JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
KC from South Florida
From one former all-time great Jags player turned coach to another ... what are your thoughts on Mark Brunell becoming the Detroit Lions quarterback coach as his very first NFL coaching job?
I was a bit surprised when former Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell became the Lions' quarterbacks coach; although we speak relatively often, I didn't sense he was looking to get into the NFL as an assistant. But upon reflection, it makes sense. His children are college age or older, so the year-round time commitment demanded of NFL assistants presumably won't be as difficult as previously would have been the case. As far as getting the Lions' quarterback coaching position, it's really not that surprising. Brunell played 19 seasons in the NFL and played two seasons with the New York Jets when Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn was the Jets' running backs coach in 2010-2011. And it's not all that unusual for a former player to get a first job coaching the position he played. It will be interesting to watch Brunell moving forward. Quarterback coach is often a jumping point to coordinator and beyond. Brunell is 50, so it's not absurd to think he could rise and do well in this position. My sense is that will happen. We'll see.
Fred from Naples, FL
In your opinion is the jump from No. 25 in the draft all the way up to where Florida tight end Kyle Pitts will be selected (anywhere from Nos. 8-12) too expensive for the Jaguars to consider with all their draft capital?
First, we don't know where Pitts actually will be selected; I've seen mocks with the former University of Florida tight end going in the teens – and even in the somewhat later teens. Jumping there certainly comes at a different cost than moving to Nos. 8-to-12 or so. Moving from No. 25 to No. 8 might cost the Jaguars the No. 33 overall selection (the first selection of Round 2) or it could cost a third-round selection and multiple later-round selections. Moving from No. 25 to No. 18 might just cost a third-round selection or so. I doubt the Jaguars would move up to No. 8. No. 18 obviously makes more sense. We won't have any idea what it will take until the draft begins because there's no way to know if Pitts would "fall" into a reasonable range.
Zac from Austin, Tejas
I like asking you varieties of the same question; it's like looking for chink in the armor. It's fun! How far would the current Kansas City Chiefs team have gone with Gardner Minshew II (or one of our other backups) at quarterback? Or a similarly all-around excellent 2020 team?
Not as far.
Paul from Jupiter, FL
So Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson's agent is also former Jaguars and current Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey's agent - do you think David Mulugheta's whiny, take-my-ball-and-going-home tactics are going to change general managers' opinions on going after players who hire him? I, for one would be leery, having seen this show now twice.
You're referencing Ramsey seeking – and getting a – trade from the Jaguars to the Los Angeles Rams in 2019, and Watson seeking one from the Texans now. Could Mulugheta's presence in both situations give general managers pause to take a player? Perhaps. A bit. But only a bit. Talent usually wins out in these situations. If Mulugheta keeps representing good players, the NFL will keep selecting them.
Howard from Homestead, FL
If Deshaun Watson is all that, shouldn't the Texans' pick (held my Miami) be a lot higher than No. 3? I get that he's a good quarterback. But in a league which favors the quarterback, shouldn't a talent like his yield more than four wins, especially seeing that two came against the Jags?
Watson's really good – and a franchise quarterback indeed is typically enough to ensure his team selects somewhere outside the Top 5. I emphasize "typically" because there are exceptions. All reports in recent weeks have indicated many issues about the Houston Texans this past season, and many of those same reports indicate that Watson perhaps played at an extremely high level given the circumstances. I admit I'm not as high on Watson as many NFL observers. I see him as very good, though not necessarily at the level of quarterbacks I consider elite. But in this case, it may be hard to blame the Texans' woes on the quarterback position.
Nathan from St. St. Augustine, FL
Hi, John. Do you think it could be beneficial to add the Rooney Rule to coordinator positions? I think it could help get names out there that might not otherwise get interviews, and the more minority coordinators you have the more likely to start getting minority head coaches.
NFL teams as of this offseason must interview at least one minority candidate for vacant offensive, defensive and special teams coordinator positions.
Reuben from Pikesville
Regarding your response regarding former Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin and Ramsey: I used to work for a corporation that owned a movie studio. We gave two big stars each $50 million exclusive contracts after they each had one hit because we knew that people pay to see stars, not suits like me. Ramsey was a star, Coughlin a suit. Jettisoning Coughlin (if that would have placated Ramsey) is a no-brainer. (In the 80s $50 million was big money even in Hollywood.)
It wasn't a no-brainer. Say you "jettison" Coughlin to placate Ramsey. What would have been next? Firing the coach to placate him if he decided he didn't like the coach? Say he got into an argument with a teammate and wanted the teammate gone? Do you "jettison" him, too? Ramsey is a great player. Do you just keep giving him whatever he wants whenever he wants? I suppose some people would have done just that. I can't call not doing so a bad decision.
John from Jacksonville
Sir KOAGF - I need help. Each year, when the Senior Bowl arrives, my mind quickly defaults to Senior Citizen Bowl. I envision a bunch of old people playing a football game and spending the week talking about old times when they could jump and bend. I'm even approaching this milestone in the coming years. How do I get my brain to remove this erroneous vibe and to default to what it really is?
Get more sleep.
Ryan from Reality
John, you stated in an answer about the Jags stability in Jacksonville that "Khan wants the Jaguars in Jacksonville and he will do whatever he can to make it work until proven otherwise." I'd love to believe that. But clearly he's not willing to spend what it takes to keep the Jaguars here if the city is not willing to foot some part of the bill. Shad has the money. Would it be nice for the city to help out? Sure. Should they? Probably. But since they're not, this becomes a test of how much Shad actually wants to make this work in Jacksonville. If he's really willing to do "whatever it takes" to make it work here, and if Lot J and other developments are really necessary to keep Jacksonville viable, then Shad needs to be willing to spend his money to make it work. If he doesn't, then he is putting a very clear number on how willing he is to keep the team in Jacksonville.
Khan has spent his money to make the Jaguars work in Jacksonville. He has spent on TIAA Bank Field in situations in which he wasn't obligated to do so. He was willing to spend on the area around the stadium and remains willing to do so. He has shown a consistent desire to make the Jaguars work in downtown Jacksonville – more than many owners in his situation would have done. What's not going to happen is Khan spending all the money in those situations. He wants to be in Jacksonville. But it has to be a partnership. No matter how many ways the question is posed and asked, the answer will remain the same. And the answer will be correct.
Fred from Naples, FL
2021 will be the Year of Trevor Lawrence. Is it possible that good fortune strikes us twice and Mr. Optimism, Vito Stellino, finally retires?
Vito is retired.
Michael from Columbus, Ohio Via DUUVAL
I'm not even thinking about 1-15!! This is probably the most exciting off-season in Jaguars franchise history! We have Urban Meyer as head coach! We have two first-round picks and will most likely select a franchise quarterback with the first pick of the draft! Wouldn't the icing on this HUGE cake be former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli finally making the Hall of Fame?
It would be awesome. My guess is you'll get your icing sometime soon. If not in this offseason the next one.