Presidential candidates address Bar issues

first_img February 15, 2011 Regular News Presidential candidates address Bar issues The following questions were posed by the News to Bar president-elect candidates Walter “Skip” Campbell, Jr., of Ft. Lauderdale, John “Jake” Schickel of Jacksonville, and Gwynne Alice Young of Tampa. Ballots for the contested election will be mailed to eligible voters on or before March 1. Voters will have the option of voting online in lieu of returning their paper ballot. All votes must be received before midnight, March 21. Any runoff will be conducted between April 1 and April 22. 1. In one sentence, what advice would you give to a recent Bar admittee, fresh out of law school and just sworn-in? Campbell: Because of hard economic times, be careful who you associate with; that first job, many times, is the guide by which you will be judged by your peers. Schickel: Find and cultivate a long lasting relationship with a mentor you respect; be professional in every situation no matter how difficult the circumstances; attend and participate in local bar meetings and programs; develop relationships that will help you increase your competence and professionalism; and prepare to challenge yourself further after your five-year milestone by seeking to become board certified. Young: Get involved with your local and state Bar and take advantage of the resources offered by them. 2. The number of Bar members is expected to grow from around 90,000 to around 115,000 by 2020. What challenges will this present to the Bar? Schickel: Communications with our members has always been a major challenge. I believe we have the ability now to better meet that challenge, and will be able to do so especially if we engage using some of the growing social media products. Currently, the economics of the practice are causing more friction between the client and lawyer and our relationships with other lawyers.  More lawyers entering practice make for bigger challenges. I believe our professionalism programs can meet these challenges. Young: The growth in number of members will continue to put pressure on Florida lawyers and hence the Bar. At present time there are insufficient jobs for the number of law school graduates seeking employment in Florida. This trend will continue as the number of lawyers in Florida increases. This will likely result in more lawyers opening solo or small firms or seeking employment outside of the legal profession. The Bar will need to continue to maintain and expand its programming to assist those lawyers as discussed in my response to question four below. Growth will continue to cause an increase in the number of Bar grievances filed. The Bar will need to ensure that its discipline system keeps pace with the demand created by the larger lawyer population. Campbell: Increase in numbers of members of the Bar clearly will make it more difficult to regulate. The Bar leadership has an obligation to their Bar members by trying to provide the best services available, which will be an additional challenge. 3. Technology, from e-mail to e-filing in the courts, is revolutionizing the practice of law. How can the Bar help its members successfully make these technology transitions? Young: The Bar will need to provide readily available and cost-effective training on how to operate the technology, how technology can be used to enhance the lawyer’s practice, and how technology otherwise effects practice. Examples would include training on how to use e-filing, how to use social networking to benefit your practice, seminars on e-discovery. Campbell: The advancements in the use of technology in the legal profession count on and rely on practitioners having a working knowledge of the basic tools of modern computing, i.e., e-mail and Web browsing. The most important issue of training old and young lawyers alike is how to use these basic tools. The Florida Bar should take steps to provide training on these seemingly most basic of skills. This can be done in the form of free or inexpensive classes, seminars, or videos. It is also critical to the members of the Bar that electronic filings in the courts be unified so that all of the circuits are on the same page. Schickel: The Bar should have more free seminars on LegalSpan [the service through which the Bar provides online CLE programs] to address these issues. Programs on e-filing, to business building, marketing, and trust accounting should all be available. We should have free seminars on LegalSpan that teach social networking and basic computer use. 4. What can the Bar do to help its members who are hard hit by the recession? Campbell: I have personally come in contact with members of the Bar who are very hard hit by the recession. Some of these members are having a difficult time paying for their electric bill and mortgage payments. As a Bar, we have to look at ways to assist these members in, hopefully, a temporary time period. Hardship waivers for reduced Bar dues and fees as well as CLE courses are a way to allow members of the profession to continue practicing law in a hope that they can get through these tough economic times. Schickel: