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O-Zone: Gotta love 'em

JACKSONVILLE - Let's get to it...

Tommy from Fernandina Beach, FL

KOAF, I have a simple question: What was Caldwell's record before Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin arrived? If I'm not mistaken, the only winning season with him as general manager was in fact when Coughlin arrived. So why do the powers that be still think things will change for the better under his guidance?

The Jaguars' record from 2013-2016 – Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell's first four seasons as general manager – was 15-47, with Coughlin indeed arriving as EVP of Football Ops in 2017. The record obviously was not good, but a couple of circumstances perhaps contributed to Jaguars Owner Shad Khan belief in Caldwell moving forward. One is that Caldwell's first few seasons as general manager were expected to be difficult because of the complete-rebuild nature of the team at the time. Another is that much of the foundation of the 2017 AFC South title season had in fact been laid before Coughlin's arrival. The final factor is that Caldwell's drafts in recent seasons appear to have been better than his earlier drafts. None of that's not going to change the minds of people who don't believe in Caldwell. But Khan clearly believes in Caldwell and believes future results – beginning with what appear to be some savvy moves this offseason – will be better than past seasons. Fans aren't going to believe in the direction until they see results. Nor should they. But those aforementioned reasons – the foundation, the recent drafts, etc. -- are at least part of why Caldwell currently is making personnel decisions.

James from Aosta, Italy

John, do you think it might be an option to try and get another good wide receiver to play with DJ Chark Jr. and go for a sort of Air Raid offense with quarterback Gardner Minshew II? He played it under Mike Leach at Washington State, Patrick Mahomes played it under Kliff Kingsbury – Kyler Murray at Oklahoma, too. (And Kingsbury played it under Leach!) I think Gardner is the man to do the job!

I think the Jaguars need another big-time wide receiver to play opposite Chark regardless of the offense they employ.

Dan from Cary, NC

The latest free-agency moves coupled with our 75,000 draft picks give us a nice opportunity to build a solid, contending team.

Well, yes.

Fred from Naples, FL

The Jags have no intention of trading defensive end Yannick Ngakoue anytime soon. You know why? Quarterback Philip Rivers has joined our division and he has unfinished business to take care of with Rivers. Think about it.

If Ngakoue plays for the Jaguars next season, the Rivers thing will be a storyline when the Jaguars play the Colts. It won't have much – if anything – to do with Ngakoue's contract situation, but it will be a storyline.

Doug from Jacksonville

If the refs don't steal that AFC Championship game for New England and the Jags went to the Super Bowl following the 2017 season, would people still say Caldwell is a bum? Would quarterback Blake Bortles still have been released? So many factors obviously, but one phantom pass interference and an early whistle really change perception that much?

Yeah, I think a lot of people would still criticize Caldwell and I think Bortles still would have been released if the Jaguars had won that day. Winning that game would have made that season a lot more fun and memorable, though. There would have been that.

Don from Marshall, NC

Well, it looks like it's the world against the Jaguars. The national media and the betting world all think the Jaguars are in rebuild and have no chance this year. Maybe the world will find out how good Gardner Minshew really is. Maybe the world will find the Jaguars have some star players that are young. They talk about Gardner like he is some kind of chump change. He is good and he will be even better this year. Hide and watch! Go Jaguars!

Hey, one fer the Stache!

Rob from Pittsburgh, PA

John, do you see the Jags being heavier on defense this year in the draft or being balanced? Also, if Utah State quarterback Jordan Love is there at Pick No. 20, do you see the Jags picking him?

I anticipate the Jaguars being balanced in terms of numbers by the end of the 2020 NFL Draft, though I would expect them to be a little heavier on defense early. I doubt Love will be there at No. 20 overall because first-round quarterbacks tend to get pushed into the Top 15. My sense is if the Jaguars pursue quarterback in the first round, they would do it in the Top 10 and not at No. 20.

Michael from Jacksonville

You can never have too many draft picks. They are THE preferred currency if you ever want to move around on draft day.


Tommy from St. Augustine, FL

KOAF ... how is this the fans' fault that this team is struggling? "The move (the trade of quarterback Nick Foles) means the Jaguars will have to absorb $18.75 million in dead money in 2020. After cutting Blake Bortles last March, the Jaguars will now have paid $35.25 million in dead money over the past two offseasons." They continue to throw money away, yet penalize us fans by taking another game to London. After 25 years as a season ticket holder... I'm done being blamed!

No one ever said the Jaguars' struggles are the fans' fault. Fans may have interpreted some actions by the team as saying that, but that's not how the team sees it.

Al from Orange Park, FL

OK, ya never know, but while the Jags have a lot of draft picks, isn't it likely that the last nine will have little or no impact on game day? Even likely that some of the last nine won't be on the opening-day roster? Are there wrinkles to this that I'm missing?

I would expect at least two or three draft selections – perhaps more – beyond the Jaguars' first three to have an impact on game day next season. I don't anticipate a rookie drafted by the Jaguars next season not making the roster – or not at least being around on the practice squad.

Captain Bob from Fernandina Beach, FL

Part of the anger of the fan base is that Khan implied he was keeping Caldwell and Marrone because he expected us to win more this year. As we are seeing the moves being made, it appears we are rebuilding, retooling or however you want to frame it. Therefore, the probability of winning more this year is seriously diminished. Surely, the team is doing this with Khan's approval, so it appears our owner misled us! Additionally, if we were going to reboot, retool etc. we need to find a franchise quarterback as a priority. That's something we have lacked since Mark Brunell's heyday. Minshew is a good story and a scrappy quarterback, but from what we saw, chances are he doesn't fill the bill of a quarterback who can take us to the Super Bowl. So we should be thinking seriously about the present quarterback class and planning to move up to No. 3 overall if we think either Tua Taglavoiloa of Alabama or Justin Herbert of Oregon is the man.


Josh from Fernandina Beach, FL

What's up, Zone? I hope you and the family are well and staying healthy. The pundits don't seem to want to give our Jags too much of a chance for success in 2020. I read that the over/under on wins is 4.5 games. My hypothetical of the day relates to the possibility that the success of the Jags' defense proves the pundits wrong. How do you rate and characterize the Jags' defense with the assumptions that they are able to draft a run-stopping interior D-Lineman in Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown or South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, draft a corner who can have an immediate impact, re-sign defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, have Jack play to his strengths outside and have a middle-of-the-road attrition rate? Thanks and Go Jags!!!

I think the addition of middle linebacker Joe Schobert as an unrestricted free agent plus the possible addition of defensive tackle and cornerback early in the 2020 NFL Draft have a chance to give the Jaguars a better defense than they had last season. Perhaps significantly so.

Julio from Southern California

O, Do you ever get tired of the fair-weather fans and their ignorant comments. The front office is clearly trying to get better on defense and yet the fans are critical of all the moves? Cornerback A.J. Bouye and defensive end Calais Campbell underperformed last year and have big cap numbers. I get paid to sell houses. Caldwell gets paid to make roster moves. Since I am not a general manager, I will give Caldwell the benefit of the doubt. These fans who are critical of these moves must be jacks of all trades?

I stopped reading after your first sentence because I never, ever get tired of fans. Ever. Honest.