So, what did you all do yesterday?
Let's get to it . . .
Tommy from Jacksonville:
How concerned should we be as fans that there is nothing in writing stipulating the Jags are to remain in Jacksonville? That's a big deal and in the press conference, Wayne Weaver seemed to gloss over it. I'm encouraged by the changes being made, but will it come at a cost of losing the team to another city?
John: Weaver indeed said there was nothing in writing, but what he meant was that there was really no point in putting anything in writing. Whether or not something was in writing wouldn't undoubtedly, absolutely mean that the team couldn't move. Weaver got assurances from Shad Khan that he was committed to Jacksonville, and Weaver said he trusted those assurances based on what he knows of Khan. Believe what you will about that, but I believe Weaver absolutely believes Khan is committed to Jacksonville. Now, how long that commitment lasts certainly will depend on how committed the fans are to the Jaguars. Weaver long has said that the Jaguars' future in Jacksonville is tied to filling the stadium, so in that sense, perhaps not all that much changed Tuesday.
Josh from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
In your years of covering the NFL have you ever experienced something like Tuesday?
Josh from Harrisburg, PA:
What a volatile day in the Jaguars' organization. Is the O-Zone being depleted or is it unaffected by the climate change?
John: No change. I strive for consistency, whether it's the biggest news day in franchise history, or a Saturday or Sunday. Some would say that's good. Others might disagree.
Todd from Jacksonville:
In hindsight, how much of Tuesday's events did you see coming? Firing yes, we all saw that, just a matter of time, but why now? And did the selling of the team catch you off guard, or had you heard rumblings in the hallway?
John: You heard rumblings Sunday and Monday about Del Rio, so Tuesday wasn't a shock. As for the sale, it was kept very, very quiet. Few outside a select few saw it coming.
Allie from Jacksonville:
Are the Jaguars staying in Jacksonville, John?
John: All indications are that Khan is committed to keeping the team in Jacksonville. In that respect, the reality is the storyline on this issue hasn't changed much. If Jaguars fans support the team and fill the stadium and show once again this is a strong market deserving of the NFL, there's little reason at this point to think Khan won't keep the team here. If fans don't support the team, it wouldn't matter if Khan or Weaver or your next-door neighbor owned the team; there would be little reason to keep it here.
Greg from Jacksonville:
Busy day John? I bet your inbox is nuts. I would like to take an opportunity to thank JDR for his efforts here and wish him the best of luck. He gave a great effort but a change needed to be made. I am not sure if you will get emails like this but something nice should be said to our exiting coach.
John: There were several like this, and rightfully so. Del Rio coached here nine years. There were good times. Those shouldn't be forgotten.
Kristian from Belo Horizonte, Brazil:
He sure sounds like a nice fellow. But I'm not too sure about that moustache...
John: I like it, but I'm working for him in five weeks. He could shave his head and wear a milk mustache with a burlap suit and I'd like it. On a serious note, from all I hear fans need to give him a chance. The early word on Shad is he's a great guy, loves the NFL, loves football and is a sincere, honest person of integrity. There is bound to be an early period of adjustment for the fan base. That's the nature of change, but there's no reason at this point to believe this isn't a good thing.
Mark from Ponte Vedra, FL:
The media and fans were in alignment on the firing of Jack Del Rio. However, some fans also wanted Gene Smith fired while most analysts supported keeping him. Why is there such a disconnect between media and fans on Gene Smith?
John: Because most fans don't get a chance to talk with Smith, nor do they get a chance to talk with football people about Smith. Anyone who knows football will tell you Smith goes about things in the right way and that eventually if you do things the way he does them that has a very high percentage chance of producing a winner. Fans understandably are hard on Smith because the Jaguars are 3-8. It's hard for fans to see the big picture in that environment, but the important thing I can say with confidence about Smith is that if he were let go by the Jaguars it would not be long at all before he were working for another team, and not much longer after that that he would be running one.
Matt from Clemson, SC:
The timing is perfect, for you, John. You sure did walk into an interesting season to cover for your first year.
John: What do you mean?
Richard from Boulder, CO:
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com somehow managed to connect Jack Del Rio's firing to Tim Tebow. He believes Wayne Weaver wanted the Jaguars to pick Tim Tebow and that Wayne made statements to that effect back in 2009. I've never heard this version of history. It just feels like these national writers are piling on. Do you have any knowledge of Mr. Weaver's desire or lack thereof of picking Tebow in the draft?
John: I'll break out my standby familiar answer regarding Mike Florio. He does a great job for what he does. His site is a success, and he draws readers. Jack Del Rio didn't get fired for not drafting Tim Tebow. If he had, why did the Jaguars keep Gene Smith?
Kenney from Jacksonville With a new owner coming in, is it clear whether or not GM Gene will still operate in the same capacity as sole decision maker in player personnel decisions?
John: That's the way it stands now, and it's my understanding is that's the way it will be.
James from Jacksonville:
Am I the only one who is shocked to hear our "star" players say they are shocked that Del Rio got fired? What do you think happens when you perennially do not make the playoffs let alone have mediocre records? I feel for Del Rio, he is a good guy. It just wasn't working, but for the players to say they are shocked shows me they weren't taking things very seriously.
John: I spoke to several players Wednesday. I didn't hear any say they were shocked. What I heard was sadness and kind words for a man for whom many of them had played for a long time. That's a fairly expected reaction, I would think.
JT from Jacksonville:
It's put up or shut-up time in Jacksonville. All eyes are on us fans now. We have a very real chance to lose this team that we all love and cherish so very much. Talk about LA or even Europe now. We as fans can all change that by just showing up to these games and supporting this team. I can't imagine not having my daughter be able to grow up and not have football in this town. She is the next generation and it pains me to think that we can lose this team because we can't get out of our own way. If this doesn't show just how very real a chance we have to losing our team then nothing will.
John: You have been heard.
Howard from Homestead, FL:
A sad day or a good beginning for the future? Time will tell; just want to tell Mr. Weaver thanks so much for your solid commitment to the fans of NFL football and the Jaguars; thanks for all the memories, the great stadium game-day experience. Thanks for all the hard work to make tickets some of the best deals in the NFL for the last 17 seasons; you will be so missed-hope this is not the end of the Jaguars in Jacksonville.
John: Your sentiments for Weaver also have been heard. I have read some emails questioning his commitment to Jacksonville and angry at him for selling the team. I only know that Weaver brought the NFL to this city and believed in it and worked hard to make it work. I don't know how many people would have done the same in such a fashion for so long a period of time.
Limo Bob from Neptune Beach, FL:
Gabbert has more work to do to become a pocket passer than Tebow does. What say you?
John: I say no, Limo Bob. I say NO.
Al from Orange Park, FL:
I can't imagine a new coach being hired until the new owner takes over. Do you think that there's any chance of anything happening before that?
John: I can, if only because I believed Gene Smith will have a great deal to say in the direction of the decision. That said, Khan certainly will have a huge say in the final decision, as well he should.
Joel from Atlanta, GA:
I missed O-Zone yesterday. Anything interesting happen?
John: Not sure. I slept in.