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O-Zone: One great guy

JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …

Hulk from Las Vegas, NV

The last two seasons we've put an emphasis on POWER RUNNING in terms of offense. Enter new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo. Now, based on what I saw from Philly last year and Minnesota this year, how does DeFilippo equate to POWER RUNNING? He had success through the air, but his teams didn’t rank high as far as running the ball. Do you think it's going to shift to more of a blend or skewed towards run-pass option to move the ball running?

This is an important question. I know this because you used CAPITAL LETTERS not once but twice. And this indeed will be a major Jaguars theme throughout the offseason, with DeFilippo having been hired as offensive coordinator in January. But remember: Past rankings aren’t always a great measure of future success or approach. What DeFilippo did as coordinator in Minnesota this past season and previously as coordinator in Cleveland won’t necessarily be what he tries to do in Jacksonville. What he does in Jacksonville will depend largely on the personnel in Jacksonville and the approach of not only Head Coach Doug Marrone but the entire Jaguars offensive staff. Marrone upon announcing DeFilippo as coordinator talked of a collaborative effort of the entire coaching staff. While the current tone of NFL coverage tends to play up coordinators as cure-alls and mad scientists whose philosophies and play-calling single-handedly dictate on-field happenings, they are dependent on their surroundings – particularly their personnel. Take former Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as an example. He twice has coordinated offenses that have led the NFL in rushing. He now is the Green Bay Packers’ offensive coordinator; the guess here is it will be shocking how quickly he becomes a “passing guy” considering his quarterback is now Aaron Rodgers. DeFilippo’s history is he likes to pass. If the Jaguars have an effective quarterback with receivers that are making plays, my guess is the Jaguars will be more pass-oriented than in recent seasons. If the Jaguars are running effectively, my guess is the offense will skew that way. So, what will the Jaguars’ offense be? A mix of DeFilippo and Marrone, with their propensity to pass dependent on the quarterback.

Blues Man from Jacksonville

I knew after the Super Bowl the "rushing" philosophy would rear its ugly head. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady still threw for 262 yards and hit big-time plays through the air to wide receiver Julian Edelman and tight end Rob Gronkowski. The Pats didn't run 100 percent of the time; according to Head Coach Bill Belichick, they felt they could expose the run defense of the Los Angeles Rams. The big difference between the Pats' running attack and the Jags? They have Brady, and Brady is still going to light up the passing attack. The Jags do not have a quarterback that you can trust to march down the field with 50 seconds left, nor will they in the foreseeable future. The notion that someone can compare the Pats' run game versus the Jags is absurd.

Of course, you must be able to have the threat of the pass to run effectively. Of course, the Jaguars must improve throwing the ball next season. But to think that you can’t win in the NFL without having a pass-centric, throw-every-play offense – and that a team can’t still win with the defense as its highest performing unit – is, as you say, absurd.

Marlin from Newberry

You mentioned in a recent O-Zone that trading a third-round pick for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles made sense. If that scenario were to take place, would you draft a quarterback in Round One? If not, would you draft one early (Rounds 2-3) or later? If the kid from Ohio State is there when we pick, I would take him no matter who we added at quarterback between now and then. The others that are available, not so much.

I don’t believe the Jaguars will draft a quarterback in the first round if they acquire Foles. If you acquire Foles, you’re doing so with the idea that he will be the quarterback for the foreseeable future. I suppose they likely would still draft a quarterback – maybe fourth or fifth round. If that’s the direction, I wouldn’t expect the drafted player to develop into the starter. It could happen, the odds are against a quarterback drafted so late becoming elite.

Strong Bad from East Reykjavik

Your flippant response to NoFairLeague sure was cute. The fact remains, however, that Sunday’s Super Bowl had the lowest TV ratings in at least 10 years. Perhaps NoFairLeague’s statement and sentiment were worth more than a condescending reply?

“NoFairLeague” wrote that he didn’t watch Super Bowl LIII because he didn’t want to give CBS or the NFL the ratings. I wrote, “Yes, you showed them.” I considered your question and wondered if NoFairLeague in fact deservers more than a condescending reply. I reread the question and answer and decided I liked my answer. It made me smile.

Bill from Jacksonville

“The New England Patriots indeed won Super Bowl LIII Sunday by running effectively and playing big-time defense…” Sure, I’m on board with this, John. Just bring the Jaguars the greatest quarterback and head coach in the 100-year history of the NFL on the same team at the same time, and let’s go win the Super Bowl next year! The Patriots did it, so everyone can do it!

Brady and Belichick without question belong in the conversation among the best ever to play quarterback and coach in the NFL. They are certainly the most successful of their generation. And elite quarterbacking certainly gives you a huge advantage. But to think you can’t win running well and playing defense in the NFL … well, of course you can. You saw that as time went on in the 2018. You saw it with the Jaguars in 2017. You saw it in the Super Bowl. Quarterback play makes it infinitely easier and more sustainable, though. No doubt.

Bill from Hawthorn Woods, IL

All this talk of a “boring” Super Bowl. The boring part was having the Patriots in it again. Frankly, I enjoyed seeing the defenses have some sense. I am growing weary of the 50-48 shootouts. What say you, O’ster?

I say while I was indifferent to the Patriots winning – again – I had no problem with how the Super Bowl was played. Not every game is a shootout. Not every game should be a shootout. Sometimes, defense is going to be good on a day when both quarterbacks are struggling. What the Super Bowl showed is that the Patriots find ways to win when things aren’t going right. That’s a fitting thing to remember and an important part of their legacy.

Jason from Yomitan, Okinawa

The Hall of Fame, more specifically, the voters are a joke. I’ve heard several interviews over the last few years where voters don’t even give correct stats when discussing Tony. They have two weeks to figure out who gets in from a pool of 15 players and they can’t even get the info correct. Peter King and his cronies need to step down and the HOF needs to reconsider its voting process.

This perception, while common, is incorrect. King and most Hall voters spend far longer than two weeks considering the information. I know many of the voters, and I now many discuss and consider players throughout the season. They actually do so on a year-round basis. The Hall process is not perfect, but there isn’t going to be a perfect system. I can tell you that there’s not a group that’s going to give it more time or take it more seriously than the current voters. They are most certainly not a joke.

Chris from San Diego, CA

How does the Patriots D do it? They all of a sudden look like the ‘85 Bears in the playoffs against the top offenses in the league? They are able to get a pass rush when no other teams can regardless of the opponent they are facing? It makes no sense.

A great writer once said it’s always coaching in the NFL. Well, sometimes – and in the case of a great one such Belichick – it is coaching in the NFL.

Logan from Wichita, KS

What are the odds that our front office screws up in the draft? I think it's as likely as the sun rising tomorrow. One hundred percent.

Whatever.

Jags Fan 818

I think the HOF should require a five-year wait period after a player has retired before they can be inducted into the HOF. No more first-time guys. Popular names of today overrides past pros! Tony should have gotten in! Go Jags!

The Hall of Fame already has a five-year waiting period for players to be elected. It always has been this way.

Tudor from St. Augustine, FL

There's a big difference between being the luckiest of all time and the greatest of all time.

You needn’t tell me. I’ve never been lucky.

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