O-Zone: What might have been

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Super Bowl week. Question: Is there anything better? Answer: Yes.

Let's get to it …

Billy from Orange Park, FL

It is generally accepted, at least by us fans, that Myles Jack is not physically equipped to be successful as the middle linebacker. He has struggled to get off blocks and make plays. I'm guessing the coaches were aware of this. Why did they not address this problem last year, when a better option was potentially available?

Myles Jack is not a horrible middle linebacker by any stretch, though I believe the Jaguars likely will move him to the weak-side position this offseason. His skillset and size would seem to fit best there. But let's not rewrite history and pretend that this was would have been a no-brainer move before this past season – or that there weren't reasons Jack was playing where he was playing. Remember: During Jack's first three NFL seasons, Telvin Smith was playing weak-side linebacker – and at minimum, playing at a serviceable level – until he surprisingly retired last May. The Jaguars started Jack at strong-side backer early in his career, but strong-side backers come off the field on third down and the Jaguars wanted Jack on the field full time. Rather than move Smith out of the lineup, they moved Jack to the middle. Remember, too: Jack played well for the most part in the middle in 2018. Had Smith retired sooner, perhaps the Jaguars would already have moved Jack to the weak side. As it was, playing him in the middle seemed like the best option for having him on the field full time.

Stewart from Jacksonville

As a Jags fan and video gamer, I feel qualified to be the next general manager. I cannot believe how easy it would be to be a great general manager. It is so simple. I would teach all the players karate. As a man of mystery – and, I am sure, a master of all forms of martial arts – I am sure you can smell what I am cooking. Just imagine for a second, running back Leonard Fournette carrying the rock in his left hand and karate chopping with his right. His YAC would be AWESOME!!!! Since Head Coach Doug Marrone is old school, why does the Jags brass let players play Madden? They should only play Techno Bowl. Bo Jackson was a beast in that game. Perhaps he could inspire Leonard to take his game to the next level? Please let Shad know that after I give my two weeks' notice at Pizza Hut I can start anytime, because fans know best.

It's "Tecmo Bowl," but aside from that … yes, well said.

Rob from Jacksonville

O, I pay little attention to postseason and preseason awards, player rankings, etc., because they are very opinionated and everyone has one, but this is getting ridiculous. I want to begin and end with Josh Allen – although there are other Jags that could be used as an example. Highly decorated in college. "Can't-miss" draft pick. Lauded after the draft as an "impact player" and then goes on to have a monster season. I would dare say the best of any rookie. For that, he is completely ignored. If you are wondering what set me off it was a list on ESPN recently about the 2019 class of "new stars," a completely irrelevant list that finally sent me over the edge. Good is good and great is great no matter where you play.

Jaguars rookie defensive end Josh Allen indeed has been a season-long blind spot for many national observers. He had a very real case for Defensive Rookie of the Year and it's negligent to discuss top rookies without including Allen. Gotta win games, particularly in a small market – and particularly when your team has lost too many games for far too many seasons.

Max from Jacksonville

I would be sad – but not upset – if we let defensive end Calais Campbell go somewhere he has a better shot at winning a championship...

Fair, but I don't think the Jaguars are going to let Campbell go easily.

Nathan from Utah, USA

John, the consensus three-year body of work is done. I would love an objective grade of the 2016 Jaguars draft class.

The Class of 2016 has been in the NFL four seasons, which is even better than three in terms of gauging body of work. The Jaguars' '16 draft class had cornerback Jalen Ramsey (Round 1), linebacker Myles Jack (Round 2) and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (Round 3). That's all that's needed for the class to objectively be otherworldly good. Ramsey is a Pro Bowl-level corner, Jack is a very good linebacker – his 2019 struggles notwithstanding – and Ngakoue is a very good pass rusher. Any team would take that in any draft class with the first three selections. If you're grading it based on contribution to the team now, then it's not as good because Ramsey obviously no longer is with the team. But if you're just judging the on-field quality of the players it is by any measure one of the best drafts in franchise history.

Tony from the Land of Confusion

We need linebackers, especially at middle linebacker, but given the win-now mandate Doug-n-'em don't have the time to do the usual "draft and develop". Any chance they make their one big free-agent signing someone like Danny Trevathan (sp) who can come in and immediately be the quarterback of the defense? Move Myles to a position where he can make better use of his natural athleticism.

The Jaguars are unlikely to take a break-the-bank approach to any prospective free agent this offseason. But I do expect them to try to sign at least a starter or two and linebacker is one of the positions that would make sense.

Tim from Doboy Island, GA

If Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II was to, metaphorically speaking, give the players union the finger and call up offensive coordinator Jay Gruden to meet in the offseason – and if the two were discovered – who is held liable? The team or Minshew? Or both?

What you're talking about would be a violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which means both the league and NFL Players Association would be involved. The NFL would penalize the team. And it's not worth the risk.

Zach from Orlando, FL

Regarding lucrative contracts and restructures, let's say the Jaguars approach Calais about restructuring $5 million this year. Calais responds with "No, I was going to use that money for charity." Can Shad Khan then write a personal check to said charity that Calais wants? Then both sides would be happy. Calais still gets to help the charity in said lucrative way, and the Jaguars save $5 million?

My, my, my … what sneaky little beasts O-Zone readers are lately. This is circumventing the cap. It comes with stiff penalties and it's not worth the risk to try.

Terrianna and Terralyn's daddy from Duval

What's the flavor of that cake that Sean was talking about? I hope it's key lime or red velvet. Or whatever Big Bo's favorite is.

Ca-a-a-a-a-ke. Yummy in my tummy.

Mike from Cicero, NY

I keep hearing Jacksonville is a small market, but that's far from the truth. In terms of square miles, it's the largest by over 200 square miles and by population it's the 12 largest in the country, so how is that small? There are only seven larger cities that have NFL teams with a larger population, so that leaves 24 cities that are "smaller" markets, I for one believe if the Jags actually put a winning product on the field the stands would fill, I know I would come down from New York more often to watch them. Ohh I bet 31 offenses agree with u that Todd wash is a good def coordinator

Jacksonville is a small market. I've gotten emails disputing this, but it's beyond dispute. Remember: the statistics you cite take into account city population rather than surrounding markets – and the surrounding populations and total available incomes of this area are small compared to others. People compelled to argue this have no sense of the realities facing this market. Yes – winning would help interest, but to think it would solve all the market challenges … again, people who want to argue this have no sense of reality. And while I don't know if all 31 offenses would agree that Todd Wash is a good defensive coordinator, I do imagine that the teams that played the Jaguars from 2016-2018 would have a healthy respect for him. But what do I know? It's always coaching in the NFL.

Max from Jacksonville

I am sad – but not shocked – to learn that the Jaguars passed on four quarterbacks that do not exist. Someone tell Chris from Roseville that the NFL had 12 playoff teams this year (and, um, most years).

Good eye, but I guarantee you the Jaguars should have drafted at least one of those four quarterbacks.

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