JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Lovell from Jacksonville:
How long do you think it will take Tom Coughlin to get this team to playoffs? And do you guys really believe Chip Kelly can be a good offensive coordinator for the Jaguars?
John: Coughlin said shortly after he was introduced as executive vice president of football operations last week that he believes the Jaguars can win quickly. It's not in Coughlin's nature to think that a team he's running won't be successful, so I'm sure he's thinking playoffs soon – like now. It's realistically a long trip from 3-13 to the NFL postseason so I'll be more conservative and say 2018 – but I definitely believe this team can push for a .500 record next season. I believe that because it was close in far more games than not this past season and some marginal improvement could make a huge difference. As far as Kelly is concerned, let's not forget he hasn't been hired as the Jaguars' offensive coordinator yet, so it's probably OK not to assume that will happen. And if it does happen … yes, I do think he can be a good offensive coordinator for the Jaguars – and for a number of other NFL teams. He has had success offensively far more often than not in his career, so evidence suggests he is capable of putting players in a position to succeed.
Bob from Jacksonville:
I know the Jags are drafting fourth this year. Do they rotate the fourth spot with the Bears since they both finished with the same record, or is strength of schedule the determining factor?
John: The Bears and Jaguars will rotate the positions after the first round.
John from Jacksonville:
I'm noticing a lot of hires for position coaches before coordinator positions are filled. Not just with the Jaguars, but Denver and other places around the league. Has this always been the norm? It just seems to me that a coordinator would want to be in that conversation – but then again, I'm a science teacher and my football knowledge lies somewhere between "I can't believe they ran that play" and "Man, that was an awesome play."
John: This varies. There are times a coordinator has a position coach or two that he wants to bring on board, but there are other times the head coach knows who he wants coaching a position regardless of the identity of the coordinator. This often is decided based on the need for expediency. If an assistant is available and a head coach knows the assistant is a quality coach, he better hire him quickly – lest that assistant gets hired elsewhere.
Mike from Atlanta, GA:
I would rank the quarterbacks of this era – which is to say after the Elway/Marino/Favre era – as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Ben Roethlisberger/Aaron Rodgers in that order. What Manning was able to do in planning and making changes at the line was groundbreaking and may never be duplicated. I watch Brady throw the football and think it would be very difficult to throw a better pass. I think Brady's ability to get the football accurately and on time to anyone at any point on the field is unparalleled. If you have Brady at No. 3, who do you have at No. 2 and why put them ahead of Brady?
John: I don't have Brady at No. 3. I considered Marino and Elway the best quarterbacks of the 1980s to mid-1990s, and I have Brady, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers as the best three quarterbacks since then – with Drew Brees hovering right on the edge of that group. I waver from day to day about the order of those three because all three do things I haven't seen or imagined other quarterbacks doing.
Genuinejag13 from Jacksonville:
Mr. O, so the hope of Blake Bortles being the quarterback of the future for the Jags depends on him going to his quarterbacks coach a couple of weeks each offseason?
John: The hope of Bortles being the quarterback of the future for the Jaguars depends upon him becoming more efficient, becoming more accurate, making better decisions and developing in a bunch of other areas. He believes part of his issue last season was a drop in mechanics and he believes that can be addressed working with his quarterbacks gurus/coaches in California. If he believes it … well, I won't argue.
Jim from Meridian, ID:
With the exception of Soldier Field and Lambeau Field, I believe San Diego and Oakland had/have the two oldest stadiums in the league. In your expert opinion, how far down the road do you see the need for EverBank Field to be completely redone, or a new stadium built, in order for the Jags to keep up with the latest, greatest NFL stadiums?
John: Video boards. Locker rooms. Training facilities. US Assure Clubs. Fanduelville Deck. Pools. Daily's Place. I list these not to show how many one or two-word sentences I can write in succession, but to point out that the Jaguars, Shad Khan and the city of Jacksonville essentially have been in the process for much of the last half decade of modernizing/renovating EverBank Field on the fly. Part of the motivation behind that is to keep EverBank Field among the latest/greatest NFL stadiums and not have to tear down and start over.
Fred from Naples, FL:
Zone - so does Tom Coughlin have the power to fire David Caldwell?
John: Coughlin oversees football operations, so he theoretically has the power to hire and fire anyone on that side of the organization. That's obviously not something that's a topic right now, and I don't expect it to be any time soon.
Scott from Daytona Beach, FL:
It really comes down to the quarterback. Look at the four left standing right now. At least three of them are Hall of Famers and the other one can state his case with the season he had this year. It's always about the quarterback.
John: Well, yes.
Billy from Murphy, NC:
I like the moves John, but let's face it: Tom has to be the boss and control everything. It's just who he is. I mean, the recent hirings of Perry Fewell and Pat Flaherty are all Tom Coughlin's guys. I am worried he won't allow Doug Marrone to have his own guys. I think Marrone is a little too enamored with Tom Coughlin. Only time will tell, but I am very skeptical.
John: Fewell and Flaherty are experienced, qualified assistants. They indeed appear to be Coughlin guys, but my guess is Marrone is pretty pleased to get coaches so qualified no matter whose "guys" they happen to be.
Ronnie from Section 118 and Kingsland:
Dante Fowler Jr., Tashaun Gibson, and Jalen Ramsey said they felt caged/held back so to speak. With that, would you say it was from defensive coordinator Todd Wash's scheme or could it have been from former head coach Gus Bradley keeping his hands in the defense? It seems Gus wanted Wash to run his defense instead of allowing Wash to create his own scheme. Am I seeing it wrong?
John: All indications are that there's a good chance Todd Wash will make changes to the defensive scheme. As for what those changes are specifically, we don't yet know. How much was last season's scheme Bradley's? How much would Wash have changed? That's hard to say. Until now, Wash has been pretty closely associated with Bradley and Bradley's defense. How he branches off from that and implements his own ideas will define the Jaguars' defense next season – and will help define Wash's future.
Bill from Rochester, NY:
Is the No. 4 overall pick too high to draft a safety? I've heard and read some great things about Jamal Adams. Cornerback is obviously is a premium position. Would you consider safety in a similar regard?
John: Cornerback is not generally regarded as being as premium as cornerback. It's not unheard of to select a safety in the Top 5, but if you take one there you need to be really certain he's going to be a once-in-a-generational, beyond-elite guy. Think Sean Taylor.
Dakota from Dupree, SD:
Zone, it has been a few days now. Have you figured out how things will come down from the top? Who is your boss now? Caldwell? Coughlin? Khan? I know things are stressful with change. How are you holding up?
John: I cry a lot and spend a lot of time alone at lunch … you know, just like college.
Shawn from Jacksonville:
Chip Kelly?!! What happened to Nathaniel Hackett? The offense was playing better at times once he took over. Now the pink slip?? That is NOT a Marrone call if it happens.
John: Breathe, Shawn … breathe. OK, you good? Look, the Jaguars hired a new head coach and a new executive overseeing football operations. They did this after finishing 3-13 and losing nine consecutive games in one stretch last season. It's hardly unusual in such a situation for a team to interview various candidates and consider various options for the new direction of the franchise. Hackett remains on staff. He remains a consideration for offensive coordinator. We'll find out soon enough. But to think that considering Kelly is a ridiculous move … well, when you're 3-13 and trying to figure out the new direction, you're probably better off not writing anything off as ridiculous until you at least give it a serious once over.
JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Lovell from Jacksonville: