Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

O-Zone: Overdue

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Marcus from Jacksonville

Has Shad Khan ever used a hiring firm for past head coaching hires? If not, do you think he might take that approach this time around, given the failures in the past hires?

Yes. Reports in late 2016 were that Jaguars Owner Shad Khan hired Jed Hughes of the Korn Ferry Institute to assist in the search to replace Gus Bradley as head coach. Khan eventually hired Tom Coughlin as executive vice president of football operations and promoted Doug Marrone from interim head coach to head coach. That combination worked in 2017 and didn't work as well after that. I don't know what approach Khan will take in this search, but if he hires a "search firm," that will guarantee nothing – and I don't know that it realistically improves the chances of a good hire. That's because there's no guaranteed way to hire a head coach/general manager in the NFL. The reality is most head-coaching/general-manager hires fail and hiring capable people doesn't even guarantee anything. Professional sports in the end involves people – and when it comes to people, there are no guarantees. You can increase your chances of success, and you do that by hiring the best possible people. The Jaguars have a huge advantage this time because of rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence. They had that advantage last season and the hire didn't work. Perhaps it will this time. Time will tell.

Chris from Jax

What makes you convinced that Shad Khan is a good owner? The organization has been dysfunctional and – other than 2017 – largely unsuccessful since he purchased the team. There's a Bill Parcells quote that "You are what your record says you are." By this measure, isn't Shad the worst owner in the league?

I don't judge owners simply on their record. How others judge is entirely up to them. I'm convinced Khan is a good owner because I have seen for 10 years how he has operated an NFL team. It's true that the Jaguars have fallen short on the field most years. Many fans and observers "grade" owners only on victories and losses, and that's fair because that's all fans care about. And that's all many fans should care about – in one sense. But the owner of the Jaguars faces unique challenges as a small-market team in one of the NFL's toughest markets. Khan has shown a remarkable commitment to Jacksonville and stabilized the franchise here. He also has shown a willingness to spend what it takes to win, support players and coaches – and essentially do everything within an owner's control to win. And on that front, he also is a good owner.



I don't know. I do know you can't go around singe-ing people, particularly players. They end up resenting you and then they won't play well.

Revron1 from Mandarin

OK, almighty JO! Just to distract from our terrible play lately, why is taking a knee at the end of a game not a sack!? Essentially intentionally running out of bounds is?

Because there never was an attempt to pass on such a play.

Ken from Arlington

Is there a contractual reason why we couldn't move Brandon Linder to right guard and Tyler Shatley to center? Wouldn't that be a simple way to make the O-Line better?

There's no contractual reason. The Jaguars play and start players where they do because the coaches believe those are the best players to play and start where they do.

Al from Orange Park, FL

I may be getting old and senile, but my recollection is that the Jags 2017 season happened largely due to an influx of really good free agent defensive talent.  Could an influx of really good free agent offensive talent make 2022 similar?

It's generally considered trickier to build an offense through free agency than a defense, and it's generally considered trickier to build an offense quickly than a defense. That's because the belief is that continuity is a little more important to an offense and that therefore that side takes a bit more time to develop. Remember, too: that 2017 team included a lot of players who were on a Jaguars 2016 defense that ranked No. 6 overall in yards allowed in the NFL – so there was more involved to that team's development than simply signing defensive end Calais Campbell and cornerback A.J. Bouye. Still: the Jaguars certainly can improve offensively next offseason. Can they be the No. 2 offense in the NFL and get the Jaguars to the AFC Championship Game? That's a big ask, but they absolutely can improve.

Sean from Jacksonville

How tough was it to write and publish "Pete's a good reporter and knows the NFL well. He's right a lot." Were you laughing? Did Pete sneak into your office and do that? And, you admit to knowing who he is? No more "Who's Pete Prisco?" OK, that's enough from me. (Insert snark here)

I had zero problem writing this week that Pete Prisco is a good reporter and knows the NFL well. If anything, I underplayed it. He's an outstanding reporter and few NFL reporters/media know the league remotely as well as Prisco.

Jim from Daytona Beach, FL

Do you think Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich is ready to be a head coach?

As ready as he's going to be.

Steve from Random Locations

Would Jim Caldwell be a good candidate for the job?


Steve from Nashville, TN

JO - Would point out to our front office that Leonard F has scored 15 touchdowns and won a Super Bowl ring since we sent him packing without any compensation?

Former Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette has played increasingly well since joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers following his departure from Jacksonville shortly before the 2020 regular season. He was a different player with a dramatically different attitude while in Jacksonville. I am happy for his success in Tampa Bay but doubt he would have reached the same success in Jacksonville. Do you want him over James Robinson?

Jon from York

The only change needed in Jacksonville is new ownership. It's not Urban Meyer's fault that 2021's another lost season for the Jaguars.

(Laughing) OK.

Kerry from Pasadena, MD

One thought on the coach-versus-players conversation: Nathaniel Hackett. Seems he got a whole lot smarter in just one year after leaving the Jags … or …

Former Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, now the offensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers, always was a good coordinator. He was let go by former Head Coach Doug Marrone in 2018. I wrote and said at the time I didn't think it wasn't a good move. At the same time, it's always coaching in the NFL. That gets proven and re-proven every season.

JT from Palm Coast, FL

I understand that most new regimes want their own guys, but I really hope that Joe Cullen is retained. Our defensive play has improved drastically from where it was last year. That is the improvement that most of us were hoping would happen on offense. Coach Cullen looks like a coach that you want to retain.

I think there's a decent chance defensive coordinator Joe Cullen will be retained next season. I like Cullen and know him from his time as a defensive line coach with the Jaguars as a defensive line coach from 2010-2012. He has done a better job than I expected in his first season coordinating. Will Cullen be the coordinator again next season? I would think the next head coach would consider it. He also may have his own idea about the direction he wants to take and that's part of life in the NFL. Stay tuned.

Tom from Fruit Cove

"So, you can't always be in the headline. You just got to go play football…" Sounds like a winning football player to me. Maybe it can be contagious.


Andy Boy from Halifax

I know it isn't the mood, but I am excited for the reliability that Laquon Treadwell has brought in recent weeks. He doesn't have eye-popping numbers, but he has been a solid four-catch, 50-60-yard guy in the past four weeks. So that's something!

Jaguars veteran Laquon Treadwell has become a nice story in recent weeks. He hasn't solved the Jaguars' issues at receiver in terms of speed, and the group undoubtedly needs more dynamic playmakers downfield. But the former first-round selection by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2016 NFL Draft has proven himself reliable and capable. I don't know that he's a long-term starter for this team but does he fit as a valuable piece of a five- or six-receiver group? Absolutely.

Edward from Los Angeles, CA

Keenan McCardell deserves to be in the Ring of Honor. Do you think it will happen?

McCardell, a wide receiver for the Jaguars from 1996-2001 and a wide receivers coach for the team from 2017-2020, absolutely should be in the Pride of the Jaguars. It's overdue. It's also well above my paygrade.