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O-Zone: The right answers

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Dave from Your Mom's House

It's like you forget that the Jaguars went back to the AFC Championship under Tom Coughlin's tutelage. Look, Shad is an idiot when it comes to football. I'm sorry, but it's true.

I tried to remember saying or writing that Jaguars Owner Shad Khan knew football well enough to run football operations. I couldn't remember because I never said that – because it's not true. Most NFL owners don't know football well enough to run football operations, which is why most owners do what Khan does – do their best to hire quality football people, support them and mostly let them make the football decisions. I'm also trying to remember when I indicated the Jaguars didn't make the AFC Championship Game during Tom Coughlin's tenure as executive vice president of football operations. They indeed did that – in 2017, his first season in the role. That was a magical year, but the magic ended and Coughlin – while a Hall of Fame-caliber head coach – proved a not-great fit for the so-called football-czar role. I wish that hadn't been the case. I have known Coughlin nearly 27 years and respect him a great deal. I admire what he's about and absolutely believe he belongs on this franchise's Mount Rushmore. But in that role … the fit didn't work. (Also, my mom doesn't live in a house. She's in a duplex in Mandarin. If you have a minute, get those boxes from the attic. She's been asking me for weeks and I keep putting it off.)

John from Jacksonville

I don't quite get why people forget that this concept – experienced "football guy" to run the organization – was precisely what former Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin was for nearly three seasons. The most successful seasons as well. You conveniently forget to mention that every time.

Sigh. I suppose I'll clarify this for those not reading carefully – or for those a bit slow on the uptake. When discussing Coughlin recent days, it has been within the context of whether Khan needs to hire an experienced football person to oversee football operations. It has been a Khan discussion, not a discussion about the entire history of the Jaguars.

Logan from Wichita, KS

Is there any chance the NFL takes away draft picks from the Jaguars for former Head Coach Urban Meyer's antics or because the team has been such a losing abomination? Fingers crossed they take away the first round pick we all know the Jaguars would/will ruin.

This won't happen.

Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA

Hi, John. "… how those (Jaguars) decision-makers feel about Robinson" will go a long way in determining how confident Jags fans feel about the new decision-makers. Even in this disaster of a season, only three NFL running backs have more yards and a higher average per carry. Absent a stunning trade for an established player or high draft pick (or an insane contract demand), do you feel there's any way to justify Robinson not being a Jag next year?

Though running back James Robinson – because he signed with the Jaguars as a collegiate free agent following the 2020 NFL Draft – is eligible to renegotiate and re-sign next offseason, he is under contract for the 2022 season. I therefore expect he will either play for the Jaguars under his current contract or an extended one.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

This is a purely hypothetical question, and as such you cannot "know" the answer. But in your considered opinion, if tight end Dan Arnold, wide receiver/returner Jamal Agnew, guard A.J. Cann, wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. and wide receiver/running back Travis Etienne Jr. had been able to stay healthy all season, how many more (if any) games could the Jaguars have won?

One or two.

Steve from Nashville, TN

Is the 2021 Jaguar draft class (outside the 1st round) in some kind of jeopardy when the new Coach comes in because they were "Urban's guys?"

The members of the '21 draft class will have to reprove themselves to the decision-makers in much the same way most players selected by former regimes must reprove themselves to new decision-makers. If the players can play, they will be part of the plan moving forward. If not … sure, they will be in jeopardy.

John from Jacksonville

I just had a brainstorm. Ditch the Pro Bowl game because it's bad football. The week before the Super Bowl have a game between the two worst teams and the trophy will be the first-round pick. I'd bet it would be a sellout and the TV ratings would be up there not to mention all the "Toilet Bowl" parties. Whatcha think??

It undoubtedly would draw interest from fans and media. Once. It wouldn't last long because it wouldn't be much of a game because why should the players care?

Nathan from Woodland WA

Hard no on Jim Caldwell as head coach. He is 67 years old and has been out of the league since 2019. How much does he have left in the tank.?

I would guess quite a bit, but I only have known him 20 years and spent a good deal of time with him talking football – and many other topics. You probably know better.

Howard from Homestead, FL

The Jaguars have never been the same since 62-7. It's time to acknowledge the curse of the Marino.

OK.

Scott from Fernandina Beach, FL

Hi John, I was surprised the Jags weren't more active in free agency last off season and hope the new decision makers are. They have a window of opportunity while rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence is on his rookie contract.

The Jaguars were very active in free agency last offseason. They signed more than a dozen players and overturned much of the roster. What they didn't do was pursue many "home-run" signings in free agency, trying instead to improve the depth and overall talent level of the roster. This worked in some spots on defense. It did little to help offensively. Will they take a different approach this offseason? Stay tuned.

Logan from Saskatoon, Canada

Hey, Zone. Been a Jags fan for 20-plus years and watch every game from up here in the frozen white north. My friends and family don't understand why I stay loyal, but for me the answer is easy - true fans don't switch sides. We all know what the bottom feels like, so the eventual top will be even sweeter.

Bless you, Logan.

KC from Orlando, FL

KOAF - do you see Chaisson on the trading block if we go defensive end with our first-round pick? He had one good game his entire career. He looks to be headed towards the backup rotational type of pass rusher.

Defensive end/linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson, the No. 20 overall selection by the Jaguars in the 2020 NFL Draft,appears at this point more a run-and-chase outside linebacker than a pass rusher. He's athletic, but hasn't found a niche in this scheme. Would the Jaguars try to trade him if they go pass rusher/outside backer/defensive end in the '22 draft? Perhaps. For what and how much interest would he generate? Probably not much at this point. 

Bruce from Saint Simons Island, GA

O, Merry Christmas, and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Are they?

Rob from Jacksonville

I think Braddock's statements are not that wrong. Most people with a decent amount of knowledge could take the "best available" list during the draft from any number of analysts, apply some of their own eye test and be right more often than not. Why do scouting departments screw this up so often? Pick ball players and let them ball.

I don't doubt you believe this. Many people do. And maybe you're right. Either way, those who believe this won't be convinced otherwise by anything I say or write. So, believe on, Rob. Believe on.

Dakota from Dupree, SD

Zone, this team has been historically bad for ten years + now. The one huge thing that I have noticed over the last decade is the huge lack in signing players to second contracts. In my opinion, that has crippled this franchise. Rarely in the NFL do teams with the youngest average age do well in a season. What does this franchise need to do to start keeping good talent here? Why does a "rebuild" have to be with mostly young players? Experienced players matter in the NFL. What say you Zone?

The franchise must draft better, have those drafted players develop more and do a better job re-signing the ones that do develop. A rebuild is best done with a lot of young players because the NFL typically is a league of short careers, and free agents often are past their primes or far too costly for their actual value. But yes … experience matters. There is such thing as being too young. It's a tough balance. Braddock and Rob could probably figure it out. It's tougher for many others.

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