JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Brian from Gainesville, FL:
Big O, will Coach Marrone, Hackett and Wash get another four years to achieve success? Please don't think this question is all snark. The truth is Shad Khan, for better or worse, clearly believes in giving his folks time to realize their visions. Now that it's a new vision, will Marrone have multiple years to see it through?
John: I imagine Jaguars Owner Shad Khan will be asked some sort of time-frame question Thursday at the press conference to introduce Tom Coughlin as executive vice president of football operations and Doug Marrone as head coach. Until Khan answers that question, we won't know for certain – but I seriously doubt Khan is expecting to wait four more seasons to win. This is a much different situation than when Gus Bradley and David Caldwell took over as head coach and general manager, respectively, in 2013. That was perceived as a major rebuild and a resetting of the very foundation of the roster. This 2017 version is a team that appears to be talented at many positions and that therefore appears capable of winning relatively quickly.
Jeff from Jacksonville:
Jason Garrett was an interim coach when he was hired full-time by the Dallas Cowboys and he's probably about to win coach of the year. Just because you work for someone else's staff doesn't mean you have the same philosophy. It also helps to have guys like Romo and Prescott at QB making you look good.
John: Yes. Yes.
Seth from Denver, CO:
When I first heard the news about Marrone being hired as HC, my reaction was "meh." Then I got a little disappointed, having hoped for Mike Smith. Finally, I realized there's a really positive, seemingly overlooked benefit to retaining Marrone and the rest of the staff: continuity. Haven't we been complaining about how Blake Bortles has had multiple offensive coordinators and how that is not ideal for his development, having to learn a new system every year? Well, now it looks like he'll finally have the same offensive coordinator two years in a row. That has to be good, right?
John: How much continuity the Jaguars do or don't have entering next season will largely depend on the identity of the Jaguars' offensive and defensive coordinators. I'm in no way ruling out Nathaniel Hackett as offensive coordinator or Todd Wash as defensive coordinator. They are capable young coaches and the logic behind keeping them in their current positions is sound. At the same time, the Jaguars have not announced their coaching staff yet. When they do so, I'll be in a better position to discuss continuity.
Tommy from Corona, CA:
This just in: Accountability just walked through the front door. LOVE these moves!
John: The Jaguars almost certainly will have a hard edge with Coughlin as executive vice president of football operations and Marrone as head coach. Players will know what is expected and there will be no doubt about rules and consequences. There will be a more intense feel around the Jaguars on that front.
Daniel from Honolulu, HI:
Why all the negativity from the fan base on the promotion of Marrone? No one knows what he will bring as a head coach – and certainly no one can predict how successful he will be. The other question I have is about the so-called good defense we had last season. They were in the Top 10 in fewest yards allowed, but they were in the bottom of the league in points allowed. I'd rather have them give more yards than points; you still can win that way.
John: Why all the negativity from the fan base? Because Marrone was part of a staff that won eight games over the last two seasons, so there's naturally a lot of guilt by association – and because many people were hoping the Jaguars would hire one of the Hot Candidates of the 2017 Offseason. As far as what Marrone will bring as a head coach, I actually think we do know. He'll bring a harder, old-school edge, attention to detail; professionalism, a head-coach demeanor, leadership, and a resume that shows he can win in the NFL. Those things don't automatically make you a great head coach, but they sure are qualities that can help. I also believe Marrone will inspire confidence and belief among players, and that he knows how to run an NFL organization. As far as the defense last season, I wouldn't call it a "so-called" good defense; I would call it a good NFL defense. It certainly was an improved one from the previous season. What it wasn't was an elite defense. That's because it struggled to get pressure on the passer in key situations and didn't force turnovers. Those are areas in which the defense must improve.
Kenny from Rochester, NY:
It feels good being the laughingstock of the national media again. Last year's optimism was weird and didn't feel right. We are back to where we are supposed to be and it is a good feeling isn't it?
John: I know many people in the national media. I consider many of them friends. Frankly, what they find amusing concerns me not in the least. Unless they think Dane Cook is funny. Then, I just don't know what's going on.
Rusty from New Iberia, LA:
Do you think Gus Bradley will ever be a head coach again, or was his reputation completely ruined by this team?
John: I think it will be very, very difficult for a team to hire Bradley as a head coach because of his record here. Then again, I thought it would be difficult for Jack Del Rio to get another opportunity and I thought it would be very, very difficult for Mike Mularkey to get another opportunity. The NFL is a weird league in which it's difficult to predict the future. Do I believe Bradley will get another opportunity to be a head coach? Probably not. Is it conceivable? Sure.
Steve from Jacksonville:
My question is about scouting. When a scout is "scouting" a college team, does he have direction from his NFL team to scout a particular quarterback, running back, etc. or is he looking at all of the players for the next projected Pro Bowl player?
John: Area scouts are assigned to college teams, usually by conferences or areas of the country. They are expected to scout and know all draft-eligible players at those schools.
Dave from Duval:
O-Zone, TC IS IN THE HOUSE!! That is what is "different" and "splashy." The Jaguars have completely restructured their football operations and hired a sure Hall of Famer with two Super Bowl Rings – and he is really the ultimate Mr. Jaguar. Doug Marrone is as qualified a candidate as anybody interviewed. David Caldwell gets to learn from TC. Blake Bortles has one year to prove himself or we draft a quarterback in a quarterback-loaded 2018 class. It's all good!
Chad from EverBank:
Whether you like it, or hate it, the organization made a coaching decision. What is important is that the team now has a voice to dictate its direction. I'm a Jaguar, so I was going to support their decision, regardless of the candidate. I did immediately question how the Coughlin hiring affects his ability to be welcomed into the Hall of Fame. Does this push his five-year waiting period out, or has it already started?
John: The five-year waiting period for the Hall of Fame applies to players and coaches. It doesn't not apply to contributors. So unless Coughlin returns to the sidelines as a coach, his clock will be based on his final season coaching the New York Giants: 2015.
Wild Bill from Riverside:
Do you think Coughlin will wear a 20-year old, original Jaguars logo polo when he gives his initial press conference???
John: I doubt it, but I'll probably be wearing the 11-year-old blazer that I wear for most of the O-Zone video mailbags. And a bobby hat. Or a Santa Hat. Yeah, probably the Santa hat.
E Nuff from Banner Elk, NC:
Austin from Green Bay's conclusion is spot on. Several reliable sources have noted that no one – I repeat, no one – was interested in the Jags job with Blake Bortles at quarterback. So just as everyone suspects –Marrone got the job by default! Enough of the media spin: this is the worst-case scenario. Unless they bring in an A.J. McCarron or someone of the sort (by the way can play circles around Blake Bortles). The Jags are doomed to another sub.-500 season and another complete overhaul! Thanks Dave Caldwell.
John: You can repeat – I repeat, repeat – whatever you want as often as you want. But I fear your reliable sources aren't so reliable. Marrone was not the only candidate for the position, nor was he the only coach who wanted the position. This also was not the only position for which Marrone was a candidate. That said, your confidence in your beliefs and conviction in your words is impressive. Being impressive, alas, is not always the same as being correct.
O-Zone: Impressive stuff
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Brian from Gainesville, FL: