O-Zone: No contest

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Kevin from Jacksonville

I find it comical that Tom Coughlin – who has been atrocious at his job thus far – is out there criticizing guys who didn’t show up for VOLUNTARY activities. What TC needs to do is shut up and figure out how to draft better next week. He talks too much.

It’s truly a laughable misrepresentation to call Coughlin atrocious in his job as the Jaguars’ Executive Vice President of Football Operations. He has been in the position for two full seasons, one of which included an AFC South title and run to the AFC Championship Game. While there perhaps have been missteps in his tenure, winning a division title and coming within minutes of the Super Bowl in half of your seasons is a record most teams’ envy. I also find it amusing that someone would say Coughlin “talks too much” when the complaint among media who cover the Jaguars is that Coughlin as the team’s final decision-maker talks far too little. Referencing your question, though … Coughlin indeed mis-stepped Thursday during the 2019 State of the Franchise when he said all players should be attending the team’s offseason program. The NFL offseason is voluntary except for a three-day mandatory June minicamp. That’s not open to interpretation. The rules were collectively bargained for a reason – and any statement from a team official indicating that voluntary offseason work is required is a no-no.

TJ from Orlando, FL

Looks like someone has to explain what "voluntary" means to TC now. Looking at you, Zone.

No need. He knows.

Jaginator from (formerly of) Section 124

“Voluntary indeed means voluntary” – unless your name is Coughlin. 

No, it’s voluntary for him, too – he just doesn’t like it.

Chris from Space City, TX

Once again, Coughlin comes off as the grumpy grandpa out of touch with reality and blowing out air. Where was this passion when he decided to pass on drafting a franchise QB, Pat Mahomes? I will not even mention the foolish decision to give Blake Bungles the extension for absolutely no logical reason. Grumpy gramps needs to focus on not blowing this year's draft and worry not about voluntary work outs.

Coughlin’s speech Thursday obviously has nothing to do with your concerns, but who cares – right? You keep being you.

Sean from Louisville, KY

How does a team like the Browns garner FOUR primetime games but we never seem to get more than one? I always thought that those games were reserved for teams that were doing well.

The Browns are a historical team with a large fan base, and they also are currently considered a “hot team” – and one to watch entering 2019. They therefore will be on prime time a lot next season. As for the Jaguars never getting more than one primetime game, they originally were scheduled to have two last season and were flexed out of a November Sunday primetime game against Pittsburgh because they struggled after a 3-1 start. Now, if you’re arguing that the Jaguars following an AFC Championship Game appearance should have had more than two primetime games entering 2018 … well, I can’t argue that.

Keith from Jacksonville and Section 436 Since 1995

Do you think the addition of quarterback Nick Foles kept us from going O-fer on nationally-televised games like in 2017?

What? No.

Art from Drexel, PA

Why does the NFL keep trying to make the Titans vs. Jaguars a thing?

First, Titans-Jaguars is a thing between the franchises – but I don’t think that’s why the NFL has made that a primetime matchup three times in four seasons. It feels more a case of putting two small-market teams against one another to get them on national television for the sake of getting them there. As I wrote Thursday morning, it’s a little tired.

Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC

Is it really fair to say that Chris Conley has big-time speed and athleticism? I had personally never heard of him before he was acquired by the Jags (not that that says much), and it seems like the Chiefs would not have let him go if that were the case.

Conley is 6-feet-3, 205 pounds. He ran a 4.35-second 40-yard dash at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine. He also tied a combine record with a 45-inch vertical leap. It is fair to say he has big-time speed and athleticism.

Pedal Bin from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK

Oh Mighty ‘O’ / King of Funk, with regards to Dave from Salt Lake City via Jagsonville, I would much prefer to see the moment when Foles is on the bench late in the fourth quarter as our backups run out the clock and us fans admire the three-touchdown lead we have. It’s been too long since we've seen that happen too.

The Jaguars had a couple of huge leads early last season and an inordinate number of huge leads late in games throughout 2017. Still, your point that large leads are better than comebacks is well-taken.

Eric from Columbus, IN

O-Man, when I first saw the schedule ... I was so confused how we could have a tougher strength-of-schedule than the rest of our division given we play two bottom feeders and the Colts play two division winners. Then I realized, that’s only because we face our division whose teams won more games than we did, so we make their SOS weaker due to our lack of wins. Is my thinking correct?

Absolutely.

Bill from Jacksonville

John, the Jaguars and President Mark Lamping don’t actually believe more fans buying tickets and jerseys is what causes teams to win on the field do they? It seemed that’s what they were implying in the State of the Franchise. It’s the exact opposite. The more success the team has on the field, the more tickets and fan gear is sold. If the team wins, revenue will increase. Year 25, and they’re still learning. Sigh.

That’s not what Jaguars President Mark Lamping said Thursday at the State of the Franchise. What he said was that teams who fare well in local revenue have a better chance to win. That makes sense because it ties in with the ability to upgrade facilities and pursue/pay free agents. Strong local revenue isn’t the end-all to winning, and there’s little doubt that winning help the equations. But local revenue also helps a franchise’s financial strength, and teams that are weak financially are going to face issue that strong financial teams don’t face. Look, it’s obvious the Jaguars’ message at the State of the Franchise annoys some people. That’s because the message usually us that as a small-market franchise they face unusual challenges. Annoying or not, that’s the reality. And that reality – and the message – isn’t going to change.

Jason from Da’Hass

John, what’s stopping the brass from selecting two tight ends? I mean it would definitely be building the offense around Foles. Get the big fella in the first then go TE/TE. Trust me.

I have written multiple times in the O-Zone that this would make sense. I get the idea that the Jaguars will lean more toward drafting a tight end in the first three rounds and letting newly-signed free agent Geoff Swaim stand as the other offseason upgrade at the position, but drafting another also would make sense.

Scott from Jacksonville

We haven't won on the West coast since 2004??? Yuck!

The Jaguars haven’t won a true West Coast game since beating Oakland in Oakland in the 2004 regular-season finale. Yeah … yuck.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

It's that time of year again. When my employer talks to me about attending something and I hear the word voluntary, I stop listening after that. And if it gets mentioned again, I say "oh I'm sorry man, all I heard was voluntary.”

If you work for a place where the rules are collectively bargained and clearly state that voluntary means voluntary – and if you’re good enough at your job to be invaluable even if you don’t participate in voluntary activities – you should be fine.

Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA

Mr. Social Justice Warrior Johnny O, I was going to complain about how the Jags play in London November 3 at 12:30, 9:30 eastern, 6:30 [pacific the morning after losing an hour’s sleep because of the daylight savings time change and thankful I wasn’t in Hawaii that week visiting my kids and having to get up to eat at their restaurant Slappy Cakes in Kaanapali before a 3:30 am game, then realized it’s ‘spring forward, fall back,’ so never mind.

Fair.

Jeff from Wake Forest, BNC

I believe O was actually my reaction seeing the ROAR video on this website. Seems to be a good mix of rookies and veteran leadership. Your thoughts? Also, Gene vs. Chuck Norris. Who wins?

Longtime Florida Times-Union sports columnist and Northeast Florida cultural icon Eugene P. “Gene” Frenette would “whup” Chuck. Aside from that, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

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