The following is a transcript of a question and answer session between jaguars.com Senior Writer Vic Ketchman and Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver.
VK: What goes on at this time of the year now, as far as beginning preparations for the offseason?
WW: We're spending a lot of time looking at our salary cap issues. We're obviously in the throes of starting to, and I think rebuild is the right term now. I hate to say it, but I think we're forced to speak in terms of how we rebuild this football franchise for the future.
VK: Have you used that word with Tom Coughlin?
VK: What was his reaction?
WW: Well, Tom, as any coach would, still sees the season as not over, and that you've got to go out there and fight to win every game, and I admire that. I believe that and I certainly subscribe to that. We can't give up on this season but, at the same time, we have some very difficult decisions to make. We've got to go about thinking how we're going to do that and we can't wait until the last minute to start addressing those issues.
VK: Will you review your philosophies or mode of operation?
WW: I think you have to. I think you have to look at everything you've done. I think you have to look at how you've drafted, I think you have to look at how you've signed free agents, you have to look at the productivity of the free agents you've brought in. I think you have to look at all of those things, if you're going to make real good decisions for where you want to go in the future with this franchise.
VK: Is it important to avoid knee-jerk reactions to the disappointment of this season?
WW: I think it is. We're doing all kinds of analysis to just be very thoughtful, and at some point you have to go with your gut instincts and do what you think is right, but you certainly want to be as informed as you can, in terms of looking at a lot of data and looking at what you think of the long-term decisions that are going to be meaningful as far as getting this franchise back on track.
VK: You've got to believe you're doing more right than you're doing wrong.
WW: Absolutely, look at this franchise's history. We've been one of the winningest franchises in professional sports. Obviously, we've done a lot of things right, but one of the things I've always said is that if you're really going to make right decisions, you've got to be the one critical of what you're doing. I think that's the right way to do it, to make critical analyses of decisions you've made and how you think you can do those better going forward.
VK: Will you be forced to lean harder on the draft than on free agency?
WW: I believe so, but I don't think that's any different from how we built this model. We've always said we want to build this franchise through the draft, and for the most part I think we've done that. Have we been successful year in and year out? No, but overall I think our draft marks are pretty good, but that has to be the way you do it for any franchise. You have to build through the draft, and you've got to use free agency in the right way.
VK: Do you have to negotiate a new contract with Mark Brunell before next season?
WW: I believe so, yes.
VK: Will that be the primary issue during the offseason?
WW: It's certainly one of them and probably the most critical issue we've got to get done, but it's one of many. Obviously, how we get that done will affect many of the other things we do, but, clearly, that's our top priority.
VK: How soon do you have to get that done?
WW: We believe Mark Brunell is our quarterback of the future, and we've never wavered in our belief that if we're going to get to the Super Bowl, Mark Brunell is going to be the guy who takes us there. Having said that, Mark Brunell needs a strong supporting cast around him to achieve that ultimate goal, so we've got to make sure we still have (salary cap) room to do all of those things.
VK: Is there a timeline on Brunell?
WW: There obviously is a timeline. The sooner, the better. We hope we can accomplish that, but it takes two sides to make a deal.