JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Don from Marshall, NC
Will Urban Meyer's offense require Trevor Lawrence to audible a lot? Go Jaguars!
The Jaguars' 2021 offense will be one that was installed with input from multiple coaches – Head Coach Urban Meyer, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, passing-game coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and offensive line coach George Warhop included. While I do expect it to have a lot of the run-pass option elements – and the emphasis on speed and one-on-one matchups – that made Meyer's offense successful in college, I expect Bevell and Schottenheimer to have a major influence on what rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence is asked to do. I expect this last part because both coaches have had success with young quarterbacks – Bevell in Seattle with Russell Wilson; Schottenheimer with the New York Jets with Mark Sanchez. With all of that, I do expect there will be situations in which Lawrence is asked to audible; the ability to get in and out of plays at the line of scrimmage is crucial for a successful offense. But I expect those situations would be minimal at first, and I expect Lawrence would be asked to do this more as he becomes more comfortable in the offense.
Zach from Wisconsin
I was excited for the Nick Sorensen hire. He had some great moments on those old "Inside Training Camp" episodes that the NFL Network ran back in the day with the Jags. Was more excited when I learned how highly recommended he was. Seems like a win.
This does seem like a potential win, and new Jaguars special teams coordinator Nick Sorensen indeed seems like a good fit for the position. He was a very good NFL special teams player – and spent 2003-2006 being a very good special teams player for the Jaguars. And having worked with the Seahawks the past eight seasons, he is very familiar with the schemes the Jaguars had begun installing under Brian Schneider, who was the Seahawks' special teams coach before joining the Jaguars as special teams coordinator in February and subsequently stepping aside. Sorensen never has been a full-time head special teams coach in the NFL, but are the elements in place for him to succeed? Absolutely.
Chris from Roseville, CA
T.J. Yeldon had an OK rookie year, but never blossomed into a RB1 type. What do you think prevented him from making the jump?
Speed and miss-ability. Yeldon – a second-round selection by the Jaguars in the 2015 NFL Draft – was a good NFL running back, and he proved a good reserve who also could contribute as a receiver out of the backfield. But he didn't have a particular trait that scared defenses or made him an elite, "RB1" type.
Darren from Las Vegas, NV
I believe requiring professional athletes to be available for media sessions is the dumbest part of any professional requirements. If they choose to speak with the media, that's awesome, but nobody should be fined for not speaking to the media. They're professionals because they're some of the best in the world at that sport, not because they can do interviews.
Many people share your opinion, and perhaps we're headed down that road. That road would not be great for any professional sport or the fans – and I'm not even sure it would be all that great for the players – but we'll see.
_Marlin from Newberry, FL _
Dear, Mr. Oehser: Thank you to the team for the "Mic'd Up" video segment with Jaguars defensive coordinator Joe Cullen. I was ready to punch out a ball at the end! Maximum effort! I wish I could use language as salty as he occasionally used at my job ... ya know, just to spice it up. He seems like a high-energy guy, is he like that all the time?
Unhipcat from Carlsbad, CA
I see the Jags have two quality control coaches, Quinton Ganther (offensive) and Patrick Reilly (defensive). What exactly does a quality control coach do?
A quality control coach often is the NFL's version of an entry-level position, although young coaches also often break into the league as assistants to position coaches. A quality control coach often works ahead on future opponents, but also often assists at a particular position – and often is in training to coach a specific position in future seasons. That's the long answer to "What does a quality control coach do?" The shorter answer: Whatever they're asked to do.
Greg from Section 122, Jacksonville, FL
If Jaguars Owner Shad Khan is trying to get more exposure and support for the improving of downtown to make J-ville a destination, wouldn't having "Hard Knocks" here support that? We already don't get to host prime-time games anymore and our downtown has done nothing but deteriorate in the last five years (The Landing being demolished and the overpass at Bay Street is now history). Couple all that with the no vote on the much-lauded Lot J project, it seems we need all the exposure and support we could get. Wouldn't having some national exposure give us a better opportunity to attract outside investment in our city? As the saying goes "There is no such thing as bad press." From what I see, any project to invest in downtown is going to need all the help it can get because getting taxpayers to sign on supporting it will be a big challenge.
"Hard Knocks" is undoubtedly high-profile exposure. I don't necessarily see a tangible connection to the Jaguars being on the series and the taxpayers signing on to support the latest downtown proposal. But I'm a dim bulb at times.
Mike from Saint Augustine, FL
Urban Meyer wants to go on "Hard Knocks," bring Tebow in, but won't trade a second- and a fourth-round pick to get Julio Jones for his superstar quarterback. What a joke. A second and a fourth. No question.
It sounds as if you're connecting a couple of decisions that essentially qualify as "periphery" – appearing on "Hard Knocks" and signing a reserve tight end – to whether to commit significant salary-cap space to a veteran receiver. I'm not saying the Jaguars shouldn't have tried to acquire Jones, though I understand reluctance considering his age and injury history. I'm just saying I don't know that this one decision has much to do with the others.
Brandon from Duval
Wow! Joe Cullen mic'd up has me wanting to try and sack a quarterback. Derrick Henry better watch out, our boys are gonna be ready this year! Definitely seems like a competitive maniac.
Hey, one fer Cullen!
Dave from Jacksonville
Wizard, what are we to think of Julio Jones coming to town? Seems like a 32-year-old wide receiver against top-tier corners might be something to exploit. Think Torry Holt here. Capable, but unable. We have three corners now, could anyone cover Julio at this stage?
This is a tricky one. While I get the Holt-Jones comparison, it feels a bit off. When Holt signed with the Jaguars, he was coming off a 2008 season in which he had 796 yards receiving in 16 games – a significant drop-off in production considering he played in all games. Jones' production dropped to an uncharacteristic 771 yards last season, but he played in just nine games – indicating his statistics were more about injuries than an overall physical decline. That makes the question more about whether Jones will be healthy enough to be elite next season than whether he is capable of being elite. As for whether the Jaguars' corners can cover Jones … CJ Henderson was the No. 9 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft and a corner selected so early should be a lockdown corner capable of covering elite receivers. Can he do that? Time will tell.
Marty from Jacksonville
John, in regards to postgame or post-match interviews, and how necessary you seem to think they are, I have very seldom heard anything of any value come from an athlete's mouth immediately after a contest. They are too well-trained by their agents to say anything of any substance. It's the same pablum every time. I know it helps you fill a column, but really, it's usually pretty worthless.
I suppose post-match comments are only "necessary" depending on what people think it is important. Are sports themselves important? The games? The results? Only if people care. The reaction to anything in sports are only important if people care. The whole idea of sports isn't to decide who eats or doesn't eat the next day. This isn't war. Lives aren't at stake. It's entertainment and coaches/players speaking afterward is part of the spectacle that is the show. This is not to minimize the importance of athletes' mental health, but I also don't know that speaking to the media following games or events is so that damaging to mental health that the entire concept must be abandoned. That seems extreme.
Biff from Jacksonville
If I purchased a John Oehser Fat Head would you sign it?
For you? No.