JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
David from Orlando, FL
O – I think many of us who didn't know much about Urban Meyer have been impressed. I know it's early, but have any other coaches make you take notice?
I've seen these coaches in three offseason practices and no preseason or regular-season games, so it's waaaaaay early – and any impressions stem mostly from off-field interactions with them. I was super-impressed with assistant head coach/inside linebackers Charlie Strong when interviewing him for the O-Zone Podcast early this offseason. Ditto to offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. I have long respected defensive coordinator Joe Cullen and I don't expect anything to change that. As you note, Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer has been impressive since taking the head-coaching job in January. His organizational skills and vision are obvious, as is his ability to set an organizational tone and to motivate. He also has been candid and open when discussing the team publicly and seems to have an awareness about the importance of reaching fans. So … all good. Granted, it's only May 28. But for now, all good.
Steve from Nashville, TN
Can you help explain the details on why the June 1st date is important to teams from a salary cap management perspective?
Players released before June 1 generally have their entire prorated bonus counted against that season's salary cap. Therefore, a player who originally signed a five-year deal with a $25 million signing bonus who was released with two years remaining on his contract would count $10 million against the 2021 cap if released on May 15, 2021. If the player was released after June 1, the team can count $5 million against the 2021 cap and $5 million against the 2022 cap. Teams also can designate two players per year to be "post-June 1" releases and spread the cap hit over the two years while still releasing the player before June 1.
Kenneth from Vero Beach, FL
Meyer is a winner, and a hard worker, and will do anything to achieve his goal. I believe he wants people around him who feel the same. Tim Tebow also has these qualities – and because he has these qualities, players on his team will play better. I think the Jaguars are finally on their way to success because Meyer, like Vince Lombardi, will do whatever it takes to win.
Kenneth is "all in."
Claudio from Barcelona (Spain)
Hello, John! We all hope that Trevor Lawrence will the QB1 for long time. Before the draft, he was compared with John Elway, Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck. And I dream that he could have a career like Manning. But now the league seems to have little-to-no patience to young quarterbacks. What mood would we have in the Jaguars' building if Lawrence has rookie stats like 3,700 yards, 26 touchdowns, 28 interceptions and the team have a 3-14 season? Just like Peyton and the Colts (3-13) had in 1998.
The mood in the building would be that they wanted him to play better in his second season as a starter – and the mood would be that he absolutely was still the starter and the franchise quarterback. They also would hope that Lawrence showed what Manning did as a rookie, because – despite the statistics – the entire league knew by late in his rookie season that Manning was going to be good moving forward.
Charles from Riverside
Hello, John. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady had an interesting comment on Tebow trying to make the switch to tight end, "There's so many movements that take years and years to perfect. They become muscle memory. They need to be muscle memory by the time you get to the professional ranks. And if they're not, it's a pretty tough spot," Brady said. "… And he's got the athleticism for it. It's just a matter of whether he can master those skills in such a short period of time, in such a condensed space of time, that it's quite a tall task." As a tennis aficionado, you know the power of muscle memory. How valid is his assessment on both sides of his comment? Thanks.
Brady's insight into any NFL topic obviously is valid. Though there are many instances of players becoming elite tight ends who didn't play the position – or even the sport – collegiately, many of those young players took a year or two learn the position and play at a high level. Yes, it's a tough task.
Dave from Dallas, TX
Hey, Mr. O: Much as we love Tim Tebow, I am a bit worried that he may dilute Trevor Lawrence's leadership role. Thoughts?
Steven from Charlotte, NC
A couple thoughts: First, you wrote in an answer recently that you don't see the harm or downside in signing Tebow. I did find this ironic as the entire O-Zone that day was about Tebow. Is this not a downside? Second, clearly a lot of people have very strong feelings about this (with the majority being negative). Are we to assume these human athletes are not allowed to have thoughts or feelings about this? You imply that inside the building everyone is focused on winning and not thinking about this like the rest of the world. Is this really accurate? These are young men and likely have some opinion on this topic as well. Are we to assume not a single person on this team agrees with the public sentiment? If that is the case, would this not be a downside??
A subject being an O-Zone topic does not remotely make it a downside – or an upside – in terms of how it will affect the team. This is a forum to answer fans' questions and the forum – obviously and thankfully – does not influence thinking or behavior in the locker room or in the front office. As for the "human athletes…" of course they have an opinion on the Tebow signing. Perhaps some do agree with the public sentiment that it's a bad idea. Remember, too: There is a strong public sentiment that likes the idea – and perhaps many players agree with that. Either way, football players respect ability, work and performance. If Tebow has the ability to play in the NFL and help the Jaguars win, he will have respect in the locker room and opinion of him will be fine. If not, it won't. He has practiced a few days with the Jaguars. The players' ultimate thoughts and feelings on this are yet to be shaped.
David from Maplewood, NJ
You are delusional. Just a hunch, you will eventually have an ah-hah moment at some point. This isn't New England or Philadelphia. This is Jacksonville, less than an hour from Gainesville and with a much more susceptible demographic to the shiny object that is TIM TEBOW. You'll get it eventually.
OK. And by the way: this is my A-Ha moment, big guy. Rock on.
Fred from Jax
I'm delighted to see we're having full attendance for the offseason work? But how does it work now for those who have yet to work out contract details? Is there some sort of short-term insurance policy, or some special arrangement to protect them if they did have a significant injury?
Such rookies are protected by what is called a "rookie participation agreement," which essentially assures a draft selection who is injured during minicamps or offseason workouts will sign and negotiate the same contract as if he been uninjured.
Colton from Emporia, KS
Hey Zone, how do you see Quincy Williams fitting into this new defense? I feel like after we used a third-round pick on him that we have to find a way to use him. Thanks!
I would expect Williams to be a weak-side linebacker if he makes the roster. The people who selected Williams are no longer with the organization, so no one will feel as if they "have to find a way to use him." He either will earn a roster spot, or he won't.
Nick from Annapolis, MD
While I do think the coaching staff thinks there's a chance Tebow could help on the field, I think there's a more obvious reason Meyer signed Tebow. Head coaches tend to feel very strongly about culture, and getting the players to "buy in" to how they want the team to operate. I think Meyer has an incredible amount of trust that Tebow can help establish that culture. He has obviously seen his impact on a locker room and individual players at Florida. Certainly, it's tough to be as influential on grown men as the fourth or fifth tight end, but I would bet strongly Meyer still thinks he will be an asset there ... even if he doesn't make the final 53-plus practice squad.
I would be shocked if Meyer doesn't feel Tebow can be an asset in this regard. I don't believe it was even close to his only reason for signing Tebow.
Justin from Jacksonville