhaps indeed formed through what by any measure was a weird – difficult-to-endure – season. The new head coach absolutely could benefit from that. The "true leader" part of your email is the key. Leadership, ability to communicate and ability to set an organization tone is always the most important part of being an NFL head coach. It seems particularly important for this situation.
Johnny via East Palatka and Jacksonville
Hey Zone. Been a minute. Did I miss anything?
No, you're good.
Bruce from Saint Simons Island, GA
O, How many former NFL head coaches who have been fired for being unsuccessful have been rehired and were successful in another NFL head coach position? I know Bill Belichick is one. Also, do you agree that there seems to be a trend to hire younger NFL coaches who may be able to better communicate with today's NFL players?
Most NFL head coaches who have been fired have been fired for failure; most teams don't fire head coaches for succeeding. Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid (formerly the Philadelphia Eagles' head coach), Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Mike McCarthy (formerly the Green Bay Packers' head coach), Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll (formerly the New England Patriots and New York Jets head coach), Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians (formerly the Arizona Cardinals head coach), Washington Football Team Head Coach Ron Rivera (formerly the Carolina Panthers head coach) are the current head coaches who have been NFL head coaches previously. Reid, Carroll, Belichick and Arians all won Super Bowls with their second teams and McCarthy coached the Cowboys to the postseason this season. As far a trend to hire younger NFL head coaches … yes, that's indeed a trend lately. But ability to communicate with players isn't an age-centric trait. If you can communicate you can communicate – no matter your age.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, how long do you think it will take before our next head coach is selected, an announced? Tomorrow, days, weeks, months?
Sometime in the next week-to-ten days - ish.