JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Gary from St. Augustine, FL
This is angering, Zone. Tony Boselli once again passed over for Canton. It's obvious the voting process is awful. It's also quite obvious that the bias against Jacksonville and the Jaguars is keeping him out of the Hall of Fame. I'm starting to think legitimately he never will get in.
Former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli indeed was not among those elected to the 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, which was announced Saturday night. And yeah – it's angering. Just as it has been angering when he has been bypassed the last three or four years. I'll say here what I have written each of the last three or four years, though – that Boselli's omission isn't about market size and bias nearly as much as it's about his length of career. It's also about a numbers game at the offensive-line position in recent Hall balloting. On the first point: I have little doubt that had Boselli played 10 seasons at the level he played – rather than six – he already would have been enshrined in the Hall. Perhaps on the first ballot. Definitely long ago. On the second point, Hall voters have been saying for the last four or five years that there were four offensive linemen worthy of enshrinement during that period: Steve Hutchinson, guard/center Kevin Mawae, Alan Faneca and Boselli. The theory among many Hall voters was that those four players likely would be enshrined one at a time in four consecutive years. Hutchinson and Mawae were inducted in 2019 and 2020, with Faneca being elected this year. Many respected Hall voters with whom I spoke in January believed either Faneca or Boselli would get in this year with the other getting in next year. The scenario thus far has played out as many believed would be the case. Does that guarantee Boselli will be elected next year? No. But I absolutely believe next year will be Boselli's time. I actually would be shocked if it's not.
Leon from Austin, TX
Zone: What are your thoughts on Josh Oliver? Seems like he may be on the way out due to injuries. Who are some potential targets via draft/free agents?
Oliver, a tight end and a third-round selection by the Jaguars in the 2019 NFL Draft, has played four games in two NFL seasons because of injuries. He has a lot of potential, but practically no NFL experience – and therefore no NFL film. That means the new decision-makers – who have no real ties to Oliver because they didn't draft him – have very little on which to evaluate Oliver. Still: there's no real reason he has to be on his way out because of this, and there is no indication that that's the case. It's quite likely he will be on the Jaguars' offseason and training camp roster in 2021 with the idea that he must play his way into a role. That's fair, and as it should be. At the same time, you have to expect the Jaguars to address the tight-end position this offseason as if any production from Oliver would be a bonus. Considering his injury history, that's the logical approach. As for potential targets … Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry and Tennessee Titans tight end Jonnu Smith appear likely to be the top free agents on the market with Kyle Pitts of Florida the top tight end in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Zac from Austin, Tejas
King, it's wild. I am a teacher who has to teach hybrid classes - so we take attendance for 11th-grade AP students through discussion boards. I decided to start doing once a week "ask me a question and I will respond" as something to do just because. This is hard. I find that I am able to convey your tone and delicate balance of serious and not ... but wow. You do this every day!?
That I do.
Al from Orange Park, FL
Trevor's labrum. A thing? Or, not a thing?
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence reportedly will undergo surgery later this month to repair a labrum injury. It's his left labrum. That means it's his non-throwing arm. It's a thing because there's no such thing as minor surgery for the person undergoing that surgery. But it's minor. And not a huge thing – certainly not anything that will affect his draft status.
Drat from Duval
How much does a player throwing people under the bus in the media affect the team? I feel like as a fan I have no idea if that matters or not. It seems that the mantra always is that "we're professionals" and the rah-rah stuff doesn't matter so much. So, as an insider, does it? Does all this culture matter? I understand that Jalen is a problem in the media and all that, but I also saw him play several games this year for the Los Angeles Rams where he looked like one of the best players in the world. I'm trying to understand that disconnect.
Former Jaguars quarterback Jalen Ramsey indeed is one of the best football players in the world. There's little question about that. As far as the throwing-teammates under the bus and the rah-rah stuff … yes, it matters in football. It's a team sport where generally speaking you have a better chance to win if all players are working toward a common goal. Can a team win when there are players not buying into a culture? Can a team win when there are players discontented or "throwing other players under the bus?" Sure. There are times that can happen. There are few absolutes in a game so complex and dependent on as many moving parts as the NFL. But are your chances better with all players pulling on one direction? No doubt.
Roger from Orlando, FL
When will the Jaguars finally announce their coaching staff?
The Jaguars are in the process of finalizing their coaching staff. Considering they hired Urban Meyer as head coach on January 14, the process has moved at a relatively normal pace. I would expect an announcement regarding the staff soon. Quite soon.
Sean from Jacksonville
Your thoughts on another high-profile player wanting to be involved in the hiring of an offensive coordinator, head coach, general, etc. I think it's a trend, albeit small, that needs to stop. General managers can general manager. Coaches can coach. Players can play. Seems it could backfire and make one player live in a spotlight while the rest have no say. A little like Mr. "I love my teammates." Plus, the less defined an organization's roles become, the less their direction will become.
Jared from O-Town
Hey John-O! I know you've already discussed the league's effort in the hiring of minority coaches, but couldn't the newest initiative of providing third-round compensatory picks to teams who lose a minority coach to another team backfire? What if a team decides it doesn't want to give a rival an extra draft pick or dilute their own picks later in that draft? If it's a close decision between a minority coach and another candidate, couldn't this actually be detrimental to that coach getting hired? I know, I know, if it's the right guy then it shouldn't matter, but there is that chance. Right?
You're referencing a recent addition to the NFL's Rooney Rule that mandates a team losing a coach or front-office minority candidate to another team hiring that candidate as a head coach or general manager be awarded a third-round selection in the ensuing two drafts. Sure, there's a chance your scenario could play out. A team could be reluctant to hire a candidate if a division rival will receive such draft capital. But look: there's often no perfect plan or perfect solution to an issue. The NFL has tried for a long time to address this. It has tried the Rooney Rule for a while and now it is trying this extension of the Rooney Rule. It likely won't solve the issue entirely, so I expect the league will continue trying.
Bruce from Saint Simons Island, GA
O, when the Jags' staff is announced will you please give us your impressions?
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, based on the rumored hirings so far, how do you think Meyer is doing? Do you think he will have a "stacked deck" from a coaching perspective?
Will the deck be stacked? I have no idea. There are many, many capable coaches in the NFL. The Jaguars absolutely have hired many capable coaches. Meyer also appears to have hired an impressive mix of NFL experience and college coaches who understand his culture. That was the aim. He appears to have done that. So, in that respect, Meyer has done very well.
Mike from Orange Park, FL
I haven't written in a while. I just wanted to remind you that you're awful and that I hate you.
I remembered. But thanks.