JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
GPP from Savannah, GA:
Why is David Caldwell getting a pass when it was his decision to draft Bortles? Caldwell's other first-round picks have not been stellar nor have his free-agent signings.
John: I guess I'm never sure what "getting a pass" means when it comes to coaches or general managers. Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell has come under plenty of criticism from fans and media this season, and when Owner Shad Khan evaluates what's going on with the Jaguars I'm quite certain he asks Caldwell questions and evaluates his performance. Does getting a pass mean not getting fired? If so, then yes … Caldwell might "get a pass." I hope that's the case, because despite not accomplishing the impossible task hitting on every free agent and draft selection over a four-year period he has put a structure in place and is building a foundation that can lead to this team to competitiveness and beyond. I don't know if Khan agrees with that. We'll see. Look, I get that people are talking a lot right now about who will "get a pass" and who won't. The argument right now against Caldwell seems to be he "missed" on quarterback Blake Bortles. I don't know that that's written in stone yet, and I don't know that missing on a quarterback must be grounds for firing – public perception notwithstanding. Overall I think Caldwell returning is the right move – because while the timetable may feel too long, the organization's course in terms of young talent and potential moving forward remains strong. I don't yet know what will happen on this front. I don't know that many outside Khan do. Stay tuned.
Jordan from Little Valley:
Would you be upset with the fans if they throw a parade for Bradley's 50th loss?
John: Fans can do what they want. I try not to let their actions dictate my emotions. I've learned it's better that way.
Chuck from Jacksonville:
I know I am in the minority in the city, but I would like to give Dave and Gus one more year before we pull the plug. Their drafting seems to have us on the right track. Not all of the free-agent signings have been great, but the contracts were structured correctly and we know free agency is a crap shoot at best. If Blake had not regressed to a high-school quarterback, I believe the team would have more wins and be more competitive. I hate to think we are going to start over with the front office and coaches and change philosophy again when maybe one more year would put us where we need to be. Your thoughts?
John: You indeed are in the minority. I don't know what will happen after the season. I wish I did. As I have said often in recent weeks … while I favor continuity in the NFL on a philosophical level, considering the expectations entering this season, continuity in this instance would be an exceedingly difficult path.
Travis from Duval:
Great News!! Actually, I don't have any regarding the Jags, can you help?
John: Not actually, no.
Herbert from MidState Office Supply Accountz Receevablez:
Would you consider Brandon Allen to be a waste of a roster spot this season considering he's been inactive for every game this season and the fact that most teams passed on him in the draft due to his small hands?
John: Not particularly, no. We won't know for several seasons if Brandon Allen was a waste of a roster spot. If he never is the Jaguars' primary backup quarterback and/or if the Jaguars never acquire anything for him in a trade, then perhaps he was a waste. If not, not.
Dave from Duval:
When you have been as bad as this franchise has been projecting and speculating quarterbacks, it does make sense to hold on to Bortles and extend the pain even longer. Then, he can twist the knife and add on to his record.
Casper from Orlando, FL:
Sometimes you must look at the stupidity represented in your mailbox and just shake your head.
John: If I ever am tempted to do such a thing I look in the mirror and remember my readers have the ability to shake their heads, too.
Jacob from North Carolina:
Would you consider sitting most of the starters in the final games to avoid injury? Or would you consider not starting people if they make it on the injury list (only start people who are "fully" healthy)? Or not make any changes in regards to starting players? I know we want to win now, but it would be nice to be fully healthy starting next year (but what do I know). Thanks!
John: I would be cautious with injured players in the sense that I wouldn't play a player if an injury had them more at risk for further injury than otherwise would be the case. Aside from that … nah.
Steve from Nashville, TN:
On Monday, January 2 I suspect there will be changes announced in Jacksonville and maybe a few other NFL cities around the country. Will you be working that day?
John: To the best of my recollection I have worked the day after the NFL regular-season finale for each of the last 21 years. I see no reason why this season should be any different.
Matt from Orange Park, FL:
I know you hate when I ask this O-Man, but I'd love to get your thoughts. You actually think it's OK to have a segment called Jags of the Round Table at a square table? C'mon, throw me a bone here.
John: I have no idea what you're talking about.
Corey from Orange Park, FL:
I don't get the distaste for Khan's decision to finish out the season with Bradley. What does firing him now, as opposed to at the end of the season, do? If anything, I would say it shows we have an owner who will let you see through what you're trying to accomplish. I don't think of it as a bad thing. It was a four-year plan, and we are at the end of the fourth year. It isn't ideal, and I'm definitely against retaining Bradley. But I remember Mel Tucker. I remember how irrelevant we still were. I know people want something to change, but this season is almost over and a change now will do nothing, in my opinion. Thanks for what you do, John!
John: I don't get worked up about midseason coaching changes one way or the other. That's because they historically have no real lasting benefit, and at the same time, there's no real benefit or loss to whatever decision gets made. The interim coach usually is largely forgotten by the time a new coach is hired in January, and the mood/culture at that point within the building is dominated by the new coach and the changes that have taken place. Change coaches midseason, don't change coaches midseason … whatever … the decision pales in comparison to what's coming in a few weeks/months.
Don from Duval:
I think the worst part about this time of year, besides everything, is that if and when we win one of these garbage games it just hurts draft position and so I have doubly nothing to look forward to.
Brian from Gainesville, FL:
Big O, the question and answer regarding A-Rob's body language and frustration sent shudders of worry through me. The one thing the Jaguars can cling to right now, and it's a significant thing indeed, is that there is a growing core of good/great – most importantly, young – players around which the future will grow. But is there a chance that many of these young stars will simply abandon ship at the first opportunity leaving us staring down a new rebuild?
John: The Jaguars' good, young players are under contract through at least the 2017 season. There is no reason the Jaguars can't re-sign the core players they want to keep before they hit the open market.
Scott from Aurora, IL:
I'm back. Actually, let's face it: I never left. I think firing Gus Bradley is not the answer. When you step back and really think about it, while not all things have gone well everywhere else all the time, there is only one part of the team that woefully underperformed and that is the quarterback position. Do everything, anything, you can to find a quarterback that can play at a Top 15 level and this team is pretty good.
John: Welcome back, Scott.
Michael from Middleburg, FL:
It's beyond me how arm-chair quarterbacks and media know-it-alls think they know more about who, how much and where players play than the coaches.
John: Sometimes those arm-chair quarterbacks are right. And a lot of times they're wrong. Sometimes the media know-it-alls are right, too. A lot of times they're wrong. That's what makes it exciting and fun.
Mark from Jacksonville:
Who is (or are) the people responsible for a 14-47 record? Ownership? General manager? Coaches? Players? Fans? O-Man?
John: It's not the fans, but O-Man is starting to gain a lot of popularity.
O-Zone: The popular choice
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
GPP from Savannah, GA: