JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Seamus from Vancouver, British Columbia
I'm surprised at how long it is taking for news that the Jags have signed defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to a new extension. My understanding/impression was that talks broke off last preseason owing to former Jaguars Executive Vice President Tom Coughlin's tough (caustic?) style to negotiation. With him gone, what would be holding back the two sides from getting done what they said was their top priority this offseason? I feel like it's poor management to wait until the last minute to get a whole rash of roster/cap developments in place.
Impressions and public perception aside, the Jaguars/Ngakoue negotiation was never just about Coughlin – and his absence was never going to automatically solve all issues. Despite fans convinced that the solution to this is simply #PayYann, sometimes these situations aren't that easy. The sides still must find common ground; if reports last offseason about where Ngakoue and the Jaguars both stood were accurate, finding that ground likely will continue to be tricky. If Ngakoue is seeking to be paid equivalent to the NFL's best pass rushers, that will continue to make this very difficult. Ngakoue is a very good pass rusher and he's very valuable to the Jaguars, but his production hasn't matched the NFL's best pass rushers. The Jaguars as of last offseason wanted to pay him well. What they didn't want to do was pay him what he was demanding. Remember: not offering a player whatever he wants isn't poor management. The Jaguars shouldn't offer Ngakoue significantly less than his worth, but neither should he demand significantly more than his worth. Reason must prevail and that doesn't always happen.
Cliff from Callahan, FL
Daryll from Palatka couldn't be more wrong. I think you're extraordinarily nice, kind and patient. If you weren't, there'd be a lot of fans who'd be telling stories that ended with "unfortunately, Oehser knew where to find me ..."
Tyler from Jacksonville
If the league expands to 17 games, the Jaguars could potentially be playing 11 away games and six home games. No question, just fact...
The Jaguars' London games are by NFL definition home games, but yes … if the league expands to 17 games and the Jaguars play two home games in London in any of those seasons, there would be seasons in which they played 11 games away from TIAA Bank Field and six in it.
Mike from Section 122 and Port Orange, FL
How is it you continually stress that the owner is a smart businessman who is dedicated to Jacksonville, and any other owner would have moved the team by now because of the small market problem. How about revising the statement to something that reads like this: The owner has found a smart way to move the team, he is doing it one home game at a time.
I write and say that Jaguars Owner Shad Khan is a smart businessman who is dedicated to Jacksonville because it's the truth, although many readers obviously buck against that idea because he is taking an approach to keeping the team here that they don't understand and therefore don't like. I'm not going to revise what I say or write simply because what I write or say isn't what some readers want to hear.
Jeremy from Omaha, NE
At what point do we let a man come back from past mistakes? Let's ask Pete Rose...
Rose bet on baseball, something that particular sport – and any sport – takes seriously because of the perception of what gambling does to a sport's integrity. That's why it's more difficult to "come back from that mistake" than mistakes involving drugs and other off-field issues.
Alan from Ellington, CT
I see reports of players working out with old coaches like Ken Wisenhunt. Do the coaches get paid? If so from whom. Can college players pay anyone to help them if they choose?
Yes, coaches in that situation get paid. By the players. College players can pay for outside trainers, though I would assume the cases are rare until after the player has left college and is preparing for the NFL Draft.
David from Orlando, FL
O: Who would you consider the all-time biggest thorn in the Jaguars paw? Derrick Henry? Eddie George? DeAndre Hopkins? J.J. Watt? Who gets your vote?
Steve McNair would have to be up there.
Nicholas from Dijibouti, Africa
KOAF: Please give me your best predictions on what order you think events will occur: A, Jaguars play in a Super Bowl; B, Jaguars host a second Super Bowl; C, Jaguars play eight regular season home games at TIAA Bank; D, Jaguars host the draft; E, Jaguars host the combine; F, Jaguars remove tarps from the stadium seats; G, Jaguars develop a shade solution for home games; H, Jaguars end up with the No. 1 overall draft pick; I, the year 2024; J, the Year 2028.
Best guesses: A, I don't know; B, not for a long time; C, sooner than "B;" D, also sooner than "B," E, never (I hope); F, 2018; G, a few years; H, not for a long time; 2024; 2028.
John from Jax
Johnny, I immediately stop reading and move to the next question, anymore in the Zone if I see the word London .... (see I'm gone)
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, I'm glad you pointed out what recently what defensive end Calais Campbell would probably need to do to get into the Hall of Fame. Given how he is very much loved by fans on and off the field, I hope it gives your younger readers who weren't lucky enough to witness Tony Boselli, Jimmy Smith, and Fred Taylor perspective on how amazing they were given you think they earned the right to be enshrined. Do you think we have any (other) current players that could one day be enshrined if they keep up their performance and growth on the field?
Not yet. And let me clarify something about Campbell: I think he absolutely is a Hall of Fame-level player. Had he been in a 4-3 scheme his entire career, I expect his numbers would be such that he was generally considered a Hall of Famer. In that sense, he's pretty similar to Boselli/Smith/Taylor. Sometimes, circumstances dictate whether a player is perceived as a Hall of Famer. A player's statistics or number of Pro Bowls made or playoff victories might not quite be a the same level as another player's that often causes voters to not view a player quite as Hall-worthy when in fact the "snubbed' player was equally good. The Hall comes down to a vote and votes aren't always fair.
Nick from Palatka, FL
"My guess is Campbell will play for the Jaguars next season..." There it is, Campbell ain't goin' nowhere because O KNOWS!
I wouldn't do cartwheels yet. The Jaguars want Campbell to be here and my impression is he wants to be here. My guess therefore is that the sides will work something out. But this is the NFL and Campbell's combination of age and high cap number makes this tricky. O knows there's a good chance Campbell returns, but no one – not even O – knows for sure yet.
Nathan from Utah, USA
No Zone, 73 tackles led an NFL team. Given that safeties usually don't lead in this category, I would say linebacker is our biggest need on defense and with an upgrade would help both rush and pass defense. Tight end would be my opinion of greatest need on the offense – and if we can draft one, it would make immediate impact for both the running and passing game. Do you see any elite-level prospects at those positions, and could you see the Jaguars taking one of each with their first three picks?
I definitely consider linebacker a need, and my guess is the Jaguars will operate this offseason with the idea of potentially moving middle linebacker Myles Jack outside. I say "potentially" because while Jack seems better suited to the weak side, he's not a liability in the middle. If the Jaguars can't find a middle backer good enough to merit moving Jack outside, then it's not ridiculous to think they could keep Jack in the middle and upgrade the weakside. I also agree that tight end is a need. Neither position is considered particularly strong in the draft, particularly tight end. For that reason, I don't know that the Jaguars will make any "splash" selections at the sports on draft weekend – though I would anticipate them addressing both positions.
Garrett from Edgewater, FL
Why is everyone so overly concerned with you being nice, Zone? Honestly, nobody should care. Your job is to watch football and write some stuff that the average bear might not have seen. I'm not going to invite you to my birthday party, (unless you want to come) so why do we care if you're nice. It's so highly irrelevant. To the readers: ask better questions, and you might get better answers.
Just so we're clear, I don't want to go to your birthday party.