JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Greg from Section 122 and Jacksonville
Under the risk of being not nice, Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke needs to remember the really important phrase: K.I.S.S. Yeah … let's not REPEAT the Travon Walker approach and try to go someone in the draft who has "special skills" and "potential." I could go out a buy a flipping skateboard with the thought it has the potential to go 100 miles per hour in the right circumstances. But it more than likely is not going to get you anywhere quickly. I know we will need time to see if his draft approach pans out, but I for one hope he is just pretty straightforward about this one. Pick Best Available Player combined with need. If we need a tight end, corner or pass-rush specialist and someone on the board whose value fits the pick, get him. Don't over think it. Don't get cute. This approach I think is why we missed on quarterback Aaron Rodgers, defensive end J.J. Watt and a litany of other superstar players – because the general manager at the time thought they were smarter than everyone else. Just take the obvious choice.
This email "suggests" a few things. One is that the Jaguars selecting Walker No. 1 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft was a mistake. Another is that it was a given last April that Aidan Hutchinson was an overwhelming and obvious choice as the No. 1 choice and that the Jaguars went against what the rest of the league would have done by selecting Walker. Still another is that there are "obvious" choices in the NFL Draft. These suggestions aren't necessarily true. The Jaguars selected Walker because they believed him the best available player, and they didn't see it as an outlier move. As for the 2023 NFL Draft, I expect Baalke will approach it as any responsible general manager would do – by researching the draft and selecting the players he believes are the best – and who best will fit the organization. That's the task. That's the job. And remember: Obvious choices in the draft are rare and occur mostly in hindsight.
James from Salt Lake City via Jagsonville
Hi, Mr. O-man. Just wondering, have there ever been three receivers on a team that have had over a thousand yards? Maybe we can be the first. Do you think it is possible? Heck, let's throw in a tight end and go for four.
The Jaguars can't be the first to do this because it has been done multiple times. Tight end Kellen Winslow, wide receiver John Jefferson and wide receiver James Lofton did it for the San Diego Chargers in 1980. Wide receivers Ricky Sanders, Art Monk and Gary Clark did it for Washington in 1989. Running back Eric Metcalf, wide receiver Terance Mathis and wide receiver Bert Emanuel did it for the Atlanta Falcons in 1995. Wide receivers Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison and Brandon Stokley did it for the Indianapolis Colts in 2004. Wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston did it for the Arizona Cardinals in 2008. Great offenses can do it, and there's little question this Jaguars offense can accomplish it in 2023 if all goes well. Wide receiver Christian Kirk had 1,108 yards receiving in 2022. Wide receiver Zay Jones had 823 yards receiving. Tight end Evan Engram had 766 yards receiving. And this was in a season in which quarterback Trevor Lawrence and the offense really didn't establish cohesion/continuity until the second half of the season. It's a potential milestone to watch for this Jaguars team, particularly with the addition of wide receiver Calvin Ridley.
Sal from Austin, TX
Teal pant combos 5-2, 71 percent wins. White pant combos 3-1, 75 percent wins. Black pant combos 2-6, 75 percent losses. (Breakdown for black pant combos) White top/black pants 1-3, 75 percent losses. Teal top/black pants 0-2, 100 percent losses. Black top/black pants 1-1, 50 percent losses.
There are people who are really into uniforms. These statistics are cool for those people.
Kathy from Champaign, IL
Who owned the Jaguars before Shahid Khan?
Wayne Weaver was the Jaguars' original owner, owning the franchise from its 1993 inception until Khan took over as owner in January 2012.
Donny from Heathrow, FL, Section 37, Day 2
All the speculation about who Gary from St. Augustine really is amazingly amusing. The answer is as obvious as the ear on my face, but loyal readers can't see the forest because of the woods. This isn't rocket surgery, people! Gary is actually ... wait for it ... drum Roll … Mrs. O-ZONE!!!
I can't prove this to be untrue.
Bill from Jacksonville
John, Bijan Robinson has fallen to No. 24. You don't like any of the trade offers you've received. Do you just go ahead and draft him and figure out the running back room later? Fwiw, he's the top player on your board.
This is a good question, and it indeed would be a tricky situation. It's also a situation multiple teams likely will face in the 2023 NFL Draft with University of Texas running back Bijan Robinson. He's really good – perhaps one of the best four or five players in the draft. There seems little doubt his skills will translate into the NFL. At the same time, NFL teams increasingly have leaned away from running backs in the first round. I would be very tempted by Robinson in your scenario. I probably would pass.
Paul from Lake City, FL
If all the question writers were to suddenly become "nice," what impacts would it have for this column?
This column would probably become boring pretty quickly. (Insert joke here).
Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville, FL
You said, "If the Jaguars are good enough to win Super Bowls they will win them." OK, not trying to be argumentative or a jerk, but you know there is a LOT more to it than that. Let's be honest, we were beat last year by a Kansas City team whose quarterback was on a broken leg. That was not because the Jaguars were a lesser team. There are LOTS of mitigating factors to winning a Super Bowl, injuries and suspensions being the two most obvious. Also: The refs influence the outcome on some level … not starting the conspiracy thing again, just saying they ARE a factor. Do I think being good enough is the only thing needed? Hell, no. No way you can convince me of that. But not being good enough also means you basically have no shot. There needs to be some luck, favorable bounces, and yeah … I believe strongly the league needs to "WANT" you to win to some measure. It would be nice if all things being equal, the team with the most talent or best performance always won.
It sounds like maybe – just maybe – you're being a bit argumentative. My point in the answer you reference was that Khan's recent comments about the Jaguars having "cracked the code" – comments he made when praising General Manager Trent Baalke, Head Coach Doug Pederson and Lawrence during the 2023 NFL Annual Meeting – wasn't going to prevent them from contending and winning Super Bowls. If they're good enough to do that, they will do that. If they're not, they won't. And of course the best team doesn't always win. Sometimes a team doesn't play well on a given day. Or a break goes against it. Or injuries are too much. One thing that I do find curious is this idea that the Jaguars weren't the lesser team just because Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes played through an injury when the Chiefs beat the Jaguars in the playoffs. The Chiefs have won two of the past four Super Bowls and have played in five consecutive AFC Championship Games. The Jaguars came out of nowhere in 2022 and are just starting to come into their own. The Chiefs are the better team until the Jaguars prove differently. That's true even if Mahomes is playing through an injury.
DenMiz from Duuuuuuvaaalllll
You stated "What Khan said was fun. It's OK to have it." We need more of this. There is so much turmoil and everyone is just so serious about everything. With that said, you are definitely the king of all funk, but you are seriously missing out on chicken wings.
I've tried chicken wings. I'm not missing out.
Brian from Round Rock, TX
Sorry, O. When it comes to running an NFL franchise, Shad is a SLOW learner. His comments indicate that he still hasn't learned how to set the correct tone from the top. He has made great progress on executive talent acquisition, however. Hopefully, he won't another decade to figure this part out.
His comments indicate nothing of the kind. Remember: A great man once said. "What Khan said was fun. It was OK to have it." That man was either a visionary or a fool. Or maybe both.