JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Don from Marshall, NC
To those fans standing at the end and sticking with the team no matter what … those are the true fans! To the fans that want to give up and not renew their season tickets, their opinions mean nothing – and you are fair weather fans. Head Coach Doug Marrone is a total class act, and if the Jaguars let him go they will be making a big mistake! That's the way to finish and go Jaguars!
I'm not one for name-calling and division when it comes to fans. Some fans support their team no matter what happens; others get angry and frustrated when their team loses. I've learned over time that both approaches are fueled by a similar passion. And make no mistake: The Jaguars have given their fans more than enough reason to be frustrated and angry in recent seasons; they have had losing records in eight of nine seasons – and being a fan is supposed to be more fun than that. But I digress from what seem the main points of your email – that Marrone should be retained, and that the victory Sunday was a resounding finish to a difficult season. I wholeheartedly agree with the first sentiment; I long have believed that Marrone is a good NFL head coach capable of coaching this team to the postseason. I believe this because I have seen it happen, and I don't believe Marrone has become a worse coach in the last two seasons. And yes … Sunday was a great finish to an otherwise long season. But circling back to the fair-weather-fan-versus-loyal-fan thing … look: It promises to be a busy next few days and weeks. There remain multiple issues to be worked through about this franchise, and the coming weeks and months will provide ample opportunity for disagreement and perhaps even some angst. For now – for this morning anyway – can't we all get along and enjoy the moment?
Jeremy from Wise, VA
Not a coincidence that they only have three penalties and created turnovers and they get a W. About time.
Jags Fan from 818 from Jacksonville
Hi, Zone: Since Sunday was our last game of the season, when do the players clean out their lockers and when do the players who are coming back next year get told they're coming back? Go Jags!
Players will clean out their lockers Monday, which is also known in NFL circles as "getaway" day. It's a surreal day because it's chaotic and busy for a few hours – and then eerily empty and silent immediately after that. As for when players who are coming back get told as much … that will play out over the coming weeks and months. Many are under contract and will be back when the team begins its offseason program. Some who are under contract will be released at various points in the offseason. Some whose contracts are expiring simply will leave and not return. Others whose contracts are expiring will be re-signed. This is the uncertain nature of every NFL offseason with every team. Considering the uncertainty facing the Jaguars' front office and coaching staff, the upcoming Jaguars offseason seems likely to be more uncertain than normal.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville
You said some people would perceive retaining the front office as Jaguars Owner Shad Khan not being motivated to win, and that simply wasn't true. There is a saying that PERCEPTION is 99 percent of truth. It doesn't matter if Khan wants to win or not; if he is making moves that give that impression, he will have a hard time selling fans on that move. Either way, what is the benefit of keeping this front office? They have had their chances and have displayed multiple times they are unable to get us there – General Manager David Caldwell more than Marrone. So please for us in the crowd explain the benefits of retaining the current coaching staff with little history of success. Thanks, Funkmaster.
Khan recently dismissed former Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin, which is a major organizational change. He has yet to announce the futures of Caldwell and Marrone, though I expect him to say something publicly on this front very soon. If Khan retains either the football front-office staff or the coaching staff, he would be doing so because he believes they can win. That would be the benefit.
David from Broward County, FL
There are only five players from the 2013-2016 drafts still on the roster. After the season, it will be two or three. This is horrible. There is no other way to spin this information. Why should those results be rewarded?
If Khan retains Caldwell, he wouldn't be rewarding results. He would be hiring based on what he believes is best moving forward.
David from Maplewood, NJ
John, Prospective trade proposal for you: Both first round picks in 2020 and the Rams first-round pick in 2021 for the Bengals' No. 1 overall selection this year. Jags draft Louisiana State quarterback Joe Burrow. What say you?
I like what I've seen from Burrow. I haven't studied him closely enough to know if he's worth that, but if he's a can't-miss guy … sure, why not? A couple of thoughts, too. One is that it would probably take more than that to get Burrow. Another is that if he's really that good there may not be a package that would lure the Bengals into a trade.
Adam from St. Johns, FL
It amazes me how you agree with everything the Jags do and blame no one for their mistakes. It's mind-numbing. All you say is, it's not the coach, it's not the general manager, it's not the owner. Are you afraid of getting fined? If no one did anything wrong, then why do they suck so bad John? They're all awesome and should stay, so who is it?
I never said no one did anything wrong, Alan – nor did I ever never said this was awesome, but whatever: interpret things as you want to interpret them. Either way, why are you amazed? I suck. Big-time. I thought we had been over this.
Yoav from St. Augustine, FL
Hi John, if you knew at the start of the season that our starting quarterback will bring national attention to the club, the offensive line will stay healthy all year, running back Leonard Fournette and wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. will gain over a thousand yards, defensive Josh Allen will be in the hunt for Rookie of the Year, and the team will beat the Titans and win on the West Coast, would you have believed we would be in the playoffs?
I honestly don't know what to believe anymore.
JT from Fort Worth, TX
I'm pretty sure I said this in the last game of last year also, but the Jags starting quarterback was probably not in a Jags uniform Sunday.
It will shock you that I don't remember what you said a year ago. Either way, you have a much better chance of being wrong this season than you did this time last offseason.
Jerell from Columbia, SC
Is Jaguars Owner Shad Khan in over his head as a FOOTBALL OWNER? He seems to have the business side of it down. But a bit of advice from a wise man named Jerell: Build a winner and the sales and all the other stuff will come. You can't build a winner with proven failures like Dave and Doug. This team need a new direction and a total reboot build retool restock all that good stuff.
Jacob from New York, NY
Wow, we cannot even lose right. We better keep 91. But of course we won't, cause Jags.
You can't tell NFL players and coaches to try to win because of draft position. And Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue's story with this franchise is far, far from written.
Jason from Rochester, NY
Just think we should take a minute to recognize Josh Lambo. He's been a fantastic bright spot on an otherwise disappointing season.
Hey, one fer Lambo!
David from Orangedale, FL
How fitting that defensive end Calais Campbell gets a fumble recovery for a touchdown in quite possibly final game as a Jag! Great person on and off the field! Hopefully we can find a way to keep him!
I don't get emotional often when covering the NFL anymore. I am busy from well before kickoff until well into the evenings on game days, and game days for people covering the team aren't about cheering or anger as much as trying to inform in as entertaining as way as possible. But when Campbell picked up a fumble and returned it for a touchdown Sunday? Knowing what he has meant to this franchise? Knowing that it might be his final game with the franchise? Well, this cynical old sportswriter maybe just maybe got a slightly choked up. Or maybe not. I'll never tell.