JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
KC from Orlando, FL
KOAF, what are your impressions of the new coaching staff? I get the feel that Coach Meyer is promoting it like a college coach would try to recruit a five-star high school senior at a university – i.e., promoting the experience of joining the team would enhance the player's talent and value while promoting a winning atmosphere. I feel that Coach Meyer's approach is genuine, but will it really matter much to a professional athlete? Certainly everyone wants to win, but it is still a business with a short career span for most athletes. Do you think it will entice free agents to come to Jacksonville?
There may be something of a college feel to some of what Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer has brought to Jacksonville. Enhancing a player's talent and value absolutely is along the lines of what you would discuss as a college coach recruiting a big-time high school player. But you know what? Meyer's background obviously is as a college coach, so it's natural there would be some element of a college feel to his approach. How couldn't there be? This isn't necessarily bad – and it's evident from the makeup of his coaching staff that Meyer understands the need for NFL experience in his program. And remember: There is a recruiting element in the NFL, too – not just with free agents from other teams, but with players on your own team. There has been an issue in the past few years with players wanting to leave Jacksonville and forcing their way out. Those issues weren't always controllable by the team, but it certainly wouldn't be a negative if Meyer's approach of enhancing player's talent and value was part of an overall culture/image change that helped players – in Jacksonville and out – realize this absolutely is a place where players want to play. Will Meyer's approach entice players to come to Jacksonville? We'll see. Money absolutely will matter. But Meyer's approach almost certainly can't hurt.
Claudio from Barcelona, Spain
Hello, John! Last season, the Jaguars played only 75 snaps leading in the scoreboard. In total, Jacksonville played 950 offensive snaps in all season, over 650 passing snaps, and our quarterbacks got sacked only 44 times, although the team was losing by double digits almost all season long. It's not hard to see that the offensive line played really well under the circumstances. I don't see why this O-Line can't protect Lawrence if our defense improves as you could expect.
Meyer on Friday spoke to Jane Slater of the NFL Network at Clemson University quarterback Trevor Lawrence's Pro Day. While speaking with Slater, Meyer said: "Our offensive line is pretty good. It's not a blow-up offensive line. We've got some other areas we've got to fix." The Jaguars' offensive line was not a weakness last season, outside opinion to the contrary. There are probably not going to be major changes on the line this offseason, outside opinion to the contrary. I don't know if Meyer publicly saying this will be enough to make people realize this. We'll see.
Josh from Atlanta, GA
It is a stronger position group for us as currently structured, but I personally think going wide receiver with the second first round pick is becoming more enticing. I have been all about taking a defensive tackle or a safety to this point, but with more looking into what might be available, I am not impressed. I hope we overpay in free agency for both of those positions and go with an offensive lineman at No. 25. Then we can overpay for a wide receiver in free agency. Wait. Now I am contradicting myself. Arghhhh this stuff is HARD when you have this much money and this many picks.
It's not all that easy when you don't.
William from Jax
Wow. A quarterback prospect that we don't have to fix any mechanics, not slightly undersized, great arm talent, etc. What more can we ask for?
Sean from Jacksonville
Wherever J.J. Watt lands, I hope we don't have to play that team. It is going to be weird seeing him in another uniform. Can you imagine him with the Bucs? Holy shnikes!!
It indeed will be weird seeing former Houston Texans defensive J.J. Watt with another team, though it long ago became the norm in the NFL for megastars to not finish their careers with their original teams. The reality is Watt, while still a good player, is not the game-wrecking player he was when he was a three-time Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year. For that reason, I wouldn't necessary worry too much about whether the Jaguars play his team next season.
_Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL _
So, for better or worse, the coaching staff is now in position. Now, the focus is on players. The "big picture" seems to be deciding which of our free agents we try and keep, which free agents we try to bring in, who we try to claim off waivers, and the draft. Do you see these moves as being mostly completed prior to draft day?
Taylor from Columbia, MD
As a lifelong black Jaguars fan, it is more than a little disappointing that you would defend the hire of Chris Doyle. I am not sure how you can "vet" someone with documented racism. Do you really believe in second chances for a coach who threatened to send black players back to the ghetto?
Doyle resigned from his position as director of sports performance Friday. This is what I wrote Friday morning regarding the hire: "My honest opinion is that I don't yet know how I feel about the hire because I don't know Doyle personally – and I don't know anyone well who knows Doyle personally. All I know is what I've read and heard people say about him, and my experience is I would rather learn on my own about a person than pass judgement based on situations I don't know first-hand." I also wrote about Meyer believing strongly in second chances – as evidenced by his decisions while head coach at Ohio State and Florida. This answer honestly was not meant to "defend" the hire; as I wrote, I didn't know Doyle or the people making the allegations against him well enough to defend it or not. My nature is to not want to pass judgement on things I don't know myself. Perhaps that's from a career spent knowing things heard second-hand are often different from how they occurred. As an example, when the Jaguars hired Joe Cullen as defensive coordinator, I wholeheartedly praised the hire. This is because I know Cullen and know people who know Cullen, so I felt comfortable saying it was a good hire. With no personal knowledge of Doyle – and no real contacts who knew him or people close to him – I was reluctant to comment either way. This is absolutely not to defend Doyle, or to say that many of the allegations against him aren't disturbing. It's simply to try to provide a better explanation for what I wrote.
Kathy from Jacksonville
Gene Frenette didn't mince words in his criticism of the Chris Doyle hire/departure. There was no mention of generosity in giving "second chances" as in changing the old behavior. Rather there was criticism that the "old behavior" was expected. He translated that to also putting doubt on his football game decisions. I think it would put doubt in my mind about handling of players rather than "plays on the field." Either are bad. Frenette said "the damage has been done." What damage is he referring to?
I don't know.
Brian from Jacksonville
The defensive backfield won't see any change in position coaches for 2021. The results of the last couple seasons require significant improvement. What does coach Meyer see in the secondary coaches that convinced him they will deliver excellence? Is it a must for the Jaguars to acquire a top tier veteran or two to elevate that group?
You're right that two of the secondary coaches didn't change. Meyer retained secondary-corners coach Tim Walton and defensive backs-nickels coach Joe Danna, adding defensive backs-safeties coach Chris Ash. Yes, the results of the last couple of seasons require improvement. What does Meyer see in Danna and Walton? Maybe he sees that they're good coaches who can do a good job and get his players to play hard – and get the most out of his players.
Nick from Annapolis, MD
Meyer has been consistent with his message that his job as a coach is to help increase the value of the players on his roster. To me, this clearly means he is a players-not-plays coach. I translate this to mean his primary focus for his coaching staff is to get the best out of each player, and if they are able to do this, they will win a lot of football games. Do you see this similarly?