JACKSONVILLE – Indy-bound. Last day of 2016.
Let's get to it …
Joe from Hall of Fame City, OH:
John, I am telling you and the world the Jags will not lose on Sunday. No tricks here. So, when we beat the crap out of Indy, just post it, John #SHOCKDANATION
John: This O-Zone is one of our last chances to talk about a football game before we dive neck-deep into the offseason … and pending change … and all of the stuff that goes along with pending change. So, let's talk about the game, shall we? As far as that goes, the Jaguars have won two consecutive games against the Colts and have held huge leads in both of those games. They were within two late missed field goals of sweeping the Colts last season. They played the AFC Championship Game-bound Colts tough in the teams' final meeting in 2014. They are playing an Indianapolis team on Sunday that is 7-8 and out of the playoffs. The Colts are perfectly capable of winning Sunday, but considering how well the Jaguars have played the Colts recently, I don't know that a Jaguars victory would SHOCKDANATION or anyone else. I think the Jaguars will win, though. I do agree there.
Rob from Brunswick, GA:
If you wrote a book about your time in the O-Zone to date what would it be called?
John: Why I Love People.
Sebastian from Mexico:
Next year: Ben Koyack or Julius Thomas?
John: There's no law that says it has to be either Julius Thomas or Ben Koyack at tight end for the Jaguars next season; it's not as if the two can't co-exist. If I had to guess, though, I would say Thomas won't be back next season and that Koyack will return. That's the thought now. Check back when a new head coach is hired. His thoughts will change many things.
Not HJT from Jacksonville:
Hey, would the Jags trade Blake Bortles for a second and draft Trubisky if Browns and 49ers pass on him?
John: I'm not yet familiar enough with draft talk to have a real feel for the top of the first round. I start diving heavily into the draft around the Senior Bowl. But I don't know that any team is going to be beating down the doors to trade a second-round selection for Bortles. Would you?
Ric from Jacksonville:
Have you sensed any urgency in the organization to find a replacement coach quickly? With other teams now looking for a replacement for Jeff Fisher and Rex Ryan and what not, there has to be a bit of a thought in the back of David Caldwell's head that another team might grab up the coach – or one of the coaches that they would seriously consider. Also, I would think the other teams would have the same thoughts. What are your thoughts on that? Is it something they want to wrap up as quickly as possible?
John: The Jaguars want to move quickly to hire a head coach. That was one of the reasons for dismissing Gus Bradley two weeks before the end of the season, and one of the reasons for interviewing Tom Coughlin this week – before the end of the regular season. Having that interview done will give them a chance to move quickly when the regular season ends Sunday, but the idea is to get the best grade possible on the final exam – not to be the first one finished.
Gabe from Washington, DC:
Hype is scary, O. What are the odds that once teams start to analyze Jalen Ramsey's play this season, they find ways to attack him with relative success? As cautious as you can be, I am going to hold off on declaring Ramsey a multi-year All-Pro until I at least see him to it consistently through next season. Clearly, teams learned how to scheme against Bortles. Does the same thing happen to defensive backs?
John: Teams scheme against cornerbacks mainly by throwing away from them. I have no doubt that will happen with Ramsey because it already has happened at times this season. The good news is that still helps the defense; when a team is unwilling to throw at a defender it by definition takes a wide receiver out of the game. That's a victory for the defense.
Charles from Savannah, GA:
I was very disappointed in Trent Dilfer's comments not only about Blake Bortles but about the city of Jacksonville. Unfortunately, there is still this campaign by national sports media that Jacksonville isn't worthy of an NFL franchise and to move the Jaguars out of Jacksonville. When will this ever end?
John: Trent Dilfer's comments about Jacksonville and Bortles were his opinions – and I guess I've become accustomed enough to hearing ill-informed, inane, baseless, stir-it-up comments from national media about the Jaguars and Jacksonville that I don't pay much attention anymore. It's not a campaign as much as it is laziness. Jacksonville's considered an easy shot because it's a small market and because the Jaguars haven't won a lot lately – and because when a lot of people take shots at something, it's easier to pile on than to think for yourself about a topic. Don't misunderstand: I have a good grasp of laziness. I've been lazy at times, too. I'm actually a big fan of the genre. The good news for Jacksonville is that Shad Khan believes in Jacksonville and is committed to Jacksonville. His opinion matters. Dilfer's? Not so much.
Jeff from Rutland, MA:
Does it seem like if the Jags play Indy the way they played the Titans last week, it will raise more questions than answers? Was it indeed the coaching? Or are they just a team that can only play well in garbage time (be it during a game or season)? Whatever. Getting another quality win is worth a few more questions.
John: The Jaguars playing well against Indianapolis might raise questions among the fan base about whether it was coaching versus garbage time, etc. I doubt it will confuse the actual interview process, though. It appears that the Jaguars have their hiring plan in place and are following it. The on-field results of the last two games will be a factor, but probably not a confusing one.
Rob from Brunswick, GA:
John, what are the chances that any of our assistant coaches stay until next year? When a new coach comes in, is it common to keep some or even most of the staff? I know Jerry Sullivan worked under the previous head coach before being retained by Gus Bradley. Do you think we could see some position coached or even coordinators stick around next season?
John: Yes, we could see that. As far as the chances of it happening, that's impossible to know until we know the identity of the new head coach – or at least until we get a sniff about the direction the organization plans to take. Remember, when it comes to staff and regime change/organization in the NFL, what's common and what has taken place before doesn't mean much. An owner can organize and change as he sees fit based on what he believes is best for the organization. That's what's cool about owning. You decide – not history or the beliefs of others.
Greg from Jacksonville:
John, for a large portion of the fans you are the No. 1 source for Jags info – and you are doing them an enormous disservice by continuing to perpetuate this myth that Dante Fowler Jr. has "phenomenal athleticism." HIs 7.40 3 cone, 32" vertical, 112" broad jump, and 47 total SPARQ score are all below average to way-below average. He's a very poor athlete. Also, his counter moves aren't the problem. His counter moves aren't working because he doesn't have the athleticism to burst and bend around the corner. An OT that isn't scared of you beating him around the edge isn't going to be beaten by a bull rush/spin/swim/etc.
John: I don't need scores and numbers to know that Fowler is not a "very poor athlete."
Christopher from Valparaiso, IN:
I would much rather have Tom Coughlin in the front office than as a head coach. The man has an eye for talent and would be perfect in that role. Unless Coughlin hires an heir apparent as a coordinator (which will be difficult because his staff in NY is unavailable), then I do not see the point in hiring him.
John: I have no problem with Tom Coughlin in either capacity, but I do wonder about people not seeing "the point" of hiring him as a head coach. He is probably going to be a Hall-of-Fame selection because of his head-coaching ability and he won two Super Bowls as a head coach. If you're a believer that a head coach makes an enormous difference in an organization why wouldn't you hire him?
KC from Loganville, GA:
This is a serious question, so please don't think I'm just trying to be a wise guy. Do you think a talented group of players with no coaching staff could beat a team of average players that has a coaching staff?
John: Which team has the better quarterback?