JACKSONVILLE – Nine Jaguars experts – Rick Ballou, Bucky Brooks, Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton, J.P. Shadrick and Ashlyn Sullivan – are breaking down the Jaguars as the 2021 NFL season approaches; today's topic: reasons to believe in the Jaguars in '21...
Rick Ballou, Jaguars sideline reporter
Reason to believe in the Jaguars in '21: They have a better roster. Head Coach Urban Meyer could have more than 20 new players on the 53-man roster. This isn't rare in the NFL, but it looks and feels different already. Expectations are high, probably too high. Jacksonville is a better team and should be an exciting one to watch.
Bucky Brooks, NFL Media and Jaguars Media analyst
Reason to believe in the Jaguars in '21: It is all about the program's culture under Meyer. The three-time national champion oozes confidence and his swagger is infectious. You can sense it in the building and on the practice field while watching the team work. The players believe in the leader's plan and approach, and the collective buy-in resulted in near-perfect attendance throughout the offseason program. With Meyer and his staff placing a premium on building up the players with a detailed plan in the weight room and on the practice field, the team will improve as the unit becomes a bigger, faster, and stronger version of the unit that played hard in 2020.
Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars
Reason to believe in the Jaguars in '21: I believe in the Jags in 2021 for a simple reason — teams with good coaches and good quarterbacks are very good. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes. Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning. Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning. Mike Tomlin and Ben Roethlisberger. That formula has never failed. It worked back in the day with Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr, Don Shula and Brian Griese, Chuck Noll and Terry Bradshaw, and Tom Landry and Roger Staubach. I truly think the Jags have something special in Meyer and Trevor Lawrence. Good coaches lead. They know how to build rosters and have teams ready on game day. Good quarterbacks involve everyone. They make everyone better. I love where this is headed.
Jeff Lageman, Jaguars analyst and former Jaguars defensive end
Reason to believe in the Jaguars in '21: I believe in the Jaguars in 2021 because history has shown that Meyer is an excellent football coach. You can see in the offseason that the mindset has changed with the players, and that is critical to changing the culture. He has won everywhere he has been and will do so in the pros given talent. And, oh, by the way: He has a quarterback.
Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director
Reason to believe in the Jaguars in '21: I believe in the Jaguars because I'm the President of the Sunshine and Rainbows Club! Ha ha! The reason to believe is Meyer and quarterback Trevor Lawrence. It's that simple. These guys win and losing isn't in their DNA. I believe in their offense. I think for the first time in a very long time, the offense will be the identity of this football team and that's a good thing.
John Oehser, jaguars.com senior writer
Reason to believe in the Jaguars in '21: There are multiple reasons to like the direction of the Jaguars. One is the potential of Lawrence. Another is what appears to be an improved roster, particularly along the defensive line – and particularly against the run. Still another is that the Jaguars' players – both newcomers and veterans alike – appear "all in" with Meyer's message; that's a huge factor as NFL teams move from one regime to the next. This looks like a stouter team defensively, and it looks like a team that should be more potent offensively. It likely will be a team that makes enough mistakes that a playoff appearance seems unlikely. But by the end of the season, this should look like a team with a bright future. That's a big step from 1-15.
Brian Sexton, jaguars.com senior correspondent
Reason to believe in the Jaguars in '21: I am holding a long view of this team. I don't see a playoff team this season. But with at least a dozen building blocks in place, one of them being the franchise quarterback, it's easy to believe in what the future holds. There are enough talented players to compete and win on any given Sunday, but with as many first- and second-year players contributing, it appears mistakes will be made. I think six or seven victories is the high-water mark in 2021, which should set them up for a big jump in 2022.
J.P. Shadrick, jaguars.com reporter/editor
Reasons to believe in the Jaguars in '21: The quarterback and the weapons around him. A quarterback is the missing piece, but he still needs receivers. The Jaguars have plenty of guys that seem ready to break out with more consistent quarterback play.
Ashlyn Sullivan, Digital reporter and host
Reason to believe in the Jaguars in '21: This team has bought into what Meyer is selling; that is my biggest reason for optimism going into the 2021 season. Meyer has preached that he gives his players the best; in return, he expects the best from them on the field. That is exactly what we saw from nearly 100 percent in voluntary offseason programs; these players will play hard for their team and head coach.