The Bar should better use our bulk buying ability to provide more member benefits. From health insurance to banking services, we have the volume to obtain a wider range of member benefits. We should also do comparisons of our benefits with other similar sized groups and other bar associations. Young: The Bar has already implemented an online job and career center that allows employers to post job openings on The Florida Bar website. The Program Evaluation Committee has a subcommittee which has been working on defining Bar services and programs that can assist members who are adversely impacted by the economy. At its most recent board meeting, on recommendation of the Program Evaluation Committee, the board approved the Lawyers Helping Lawyers program. That program will have a section on the Bar’s website which will offer online programming free of charge on topics such as how to build a practice, discounted goods and services for lawyers, the job and career center, and other helpful information. The Bar can develop more programming on career planning strategies, job hunting strategies, and alternatives to law practice. 5. How can the Bar ensure equal access to legal services and the court system? Schickel: Access is an adjunct to funding. Our constitution guarantees the right to access, and we must be in the forefront of court funding before a funding crisis becomes a constitutional crisis. We should equip our clients to convey this message. We need to focus on identifying our allies and have them help the Legislature better understand the importance of access to courts and for redress. Young: At the outset, our judicial system must be adequately funded to ensure equal access to legal services and the court system. We must have enough judges and staff to provide timely resolution of disputes. Moreover, we must have the funds to keep our courts open and operating during the business week. We must continue to encourage lawyers to take on pro bono matters. We need to examine alternative ways to assist people who cannot afford attorneys to be able to navigate the court system. For example, in Hillsborough County, Bay Area Legal Services operates a forms clinic which is staffed by lawyers who assist pro se litigants in completing the court-approved form paper work in order to obtain a dissolution of marriage. Campbell: While the number of lawyers is increasing, many believe there is still not adequate access to justice for many Floridians. The constitution requires lawyers for criminal cases, but general civil legal services for the underserved middle and working classes of Floridians, as well as our state’s poorer citizens, is lacking. Where The Florida Bar Foundation received about $45 million a year from IOTA, this amount is now down to about $5 million a year. This is resulting in a crisis for access to the judicial system. The Bar should encourage more pro bono involvement as we get through these tough economic times. We also should attempt to seek more voluntary contributions to organizations like Legal Services and The Florida Bar Foundation to keep these very important institutions alive. 6. How do you rate the Bar’s disciplinary operations? Do you have any suggestions for change? Young: I think the Bar’s disciplinary system is excellent. The ACAP centralized intake program is up and working and provides for more consistent case handling. ACAP uses a paperless case management system, which appears to be working well. The Bar has also looked at creative solutions to problems, such as the increase in claims resulting from the foreclosure crisis, by hiring a contract lawyer to deal with those particular claims and to separately monitor and account for those claims. I believe that we can continue to find ways to improve the system by moving matters through the system more quickly while continuing to ensure full due process. Campbell: I believe the structure of the Bar’s disciplinary operations is excellent. I truly believe that the personnel that try to implement the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar are trying to do the best they can to make sure that the constitutional and personal rights of all lawyers are protected. But like any institution, I do believe that we can improve on our system. When I was a young lawyer we had more live probable cause hearings, which allowed members of the legal profession and the public to look the lawyer in the eye and make a determination as to whether there has been a deviation from the rules regulating The Florida Bar. Many members who are subject to discipline have come to me and advised that the investigators who make the determination as to whether to bring a probable cause recommendation to a grievance committee sometimes don’t even talk to the lawyers who are being grieved against. We must make sure that all lawyers in the state of Florida get fair, just, and adequate review of grievances. Schickel: Our process is excellent. The changes implemented in the past few years go a long way to protect lawyers from unhappy clients and from unethical attorneys. The system now works more quickly to identify serious problems from irresponsible