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O-Zone: No, no, no

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Fred from Naples, FL

I was living in Jacksonville when we were awarded the franchise some 25 years ago. I never heard of relocation, struggles of a small market, having to think outside the box to survive during any time of the Wayne Weaver era. I don't believe the NFL would have awarded franchises to both Charlotte and Jacksonville if they were both going to struggle to be financially viable franchises. It was only after Shad Khan purchased the team that all these negative discussions started taking place. In your opinion what has changed between then and now? Simple. We won in the Weaver era more times than not and Shad is struggling to stay out of the bottom of fastest owners to 100 losses. The next general manager hire will be the single most-important decision he has ever made in business. Just win baby … just win.

Sorry, Fred, but there's much more to this discussion than victories and losses – and contrary to some public sentiment these days, Khan is not at fault for the difficulties that face Jacksonville as an NFL market. I worked in Indianapolis from 2001-2011, but I began hearing "Jaguars-to-Los Angeles" talk because of market difficulties often late in my time there. When I returned to Jacksonville in early 2011, it felt sometimes as if it was all I heard. Khan bought the Jaguars later that year with the idea of keeping the team in Jacksonville. That was his intention and remains his intention. It's what he wants. A couple of things have changed since Weaver owned team that have made this issue more high-profile. One is that stadiums around the NFL continue to gear more toward the state of the art and continue to produce more revenue, thereby pushing the Jaguars further behind and further increasing the need to find creative ways to maintain some version of pace with the rest of the NFL. When the Jaguars began in 1995, the stadium was one of the higher revenue-producing stadiums in the NFL – and the Jaguars were near the top of the league in local revenue. The franchise was financially stable. It has since become one of the lowest revenue-producing stadiums in the NFL – because most other teams have built new stadiums, relocated to new stadiums or upgraded existing ones – and financial stability correspondingly has become an issue. The other thing that changed is that Khan is transparent and candid about the need to think outside the box and about the challenges of the market. That has caused it to be discussed more. It also irritates some people. It doesn't make it not true.

Charles from Savannah, GA

Let's say Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields are both available to the Jaguars when they are ready to pick. Who would you choose?

I would select Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence if I had the No. 1 selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, but I have seen far more of Lawrence, so I am more familiar with him than Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. I could change my mind in the pre-draft process. (Like it matters if I change my mind or not.)

Dan from Charlotte, NC

Just pointing out, those network analysts like Mike Mayock, Todd McShay, etc. etc., are not looking at players and ranking them with the help of secret sources, aren't doing so in a vacuum. A lot of their "sources" ARE those same scouts people think aren't needed. If you really wanna lower the cost of beer, you could get rid of team press and editorial staff maybe? (j/k John)

Wait. What?

William from Jacksonville

When are "Thunder" and "MJD" going into 'The Pride"????

You're referencing former Jaguars wide receiver Keenan McCardell and former Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew. McCardell going into the Pride of the Jaguars is long overdue in my opinion. Jones-Drew will get in at some point and I can't imagine McCardell won't. Sooner rather than later for both, one would think.

Gary from Centerville

I have heard for years from fans: "I just want to have games in December that matter." Well, guess what? We have games in December that matter. Maybe not the way they meant, but they are important. For us, and our draft position – and for opponents, their playoff hopes and positioning. So, we've got that going for us.

Go Jaguars.

Ryan from Detroit, MI

John, we clearly don't have a quarterback capable of giving us a chance to win. Why not let Laviska start a game and just run a bunch of spread-option stuff like Notre Dame? I mean, could it be any worse that what we've been watching on offense all season long? At least it'd be different.

Yes, rookie wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. starting at quarterback would be worse – much worse – than what we've seen from the Jaguars' offense in the first 13 games. This is not Notre Dame. This is the NFL. What you're suggesting indeed would be different and ridiculously ineffective.

Ken from Cold Southern Europe

You keep saying the team has a young, inexperienced roster and the coaches shouldn't be blamed. What about the past few years when they had a better roster and Pro Bowl talent? Is the roster to blame then too?

Was there a Pro Bowl quarterback that I missed in 2018 and 2019? Was there stoutness and depth on the interior of the defense that I missed in 2018 and 2019? Did I dream up that the Jaguars got increasingly less talented on defense in recent seasons? I'm not saying these coaches – including head coach Doug Marrone – have been perfect. They have made mistakes. But to think that coaching rather than personnel – and specifically, quarterback – is the cause of the record … you know what? Fine: Believe that. It's all the same to me.

Nick from St. Augustine, FL

You ever think about joining the Jags' offensive line? From what I observe, I believe you might be better at giving the quarterbacks some room to succeed than they are.

You're incorrect. I would not be remotely better. But on a serious note, the offensive line has been much better run-blocking this season than pass-blocking. The main issues there seem to have been inconsistencies from left tackle Cam Robinson and right tackle Jawaan Taylor; they have played well at times but have had too many lapses at a position where lapses are all that most people notice. Another thing to remember about pass blocking: Most offensive lines these days need help from the quarterback in terms of pocket presence and knowing when to get rid of the ball, when to move in the pocket and when to get out of the pocket. The quarterbacks this season at times have not been kind to the offensive line on that front.

Rusty from New Iberia, LA

How many teams have gone 0-16 in league history? It is taking a historically bad New York Jets team to keep us from the No. 1 overall pick. This team is cursed!!

Two teams have gone 0-16 – the 2008 Detroit Lions and the 2017 Cleveland Browns, but yes … if the Jaguars go 1-15 and don't get the No. 1 overall selection … well, that wouldn't be a curse exactly, but it sure would be a bad break.

John from Cape May Court House

Former Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell spent seven first-round picks on the defense during his tenure here. And what do we have to show for it? To me, using all of those resources on the one side of the ball that is becoming less and less important is just as silly as taking a running back fourth overall. I hope the new general manager understands that if your offense can't score at least 28 points consistently, it doesn't matter how good your defense is. I understand that we have holes on defense, but that's not this draft's problem. Draft your quarterback and draft pieces to supplement what we already have to create an environment where the new quarterback can succeed. Once we have the offensive foundation set, then worry about the defense.


Bruce from St. Simon's Island, GA

Seems to my eye that the Jags are not using James Robinson enough. The team definitely got the Robinson choice right! He may be banged up, but appears to me to be open on outlet passes, can catch and run effectively, and has an obvious desire to compete. Your opinion?

The team uses rookie running back James Robinson a lot. I might not mind seeing him used a touch less the rest of the regular season, actually. But overall … considering game circumstances, they have used him pretty well.

Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC

I don't know who gives us the best chance to win, but no one can deny the moxy, the athleticism, the sex appeal, or the way the team and the fans rally around him. Clearly, we need to give the reins to Oehser.

You don't want that. I'm not saying people wouldn't watch it. I'm not saying it wouldn't get clicks or page views. But you wouldn't want that.