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O-Zone: Difficult task

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

John from Jacksonville

Hi KOAGF - Have you posted a list of key dates upcoming for this offseason yet? It's really helpful in knowing what is happening and when (such as free agency, the draft, OTAs, the return of the Culligan Girl and other events). Perhaps you posted and I missed it?

I actually did not post my usual offseason story on key dates this year; so much remains unknown about the 2021 NFL offseason because of COVID-19. There is no NFL Scouting Combine, and it's difficult to say what the offseason – including organized team activities, minicamps etc. – will entail. Here are a few of the key dates that figure to matter: February 23 (franchise/transition period begins), March 15-17 (teams permitted to contact representation for players who will become unrestricted free agents on March 17), March 17 (beginning of unrestricted free agency), April 5 (teams with new head coaches may begin offseason programs), April 19 (teams with returning head coaches may begin offseason programs) and April 29-May 1 (2021 NFL Draft). Other than that, I honestly have no idea what you're talking about.

Keith from Palatka, FL

It seems that our current regime is as delusional about the offensive line as their predecessors. In spite of what our eyes tell us – that our quarterbacks run for their lives on most pass plays - they insist that our offensive line is actually pretty good. Our tackles are OK and one may actually be improving, they insist. What a crock of horse dung. "If we cannot discern the chief cause of our ills, how can we possibly hope to cure them?" (D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones)

You're exactly right, and I'm actually waaaaay ahead of you. The opinions of people who have been doing this for years and who know the NFL – and who have been hired to do the job here – matter not a whit in this discussion. They're the idiots. That absolutely makes sense. Look, I'm not saying you have to agree. I'm also not saying the Jaguars were perfect along the offensive line last season. I am saying that in the NFL what the eyes see while watching a game on television or in person do not always tell the true or entire story. This is true regarding many parts of the game, and it's often true regarding the offensive line – an area that often depends on quarterback play and decision-making as much as any other area of the offense. The offensive line was not a major problem last season, and it indeed was better than many observers believed. Many people observing and analyzing this team believed that last season. The new decision-makers now believe it. But yes … they're all wrong. All idiots. All of them.

Jim from Jagsonville

The Teal is Real!!! You can't hide from the Pride! Go Jaguars!!!

As your email indicates by its inclusion of not one, not two – and not, three, four, five or six – but seven exclamation points, fans are excited by Wednesday's announcement that teal will be the Jaguars' primary color. That means teal will be the Jaguars' uniform at most home games. I'm not a huge uniform guy, though I know this matters a great deal to many fans. And if it makes the fans happy, then I'm happy. But that's me. Always putting others before myself.

_Nic from Raleigh, NC     _

Is there any way around the rule that a team can only change jerseys every five years? It sounds like most fans want something more like the original jerseys and more gold in the jerseys again. Would you agree?

I do agree that many fans would like an older-school look. But I know of no way around the rule except ownership change – and that ain't happening.

Josh from Atlanta, GA

Could you foresee a situation in Tampa where quarterback Tom Brady restructures a deal to play for close to the league minimum next year to allow them to keep some of their potential free agents? I personally can't, because he's set to make another fortune in 2021, but they have a few stars that are looking at the open market whom we might be likely to take a loooong look at. And he's clearly just playing to win another ring.

It's possible Brady could restructure with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to take less for the reasons you cite. I would be surprised if he restructures to the league minimum, though. He wants to win and he historically during his career has been willing to play for a little less than his maximum market value. But he hasn't been unbelievably ridiculous about it. And I wouldn't expect him to start now.

Mac from Jacksonville Beach

Mitch, the guitarist for the Hulagans (local Jacksonville band, you should check them out) predicted that the New York Jets would win two games a couple of days before they went on their winning streak to give us the first pick. He also predicted 11-5 for 2021. You think that's possible? The guy is right a lot.

I'm assuming Mitch is independently wealthy and playing in Hulugans because he loves music. That's why he's not predicting the stock market and lottery, right? Right? … Mac?

Josh R. from Fernandina Beach, Fl via Fort Lauderdale Beach, Fl

What's up, Zone? As some have suggested, "timing is everything." I have perused some data that suggests that NFL players who sign free-agency contracts end up playing two-to-three years on those contracts, on average, notwithstanding that some of those contracts are for longer durations. On that premise, my question is whether you believe the Jaguars approach to free agency this year will grounded in a "win-now" philosophy, or do you alternatively see the organization managing the cap space in a way that advances the "win-now" approach in a greater respect once quarterback Trevor Lawrence (presumed) has a few years of experience under his belt (recognizing that some of the 2021 free-agent signings could be gone once Lawrence settles in)?

I expect the Jaguars to be active in free agency this offseason. I would be a little surprised if they max out the salary cap.

Marcus from Jacksonville

John, I know that only Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer and those closest to him really know the truth behind his motivations, but the reason the second-chance narrative is so divisive is because when Urban was a college coach, those second chances seemed fairly selective. By that I mean that the highly talented athletes who greatly impacted the team were given second and third chances, while lower-tier players whose presence didn't have a huge impact were sometimes not given those same chances. As a college coach, some players would be cut while others received a slap on the wrist. Premier players are "suspended" for one series while others are outright benched. This is why the Chris Doyle hiring was troublesome. You can say he just wants to give a guy a second chance, but I could argue the only reason he wanted to give him a second chance was because he was legitimately the best at what he does. Is the motivation to give someone a second chance or win at all costs? Either way, I'm not against Meyer and think he'll be a good coach, but learning the ins and outs of the NFL machine will be a process for him as it is for every new coach.

Meyer was very up front during his media availability last Thursday that he hired Chris Doyle as director of sports performance because he believed he was the absolute best at what he did. If he didn't think that was the case, he wouldn't have hired him. No would argue that, and yes … Meyer is about winning first. I don't know how to accurately assess his motivations while coaching at Florida and Ohio State because I didn't cover those teams. And college sports are a different beast than professional sports. All I can tell you is those close to Meyer will tell you he believes strongly in second chances and that he cares about his players to a fiercely loyal extent. He also cares deeply and is motivated by winning. How all that mixes together … I don't yet know Meyer well enough to give you much insight on this. I do know everyone has different opinions on this issue. Meyer is a polarizing figure. No one would argue that, either.

Kathy from Jacksonville

What do you think about Urban Myer choosing Alex Smith as backup quarterback? He likes "experts in the field."

This makes sense.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, can you please let Meyer know I'm willing to entertain strong offers for Executive Director and VP of O-Zone excellence?

You wouldn't want it. Your direct report, while talented and boyishly handsome, is lazy and difficult to work with. I'm not saying it's not thrilling to be in his presence at times. I'm just saying in the long run some say the great reward is not worth the headache.