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O-Zone: Two days out

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Braddock from Jax

Here's an idea: how about we hire a football guy with a proven track record as the new TC role? Then, he finds a head coach who shares his vision. Then, we actually have one offensive coordinator and one voice leading the offense. Doesn't seem like rocket science to me. This organization, if you can call it that, is pathetic. I've been supporting a pro franchise here since the 80s in all those preseason games at the old Gator Bowl that allowed us to get a team. I've attended every major home game in our history. Enough is enough.

Your plan for the Jaguars moving forward seems to focus on all coaches/administrators moving and thinking in relatively the same direction, and that's always the right formula. But the reality is the Jaguars indeed have tried your suggested approach. Owner Shad Khan hired a football guy with a proven track record in the old "TC role" early in 2017; that was former Jaguars Head Coach Tom Coughlin, who served as executive vice president from 2017-2019. He on paper had the qualifications for the position – though in retrospect, it was the right person in the wrong role at the wrong time. Would that structure – a "football czar" overseeing head coach and general manager – work? Sure, if you have the right people. Most structures work with the right people.

Royce from Jacksonville

Mr. O. The NFL players union released a notice to players to avoid signing with the Jags. Does that look still linger?

No. The aftereffects of the NFL Players Association's complaints regarding Coughlin – complaints that became public shortly before his December 2019 dismissal – don't linger. Does the losing and drama more recently linger? Sure. Can that get fixed by free-agent money, good people and winning? Absolutely.

Rob from Pittsburgh, PA

Hey, Zone what are your top Christmas movies?

"Christmas Vacation." "A Christmas Story."

EJ from Jacksonville

What is the theory of signing a quarterback to the practice squad? I thought all practice squad contracts terminate at season end.

Practice squad contracts do end at the end of the season. Teams also can sign – and often do – sign practice-squad players to contracts after the season, with those players then on the offseason rosters for the following season.

Nick from Annapolis, M

Vic Ketchman posted his final "Ask Vic" column on Wednesday 12/22. I can't really find the words to describe why I was emotional reading that. I guess I'm writing to say, "One for Vic".

No doubt. One fer Vic.

Durie from Orange Park, FL

I don't understand why the draft projections for the Jaguars have them picking another defensive end as their first pick. Everyone knows they need speed at the wide receiver and tight end positions. How many defensive ends will the Jaguars continue to draft in the first round who continue not to live up to the hype? This team doesn't need more defensive ends, they need speedy receivers to help rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence be all he can be.

No team "doesn't need more defensive ends" if those players are elite difference-makers. I wouldn't be remotely surprised if the Jaguars select defensive end/defensive line with their first selection in the 2022 NFL Draft. I would be surprised if they select wide receiver that early.

John from Jacksonville

Hi King of Zone - It seems when Jaguars running back James Robinson catches a pass, he hesitates a second before running forward. This allows the defenders time to get to him reducing his advancing the ball up field. I particularly noticed this on a third-down play where he could have made a first down or been very close if he would have run immediately straight ahead. Instead, he paused and tried to be creative and got tackled quickly. Do you see this as well?

I hadn't noticed it. There has been a lot going around these parts of late.

Travis from Chattanooga, TN

So, O-Zone, you say Tony Dungy is a "No," but what if Jaguars Owner Shad Khan hands him a blank check and full roster control? Still "No?"

Still no. Dungy makes a lot of money – and if he were a head coach, he has zero desire for roster control. He's a coach. But no. Regrettably.

Bill from Southbridge

I know Myles Jack wasn't down, but ... Tony Brackens definitely was down in that playoff game against the Dolphins in 1999. He clearly went down on a knee and a Dolphins player touched him. All because he was celebrating a sack-fumble recovery and no one touched him while down, and they didn't have replay, so the play stood. Wouldn't have mattered anyway because we won 62-7. I miss the good old days.

The NFL had instant replay in 1999. Brackens wasn't down.

Dan from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

The Jaguars have won the coin toss, and deferred, in the previous SIX contests. The chances of winning SIX coin tosses in a row is 1.56 percent! The defense has struggled early in games, yet the Jags continue to defer to the second half. One way to eliminate being down so much so early is to remove one of the opponent's early possessions. In an ideal world would I prefer to have the ball at the start of the second half? Yes. Just wanted to get your thoughts here. Oh, and the last time the Jaguars lost the coin toss? Buffalo. Remind me, what happened that game? #cointossconspiracy

This seems to become a Hot O-Zone Topic whenever the Jaguars' defense struggles early in games. I seem to recall it being a topic last season. Here's the thing: When your offense is struggling to the degree that the Jaguars' offense is struggling AND the defense is allowing first-drive points, there's no good answer to the question. That's because if the offense goes three and out – a distinct possibility considering how the unit is playing – and the defense allows first-drive points, then your strategy of taking the ball first has simply caused you to have a deficit without the benefit of getting the ball to start the second half. Confused? You won't be after this episode of … SOAP.

Scott from Jacksonville

Rock bottom for me was the week earlier against the Titans. I was so completely disappointed in this team and this season after Tom Pelissero's article came out the night before, I felt myself hoping that we got curb-stomped by Tennessee. I've never felt that way while watching any of my favorite teams ever, and I hated feeling that way. At least against the Texans, although quite half-heartedly, I began feeling like I could cheer for my team again. I hope to never experience that feeling again - it really sucked.


Jason from North Pole, AK

Who would you retain on the offensive line and who would you seek to replace? If you had to take a guess at the starting five going into next season what would that look like?

I wouldn't make near the level of changes many fans seem to want, because dramatically overhauling an offensive line is difficult – particularly with other needs clearly needing to be addressed. I would retain center Brandon Linder and right guard Ben Bartch, then I would have a serious decision about left tackle Cam Robinson. That would largely depend on money because he is an unrestricted free agent following the season. I would strongly consider moving right tackle Jawaan Taylor to right guard and Bartch to left guard, with rookie Walker Little at right tackle. That would mean Little/Taylor/Linder/Bartch/Robinson as a possible starting five. I could see that scenario. Either way, this is a major storyline entering the offseason and will be one of the top decisions facing the decision-makers.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

You have said you expect the Jaguars to look for an edge rusher in the next draft. There are certainly some prospects that could be at No. 1 or No. 2, including Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oregon) and Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan). After that, where do you see the franchise focusing? Safety? Cornerback? Wide receiver? Other?

Wide receiver.

Robert from Oneonta

I had to look up "stabilize" in Webster. You are suggesting the Jags were unstable under the Weavers? Here we go again, trying to legitimize losers.

The Jaguars' future and status in Jacksonville is significantly more stable with Shad Khan as owner of the Jaguars than in Wayne Weaver's final seasons as owner. There were endless rumors and speculation about the team moving in Weaver's final seasons. That noise has subsided except in the most uninformed and stubborn minds. So, yes … the franchise is more stable now. It's not close.

JT from Palm Coast, FL

Hey, man. With the holidays coming up I just wanted to say thank you. Every day/every week you give us fans an avenue to either share our frustrations or our joy with this team (mostly frustrations unfortunately). You are our direct link to the team when we would otherwise not have one. From my family to yours, John, I hope that you have a happy holidays.

Merry Krimma.