JACKSONVILLE – Look-ahead Wednesday.
And indeed … every effort will be made to look ahead to Sunday's Jaguars regular-season home opener against the Denver Broncos at TIAA Bank Field and not back at a 37-21 loss to the Houston Texans in the 2021 regular-season opener. That's easier said than done after one-sided losses, but that's the task.
Let's get to it …
Mike from Callahan, FL
So, now the inevitable question that already sprouted up in articles and on social media: "How long until Urban takes the USC job?" I am hoping that Urban's repeated comments that he does not miss recruiting would help nip these stories in the bud. But I don't see that happening. Do you see stories like this being an ongoing thing throughout the season? When does it become a distraction?
This question indeed is inevitable and understandable – in part because the Jaguars played poorly Sunday in Head Coach Urban Meyer's first NFL game, in part because of reports about the Jaguars' coaching staff and in part because the Southern California job came open Monday when that school dismissed Head Coach Clay Helton. First, Meyer's name always is going to be associated with premier college football head-coaching positions – so Meyer being mentioned with USC is expected. I would be stunned if Meyer leaves the Jaguars for a college-coaching position. Meyer has said he is done with college football and people close to him absolutely believe he is done with college football. Will stories such as this be an ongoing thing? I expect that will be the case because Meyer is a high-profile head coach and a polarizing figure, so he tends to get mentioned in situations like this. Is it a distraction? Only if people around the organization – i.e., players, assistants and staff – believe there's merit to such reports. I get no sense that that's the case around the Jaguars. Besides, the Jaguars lost by 16 points in Week 1 Sunday and trailed by 27 points in what by any measure was a mistake-filled performance. There are bigger, more-immediate issues on which to focus than unsubstantiated reports, questions and rumors.
Mark from Jacksonville
You want to know who I feel the worst for, John? It's us, the fans. I'm sure losing is painful for the players and coaches, but they get paid millions of dollars AND they have influence over the outcome of the game. We fans literally can do nothing but watch and experience the pain. It's like being a passenger in a car accident.
You couldn't be more right. Jaguars fans have been loyal and waited for success for a long time. They have waited for hope for a long time. They have waited to see competitiveness for a long time. It seems that's what made Week 1's loss to the Texans Sunday so difficult. They had waited for these things a long time, and this was the first game with quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Meyer. It was the first game of a new era. Fans expected a victory and were understandably disappointed it didn't happen. But more than that, it seems they were surprised and disappointed that it was so one-sided – and that so many aspects of the game looked bad early. That was unsettling. Perhaps not the same as a car accident, but unsettling nonetheless. This is Look Ahead Wednesday, so looking ahead to the Jaguars' game against the Denver Broncos at TIAA Bank Field Sunday … it's the first regular-season home game of the new era. It's also the first game at the stadium in more than a month. Will fans be expecting better – and specifically, a better-looking start? Yeah – and that will be a fair expectation.
Hulk from Henderson
Well, Urban already dumping the team for the USC job? I mean that's what's plastered all over the media. So either it's true or your constituents a recklessly spreading misinformation.
I don't quite know what "plastered all over the media" means. I have seen speculation and rumors on various websites. I also don't know what "constituents" means in this case, though I do know I have seen nothing indicating Meyer is leaving from any legitimate news outlet.
Kenneth from Jacksonville
It sounds like based on your review of the offensive line play in game 1, along with the sentiment around the Jaguars team, if we just completely disregard all the bad stuff that they did (which essentially made it impossible for us to win this game) then they actually played OK! This is genius!
If you're referencing what I wrote about the Jaguars' offensive line Tuesday, that's not what I wrote at all. I wrote essentially that the current makeup of the Jaguars' offensive line generally has played OK throughout games but that one of two mistakes often make those games bad. I also wrote that that's not good enough. The one or two plays count. The penalties count. The unit can't continue to have those errors a few times a game and expect to win. More must be expected.
Bruce from Saint Simons Island, GA
O, Lawrence is the future hope, but looking at the Jags schedule after the Texans game, I don't see any teams that the Jags can beat.
This is a common sentiment – and considering how the Jaguars played in Week 1, it's an understandable one. The Jaguars played poorly enough against the Texans that they likely wouldn't be favored against any team in the NFL in Week 2. But the NFL doesn't work that way. This team will win games. I don't know that it will happen in the next week or two if some significant pre-snap issues continue to occur -and the schedule on paper gets significantly tougher after that – but I absolutely expect this team to win games.
Chuck from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
We've had stinky play for five of last six years. We've changed general managers twice, head coach three times and all kinds of other coaches through these years. All the players have been stars in football in their respective college conferences, but there's still that stink. The only common denominators left are Shad, his son, and probably some scouting and clerical staffs. Shad isn't going anywhere, but maybe there needs to be a clean sweep, everyone behind the scenes and most of the players who have been here for more than two years. Coaches shouldn't have to be teaching basics at this stage in the player's careers, i.e., how to line up, catch a ball, tackle, etc. The culture is still bad.
This past offseason certainly qualifies as a clean sweep. Meyer is running the organization and has final say. All "major" positions on the coaching staff are new with the exception of offensive line, and most – if not all – positions in the scouting department have been overturned. It's difficult if not impossible to release or trade every veteran player in one offseason, though the Jaguars did overturn much of the roster – particularly defensively. Perhaps they could have overturned the offensive line instead of bringing back the entire starting line and coaching staff, but it's hard to have a significantly cleaner sweep than the Jaguars had in recent offseasons.
Rob from Pittsburgh, PA
Zone when do you think we will see Walker Little and Andre Cisco start?
I expect to see Jaguars rookie safety Andre Cisco start soon – perhaps Sunday. I expect to see rookie tackle Walker Little start at some point this season, though not this month.
MrMakersMark from Sec 408 Row A
It is a good thing I was distracted by football Sunday, so I wasn't disappointed concerning The Joker not winning the Grand Slam in the same year. Such a tough feat to accomplish, so we will have to wait even longer for someone to replace Rod Laver.
I wasn't disappointed at all that Daniil Medvedev upset Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the U.S. Open final to prevent Djokovic from winning men's tennis' grand slam. I couldn't respect Djokovic more as a player, but I'm not a huge fan of his – partly because I'm a huge Roger Federer fans and partly because Djokovic is just difficult to like at times. Medvedev's victory speaks to the true difficulty of winning all four slams in one year. Federer in his prime was a dominant player and couldn't do it. Djokovic this year was otherworldly dominant and has been otherworldly dominant in other seasons – and he couldn't do it. Rafael Nadal couldn't do it. I don't know that anyone will.
Marcus from Jacksonville
I'm pretty sure the Jaguars could line up facing the wrong direction and score a touchdown for the other team and you would find something positive to take from it!