JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Vanawsum from Blountville
Having read many articles covering the hiring of Meyer, most have pointed toward Meyer having control of player selection. Seems to me that this will have a huge effect on candidates for the general manager. Meyer's roster control bothers me even more based on my memories of coaches adding general-manager duties never seeming to work out.
Ah … memories. Like the corner of my mind. Misty, water-colored memories. Of the way we were. As for your email … yes: Meyer's presence certainly will affect general-manager candidates; he likely will have a large say in who is hired in that position. And while the new general manager indeed will work in tandem with Meyer and Owner Shad Khan, Meyer realistically will have much control over player selection. But if a candidate were bothered by Meyer having a level of say over the roster, that "candidate" likely wasn't a candidate anyway. Look: this is how it is around the Jaguars. Period. Khan said this past week his vision was for a "Coach-centric organization," and "Coach-centric" is very definitely what the Jaguars are now. As for your memories of coaches adding general-manager duties … sometimes a coach having say over the roster works and sometimes it doesn't. There's no magic formula, but there's no reason it can't work. Can it be that it was all so simple then?
Rob from Jacksonville
We heard a lot last year about former Head Coach Doug Marrone and former General Manager David Caldwell making personnel decisions based on the overall good of the franchise versus what was best for them short term. Was this really Shad being in control?
Khan had final say over football decisions last offseason – and he continues to have that say in the Jaguars' organizational structure. And Caldwell last offseason indeed was tasked with getting the salary-cap in order. Which he did. So, yes … Khan was in control. That doesn't mean he told Caldwell who to trade or draft, but the objective of doing the right things to clear cap space and getting that situation right was clear.
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL
I voiced concerns that Urban Meyer had no NFL experience. But on Day One, he said he was searching for top-notch staff, thus somewhat lessening my concerns. His first big hire was for assistant head coach, who has no NFL experience. Wait, what??
I don't think the hiring process is complete yet. I'll check, though.
John from Jacksonville
Sir KOAGF - With the Jags having a very young roster, and with possibly 11 players coming fresh out of college, Meyer seems like a very good fit to better connect to the players. His career has been with college and these younger players who – like him – will be and are newly adjusting to the NFL life. Do you think this benefits him and the players, or am I reading too much into it?
You may be reading a bit too much into it. I don't doubt that Meyer will connect to players. Doing so is one of his strengths. But I don't know that that's more important simply because of the high numbers of young players the Jaguars expect to have on their roster next season. It's important no matter the age of the player.
Mark from Orange Park, FL
Love the Urban Meyer hire! For those who say that it's a requirement to have "NFL experience," just remember that every Black Monday is filled with coaches that had "NFL experience" – and yet they are now out of a job. As we know this happens every year without fail.
Nathan from St. Augustine, FL
John, I keep reading about the Jags' facilities needing improvements. Does this mean the stadium? What are the specifics of facilities needing improvement?
The Jaguars' facilities are in and around TIAA Bank Field, so the improvements in a sense are about the stadium. But the facilities to which Meyer is referring are more about facilities players use daily than anything fans will see on game days. The day-to-day training facilities – weight room, practice, training, etc. – facilities have been improved at various times in Khan's tenure. But more can be done.
Shawn from Westside
What Jacksonville needs is some form of entertainment that attracts young families. Like a small amusement park. The city is boring. As long as that is the case, not many people will want to visit.
Thanks for sharing, Shawn.
Julian from Brooklyn, NY
When is the last time the Jags have had a Monday or Sunday night football game? I did a quick scan of Wikipedia and came up with December 2011, but that can't be right ... can it? Anyway, it has been a long time; surely the Urban hire and the number 1 pick (hopefully Trevor Lawrence) will pique national interest enough to get us one of those primetime games so I can watch on my TV here in NYC instead of [REDACTED] on my laptop? Right?
The Jaguars' last Monday night or Sunday night game indeed was a Monday night game against the then-San Diego Chargers on December 5, 2011. I would say there's a decent chance of a Monday night game in addition to a Thursday night game in 2021. The Jaguars may have to have some on-field success before they're featured on NBC's Sunday Night Football, but does Meyer (and possibly Lawrence) have the sort of star power that increases prime-time chances? No doubt.
Bill from Hawthorn Woods, IL
For all those always in such a hurry to pushing coordinators out and label them as washed up or out of touch … say, Nathaniel Hackett for example. I recall him getting fired in Jacksonville and many thinking it took too long. I would encourage those to look up the offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers, who are headed the to the NFC Championship Game and hold the #1 seed in the NFC. Any relation? :-)
Steve from Nocatee
Mr. "O," I'm curious: If the Jags know who their first pick is, can they announce it whenever it's allowed and give him a playbook? If so, what would be the purpose of waiting?
Yes, the team holding the No. 1 overall selection before the draft can sign the player before the draft. This has been done at times in the past. But rookies can't report until after the draft and the offseason program doesn't start until early-to-late April, anyway.
Jimmy section 134 since day 1 from Jacksonville Beach
Zoniak, I rarely send a question, but today I felt compelled. Couple of things: 1) Tom, bye - find another sport or hobby, this one's not for you. 2) Wake up, folks - whether other college coaches failed or succeeded in the NFL has no bearing on whether Urban will succeed ... for those that failed haven't we learned by now we should be asking "who was their quarterback?" 3) Saw an ESPN article that people close to Urban said one of the reasons he took the Jags job was because he is enamored with Trevor Lawrence ... he was blown away watching him defeat Ohio State in the 2019 college playoffs ... maybe that will help relieve some anxiety for those who are worried the Jags will draft a different quarterback at No. 1.
Couple of things: 1: Who's Tom? 2) Quarterbacks matter. 3) Maybe, but people tend to have anxiety for the fun of anxiety rather any real reason.
Tony from Perryville, Arkansas
Hey, John. First of all, I feel like this is the turnaround finally for the Jags. Gut feeling. Anyways, if I could add to Charles from Savannah, GA's question from yesterday's post, and I know this is probably obvious, but there technically "is" a blueprint to it all. And that is, having a franchise quarterback. Any coach, college, NFL background, or whatever… the key to success, (well … consistent, long-term success) is having a franchise quarterback. That is "the blueprint." Am I wrong? I mean I don't care how good of a coach you are. Having a Tom Brady or a Drew Brees or an Aaron Rodgers etc., -- or not having that – will make or break you. And there lies the problem: finding that franchise guy. It's so difficult to do. But that is where Meyer can join the Jimmy Johnson and Pete Carroll club, theoretically – hitting Pick No. 1 out of the park. Anything short of that … yeah, I think it will be a struggle. For any coach, general manager, program, franchise really. You have to have that guy. Right?
Will from Jaguarville
Assuming that they aren't retained in Jacksonville, do you think Jay Gruden and Todd Wash will be hired for NFL coordinator positions this year?
I expect Gruden will be an offensive coordinator in the NFL this season; if not, I would expect him to be a quarterbacks coach in 2021 and an offensive coordinator after that. I expect Wash might be a defensive line coach in 2021, but I expect him to be an NFL coordinator again relatively soon.
Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA
Does Trevor need a haircut?
Good gracious, no.