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O-Zone: Simply for love

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Jonathan from Jacksonville

"But to say he's a bad owner because of the team's record … well, while that's indeed a popular take these days, it's not a particularly accurate one." So… when you're 38-90 as an owner and you kept the same guys that gave you that same record, then who's to blame for it? The fans? Media? The NFL?

Shad Khan absolutely gets blame for the Jaguars' performance since he took over as owner. Rarely a day goes by these days when he's not heaped with blame by readers of this column, on Twitter and wherever Jaguars people gather to talk Jaguars. Frankly, I'm not sure how much more blame he can get. And that's fair: He's the owner and he's where the buck stops. But I wouldn't say an NFL owner necessarily is a "bad owner" because a team's record is bad. Many factors go into winning and losing an owner can't control. Have the Jaguars for the most part been bad lately? Absolutely. I just don't necessarily believe that makes Khan a bad owner, but go ahead and blame him if you want. You won't be alone. And that's OK.

Al from Celina, OH

I'll bet you whatever you want to bet that by 2030 the Jacksonville Jaguars is no longer a thing.

Nah. I don't bet, and I'm also not … you know, twelve.

Robert from St. Augustine, FL

I don't understand the talk about the Jaguars trading quarterback Nick Foles. Last year, how many Week 1 starting quarterbacks played all 16 games? Less than 50 percent. Even if Gardner Minshew II is the starting quarterback, what happens if he is ineffective – or worse, gets injured? Is Josh Dobbs really the answer? From what I read, trading Foles is only going to save the salary cap around $3 million and the Jags will probably have to give up a draft pick. It makes no sense. If Foles is ineffective this year, they still can move on from him at the end of the season and save around $14 million. They also don't have to give up a draft pick. That approach makes sense.

It's absolutely possible the Jaguars won't trade Foles this offseason for precisely the reasons you cite. Right now, any talk about trading Foles is just that – talk. And there's every possibility it won't happen.

Bill from Jupiter, FL

I have to agree with Tom in Jacksonville regarding Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette. I wouldn't call him a draft mistake as he produced last year, but the reality is he gets brought down by the first tackler consistently. The Jaguars should entertain a different direction with the running game.


John from Cape May Courthouse

For the life of me, I don't understand the logic of going heavy defense this draft. For the better part of this century, the Jags have more or less tried to win with a defense-first mentality and it has failed spectacularly. And in the three years we made the playoffs in this century, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady picked apart the defense every time. I'm tired of trying to win with defense; it's too unpredictable and too unreliable year to year. To me, if you're not thinking about taking a quarterback in the first round this year, then this draft needs to be about helping Minshew as much as possible in order get a better feel for what we have in him. I wouldn't be opposed to taking two receivers with our first-round picks. Outside of DJ Chark Jr., is there anyone else on the team that we have to re-sign? If there is ever a year to take two receivers in the first round, it's this year. I know it goes against conventional wisdom, but we have drafted with conventional wisdom for 20 years, with not much to show for it. Sometimes there's value in zigging when everyone else zags.

It wouldn't be stunning if the Jaguars went receivers/offensive line with two of their first three selections in late April. It would be stunning if they didn't try to address the interior of the defensive line sometime during the offseason. You can't win in the NFL struggling against the run the way this team did this past season. That has to be addressed.

Ryan from Fremont, OH

The logic of some fans who think this is all a ploy to move the Jaguars to London is just silly. It would be like me investing millions of dollars into something I knew was going to fail to begin with. That's not how rich people do business.

True that.

John from Jacksonville

Do the Jaguars have any input on who the London opponents will be? Obviously, the NFL considers the Florida/Georgia game when scheduling. Seems to me the Steelers game and possibly the Bears game would be a lock to sell out if played here. As owner, I'd still prefer that over a half empty stadium even if half the crowd are opposing fans.

The Jaguars and all teams can make requests to the NFL regarding their schedule, and the Jaguars have in the past successfully requested that certain home games be played in Jacksonville. A 2016 home game against the Green Bay Packers comes to mind. The team also will play the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears in Jacksonville in 2020, something the team wanted because of the high-profile nature of those opponents.

Andrew from Mattoon

I'm growing tired of these negative comments about Shad Khan. I truly hope he isn't reading these comments. We are fortunate to have an owner who invests in strong leadership (Jaguars President Mark Lamping), invests in the stadium (scoreboards, etc.) and lets the football guys run the football business (unlike some other franchises). My money says this is a great long-term strategy and will pay off down the road. Eventually, he will invest in some writers and editors on the website. But a man only has so much money.


Jonathan from Jacksonville

You and the greedy Jaguars keep running this narrative about Lot J and Shipyards like it is a sure thing and it's becoming laughable now. This team has been putting up crappy product since Khan took over, not counting 2017. How about focus on winning for once? Wanna increase revenue? Compete and win year in, year out – then your brand will be the talk of the league. You get exposure, you get bigger naming rights, you get prime-time games that will get you more sponsor deals … but hey, what do I know?

To look at this situation and say, "The Jaguars need to concentrate on winning" is to see it through a lens that will never allow you to see the real picture. The Jaguars are trying to win. The football people work at this every day. Those efforts are completely separate from the effort to make the Jaguars work financially in Jacksonville.

Chris from Mandarin

Not for nothing, but Gardner Minshew II didn't seem to have a problem throwing to the middle of the field before tight end James O'Shaughnessy got injured. Maybe his deficiency in this area is a touch overblown and when they have the personnel, you'll see more of him making those throws.

This is absolutely possible.

Max from Jacksonville

We are slowly but surely giving up the income tax advantage we had in free agency. Bet that's a take you haven't heard, eh?

I've heard it, but it's not quite correct. Yes, players will be taxed more with two games in London than otherwise would have been the case. But playing eight games in Florida – with no state tax – still allows the Jaguars to be very near the bottom of the NFL in terms of how much total tax players pay.

The Other Michael from Middleburg, FL

Let's call it what it is. Two games in London is Khan's ploy to force the city's hands on Lot J. It's that simple, regardless of how you try to dress it up. I had high hopes for Shad Khan, but he is clearly just another Stan Kroenke or Art Modell...willing to trample the fans to get what he wants.

Khan has believed in Jacksonville where most – if not all – other owners would have moved or never purchased a team here. To paint him as tramping the fans base, while an understandable reaction to the events of recent weeks, is categorically incorrect.

Craig from San Diego, CA

The Jaguars are the only sports organization that I follow that has an employee of the company (I'm of course referring to you) daily responding to fan questions/rants. As the only Jags employee that we can yell at and get any type of response, you receive more than your fair share of abuse. Is the O-Zone something the Jags snuck into your contract or do you do this voluntarily as some type of sadist?

I do it because I love people.