behavior, and there is more uniformity in the penalty. We need to teach all attorneys about how the system works as they enter the practice of law. 7. If you were addressing a class of high school seniors, would you encourage them to become lawyers? Why or why not? Campbell: I have been recently asked to give a speech to high school seniors about what it is to be a lawyer and whether I would encourage them to become lawyers. What I tried to do was present a balancing act in trying to show that lawyers throughout historical time have acted as advocates and advisors to governments, individuals, corporations, and frankly, people who are down on their luck. I informed the young people that a very well respected man by the name of Tocqueville pointed out in the beginning of our country the importance of lawyers in shaping society. Back then the lawyers dominated the processes that formed our constitution and governmental structures. It was lawyers that provided the framework for constitutional privileges and obligations. The legal profession has been and should be a highly respected profession.I tried to explain to these seniors that being a lawyer takes a lot of time in school and costs a lot of money. I advised them that there are many lawyers that are getting out a law school today who have $150,000 in debt, which is a significant impediment to a young lawyer. I also advised that lawyers have to work hard because of this. Sometimes the quality of their lives and their family lives are put in jeopardy.I ended with my own feelings that I am proud to be a lawyer and feel that the profession still needs a lot of good lawyers. Schickel: Yes, but with a caveat. The profession is worthwhile and satisfying, and counseling clients is rewarding. Doctors treat the body, ministers treat the soul, and lawyers treat everything else. It is, however, a demanding and difficult profession, and it is not as lucrative as many expect. Practicing law should be about discovering the truth and helping parties resolve their differences with minimal impact on families, the court system, and finances. Young: Yes. Being a lawyer is interesting, challenging, and intellectually stimulating. It is rewarding in that you can help people solve problems whether it be your pro bono family law client or a corporate client. That said, it is very hard work and very demanding. 8. How can the Bar better work with the executive and legislative branches of government to support the judicial branch and achieve its goal of a fair and impartial judiciary? Schickel: I believe the judiciary is fair and impartial. The problem is perception. In our system, there is generally a winner and loser. Seldom does the loser feel good and naturally tends to blame others and, in our world, the judiciary. Without the funding to provide access to courts, justice delayed will be justice denied. We are the messengers of our clients. It is not our lawsuit, it belongs to our clients. They must help us make the case to the Legislature and governor, be it businesses or individuals. Most of the time the judiciary cannot speak out on issues and needs champions to address the perception of fairness. The Bar can and should take a leading role. Young: The Bar must continue to educate members of the executive and legislative branches on the role of the judicial branch and its importance to our state. Ensuring the prompt and effective resolution of disputes is critical to the state’s goals that Florida be a business friendly state. The Bar must provide them with the data which supports the level of funding the judicial system needs to function effectively. This must continue to be a priority. Campbell: I have personally dealt with the executive and legislative branches in supporting positions of the Bar as well as our judicial branch. It is my opinion that human relationships with people can lessen many of the problems related to conflict whether real or imagined. I have always tried to first establish human relationships with the governor and other legislators. Personal relationships humanize potential adversaries, improve communications, and increase the general level of mutual understanding and trust. As individuals get to know each other they get to know, recognize, and acknowledge their positions. Mutual understanding and trust is critical to develop the communication needed to address the needs of The Florida Bar and judiciary in the state of Florida. 