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O-Zone: Truth and inspiration

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Bill from Springfield, VA

Zone, the Hall of Fame announcement this weekend again did not include Tony Boselli, again a victim of having played in a small market. So sad.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Bill Cowher and former Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Jimmy Johnson were named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend, but this was not the "Hall announcement" as people usually think of it. Cowher and Johnson were named as part of the expanded selection process associated with the NFL's 100th season. They were among 15 former coaches, contributors and "old-timers" who will be enshrined this year as part of that celebration. Former Jaguars left tackle Boselli for the fourth consecutive year was one of 15 modern-era finalists, with five of those finalists to be elected to the Hall and announced the Saturday before the Super Bowl – as is the case every year. So in this case, Boselli was not a victim of anything just yet. Will he be a victim next month? We'll see.

Ryan from Reality

John, I was watching the Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, and it seemed like the Texans' offense could complete a pass for four yards at will. It's like Kansas City knew what was coming but there was just no defense for those short slants. Why can't we do more of that? There's not a single play in our playbook that I have confidence in gaining four yards every time we run it. And please don't say it's just talent. Because that's true, why did we just retain our general manager who had been responsible for acquire all this talent?

I've never said it's "just talent" when asked about the Jaguars' struggles. It's not "just talent," and it's rarely "just anything" in the NFL. But it's mostly talent because most NFL issues are mostly talent – and in most situations, NFL talent issues are "mostly quarterback."

Jacob from New York, NY

I know there are a lot of needs that make sense (defensive line or offensive line or cornerback), but watching these playoff games, it would be nice to spend a high draft pick on tight end or an elite wide receiver. General Manager David Caldwell typically goes with the big guys, but any chance we get a skill player? Or any decent chance?

The chances of the Jaguars spending a first-round selection on wide receiver are better than tight end. I wouldn't say there's a great chance of either, but there's a chance.

Joe from San Antonio, TX

We need to stop referencing past defense's accomplishments as part of Todd Wash's success. The truth is he was carried by the sheer level of talent we had put together, and that's why he was never even named a head-coaching candidate. The league knows he's a liability there. I hope Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone does the right thing and cuts him loose, although waiting so long really put us at a disadvantage for a new option.

I expect Wash to be the Jaguars' defensive coordinator next season. One reason for this is I expect Marrone has a firm grasp on the talent level of the Jaguars' defenses this past season compared to the three seasons before that, and that Marrone understands that Wash is perfectly capable of coordinating a team with good defensive players and not as able to coordinate a far less talented one.

Renee from Duval

John, I really, really, really hate the Titans – and running quarterbacks will give you good numbers but they don't win championships. Also, Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill is average at best; I hope Tennessee does pay him because without running back Derrick Henry, the Titans are nothing, right? May Tennessee go to salary-cap HELL. Did I say how much I hate the Titans'? GO JAGUARS.

Renee hates the Titans …

Nicholas from Rockville

I hate Tennessee.

Nicholas hates the Titans.

Daniel from College Station, TX

Just a reminder you can run the ball and be successful. Look at the Titans. We can build a solid team with a run-heavy offense. What do you think we will need to accomplish this: a better line or a better run scheme? Are we lacking a few pieces or not playing to our strengths?

Daniel admires the Titans, and he correctly notes you can win in the NFL running effectively. The Jaguars must get better and more dominant on the offensive line. What they do in free agency and the draft toward that end will be one of the most intriguing storylines of the offseason.

James from Socorro, NM

The Titans are who the Jaguars wish they were.


Robert from Jacksonville

Although highly unlikely, but if Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown, Clemson outside linebacker/safety Isaiah Simmons and Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas were all available for the Jaguars at No. 9 overall, who would you select and why?

I would select Brown, because this team must get better on the interior of the defensive line. The inability to stop the run for most of the second half of the season was the weakness that this team couldn't overcome. When you can't stop the run in the NFL, you can't stop anything.

Tom from Jacksonville

After watching the Titans dismantle the Baltimore Ravens, it seems we need the team built to compete with the Titans. But how would you do it?

I've never been much on the idea of building to matchup against a specific opponent. What happens if you build to beat Tennessee and the Colts are suddenly the best team in the AFC South? What happens if you build to beat the Titans and the Titans don't make the postseason, leaving you to beat Kansas City and someone else in the postseason? Why not build the best team you can and make other teams worry about beating you?

Blues Man from Texas

My biggest concern is the Jags are going to focus too much on the defense, and not enough on the offense. Seems like all these playoff teams have a tight end that works the middle and seams very effectively. I sincerely hope we address the offense. We can have the best defense in the league, but if all we do is run three- and five-yard outs, we're in trouble.

I'm going to assume the Jaguars are aware of the need for a tight end until someone tells me differently. But remember: Sometimes reality gets in the way of intention. The Jaguars fully intended to select tight end T.J. Hockenson with the No. 7 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. Instead, defensive end Josh Allen became available and the Jaguars wisely selected him.

Chris from Outer Space, TX

Which happens first: Jags play in the Super Bowl, or Jacksonville hosts another Super Bowl.?

The Jaguars will play in the Super Bowl before the city hosts another Super Bowl. Jaguars Owner Shad Khan has been clear in the past that he doesn't currently see the city as logistically capable of hosting the game because of the lack of hotels and downtown infrastructures. His focus is on enhancing downtown and the city in other ways and hosting other large events.

Garrett from Edgewater, FL

Hey, Zone: I'm sitting here bored watching Minshew highlights, and it looks like a lot of the passes he had early on were to tight end James O'Shaughnessy. He looked really good. How big of a talent gap is there between him and Josh Oliver? Will O'Shaughnessy be back next year, or do we need to look for a tight end elsewhere? Who are the top tight ends going into the draft?

Oliver as a third-round selection would be considered more "talented" than O'Shaughnessy, though O'Shaughnessy has produced on the NFL level where Oliver has yet to do so. I expect O'Shaughnessy to return next season and I expect the Jaguars to look for a tight end elsewhere. Two of the top tight ends in the draft are Jared Pinkney of Vanderbilt and Cole Kmet of Notre Dame.

Tim from St. Augustine, FL

You did a fine job of not answering Adam from St. Johns, FL. You continue to avoid thoughtful questions through sarcasm and spin. Maybe you're getting tired of doing your job. You keep saying that you try to answer questions truthfully and transparently. I maintain that you seldom do either. Sarcasm and spin are OK occasionally, however, you take it to extremes. People ask questions because they want answers not garbage. Please cut the crap and answer the questions.

I gave your question the consideration it deserved. I couldn't be more truthful and transparent when I say that.

Aaron from Aldie

Zone, I am struggling to get excited about 2020 season and it hasn't even started. Judging by your responses in the O-Zone, I am guessing you're feeling it as well... where do we go for inspiration, sir?

Go hang out with Alan and Tim. They seem plenty inspired lately.