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O-Zone: Scoutin'

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Nick from Annapolis, MD

With eight head coaching vacancies, it is very interesting to see the different types of head coaches that have been successful. Sometimes you wonder how the Cincinnati Bengals kept Marvin Lewis so long, but then you listen to one of his press conferences and you can tell that he commands respect. I can't imagine there were more than a handful of times in those 16 years that he went to open his mouth and everyone didn't immediately stop what they were doing and listen. Then of course you have the Jon Gruden-type who just naturally carry an infectious energy. You've got coaches in the middle like Bill Belichick who don't always radiate energy, but certainly can turn on that switch. What type of coach do you think is most sustainable? What type of coach would you hire? What qualities would you look for? After two full seasons, would you compare Head Coach Doug Marrone to anyone else or is he uniquely his own?

The most sustainable coach is the kind that wins. I've always thought the "shelf life" on a coach's message resonating with players was six-to-eight seasons. That's not a hard, fast rule but it always felt about right. If I had to pick a style with the best chance of sustaining, it would be a reserved, low-key coach that treated players like professionals rather than collegians. Marrone is more low-key than I expected when he took the job, and I think his approach is sustainable. He treats players like men, and realizes they're going to make mistakes – and show their own personalities. I think he would be the first to say this locker room got away from him a bit this past season – largely for reasons beyond his control. If a star player isn't dialed in, it's sometimes hard to force the issue. But I like the fact that Marrone isn't a sideline cheerleader and stays even keel. Rah rah only goes so far, and it can wear out quickly if it's insincere.

Chris from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Why didn't the coaching staff give Tanner Lee from Nebraska – the quarterback they drafted – an opportunity the last couple games to see what he had? He looked pretty good in the preseason.

Jaguars coaches saw what Lee had all season in practice. They decided based on that that their best chance to win late in the season was Cody Kessler – and later Blake Bortles.

Fred from Naples, FL

Here's hoping Allen Hurns recovers from his devasting ankle injury quickly. We could have used his locker-room presence this year … as well as his receiving skills.

I got many emails to this effect following former Jaguars wide receiver – and current Dallas Cowboys wide receiver — Allen Hurns' brutal leg injury against the Seattle Seahawks Saturday. Hurns carried himself with as much class as any Jaguars player in recent seasons. I don't know that the Jaguars realistically missed him on the field all that much, but I don't doubt that his locker-room presence was missed.

Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

The fact of the matter is it's hard to win in the NFL. You could pick new player, new coaches, new owners – you name it – and still not win. It really comes down to having the talent and outworking the other guy. That is one tough task for a young man with a lot of money. I hope No 27 gets another try. He sure is good in the red zone. You just got to trust that Doug Marrone and Tom Coughlin know how to build a champion and I think they will. Go Jaguars!


Jason from North Pole, AK

The difference between Edge and Fred is Edge ran against a six-man box most of his career. The Colts had Dallas Clark, Marvin Harrison, Brandon Stokley, and Reggie Wayne with Peyton Manning throwing them the ball. Nobody was even trying to stop the run game against him. I'd also like to point out that Joseph Addai had two 1,000-yard seasons after Edge left. The offense was built for any talented pass catching back to be successful. Fred was a superior talent that ran against a loaded box all the time. The talent level should matter, and Edge should NOT be above Fred for Hall of Fame consideration.

There's a difference between 1,000-yard seasons and winning rushing titles with 1,500-yard-plus seasons. James had four 1,500-yard seasons and two rushing titles – and those are impressive accomplishments. Perhaps Taylor was a superior talent, and I am on record saying I would take Taylor over James. But give credit where it's due: James won two rushing titles in his first two seasons in the NFL and was a special talent – particularly before sustaining a torn anterior cruciate ligament injury six games into his third season. They're both Hall of Fame talents, but James' numbers are better – and on that front, it's understandable he has the advantage in the Hall-of-Fame conversation.

Edward from Los Angeles, CA

Here's a hypothetical scenario: You, Executive Vice President John Oehser, receive an offer from the Cardinals to receive the No. 1 overall pick in exchange for all of your draft picks this year plus a second-round selection next year -- allowing you to select The Quarterback. What do you do?

If I love the quarterback to the extent that I know he is a franchise, 10-year player, then yes. Otherwise, no.

Ken from Jacksonville

If Bortles does get released, what kind of a cap hit does the team take?

The Jaguars' dead cap figure for Bortles in 2019 is $16.5 million.

David from Chuluota

At the end of a disappointing season, Leonard Fournette looked disappointed. When a season starts with high hopes and ends in a meaningless game in December, while sitting next to a teammate playing in his last game with the team, it's reasonable to look pensive and somber. If you want criticize his role in a dysfunctional offense, go ahead and do that, but when did it become OK to criticize a player's body language while sitting on the bench? It wasn't as if he was sleeping on the sideline, laughing it up with teammates or having a love-fest with Deshaun Watson. Players are people and should be allowed to react as unique human beings. Maybe, demonizing a player for a reasonable reaction is a little disrespectful, selfish and unprofessional. Thoughts?

If Fournette's issues were limited to his actions on the sidelines in the regular-season finale, this would be a one-off. It's not. Fournette's behavior on the sideline in Houston wasn't the worst thing I've ever seen in in the NFL, but neither was it "reasonable" or acceptable.

Joseph from Sacramento, CA

Please stop mentioning "minutes away from Super Bowl" 2017 season. Why don't you mention 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013? Now you can put 2018 with the rest of those losing seasons. Clearly this team is back to its losing ways.

I'll probably keep answering questions as I've been answering them and mentioning facts where appropriate.

Robert from Oneonta

Maybe you do not know, but I'll ask again. Why are the Jags parting with TJ?

Robert, maybe you don't read every day – and that's OK. But I've discussed often why the Jaguars are parting ways with T.J. Yeldon. He's a reserve running back who the Jaguars see as mostly a third-down, passing-situation player. You only pay that sort of player so much, and Yeldon likely will command more on the open market than the Jaguars will be willing to pay. Reserve running back is a young man's role in the NFL, and the Jaguars almost certainly will skew younger for Yeldon's replacement.

Kevin from Jacksonville

Am I crazy for thinking that Myles Jack is the problem on our defense? Our passing defense was strong, but our run defense was 18thin the league. Isn't he responsible for lining up the defense?

I never heard or got the impression Jack calling the defense was a major problem. Remember: he did this last season, too. It's not fair to expect him to be as good at it as his predecessor, Paul Posluszny, because Posluszny had been doing it more than a decade.

Mandy from Section 414 and Jacksonville

If this weekend told me anything it's that pocket passers win in the playoffs. Please tell me that this team will not go for a quarterback that is more talented running than passing. Yes, they are exciting and win games, but – like the Ravens and the Texans – they don't go far in the long run. We can't be more one-dimensional than we already were on offense next year …

Quarterbacks that can win from the pocket historically have a better chance at long careers and more playoff success. There are exceptions, but that remains the rule until it's not.

Sam from Orlando, FL

There is not a quarterback worthy of going Top 10, maybe not even Top 15. Two potential top guys are system guys. It's going to be a long year next year.


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