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O-Zone: Basic math

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Steve from Nashville, TN

How do assistant coaches' contracts work when there is a regime change like the Jaguars will experience this year? Will Meyer's coaching staff be paid their full contract value when they are terminated after the season?

First, it's unlikely that the entire Jaguars coaching staff will be categorically dismissed immediately upon conclusion of the 2021 regular season. NFL assistant coaches typically work under multi-year contracts, and new head coaches often interview and retain some members of previous staffs. Coaches who aren't retained often have at least a year remaining on their contracts because most assistants work on two-year contracts – and sometimes longer. If a coach leaves for another NFL position, the new team pays a new contract. If the contract with the new team calls for the coach to earn less in a given year than his contract for that year with the old team, the old team pays the difference in the contract until the coach's contract with the former team expires.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, why would anyone even want the Jaguars coaching job? It's where careers come to die.

The Jaguars' head-coaching job will be coveted because of rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence. And because Jaguars Owner Shad Khan is a patient owner who has proven willing to spend what's necessary to win – and willing to support coaches and front-office personnel through difficult times. Many, many, many other areas of this franchise must get fixed, but those elements should make it a good position.

Jeff from Atlantic Beach, FL

I have no doubts that Lawrence can be a franchise quarterback. I do have doubts whether or not the Jaguars' organization is capable of giving him the tools and development to be his best.

The Jaguars have lost enough for the last decade that it's only reasonable you would have this concern. It's up to the Jaguars to turn their fortunes around and stop this concern.

Rum Runner from Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda

Does the NFL owner agreement have a "for cause" clause where they can expel the Jags from the NFL due to embarrassment to the league?


Chris from Northside

I guess now it's ALWAYS the wide receivers in the NFL, Mr. O? I think you are losing your objectivity with regard to TL. Justin Herbert's receivers have nearly just as many drops as TL's. The truth is Trevor has not looked good this season. He possesses great arm strength, good speed and height but so does Daniel Jones and Mitch Trubisky. Not saying TL is a bust, but it is only rational to be concerned about him not living up to the hype he came into the league with.

You're welcome to be as concerned as you like, Chris. You're also welcome to judge my objectivity regarding Lawrence. But remember: Regardless of your undoubtedly well-informed opinion of me, I have no "dog in the hunt" with Lawrence. My job stays the same whether he is good or bad. I will continue to write and speak about the Jaguars – and answer questions about them – whether he is good or bad. I will sit at Strings and listen to Spade McQuade on Friday evening, Bullet Bob in hand and toasting to a job done that week (not well done, necessarily) whether he is good or bad. I hope he's good because I like Lawrence. I like his approach. It would be good for the team – and for its fans – if he is good. I say I believe he will be good because I believe it. I believe it because I like his talent, mental makeup, work ethic skillset. I believe it because I know what he has gone through – and I know the talent around him. That doesn't mean it will happen. I can't control what will happen. You and others are more than welcome to believe otherwise. But I do believe he still has what it takes to be good. Even great. You know … objectively speaking.

Scott from Aruba

If the Jags pull off an upset and beat the Colts, the two teams playing Sunday night can tie and both make the playoffs.

Good for them. Whichever team needs the Jaguars to win probably should do whatever it needs to do to fulfill their other scenarios.

James from Socorro, NM

I looked up the Top 10 leaders in receiving yards this season, and every single player was drafted by their team. You don't find quality wide receivers as free agents; you have to draft them. The Jaguars should be relying on players from drafts three-to-five years ago right now, most aren't with the team. The Jaguars won't be competitive for a long time.

There's much work to do for the Jaguars on many fronts, wide receiver certainly included. The reality is it's rare to find top-quality players at any premier position in NFL free agency – receiver included – because teams find ways to retain true top-quality players. The Jaguars have a few such players. They don't have enough. I don't expect the Jaguars to contend for the postseason next season. I do expect they can start heading that way.

Paul from Washington, D.C.

Blow it up — and start with the offensive line. Can the Jaguars finally invest in the offensive line?

I expect the Jaguars to address offensive line in the offseason, but your question is intriguing. I continually get questions that imply the Jaguars haven't invested in offensive line. The offensive line currently starts two offensive tackles (Jawaan Taylor and Cam Robinson) selected early in Round 2 with another offensive tackle (Walker Little) as a backup also selected early in Round 2. They invested huge money in left guard Andrew Norwell as a free agent and huge money in re-signing center Brandon Linder. Perhaps they could have invested first-round draft selections somewhere along the line, and perhaps they will do so this offseason. Either way, it's not accurate to say they've never invested in the line in recent offseasons. Perhaps that line hasn't performed as well as observers would like, but the Jaguars very definitely have invested in it.

_Steve from Sunroom Couch        _

Dear John, I would think after that showing Sunday that Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke would be on the hot seat.

The 2021 season has been rough. I don't know that any particular game or showing stands out from the others in terms of assessing what the Jaguars do moving forward.

Kelton from Belgrade, MT

This draft class is not looking good. I know it will be judged mostly off of Lawrence, but Rounds 2-5 haven't produced much at all. Outside of rookie cornerback Tyson Campbell, they all can be considered a bust right now. Offensive tackle Walker Little is great in practice and then a swinging door in the game. Seems like the coaching staff doesn't want to play safety Andre Cisco. Why is that? Both our fourth-round picks have one tackle each. I'm glad we passed on the top tight ends in the draft to get Luke Farrell's 56 yards receiving this year. It's no secret why the Jags suck. Learn to draft better and pick player that can contribute.

The Jaguars haven't drafted remotely well enough in recent offseasons. They haven't done many things remotely well enough in recent offseasons. But no one in the 2021 draft class can accurately be considered a bust right now because one year in the NFL isn't enough to accurately assess a player. It might be accurate enough on Twitter and comments sections (whatever those are), but not in reality. We'll know more about the Jaguars' 2021 NFL Draft class as time goes on. We can start to have a better idea about it next season. What we know right now is premature, at best. What we know is what we think we know. And what gets Tweeted about. And what gets pontificated. But what we really know is very little.

Paul from Lake City, FL

I'll bet people were saying it couldn't get worse last year, too.


Rob from Milton, FL

Hello, what would you say to sitting Trevor the final game to protect him from injury? I see no value in having him play the last game. We are obviously outmanned and unfortunately coached at this time. Please give me your thoughts on protecting our one true asset.

I wouldn't have a major problem with sitting Lawrence for that reason, but it's not as if Lawrence was under much undue pressure last week in New England. I expect Lawrence to play Sunday.

James from Titusville, NJ

Know what's funny? If Trevor Lawrence went back and completed his senior year, he'd still be drafted by the Jaguars. Back-to-back No. 1 overall picks, zone. Get me off this roller coaster.

That's not funny.

Ed from Ponte Vedra fl

If the Lions have the same record, why do the Jaguars have the first draft pick?

Because the Jaguars are 2-14. And because the Lions are 2-13-1.