9. What are the top three issues facing Florida lawyers and what can the Bar do to address them? Young: The impact of the economy on the legal profession. As shown in my answer to question four, the Bar is actively looking at ways to help its members who have been adversely impacted by the continuing poor economy. Adequate funding of the judicial system. The Bar must continue its strong legislative advocacy on behalf of the court system. See my answers to question eight. Public perception of lawyers. This problem is not easily solved. The Bar must continue to take prompt disciplinary action against those lawyers who commit acts of malfeasance. The Bar must also continue its efforts to educate the public on the role of lawyers and the rules of discipline. Finally, to the extent practical, the Bar should seek to publicize the good works of lawyers. Campbell: The three issues facing Florida lawyers are probably not the same three issues that will be presented by my opponents. One of the things that I have heard from many Florida lawyers is that there is an increased dissatisfaction with the demanding life of a lawyer. Lawyers are trying to balance their family lives with the need to satisfy client’s interest. Lawyers sometimes feel that The Florida Bar is distant and not concerned with their individual needs. The Florida Bar needs to make a better commitment on communication with all lawyers in the state of Florida and encourage programs to provide better career contentment for the practicing lawyer. This I believe can be accomplished through CLE programs, videos, classes, and seminars. I believe the final thing The Florida Bar can do is make the Bar more lawyer friendly.The second issue facing lawyers is the increased competition we have with each other as well as other professions who are attempting to get the same work that lawyers perform. The Florida Bar is attempting to study the issues of lawyer advertising as well as keep up with the issues of multidisciplinary practice and multijurisdictional practice.The third area that I believe faces lawyers is the legislative attempt to regulate the courts and The Florida Bar. I would encourage more lawyers to get active with the legislative and executive branch so that we might again develop that interpersonal relationship that I spoke about earlier. Lawyers have historically been active in the most important political and policy issues facing Florida and the nation. For some reason we have become too complacent and haven’t encouraged continued involvement in the process. Tocqueville remarked two centuries ago that in the United States lawyers were the arbitrators between citizens and its government. Tocqueville was clairvoyant in showing the importance of lawyers for both the political and social order of American constitutional democracy. We the lawyers in The Florida Bar must do everything we can to preserve the constitutional protections that so many in the past have fought for and died for or we will lose them to complacency. Schickel: The economy, the economy, and the economy. The economy is the cause. We cannot fix it, but we can help with some of the symptoms. Increasing concern over growing our client base has forced lawyers to be more antagonistic, and professionalism has suffered. We must address this at the community level. The economy has caused a lack of raises, freezing of salaries, and layoffs. As The Florida Bar provides better member services, this should help all lawyers. The economy is also affecting court funding. Unless more money becomes available, we have to show the Legislature the importance of adequate funding and the impact on the entire system including our clients. 10. Tell us about one defining moment in your legal career when you stopped to say, “I am proud to be a lawyer.” Campbell: I can talk about the cases that I have dealt with in the past that have truly brought a right when a wrong occurred and justice prevailed. But I think the most defining moment in my legal career was when I was on the 17th green of Eagle Trace Golf Course and saw a man in front of me fall down and have a heart attack. My golf partner and I, who is also a lawyer, quickly drove up to see what was going on. It was clear that the two individuals that were golfing with this gentleman had no idea what to do. So I immediately started using CPR and was able to save this man’s life until the paramedics arrived. That, in and of itself, was not the defining moment. The defining moment was that one of the witnesses who saw me perform CPR was a doctor who made the comment afterwards that he thought all lawyers sucked the life out of people and he was impressed that one lawyer saved a life. This type of mindset is exactly what we need to get rid of in society. More respect and trust is needed between people. After all we should never forget that we are all human beings, Americans, and Floridians.I know my comments are not erudite because quite frankly we do not have the time or space to fully comment on the needs of The Florida Bar.I do need your vote for president-elect of The Florida Bar. Schickel: I represented a family that was on the verge of losing everything. They had even lost hope. My partners and I were able to help them. The hugs were better than the praise and thank you, for without the help of a lawyer. . . all would have been lost. Young: I handled a pro bono matter for a woman whose children had been removed from her and placed with their father due to her serious drug problem. She had completely rehabilitated herself and become gainfully employed. The father nonetheless would not allow her to have visitation with the children. I was successful in securing her that visitation. Helping someone who had helped themselves made me proud to be a lawyer. I should add that there have been many such moments in my legal career. I am proud to be a lawyer because of the critical role we play in preserving our democratic society. The fact that we are a nation of laws makes me proud to be a lawyer. Presidential candidates address Bar issueslast_img read more

