MOBILE, Ala. – Let’s get to it …
Kelvin from Atlanta, GA
How can we trust the decisions of this front office historically from regime to regime when we "appear" to have more misses than hits? We haven't had a real threat at quarterback since Mark Brunell. Look at the wide receivers since the dynamic duo with Brunell. I love my Jags to the end, but my confidence in the decision making is extremely low. Our window isn't closed because of the core in place, but if we don't make the right moves this offseason, it could be slammed shut again for a time to come.
I receive a version of this “trust” question often these days, and I suspect that will continue to be the case until the Jaguars hit on a few consecutive first-round selections. But while I understand the question’s reasoning, I admit I never quite know how to answer it. First, while the Jaguars’ 25-year draft history indeed has had rough stretches (really rough stretches, in fact), the people currently in charge haven’t made close to all of those decisions. So, to associate General Manager David Caldwell and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin with the people who selected, say, Matt Jones or Justin Blackmon, is pointless and incorrect. Second, as far as your first question: “How can we trust the decisions of this front office …” honestly I don’t have a good answer to that one either. Trust is built over time, and the Jaguars haven’t drafted well enough in recent seasons to inspire total trust from the fan base. So, what’s the answer? Maybe you trust them. Or maybe you don’t. Or maybe the answer is that the only way people are going to “trust” the Jaguars to make the right selections is for time to pass and for their selections to play well on the field. Trust or not, these are the guys making the selections. So perhaps the answer is that Owner Shad Khan trusts them and that’s what matters for now.
Gerald from Jacksonville
I believe the Steelers’ Jesse James is a free agent this year. Do you think he would be an improvement and do the Jaguars have any interest?
We won’t know for certain what unrestricted free agents interest the Jaguars until the start of the new league year on March 13. James didn’t have a great receiving season in 2018, but if the Jaguars are looking for an affordable, experienced tight end he makes sense.
TE from Festus, MO
Drew Lock is Blaine Gabbert 2.0. Some things stick out as likeable tools, but there are huge red flags. I would rather take the five-feet-tall kid from Oklahoma than remake the mistake of taking a quarterback from Missouri. Granted, my opinion is skewed, but most are. Draft Daniel Jones.
So … not one fer Lock, then?
Al from Memphis, TN
How many picks do the Jaguars have in this year’s draft?
Seven: One in the first round, one in the second round, two in the third round, one in the fourth round, none in the fifth round, one in the sixth round, one in the seventh round. They have an extra third-round selection because of the trade with the Los Angeles Rams for defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., and they traded their fifth-round selection to the Cleveland Browns for running back Carlos Hyde. They have the Baltimore Ravens’ seventh-round selection because of a trade for center Luke Bowanko and they traded their seventh-round selection to Cleveland for quarterback Cody Kessler.
Frankie from London, UK
Mr. O! I know it's still a while away, but I don't see the Jags taking Kyler Murray. Stranger things have happened, but I don't see it. I do hope we get a “bridge” quarterback to help develop a rookie and hold the fort in the meantime. I'm interested to see what the Jaguars do in this draft. Right now? I wouldn't be stunned if we don't pick a quarterback at No. 7.
I wouldn’t be stunned. I would be surprised.
Chris from Roseville, CA
If Fowler keeps playing at a high level, it will be harder and harder to say it was the right decision to trade him. When will the front office be held accountable? Not just Dante, but trading for Carlos Hyde when C.J. Anderson was there for nothing? Two moves that helped the Rams get to the Super Bowl.
Fowler has made some impact plays for the Rams, and he had a good game in the NFC Championship Game. There’s no question about that. But let’s be honest: he’s many, many more impact plays from the Jaguars regretting their decision to trade him. The reality is he hadn’t played well enough in two and a half seasons to merit the Jaguars re-signing him, and the decision to move him at the trade deadline was made to get something in return rather than having him sign elsewhere in the offseason and getting very little in return. The Jaguars got a third- and a fifth-round selection from the Rams for Fowler. That’s more than they would have gotten for Fowler as a compensatory draft selection, so in that sense it was a good trade. Could Fowler play well enough moving forward to make not retaining him a true mistake rather than a perceived one? I suppose, but it’s a long shot. At best. As for the Jaguars’ decision not to sign Anderson … yeah, fine. Maybe they should have, though I don’t know if that will have significant long-term ramifications.
Jagtattoo from Ramsey, NJ
As much as I've always been a Blake Bortles fan, I realize he is not the answer at quarterback. However, considering he was good enough last year, and he is still under contract for next season, wouldn't it be a better business decision to keep Bortles under center with a recovered line and receivers while a newly drafted quarterback comes up to speed ... like Patrick Mahomes? Why take a cap hit and rush a rookie quarterback into the lineup? If Bortles has a good year next season, wouldn't we be in the same situation as KC was last year?
There are some rational, bottom-line reasons for the Jaguars to potentially keep Bortles. I don’t get the sense that’s going to happen. Sometimes, it’s time to move on.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, have any "elite" quarterbacks ever been picked up in free agency? Team do not let elite quarterbacks hit the free market, right?
It’s rare. Peyton Manning was elite when he joined the Denver Broncos in 2012, but he was a free agent because an injury situation was threatening his career – and because the Colts had an opportunity to select Andrew Luck No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft. That was a once-in-a-generation combination of circumstance. It pretty much takes something like that for an elite quarterback to become an unrestricted free agent.
Genrdy from Orange Park, FL
Hey O. Was wondering what you think about asking Brian Leftwhich to come out of returnment to come play QB? He was very good in collage and Doug Malone is a known QB whisperer around the nation.
I never know what’s going on.
John from Jacksonville
Let's pretend you are the coach of the Rams and the official does call pass interference on that controversial play near the end of the fourth quarter Sunday. With a certain defeat by a field goal or touchdown while the Saints drain the clock to near zero, would you take your chances and let them just score the touchdown on the next play? This would give you enough time to put the outcome back in your team's hands.
Yes. The only issue is the Saints might not have tried to score a touchdown. Taking a knee and kicking the field goal would have made sense there.
Ryan from Apopka, FL
Who knew Malik Jackson had more moves than just combing the hair after a sack? Maybe they can have a senior writers dance crew on Jimmy Fallon, what is your best move?
I don’t usually advertise this, because I am nothing if not modest. But to your point, I am in constant high demand as a dance partner whenever I venture out in the evening – and yes, this is because of my “signature move.” The move? Well, it’s tricky to describe, but it generally involves rocking my torso back and forth, with my toes and heels always glued loyally and irrevocably to the ground while I bite my lower lip and coolly snappy my fingers (sometimes) on time as I soulfully swing my arms. Why do I do all this? Because I am the king of all funk.