JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Ed from Jacksonville
You have indicated you expect the EVP to be announced soon. However, in Pederson's press conference on Friday he said there's no update and he would like input?? That tells me he has absolutely no real discussion with Shad on the very important topic! Just seemed odd and is Shad already not communicating with his new head coach and further indicating that General Manager Trent Baalke is really running the show again? Just wondering what your thoughts are on his comments?
My takeaway wasn't your takeaway – or even close. I don't know the details of Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson's conversations to date with Owner Shad Khan. I didn't get the idea listening to Pederson Friday during a press conference to introduce defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell and offensive coordinator Press Taylor that he hasn't discussed the executive vice president of football operations with Khan. Pederson's comments also didn't indicate to me that the two aren't communicating. Pederson, in fact, didn't go into nearly enough detail when discussing this to give a clear idea of the situation – nor would I have expected that to be the case. It's really not Pederson's job to publicly discuss the EVP. I do expect the Jaguars to hire the position and to do so relatively soon. I don't know the exact timing of this. Remember: Contrary to current perception, something not being "out there" or on Twitter doesn't mean something isn't happening. It just doesn't.
Jarrett from Crosby, ND
In your opinion, Zone, was Urban Meyer's administration the most toxic environment you've covered in your career and/or heard of?
This is in response to a recent O-Zone question/answer in which I was asked if former Head Coach Urban Meyer's slightly-less-than-one-year tenure/administration with the Jaguars was the most toxic environment in NFL history. I responded that I haven't covered every administration in NFL history. What I meant was because I didn't have first-hand knowledge of all NFL teams ever, I couldn't answer fairly or accurately. "Toxic" is difficult to define. It's very difficult and rare to be dismissed after 13 games as an NFL head coach, so that's evidence enough that there was a lot wrong with the Meyer "regime." From accusations of the head coach kicking a player to the head coach being filmed in "unawesome" off-field situations to the inability for a lot of people around the head coach being unable to establish anything remotely resembling a relationship with the head coach … well, I'm hard-pressed to remember an odder environment in my time covering the NFL. I will say that.
David from Maplewood, NJ
So, EVP? Was that just to shut the fans up and break the fan momentum around wanting our joke of a GM gone? It is unbelievable that they are going to completely waste the opportunity of having Lawrence. I have never been this demoralized as a fan as a I am right now. It's always players: always, always always. We can have the greatest coaching staff in history if we don't put talent around Lawrence it won't matter!!
The Jaguars not having yet announced the hiring of an EVP of Football Operations two weeks after the position was first discussed publicly does not equate to the Jaguars wasting the career of quarterback Trevor Lawrence. I do get that fans are impatient with and untrusting of Khan on this front; a decade of mostly losing has earned that. I just don't think there's reason to panic on this one.
Bradley from Sparks, NV
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel credits new Miami Dolphins Head Coach Mike McDaniel with turning him into a Top 5 NFL weapon. Jaguars wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. looked like a carbon copy of Samuel coming out of college and maybe McDaniel feels the same way and wants him. Perhaps the Jags could offer up Shenault and the two third-rounders for wide receiver Jaylen Waddle for a win- win trade. What do you think?
I would be surprised if the Dolphins want to trade Waddle for Shenault. Trade machine!!!
P-Funk from Murray Hill
I may have missed it in the introductory press conference, but did Press indicate how he would utilize Travis Etienne Jr. and James Robinson's different skillsets in this offense? Is there any indication based off his and Doug P's previous tendencies to know what to expect?
Jaguars offensive coordinator Press Taylor did not specifically discuss Robinson Friday, though he did discuss Etienne by saying the plan will be to get him the ball however he can best help the offense. It admittedly was a vague answer. But remember: Pederson has been on the job 17 days, and much of that time has been spent assembling a staff. The hardcore planning and finalizing of plans regarding free agency, player usage, draft strategies, etc., will begin in earnest in the coming weeks. I hope to start getting some serious information on these fronts at the NFL Scouting Combine next week. That's typically when we start getting an idea about such things.
Justin from North Augusta, SC
What's up O-Zone, I know we are just one week post-Super Bowl but I have a question for you regarding free agency. Which big name free-agent would you predict plays in Duuuval this coming season?
I expect the Jaguars to be aggressive in free agency – very possibly on the defensive line, offensive line and at wide receiver. I don't have a great feel for specific names yet, partially because NFL teams rarely even hint at their free agency plans and mostly because we don't yet know what free agents will be available once the new League Year begins on March 16.
Earl from Middleburg, FL
After watching tape, I noticed after busted plays, Trevor had that look of: I knew that play was going to go sideways. I think he already has the Peyton Manning-type ability and skillset to guide his offense out of a "bad" call. The question being: With Coach Pederson calling the plays as first year coach, he is going to likely demand strict call compliance. After meeting him, what vibe are you getting? The manager – or the coach that that can yield to situational objections by his quarterback? Keep in mind that Coach's job is likely going to depend on Trevor's development.
I don't know that Lawrence has proven that he has the ability to get the offense in and out of the proper calls at the line of scrimmage; young quarterbacks typically improve in this area over time. And Lawrence certainly hasn't had a chance to show that he can do so in Pederson's scheme. Yet. Once he does, I expect Pederson will allow him to call the offense and adjust at the line of scrimmage. That's a trust that must be earned, but it's a skill that gives an offense too much of an advantage not to allow it if the quarterback is capable.
Larry from Duncan, OK
Great and Powerful O, I think all Jaguars fans should be relieved in the fact that Shad Khan isn't going to move the team out of Jacksonville. After all, is there any city out there willing to put up with perpetual losing year after year, especially London. I don't think the football fans of Oklahoma would support this "clown circus." Hoping the rebuild goes better this time. What say you?
Very few – if any – NFL cities or NFL fan bases "put up with" losing season after season, and I don't know that it's accurate to say Jaguars fans have "put up" with it for the last decade. While Jaguars fans have supported the team to a remarkable degree over the last decade considering the extreme losing in most of those seasons, attendance and season/ticket sales certainly would have been better had the franchise won more. A lot better. But that's not unique to Jacksonville.
Ken from Maggie Valley
I would like to see the Jags keep left tackle Cam Robinson, offensive tackle Walker Little, center Brandon Linder, right tackle Jawaan Taylor and draft left tackle Evan Neal.
That's not out of the question …
Malachi from Bakersfield, CA
"When the EVP is announced – which I anticipate being relatively soon." Relatively soon to what? 2023? The 22 season? The draft? Free agency? Do you think EVP could be announced before the Combine?
… nor is that.
Seamus from Sioux Falls, SD
How do the coaching staff job searches go ... do the coaches apply for consideration or do the head coach and GM start making phone calls to guys they want to target?
Teams typically reach out to candidates of interest. If the coach is working in the NFL, teams must submit a request with the league office to interview that candidate. If the coach isn't in the NFL, teams typically reach out to the agent of the coach. That's typically the direction rather than the coach "applying." This is the NFL, not the Orange Tree at Regency.