Conveyancers urge ministers not to repeat HIPs fiasco

first_imgConveyancers are counselling caution on reform of the homebuying process after confirmation of a government review rekindled memories of the much-criticised home information packs (HIPs) scrapped in 2010.The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills will publish a ‘call for evidence’ later this year, it was confirmed last week at a Westminster Hall debate.During the debate, Tory MP Kevin Hollinrake alluded to the ‘ill-fated’ HIPs introduced in 2007 and suggested any change to legislation should involve consultation with the estate agent industry and legal profession.Beth Rudolf, director of delivery at the Conveyancing Association, said there is consensus that ‘earlier, upfront delivery of the right information can make a big difference’. Resolving issues around leasehold sales and closing legal loopholes to deliver a leasehold redress scheme would make big differences, she said, while ‘ridiculous delays’ in the delivery of local authority information also need to be addressed.Law Society president Jonathan Smithers, a conveyancing specialist, said he understands BIS will be looking at aspects of the whole process including wasted costs when transactions do not proceed to completion.He said: ‘There is a wide variety of reasons for sales not proceeding including change in circumstance, the discovery of new information during the process and the necessity to comply with lenders’ requirements.‘Giving consumers more detailed explanations of the process, and making sure that they are aware they have the ability to break chains and enter into pre-contract agreements to prevent gazumping and gazundering may warrant some further consideration.’Other ideas floated in an online Gazette debate include bringing back HIPs minus local authority search and surveys, ‘scale fees’ and separate representation for purchasers and lenders.last_img read more

Bart Starr walking again after stem cell treatment

first_img Session ID: 2020-09-18:48eb3764c139b4fd637afe1 Player ID: videojs-brightcove-player-51319-4243009049001 OK Close Modal DialogCaption Settings DialogBeginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsDefaultsDoneClose Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Bart Starr had quite a meal Tuesday morning in Alabama — three pancakes and an omelet with three eggs and cheese.Bart Starr condition deteriorated after suffering a heart attack, two strokes and a four seizures in September.Bart Starr condition deteriorated after suffering a heart attack, two strokes and a four seizures in September.It was made by his wife Cherry, his bride of 61 years. And it didn’t take him long to eat it.“He fed himself the entire breakfast,” Cherry Starr said. “It was great.”It was another small but significant moment for Starr, the legendary former Green Bay Packers quarterback. Before he underwent an experimental stem cell treatment in June, Starr, 81, could barely walk or feed himself. His condition had deteriorated after suffering a heart attack, two strokes and a four seizures in September.But now he can walk and eat unaided, seemingly sparked back to his feet with the help of this treatment.“It’s just been really exciting to witness,” Cherry Starr told USA TODAY Sports. “Some of it might have been natural. It might have happened without the stem cells to some degree. But there’s no question that has absolutely helped him, and some of his cognition has improved rather dramatically really. He can do things like tie his shoes. He’s feeding himself. He can read. I could go on and on about a lot of things that we’re witnessing that are really, really exciting to us.”She said Starr received an infusion of 90 million stem cells in June, when he traveled to the San Diego area for treatment. During the trip, they also met with two other sports heroes who previously received similar treatments: hockey great Gordie Howe, 87, and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback John Brodie, 79.Fetal stem cells and the sports legends they revitalizedIt was quite a moment — three iconic former athletes disabled by strokes but brought together by their faith in an experimental new medicine that has not yet been approved for widespread use in the U.S.Brodie and Starr both were NFL MVPs and had competed against each other as recently as 1970, when Brodie led the 49ers over Starr and the Packers 26-10. Starr received his stem cell treatment the same week Howe had returned to the area for a second round of a similar treatment.