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O-Zone: Good bet

MOBILE, Ala. – Let's get to it …

Jeremy from Omaha, NE

People keep saying draft great core or All-Pro players and keep them for a decade. I checked our roster and not one player comes close to fitting that mold.

You're correct. There are no veterans currently on the Jaguars' roster who fit that description. One could make a case that defensive end Josh Allen, wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. and right tackle Jawaan Taylor have a chance to be such players, and I wouldn't rule out linebacker Myles Jack just yet. That's not to say those players are currently elite, but there's a realistic chance. Here's the reality: When people say "draft" core players and keep them for a decade, what people usually mean is "draft an All-Pro quarterback and keep him for 15 years." That's the one position that can remain the same and define a successful franchise for a decade. Other positions playing at an elite level, keeping the team at a consistently high level and maintaining all that for a decade or more are rare.

Austin from Jacksonville

Enough with the Jags wanting to be the Tennessee Titans; we were the Titans. We had a lead on the Pats and gave it up, much like the Titans against Kansas City. We really should want to be the San Francisco 49ers. Remember when Marrone said he would like to throw as little as possible?

I do remember when Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said that. I also remember when people laughed and mocked him for saying it.

Noel from St. Augustine, FL

My goodness! You know what else would make all these people threatening to cancel their season tickets unhappy? Becoming so financially not viable to remain here that the team has no other choice but to relocate! I will take 75 percent of games for the team I love than 100 percent of nothing.

That's one way to see it – though I don't expect this to be anything close to a unanimous point of view.

Sean from Jacksonville

Let's say you have Jay Gruden, Scott Linehan, and Ben McAdoo as your choices for offensive coordinator. Who is your leader of the pack and who do you feel the Jags might like better? Out of those three? I have no idea.

I like the idea of Gruden and McAdoo. While neither's stint as a head coach (Gruden with the Washington Redskins and McAdoo with the New York Giants) worked out as they hoped, that matters not a whit when considering how they will fare as a coordinator. I get the idea Marrone is looking for an experienced coordinator – perhaps one with head-coaching experience – and obviously McAdoo and Gruden both fit that description. McAdoo in particular had a very good reputation as a coordinator and was seen as a rising star before his head-coaching stint with the Giants quickly went bad. There's no reason to think he has forgotten how to run an offense.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

The Jaguars should draft Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown with the No. 9 pick and the best offensive lineman available with the 20thpick. They can still get a good cornerback early in the second round, but I wouldn't be mad if they took another offensive lineman with that pick.

Got it.

Steve from Nashville, TN

Do you know the origins behind the team name Jaguars? Was it strictly for the alliteration value or we lost the coin flip with Charlotte for Panthers (a native Floridian Feline)?

The Jaguars' name was decided by a fan contest before the team officially was awarded, and before either the Jaguars or Carolina Panthers existed.

James from Destin, FL

Good morning John, why is Jacksonville considered a small-market team? Is it population, lack of big corporations, low average income from the people in the area?


Al from Orange Park, FL

What's the story with Jake Ryan? Is there no hope left that he could be our missing middle linebacker?

Not really. No. I expect Ryan, who signed with the Jaguars as unrestricted free agent from the Green Bay Packers last offseason, to be released for salary-cap reasons this offseason.

Rvjag from North Augusta, SC

Help me out will you, John? I am confused as to what a "Passing Game Coordinator" is. You have the offensive coordinator, a quarterback coach and a wide receiver coach. So, a Passing Game Coordinator does what?

A passing-game coordinator focuses on the passing game whereas a run-game coordinator would focus on … well, you know… It's different from quarterbacks coach and wide receivers coach because it focuses more on game-planning and scheme, and it's different from offensive coordinator because it focuses on passing. Is there a case to be made that having a passing-game coordinator is overkill? Sure, but teams often overkill when it comes to coaching. Because it's always coaching in the NFL. Always.

Jacob from New York, NY

What is the biggest difference between the Jags and the San Francisco 49ers? Players? Coaches? Better fans? Better senior writer?

Players. And senior writer. Because I suck. Always.

Brian from Gainesville, FL

Big O, I don't like how a team can make the last two minutes of a close game irrelevant because of how long the play clock is. I get that it's part of the sport and that is why managing time outs is important. Perhaps the last two minutes should have no running clock at all. That would force the winning team to have to keep getting first downs or trying to score and the losing team would have a shot at a comeback.


John from Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Mr. O, I suspect that run defense is one of the easier things to fix in an offseason. In 2018 the Oakland Raiders were 30thagainst the run; in 2019 they were sixth. The New York Jets were 26th in 2018 and second in 2019. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were 24thin 2018, and first in 2019. With an offseason focus on stopping the run, a few scheme tweaks and some heavier personnel, a significant improvement in rush defense is attainable. Of course, none of those three teams made the playoffs, so a top run defense is no guarantee of anything. I'd be wary of investing too much high draft capital to improve the run defensive at the expense of other positions. It can be fixed without having to go all in.

Run defense can be improved in an offseason, but I'd be wary of dismissing it as easy to fix and therefore not focusing on it. As we saw from multiple Jaguars games this past season – and as we saw in the NFC Championship Game this past Sunday – if you can't stop the run it renders everything else you do or don't do irrelevant.

Keith from Palatka, FL

The Jaguars need to let Gardner Minshew II and Nick Foles compete for starting quarterback. They need to draft a left tackle (e.g. Andrew Thomas) with one of their first three picks and let Cam Robinson compete at right guard. They need to sign a tight end (e.g. Eric Ebron) and draft a tight end (e.g. Harrison Bryant) on day two of the draft. They should also select a change of pace back (e.g. Mical Perine) on the third day of the draft.


Greg from Section 122

So Jaguars Owner Shad Khan's plan is to build a luxury hotel and massive mall complex. I wonder why we didn't do that before … oh wait, we had the Adam's Mark (now sold because it wasn't successful as a high end hotel) and the Landing. What happened to the Landing again? You can't change something that just isn't; our city doesn't have a vibrant downtown. The dependency Jaguars' success being on external initiatives like this Lot J project makes no sense. So with Lot J Khan will be able to raise ticket prices? People aren't going to pay for a losing team, period. Oh, and the fact they are removing the Hart Bridge expressway access doesn't really help fans either since we will now be forced to take surface streets only to get out of the game. Can't wait to see the news 10 years from now when the "luxury hotel" is empty and the new Landing is being discussed as to why no one goes downtown. Khan is essentially trying to compete with things like the St Johns Town Center and Oakleaf Town Centers. People aren't going to go downtown to go shopping. If they were going to the Landing wouldn't have failed.

Khan believes enough in Jacksonville's potential to believe you're incorrect. He believes that a comprehensive downtown plan – one that includes business as part of the development to encourage people to live downtown – will help revitalize the downtown area. He believes this enough to invest a lot of his own money in downtown development. I wouldn't bet against him. He's right a lot.