JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Cory from Fort Myers, FL
Coming into the 2020 season, the player I looked forward to watching the most was rookie defensive end K'Lavon Chaisson. Yet, he didn't seem to have the impact I believed he might. What does he need to do to take that next step as a player? Is it something he needs to do personally or is it more of something the coaching staff needs to address scheme-wise to put him in the best position to be successful? Thank you and Go Jags!!!
This is a key question for the Jaguars this offseason. Short answer: Chaisson, the No. 20 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, must work to develop as a pass rusher, and he could benefit from a defensive scheme change. Long answer: Chaisson showed potential and flashes late this past season – but must be significantly more productive moving forward. One factor that could benefit Chaisson is getting an entire offseason of on-field work, conditioning, coaching, etc. That didn't happen last season because of COVID-19, and rookies – particularly rookie pass rushers – benefit greatly from that time. How this NFL offseason will look remains to be seen, but the more offseason program the better for the Jaguars – for all young Jaguars players. Specific to Chaisson: I would expect him to improve as a pass rusher in his second NFL season, particularly if he gets to work with his position coaches – and defensive coordinator Joe Cullen – in the offseason. It takes time and repetition to develop as an NFL pass rusher. The big question indeed is where he will play next season. If the Jaguars move to a 3-4 scheme, it stands to reason he will play outside linebacker. Such a move could better take advantage of his athleticism. We'll see if it happens.
Diego from South of tierra del fuego
Why do you believe in the line from Field of Dreams that you build lot joke, I mean Lot J, and they will come? Same people who did not support the Landing you expect to support Lot J? I will probably check it out one time when it opens and fly back to Tierra del Fuego never to return.
I'm constantly amused and perplexed at the anger over Lot J. Owner Shad Khan and the Jaguars wanted a project that would have revitalized an area that needed revitalizing – and a project that would have gone a long way to stabilizing the Jaguars in Jacksonville. And yet, some Jaguars fans see it as a bad thing. Either way, Lot J was not the Landing and the Landing was not Lot J. Lot J also is not happening. Something likely will happen in the future to improve the area around TIAA Bank Field. Perhaps. That's the hope.
Jared from O-Town
Hi, John. My heart truly goes out to Brian Schottenheimer and his family regarding the most recent news about his father. I know first-hand that even knowing and trying to prepare yourself beforehand still doesn't lessen the blow of losing your father.
No, it does not.
Dean from Rochester, NY
Bills Stadium has nothing "good" around it, and never has. There are no conversations about needing to improve anything around or about it.
There is constant discussion about the Buffalo Bills' stadium. It was a topic during NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's Super Bowl media availability this week. Goodell: "A stadium that is going to be competitive with other stadiums around the league is going to be important in that context and I think everyone's committed to that, whether it's a new significant renovation or whether it's a completely new facility in a new location." Stadiums and potential revenue streams around those stadiums are part of the NFL. If teams' situations are antiquated and not allowing a team to keep pace, it's going to be a topic.
Bill from Jaguarville
Many believe that you should pair a rookie quarterback with an experienced veteran backup to "mentor" him. I question whether or not this is really important. Don't you already have a quarterbacks coach whose full time job is to mentor the quarterback?
Yes, most teams have a quarterbacks coach to do this. But there also is benefit to having a veteran who has seen the league around a young quarterback. It's not a have-to, but it's hardly a negative.
Ryan from Duuuval
John, I read that Shad & Co are switching their focus to what he wants to do with the Shipyards. What makes him think he's more likely to succeed starting new negotiations on the Metro Park site, rather than renegotiating the Lot J deal?
Khan hasn't publicly discussed specifics on this. One reason the Shipyards could succeed where Lot J failed is the process is expected to go through the Downtown Investment Authority before being sent to City Council. That would mean the project needing a majority vote rather than a two-thirds vote to pass, so it theoretically would have a better chance. Another reason it could succeed is perhaps there will be a greater sense of the urgency and importance of the project to keeping the Jaguars stable and sustainable in Jacksonville. We'll see.
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL
Lots of draft speculation, although the draft is almost three months away. Lots of cap space to (theoretically) acquire top free agents. But don't we also have many current players who are now unrestricted free agents themselves? Wide receivers Keelan Cole, Chris Conley and Dede Westbrook and tight end James O'Shaughnessy; half our receiving corps are UFAs, right? I believe cornerback D.J. Hayden, defensive tackle Abry Jones, guard/center Tyler Shatley, left tackle Cam Robinson and others are also UFAs. Which UFAs do you think it most important to try and retain?
The Jaguars indeed must determine whether to attempt to retain all the above players. I would rank Robinson as the most critical decision, followed by Cole and Shatley. The Robinson decision will be fascinating. I wouldn't be surprised if the Jaguars placed either the franchise or transition tag on him, which would allow the new decision-makers to determine if he's the long-term answer. But that's speculation. I expect we'll have a better feel for this one in the coming weeks.
Chris from Mandarin
How do you think the Museum of Science and History's plans to move from the Southbank to the Shipyards will affect future plans to develop around the stadium? I can only imagine that a learning-based entertainment venue would make the city more likely to clean up the environmental fiasco at the Shipyards than a sports-based corporate money hungry one.
Chuck from Jacksonville
Hey O, you have stated that most of the scouting staff stays in place. I know the lower-level staff don't make the final decision but don't their thoughts, impressions and opinion color the information that gets passed up the chain? Or do they evaluate players based upon the philosophy of upper-level management, such as we believe pocket passers are better than mobile quarterbacks. I am just trying to understand if the bias of leadership skews the way talent is evaluated.
There's no universal norm on this. Some new general managers overhaul scouting staffs. Some keep the staff largely in place with a few changes at the top. And while the lower-level scouts do color the information, it's the job of the upper-level scouts and general managers to cross check and reinvestigate and do all the due diligence needed to ensure the information from the area scouts is processed correctly. A scouting system ideally takes a lot of judgement and opinion out of the process in the early stages, with those stages being as objective and fact-based as possible. The opinions, judgements and board-setting then occur at the higher levels of the organization. That said, this is a process of human beings evaluating other human beings. Thoughts and opinions are part of the process and thoughts and opinions certainly color and inform decisions on some level. One thing that is typically universal, though: Any major scouting-staff overhauls or changes typically occur after the new general manager's first draft. Doing it before then is extraordinarily difficult because of the amount of scouting and planning that already has taken place.
Pat from Duval
Am I the only one who laughs watching James Robinson's media appearances? I love his reserved personality, but it's hilarious watching journalists ask him leading questions only to get a one- or two- word answer. He comes across as a super authentic guy and I'm glad he's getting some time in the national spotlight.
Clee from Beavertown, Oregon
Hey John! What position group do you think is being widely overlooked? I think it's the tight end position what say you?
I suppose tight end hasn't been discussed in recent weeks as much as other positions around the Jaguars. I suspect that will change dramatically as free agency and the draft approach. The position will be a focus until it improves.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, with all the love going around I had to ask: do you still love Sbarros?