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O-Zone: Gotta have it

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Diego from south of tierra del fuego

Let us assume the Jags draft Trevor Lawrence No. 1. What makes you think that the new general manager can bring enough talent here to support him? I do not see it. Stay tuned. Also, if the defense cannot stop the run, opposing teams will be running up and down the field, which means he will be on the sideline far toooo long. Other than that, I hope he enjoys a successful career here.

Why wouldn't a general manager be able to bring enough talent to the Jaguars to support a quarterback such as Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence? The Jaguars have a slew of draft selections and the most salary-cap space in the NFL entering the 2021 offseason. It seems likely to be one of the best situations for a general manager, a head coach and player in the coming seasons. There's no guarantee the Jaguars will be great – even with Lawrence. Nothing in life is guaranteed. But there's no reason talented players won't want to come to Jacksonville and there's no reason a new general manager won't be able to build a team around Lawrence. None.

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

Honestly, Zone: Doesn't the performance in the Sugar Bowl concern you? Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields completely outplayed Lawrence. Maybe the Jaguars should reconsider.

The Jaguars don't yet have a general manager, so I don't know how much considering has been done yet. But am I concerned about Lawrence based on Friday night? No.

Bruce from Saint Simons Island, GA

O, the Jags have to get the #1 pick right. What do you think of Justin Fields?

I think Fields is good. I also think it's dangerous to base too much on one game – good or bad. Fields, remember, was "dropping" in the eyes of many observers after rough games against Indiana and Northwestern recently. I also think Fields had a fantastic game against Clemson and Lawrence Friday with what clearly was a better team – and a better offensive line – than Lawrence. Had Fields had the same game Friday that he had in the two aforementioned games, no one would be doubting Lawrence as the No. 1 selection. I doubt maybe observers will be doubting him there by late April. But we'll see.

Mark from Orange Park, FL

Urban Meyer to the Jaguars?

It is indeed being reported by a few reputable sources that Meyer – who coached Ohio State and Florida to national titles – is being considered for the Jaguars' head-coaching position. If, that is, the Jaguars part ways with Head Coach Doug Marrone. I've heard worse theories than Meyer to the Jaguars. And they obviously could hire far worse candidates. My guess is Meyer is a strong possibility. If.

Tom from Jacksonville

Fields looked better than Lawrence. Both are good but not saviors. Maybe we should trade for more value?


Sweet T's Husband from Northside Jacksonville

Grand Master O; HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! Here's my dream scenario for next year: In the 2021 draft, we get Lawrence and although he's a rookie, he shows a ton of promise and we win three games, securing us another Top 5 pick. There's another "franchise" quarterback available and since we already have our quarterback of the future, some poor team offers a couple of first-rounders to move up and take him. We then take those picks over the coming seasons to really stock this roster for years to come, particularly on the lines. What say you?

I expect the Jaguars to improve next season because of a new quarterback, the development of young players on the roster and the addition of free agents they will sign because of an enormous amount of cap space. I therefore expect the Jaguars to win more than three games next season.

Wade from Westside

The Jaguars' record this year is far better than most observers believe! I am speaking Ozone!

No, it's not. And no, you're not.

Shanghai Stevie from Jacksonville

Marrone: "...we haven't had the opportunity to have someone in that position that can really get a lot of things done." What about every offseason that he has been the coach? Wait... Always someone else's fault? But Marrone had no input and gets a pass? Please change the locks and keep this guy away from all things Jaguars next season.

First, your perception about how much a head coach controls in Marrone's situation differs pretty significantly from reality. Also: there's a dramatic difference between knowing you're deficient at the quarterback position and being able to find a good quarterback. Finding a quarterback is difficult – and it's damned sure difficult for a head coach who's not making draft-day decisions and who doesn't have final say over the roster. Either way, what you quoted Marrone saying … he wasn't wrong. I don't know that he will return next season, and it feels like a very long shot that that would be the case. But in terms of that quote … he wasn't wrong.

Reuben from Pikesville MD

If I'm Minshew, I'm asking for a trade. I think the Jaguars could get a fourth-round pick for him. He obviously has no future in Jacksonville. Let the veteran Mike Glennon mentor Trevor Lawrence.

We differ on what we believe Gardner Minshew II would bring in a trade.

George from Harrisburg, PA

John, at the beginning of the season, you predicted the Jaguars would win at least six games, basing that on 2019's record and I thought at least that too. So, what happened. What would you say was the biggest contributing factor for the season to spiral out of control?

The lack of development/improvement at the quarterback position along with a defensive interior that started out undermanned and got worse because of injuries throughout the season. Not to say that the Jaguars had a chance to win many more than six games, but those two factors were the primary reasons the season went as bad as it did.

KC from South Florida

If Marrone were to be let go at season's end, what are the chances that some of the position coaches stick around? I still think wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell has done well with his group, as well as the more experienced coaches like running backs coach Terry Robiskie and special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis.

If Marrone isn't the head coach I would expect very few position coaches to stay. The ones you mention are capable and so are many others on staff. But head coaches typically have their own coaches they want to hire.

Thomas Teasley from Blacksburg, VA

Can we get a one-fer for Todd Wash? Without his record setting defense Trevor Lawrence to Jacksonville would not be possible.

I absolutely will give one fer Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash. Considering what he had to work with on defense, I would say Wash and the entire defensive staff did a good job under essentially impossible circumstances.

Nick from Palm Coast, FL

You will need to find a new place to take the wife out for dinner as your beloved Sbarro is closing in 2021.

This. Is. Not. Good.

Roger from Fleming Island

John, I'm worried. Echoes of past general managers Shack Harris, Gene Smith and David Caldwell have me scared that instead of Lawrence the new general will be so clever he and his scouts will see a diamond in the rough – a Blake Bortles or a Blake Gabbert (or even a Matt Jones or Leonard Fournette.) Worse, if we go with splash hire Urban Meyer – does he take his Ohio State guy, Justin Fields, and curse us again? Until Lawrence is standing on stage (or however it will be done this year) holding a Jags jersey with #1 on it, I will white-knuckle it. Please tell me I'm wrong.

Stop being scared. I understand that the Jaguars' history at quarterback – indeed their history overall – has scarred people. This isn't the past.


Enrique from Bagersville, IN

Hey John, Happy New Year to you. Out of the three players that opted out of the season (defensive tackle Al Woods, defensive end Lerentee McCray, cornerback Rashaan Melvin), which one do you think has a good chance of being on the team next season?

My guess right now is none of the three will be on the team next season. This isn't because of anything they did or didn't do, but because there will be a new general manager next season and the entire roster will look different. But that's just a guess: Pretty much anything not involving rookies or second-year players on first contracts and veterans secured to long-term deals – i.e., Myles Jack – is guesswork until a new general manager is in place.

Patrick from Jacksonville

Excited about the first pick in the draft; still need the right general manager and head coach.

It takes more than a quarterback. But it's hard to do it without one.