Bonus O-Zone. A lot left over from the week.
Let's get to it . . .
Mike from Bridgeport, CT:
Go MoJo! He's an All-Pro! And I don't have to stomp my feet endlessly, which is nice.
John: Yeah, you know what? Good for Jones-Drew – really good for him, in fact. He deserved to start in the Pro Bowl, and when he didn't, I was a bit concerned he might not be first-team Associated Press All-Pro. On Friday, he was indeed named to that team, the most prestigious of the post-season teams. Most players only get a chance at that team a few times, so good for Jones-Drew that he made it in a season in which he deserved it.
Tommy from Jacksonville:
I need help. I got married last week and my wife is saying that I have to convert to be a Saints fan. Clearly that's ridiculous, but drop some knowledge on me on how to handle this quite delicate situation
John: Fear not. Help is on the way.
Bill from Jacksonville:
Who was the last interim head coach to win a Super Bowl with the team that decided to retain him as the head coach?
John: I broke my long-standing rule against researching O-Zone questions, woke up from my nap and delved into this pretty heavily. The answer is no interim coach ever has gone on to coach that team to a victory in the Super Bowl. Before you go crazy and say it can't be done, Jeff Fisher began as the Oilers' interim coach in 1994 and coached the Titans to the Super Bowl following the 1999 season, when they fell one yard short of sending the game against St. Louis into overtime. So, no, it hasn't been done – but at the same time, there's no reason it can't. Honestly, I'm not big on looking at the history of what has happened to find out what will happen. Each coach comes from different circumstance and if a guy is right for the job, he's right for the job.
Michael from New Orleans, LA:
I just saw that MJD made All-Pro. I was happy to see that, although MJD is right - real victories feel better. Is there anyone on the defense who merited consideration?
John: I'd say Paul Posluszny did for the first three months of the season. The impact he made and his consistent level of play was remarkable. After that, with everything that went wrong defensively, it was tough to legitimately argue for any Jaguars defensive players, deserving though they may have been.
Greg from Jacksonville:
Thirty-five to three. While I want our team to win I think that would get boring quickly. The NFL is about being competitive and having one-sided victories regularly tends to become stale. As a fan, I would much rather have the 27-24 victory over the Colts with Scoobie winning it on the 59-yarder. What do you prefer? Competition or blowouts?
John: I prefer victories, whatever the margin. They're never boring.
Jason from Camp Zampa, Japan:
Coaching the Jaguars is a bad job? I have a hard time believing that one of 32 jobs in that field, which pays multimillion dollars a year by the way, could possibly be a bad job. If the analyst and talking heads out there insist that there is a bad coaching job in the NFL, I would suggest they talk to former Cowboys coaches and ask them what their experience was like! They might want to talk to former Raiders and Redskins coaches too!
John: No such thing as a bad job – the Jaguars' position darned sure isn't.
Dustin from Jacksonville:
I have to say, I absolutely love Shad's personality and demeanor. He's understandably like a kid on Christmas morning with a new toy but at the same time, very professional in his dealings so far. He knows that there's a lot he doesn't know but also knows that isn't a weakness. I have a lot of respect for a guy in his position who publicly states he wants help learning his new role. I am extremely grateful to the Weavers for all they've done for this team and in one last heroic act, Wayne found someone who I feel will carry on his legacy of being a dedicated, loyal owner to the Jags. And he has a really cool 'stache in case no one's mentioned it.
John: You make a point that has been bouncing around in my head for a few weeks – that there were two major contributions Weaver made to the Jaguars. One was bringing them into existence, and the second was waiting to find the right person to whom to sell them.
Norm from Dothan, AL:
Khan mentioned that the new head coach would have to really connect with Jacksonville to develop the fan base, be committed to the Jags future and be a strong motivator. Sounds like Tony Boselli might be a strong person for that role. Any thoughts?
Stephen from Jacksonville:
Booing is a necessity in football. Owners and coaches would never listen to or even entertain the idea of listening to an individual fan. However, if enough people have the same or a similar opinion that something is not very good (even though others may think otherwise), if they boo loud enough, then eventually someone starts paying attention to that opinion. It's sort of like the crying kid at the mall concept: if we kick and scream loud enough (booing) then maybe we'll get that new toy we really want (wide receivers). That's why booing is important. Do you agree or disagree?
John: Disagree. Fans have every right to boo, but listening to boos isn't nearly as important as going into a dark room, watching tape and figuring out what's needed. A lot of people booed Rashean Mathis, and that was a sentiment that thankfully was ignored.
Dustin from Jacksonville:
Enjoy your day off O.
Tony from Jacksonville:
I will admit that I have been critical of Gene Smith regarding the draft. I know a lot of this is because I'm impatient by nature. But, my goodness, give the guy (and Mel) some credit for the changes made to the defense. What an incredible turnaround! That being said, I still remember the "salary cap hell" days, so while I'm glad that Khan will do what is necessary to address some of our issues via free agency, I am really comforted by the fact that Gene will continue to find the high-value guys instead of the big names. I don't ever want to go back there again.
John: You're supposed to be critical. You and other passionate Jaguars fans are also supposed to be angry. Smith and Khan understand that, and so do a lot of people around the Jaguars. That anger comes from an honest place – a place that passionately wants the Jaguars to win. Smith wants that, too – and without question Khan does, too. Criticism and impatience is what fans are supposed to do when a team isn't making the post-season. The owners' job in that situation is to make sure he makes whatever decisions he makes for the right, long-term reasons. Those decisions aren't always popular, but not being popular doesn't mean they're wrong.
John from Jacksonville:
Gabbert will only become better if he chooses to do so. He has to want it. Everything that we have been told about the kid is that he has a great work ethic. This offseason will prove if he truly does. The league is full of talented players but very few have the desire and will to become great. I hope he gets Tom's, Drew's, and Peyton's number in the offseason.
John: You know what? I'm really not worried about Gabbert's desire to become great. My impression of him is he wants to excel and is willing to work. I don't know that the circumstances of this season – the lockout, the coaching uncertainty, etc. – allowed him to take the steps toward greatness. That's why I've been writing throughout the season that we won't be able to tell on Gabbert until he gets an entire off-season behind him. When he returns for the off-season, he will return to new offensive coaching philosophy and for the first time, he will get extended time with NFL coaching to work on the fundamentals he needs to improve. My sense is he will look forward to the opportunity, and that once he is in that structure he will work diligently. If that happens, then the sense around the Jaguars is he has a real chance to develop into a franchise quarterback.
Stephen from Jacksonville:
What kind of questions do you think they ask head coaching candidates in interviews?
John: 'S'up? Howzitgoin?