“We had a good visit when (Starr) and Gordie were here, and John was chief of enthusiasm,” John’s wife Sue Brodie told USA TODAY Sports. “I think it rubbed off on Bart, as he now has a personal trainer and has had numerous improvements. He realized that he can get better. That is the key also. He is being treated like an athlete and not a patient. Very important for these guys.”Both Brodie and Howe received stem cell treatments at a clinic in nearby Tijuana, Mexico. Cherry Starr said she agreed not to talk about the companies and location involved in her husband’s treatment until a later time. But she described a treatment pattern similar to Brodie’s and Howe’s.She said Bart Starr is returning to the San Diego area for more stem cells in September, this time to receive stem cells that are believed to help the brain. Similarly, Brodie and Howe received two separate injections of two different types of stem cells — mesenchymal stem cells derived from the bone marrow of an adult donor, and neural stem cells, derived from a single donated fetus. Those stem cells were manufactured by Stemedica, a company in San Diego, which didn’t return a message seeking comment about Starr.Such a two-cell treatment is not yet available in U.S. clinical trials, but a spokesman for Stemedica previously told USA TODAY Sports that the company soon would apply to begin one in the U.S. In the meantime, its products have been tested in foreign clinical trials, including at a licensed clinic in Tijuana, where it’s less expensive to conduct.“I think people have a strong and legitimate interest in what’s happening with stem cells, and I’ll be glad when this country will permit stem cells for the brain,” Cherry Starr said. “You shouldn’t be forced to go out of the country to receive this help.”Experts caution that this is unproven medicine and that natural healing and physical therapy also can cause improved conditions. That’s why it’s being tested in clinical trials — to determine if it’s safe and effective. Experts also generally caution against getting unproven medicine in foreign countries because they don’t have the same safety and efficacy standards as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).“It is understandable that patients and families facing major health issues such as strokes are looking for hope from stem cells, and I wish them the best,” said Paul Knoepfler, a biomedical scientist and associate professor at the University of California, Davis. “At the same time, there is little if any evidence that these kinds of non-FDA approved treatments actually work and are safe.”On the other hand, some families just don’t feel like they have other options after a loved one suffers a debilitating stroke.“Honestly this (condition) is the just the most undignified thing that can happen to a person,” Cherry Starr said. “It totally robs a man or a lady of their dignity.”How Soviet Union science helped American sports heroesCherry Starr said her husband wasn’t expected to live much longer after suffering his strokes, a sequence that started with a rare complaint of a headache. About three weeks after returning from San Diego in June, she said they started noticing significant improvements.“This last week, he’s been walking all by himself,” she said. “It’s been pretty amazing.”Starr spoke briefly in a video that aired in Green Bay Saturday honoring Brett Favre, another legendary quarterback who was joining him in the Packers Hall of Fame.“Four weeks ago, he could not have done this,” Cherry Starr said. “He was able to read the teleprompter, and that was just amazing to me.”His son, Bart Jr., spoke at the ceremony and said his father “had begun turning the corner in a significant way.”Cherry Starr declined to say what the procedure cost. “It is an expensive procedure — that I will say,” she said. “And I’ll be glad when it’s more affordable for more people.”She said the family has hired a therapist to work with him and is anxious for their upcoming return to the San Diego area. The two are high school sweethearts from Sidney Lanier High School in Montgomery, Ala.“I just want a better quality of life for him, and I’ll do anything to make that happen,” she said. Follow sports reporter Brent Schrotenboer @Schrotenboer. E-mail: [email protected] VIDEO: JOHN BRODIE’S ROAD TO RECOVERYPlay VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:00Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%0:00 Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1ChaptersChaptersdescriptions off, selectedDescriptionssubtitles off, selectedSubtitlescaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedCaptionsAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window. An unanticipated problem was encountered, check back soon and try again Error Code: MEDIA_ERR_UNKNOWNlast_img read more

NFL preview 2019: AFC South player to watch, impact rookie, projected finish

