JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Chris from Space City, TX
Nice job finding the two or three players on the team that wouldn't say anything negative about Dictator Coughlin. Judging by the 25 percent grievances to the NFLPA, I'm pretty sure you can find a few players in the locker room relieved Grumpy Grandpa was dumped. Coughlin should be remembered as an embarrassment to the Jaguars' organization, not just because he made his own rules and developed a toxic culture, but mainly because he botched our quarterback situation worse than anyone could imagine. Good riddance, old Tom.
Thanks! I did do a nice job. I spoke to four players in the locker room Thursday about former Jaguars Senior Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin: cornerback A.J. Bouye, defensive tackle Abry Jones, running back Leonard Fournette and defensive end Calais Campbell. Bouye and Jones on Wednesday spoke openly about the fines around the Jaguars in recent seasons, and Fournette obviously had issues with Coughlin in his first two seasons. That's pretty representative of the proper players to speak on the issue. All three players discussed Coughlin's legacy and how he will be remembered, and all had generally fair things to say. The story's purpose wasn't to slam a man while he's down. It wasn't meant to detail every misstep made. Those topics are being discussed elsewhere in the Jaguars' universe, and they have been discussed extensively in this forum – and elsewhere on this site and this team's social-media channels. Was it necessary for Jaguars Owner Shad Khan to dismiss Coughlin? Sure, for multiple reasons. Were there players during cartwheels over Coughlin's dismissal that we intentionally ignored on jaguars.com? No. As far as how Coughlin will be remembered, it will be complex. He will be remembered in part for missteps, but he also must be remembered for being involved with the three best seasons in franchise history. He absolutely won't be remembered as an embarrassment, at least not by people who understand the NFL.
Scott from New York, NY
Can we talk about whoever we are playing this week? We are riding a winning streak after all.
No. What matters is I suck. Ask Chris. Ask anyone.
Edward from Los Angeles, CA
If the Jaguars win their final two games, rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II will finish his rookie season 7-5 as a starter on a team with gaping holes in its roster. Coming from an angle of continuity, how might that affect the chances of the coaching staff returning?
It would help, but perhaps not enough. I believe Head Coach Doug Marrone has a very real chance of returning. What that will mean for key members of the rest of the staff … well, we won't know that until we know if Marrone will return.
Patrick from Springfield
Assuming we retain Nick Foles and Minshew for the 2020 season. If either starts, do you think we will have the league's best backup quarterback?
Possibly, but it's better to have the best starter.
Jeremy from Jacksonville
Remember that time we went to the AFC Championship game without Tom Coughlin? Neither do I. Every time the Jags have done it, T.C. has been a major player. But let's send him packing because a handful players decided to buck the system (one that has proven successful).
This is a sensitive, complex issue. It makes sense that there would be emotional, heartfelt opinions on both sides. And while many people such as my close friend – Chris from Space City – believes to their cores that Coughlin was responsible for all things that went wrong with the Jaguars in the last two seasons, there just as certainly are those who believe strongly in Coughlin. As usually is the case, this story can't be told in 140 characters. Coughlin erred on many fronts while serving as EVP of Football Ops but he is not solely responsible for the struggles. At the same time, the NFLPA news this week created a national perception that the Jaguars were unfriendly to players. Was that fair? It doesn't matter. The perception in this case was what mattered. Because of that, coupled with the team's record the past two seasons, Khan had no choice but to dismiss him.
Randy from Jacksonville
Let's talk about the next season and signing our star, defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. It seems to me that Yan should have fired his negotiating team. If he could have made between $19-25 million in 2019, and yet he played for $2 million. That is a lot of money to leave on the table. I don't believe he can make that money up in future years, especially after only ranking 25thin sacks in the league. Why would a player pass on a deal that would make him the fourth-highest paid at the position and lose out on possibly $20 million or more?
I don't know.
Steve from Sunroom Couch
Dear John, General Manager David Caldwell picked Gus Bradley as head coach, then drafted quarterback Blake Bortles at No. 3. When things weren't panning out, Khan brought in Coughlin to oversee things and they drafted running back Leonard Fournette at No. 4 to complement Bortles. Here we are several years later and Bortles is gone, Coughlin is gone and the offensive can't block well enough for Fournette. Can you see how this lunacy would have the fans a little miffed?
Sure. Losing sucks. It makes everyone miffed. I don't know what Khan will do with Marrone and Caldwell at the end of the regular season. I do know that all the things you mention are secondary to finding the right quarterback.
Tudor from St. Augustine, FL
I like the phonetic sound of "KOAF" as a word rather than an abbreviation You should roll with it, ya Koaf!
I am the king of all funk.
Rob from Stone Mountain, GA
Zone, in your opinion, what positions would we have to fill to switch this defense from a 3-4 to a 4-3? What players currently on the roster would you keep to make this conversion? Do you think the draft/free agency could hasten this process? Lastly, what's more beneficial in a 3-4 defense, great safety play to aide in pass/run support or lockdown coverage on the outside? Thanks again O for answering my question, and to mention it was my birthday!!!
The Jaguars would be in good shape at linebacker with a move to 3-4, and it actually would seem to fit their personnel relatively easy in that regard. Edge defenders Josh Allen and Ngakoue would seem to fit very well at outside linebacker in a 3-4 and Leon Jacobs and Myles Jack certainly could convert inside in the scheme. Defensive line would need to be a focus, but the reality is the Jaguars must address interior defensive line whatever next season's scheme. The roles in the secondary needn't change too much.
Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
John, I agree Nick has had an underwhelming year. However, cutting off the nose to spite the face needs to be thought of. He looked so good in training camp and his few plays before the injury. He looked so bad after it. I have to think he's still injured either physically or mentally. Before we go and blow everything on a knee-jerk decision, we need to give Nick a complete offseason and preseason before we cut the cord. Hopefully he can be the quarterback and leader we thought he was. Go Jags!!
Hey, one fer Foles …
Matt from Green Cove Springs, FL
Hey Zone! I know you're still not 100 percent on Minshew considering no one has any clue what's going to happen this offseason. However, his intangibles are something that can't be taught. The kid has ice water in his veins and just GETS IT for being a rookie. I hope at the very least whoever the decision makers are gives him at least a chance. He's proven a lot of people wrong so far. While I certainly respect your opinion, this is the one time I hope you are ,too. We need someone special at quarterback.
And one fer Minshew…
JG from Silver Spring, MD
Hi John: I remember about 10 years ago when the Jaguars felt that the only missing piece was a pass rushing defensive end, and they made a huge trade to draft Derrick Harvey. Point being, they may need a lot of help right now, but they could sure do a whole lot worse than rebuilding around edge defenders Ngakoue and Josh Allen.
Allen is the foundation piece. Ngakoue is too good to let get away, and the Jaguars need to find the correct role and the correct contract for him. The defensive rebuild should start there.
David from Orlando, FL
Whoa, whoa, whoa, you said "it wouldn't surprise me in the least if Caldwell and Marrone return next season." That statement is a different shade of what you've been saying. I've been reading you long enough O-Zone to know that these "pivot" statements often turn out to be prophetic. What do you have to say for yourself?
Thank you for reading.