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O-Zone: Never easy

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Ed from Concord, NC

Does this arrangement with Khan, Coach and GM seem like something similar to the Cowboys?

You're referencing Jaguars Owner Shad Khan saying Monday that he planned to maintain control over the roster moving forward, with the general manager and head coach both reporting directly to him. Some observers this week indeed interpreted that as Khan being involved on the level of Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones – who is perhaps more involved in football operations than any NFL owner. But I didn't see that as what Khan meant. It seemed he meant he wanted to make sure football decisions were discussed with him to an appropriate degree before they were made. He said his planned organizational structure would ensure such transparency and ensure that he was communicating with the general manager and coach in an unfiltered manner. It also would ensure that the general manager and head coach were communicating with each other on a proper level. I don't expect Khan to be overriding the general manager in the draft room or to be deciding whether to go wide receiver or defensive end in Round 2. I do expect him to be involved in discussions and decisions when appropriate.

Aqeel from Toronto, Canada

Mr. O, with this new structure it seems that players will have more direct involvement and access with the Khans. Since it seems most players who have played here respect them, this should be a good thing for enticing free agents and others correct?

I don't know that the players will have all that much more interaction with the Khans under the new structure than was previously the case. He typically has met with players following the season and certainly interacts with players when appropriate. But I don't expect him to interact with players on a daily basis.

Ed from Jacksonville

Hey, John: Leftwich is coaching in Tampa.

Yep. In writing about former Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich recently, I had a brain fade. I wrote that the was coaching with the Arizona Cardinals. He indeed is coaching with the Tampa Buccaneers. I was thinking Tampa and wrote Arizona. It happens. I'm old. My bad.

John from Jacksonville

When can we expect the Jags to make a decision on general manager?


KC from Orlando, FL

KOAF: What do you think will get filled first: head coach or general manager? Secondly, is putting the tag on our left tackle money well spent? He has been average, and I think of franchise tag money for those who are upper tier. Would you think that the second first-round selection goes to a new left tackle?

I believe the Jaguars will hire a head coach first, with general manager following quickly. As far as putting the franchise tag on left tackle Cam Robinson … I have written that I could see it happening. But it's a tough call. Robinson hasn't been consistent enough in four seasons to make signing him to a long-term extension automatic. But he has played well enough that you must strongly consider finding a way to keep him. There's also the reality that left tackle is a premium position. Even average veteran left tackles are very highly paid compared to many other positions. And remember: the franchise tag often isn't for top-tier players. It's often used in situations such a Robinson's – in which the player is good, but not quite upper-tier enough for the team to offer front-line money. As far as the Jaguars' second first-rounder in the 2021 NFL Draft, that's another argument for finding a way to keep Robinson. The Jaguars have many needs. Defensive tackle. Perhaps cornerback. Perhaps wide receiver. Perhaps tight end. Perhaps safety. If you select a left tackle late in the first round, you push some other positions further down the draft.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

Based on what Khan said about getting someone who can handle the 21st century athlete, do we think that hiring Urban Meyer as head coach would bring a risk that Khan wants to avoid? Meyer has only coached college athletes. There's a gigantic difference between 18-to-22-year-olds that are broke and grown adult men who are very wealthy. I remember that being Greg Schiano's undoing in Tampa Bay; he talked to grown men the same way he yelled at kids, which seems to be the problem former Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin had. Meyer has never had to coach in the NFL, so nobody has any idea how he would handle that. Maybe he would be a good hire because he is great with organizing and knows how to prepare players really well with situational football, but I'm not sure he would be the best choice after what that team has had to deal with over the last few years. I think I would like to see him have NFL experience before I put him in that position. I might be more inclined to hire a former player for head coach, preferably a little younger.

This is a fair point. This would be among the questions Meyer likely would be asked early in his tenure – if there indeed is a tenure. There also is a question of how Meyer would fare in a league in which talent is acquired via the draft as opposed to having more control over your talent via recruiting. Yes, there is risk to hiring Meyer. But there is no risk-free candidate for an NFL head-coaching selection. There is never a no-brainer selection. Meyer's not one, either – but that doesn't mean he won't be the head coach. It also doesn't mean he can't do a good job.

Kathy from Jacksonville

If Urban Meyer's contract demands are "insane," I hope the Jacksonville Jaguars don't do anything "insane" (again).


John from Ponte Vedra Beach

How many players on defense who played in the last game of the season do you think will be starters for the first game of 2021?

Three: middle linebacker Joe Schobert, weak-side linebacker Myles Jack and defensive end K'Lavon Chaisson.

Don from Marshall NC

Doug Marrone started off like a firecracker. He has been my favorite coach. Total class act! Good Luck, Doug – and thank you! 2017 was a special year!

Hey, one fer Doug.

Daniel from Jersey City, NJ

O-man, if you were an assistant coach would you be job hunting or could we see some return? There's one in particular I'm hoping returns.

The Jaguars assistant coaches remain under contract, with the next head coach having the option of retaining some members of the previous staff. This is common when head coaches are dismissed. I'm sure most or all are communicating with people around the league in the event they are not retained. And I agree: I would love to see defensive coordinator Todd Wash return. He did a nice job.

Marlin Day from Newberry, FL

Hi John, I don't know that I have ever looked forward more to the weekend's slate of games to take my mind off life for a while. Who is your pick to win it all? I am going the Kansas City Chiefs over the Green Bay Packers. It will be the State Farm Super Bowl! Stay safe, stay sane.

The Buffalo Bills.

Nick from Virginia Beach, VA

Fred Taylor deserves better. Will he ever get into the HOF?

Former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor was not among the finalists for the 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, and you're right: He deserves better. Taylor statistics speak for themselves: He is 17th on the all-time rushing list; 14 players above him are in the hall and two are active. I have no problem with Taylor not yet being in the Hall. It's a difficult process and I don't believe he should have been a first-ballot, no-discussion lock for election. Plenty of eventual Hall of Famers have had to go through multi-year discussions before being elected. But for Taylor to not be in the final 15 is just wrong.

Reuben from Pikesville MD

I think I figured out that the "better than most observers believe" is your stab at dry humor. I think you are headstones should read "livelier than most observers believe. "Anyway, I have enjoyed the space. Looking forward to next season.


James from Salt Lake City via Jagsonville

Quarterback Peyton Manning, cornerback Charles Woodson, wide receiver Calvin Johnson – sounds like three first-time locks. Again, doesn't leave much room for our Boselli. What are your thoughts?

Manning and Woodson indeed are locks for the Hall this year. Johnson, because he played only nine seasons, isn't a lock to get in this year. But there are usually going to be multiple first-ballot candidates who are going to get elected in a year. There's no "easy" year because this isn't an easy process. I think former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli will get in one of the next two years. I'm leaning toward this year because it feels like he has momentum. We'll see.