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O-Zone: Punch a higher floor

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Matt from Section 133

I've truly never been the type to demand someone be fired after one year, but Meyer must go. Somehow, he took the worst team in the NFL last year and made it worse. Not only that, he has done nothing but embarrass the team and city on the national stage through one headline after another. I challenge anyone who disagrees with that previous sentence to tell me one thing – ONE – Meyer has done to increase the prestige of this team. Through his leadership of the team, he's ruining what's supposed to be a generational talent. Lawrence has thrown one touchdown pass in the past five games. This is on the verge of being an epic disaster, and Shad Khan needs to acknowledge his mistake and fire Meyer immediately. If he gives him the Gus Bradley leash, shame on him.

This has become a hot topic among Jaguars fans/observers in recent days/weeks – and understandably so, I suppose. The combination of the Jaguars' 2-10 record and the daily stories revolving around running back James Robinson – along with some other happenings in recent weeks and months – are the sorts of circumstances that bring head coaches under scrutiny. And this indeed has been a phenomenally challenging years on many fronts for the Jaguars – and certainly for Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer on and off the field. While challenges were expected for a head coach transitioning from college to the NFL, few neutral observers would argue that this has been more challenging than many expected. Still, the other reality is this is Year One of what by any measure was a major rebuild – and my sense is that Jaguars Owner Shad Khan ultimately will see it as such. I have written and said often in recent weeks that I don't believe Khan will make a head-coaching change during the season or during the coming offseason. I also have written and said often I believe Meyer will be the head coach in 2022, meaning I don't see him resigning. I have neither seen nor heard anything in recent days or weeks to change that thought. That doesn't mean there haven't been missteps this season – and you're right that little has happened this season yet to increase the Jaguars' prestige this season. But I expect Meyer and this regime to continue to be the ones charged with changing the course and moving the Jaguars forward after this season. Khan typically has believed in patience and the big picture on this type of issue. A change in philosophy so quickly would be a surprise.

Adam from St. Johns, FL

What they're putting Trevor through is criminal. They are absolutely going to ruin him. They look completely lost on offense and it's beyond ridiculous at this point. Make all the excuses you want about talent but, John, they chose it. No one seems to be questioning what they have added. I don't know how anyone would want to play here. They don't get the talent to succeed year after year. Is this what Shad wants his legacy to be? I for one as an owner would be beyond sick of it, but I'm just a dumb fan that keeps giving him money.

Many people have questioned what the Jaguars added in the offseason, particularly what was added so surround rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The answer is they added running back/wide receiver Travis Etienne Jr., wide receivers Marvin Jones Jr. and Phillip Dorsett and wide receiver/returner Jamal Agnew. They also added tight end Dan Arnold early in the regular season and they tried to add a bunch of other receivers via waivers, trades, free agency, etc. So, yes … they chose the talent – and they were clearly aware improvements needed to be made. They didn't know wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. and a bunch of those other aforementioned players would get hurt. Did they do enough? In retrospect, probably not. But it wasn't as if they flat-out didn't address it. I expect them to address it more aggressively this offseason.

Art from Drexel Hill, PA

I love that Trevor publicly had Robinson's back. I hate that Trevor had to publicly have Robinson's back. This organization seems to be making the headlines for all the reasons.

Very fair …

Eric from Columbus, IN

Who is Brent Martineau?!

… even fairer.

Jim from Green Cove Springs, FL

What's the difference between a forward lateral and a shovel pass?

Nothing, really. A forward lateral is often illegal, but when a quarterback does it on a play on which he hasn't already thrown a pass – and when the linemen aren't downfield – it's a forward pass.

The real JT from Fort Worth, TX

Like many others, I've given UM the benefit of the doubt as a first-year head coach—but the latest JRob mess has nothing to do with learning NFL ropes, and more to do with his total lack of command of this team. The list of questionable UM decisions is growing by the week. To suggest that you don't know how many series or plays or minutes your best offensive weapon misses post-fumble is either laughable or derelict. I don't know what else you are tracking more important standing there as head coach if it's not putting your best offensive team on the field to score more points than the other team? To keep repeating that "we have coaches that keep track of that sort of thing" suggests that his job is so complex that he needs to delegate all of the other operational details? I was really pulling for UM to succeed bigtime, but one has to wonder exactly how this team can grow to become competitive with this guy in the driver's seat.

So, one not fer Meyer …

Gary from St. Augustine, FL

It's his first season, Zone. People knew there would be an adjustment. He's a proven winner. Give him time.

… and one fer Meyer.

Garrett from Edgewater

Zone, what in the world happened to K'Lavon Chaisson? He was flying all over the field at LSU making plays. I didn't expect him to be elite at 20, but man we need more than him. He has what? Two sacks in almost 30 games. Got to draft and/or develop better than that. Three first-round edge rushers in last four drafts and we can't get to the quarterback. I am sad as a Jags fan these days.

The Jaguars actually have selected two edge-type players in the first rounds in recent seasons – Josh Allen in 2019 and Chaisson in 2020 – but your point regarding Chaisson is fair. The reality is as his second NFL season nears an end he appears more of a run-and-chase linebacker than a pure edge rusher – and he hasn't been nearly enough of a force rushing the passer even when given the opportunity. One thought on the Jaguars' pass rush this season, though: With Allen and Dawuane Smoot, the Jaguars have been OK here a lot this season – particularly considering how often and how early they have trailed by double digits. It's very difficult to effectively rush the passer when the opponent can dictate when and how often to throw. The Jaguars must improve and add a big-time pass rusher to go with Allen, but they're not awful here.

William the Contemplator

Mr. O, I know that you don't think Urban will be replaced this year or next. What do you think he has to do to improve his head coaching and retain his position? More of the same obviously won't work.


Big Gnarly from Daytona, FL

Asking for a friend: With all this nonsense going on with the Jaguars, when does T-Law ask to leave? Seems as though talent has a way of demanding out of underperforming and dysfunctional organizations. Hate to see him go, but can't blame him!

I don't expect it to reach that point and I don't sense it's close. But the point of your email is well-taken – and you damned sure don't want to flirt with the possibility.

Nicholas from Fort Hood, Texas

John: Stay strong! No draft talking till the end of the season please!! My punctuation shows I am serious.

You go, girl.

Dave from Jacksonville

Hey, Ozone. You referred to Trevor Lawrence as a "prime talent" in one of your answers recently. After 12 NFL starts, he's done nothing to earn the tag "Prime Talent." I'll agree he was a prime RPO college football player. But John: this is the NFL. It's a different game.

The NFL indeed is an entirely different game than college. But Lawrence is a prime talent. I didn't say he was a great player yet. I didn't say he will be a great player, though I absolutely believe that will be the case. I said he's a prime talent. Because he is.

Scott from Jacksonville

"Dearly Beloved"? What a tease for an O-Zone title. I was expecting a Prince reference/link of some kind.

Never, ever, ever let the elevator bring you down.