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O-Zone: Soon enough

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Tyler from Jacksonville:
Why do people insist Greg Olson is a good offensive coordinator? Yes, the offense improved. So did Oakland's after he left ...
John: I have no idea why people "insist things" – and honestly, I've gotten more and more worn out as time has gone on over the way people judge "good and bad coordinators." The most common gauge is where a coordinator's offense or defense finishes in the league rankings in a given year. That's understandable; how else are people supposed to judge coordinators? The problem is the statistic conveniently leaves out whether the coach had players who were playing well or not. An example: New England Head Coach Bill Belichick is one of the great defensive minds in NFL history. The Patriots finished 25th in total defense in 2010, 31st in 2011, 25th in 2012 and 26th in 2013. That run would get a lot of coordinators fired. I mention this not to denigrate Belichick as a defensive mind, but to point out the folly of rankings as the basis for whether someone is a good coach or not. Did Belichick forget how to coach defense for four years? Olson did a good job as coordinator this past season because he appeared for the most part to have a solid plan that utilized the strengths of his players. He appeared to put the Jaguars' young players in a position to succeed. Those young players grew under him, as quarterback Derek Carr did under Olson in 2014 in Oakland. Is Olson good? I think he is, and the offense got better this season. So, I guess this year he wasn't bad.
John from Jacksonville:
In regards to Boselli and the Hall of Fame, I'm betting the timing he is selected will perfectly coincide with the season the Jaguars make it to the playoffs and have potential to go deep in the playoffs; Boselli will get more exposure being from a team that will be back in the limelight. It is unfortunate he has to wait, but I think it will be a better experience based on the timing when it does happen.
John: I suppose the Jaguars getting better can't hurt Boselli's chances, but I doubt that will have too much impact. His chances will increase as more and more voters take a closer look at his credentials. Those credentials are impressive; the more voters discuss them, the better his chances.
Joshua from Grand Island, NE:
At least we didn't get shut out and embarrassed at home in the wild-card round, amirite?
John: I got multiple versions of this question in the wake of the Houston Texans' 30-0 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Saturday, and believe me: I get the joy in seeing a division rival lose big. But given a choice between making the playoffs and losing big, or not making the playoffs … I'll take making the playoffs every time. Without a doubt.
Brian from Gainesville, FL:
Big O, let's face it: Allen Robinson should have made the Pro Bowl over Calvin Johnson, anyway. A-Rob was tied for first in touchdown receptions. He had a per-reception average higher than most. He had the sixth-most yards. I mean, c'mon.
John: The honor was deserved. Absolutely and positively.
Taylor from Charlotte, NC:
Can you see Vernon Hargreaves being picked by the Jags and being moved to free safety? The kid reminds me of Earl Thomas coming out of Texas!
John: I haven't immersed myself in the draft yet, but from what I've seen, Hargreaves is a pretty prototypical corner. I'd be surprised if he moves to safety in the NFL.
Alan from Ellington, CT:
Can anyone apply for a coaching job or do you have to be asked to come in for an interview?
John: Teams contact the candidates they want to interview.
Matt from Mancave:
I read the question posted about Marqise Lee and had no idea he was still going back and trying to finish getting his degree. I wish more players would do that; says they actually cared about their education. Even though he's struggled to stay healthy I still think he can be a big help to this team in the future.
John: Marqise Lee indeed will return to Southern California this offseason to work toward finishing his degree. He said last week he actually has a couple of more semesters before he finishes. He is strikingly dedicated to finishing and clearly wants to do it as soon as possible. Lee will change his approach a bit this offseason, saying he plans to fly to Jacksonville to be more involved in the work Bortles and the receivers will put in away from the facility. And I agree: Lee can be a big help to this team in the very near future.
Tariq from Jacksonville:
To me, Blake Bortles' pick-sixes are due to his slower release – and, of course, not making the best decisions. The same plays result in positive yards for other teams. Is a faster release something a quarterback can improve over time or coaching?
John: A release can be quickened to a point, though Bortles' size, build and height does seem to contribute to his release appearing to be a bit slower than some quarterbacks. Still, decision-making has far more to do with the pick-sixes than the release.
Bryan from Reston, VA:
So, you're telling me if the Redskins somehow miraculously made it to the Super Bowl, you wouldn't get even a twinge of excitement, joy, or even just a good feeling?
John: This is a difficult concept for many people to grasp, and I don't know that I would have believed it 25 years ago. But when I started covering the NFL in 1995, my allegiance to the Redskins disappeared rather quickly. I admit I watched a game or two with more than a passing interest when Joe Gibbs coached the team the second time around – mainly because of the connection he represented to the teams for which my father and I rooted passionately in the 1980s and early 1990s. Other than that, I don't watch their games with any more interest than I do any other team.
Jeff from Jacksonville:
Thank you, John, for a memorable year with all of your excellent coverage of the Jags. It is nice to win, but through all of the ups and downs of this team, I am thankful for having a NFL team here in Jax. Sometimes, the problems the team has seem to overshadow all of the really great things the team and its players do around this community. Go Jags
John: #DTWD
David from The Island:
A lot of pundits say you draft to beat the teams in your division. And most of the discussion is the Jags draft will be heavy on defense. Right now, Houston's defense spent as much time in the backfield as Blake. How can the Jags win the division with this line and J.J. and crew mugging Bortles every snap?
John: Pundits do often say you draft to beat teams in your division, though I honestly never understood that. Why not draft well enough so that the other teams in your division have to draft to beat you?
David from Neptune Beach, FL:
Why would we play a defense that relies on a LEO and rangy free safety when we never – from the day Fowler got hurt – had even one on the roster? O, it makes zero sense, which is why the fan base is so frustrated with Gus and "his scheme."
John: The Jaguars played that scheme because that was the scheme for which they drafted and acquired talent, and because they didn't expect the Leos – even with Fowler hurt – to be quite as unproductive as ended up being the case. Fowler got hurt in May, and I guess I still don't know what scheme people wanted the Jaguars to use after that: one that featured more ineffective Leo pass rushers on the field on first and second down, thereby leaving the defense weak against the run? Should the scheme have featured Tyson Alualu and Jared Odrick at rush end? This scheme played well against the run and struggled to pressure the passer because the pass rushers didn't play well. The coaching wasn't perfect, but the pass rush was a difficult issue to overcome.
Trey from Lonely Fruit Cove:
Ryan O of the Times-Union recently had a "run in" with one of the Jags players and relayed his side of that exchange along with other disrespectful and insulting comments made by this player to other media members. How do you deal with the more insulting side of dealing with players and how do you react when other media members are being attacked or insulted by the players? I doubt I could be as professional as the current group of Jags media is in these situations.
John: This sort of event actually is relatively rare. My approach when in the traditional media when possible was to not make such incidents public. Then again, my time in the traditional media was well before the era of real-time news and Twitter, so I can't honestly say how I would handle the situation now. Generally, I always believed taking the high road was the best approach, but that ain't always easy.
John from Jax:
Tom Coughlin - Jags ring of honor?
John: Eventually, without question.

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