Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

O-Zone: Nerve and sinew

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Paul from St. Johns

With Shad Khan having the (former) GM and coach Marrone reporting directly to him, does that mean that the new GM would not be making a head coach decision? Since the head coach doesn't report to the GM in the Jags organization? Or does Khan change the reporting structure too?

The Jaguars' new general manager will have whatever power owner Shad Khan chooses, and I expect Khan to announce that when he announces the next general manager. Remember: Khan changed the structure when he hired Tom Coughlin as executive vice president of football operations in 2017 – with Coughlin making final decisions. He changed it again when he fired Coughlin last December, and he had former general manager David Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone both reporting to him since that time. It's possible he could have the new general manager reporting directly to him and the head coach reporting directly to the general manager, but my guess is Khan will interview general managers and get a feel for the correct organizational structure during the process. There's no right or wrong NFL organizational structure. What's important is to get it right, and the people involved sometimes determine that.

MrDude from Neptune Beach, FL

If we finish with the No. 2 pick, what do you think it would cost us to move into No. 1?

If the Jaguars finish with the second-worst record in the NFL, I would be surprised if there's anything they could realistically offer the New York Jets – provided the Jets finish with the NFL's worst record – to convince them to trade the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Jets presumably would want Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence in that scenario as much as the Jaguars would want him (if that's indeed the scenario). If that's the case, why would the Jets trade the selection – whatever the Jaguars offered? In other words, if the Jaguars were willing to give up, say, four first-round selections for Lawrence what's to say the Jets wouldn't want Lawrence enough to turn those selections down?

Daniel from Johnston, IA

Is it reasonable to expect Khan to ask all potential GM candidates their assessment of Marrone? Will it come up?

Of course. Why wouldn't it?

Jim from Home

Hey John, Is Trent Baalke getting a trial run at GM or do you think he is even being considered?

Baalke became the Jaguars' interim general manager upon Caldwell's dismissal Sunday. It's tricky to call the final five games of the season a "trial run" for Baalke, because there's not that much an interim general manager can do during that time to prove his merit. There's comparatively little team-building done during the NFL season; it's mostly done in the offseason. Baalke almost certainly will be considered, though. He's an experienced football executive who has been the general manager of a team that made the Super Bowl (the San Francisco 49ers in 2013). He's a legitimate option.

Charles from Savannah, GA

When can the Jaguars start interviewing candidates for the GM position? Do they have to wait until the end of the season to hire someone?

The Jaguars can start interviewing candidates for general manager immediately. They cannot contact candidates employed by other NFL teams until the end of the candidate's team's season. If the candidate's team makes the playoffs, contact can't be made until the team loses in the postseason or wins the Super Bowl. The Jaguars could interview candidates not currently employed by an NFL team immediately.

Wade from Hilton Express

You stated a team cannot contact a candidate for GM if they are currently working for another NFL team. Are they allowed to contact the absent of the person to gauge interest?

If by absent you meant "agent" … no.

Michael from Elberton, GA

O-Man, remind me again why you want to fire the GM before the tail end of the season since you can't interview anyone for the job unless they are currently out of the league? Maybe there is a big pool of ready-made NFL GMs not actually working in the NFL currently? Is that the case?

It's not a huge pool, but there are candidates outside the NFL – i.e., those currently working in television, former executives/coaches no longer employed by teams, candidates currently around the team or in the building, etc. The process may not be completed before the end of the season. It's quite likely it won't be done by then. But can you do due diligence on some candidates before season's end and be ready to start quickly when possible the season ends? Absolutely.

Tony from Richmond, VA

What do you think are the chances we trade for a young quarterback – a la Dwayne Haskins or Sam Darnold, and use our top pick on another playmaker or OT?

Slim – particularly if the Jaguars hold one of the first two selections in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Sean from Oakleaf, FL

For all the losing years the Jaguars have never had the No. 1 pick in any draft and with the New York Jets' remaining tough schedule it looks like this streak will continue. In the Jaguars' era only two quarterbacks selected No. 1 overall have led teams to Super Bowl victories. In order to make this list your last name has to be Manning. I know the team will be under new management on draft day. How strongly do you feel that the Jaguars' first pick next year will be at the quarterback position?


Luke from Brisbane, Australia

O. Say the Jags somehow happen to miss out on Lawrence and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields in the draft. Would it be worth making a play for some former high-draft quarterback currently warming the bench on other teams who'd likely jump at the chance for a starting gig (e.g. Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Josh Rosen)? Or should it be all about the next best in the draft? I'm thinking it could be worth chasing a bit more experience and talent at quarterback as long as it doesn't cost them the farm. Cheers!

I don't know that I'm ready to imagine a scenario in which the Jaguars don't select one of the elite quarterbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft. I'm not saying it can't happen, I just don't want to imagine it yet.

Steve from Nashville, TN

All signs are pointing to a team from the NFC East hosting a playoff game with a six-win record. How do you feel about that?

I loooooooove it!

Matt from Bradford

Zone I guess Caldwell had to go and a complete retool is coming at the end of the season. I was wondering how far behind does having to appoint a new GM put you in the search for a head coach and is it a big disadvantage especially in a year where there could be a few vacancies?

If the person hiring the head coach is in place by the end of the regular season or shortly thereafter then very little likely is lost in terms of timing.

Keith from Palatka, FL

Rudyard Kipling wrote, "If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same." That only happens when you try your best, and then it doesn't really matter what the scoreboard says. When Bud Greenspan, who filmed documentaries for the Summer Olympics, was asked about the greatest victory he had ever seen, he replied, "John-Stephen Akhwari and his incredible spirit for his country and the Games at the Mexico 1968 Olympic Games." This is the story Greenspan told. "At about the half-way point in the race, there was jockeying for position between some runners and Akhwari fell badly injuring his knee. He however continued running. I sent my television crew out from the medal ceremony when word was received that there was one more runner about to finish. The winner of the marathon had already crossed the finish line over an hour before Akhwari entered the stadium. He was limping; and his leg was bandaged and bleeding. As he finally crossed the finish line, I knew that I had been lifted from the ordinary into the extraordinary. His was a victory of the human spirit." When a journalist later asked him why he had not simply abandoned the race when he knew he could not win, the athlete gave this reply: "My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race; they sent me 5,000 miles to finish the race." Kipling also wrote, "If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone, and so hold on when there is nothing in you except the will which says to them: 'Hold on.'" The Jaguars may not "win" another game, but I am confident they will give their all and will win a victory for the human spirit.

Sure, but would they be able to draft Trevor Lawrence?