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O-Zone: Wrong lane

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it … Nate from Visalia, CA:
I'm sorry to say this, but Kirby Wilson has no business running this offense. He has never coached anything in the NFL other than running backs. Our offense is still learning to be NFL-worthy, and David Caldwell is considering hiring a rookie offensive coordinator? I truly hope Mr. Khan slaps some sense into him and Gus. Maybe I'm wrong, but this would be adding a splash of outrageous to a recipe for disaster. Caldwell is not smarter than the last 80 years of collective football knowledge. I'm getting very frustrated, John. I disliked Jedd Fisch as much as any other fan, but I thought they would learn from their mistake. Unless real offensive coordinators are not accepting interview requests. It's getting down to the wire and I, for one, am having a hard time seeing the light at the end of this dark, DARK tunnel. I just can't see rookies and second-year players making the necessary improvement needed to compete without an experienced leader calling the plays and overseeing the total offensive growth. Why have we not heard more about Marc Trestman? What's the status there? BLAAAAHHHH!!! I hate being disappointed before we even get into free agency and the draft. Do whatever you must not to let them make Kirby our new rookie offensive coordinator. Please, John, please!
John: Take a breath, Nate … not only do you need to relax, there's a lot to get done in this answer. Your anti-Wilson stance, while understandable, is perhaps "overly passionate" – and misguided. Wilson was in line to be the Steelers' offensive coordinator in 2012 before sustaining burns over nearly 50 percent of his body in a house fire. That's not to elicit sympathy for Wilson, but to make the point that he is a capable offensive mind. Remember, coaches have to get their first coordinator position at some point – that's as true of successful coordinators as unsuccessful ones. There are no guaranteed quick-fix coordinators; you must take a chance on someone who someone else thinks is flawed … or inexperienced … or something. You like Trestman? Many Bears fans don't. Many Jaguars fans wanted Greg Roman? 49ers fans rejoiced when he was hired by the Bills. The Jaguars will hire a coordinator soon. My guess: at the Senior Bowl next week. The play that makes sense to me is hiring an experienced coordinator with deep knowledge of the running game and offensive line play, and to let the quarterbacks coach work with Blake Bortles on mechanics. In addition, I agree that it makes a lot of sense to have a coordinator with significant NFL experience. I doubt Wilson will be the guy, and I doubt any name we've heard so far – Trestman and Jets running backs coach Anthony Lynn included – will be the guy. Who will be the guy? I don't know, but if you don't like the names that are out there … just wait: I get the sense there will be more names for you to dislike in the coming days.
Mike from Daytona Beach, FL:
What is Gus Bradley waiting for? Aren't we getting down to crunch time to hire an offensive coordinator?
John: We're getting closer. Bradley may be interested in at least one coach still in the postseason. If that's true, figuring who is tricky, but let's see … Packers offensive line coach James Campen has been in that position eight seasons; Seahawks assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable has a sterling reputation in the running game; Colts special assistant to the head coach Rob Chudzinski – formerly the Browns' head coach – has offensive coordinator experience; Colts offensive line coach Joe Gilbert has done good work with that line but has just three years NFL experience; Patriots offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo has five years experience as an offensive line coach at three different stops (Miami, the Jets, the Patriots). A lot of those names may not make sense as play-callers, and I don't consider that list a Candidate List necessarily, but it's apparent Bradley is looking for something that's out there. We'll see what he finds, but bear in mind: whoever he is the resume will have something someone finds curious – and perhaps unsatisfactory. That doesn't matter. What matters is that Bradley finds someone who can coordinate the offense and help this offense grow. I like the idea of an older head with a voice of authority, someone with extensive NFL experience. Can the Jaguars find that sort of guy who's the right fit? It's the nature of the beast.
Chris from Pickerington, OH:
He's only started three games, but all high stakes. What do you think about a pro future for Cardale Jones? Also, I think Urban Meyer has a tough job ahead deciding what to do with (potentially) three quality quarterbacks. Other than, of course, thank God for that kind of problem.
