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O-Zone: OK to cry

JACKSONVILLE – This O-Zone is all Josh Scobee all the time. Deservedly so.

The news of Scobee – the longtime Jaguars kicker – being traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers Monday drew intense emotions from O-Zone readers. Anger. Sadness. There was a lot of both – understandably so.

As I wrote in Monday's View from the O-Zone, I teased Scobee here in the O-Zone a lot. I pretended to not like him. I pretended there was a rivalry between us. It was, of course, silliness.

The cool thing about Scobee is he was cool with it.

I'll miss Scobee. A lot of people around the Jaguars will. Most Jaguars fans will. Here's wishing my "rival" success and good fortune.

Let's get to it … Rob from Jacksonville :
I understand getting youth and building for the future completely – although the future probably should be now. But Scobee? He has plenty of good years remaining, is a fan favorite, and also is an all-around good guy. Could you please explain the "business" decision behind this one?
John: This email sums up a lot of the sentiment among fans in the wake of Monday's news that Scobee had been traded. No doubt, this was a tough, emotional day – and it also was a tough, emotional decision for Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell. He said as much Monday afternoon, calling this easily his toughest move in three years on the job. But the decision actually is pretty explainable. This was a case of Jason Myers winning the job; it was not a case of the Jaguars looking for a reason to get rid of Scobee. The Jaguars thought too highly of Myers' potential and his performance thus far in camp and preseason to release him; there's no question in their opinion that he would have been claimed by another team quickly. The sixth-round selection obtained from the Steelers for Scobee also is really good value – particularly if you think you have his equal as a replacement. There also was the matter of Scobee hitting free agency after the 2015 season and the Jaguars not thinking they would find a replacement as good as Myers at that time. Those are all very good reasons and it's hard to argue logically that this was the wrong move. But sometimes in the NFL, the right moves are difficult.
Jake from The 'Bank:
I have been watching Scobee kick since I was 12 years old. And while I understand it was time to move on and they got good value for a kicker, it doesn't make it any easier. Scobee was a fan favorite and the team's all-time leading scorer. What are the chances we see him in the Pride eventually? Also, would it be too much to ask to have a Scobee-dedicated O-Zone day?
John: I don't know about Scobee in the Pride of the Jaguars, although maybe it's too early to have the proper perspective. As for a Scobee-dedicated day, it's not too much to ask at all.
Alex from Rockville, MD:
Hey Zone … I think I speak for many Jaguars fans when I say I am really mad at Caldwell. Scobee was the best kicker we ever had, but he brought so much more to the team also. He was a great guy that brought fun to the team for a decade – and the website. It just angers me that Caldwell trades a player so important and iconic to the franchise for a sixth-round pick. It was not necessary at all and I hate the blah-blah reasons behind it.
John: I liked Scobee, too – jokes notwithstanding. But you can't make roster decisions based on the team website (I know … shocking, right?)
Scott from Aurora, IL:
So, Myers it is. It's too bad to see Scobee get traded, but I like the long-term viewpoint. Myers has impressed.
John: Yeah, but don't go back to Rockville and tell Alex that.
Dave from Vilano Beach, FL:
Just want to say good luck and thank you to Josh! I'll never forget the feeling of that 59-yard field goal clearing the uprights, holding my daughter up in the stands so she could see, the smile on her face, the stadium shaking from the fans going berserk!!! Thanks for the memories!
John: Hey, one fer Scobee!
Chuck from Jack's son ville:
I'm gonna miss Scobee.
John: You're not alone.
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville:
I can't express my anger enough over this Scobee trade. Unless you got a third- or fourth-rounder it was not worth it. To Scobee, thanks for all the memories and last-minute field goals. To Gus and Dave, you better hope this doesn't blow up in your face. Scobee was by far the most recognizable Jaguar on this roster. This really sucks, O-man. I am not happy.
John: You're not alone, either.
Josiah from Jacksonville:
I can't believe he's gone … Scobee went to my church. We would talk about "Duck Dynasty" and make fun of a certain senior writer … this is all your fault.
John: I joked a lot about Scobee here in the O-Zone. He was good enough to go along with the joke. It goes without saying that I don't have the power to even remotely influence personnel moves, but the record should state that I'm sorry to see Scobee go. He was cool. I liked him.
Michael from Port Orange, FL:
NFL is and has been always about the bottom-line dollar figure. Trade Scobee and keep the younger and cheaper kicker. Yeah, you want people to believe Khan won't move the team to London or give away more home games to London, the money speaks he goes with.
John: Scobee traded = Jaguars to London. Got it.
Joshua from Grand Island, NE:
I hope you're proud of yourself. :P
John: Almost never, actually.
Glen from Richmond Falls, VA:
John, I know I'm not the first to email about this, but I have to tell you, I'm heartbroken at the news about Josh Scobee. I get that this is a business, and it was by all measures a sound decision, but man ... this stinks. I still get a thrill watching highlights like the game-winner at Three Rivers in the playoffs, or the 59-yard boot at home against the Colts. This is the part of the game that sucks, isn't it?
John: Yes.
Ryan from Verner, WV:
I really hope you dedicate an O-Zone to Josh Scobee. Back in 2011, I tweeted Scobee to see if I could get an autograph. To my surprise he tweets me back and tells me where to send a ball, that it was no problem. He also tweets me back to tell him that it was on its way back. When I got the ball in the mail it had 28 signatures where he had also had other guys sign it for me. For a guy that has so much going on in the middle of the season to take the time and do that for me showed me that he cares about every fan and really seemed to be a great guy.
John: Great story. Another fer Scobee!
Tom from St. Augustine, FL:
It can be argued trading Josh was the right thing to do. We have plenty of cap space so I don't think it was necessary. Please explain why it was necessary. I wish Myers the best of luck but if he misses a game winning kick … the second-guessing will be loud.
John: This decision had nothing to do with cap space; rather, it was about who the Jaguars believe was the best kicker now and for the future. It was necessary because the Jaguars believed they had two quality kickers and wanted to get value out of the situation. They also had decided that they did not want to get rid of Myers. So, in that scenario it was necessary to trade Scobee to get the value. In this case, the value was a sixth-round draft selection. Yes, the second-guessing will be loud, but had Scobee missed a game-winning kick – and that has happened and can happen again – the second-guessing would be loud, too.
Mandy from Section 414 and Tallahassee, FL:
Is it wrong that I actually cried when I heard that No. 10 was traded to our arch nemesis? This Jags girl has been sitting in the stands for the past eight years and Scobee was one of the only things about the Jags that made it worth going to the games. The 59-yarder against the Colts in 2010 was probably the best thing I've ever experienced in my teal seat and the reason I'll tell everyone was so great about seeing the Jags in person. Sharing that moment with 60,000 screaming happy fans was a whole lot better than watching that moment at home on the couch. Thank you so very much No. 10 for that moment and so many more, both on and off the field. This Jags girl will miss you dearly...
John: Is it wrong that you cried? Absolutely not, Mandy. Not even close. It's absolutely right that fans were upset, sad and even angry when Scobee was released. He has been the embodiment of a fan favorite, and he has earned the title by being approachable off the field and very good on it. Fans are supposed to hate when players are traded away, and feel bad when they leave. They're supposed to love their favorites. A general manager is supposed to do different things. A general manager is supposed to manage the roster and make decisions less on sentimentality and more about strengthening the roster for the short- and long-term. But even though that's his job, Caldwell said this was the toughest decision he has had to make as Jaguars GM. Caldwell's a pretty honest guy and I doubt he would have said it had he not meant it. So, in that way, he felt sentimental, too. I doubt he cried, but it sure ain't wrong that you did.

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