JACKSONVILLE – Let’s get to it …
Paul from Duval:
My opinion is if the Jaguars think they are close to being successful, they are extremely deluded – and maintaining continuity makes little sense given history. I get not hiring people just to make a “splash,” but what do you think the front office sees that basically no one but the front office sees?
John: What does the front office see? That the people they’re selecting are the right people; that’s the only reason they would make the selections. Look, I don’t know that Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin necessarily thinks the Jaguars are close. I know he said during his introductory press conference that he believes the team can win quickly, but he also knows football well enough to know that a 3-13 team by definition is more than a small step from the postseason. I also know a few things are true because Coughlin is running the organization. One is that the Jaguars indeed won’t do things to “make a splash,” and that they won’t do things based on what media or fans are saying – or based on what is being tweeted. Coughlin’s radar won’t extend that far – and if he hears about it, it won’t occur to him to care or react to it. That’s not to say he doesn’t care about the fans, but it to say he won’t make decisions based on reaction. I also know that Coughlin won’t look at the roster or anything within the organization and say, “Well, it’s close, so let’s not do everything we can to improve that area.” Rest assured that Coughlin is examining every facet of the Jaguars’ football operations and trying to determine what needs to improve and what needs to change. I have no idea if Coughlin or the Jaguars will be successful or not – but if they aren’t, it won’t be because Coughlin just wanted to maintain continuity or because he thinks the Jaguars were close last season.
Steve from Jacksonville:
Coaching!? Quarterbacks!? Come on John, it’s all ball bearings nowadays! Just ask Fletch.
John: I’m not even sure that’s a crime anymore.
Scott from Gilbert, AZ:
Zone, I got to see Joey Bosa play a little this year. He did some nice things in the twelve games he was active, and I believe he has a very bright future in this league. But, the Pro Football Writers of America voting him Defensive Rookie of the Year over ? I don’t think that’s cool. I don’t like it.
John: I would have voted for Ramsey, too, but if I had been a neutral observer I probably wouldn’t have seen a huge difference between the two.
Bill from Jacksonville:
Out of all the available coaches in college and pro football for offensive and defensive coordinator, the Jaguars just happened to have the best two men for the job already on staff? What a coincidence! Is this really what the team is telling the fan base, John? Thanks! Go Jags!
John: Yes. That’s what they’re saying. Maybe they’re right. Maybe they’re wrong. We’ll find out.
Robert from Burlington:
Hey John, what an offseason so far. I am one who is liking the hirings. The mentality of both Tom and Doug seem to be one and the same: WIN!!! This got me thinking about players. Do you think the hiring of Tom and Doug will influence them to go out and get players from previous teams? For example: Jason Pierre-Paul. He already has stated he’s not looking for a one-year deal. Do you think someone like him would be influenced to come to Jacksonville due to Coughlin? What other players do you think would be influenced to come here because of Doug and Toms hiring? Lastly, do you think is worthy of a long-term deal as he was here on a one-year prove it deal like ?
John: I certainly think the presence of Coughlin and Marrone give the Jaguars credibility among players. I don’t know that it puts them No. 1 in the NFL in credibility with a wide gap between them and No. 2 – but yes, the Jaguars will be credible. That gives you a chance. Paying the players a lot of money gives you a better chance. The Jaguars have a lot of money to spend, so sure … I think the Jaguars will be a big presence in free agency if they so choose. As far as Prince Amukamara … I do think the Jaguars should try to retain him – and I imagine they will. I don’t know that it’s going to be at a long-term, elite-level contract, but if it’s reasonable – whatever reasonable means in free agency – I think it’s a real possibility.
Adam from Saint Johns, FL:
I’m OK with Marrone, but this goes back to last season. If Marrone, Nathaniel Hackett, and Todd Wash are retained, why didn’t they make the change after the Titans loss? It just seems so Mickey Mouse. They kept Gus Bradley far too long and ended up with the same people. Is Khan being cheap and trying not to excite anyone? I think the fans are getting punked. It seems like Tom was brought in to be the latest distraction. None of this has made any sense. Why won’t Shad address the fans?
John: Coughlin is not here as a distraction. He is involved in and making decisions – and there won’t be any question that this team will have his identity. As far as Khan “addressing the fans” … no, Khan didn’t talk to the media publicly this past season – but that’s not all that unusual for NFL owners. Khan did discuss these topics at the press conference last Thursday to introduce Marrone and Coughlin. He said he doesn’t believe in making changes mid-season in the NFL. He said he believed that would destabilize the program more. The move to Marrone late in the season was made because Khan wanted to start the process of moving forward at that point and didn’t want to do it with Bradley still the head coach. Once that process started, Khan decided on Coughlin as executive vice president of football operations and Marrone as head coach. You may not like these moves, but Khan has stated those were the reasons for the moves. I don’t know how else he could or should “address the fans” on these topics.
Tim from St. Pete, FL:
John: The fact that the NFL may take a draft pick away from Seattle for nondisclosure of Richard Sherman’s knee injury is ridiculous. The only reason injury reports exist is to help Las Vegas handicap the games, even though the NFL says that it prohibits gambling. What do you think: time to get rid of the injury reports?
John: I’m not smart enough nor do I operate at a high enough pay-grade to know all of the philosophical and moral reasons the NFL has an injury report. I do know that while many teams place some players on the injury report in far more “reluctant’ fashion than others, the presence of that injury report keeps all teams from hiding injuries. If there were no injury report – and no rule from the NFL that teams had to disclose injuries – 99.9 percent of head coaches would respond to injury questions by saying “It’s our policy not to discuss injuries.” There are worse things in the broad scope of life, but within the world of people following the NFL, that wouldn’t be a positive development.
Don from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
There is no one that knows quarterbacks better than Tom Coughlin. If he says is the man, then he is. Blake Bortles is going to be a star in this league.
Nick from Miami, FL:
Can you please explain to me why the Jaguars haven’t tried out as a linebacker? He seems more naturally suited for linebacker than defensive end, we have a need at linebacker, and he was underwhelming at defensive end this year. I’ve never understood this.
John: The Jaguars used Dante Fowler Jr. at defensive end last season because they believed he was the best fit the Leo defensive-end role for which he was drafted. It will be interesting to see what the Jaguars do with Fowler moving forward. Do they find a 3-4 linebacker-type role? Do they see him as an outside linebacker? Does he continue to play with his hand on the ground? I agree that he has a lot of traits of a really good outside linebacker and it will interesting to see if the Jaguars can find a way to use him there. But as far as the Jaguars having a “need” at linebacker … OK. I guess. Actually, not really.
Jerell from Columbia, SC:
Outside of Tom Coughlin being brought back nothing has changed. I expect the record to reflect that.
John: Well, now there’s a surprise.
Conrad from InsaneClownville:
Hey Oehser, when do you predict the Jags will win the Super Bowl? Also, what’s your favorite hobby?
John: Someday before I retire. As far as a hobby … lifting. I pretty much like to lift anything heavy as much as possible. It’s a rush like no other.