JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Charles from Savannah, GA
Shad Khan is considering adding an EVP. Didn't they go down this road before with Tom Coughlin? It was a disaster. Why go down this road again?
Owner Shad Khan indeed is considering adding an executive vice president to the Jaguars' football operations, a plan he confirmed Saturday during new Head Coach Doug Pederson's introductory press conference at TIAA Bank Field. You're correct that this was the same structure used when former Jaguars Head Coach Tom Coughlin ran the team in his second stint with the organization – 2017-2019 – with Coughlin as EVP overseeing General Manager David Caldwell and Head Coach Doug Marrone. Why go down this road again? Because it's necessary. Khan in discussing the decision Saturday spoke of the Jaguars' football structure being too flat and wanting to add brainpower. It's hard to see this move as anything but positive, and having an executive vice president to oversee football operations – and to report to Khan – is a perfectly logical and acceptable way to manage the team. Remember: There is no "perfect" managerial structure – not in football and not in most businesses. The key is having the right people in the structure. Coughlin, in retrospect, didn't fit the EVP role. Now, Khan must find someone who does.
Zac from Austin, Tejas
King, it's probably a good hire. But I remember someone saying Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer's speech made them want to run through a brick wall in your forum less than a year ago. I just can't trust any of it. I guess I'll just keep reading every day and roll my eyes every time someone tries to be positive? But that sucks, too. I don't know … I feel like I've got rot in my soul that even heat-lapped pizza can't solve. Like I'm in Groundhog Day. I still predict the Jaguars are not over .500 until 2025. Help me Obi Won.
These feelings are understandable. Pederson is the Jaguars' sixth coach in 12 seasons, which means Jaguars fans have listened to more than their share of introductory press conferences. They have heard about culture, philosophy, new eras, owning it, being all in – and they have been asked to go to A to B, four to six and plus-two enough to make the mind numb. There's no magic formula; you don't go straight from an intro presser to standing under confetti. Pederson indeed appears to be a good hire. He has 25 years' NFL experience as a player and a coach. He has been the head coach of a Super Bowl champion. He should be able to inspire trust from players, handle day-to-day situations and be a mature – and professional – leader. He also has a quarterback with potential to be great. Those are good places to start and it's perfectly possible the Jaguars are over .500 well before 2025. I'm saying they can make a serious push as early as 2023. Perhaps they'll surprise me and make that happen more quickly. Here's hoping.
Bradley from Sparks, NV
Is it true that Mr. Khan has made so many correct decisions that he is one of about 1500 people out of 8,000,000,000 that can afford an NFL franchise?
Googling this …
_Jeff from Jacksonville _
If Boselli finally gets the HOF this year, how much butter do you think it will take to grease all the doorways so he can get his head through? I mean, is now a great time to start investing in butter stocks?
I absolutely believe former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli is getting in the Pro Football Hall of Fame this week. As for the size of his head and the strain on the butter supply if this happens … your concerns are not unfounded. I will say that.
James from St. Augustine, FL
Shall we start a campaign for Tony Boselli to be the next the EVP?
I'd click on that.
John from Jacksonville
Does the Rooney Rule apply to selection of an EVP? How about the coaching staff?
Yes and yes. The Jaguars must interview at least two minority candidates from outside their organization in the EVP search. They also must interview at least two minority candidates from outside the organization during their search for offensive and defensive coordinators.
JT from Palm Coast, FL
So, after Saturday's press conference should we expect to see Rick Spielman hired? And will he be higher on the totem pole than General Manager Trent Baalke?
Perhaps. Not necessarily.
Dakota from Dupree, SD
Zone, how many individuals were offered the head coach position but accepted offers from other teams? Is this privileged information? Who was their first choice? An intrigued Jags fan would like to know if that's possible. Thanks for all your work. It's appreciated.
Khan on Saturday said no candidate was offered the head-coaching position aside from Pederson. He said Pederson was the team's first choice.
Rob from Pittsburgh, PA
Rumor has it Doug likes ice cream
So I hear.
Sean from Jacksonville
I'm excited(?) to watch who Pederson chooses as his coaching staff. Are there leftovers from Meyer's staff who make it? Will there be a majority of new hires? So far, I imagine a new DC will top the list as defensive coordinator Joe Cullen appears to be disappearing. I can't imagine he would retain offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
I expect the Jaguars to be a largely new coaching staff in 2022, and all coordinators – offense, defense and special teams – almost certainly will be new. Cullen is now the Kansas City Chiefs' defensive line coach, and I would expect Pederson to hire an offensive coordinator with background in his offensive system – i.e., the Andy Reid/Frank Reich/Pederson "tree."
Chris from Mandarin
It's not a popular opinion, but I actually think Baalke is not a bad general manager. Certainly, he's done nothing to indicate poor performance in the position during his current tenure with the Jaguars. The truth is the 49ers did have some success while he was in charge, and while some of that may be attributed to talent acquired in the two years before he took over, not all of the success they had during his time can be attributed this way. Who knows, he may have learned how to better work with people in his second stint as a high ranking front office person. People can learn and grow. Trent Baalke the talent evaluator has proven to know what he's doing. People need a scapegoat though, I get it. Also, many people think mob rule is fun, and would probably throw rocks at prisoners if they were still put on display to be shamed, but we have the internet know and that is where the stones are thrown.
Hey, one fer Baalke and one fer shame (maybe?) …
Josh from Lakewood
Bad optics? Was it any worse than all of Jaguars Twitter collectively doing the potty dance while waiting for the team to hire either a guy who's never been a head coach or a guy who's "failed" somewhere else? Because those are the only types of candidates available. Chill the hell out and watch some football.
… and one not fer the potty dance.
Nick from Palatka, FL
Hey O, Peter King related that before the last game of the 2021 season, TL 16 went around the locker room and told each player they were not going to lose that game. Then he backed it up with his best game of the season. Sounds like Lawrence is figuring it out and will take a giant step forward next year despite the chaos around him. We've seen the last of the deer in the headlights. Do you think he'll be calling his own plays by the end of the season?
I expect Lawrence to make a jump in Year 2 because many NFL players do so, particularly ones who take the game as seriously as Lawrence. I would expect him to change plays and get the offense in/out of situations at the line of scrimmage more and more as time continues as he gets a feel for the offense the new Jaguars' coaching staff installs. I don't yet have a feel for a timeframe on that. The Jaguars only hired Pederson Thursday and he has yet to hire a coordinator. Give this one some time.
JT from Palm Coast, FL
Gone are the days that I'm going to get hype over a press conference or draft. I'm at the point where actions (and results) speak louder than words. We have been the press conference team for the last decade plus.
The Jaguars must win. Longtime fans have every right to withhold enthusiasm until this happens. I don't know how anything else could be expected.
Doug from Jacksonville
Mr. O. I want you to know how busy I am and taking the time to collect this information was at the direct cost of my employer. In the last two weeks, the O-Zone has posted and answered questions from 30 states and five different countries. What I am saying is you big time yo.