JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it ...
Chad from Orange Park, FL
I am not a big fan of Urban Meyer as head coach, but do you think the factor of his longevity is being a little overblown considering he was at his last two stops for five-to-seven years? I know his health is well-documented. However, most NFL coaches don't last even that long unless they turn out to be superstars that win Super Bowls. If he gets to that level, wouldn't he be a grand-slam hire either way – say with one Super Bowl in five years?
Former Florida/Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer reportedly interviewed with the Jaguars Friday for their vacant head-coaching position. As your email indicates, many questions surround the potential hiring. While he had otherworldly success as a college coach, he never has coached in the NFL. That's one question. Another is his health, which as your email notes caused him to leave Florida and Ohio State – where he won two national titles (2006 and 2008) and one national title (2014), respectively. That will make longevity a topic if Meyer indeed is hired. But you're absolutely correct: If Meyer coaches the Jaguars five seasons and wins a Super Bowl, it would be a grand-slam hire. The franchise probably would be building him a statue and ordering letters for the Pride of the Jaguars. So, yeah … longevity is being a little overblown here.
Daniel from Johnston, IA
As the search for the GM and the coach goes on, is the situation a bit squishy about which will have the final say over personnel decisions? Does Shad already have a clear delineation on that? Seems like depending on who the coach hire is, they could be the final word? Does that make the GM position less attractive? It seems odd to me that in a billion-dollar organization, there isn't a clearer distinction between what the GM is responsible for and what the head coach is responsible for...
Jaguars Owner Shad Khan will have final say over the roster. What that essentially means is that the general manager and head coach will have to agree rather than the general manager or coach being the one routinely making the final call. If you hire the right two people, this is not an issue. And there is a clear distinction in job duties: the general manager runs the scouting department and gathers information and analysis on players; the coach coaches the team. Together with the owner, they decide what's best for the team. Could there be disagreements at times? Yes, but if the group is working together with one direction those disagreements should be minimal – and easily solved.
Daniel from Johnston, IA
Khan's comment about a coach that can handle a 21st century athlete, is that a dig at former Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone? It seemed like Marrone actually had a really good rapport with the team? Or was it at Tom Coughlin? Or (lastly) was he just saying that like Marrone, the next coach should be able to do that?
I took the comment to mean that the next coach and general manager must be able to handle the modern, 21st-century athlete. I didn't see it as a dig at anyone in particular as much as a statement that situations such as the one that led to cornerback Jalen Ramsey's departure must be avoided.
Marcus from Jacksonville
At both Florida and Ohio State, Urban Meyer had a reputation for enabling entitled players and allowing players with character issues to continue to play as long as they had talent that outweighed their flaws. The general feeling was that, regardless of your off-the-field transgressions, if you were the best at your position, he would put you on the field. Now I'm sure some of that is overblown, but when you hear some of what allegedly went on in those programs under his watch it makes you wonder. My question is, after the Jaguars had to totally reset the culture by moving on from players with character issues over the last few years, do you think there will be any reservations in bringing in a coach who seems to look past those issues as long as they can play?
Meyer's reputation and off-field issues at Florida and Ohio State are part of his storyline, and I agree that maintaining a positive culture is critical moving forward. I haven't been around Meyer's programs personally to know how much was overblown and what circumstances led to the transgressions. I'm sure Khan will have discussed such things extensively with Meyer whenever the interview process takes place. I don't know how extensively the issues will play into Khan's decision. He hasn't discussed Meyer specifically, so there hasn't been an opportunity to explore that topic.
Charles from Savannah, GA
I'm a complete novice in the process of hiring general manager and head coaches in the NFL. Nevertheless, wouldn't it make more sense to hire the general manager before the head coach? It seems that the Jaguars are going after the head coach before the general manager.
There's no predetermined magic to hiring the general manager before the coach because there's no rule that a head coach must report to the general manager. A recent trend in the NFL has been away from such a structure. Look at it this way: the head coach often sets the tone for the organization and is the voice of the organization. There's nothing wrong with having that person on equal footing with the general manager. That sounds as if it will be the case with the Jaguars in this situation, with head coach and general manager both being hired about the same time and both reporting directly to Khan.
Chris from San Diego, CA
Regardless of the outcome, I really appreciate that it appears Shad Khan is conducting a thorough search for both our next general manager and head coach and is being inclusive of both minority and nonminority candidates in search for the most qualified person for the job. In the past the Rooney Rule has been treated like a box one has to check but I commend Shad for giving a variety of highly-qualified minority candidates an opportunity to compete for the open roles.
The Rooney Rule has an obligatory feel at times. At other times, it has served its purpose or raising the profile of minority coaches and ensuring that qualified – but previously overlooked – candidates are part of the conversation for key hirings. I've never gotten a vibe from Khan's interviews for Jaguars candidates that he considered any candidate "a box to check."
Chris from Yulee, FL
Do you think the Jags could hire a GM and promote offensive coordinator Jay Gruden?
Michael from Toledo, OH
_As one of the few(only?) Ohio State and Jaguars fans, I share some of the same concerns many Florida Gators fans do about Urban Meyer. However, the one thing this franchise needs more than an anything else it is a proven winner. This guy won at tiny Bowling Green, helped turn Utah into a Pac 12 program, won multiple national titles with Florida and then at Ohio State was the only undefeated team left in the country in 2012 even though they had a bowl ban could be considered national champions that season. Won a title in 2014 with a third-string quarterback and came very close numerous other times. I can't say I'd want to have a beer with the guy, but it's hard to argue he doesn't make it work everywhere he goes. _
So, another fer Urban …
Scott from Atlantic Beach, FL
I don't need to like the head coach, although that would be nice. However, I have no respect for Urban Meyer. A history of winning is great but turning a blind eye to domestic violence, allowing a player to physically assault a coach, and a history of quitting on teams all of that I cannot respect. I would like to remain a proud Jaguar fan. I can't be that with Urban Meyer as the head coach.
… and another not fer Urban.
Logan from Wichita, KS
No matter who the coach is they have an almost impossible task. They have to flip the minds of an entire team and league. The Jaguars have been so bad for so long there is zero respect. Which is fair, respect is earned with wins. From the outside it looks like players get drafted or recruited here and they automatically fall into a losing mentality.
Your email was longer, but I get your points. Yes, the Jaguars' perception can be changed. The fact that this is now a coveted job – perhaps the most coveted of the head coach/general manager cycle – is the first evidence of that. I expect more evidence to follow.
Tom from Jax
There's got to be a limit to Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence's value. What would you trade the first pick for? Would you take another team's entire draft?
I would trade the No. 1 overall selection for Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. I would not trade it for another quarterback. I would not trade it for another team's entire draft. I do not like Green Eggs and Ham. I do not like them, Sam I Am.