JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
All Jags Fans Everywhere:
Todd Wash … sigh.
John: I take this to mean you believe all Jaguars fans are uninspired by the announcement Friday of defensive line coach/run-game coordinator Todd Wash as the new defensive coordinator. First, I very much doubt all Jaguars fans dislike the move. Second, while I understand that fans were confused/frustrated by how the search process played out – and enticed by the shiny, well-known name of Jim Schwartz as a candidate – there absolutely is nothing wrong with Wash as defensive coordinator. There also was nothing wrong with the process. The Jaguars interviewed who they wanted, and while there clearly was a good chance all along that Wash was getting the job, there's nothing wrong with going through the process, making sure you're right and exposing yourself to the ideas and the possibilities of the candidates. As for Wash, I believe he will do fine – providing the Jaguars improve their defensive personnel as much as they believe they will during the coming offseason.
Tyler from Ashburn, VA:
I wish we could have gotten Jim Schwartz, but that's history now. I don't have much of a problem with Wash as defensive coordinator, either. Gus Bradley will go into the season with a hand he dealt himself. If the defense fails, even with an influx of defensive free agents and a defense-heavy draft, then Bradley will and should lose his job.
Jake from Hamdet, CT:
Zone, I'm not buying into this negative perception of the defensive-coordinator search. If Todd Wash had been promoted immediately, the questions would have been, "Why, Oh, Why didn't we interview anyone else?" Even if Wash was the guy all along, interviewing other candidates provides additional outside perspective on the roster, player roles and scheme. I look at those opportunities as a positive; maybe that's why I'm struggling to see why this looks so bad to some. Fans just fannin'?
John: Fans indeed gonna fan, and as far as the rest of your points … well, yeah.
Chad from Sinking Spring, PA:
With the Jags only interviewing coaches with not much or no coordinator experience does it become clearer that Gus will be calling the plays for the foreseeable future?
John from Jacksonville:
Are teams allowed to fake a one-point conversion and try for two points? If so, can a team "always" designate an eligible receiver for every one-point conversion to catch a team off guard for a possible fake to get two points on rare occasions?
John: A team indeed can fake a one-point conversion and go for two. That would essentially mean choosing to try a 15-yard trick play rather than a two-yard conventional play. A team wouldn't necessarily have to "designate" eligible receivers for the play; field-goal formations feature eligible receivers. To my knowledge no team tried it this past season, though I suppose someone will at some point.
Mike from Yulee, FL:
I am confused. I read one article saying Brian Walters was a free agent this year and one saying he isn't. If he is, do you think that is someone they will try to re-sign to play the slot for when Lee gets injured for the entire season again?
John: I don't recall Lee ever being injured for the entire season. I suppose that's because he never has been remotely close to being injured for an entire season. As for Bryan Walters, he is not a free agent. I wrote earlier this week – as did other sites – that he was a free agent, after which I was told that after being released early this season he re-signed to a deal through the end of the 2016 season.
Jerry from North Lauderdale, FL:
Why is Colvin is the nickel back on passing downs? Isn't this hurting us at two positions when you move him to the other position?
John: Colvin was the nickel back this past season on passing downs because he was the team's best nickel back and one of the two best cover corners. Yes, it hurt the Jaguars at cover corner when he moved inside, but it helped them at nickel back because he's good at it. That matters because nickel is essentially a starting position in today's NFL. It's a tricky position, and Colvin has the instincts and versatility to play it well.
Scott from Yulee, FL:
O-Man, thanks for your super, top-secret insight into to our beloved Jags! What says you about us possibly moving UP in the draft (maybe No. 1) to grab a ferocious pass rusher in Joey Bosa? Seems like the best and safest pick as far as talent goes. I think he could be an immediate impact player that we have needed for YEARS!! #BringBosaOn
John: This will be an oft-covered topic in the coming months. Right now, Joey Bosa seems like a fine choice and he no doubt would help the pass rush. One thing I doubt will happen is the Jaguars trading up to No. 1 overall from No. 5. That would mean executing a trade with the Titans inside the AFC South … doubtful, at best.
John from Jacksonville:
We are fortunate to have an owner who bought the franchise knowing (1) the task was to keep it in Jacksonville, (2) the team needed rebuilding from scratch, and (3) the fans were growing impatient after years of disappointment. This owner is often underappreciated by fans who continue to be paranoid, question how he spends his money and question the decisions he makes. I say we have one of the top visionary owners with a commitment to Jacksonville and the Jaguars. Until I see a fan who has enough money to buy him out and to do what they want and how they want it, I suggest we appreciate what we have and enjoy the ride. Bumpy rides can be as fun as smooth ones if the experience itself if enjoyed. That's all.
John: You make sound points, particularly about Jaguars fans being fortunate Shad Khan bought the franchise. I don't know that he realized when he purchased the team that the build was going to be qui-i-i-i-i-i-i-ite this big … but he realized it quickly and helped set a sound, long-term plan in place. It's Khan's commitment to doing things right and accepting that things will take time that sets him apart from many owners. In the long run, that approach will benefit the Jaguars far more than a quick-trigger, reactionary approach. As far as appreciating and enjoying the bumpy ride … I don't know if that's realistic. Fans in my experience don't appreciate and enjoy ups and downs while they're happening. Nor should they. They should be irritated and frustrated when teams lose and joyous when they win. That's kind of the nature of the beast.
Maurice from North Potomac, MD:
Okay JOHN … I will repeat my previous question: Do you think Mario Williams, Oliver Vernon, Trumaine Johnson, and Janoris Jenkins are realistic free agent targets for the Jaguars based on how Caldwell/Bradley think?
John: At this early stage, I think Vernon and Jenkins make a lot of sense. While David Caldwell is transparent in many situations, he's understandably and correctly not very transparent when preparing for free agency. For that reason, a lot of the things we believe and think we know in the next few months may go away quickly in a few days in March.
Otto from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." I like this famous quote. The Panthers started the same year as the Jaguars. Is there a thought or two why they are where they are and we have struggled the last 10 or so years?
John: They drafted a lot of good players, including Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly. That's a start.
Cory from North Bay:
If the Jags target Bruce Irvin in FA, do you think he can play the Otto position? Or do you see him just as a pass rusher?
John: I think he could do both.
Guy from San Antonio, TX:
I keep hearing things like Bradley will have a bigger role in the defense this year – that he might call plays or be part of the game planning. This sounds like it's not the norm, and I was wondering what is the normal level of involvement of head coaches in game planning and play calling?
John: There is no "norm," per se. The role of coaches – including head coaches – vary from team to team based on how the head coach structures the staff and the skill set of the head coach. Sometimes, head coaches leave play-calling and game-planning entirely to the coordinator. Sometimes, they assist heavily during the week and leave play-calling to the coordinator. Sometimes, they call all of the plays all season. Sometimes, they call plays in certain down-and-distance or red-zone situations. Sometimes, they step in on a given week when they just want to know what the heck is going on.
O-Zone: The way it is
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
All Jags Fans Everywhere: