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O-Zone: Boom boom

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Vince from Farmington, NM

O: The Urban Meyer story has splashed for the last couple of days, and reports are that he has been contacting people that would be a part of his team of coaches. That lends credence to his interest in the Jags and vice-versa. Does that mean that there is a general manager already selected in the wings? If not, does that undercut a general manager's ability to direct the franchise? It seems like the general manager should be the first hire, then the supporting cast, to have the best chance for a well-aligned approach to the next season with little time and energy wasted on consensus – and more time solidifying the direction moving forward. Or am I reading this wrong and Mr. Meyer is the candidate for the general manager position?

You're referencing numerous reports over the weekend that former Florida and Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer is a possibility for the Jaguars' head-coaching position. If so, it seems likely that he will be the first offseason hire with a general manager to follow. This would mean the general manager not being the head of football operations, which indeed would be a break from how the Jaguars have operated for over a decade and a half. But while this is a break from the Jaguars' "norm," it's not all that unusual. The general manager can be the head of football operations – but he also can operate in lockstep with a head coach or he can operate as the head coach's "right-hand man." He also can be a second-in-command, of sorts, with the head coach having final say over football decisions. He doesn't have to "direct the franchise." There are many ways to structure an NFL organization. The important thing is to have strong leadership, communication and vision. Whether that comes from the head coach, general manager or a vice president matters less than someone having it.

Jim from Jagsonville

This season, the Jaguars may not have had talent, or experience, or skill, or ability, or coaching – because it's always coaching – but they had heart! Really, isn't that all we can ask for? DuuuuvaaALLL Together! Go Jaguars!

You absolutely can ask for more. It's professional football, so heart is not close to enough. But yeah … the Jaguars had heart this season. All season. They showed it again Sunday in a 28-14 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in the 2020 regular-season finale. They trailed 20-0 in the second quarter and rallied to make it 20-14. They then had four possessions with a chance to take the lead. The defense played as well for a stretch in the second half Sunday as it has all season. I know people got worn out on hearing about this team's grit late in the season, but they had it. They just didn't have enough talent – and they didn't have good enough quarterback play. But they never quit – and quitting would have been easy for this team at times this season. Credit to them in that respect.

Bryce from Waterloo, IA

The head coach is the leader of the team. He has to establish a culture and an identity even more than the general manager. Why not let the head coach decide who will be the next general manager?

Either way can work. It sounds as if the Jaguars may be trying it the way you mention this time around. We'll see what happens.

Anthony from Washington

This may sound ridiculous, and it probably is. That's why I watch from my couch and not the sidelines. Scenario: We trade our first pick to the New York Jets for their second pick and next year's first-round pick. Then we trade that pick to a team in need of a quarterback (Denver, Las Vegas, Detroit, New England) for their first-round selection and next year's first-round selection. We then try to sign someone like Andy Dalton or Alex Smith. I know this is more of a Cinderella story, but how impossible would this scenario be?

If that's a Cinderella story, I hope someone takes a hammer and shatters the glass slipper. (Without her foot in it, of course; I don't need the liability issue). Your scenario focuses on compiling draft selections. And there's nothing wrong with wanting to compile draft capital. But if Trevor Lawrence of Clemson or any quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft is a franchise quarterback and the Jaguars have a chance to take him, they need to take him. If you pass on a franchise-changing quarterback, you can spend the next few years – or decades – waiting for a chance to take another. If the Guy is there, get the Guy.

Nick from Milton, Ontario

Urban Meyer, if not, Ryan Day as the next head coach? I reallyyyyyy hope that doesn't result in the Jaguars passing on Lawrence for Fields due to the Ohio State connections.

There's a lot of angst in the fan base over Meyer getting the job and drafting Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields over Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. I can't swear this won't happen because as of late Sunday and early Monday, there isn't/wasn't even a head-coaching job to be gotten yet. Meyer therefore hasn't discussed this issue and there isn't even a general manager in place for the Jaguars to discuss the issue. What I do know about Meyer is this: he passionately wants to win. Winning in the NFL starts with quarterback. Why wouldn't he want the best one?

John from Jacksonville

If you didn't know anything about draft projections and watched the Clemson-Ohio State game, wouldn't it appear that Fields was the much better quarterback? Or maybe because one team played 11 games and the other six games? My takeaway was Lawrence didn't do too well playing catch up. The Jags need to spend considerably more on defense than offense or things won't get much better.

It appeared to me from watching Friday's game that Fields played for a much better college team this season than Lawrence. As far as what and where the Jaguars must spend … look: The Jaguars must improve everywhere. Quarterback is the first piece. It's the most important piece. It's in no way, shape or form the only piece.

SwampDude from Waycross, Georgia

Not sure Lawrence is the real deal … I vote for Justin Fields first pick.

This won't be a vote.

Ryan from Detroit, MI

Zone, all this reporting that the Jags are interested in Urban Meyer has new worried that we're going to do something stupid like draft Justin Fields over Trevor Lawrence.... We couldn't get that dumb, right? When every NFL analyst address that Lawrence is as close to Can't Miss as there is in this sport, we wouldn't pass that up to go all in on Ohio State connections right?

That's a fair concern. I wouldn't expect the concern to end up being founded. The responsibility of whoever coaches the Jaguars and selects players for them would be to win – not to draft their former players. The people coaching and selecting players want to win. That will dictate their decision-making more than loyalty.

Fred from Naples, FL

Numerous reports have recently come out saying that Urban Meyer is going to become our next head coach. Why would we take such a risk on hiring a former college coach (albeit successful one) with all our draft capital, plethora of draft picks, league leading $75 million of cap space to sign free agents, good core young players and a patient owner? Why risk all of that with a boom-or-bust hire? It seems to me the less risky route would be to find someone with NFL experience to manage all these riches. What do you think, Zone?

Every hire for an NFL head coaching position is a boom or bust hire. There is no head coaching hire without risk. None.