JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Marlin from Newberry, FL
Hi, John: Regarding Jaguars defensive end K'Lavon Chaisson, you state that you would expect him to improve with a full year working with coaches. I hope he does, but watching him last year I can only think of a handful of plays that were highly impactful – and I don't remember any play where you said: "Wow, did you see what he did?" He finished with one sack and a couple tackles for loss. This is in contrast to defensive end Josh Allen, who had many impactful plays and more than a couple of "wow" plays as a rookie. Granted, Allen was taken very high in the draft (No. 7 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft) and Chaisson at (No.) 20 (in the 2020 NFL Draft), so you would expect Allen to be much better. My question is this: Did you see the improvement that you expected between Year 1 and 2 from Allen? I didn't, and it was (other than the quarterback play) the biggest disappointment of the season. Do you think the lack of progress (if you see it that way) was due to the significant drop-off in talent playing around him? Which season was the outlier, year one or two?
I think Allen was hurt last season by the drop-off in talent around him. I also think he was hurt by the Jaguars' season overall being a mess – and by only playing eight games. I also think he was hurt by the Jaguars trailing by double digits in a lot of situations; it's very tough to rush the passer and compile huge sacks numbers when you're trailing as much as the Jaguars trailed last season. I absolutely think Allen is a player around whom you can build, and I think he's a franchise core piece moving forward. The Jaguars don't have as many strengths as would be ideal. But Allen without question is a strength.
Rad from Orange Park, FL
Am I wrong in seeing Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II as a near-perfect guy to blend Trevor Lawrence into starting? I know Minshew wants starter reps and you can argue whether or not he'll get that opportunity. But given his several years in the league, time spent at the helm of a professional offense and the affinity the city already has for him, if he doesn't get the offer to start anywhere else before next year, isn't him as backup and a vet to "show Lawrence the ropes" a nice fit for that role?
Potentially. We don't yet know how the Jaguars' new decision-makers feel about Minshew and how he fits what they want to do; Head Coach Urban Meyer and General Manager Trent Baalke are just starting to self-scouting the roster. If they like Minshew's style, then it's sort of his call if it's a good fit. If he can accept being the backup – or perhaps a very brief starter until the rookie is ready – then yeah … maybe that can work. If he can't …
Steve from Nashville, TN
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's comment that he is planning for international games this season seems a little aggressive at this point in time. Obviously, our team would be on the short list for one of those games in the UK. I just think the league should still be focused on player, team staff (especially Senior Writer) and fan safety for the remainder of the pandemic.
The NFL focused on player, team staff and fan safety throughout this season. It will remain that way. As far as next season, there's nothing wrong with having a plan. There's also nothing wrong with changing plans when circumstances dictate they be changed.
Tom from Jax
Winning fills seats. Winning gets you more primetime TV slots. Winning generates money. Winning makes the "Jaguars more stable and sustainable in Jax." No?
Winning would help. It always helps. It would make the Jaguars more sustainable and stable. But the Jaguars would still need to be creative with local-revenue streams to be financially stable and competitive in this market for the long-term. I know this makes people angry. I know people don't want to believe this. But that's how it is.
Fred from Naples, FL
I am getting nervous for Boselli. I hope this is the year.
I hope so, too. I believe former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli will get inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame either this year or next year. I believe this because I believe both Boselli and guard Alan Faneca will get in – with one going in this year and one going in next year. We'll see what happens. But yeah … I hope so, too.
Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville, FL
I get a chuckle out of Goodell and the NFL owner's delusions. There is this narrative that there is infinite money to made in every market. Reality flash: There isn't and at some point there needs to be acceptance that further financial growth isn't practical or possible. Outgrowing/outpricing their customer base seems to be something that they haven't come to terms with. Kind of like why Ferrari isn't the car of choice for the masses because of price, and the NFL wants to be the Ferrari of the sports world. Well … news flash, while the prestige might be better, more people buy Hondas and Fords. That should be the goal, not being so greedy.
Your opinion is fair and understandable – and you're well within your rights to chuckle at whatever you choose. But the NFL to date has expanded and grown conducting business as they NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have conducted it – and the league is a monstrous, successful entity that currently towers above all other sports in this country. There's no rule that says that must stay that way. But the league's constant focus is to continue to grow and continue to be a dominant force in professional sports. Until it stops growing and expanding, I doubt Goodell and NFL owners will stop trying to do so.
Steve from Nashville, TN
John, in your tenure with the Jaguars is there a particular player you wished the Jaguars would have been more patient with or work harder to re-sign before releasing, the kicker Meyer in Seattle for example or maybe Mr. Lewis in Green Bay?
The Jaguars signed kicker Josh Lambo immediately after releasing Jason Meyer, so no one has much regret there. As far as players the Jaguars should have retained? Yes, tight end Marcedes Lewis comes to mind. And wide receiver Allen Robinson. Those two stand out, particularly Robinson.
Joe from Ponte Vedra, FL
John: Been seeing a ton of questions and angst about the Lot J project. I'm not sure they fully understand what is being proposed until they experience something themselves. I have been to the Atlanta Braves new stadium several times. What the Braves did was develop the area around the stadium and dropped the stadium in the middle of this vibrant development. Think St. Johns Town Center with a baseball stadium in the middle of it. People go to this area for nighttime entertainment, dining, shopping, or just hanging out on the artificial grass park and watch the game on a jumbo screen. The area is a hot spot during games, and even if the Braves are not in town. With the scenic beauty of the St. Johns river as a backdrop, who wouldn't want that for their hometown?
I don't know exactly who, but they exist. Why? That, I do not know.
David from Orlando, FL
O - With the Super Bowl in Tampa this year, will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers get cannon blast every time they score, and will the field announcer introduce the Kansas City Chiefs with a depressed tone of voice? Do you think the Bucs will have any distinct advantage playing at home?
The Buccaneers will be able to fire their cannon during team introductions Sunday, but not at any other time. I don't have any insight into the mood of the public-address announcer. I doubt the Buccaneers will have much of an advantage from playing at home. There wasn't much of an advantage for most home teams in the NFL this season. I doubt the Buccaneers will get much of one Sunday.
Aqeel from Toronto, Canada
I'm sorry, it's my mistake as I now realize that to people who were/are in the movie or acting profession... they must love Jalen. The crying on the sidelines, professing his love for team, fans and city and then having a mysterious career-threatening back injury that was magically cured by the LA air and water. Not to mention the drama, lying and backstabbing to his team and team owner. In Sport Entertainment terms he went from a face to a heel pretty dramatically. Too bad his back couldn't handle Florida, or he may have had a second career lined up in AEW.
No need to apologize. We all make mistakes.