JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Ray from Jacksonville
John: Jaguars Owner Shad Khan says there is not enough "enthusiasm" for football here and now the top executive won't rule out a second London game. What a shameless money grab. There are fewer people in New Orleans, Buffalo and Green Bay, but their executives don't grab the London cash for even one game much less a quarter of home games in a season. If they sell out for a second London game, they will lose the fan base. Isn't the team more than doubling in value enough money for Khan? Maybe we would have some "enthusiasm" if they weren't a dumpster fire.
I fear we are reaching – or have reached – the point that there's little more for me to write about this topic. That's not from a lack of interest in the topic; rather, we have reached a stage in the discussion that people have decided they want to hear no more and are going to believe what they choose to believe. There are going to be people who accuse Khan and the Jaguars of greed when it comes to the London game, because many people refuse to believe that the Jaguars are doing the things they are doing with London and Lot J – and all other downtown development – to stabilize the Jaguars in Jacksonville and grow downtown. Khan in eight years as the Jaguars' owner has kept the team in Jacksonville, has constantly worked to develop the stadium and the area around the stadium and has talked constantly of developing downtown in partnership with the franchise. He wants to build a luxury hotel and wants Lot J to be the center of a vibrant, thriving downtown. I suppose at this point it is a simple matter of time and action. In time, I imagine people will see Khan's actions as stabilizing the franchise and being good for the city and the team on the field. I will say this: The Jaguars and Khan believe in Jacksonville far more than some fans appear to believe in Khan and the Jaguars right now. That's OK. It's the responsibility of leaders to maintain vision and operate for the good of the big picture despite criticism. That's what the Jaguars and Khan must do now, and I suspect they will continue to do just that.
Martin from Jacksonville
O-Man: I read your article about the No. 9 and No. 20 picks. But you didn't mention that we once had both the No. 9 and No. 20 picks in the same draft, and we drafted running back Fred Taylor and safety Donovin Darius.
I was going to mention this and then I remembered that in the 1998 NFL Draft the Jaguars selected Taylor No. 9 overall and Darius No. 25 overall. So, I decided not to mention it.
Jason from Jacksonville
Here is my issue O-man: Jaguars President Mark Lamping's words indicate that the Jaguars' financial health is an issue and drastic measures such as multiple games in London are necessary to stabilize it. The thing is, I don't believe him. Why should anyone? We have very little financial information about the individual teams. No one in the NFL will open their books to the light of day. We do know that the value of the team has increased by some insane amount since Khan has been owner. Why in the world should anyone believe that an owner of an NFL team is in danger of losing money when all available evidence points to the contrary?
I understand you don't believe Khan and Lamping and I also understand you're not alone in your opinion. The Jaguars for nearly a decade since Khan purchased the team have been as transparent on this front as any team in the NFL, outlining the issues in the annual State of the Franchise to a remarkable degree. They have laid out the reasons local revenue is important, and they have laid out their challenges on this front. People apparently have grown tired of hearing and reading about the challenges, and now many people opt not to believe that the challenges are real. You ask why people should believe Khan and Lamping? Because they're trying to make the Jaguars work in this market where many owners wouldn't make the same effort. People won't believe that, either. That doesn't mean it's not true.
Mike from Jacksonville
Not a question, but just wanted to say "I get it" and to extend a sincere thank you to Mark Lamping and Shad Khan for their efforts to keep the team in Jacksonville. They are doing the hard work instead of taking the easy out. I hope they can look back soon to appreciate overcoming the long odds to build a city infrastructure and a viable team. I know at some point their results will provide the proper perspective for all that benefit from their commitment.
Hey, one fer Khan and Lamping!
Mitch from Jacksonville
I'm puzzled how Lamping and Khan are so certain winning in this market will not alone solve the long-term viability of this franchise considering they have never experienced sustained winning? I would also argue that London, Daily's Place, etc. is needed to plug cash-flow shortfalls due to the crappy product they deliver to the public.
There's no question winning is better than losing, and there's no question the Jaguars haven't done enough of it. There's also no question that Khan and Lamping have plenty of people who have spent plenty of time studying the realities of this market and the rest of the league to reach the conclusions they have reached. Initiatives such as Daily's Place and Lot J aren't easy. You don't just snap your fingers and make them happen. They take years and are major commitments. Khan and the Jaguars wouldn't undertake these things on a whim.
Jerry from Riverview, FL
What is the current prognosis for Quincy Williams? The Jaguars were so, so high on him when they selected him last year. But his name is rarely mentioned when linebackers are discussed.
Williams, a third-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, was impressively athletically as a rookie. He wasn't as impressive in terms of football awareness of knowledge of the defense. If he improves those areas, he has a chance to be good.
Just Curious from Jacksonville
Surprised no one has blamed this for the Jags losing the second half of the season. Why did the visiting team start coming out of the north end zone tunnel instead of the sideline like the previous 25 years?
They moved the visitor's locker room during the season.
Ben from Columbia, SC
John, if I'm understanding you correctly, your position on why the Jags should keep Wash as the defensive coordinator is that he is capable of leading a defense that has superior talent. Notwithstanding, isn't the mark of a good defensive coordinator, or any coordinator for that matter, to elevate his respective unit when the talent isn't there or is below average?
The Jaguars' defenses under Wash have been good when they have had good players and they have struggled when they have not. That's usually the case in the NFL with offenses and defenses in the NFL, and that's how it has been here. Is that a case for keeping Wash? I suppose. More than anything it's a case that teams hire and fire coordinators for show and to appease fan bases far more often than they do to for any legitimate reasons.
Emiel from St. Augustine, FL
If I were fired, I'd much rather my boss call it "mutually agreeing to part ways" than make a public statement about everything I did wrong and how the next guy is going to do everything I couldn't. Maybe Head Coach Doug Marrone has some respect for former offensive coordinator John DeFilippo?
Garrett from Jesup, GA
Where do the Jags go with wide receiver Chris Conley? Is he still lined up to be the No. 2? He had some really good games and some really not so good games. What do you think, O?
I think Conley last season gave the Jaguars what they wanted when they signed him as an unrestricted free agent last offseason. He's under contract for another season and I expect he will return. I think the Jaguars would be better if Conley was a No. 3 receiver as opposed to a No. 2, but I think there's a decent chance he will be the No. 2 next season
John from Jacksonville
As a society, we have fallen to the lowest of lows when we pick apart a word that is spoken or not spoken when someone important speaks (Khan, Lamping, KOAF, Jalen Ramsey, etc.). This over-analysis and perception deception gets exhausting to me (and yes, exhausting can be exhausting) when people are so sensitive to something said. We need to all grow some footballs and stop the whining. Darn, I might be whining.
I'm tired, too, John.