MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Saturday was another tough day for Big Bo.
Tony Boselli was not among five modern-era players named to the 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame class Saturday, marking the fourth consecutive year the former Jaguars left tackle has been passed over after being a finalist.
I spent the afternoon with Boselli and his family as they awaited the news. This was the third consecutive year I have done so, and the third year I have seen Boselli and Family handle a difficult and emotional day with class. It's not surprising, but it's worth noting.
We'll discuss the details of the day in this O-Zone and a few others in the coming days, I'm sure. I was surprised Boselli didn't get elected Saturday, and multiple voters I know also expressed surprise. I continue to believe Boselli will get into the Hall, and I believe that could happen next year in Tampa – although it admittedly will be tougher next season with players such as Peyton Manning, Charles Woodson and Calvin Johnson entering the candidacy pool.
This one was disappointing. Credit to Boselli for how he handled it. I'm not sure I would have been as calm, composed or classy in his situation. Oh well.
Let's get to it …
JT from Fort Worth, TX
Alright, John. What the hell is going on with this Boselli mess? This feels like an incredible anti-Jacksonville-decision because had he been on any of the "glamour" teams, he would have been in already.
I understand people think this. I would probably believe this, too, if I didn't know many of the voters. My impression isn't that this is anti-Jacksonville, nor is it entirely about market size; though I would say Boselli probably would be in already if he played in New York or Dallas, I'm not sure he would be in had he played in any number of non-prime markets. It's really not even that much about the Jaguars not being successful, either; the Jaguars made four postseason appearances in Boselli's six full seasons. Finally, it's not really about Boselli having a low-profile. The Jaguars had a high profile when Boselli played – national-television appearances, national media visiting town to report on the team, etc. And Boselli knows many of the Hall voters and his friendly with him, so there's no awareness problem. This truly is about Hall selection being a brutally difficult process, and it's about Boselli not playing long enough to have the number of postseason honors that impress a faction of the voters. When voters list off a player with eight Pro Bowls compared to one with five, it's easy to vote for the higher number even if multiple people tell those voters the player with the smaller number is deserving. Either way, Hall voters I spoke with continue to believe Boselli will get in. He continues to be among the top half or so of the candidates each year. The final chapter of this book hasn't been written. Although it's taking longer to get to the end than should be the case, I do believe the final chapter will be a happy one.
Pedal Bin from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK
They chose poorly.
I agree, though it's important to remember that every player who makes the Top 15 has a very strong case for the Hall of Fame. This truly isn't an anti-Boselli story or an anti-Jacksonville story. It's a case of voters having a brutally difficult decision and selecting players in which they believe. It's disappointing. It's maddening It's frustrating. They're overlooking Boselli unfairly. But they're not doing it maliciously and Boselli isn't the only disappointed candidate today.
Nick from Annapolis, MD
Same story, different year.
True, though there is one element in this that could bode well for Boselli moving forward. There is a strong sentiment among many voters that all four of the recent offensive line candidates should be enshrined. That foursome includes Boselli, guards Steve Hutchinson and Alan Faneca and center Kevin Mawae. Multiple voters with which I have spoken in the last few years have said they believed once one got in, the other linemen could follow in each successive year. Mawae was enshrined last year and Hutchinson was elected Saturday. That won't soothe the anger of Jaguars fans today, but it could bode well for Boselli's future chances.
ABC from ABCTown
I think that the Baltimore Ravens' offense won't be as successful as it was this year in the future, because someday a defensive coordinator will figure out a system to stop them and the others will copy this. Most of the time new systems work at the beginning, because nobody really knows how to stop them. It was the same with, for example, the triple option. At the beginning nobody knew a way to stop it. Nowadays it still is working, but it isn't nearly as unstoppable as it was in the beginning.
I tend to think you're right. I would expect teams to handle the Ravens' offense better next season, though I expect it to still be productive. When teams first started running the 'ol Twenty-Three Skiddoo, it was pretty much unstoppable. Now, it has been pretty much wiped from the annals of history to the point it's as if it never existed.
Bill from Jacksonville, FL
There's no better place for hot takes than Radio Row during Super Bowl week. That being said, I heard maybe the hottest of all this week: If the Chiefs win the Super Bowl on Sunday, with Patrick Mahomes giving his typical Mahomes performance, Patrick Mahomes is already a Hall of Fame player if he never takes another snap. Is this take too hot for you, John?
That's way too hot. Mahomes has been named NFL Most Valuable Player. A victory Sunday would give him a Super Bowl title. That would set him well on the way to the Hall of Fame, but if he suddenly became a pedestrian quarterback, his first three seasons would not get him into the Hall of Fame.
Mac from Jacksonville Beach
It's not a coincidence that both teams in the Super Bowl have a true fullback on the roster.
Except that it is.
Garrett from Jesup, GA
Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette was great last season, but I don't understand why the Jags didn't utilize rookie running back Ryquell Armstead more. Fournette should get the lion's share of carries but it seems to me that the Jags need a scatback or a change-of-pace guy to keep defenders from choosing the same angles and lanes against Fournette. So, in my opinion I think Fournette will be more effective per carry/touch with a bigger contribution from Armstead or another third-down back. Your thoughts, O?
I don't know that Armstead is a "scatback" as much as he is a supplement, meaning his style is relatively similar to that of Fournette. I expect Armstead will get more touches in the offense next season, but I also expect the Jaguars to acquire more of a change-of-pace back – either through second-tier free agency or the draft.
Dan from Jacksonville
Please correct me if I'm not seeing this correctly, but the fans fanning that we didn't take Mahomes, or there's a reliable back or receiver on the market we should take and yadda yadda ... it just seems to me that just because a player is reliable on one team doesn't necessarily mean he will shine on another team despite how closely coaches and everyone else analyze a player's potential... your insights are of course, appreciated ...
No, there's no guarantee a great player on one team would be great on another. It is quite often the face that a free agent who shined in one situation fails in another. But in the case of a quarterback such as Patrick Mahomes … well, it's hard to argue that he wouldn't have been more successful than the quarterbacks who have been on the Jaguars' roster during his time in the NFL no matter what else was around him during that time.
Mark from Archer, FL
John, these end-of-the-season awards are now a shame in my opinion. In no universe should Nick Bosa have received defensive rookie of the year over Josh Allen. Allen was the more dominant player. He put up better stats than Bosa and played less snaps than he did.
I don't know if you meant "shame" or "sham," but either description would have worked. I actually had less of a problem with San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa winning defensive rookie of the year over Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen than with Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray winning offensive rookie of the year over Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II. Though Allen absolutely should have been considered for the award, Bosa played on a winning team and played in multiple high-profile games; their statistics were close enough that it's not ridiculous that Bosa received the honor. As for Murray over Minshew, well … that one I can't explain except that voters were more familiar with Murray because he was the No. 1 selection. Everything else…