JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Sonny from Melbourne, FL
There is a lot of talk about the Jaguars' coaches and if they got it right this time. I believe that the Jacksonville coaches were all capable of leading a winning team with the exception of one. I think the problem was talent acquisition and that falls on the general manager. Since 2003 the general managers for the most part did not bring enough talent to this team. So, I blame James Harris, Gene Smith and David Caldwell. What I am hopeful for is that Trent Baalke gets it right. Am I wrong?
You're not entirely wrong, though analyzing nearly two decades of occasional success and much losing requires more than focusing on one position – even one position as important as general manager. The Jaguars in general haven't had enough talent for the last two decades and there have been far too many draft misses – particularly in Round 1. Draft misses lead to more draft misses and free-agency reaches. That, and the lack of a franchise quarterback, has been the core of a lot of frustration for the team and fan base for a long time. Baalke has drafted twice as the Jaguars' general manager, and the early results on his first class seem fine thus far. Stay tuned.
Jonathan from Jax
I gotta say, never really thought we've had a good draft. We have drafted good players, but never a complete draft.
I don't know what "complete" draft means. Teams typically have seven draft selections, and a really good draft by NFL standards is one with two-to-three starters and four or five contributors with a Pro Bowl player among the starters. That's not a hard, fast rule but a guideline. The Jaguars in 2016 selected cornerback Jalen Ramsey, linebacker Myles Jack and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue in the first three rounds. That by any measure was a good draft. I don't know if it was "complete," but if they drafted that well every year they wouldn't have been selecting No. 1 overall the last two years. They have had other good drafts, but they have been sporadic and far-too rare. As far as complete drafts … if that means selecting four or five starters or more all over the field, those are rare. A more realistic approach is selecting a couple of starters and a few more contributors in addition to that every year – and hope you get elite players in that mix every year or so. That's how you build a competitive roster. That's a really good start.
Irving from Bristol, CT
What question from a fan have you received that required the most research for you to answer, and what was your answer?
I once googled something twice instead of once. I didn't mean to and don't plan to do it again.
Michael from Orange Park, FL
C.J. Beathard suffered a serious injury in minicamp and yet you haven't mentioned it since. What are we doing about this and why haven't you addressed it?
Beathard, the Jaguars' backup quarterback, indeed sustained what initially appeared to be a serious groin injury late in a late 2022 Organized Team Activities practice last month. It was determined shortly thereafter that Beathard is not expected to require surgery and should be ready for 2022 Training Camp.
CD from Fleming Island, FL
Hey, John. I really just don't get all these comments about "being burned before, hope being a waste," etc. I know it says more about someone's general outlook on life more than their dedication as a fan, but my question to them is: If you're not hopeful for your team going into a season, what's the point of it all? Side note: Barry is awesome; Noho Hank is one of the best characters on TV in my opinion!
I have been writing the O-Zone since February 2011, and doing it daily since August of that year. That time has taught me some things. It might have taught me more had I been paying attention. Among the things I have learned is that fans feel what they feel: optimism, pessimism, hope, anger, heartache, even elation. But I do understand Jaguars fans being pessimistic. They had about hope and optimism often in the last decade or so, and rarely had that hope fulfilled. Why shouldn't fans want to wait and see some success before buying in? And yes … Noho Hank is ridiculously good, as is the whole show.
John from Ponte Vedra Beach
Have you ever had a mean women make you a fool? Did she take all of your money, wreck your new car, and be with one of your buddies drinking in some cross-town bar?
You have the wrong number. Hold for J.P. Shadrick, please.
Adam from Allentown, PA
Enough with the music ... what are your favorite books that don your shelves?
I have many, though I confess to not making as much time to read in recent years as I'd like. Favorites that I keep on my shelves include: Anything in the Frank Bascombe series by Richard Ford and pretty much anything by Graham Greene, Somerset Maugham, Hemingway, Steinbeck or Fitzgerald. I'm working my way through Run, Rabbit by John Updike now. It's a classic, and reads like one.
David from Chuluota, FL
The Jaguars' outside linebackers, Josh Allen and Travon Walker, are both 6-feet-5 and weigh 262 and 275 pounds, respectively. Are these two defensive end-sized players going to be tasked with covering speedy running backs out of the backfield or will the defense put them in more zone coverage? In any case, I'm afraid when we really need a sack, we're going to be wondering what our sack guys are doing in coverage. Thoughts?
Allen and Walker will cover backs out of the backfield and drop in zone coverage at times. I don't expect them to do this nearly as often as they rush the passer, but they will do it.
Matt from Jacksonville
Not a question, just a PSA. NEVER buy an old British car. Or a new one, for that matter.
Joe from Jacksonville
John, you are a legitimate funny guy. Love reading you. My question is, do your wife and son appreciate your humor as the rest of us do, or do they immediately plug their ears with say a pillow or cover them with hands?
My wife and son appreciate my humor about as much as is appropriate.
Ryan from The Dead Zone
When will the new football performance center and team offices be operational? Are you going to get a new broom closet over there, or will you stick with the one you work out of now?
The sports performance center adjacent to TIAA Bank Field is expected to be ready by 2023 Training Camp. I've heard tell of me having an office. I'm not holding my breath.
Brian from Fanwood, NJ
Zone. I know that your musical taste is eccentric as your personality. That being said, did you get into the whole hair metal scene in the 80s? Who were some of your favorite bands during the heyday? I couldn't take you for a Poison fan, but maybe Tesla.
I was not into hair metal. I fancied myself alternative/new wave/punk or however you want to define it. Hair metal in the day was considered the anthesis to what I fancied myself.
David from Clay County
I'm moving from Clay to Duuuval and wanted to know what Ozone paperwork or transfer information is needed. How long does it take to process?
Just yell. Loudly.
Doug from Jacksonville
_The confidence a reader spoke about how to build a downtown was entertaining. I am guessing this is one of those readers who hasn't been west of the "town center" in a few years. I won't argue the success of a high-end hotel in Jacksonville, I will say there is more to support for it than football – i.e. the VyStar Veterans Arena and Daily's Place being just a couple. However, to say the population in downtown isn't increasing at a surprising rate just proves they are uninformed. One example: Could you imagine eight years ago a Fresh Market opening downtown and today a Whole Foods breaking ground just two blocks from that? They are building, renovating or permitting four hotels downtown as I type this. That does not include Khan's hotel. Perhaps someone from the beach needs to explain to them their market analysis is all wrong. The song that opened my eyes was Feeling Gravity's Pull. _
Good eye. I understand people being skeptical about downtown Jacksonville. But if you have spent time there the last three years, as I have, you can't help but see growth and momentum. I don't know that that momentum and growth fits into a specific, ideal formula. I'm not sure a specific, ideal formula is required.
Kevin from McGavock HS
JO: So your Mom likes to lie to you. Are you sure she is your mother?
I'm sure. Goodness, am I sure.