JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
John from Jacksonville
I didn't see kitchen sink being listed as part of the coaching staff. They hired just about everything else.
I have received a few emails like this poking fun at the size of the Jaguars' coaching staff, and because the entire list was announced in one day – Thursday – it did seem like a lot of names. But the Jaguars as of Friday have 27 coaches including Head Coach Urban Meyer; offense; defense; special teams; and strength and conditioning staff. Is 27 a bit much? Perhaps. And it's certainly different than when the 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl with seven coaches plus a strength coach and a flexibility coach. But the two teams in the Super Bowl earlier this month – the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – both list 29 coaches. This isn't a Jaguars thing. It's not a Meyer thing. It's an NFL thing, and this Jaguars staff is right in there with the norm.
Scott from Medford, NJ
Well, that escalated quickly. Thoughts?
You're referencing Chris Doyle resigning from his position as the Jaguars' director of sports performance late Friday night. Meyer and General Manager Trent Baalke said the following in a statement: "Chris Doyle came to us this evening to submit his resignation and we have accepted. Chris did not want to be a distraction to what we are building in Jacksonville. We are responsible for all aspects of our program and, in retrospect, should have given greater consideration to how his appointment may have affected all involved. We wish him the best as he moves forward in his career." The statement pretty much says it all. Meyer believed Doyle was the best at what he does and wanted to bring that expertise to Jacksonville. He wanted the best staff and football people will tell you Doyle fits that description. The fallout was more than anticipated and potentially detrimental. Meyer believes in second chances and wanted to give Doyle one. This was a case in which that apparently wasn't possible.
Biff from Jacksonville
Mailbox might be heavy with coaching staff questions, but I'm interested in Meyer the PR guy. When speaking of the Jaguars fan base, I love how he uses the "904" label. Some head coaches seem to care little when making the fan connection (see Bill Belichick) while others thrive on it (Pete Carroll and UK basketball coach John Vincent Calipari). Does Meyer approach his position as more media and fan friendly?
I don't have a real feel yet about Meyer's level of media-friendliness. But it absolutely appears that Meyer understands the importance of fans. He appears to have a genuine appreciation of the importance of fans – and he appears to be working hard to understand how best to relate to – and reach – the Jacksonville market.
Josh from Fernandina Beach, Fl via Fort Lauderdale Beach, Fl
J.O.: Does J.J. to J-Ville make sense? Please give us your thoughts. Thanks and GO JAGS!!!
You're referencing defensive end J.J. Watt, who was released by the Houston Texans in what has been described as a mutual parting. Watt in that scenario would be free to sign with the team of his choosing. The Jaguars signing Watt would make sense because they must improve on the defensive line. What sort of money would it take? Where is Watt's true level of player compared to his reputation? Would he want to join a team perceived to be a contender rather than a Jaguars team perceived to be a bit farther away? Those questions would determine a lot.
Dan from Chicago, IL by way of Sarasota, FL
I don't recall ever seeing a Chief of Staff in the NFL before. Is this common? What will his duties be?
Fernando Lovo will serve as Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer's chief of staff. He oversees the equipment, football operations, security, team administration and football video departments and also works directly with Meyer on all off-the-field matters – serving as a liaison between Meyer and all business operations departments. The position isn't particularly common in the NFL.
Steve from Sunroom Couch
Dear John, So Wash is gone, and Joe Cullen is the new DC. Which team will scoop up Wash and how much of a drop off in production can we expect?
Former Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash is now the defensive line coach with the Detroit Lions. I expect the Jaguars will improve defensively this season because they ranked 31st in the NFL in total defense this past season. But you're right … if the Jaguars' defense under Cullen can get back to where they were in Wash's three best seasons as the sole reason for all that was right or wrong – 2016 (sixth in the NFL), 2017 (second) and 2018 (fifth) – then Cullen indeed will be doing a great job.
Sean from Jacksonville
Ol' Lenny tossed Marrone under the bus with the "Coach didn't tell me nothing. I was just cut." (paraphrasing). There were a few other crazy things he tossed out. In any case, I'd rather have James Robinson who can perform all season long, barring injury, instead of just the postseason. Better value with Robinson, for sure.
I suppose I've reached the point that I'm not all that interested in what former Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette says about the Jaguars. Fournette is funny. He's good entertainment. He had a good postseason for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and now he's getting a Super Bowl ring. I don't believe the Jaguars would have been better with him this past season and I don't believe they will be worse moving forward because he is no longer on the team. I'm sure he will say more things about the Jaguars in the future. I don't know how pertinent they will be to the conversation of what's happening around this team, but I'm sure he will say them.
Michael from Arlington
If a team has an inside linebackers coach and an outside linebackers coach doesn't that pretty much tell you they'll be a 3-4 base defense?
Perhaps, though not necessarily. Look, the Jaguars very well could run a 3-4 defense next season. And Cullen did help run one with the Baltimore Ravens as defensive line coach the last five years. But as Cullen noted during his media availability Thursday, he has coached eight of his 14 NFL seasons in a 4-3 and six in a 3-4. Cullen and assistant head coach/inside linebackers Charlie Strong on Thursday both discussed the reality of this 3-4/4-3 discussion – and that's that the personnel dictates scheme. They both also discussed the always-overlooked reality that you can have elements of a 3-4 in a 4-3 and vice versa. There's no magic to 3-4. There's no magic to a 4-3. Do you have good players? Are they playing fast? If so, you can have a good defense whatever the scheme.
Torin from Jax, currently in ATL
John, is it possible to explain the dynamic of Strong being named inside linebacker coach and assistant head coach. Like does he report to Meyer or the defensive coordinator? If Urban were to – God Forbid – have a health issue, would Charlie take over game day coaching responsibilities??
The dynamics of assistant head coach for assistants with additional titles can vary somewhat depending on the people and the situations. Generally speaking, an assistant in Strong's situation would report directly to the coordinator when running his position group; Cullen – and not Strong – would therefore have "final say" and play calling duties in this situation. As far as being the assistant head coach … Meyer specified when discussing this Thursday that Strong will be his No. 2 and right-hand man – and that Strong at times would be addressing the team. That means that Strong likely would assume head-coaching duties if Meyer were unable to do so for whatever reason.
Kyle from Jacksonville
I'm as excited as everyone else about Trevor Lawrence coming to Jacksonville. What I haven't heard discussed at all and wonder is, is there any chance he might refuse to play here? I believe it's happened a couple of times before - Eli Manning and John Elway come to mind. Do you think there's any cause for concern here?
_Nick from Annapolis, MD _
I was listening to Urban Meyer's press conference on Thursday, and I started to connect a few dots. Meyer said Darrell Bevell, newly hired offensive coordinator, was willing to be flexible to meet his vision. He said this was important because the Jaguars do possess the first pick in the draft, and he has a clear vision as to the style of offense, and what he wants it to look like. Meyer also said he had a conversation with Brett Favre regarding Bevell, and expanded to say he has a ton of respect for Favre, listening closely to his opinion. Favre recently gave his opinion on the first pick of the draft, which oddly enough was to pass on Trevor Lawrence. What do you make of this? Are we going to be shocked by the Jaguars selection at No. 1?