John: Meyer's problem doesn't concern me much, but Jones' immediate future is intriguing. There was a flood of speculation on Twitter Monday that declaring for the NFL Draft might be his best option. On one hand, it makes sense. He absolutely has the tools and his draft stock might never be higher. At the same time, such a meteoric rise and the uncertainty surrounding it might carry such a risk that it has to scare some teams. It's intriguing, though. No question.
Bjorn from Uppsala:
Denver tried to squeeze all it could out of Manning's fading abilities. They went 2-3 in the postseason and failed to win a championship. Now, they're entering a turbulent offseason without a coach and unsure if their Hall of Fame quarterback has played his last snap. They paid DeMarcus Ware $20 million guaranteed; he was as invisible as he was old against the Colts. They paid Aqib Talib 25 million and T.J. Ward $14 million guaranteed and it didn't matter. Now what? This is a good example of what happens when you think you are just a player away and too anxious to make a run in a short term window. I'm glad I'm not a Broncos fan right now.
John: I'm not a big fan of the all-in, sign-veterans-to-go-for-it-now approach. And yeah, the Broncos must now deal with the aftereffects. But even with his "fading abilities," Manning set NFL records for touchdown passes and yards passing in a season while leading the Broncos to the Super Bowl last season … he threw for 39 touchdowns and 4,727 yards this season despite being injured at season's end – and the Broncos went 12-4. Even if you're not a fan of going all-in, I suppose it's easy to see how the Broncos were tempted.
Ian from Leeds, UK:
Thought I'd add the British perspective on the early Wembley game. I've attended each of the Jags' London games so far, and the timing of it to suit American TV means that it's extremely difficult for anyone outside London to get there. By making it earlier in our day, it means that people who don't live in London can get to Wembley and back in a day, rather than needing to make it a (very expensive) multi-day excursion.
John: I am glad the new time is convenient for fans, and I don't doubt the NFL office gets a good feeling from that, too. I doubt even more that that feeling was much of a factor in deciding the start time.
James from Jacksonville:
Not getting Greg Roman here was a mistake. Don't he and Caldwell have history?
John: "History" with someone doesn't make a good hire and it doesn't make a bad hire. I wouldn't have had a problem with Roman as the offensive coordinator. He has a history of running a very effective offense for an extended period in San Francisco, and there's nothing on his resume to indicate he's not a bright, capable offensive mind. At the same time, his history is that he prefers a power running style as opposed to a zone-blocking scheme and he has been very run-heavy. It doesn't feel like he was the right fit, and history or not, it doesn't have a mistake feel to it.
Marcus from Jacksonville:
I have heard multiple reports, including the one you mentioned, that Bill Callahan may be a candidate for the offensive line coach as opposed to the offensive coordinator position. Do you really think that the Jaguars would interview a positional coach before having a coordinator in place? I always thought that coordinators would have a say in decisions like that.
John: I don't think you need to worry much about this. I doubt Callahan is going to Jacksonville or anywhere else. And yeah – coordinators usually have a say, but if you get an opportunity to hire a good coach for a position sometimes you hire first and figure out the details later.
Manuel from Jacksonville:
NFL: "By rule he must hold onto it throughout entire process of contacting the ground. He didn't, so it is incomplete." What I saw: Bryant did contact the ground after the catch by making not two but three strides after the catch, clearly showing possession. And that's the end of the catch "process." By extending to reach the goal line is a separate "process," which is a fumble and recovery by Bryant. What do you think, O-man?
John: I think that the way the NFL currently calls and interprets the rule that the play was an incomplete pass. I think that if I was a Dallas Cowboys player, coach, official or fan I wouldn't like the rule very much.
Gary from High Springs, FL:
Please don't hire Josh McDaniels.
John: I'm not hiring anyone right now.

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