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O-Zone: Making history

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Eric from New York, NY

Do you think the Jags would draft a later-round quarterback this year as a backup? I'm skeptical of the value of a Mike Glennon-like failed starter, and the Jags seemed ready to cut bait on Gardner Minshew II by the end of the year. Should the Jags consider picking Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and also a quarterback in the fourth-to-seventh round, like Washington did with RGIII and Kirk Cousins?

These are good questions; like many good questions about the Jaguars right now, they don't yet have answers. That's for a couple of reasons – with one being that they just hired Urban Meyer as head coach last Friday and the other being that they have yet to announce/hire the general manager. Once a general manager is in place – and once Meyer gets his full staff in place – they will start the process of analyzing the roster and determining what to do at specific positions moving forward. One thing to remember: What seemed decided at the end of last season matters very little – if at all – now. While the Jaguars may have seemed ready to "cut bait" on Minshew late last season, that has nothing at all to do with how Meyer and the general manager will see Minshew. They may see him as potentially a very good backup. Or not. Or they may see him as a potential starter. As far as your question, there would be worse moves than selecting a quarterback No. 1 overall and another late in the draft. But would that fit what the new decision-makers believe? Stay tuned.

Ed from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

In your professional wisdom, what are the chances that Coach Meyer will pass on Trevor Lawrence and pick another kid?

My professional wisdom – while generally vast – is limited here. I don't know how Meyer feels about Lawrence in relation to any other quarterback in the draft. It's quite possible that Meyer isn't completely certain how he feels about Lawrence in relation to other quarterbacks because it's quite possible he will want to go through the evaluation process as he would with any other player. Iwouldbe surprised if the Jaguars don't select a quarterback No. 1 overall. Meyer has spoken highly of Lawrence in the past. It seems likely that he would select Lawrence because conventional wisdom says Lawrence is the best player. But what are the realchances he would pass on him? I confess I have no idea.

Jeff from Orange, CA

Not that all coaches fit squarely into one or the other, but would you say Urban Meyer is considered player-friendly or not? It sounds like he cares a lot about players, but also pushes them.

Is he "player-friendly?" That's hard to say. He demands much from players and pushes them hard. I don't know thatallplayers would consider him "friendly." Players who aren't competitive or who don't want to work might not consider him as such. But do they respond to him? They certainly did at the collegiate level. So that thing you said about caring a lot about player but also pushing them? Yes. That.

Tom from Charlottesville, VA

So far, so good! Coach Meyer talking about competitiveness, and team speed. All NFL players are good; the great ones like former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli and former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor exhibited those characteristics! I hope that Trevor Lawrence is also that person if he is selected. Fans need to have faith that the professionals know more than we do!

Meyer lists competitiveness – elite competitiveness, actually – chief among traits he seeks in any player. If Lawrence doesn't have that trait, it's quite unlikely Meyer will want him as the Jaguars' quarterback.

Steve from Nashville, TN

Are the rules structured deliberately at the two-minute warning so with a first down and the lead and your opponent out of time outs that you win the game with three kneel downs and three 40-second play clocks?

No. It just happens to be that way.

Daniel from Jacksonville

The New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles look to be in salary cap hell this offseason and the Saints will likely have the added issue of quarterback Drew Brees retiring. Play general manager for a minute.  Do you trade our extra fifth- and seventh-round picks to rescue the Eagles and fix defensive line and tight end with Fletcher Cox and Zach Ertz?  As for the Saints, if Brees retires and quarterbacks Mac Jones or Kyle Trask is available at No. 25 do you trade back with the Saints to 28 and ask for their 2nd round pick in 2022 when that should be a high pick after they gut their roster?

I think the latter scenario would be more likely than the former, but Cox is a monster. If I could get him for a fifth-round selection … yeah, I would probably take it.

Scott from Wichita, KS

Yeah, I heard the announcers talking up former Jaguars offensive coordinator and current Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathanial Hackett also. So the guy goes from Blake Bortles to Aaron Rodgers and now all of a sudden he's a genius. And with regards to Steve Spurrier and Nick Saban – how many pro bowls did Patrick Ramsey, Gus Frerotte and Joey Harrington go to? I see those situations and the one the Jags are currently in as totally different.  If Saban would have picked Aaron Rodgers with that second pick in 2005 I bet things may have been vastly different.


Bob from Sumter, SC

Big favor, John. Please tell Urban that the NFL is DIFFERENT than college football. I've heard many analysts and writers and bloggers talking about this. I'm worried Urban hasn't been keeping up with them and may not have realized this before he took the job. Also, let him know coaching in the NFL can be stressful sometimes and affect his health. He may not have thought about that either. Thanks.

I sense some sarcasm in your email and sense perhaps you're saying that Meyer on some level actually is smart enough to understand these situations. Meyer strikes me as a bright guy. My guess is he's on it. On a serious note, it's evident that Meyer has spent extensive time studying the NFL – and specifically, the differences between college football in the NFL. I've never covered Meyer. I have spent no time around him. I have heard enough from him that he doesn't seem like a person who enters situations unprepared.

Steve from Nashville, TN

No. 1 overall draft pick Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals got a Monday Night Football home date in 2020 versus the Pittsburgh Steelers after a two-win 2019 season, so yes … the Jaguars should be on ESPN this year.  I am thinking the Seattle game makes sense matching up two previous BCS champion coaches in Meyer and Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll.


Robert from St. Augustine, FL

NFL free agency is going to begin in two months. I was just wondering how our new organization was going to approach the situation. The "fan side" of me wants them to spend as much financial capital as possible to secure as many top-tier players they can afford. However, my rational side thinks they should be more patient and conservative and in this way they can achieve financial stability in the coming years. What do you think?

The Jaguars will have a lot of salary-cap room this offseason. That room does not have to be used in one offseason. The decision-makers must first determine what players available during this free-agency period are worth pursuing at their asking price. The answers don't always agree with free agency lists and opinions of pundits. I do think the Jaguars will spend big in free agency this offseason; there appear to be players who would make sense. But there's absolutely a chance they don't spend as big as many fan hope.

Stebo from Duuval

I know it's been far too long, but do you think in 2021 we will be able to #MOODACHAY?? I'm ready and waiting!

We'll see.

Kevin from Barranquilla, Colombia

Will coach announce his assistants all at once?

We'll see.

William from Middleburg

Why does the team need a franchise quarterback first? If the O line can't protect him it doesn't matter how great he is.

You need a franchise quarterback because you need one to win consistently in the NFL. And there's no reason this offensive line – or a lot of the players on it – can't protect a quarterback. The group was OK-to-good this past season, particularly considering how often the team trailed by wide margins and the inconsistent play at quarterback.

Zach from Washougal, WA

Imagine if the Jags had Chad Henne throwing to Allen Lazard. Duos like Peyton Manning/Marvin Harrison and Tom Brady/Julian Edelman would have quickly been forgotten and we'd have a ring or two, with more to come in the future. What are the odds we bring them back?

I get emails like this sometimes.