JACKSONVILLE – Happy New Year. OK?
Let's get to it …
Kyan from Le Mars, IA
I am full of mixed emotion. So happy that the Jags are getting the No. 1 overall pick when there is a consensus top/elite quarterback prospect. I am also extremely scared that the Jags will Jag and ruin Trevor Lawrence. What do you think?
I think you can't be scared of success – or of the opportunity for success. I also think it's important to realize the Jaguars have not "ruined" quarterbacks. They haven't had elite-level franchise players at the position. If Clemson University quarterback Trevor Lawrence is as good as most analysts believe, and the Jaguars indeed select him No. 1 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, there's no reason to believe he will be less successful in Jacksonville than would have been the case elsewhere. That doesn't mean the Jaguars don't need to improve many things other than quarterback. They absolutely do. But there's no reason this franchise can't make those changes and succeed.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, does the "big jump" in talent from college to the NFL apply for coaches as it does for players? Perhaps my memory is short, but I seem to recall more failures than successes when it comes to coaches making that transition.
There are typically more failures than successes for any "type" of NFL head coach; far more coaches coach somewhere for a year or two without significant success in the NFL than have long-term runs with multiple playoff appearances. It's not an easy league. But coaching in the NFL unquestionably is a different beast than coaching in college. Successful college coaches transitioning often must get used to the idea that 31-28 victories and five-loss seasons are success, and that life isn't always blowout victories and long runs in the Top 10.
Adam from Round Here
Zoneitude, not only is it Pick 1, it's three picks in the Top 33 or 34. This could really change the face of this franchise for many years. Very exciting new year ahead!
Pradeep from Bangalore, India
Hi, John. To select a player to the Hall of Fame, definitely number of Pro Bowls a player was selected to was a factor. But as we see, selection to Pro Bowl is based on fan votes rather than the true performance of a player. So how does the NFL address this issue when there is no true yardstick to measure players? I am sure there are players playing for losing teams such as Jags deserving Pro Bowl and entry to Hall of Fame. I feel sad for running back James Robinson and linebacker Myles Jack being ignored by the league.
I don't expect the league to address this, though it is an issue at times when it comes to Hall of Fame voting. Selection to the Pro Bowl doesn't always reward deserving players. This is a nuisance but not particularly important at the time, but Pro Bowl count indeed often is cited when discussing players' Hall credentials. What's the solution? There probably isn't one, because there's no perfect system to honor players; opinion eventually comes into play – and opinion is inherently imperfect. When that's true, mistakes get made. I don't think there's a significantly better system for Hall voting, because I respect the voters and I've seen the seriousness with which they approach the task. Do some players get overlooked? Yes. Is there a better system? I'm not sure.
John from Jacksonville
Dan was off the mark in a recent O-Zone when he hinted Trevor Lawrence may pull an Eli Manning and refuse to play in Jacksonville. Trevor said in an interview that he sees it as an opportunity to be a part of something great. Jags fans should be worried he doesn't sustain a catastrophic injury playing Ohio State.
Gary from High Springs
If the Jaguars were to hire minorities for the general manager and head coach positions, would that give the team two additional picks?
No. The NFL earlier this season instituted a rule to encourage teams to develop minority candidates for the positions, but the rule rewards teams that lose the candidates as opposed to the teams that hire the candidates. The gist of the resolution: A team losing a minority assistant coach to become a head coach – or losing a personnel executive to become a general manager – receives third-round compensatory selections in each of the next two drafts, and a team losing two minority staffers to either position receives three third-round selections.
Terry from Cordele, GA
You are correct: AWESOME people know things! And they recognize each other! You are awesome, debate over. So, the best job since Dallas fired Tom Landry? Trevor will be the first pick in the draft? The next coach will be decided by the owner and new GM, so we need to wait? Fans Fan, players play, coaches coach, and Awesome is always awesome! What do you think?
Art from Drexel Hill, PA
If Shad Khan's record as the Jaguars' owner was reversed, do you think the Jags still have trouble getting funding from the city?
You're referencing the Jaguars' effort to get a deal with the City of Jacksonville regarding the "Lot J" developments. I don't know that they've had trouble yet. There hasn't been a vote. But would the public perception around such a vote be different if the Jaguars' record had been better? Sure, probably a little. There would still be people against it, though. Public perception is rarely unanimously for public funding of large projects that involve sports franchises sports teams. On such issues there always be fers and agins – and the agins often will be louder than the fers. Here's hoping the fers outweigh the agins here where it matters. The city and area around TIAA Bank Field – as well as Jaguars fans – need that to be the case.
Jonathan from Jacksonville
Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers are really trying to win Sunday huh, Zone? So much so that most of the starters and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger are sitting out for Sunday's game. Thoughts on this "Tanking"?
They're already in the playoffs. It's different.
Mike from BillMurrayHill
Hi John. Is Lambeau Field a big-league stadium? Sure is old and ugly, but it has tons of history. Is "History Exempt?"
Lambeau Field indeed is a big-league stadium. It also has undergone a series of renovations in the last two decades to the tune of $370 million, and now features a Titletown District adjacent to Lambeau Field that opened in 2017. The Titletown District features a hotel, a sports medicine clinic as well as other commercial and retail establishments. This sort of concept might sound familiar to people who have been following recent discussions in Jacksonville. So, no: history is not exempt. To be in the big leagues, you must keep pace.
Phil from Limerick, Ireland
Is Jaguars rookie running back James Robinson under contract for 2021?
Yes. Undrafted NFL rookie free agents sign three-year contracts. Teams and players can renegotiate and extend those contracts after two seasons.
Carlos from Mexico City, Mexico
I'm tired of fans bashing Shad Khan. I'm old enough to remember when we played in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium for one season because they couldn't give away the naming rights to someone. I also remember there being two of the biggest markets in the country, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, getting ready to "steal" away two or perhaps three teams, with Jacksonville being the prime candidate for it. Then came EverBank, Khan, London, the humongous video boards, pools and everything else – and Jacksonville still has the Jaguars. Yeah, the seemingly endless losing sucks and we all hurt for it, but Khan IS the main reason the team has stayed this long. I believe in him and his commitment to the city. Go Jags.
Igor from Jacksonville
Hey, Big O! Looking at the available players in the 2021 NFL Draft, would it make sense to trade the 2022 first-round pick to get another late first and early second in 2021? This team needs help ASAP and looking at the names at the top of the '22 Draft it doesn't look like a strong class. Some second-round prospects this year look more impressive.
Yes, the Jaguars need help as soon as possible. But you don't want to trade all future draft capital to move up this offseason. The Jaguars will have plenty of salary-cap space. They will have plenty of draft selections. The idea is to build this right for a long time. There is no time crunch. It's OK for the Jaguars to take their time and do this right.
Steve from Nashville, TN
John, do you like your job now more than you did a month ago?
No. I liked it a month ago and I like it now. It's a great job. I don't complain about it when the Jaguars are struggling, and I won't complain when they're winning.