JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Marcus from Jacksonville
I recently heard an NFL "expert" say that teams should always draft the best available player and use free agency to fill specific needs on the roster. Do you agree? If so, how does that work for a team like the Jaguars that has so many needs to fill?
NFL franchises indeed as a rule are better served drafting the best available player and filling needs via free agency. The better teams typically follow this path relatively closely. But realistically, some element of need typically slips into the drafting process. As for how it works in the Jaguars' situation … it's difficult. They have so many needs and positions that must be addressed that they likely won't adequately be able to address all in one offseason. The art of the building process will be strengthening enough positions with a mix of affordable free agents and front-line free agents to get competitive. That's the first step. After that, they can gradually get to a more ideal roster-building approach.
Richard from Lincoln, RI
With all this talk about college coaches not being able to make the transfer to the NFL, do you feel that the same goes for certain players as well?
Of course. There are first-round selections in every NFL Draft that make little impact. The same is true for every round. Professional football in many ways is different enough from the college game that it's hardly the same sport. It stands to reason many players can't make the transition.
Frank from Saint Augustine, FL
We haven't been mathematically eliminated from next season's playoff picture yet, have we?
Jace from Jacksonville
Please help me understand. I believe that Lawrence is a good leader, very professional, well spoken, accountable, positive, physically the "ideal" specimen for a QB. But outside of the things that do not produce results on the field, can you point to anything he does well with the football in his hands or when it is put into his teammates hands? How is he still seen as a generational talent if he is not making "WOW" throws more than the maybe two times he has all year? How is he throwing so many interceptions and incompletions against defenses that were statistically among the worst in the NFL this year? I can see how having no talents around him and a bad coach caused problems. But how is he a generational talent with all of those facts sitting on the table to say otherwise? Thanks O
Generational talent and generational performance are not one in the same. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence hasn't played like a generational player this season, and he hasn't performed well at times. But being a generational talent means having the traits and potential to be a generational player. He does have those.
Jerry from Hero, FL
I'm not going to the game Sunday dressed as a clown but that doesn't mean I'm OK with keeping General Manager Trent Baalke, either. The idea that he is reported to favor Bill O'Brien as head coach should make Jaguars Owner Shad Khan realize he's not the guy to oversee a true turnaround. O'Brien already destroyed one team in the AFC South I sure hope he doesn't get the chance to do the same to the Jaguars. Talk me off the ledge, Zone.
O'Brien coached the Houston Texans to four AFC South titles and has a reputation for developing quarterbacks. The negatives to his tenure in Houston seem to have been regarding personnel decisions, which in theory would be made more by a general manager were O'Brien hired as head coach. As far as talking you off the ledge, here's what I would say to observers/fans panicking over various reports. I have heard nothing official regarding who will be the general manager or who will be the head coach next season. My sense is that few outside Khan possess any real knowledge, and another sense is Khan very much wants to take his time with this process and make the right decision. That doesn't mean everyone will love the decision Khan makes. It does mean there isn't yet a decision to dislike yet.
Jack from St Augustine, FL
What is the upside of TL playing this weekend? And does that upside outweigh the risk? Asking for a friend.
The upside to Lawrence playing Sunday is the same as the upside for any player on any team playing an NFL regular-season game. They're professional football players and they're paid to play football. I understand not wanting to get Lawrence injured, and I wrote last week that I would have considered getting him out of the game had he seemed under due duress against the New England Patriots. But that was because three Jaguars offensive linemen were out with COVID-19. If the Jaguars are at or close to full strength, Lawrence should play. This is his team. When they're playing and he's healthy, he should be the quarterback.
Reuben from Pikesville
The last coach Baalke hired was Jim Tomsula. Does Mr. Khan think giving Baalke a second chance will result in a much better hire?
Brian from ROUND ROCK, TX
I have a theory. The main reason for the losing is that Shad Khan likes shiny new things. We let talent go and replace it with unfounded hope that doesn't pan out. If we let Cam, DJ or our center go, its more of the same.
Your question implies that Khan is deeply involved with personnel or decision-making to the point that he would decide if left tackle Cam Robinson or wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. are re-signed. Khan would be involved in the discussion. He's not going to be involved to the point where he overrules a general manager or head coach on resigning a left tackle or a wide receiver.
Donny from Heathrow, FL, Section 38, Day 2
I've been a season-ticket holder since the get-go in 1995, starting with seats in the nose bleed upper deck and moving around over the years down to lower bowl club seats nowadays. My family and I average going to one away game a year (London twice). My point is that I have a ton of money, emotion, and time invested in the Jaguars over the last 27 years and arguably have the right to complain, whine and snivel as much as almost any Jag fan. And I'm as disappointed in the team's performance over the last decade as anyone could be but you know what?? Shad Khan and the Jaguars don't owe me anything other than to keep on trying to get right … that's all! What Mr. Khan and the team haven't had – even more than the right head coach or general manager – is an elite franchise quarterback and we potentially have that now. These "fans" planning to wear Khlown suits Sunday are the real clowns … it's just arrogant ignorance! To actually believe that this behavior will positively benefit the team, and that Mr. Khan isn't really trying to build a winning team, is ridiculously obtuse … it's not just fans gonna fan, Oehser! I haven't missed a game in 27 years other than for family or medical emergencies but I'm skipping this one because I can't stand to see something that disrespectful to Mr. Khan. In the meantime I can't wait to renew my tickets for next year … thanks for the time and Go Jags!.
Hey, one very much not fer the clowns.
Mitch from Jacksonville
Zone, I am really worried how we will be able to find a big-play wide receiver next year to help Trevor. Since we pick first or second in all likelihood, we will be drafting defense and missing out on most of the premium wide receivers before we pick again. Free agency is also supposed to be very weak this year. Do you see us trading future draft picks for a vet big-play wide receiver or possibly trading future picks to move back into Round 1 to get a premium wide receiver?
I think the Jaguars can get better at wide receiver next season. I wholeheartedly share your concern about them being able to add an elite playmaker at the position for the reasons you cite. It will be difficult and perhaps not possible – at least not in the short-term.
J.Hooks from Orange Park, FL
I ran across my old CD collection and popped in R.E.M.'s "Green." That first track "Get Up" is what really sucked me in to that classic album and the group. To this day, one of my all-time favorites. Hard to believe they started in the late 70's! Anyways, you're the only other R.E.M fan I know, so thought I'd share.
I taped "Murmur and Reckoning" onto a 90-minute TDK cassette (kids, ask your parents) from a friend I briefly freshman year in the spring of 1984. I wore out that tape. I had a lot of tapes in college. I don't know that I had a better back-to-back combination than that one.