first_img“(The injuries have) taken my joy of this game away. I’ve been stuck in this process,” Luck said. “I haven’t been able to live the life I want to live. After 2016, I played in pain and was unable to practice, I said I wouldn’t go through that again.”As much as Houston natives love Luck, who attended Stratford High School, fans of the Texans know this makes their team’s path to a fourth division title in the last five years more possible. Here is your 2019 AFC South division preview.Player to watchLeonard Fournette, Jaguars running backWhen the Jaguars drafted Fournette No. 4 overall in 2017, they knew what they wanted to do with him. They wanted to use the 6-foot, 228-pound bruiser to pound defenses into submission, control the play clock and let a supremely talented defense dictate the game. That worked in 2017 as Jacksonville made it all the way to the AFC title game where it lost to the Patriots.But in 2018, Fournette was hurt off and on and motivated about the same. He was called out at the end of the season by executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin for indifference on the sideline.“I am disappointed in the behavior today from T.J. Yeldon and Leonard Fournette,” Coughlin said at the time. “They were disrespectful, selfish and their behavior was unbecoming that of a professional football player.”Fournette cannot be that guy this season. The Jaguars still plan to run the offense through him, and with the addition of Nick Foles at quarterback and pass rusher Josh Allen in the draft, Jacksonville very well could fight for the division title. But if Fournette isn’t himself that dream can all but be kissed goodbye.Impact rookieJosh Allen, Jaguars OLB/DEThis isn’t a Jaguars preview — promise — but no team got luckier in the 2019 draft than Jacksonville. Mainly because Allen was evaluated by many as the single best player among draft-eligible players and he slipped all the way to No. 7 for the Jaguars to take.He even made it past the Giants, who desperately needed help with their pass rush but instead went for quarterback Daniel Jones — and preseason football notwithstanding — that is a pick that could be second-guessed for years to come.Allen joins an already talented defense and may immediately be the most talented player on it. He has size, he’s fast and he’s got moves. Adding a great pass rusher to an already dangerous defense is a scary proposition for the rest of the AFC South.Coach on the hot seatBill O’Brien, TexansThis is a tough one because Doug Marrone very well could be out as well in Jacksonville, but here is the thing: The Texans took a massive chance this offseason by firing general manager Brian Gaine and putting the team in O’Brien’s control.He, and a team of about six, promptly traded Jadeveon Clowney for scraps and made a controversial move in giving up two first-round picks and a second for Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills. These moves were widely panned by evaluators, but the simple fact is now this team’s success is predicated on what O’Brien does with the team on the field.His in-game moves have often been criticized and Houston has looked ill-prepared on offense in the team’s playoff runs under O’Brien. Now, the team’s success is on him on the field and off of it as he is basically the man in charge of everything.If Tunsil isn’t good and the Texans underachieve, it may be time for Houston to move on and consider bringing back former GM Rick Smith, to start, because while he was afraid to draft a quarterback, he consistently built some of the best rosters in the NFL.Key matchupTexans vs. Colts, Nov. 21If everything goes right for the Texans, they’ll be in contention for a playoff position toward the middle of the season. Also, by that time, the Colts will have had more than half a season with Jacoby Brissett running this year’s offense and will likely be a much tougher out than earlier in the year.This is a game the Texans need to win because — while the Colts lost Luck — Brissett could very well take Indianapolis to a playoff spot. He’s a talented guy and one coach Frank Reich believes in.”He is the man,” Reich said this week. “He is the answer.”Well, Brissett does have to be the answer for the Colts because odds are Chad Kelly isn’t going to be the guy to do it. At this point in the season, the Texans could very well be around 5-5 or 4-6. Their schedule to start the season is brutal, including games against the Chargers, Chiefs, Ravens and a much healthier Falcons team this year than last. The Colts could very well be right about the same. So whoever wins this game will have a leg up going into the second half of the season and on the division title.And with this game being on a Thursday night it will be easy for one team or the other to get caught unprepared.Predicted finishThis is a division that is going to come down to the Jaguars and Texans, but there are a couple of caveats: One, the Jaguars go as Fournette goes. If he is the Fournette of ’17, they’re the division favorites. If he is the Fournette of ’18, they’re out of the playoffs. And, two, Brissett will take about six weeks to really get going, but if he goes faster, the Colts very well could win this division. There is talent here, but also flaws. It’s really anyone’s for the taking.1. Texans Two weeks ago the AFC South looked completely different. The Colts might have been the favorites and Andrew Luck might have been an MVP candidate. The Texans looked disorganized and hopeless to trade Jadeveon Clowney or protect Deshaun Watson.A lot has happened since then. Andrew Luck has retired, the Texans traded Clowney and they acquired a potential franchise left tackle in Laremy Tunsil. Things are different now. And no one was happier to hear these words than Texans fans everywhere: 2. Jaguars3. Colts4. Titanslast_img read more