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O-Zone: The little things

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …


I am confused, Mr. O. Foles was signed last off season for a huge guaranteed money. He has played in less than four games due to injury and now the general manager wants to trade him. What gives?

I'm sorry you're confused. Confusion can be, well … confusing. And you indeed seem to fit the definition of "confusing," because there have been no reports that Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell wants to trade quarterback Nick Foles – and Caldwell has said nothing to indicate that's the case. Still, your confusion is understandable because speculation has run rampant that Foles could be traded – and it's true that trading Foles is possible, just as releasing Foles is possible. It's also possible Foles will play for the Jaguars as a backup next season, just as it's also possible Foles could start for the Jaguars next season – either to start the season or sometime during the season. This answer is not meant to be snide. It's just to acknowledge that while many are speculating the Jaguars want to trade Foles, all such speculation is just that. The Jaguars currently are exploring many options regarding many players on the the roster. That's what February and the early part of March are about in the NFL, and the exploring regarding Foles is hardly complete. There are a slew of options regarding Foles' status next season, and it's not correct to assume that Caldwell is leaning one way or the other. Yet.

Ray from Jacksonville

John: You should run for president. If someone disagrees with you, they "don't understand" things that you do. Perhaps they simply have a different opinion.

O-Zone questioners and readers often have a different opinion than mine. That's to be expected. It's just as true that O-Zone questioners and readers often don't understand an issue. That's also to be expected, and it's why they're asking questions.

KC from Ukiah, CA

I just saw tight end Jordan Reed on a "cap casualty" list. Would his experience with Jaguars offensive coordinator Jay Gruden make him a decent option for TE1 if the Jags care to pursue him?

Reed, who will enter his eighth season next season, has spent his entire career with the Washington Redskins and spent five of those in Washington while Gruden was head coach. That certainly would make him a possibility for the Jaguars in free agency next month. He also missed last season with a concussion and has missed 57 games in seven seasons with injuries, so that would be something to consider.

Van from Jacksonville

Let us accept the fact that Khan is the smart businessman which you believe. If he is that smart, why would he invest millions of dollars on buying the Jags? What I hear is the owner trying to make lemonade out of a lemon. As far as Lot J goes, how many years will it take before it begins to make a profit? I am sure it will do well in the beginning and then will go down the same road as the Landing.

I smile when I get questions implying that Jaguars Owner Shad Khan isn't smart. Whatever the Jaguars' record on the field during his tenure, there's no disputing that Khan is a smart man. Well, guess there's some disputing – by, you know … Van from Jacksonville.

Phil from Woodmere, NY

Why do all these average Joes think they know what a self-made billionaire is thinking? I wish I could read the minds of billionaires, too.

If you could do that, you'd see he wishes he were as smart as Van.

Tyler from Jacksonville

Can they at least greatly reduce the price of concessions before the game starts? Two-dollar beers would greatly reduce the straggler problem that has notoriously affected the first-quarter attendance. Half the crowd seems to wait outside for one more beer before they can only get them for $9 apiece.

Ticket prices for Jaguars games are among the lowest in the NFL, and while concession prices aren't cheap in any form or fashion, they're not really out of line with prices at most big-time professional sports events. I doubt you'll see them go down significantly. Even before the game.

Tom from Charlottesville, VA

When a player is suspended and loses his salary, is the team given a credit to the cap?


Mark from Sobieski

I lived in Charlotte, North Carolina, for a while. Back in the early 80s I drove through the city and it was small and kind of run down. When I moved there, I was surprised at how it had grown into a vibrant, good-sized city. I found out it was because Hugh McCall (Bank of America) decided he liked the area and built his BoA HQ there and helped clean up the downtown area and brought in revenue, to include other banks and new businesses. I'm hoping that Khan can do the same with J-Ville.

That's his hope. That's the idea behind Lot J and the Shipyards. Yes, the development would benefit the Jaguars. But it also would benefit the city of Jacksonville. This is not another "Landing." And yes, the projects would revitalize downtown Jacksonville. For all of the skepticism and the anger running rampant among Jaguars fans and observers these days, that's very definitely the hope.

Jeremy from Omaha, NE

With a lame duck general manager and head coach in place, their need to win now will set this franchise back several years after this season. There isn't much hope on the horizon for the Jags. Everything is lined up for failure.

That's a risk, yes. It's up to Khan and Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell to work together to ensure that doesn't happen.

Jim from Jagsonville

It's been a privilege to have Calais Campbell in our community. Glad we've had the gifts he brings on and off the field. Could an award like the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year this affect coming contract negotiations, or influence a decision on retirement?


CD from Fleming Island

Hey, John: I know this is a ways off, but in discussions of Lot J and the Shipyards have they discussed any logistical plans of how a new stadium could/would be built in relationship to all that new development? I imagine all that construction would have an impact. I always hoped they'd build a new stadium somewhere that was easier to get in and out of. But with what's there now and what's to come, I obviously get why they're staying put. Do you foresee construction to be a build-next-door situation, play at another venue for some time, etc.?

This is far enough out – and with enough unknowns – that it's impossible to project. Jaguars President Mark Lamping said recently that the first step regarding the stadium will be studying what the team/city need from the stadium. That process likely will take 36-to-48 months. It also must be determined whether a renovation or new stadium would be the best route. If I had to guess now, a major renovation seems most likely. I have no idea what form or scope that would take, but it would be a dramatic overhaul. The 'Bank needs it.

Vincent from Bristol

Hey john, imo I believe you could cut half of this roster some threw trades for mid round picks and keep certain players and draft the rest of starters and backups needed to compete what do u say?

Hey vince, I think rosters turnover a lot in an nfl offseason and the Jaguars probably will trade some players and release some players that sum people aren't necessarily expecting and that a few drafted players will start and its possible to think they could compete next year.

Charles from Riverside

Hello, John. So, Gruden is a West Coast offense guy. If so, it seems that plays into Minshew's game. Over the course of last season, I thought he had great skills in ball placement for his wide receivers. Certainly, a mental command of the play book. Short, middle, long, he seems to have a better than average "touch?" Ability to check down easily (and scramble). All playing into that West Coast style. Too early, or is this something potentially very positive?

It's probably early. Gruden and the Jaguars' offensive coaching staff are still in the process of evaluating, and we don't yet know for certain if Gardner Minshew II or Foles will start at quarterback next season. The traits you mention with Minshew should make him a good quarterback in any style, and he also showed a real knack for making big plays in the play-action passing game. But yes … a lot of Minshew's positives would make sense in a West Coast-based scheme. That wouldn't be bad.

Nicholas from the Top of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Zone: I miss it when the biggest controversy among fans was the due to the way O-Zone column was laid out. How long until we can go back to complaining about the small things again?

Give it time.