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O-Zone: Quite a lineup

JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …

Donny from Lake Mary, FL, Day 2, Section 35

An elite quarterback is critical to any new head coach's success. Jimmy Johnson drafted Hall of Famer Troy Aikman for the Dallas Cowboys in the first round. Unfortunately, Steve Spurrier with Washington had no say in his quarterback options as his owner, Dan Snyder, made those decisions. Nick Saban wanted Drew Brees, but the Miami Dolphins' medical staff failed Brees' physical and Saban got stuck with Daunte Culpepper. Saban and Spurrier left the NFL after two years because they knew they couldn't win with the quarterbacks they had. The No. 1 reason Urban Meyer took the Jags' job is Trevor Lawrence. And the ability to acquire Lawrence is significantly more important to our franchise in the long run than who the new head coach is. Your thoughts?

Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer made clear when speaking to the media this past Friday that the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft was a big reason he took the Jaguars job. He has not said publicly whether that means the opportunity to select Clemson University quarterback Trevor Lawrence, though many observers assume Lawrence will be the selection. The Jaguars' quarterback decision this offseason is huge. Meyer said Friday: "Who we pick at that quarterback spot, that's going to be one of the most important decisions I've made in my lifetime, along with the partnership of our owner and general manager." Is it more important than the head coach? Well, the opportunity to select a franchise quarterback is rarer than the opportunity to hire a head coach. But the head coach sets the tone for the organization, and that's a critical element.

James from Vancouver

Who pays coaches and training staff salaries? Does it come from the salary cap? Is there a way to see what team(s) pay the most for their coaches?

Owners pay coaches and training staffs, but those salaries have nothing to do with the salary cap. There aren't really any official lists out there about coaches' salaries, though people have compiled lists that can be found with a google search.

Ryan from Detroit

Zone - how many times has a college coach with no prior NFL experience jumped straight into the head-coach role and had success? I'm no historian, but I can't think of any. The best examples I can think of who were hired from college into a head-coach role all had some level of prior NFL coaching experience prior to being a college head coach.

It's rare for a coach coming straight from college with no NFL experience to succeed at a high level. But you know what? Coaches coming from NFL position/coordinator roles fail in their first head-coaching opportunities, too. It's a hard job. More fail than succeed. And every NFL head-coach hire has risk.

Alejandro from Ciudad de México

Dear Zone, with the rebuilding of the franchise, is it possible to have new and modern uniforms next year? All the bad luck went back with the 2018 model.

No. NFL uniforms can only be changed every five seasons except in the event of new ownership.

Marcus from Jacksonville

When hiring his staff, do you think Urban Meyer will hire the best person for the job, then tweak the roster to that person's scheme – or hire someone whose scheme is best suited to the roster as it is right now? Specifically, I'm thinking of the defense. With defensive ends Josh Allen and K'Lavon Chaisson as our top two pass rushers, it seems like a 4-3 might be a better fit. Is it prudent to hire a coordinator to best utilize those guys, or get the best coordinator and try to fit those guys into his scheme?

I expect Meyer to hire the best coach for the job at each position; I don't know why he wouldn't. He made clear he wanted an elite staff, and that that will be Priority No. 1. The roster likely will turn over pretty extensively in the coming offseason or two. Whatever scheme Meyer and the staff use, the players who will be part of the core going forward can play in it.

The Original Bryan from Tampa, FL

Assuming the Jags add Lawrence with the first pick, do you think that will add enough national interest that we could get a couple more nationally-televised games?


Bruce from Saint Simons Island

O, from what I have read, Urban is planning on hiring a staff with extensive NFL experience. Shouldn't that dampen the "lack of NFL experience concerns?" Also, the Jags probably will, and should, go after some younger free agents in positions of need. But given the NFL rookie hiring contracts, shouldn't the draft be a better place to build from IF the Jags pick the right rookies? Your thoughts?

Meyer absolutely knows the value of NFL experience on the staff. That's why you've seen names such as Scott Linehan, Raheem Morris and Joe Cullen as possibilities for the coordinator positions. It's also why there were reports George Warhop has been retained as offensive line coach. It remains to be seen how Meyer and the new general manager will approach free agency and the draft. But it's tricky to build solely through the draft and not have capable veterans on the roster. The Jaguars' effort to find that mix will be a major storyline this offseason.

The Other Michael from Middleburg, FL

There are tons of reports about hires to Meyer's staff. Will this site be reporting on official staff additions as they are made?

When the hires are official, yes.

Aaron from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

With the St. Louis Rams eliminated from the playoffs, has the Jaguars' second draft pick order been finalized yet? Thanks!

The Jaguars will select No. 25 in Round 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Eric from Columbus, IN

Is there a perception this year that free agents will be "on sale" given most teams need to cut cap? Supply of talent appears to be high and demand for it, low. This should set the Jags up incredibly well to get more than normal for their money in free agency. Is this correct? Or am I thinking of it in too simple of terms?

There likely will be a few more "cap casualties" around the NFL this offseason than usual. But that doesn't mean there suddenly will be an abundance of core, franchise-level players in free agency. Teams will still be able to manage the cap to keep their best players, and teams typically do so as much as possible.

John from Cape May Court House

Forget the off-the-field drama, trading Jalen Ramsey for picks No. 20 and a pick no lower than No. 25 is not a great return. I know former Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell took a chance, but if that deal was offered by the Los Angeles Rams from the jump, I doubt they make that trade.

You can't forget the off-field drama with former Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, but you're right: No. 20 and 25 wouldn't be the return you wanted for a player such as Ramsey. But Caldwell managed to get two first-round selections for a disgruntled player. Getting more would have been difficult – perhaps impossible.

Neal from New Jersey

I understand pre-and post-June 1 can have different cap savings. I was wondering why that might be. In the case of guard Andrew Norwell, we would save $3 million more if he goes after June 1. Does it make sense to sign a better guard in free agency and then cut him if we are able to get an elite guard?

It's difficult to get elite players in free agency because teams don't usually let elite players leave. It does happen on occasion, as was the case when the Jaguars signed cornerback A.J. Bouye and defensive end Calais Campbell as free agents in 2017, but such instances are comparatively rare. Either way, it will be tricky getting a better guard in free agency than Norwell. He was really good last season.

Kathy from Ponte Vedra, FL

I'm really hoping Tony Boselli makes it into the Hall of Fame this year! However, if he doesn't, is there any way someone other than Sam Kouvaris could present on his behalf? I think Kouvaris rubs people the wrong way with his big ego.

Kouvaris is the Jaguars' representative on the Hall of Fame committee and there's no reason to think that's changing. While many fans love to criticize Kouvaris on this issue, I have spoken to many voters – and they say Kouvaris' presentations are fine. It's Boselli's longevity and a numbers game in terms of how many candidates get selected each year keeping Boselli out, not Kouvaris.

Zac from Austin, Tejas

I bet you feel really honored to have world-renowned analysts, coaches, coordinators, project coordinators, managing directors, CFOs, and city accountants read your page.

Yes. No question. It's awesome.