JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Tucker from Nashville, TN
John, Our fans don't seem that impressed with defensive end/linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson. People don't need to compare Dante Fowler Jr. with Chaisson. Fowler had two pass-rushing moves: speed rush and bull rush – nothing in between. Chaisson has a list of pass-rushing moves and can drop into coverage. He should be the most-exciting prospect to fans. If we can get a lead, I can't wait to see Chaisson and Josh Allen getting after the quarterback.
Chaisson – the Jaguars' selection at No. 20 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft – has a chance to be a very good NFL edge rusher, and he also has some run-playing and pass-coverage abilities. Pretty much all NFL Draft analysts projected him as a first-round prospect, and many expected he would go earlier than No. 20. Not all first-round selections hit, and no one knows for certain a player's future until he plays in the NFL. But Chaisson absolutely appears to be a more advanced pass-rusher in terms of technique than Fowler was entering the NFL in 2015. We'll see how it plays out.
Justin from New York City
If running back Leonard Fournette and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue stick around and play well for us, how good could this team be?
Pretty good. Pretty, pretty, pretty good. Or not. We'll see.
Alon from Malibu, CA
Can you explain why Myles Jack is better suited for weak-side linebacker? What is his skillset that he fits better there than middle linebacker?
Jack's size and speed make him a more prototypical fit for the weak side, and he probably is more natural chasing from side to side and covering players out of the backfield than taking on interior linemen and running backs head on in the running game. The idea that Jack was bad in the middle is vastly overblown. He was fine at the position in 2018 when veteran Telvin Smith was on the weak side and suddenly not as fine in 2019 when rookie Quincy Williams was there. Still, if Jack has a natural position, it's probably the weak side. This statement often brings about a chorus of, "Well, why didn't the Jaguars play him there from the beginning of his career?" Simple answer: With Smith starting there, the thought was Smith on the weak side playing Jack at strong side and/or middle made the overall group better.
Brian from Jacksonville
O, Remember, Bill Russell was also a player-coach ... back in the day. That had to be hard. His play never suffered as a result, though. Only time took him out. I can't tell you who drops out of your Top 5, but Russell absolutely, positively belongs on all NBA Top 5 lists. Even if you didn't see him play at the time ... watch film and you'll feel him. He's arguably the NBA's GOAT. Just sayin'.
My Top 5 was about players I had seen. Russell was a player/coach in the final two seasons of his career. And a good argument can be made for him being the best ever. Maybe he was.
Brian from Jacksonville
Other notable players from days of yore that may make you smile: Oscar Robertson, Julius Irving, Jerry West, Earl Monroe, Pete Maravich...
Don't forget Bob Cousy.
Sam from Orlando, FL
Is there any insight into the Carlos Hyde trade in 2018? He was pretty good last year. We gave a fifth-rounder for him, lost him for nothing and he promptly had a 1,000 yard season and six touchdowns. What happened? Further, we trade for Josh Dobbs and you are theorizing we could cut him? Is this unusual?
The Jaguars traded for Hyde when Fournette was hurt in 2018. They traded for Dobbs in 2019 when quarterback Nick Foles was hurt. You sometimes make midseason trades for the short term. And yes … Hyde was good last season for the Houston Texans. I don't know that he was better than a lot of good backs because many players at that position are interchangeable in this era, but was he good? Sure, he was good. Would the Jaguars have been better with him? Meh.
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL
You have said often that the team expects a better offense, primarily based on the assumption that the players on the O-line will perform better. COVID-19 will likely eliminate any in-person offseason activities this month and next. Minicamp may not happen. Training camp and the preseason may be shortened. So how will these offensive linemen prepare physically and mentally to improve their performance? Or does the organization just expect them to play better without regard to preparation?
COVID-19 is presenting teams with challenges teams never have faced and couldn't anticipate. The challenges you cite are real. We'll see how the Jaguars handle them.
John from Cape May Courthouse, NJ
You have stated multiple times you do not believe the Jags to be the worst team in the league. For how amazingly bad this franchise has been this century, we have never been the worst team in any given season (based on we have never selected first in the NFL Draft). While we may not be the worst team in the upcoming season, we might be the fourth worst, or sixth worse, or even tenth. To me those scenarios would be catastrophic for the franchise. If the Jags finish 6-10, we will be in the same situation we are now in terms of questioning Minshew's long-term viability. We would also, more than likely take ourselves out of the running for Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. Tanking may not exist in the NFL, but there is certainly incentive to lose this year, especially for those who believe there is a finite ceiling for a sixth-round quarterback. If it becomes clear we're not going to make the playoffs, why not try to improve our draft position?
This is a fine theory from a fan's perspective. Is a coach supposed to try to lose? Are players who are playing for their livelihoods or their careers supposed to play poorly? I just never have understood how it's really supposed to work.
Michael from Fruit Cove, FL
You said with confidence yesterday that season ticket holders are valued. Please name one way the team has shown this? By being consistently bad since Khan bought the team? Raising prices after the one good season they had? Giving away home games to London. Ya, I feel really valued ...
The Jaguars haven't tried to be bad under Khan. The off-field moves they have made have been with the idea of stabilizing the franchise for the long-term in Jacksonville and therefore to allow season-ticket-holding fans an NFL team in Jacksonville. That's the way to show value, by keeping the team here and having it be stable enough to be a long-term functioning franchise in the NFL. Fans hate that answer for various reasons. I get that. But that's it. That's the meal.
Rog from St. Augustine, FL
"O", Not looking for anything sinister, just a curiosity question - I haven't read anything about why John DeFilippo was with the Jags for just one year? Was this really just a wishful winning combo of coordinator/quarterback and when Gardner Minshew II won the job, he or they felt he was no longer a fit? Or was there a bigger different direction consideration? Just curious??
Head Coach Doug Marrone thought a better fit was needed for the offense for a lot of reasons, though admittedly he hasn't gone extensively into detail on this front. He also wanted more experience in the offensive coordinator and quarterback-coach positions. Also: sometimes it's time to move on.
Vince from Farmington, NM
With rookie offensive lineman Ben Bartch's history as a tight end and transferring his talents to tackle in college, what do you think of using him in the red zone as an eligible blocker/tight end in goal line situations? It would seem he would be well able to handle outside rushers in a short and goal, as well as a quick release receiver in the same situation. I would think it would be nice to have the option to choose between multiple rush assignments and have the pass options as well when the box doesn't look porous enough. I would think that defenses might overlook him for at least a few games. What say you Senor, Funko?
The Jaguars like Bartch. I expect him to need extensive time this season to get acclimated to the NFL because he's making a significant jump from Division III to the NFL. When he gets acclimated, then I imagine the Jaguars will start figuring outside-the-box ways to use him.
Rob from St. Augustine, FL
I can't stand questions or comments involving, "I won't be buying season tickets." Is that some kind of threat that's supposed to make us feel bad? We don't care what people choose to do with their money. You're not special.
All O-Zone readers are special, Rob. Everyone gets a trophy.