ATLANTA, Ga. – Let's get to it …
Jon from Jacksonville
I love the Jags. I'm from here. I went to all the preseason games that helped us get the Jags with my Dad. I consider myself a true fan. I just don't understand why it's so hard to get decision-makers here that make good decisions. Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin was a scapegoat for salary-cap mismanagement on Michael Huyghue's part and we should have never let him go. Then we get Shack Harris/Gene Smith, which was a dumpster fire. Then we get General Manager Dave Caldwell, who has been better – but he misses more than he hits. Now, we have the most unique power structure in the league. Do you think people don't want a job here? With all the resources we have and also being in in the heart of the region that consistently produces the best college football players in America, why can't we find and develop talent?
First, being around the "best college football players in America" literally has nothing to do with anything when it comes to the NFL. Second, your question implies a couple of things – that the Jaguars currently don't have good decision-makers, and that it's harder to get good decision-makers here than in other NFL cities. The first implication is debatable (the current regime has had one good year and one bad year) and the second is categorically incorrect. Your question also seems to question the Jaguars' current management structure. While it's a bit unusual, it's probably unique in title more than fact. Coughlin has final say over football matters. Decisions are discussed with key decision-makers – including Coughlin, Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone – and more often than not, a consensus is reached. If a consensus is not reached, Coughlin has final say. That's the spirit of many NFL organizations. Is it a bit unusual not having the general manager have final say? I suppose. But it seems to me that issue is more of a problem for outsiders trying to assess blame or credit than it is for the people working within the system. As for why the Jaguars have struggled more often than not in the last 20 or so seasons … the NFL is hard. Teams go through ups and downs – and teams without elite quarterbacks have more ups and downs (particularly downs) than other teams. Have the Jaguars had more than their share of downs? Yes. Without question. But, however you feel about the Jaguars' decision-makers, there's no reason they can't have good ones.
Howard from Homestead, FL
I can remember when I would see an amazing play on the football field, and I celebrated it. Now, whenever I see an amazing play, I tense up and look for the inevitable flag. Is it just me?
No. It's not just you. The NFL is over-officiated right now. The game is too clunky at times. I have no solution. I'm not sure there is a solution considering the emphasis on safety. I also think it will feel more over-officiated if we add layers and voices to the replay system. But yes … you are correct.
Scott from Jacksonville
Here's something to chew on, too: I actually don't answer the "most-stupid, asinine questions. You should read the ones I leave out." Maybe you should have a "special" day for those.
Nah. As my mother often says about my writing, some things are best left unread.
James from Upper Marlboro, MD
O-Zone: You can put Boselli's seven years up against any left tackle past or present and I bet Boselli would still rank top ten or better easily.
Former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli's seven NFL seasons compare favorably with any offensive lineman ever to play. Easily. My sense is that more and more Hall of Fame voters are realizing that, which is why my sense that Boselli eventually will get into the Hall of Fame continues to grow.
Red from the O-Zone Comments Section
In your opinion, John, was the release of Austin Seferian-Jenkins made mainly because of salary-cap considerations or mainly based on his history of missing significant playing time due to injuries?
The Jaguars have not released tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, though he did issue a tweet last week to the effect that he would not be with the team next season. If the Jaguars do release him – and I have said since late last season I expected to be the case – I would say the lack of availability was the overriding factor.
Jim from Jagsonville
Not questioning Purple Rain being the best soundtrack of all time, just didn't expect such a topic so soon. Are we now officially in the Dead Zone?
No, we're in the zone where I get to decide what questions I answer, and I felt like answering a question about Purple Rain. We're also in the zone where I might answer a question about a band I never loved but sort of like a lot when I'm in the right mood. Speaking of which…
Dave from Duuuval
Dear O-Zone: What is your favorite Led Zeppelin song? Mine is "Black Dog!"
Over the Hills and Far Away.
Keith from Jacksonville and Section 436 Since 1995
My view on Dante Fowler Jr. are split. He is not wrong with the thoughts the team wasn't hungry enough. This was evidenced by Jalen's remarks to GQ and the London debacle. I'll give him credit for that. However, he had every chance to succeed here as a player and the Jags stuck by him through the arrests and fights, and personal fouls. Also, I don't care if he tore his ACL first day of rookie minicamp, he was expected to deliver a great deal more in 2016 than he did as he had a year to rehab, study, practice, and learn. The Jags gave him a long leash and he simply broke it.
People are overthinking Dante Fowler Jr. He's a good NFL player who wasn't as good as his draft position. The Jaguars didn't trade Fowler because they didn't think he was good or because they didn't like him; they traded him because they knew they weren't going to pay him what he will draw in free agency this offseason and they wanted to get draft selections for him instead of getting nothing for him. As far as his comments at the Super Bowl this week about the Jaguars "giving up on him" and the Jaguars not being "hungry," they are typical of comments made by players who recently have changed teams. It's an interesting story for a couple of days, but it's not earth-shattering analysis or even real insight into the inner workings of the Jaguars. And Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey's comments to GQ last summer weren't indicative of the team not being "hungry enough," nor was the "London incident" indicative of that. The Jaguars in 2018 weren't all that much different than in 2017. They were a talkative, outlandish, trash-talking team in 2017; that was charming because they were winning. They were the same type of team in 2018; it was less charming because they were losing. If the Jaguars are healthier next season, if they can run effectively and if they can find a way to be more productive throwing they will be better. If those things don't happen, they will probably struggle.
Jason from Da'Hass
John, I just logged on to Jaguars.com to catch the latest installation of the "O-Zone" and when I saw the title "Stupid is" I immediately thought: "Oh crap/great he answered my question." I giggled a little when I found out you didn't.
There's always tomorrow.
Pedal Bin from Farnborough, Hampshire, UK
Oh Mighty "O"/King of Funk, surely Josh Lambo would be deserving of a Pro Bowl appearance? I would argue he has more chance than Fournette next season. Josh was virtually, ahem, "Lambomatic" this season until he was injured. Particularly as it was Jason Myers who got the kicker nod for this year's Pro Bowl. Lambo for Pro Bowl!
Hey … one fer Lambo!
Frank from St. Augustine, FL
I still think the Hall of Fame voters made a mistake a few years ago by putting in Jason Taylor over Boselli. Obviously, the Committee didn't watch him destroy Taylor on several occasions. Taylor did deserve to get in but not before Boselli.
I agree with you, and I was surprised when former Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor made it into the Hall of Fame in 2017. While I thought Taylor worthy of the Hall at some point, I didn't expect him to make it in his first year of eligibility. As far as Taylor getting in "over" Boselli, I doubt voters looked at it as a Boselli-versus-Taylor issue that year as much as just believing Taylor was worthy based on his body of work. But yes … I do consider Boselli more Hall-worthy than Taylor.
Jeff from Jacksonville
We should either trade up or trade down. Or we should stay exactly where we are.
I'll google this.