JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Charles from Riverside
Hello, John. Caught this observation off the net: "Tight end is becoming, next to quarterback, perhaps the toughest position for incoming rookies to learn. Given how the college game implements tight ends, there is a steeper developmental curve for younger players. It might be a season or two before a rookie can contribute. That means veterans are perhaps a more alluring option, particularly for teams in a window of contention." The article was promoting the advantage of teams going to and paying for a top-tier tight end free agent, and then went on to rate the top three free-agent tight ends in this year's market. Do you agree with this argument? Pretty heady claim putting tight end right behind quarterback in terms of development. How so? Thanks.
Tight ends indeed face a difficult transition from college to the NFL; it probably does rank ahead of most positions when it comes to learning curve. I also still would rank receiver high in this area; while some receivers contribute quickly, it takes most a season or two – or more – to reach full potential. As far as tight end, I've long considered it perhaps the NFL's trickiest position to evaluate, draft and develop. Consider the league's two best tight ends – Travis Kelce and George Kittle. Kelce was a third-round selection by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2013 NFL Draft and Kittle was a fifth-round selection by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2017 NFL Draft. Neither were remotely expected to reach this level. It's also tough to acquire quality tight ends in free agency because teams typically don't allow "top-tier" players – much less top-tier tight ends – leave in their primes. That said, would it make sense for the Jaguars to pursue potential free agents such as Hunter Henry (Los Angeles Chargers) or Jonnu Smith (Tennessee Titans) this offseason? Absolutely. It's not right to call either player elite, but it is fair to believe either could improve the Jaguars' tight-end situation. The Jaguars have struggled at the position far too long. Considering the team likely will start a rookie quarterback sooner than later, it must develop comparatively quickly.
Jason T from Lake Charles, LA
Look, I know offseason is going to offseason with its endless predictions and "what-ifs." But can we stop with the bringing in a veteran quarterback talk? Gardner Minshew II, though he lost while at the helm last year, still put up 16 touchdowns to five interceptions with a rating of almost 96. He adds a lot of value and quarterback competition, especially when you consider his pay. What's a quarterback coach for if they can't show them how to study and prepare? Plus, could you imagine how awesome the Trevor Lawrence/Minshew hair combo will be? The ladies will be lining up for tickets in '21.
This "talk" isn't as dismiss-able as you suggest. Backup quarterback is always a legitimate topic, even more so when a team is expected to select a quarterback No. 1 overall – and particularly when a team is changing head coaches, coordinators and offensive scheme. It's not uncommon for a quarterback room to completely change during an offseason such as this; head coaches and coordinators often have certain ideas about scheme and fit – and they often have certain ideas about what quarterbacks make sense for all roles. The position is that important. It's possible, of course, the Jaguars will move forward with Minshew at quarterback. But it's not ridiculous to think they would move another direction.
Ryan from Detroit, MI
Zone-man, I'm calling it right now: Jaguars offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is gonna bring Kenny G down from Motown in free agency to plug in as Trevor's go-to deep threat. Book it.
Chris from Space City, TX
O, did you have to start this forum with an email saying "Zone, I was thinking we should appreciate former General Manager David Caldwell for the condition he left the franchise in"? There are some ridiculous things being said on here, but this one just may be my favorite. Caldwell left this franchise a complete mess. A combination of a horrible roster and luck contributed to No. 1 overall pick. Much of the draft capital came from players forcing their way out of town. Caldwell should be remembered as failed general manager who helped run this franchise into the ground. But I understand you have to post various views no matter how wrong or ridiculous they are. All I am simply asking is you put emails such as that one near the bottom. Let me have a chance to read more than one email before leaving in shock and laughter.
I don't have to post any particular view in this forum – ridiculous, reasonable, right, wrong or indifferent. I answer questions that interest or entertain me. No more, no less. Here's what else I do: Put questions pretty much where I please. My plan is to continue doing so. Stay tuned.
Steve from Nashville, TN
It will be fun to watch the development of this team in Year One of the new regime. But with the bicentennial anniversary of the City of Jacksonville in 2022, that next year is the one to watch and see what this team can do.
KC from Orlando, FL
KOAF- should the Jags make a play for Rudolph, who got released, or Ertz?
Theis is a pertinent question considering the Jaguars' history at tight end – and considering their current situation at the position. The Minnesota Vikings released veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph Tuesday, and the Philadelphia Eagles reportedly are expected to release or trade veteran tight end Zach Ertz this offseason. The two tight ends are relatively similar in some ways. Rudolph, 31, caught 28 passes for 334 yards and a touchdown in 12 games last season; Ertz, 30, caught 36 passes for 335 yards and a touchdown last season. Those seasons represented significant declines from the primes of both players, so acquiring either player would feel like more a of a stop-gap solution – similar to the Jaguars signing veteran tight end Tyler Eifert as an unrestricted free agent last offseason – rather than getting the position right for the foreseeable future. But if the Jaguars see either player as more than a stop gap – which is entirely possible – then yes … tight end in free agency certainly would make sense considering the Jaguars' cap space and need at the position.
Mark from Chiang Mai
It's just the normal noises in here. Awesome.
That it was.
David from Orlando, FL
O - Will there be draft day activities at EverBank field this year?
It is my expectation that there will be activities at TIAA Bank Field surrounding the 2021 NFL Draft. I don't have details yet. I expect those will be available soon.
Tudor from Saint Augustine FL
Certain things did just become legal in Virginia...sounds like Charles was first in line, huh?
Be nice to Charles. He's having a rough time.
Kebertrn from St. Augustine, FL
Now that the Jaguars have a new Vice President of Communications have you been interviewed for your position on the staff as is for new head coaches bringing in their own staff?
Amy Palcic is the Jaguars' new Vice President of Football Communications. She has been on staff for a little more than a week and it's clear she will be an asset to the organization. But I do not work for Palcic or for Football Communications; I am in a separate department, the members of which have asked me not to discuss publicly for fear of association. Either way, it's probably good for me I'm not in Palcic's department. She seems capable, professional and seems to want those traits in others. That's not a situation in which I thrive.
John from Cape May Court House
Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Alvin Kamara, Joe Mixon, Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry, Kareem Hunt, Miles Sanders, Jonathon Taylor, DeAndre Swift, J.K Dobbins. These were all Day 2 draft picks. I know we got James Robinson, but if we have the opportunity to add a player of the caliber that I mentioned I'm all for it. This team needs offensive playmakers/difference makers at every position.
Selecting a running back early in the second round – or later in the second, even – would make sense for the Jaguars. Stay tuned.
John from Jacksonville
Hi KOAGF - Why don't you refer to the Washington Redskins when writing about prior seasons or eras of that team? They were not the WFT back then and you can't change history just to be politically correct.
The reason the Washington Football Team is changing its nickname is the former name is considered offensive. It will be just as offensive referring to a team from the past as referring to one in the present.
Cristiano from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A 17thgame in a neutral site? You will love Copacabana Beach and samba, Johnny-O!
I'll pack the speedo(s).