O-Zone: Tip of the cap

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Dingus from Duval

For fun, I reread that 2018 Shad statement. If the Jaguars don't care why should we? The great equalizer of football is you can look at wins and losses. It appears we hold players accountable, sometimes for things that have little to nothing to do with football. Why aren't the Jaguars' front-office employees judged on this same simple metric? Not sure that I disagree with the non-firings, but I am just genuinely befuddled.

Many Jaguars fans are confused these days, and that's understandable. The Jaguars had double-digit losses in two consecutive seasons, and in this modern professional sports climate that's more than enough for fans and observers to start campaigns to "FIRE EVERYBODY!!!!!" They're serious about this sentiment enough to use CAPITAL LETTERS and exclamation points!!! Regarding your email … yes, Jaguars Owner Shad Khan essentially said following the 2018 season that what happened during that 5-11 last-place season wouldn't be good enough. The Jaguars went 6-10 and finished last in the AFC South again – and Khan opted to retain General Manager David Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone. That is widely being perceived as maintaining the same direction. But as Khan this week alluded to in his statement announcing he had retained Caldwell/Marrone, he dismissed Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin on December 18. Because Coughlin had the final say over football decision, Khan dismissing Coughlin is a significant move. It's not significant enough for many fans, but firing your top football decision-maker nonetheless is significant. Marrone also said Tuesday he expects some widespread organizational changes that he believes will be significant. Will all of this be enough? That's a fair question that only will be answered next season.

Jarret from Crosby, ND

Man, that conference was hard to watch. Those two already look defeated lol.

I didn't find Tuesday's availability difficult to watch, and I actually found it more informative than a lot of press conferences. Marrone in particular was strikingly open about some things he wants done and improvements he's going to try to make. Did Caldwell and Marrone look defeated? Well, neither is exactly prone to giddiness – and it has been a long few weeks.

Chris from Roseville, CA

How many TC fines did you rack up during the last two years?

He knew where to find me.

Adam from Wescosville, PA

More of the same statements, falling on deaf ears. Why should this be any different?

This was a common reaction following Tuesday's presser, and it's a fair reaction. There's little either Caldwell or Marrone can say that will appease fans who wanted change. The only thing that will appease fans is winning.

Red from O-Zone Comments Section

Hope you got plenty of old questions to recycle, John. Can't envision you receiving many in the coming weeks based on Khan's decision to stand pat with the crew that delivered a 11-21 record over the most recent two seasons.

Really? I can.

Steve from Homosassa

So, without saying it, they pretty much made Coughlin the scapegoat and blamed him for all the failings of the season. Tell me I'm wrong.

Not everything is 140 characters or black and white, but was there an element of saying that Coughlin's approach was a problem? Sure. That's fair.

Dr. J from Cincinnati

Happy New Year, Zone! There is a paradox that is bothering me about the media narrative about TC and the subsequent decision to retain Doug and Dave. As a disciplinarian, TC crossed lines with unnecessary fines and so forced his style into the coaching scheme that Doug wasn't able to do his job. The paradox is that the major issues with this team concerned the lack of discipline - not talent. In fact, the breakdown of our run defense is attributed to this lack of discipline and the Jags were the most penalized team in the league. I'm not advocating of TC as EVP in any way, but I find it silly to attribute the lack of discipline and consistency to a disciplinarian in TC. Teams with lesser talent did much better (relative to expectations - think Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans) - than the Jags this season, and the marked lack of discipline is a major factor for our record this season.

You're attributing a lot to lack of discipline and giving a lot of credit to talent, particularly in the area of run defense. I'm not sure this is an accurate assessment.

John from Jacksonville

As someone who must report on facts, and with the increase of false news in recent years, how do you feel about the recent example when someone reported that Doug Marrone was going to be fired when it obviously was not the case at all? Do these reporters get any type of accountability? You would think they would lose credibility but that usually doesn't seem to happen either. Thoughts?

I don't know the reporter who reported that Marrone would be fired, but I have no reason to think she made it up. My guess is someone who she believed was as a credible source told her and that the credible source was wrong. It's unfortunate. It's embarrassing for the report. But it happens. And it's not always malicious or even careless.

Bill from Jupiter, FL

I was curious about how New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady did in his first full season so I looked up his stats. In every category, Jaguars rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II was as good or better in his first season (in fewer games, too). I am looking forward to the next chapter for him. Your thoughts?

I'm not much into comparing quarterbacks with the idea of projecting how a young player will fare. The quarterbacks who reach franchise status essentially are outliers and all have factors that make them different from other quarterbacks. Brady in that vein is the ultimate outlier. He improved dramatically as a passer after his rookie season, developing from essentially a game manager into a player who could win games from the pocket with seemingly little help from the defense. That's a long developmental curve, and it's unfair to expect another player to follow the curve of a player who is perhaps the best to ever play the position. Minshew went 6-6 this season as a starter. He played his best game of the season in the last game of the season. He also struggled a lot in the second half of the season. Which player is the real player? We'll see.

Robert from St. Augustine, FL

Is the Jags ownership insane? Einstein once said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and thinking you're going to get different results. 2018 was a disappointment but this year was downright disturbing. What will next year be?

There is no evidence that Einstein actually said that. There's also no rule that says the Jaguars have to do the same thing just because Caldwell and Marrone remain. Can the players not play better? Is that not allowed?

Ron from Tallahassee, FL

The press conference Tuesday afternoon reminded me how much I like Doug Marrone. I'm glad he's sticking around. With the new operating structure, do you think Khan will be more involved in personnel decisions (drafts, contract extensions, free agent signings)? I believe he's come a long way on the football side of things since taking ownership of the team.

I absolutely believe ownership will be more involved with the Jaguars' decision-making moving forward than has been the case in recent seasons.

Big Viv from Duval

Feel like this is a big gamble. Playing chicken with the fans. If these guys lose more, Shad risks everyone.

Some fans feel this way. The reality is if the Jaguars lose – no matter who's in charge – a lot of fans will stay away. If they win – no matter who's in charge – many will come to the games and there will be excitement. If Khan believes this is the best course, this is the course he must follow.

Dave from Jacksonville

"The perception of many fans that Wash is a problem isn't shared by Marrone". You have perfectly stated a very strong argument for why Marrone should not have been retained as HC. I guess the Defense getting gashed for over 200 yards on the ground week after week was all Tom Coughlin's fault too? Good thing TC wasn't involved during the one good season - oh wait...

You're right. The defense getting gashed this season had nothing to do with the personnel and everything to do with coaching, just like the Top 10 defenses in 2016-2018 had nothing to do with personnel and everything to do with coaching. Good point.

Biff from Jacksonville

Happy New decade, Oehser! Here's to all of us focusing on silver linings. Or using O-Zone as our cathartic outlet. BTW, what is your tipping point?

My elbow.

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