JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Gary from St. Augustine, FL
This is ridiculous. What's taking so long?
I'll assume (again) you're referencing the Jaguars' ongoing head-coach search, and one thing I've learned in two-and-a-half-plus decades covering the NFL is fans and observers always feel head-coach searches take too long – to the point of being interminable. Fans and observers currently seem particularly irritated the Jaguars haven't just "gone ahead and announced" that former Florida/Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer is the new Jaguars' head coach – either that, or they're annoyed there hasn't been word from either camp that the Meyer's not going to be the head coach. My unsolicited advice? Take a breath. The Jaguars have been without a head coach for nine days now. That's not a particularly long time. Jaguars Owner Shad Khan during that time reportedly has interviewed five candidates for the position: Meyer, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Atlanta Falcons Interim Head Coach Raheem Morris and Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. There's not a bad candidate in the group – and the thought here is if Meyer's not the coach, the Jaguars will still hire a very capable coach. From Meyer's perspective, he's a college football analyst on FOX Sports. He worked the national championship game Monday. It's not weird at all that there wasn't announcement Tuesday. In the big picture, waiting a day or two for further discussion or further consideration isn't ridiculous. It's actually pretty normal – even if it is frustrating to those anxiously awaiting a decision.
Jordan from Jacksonville
Lot J gets voted down. This city is so disappointing.
You're referencing the Lot J proposal, which indeed was voted down by the City Council Tuesday night when it received just 12 of 19 votes – one short of the 13 needed to pass. It's clearly a disappointing moment for the Jaguars because Lot J represented a vision to revitalize the area around TIAA Bank Field – something that's still critical to the team and Khan's vision for downtown Jacksonville. It also was a project considered key to the long-term financial stability of the franchise. There will be a lot of discussion on this in the coming days, and the team undoubtedly will continue to seek new, out-of-the-box ways to increase local revenue – which remains a key objective to the aforementioned objective of being financially stable in Jacksonville. What's next? To quote Jaguars President Mark Lamping following Tuesday's vote: "It's time to turn the page on Lot J. We will now focus our attention on the Shipyards." Stay tuned.
Haney from Little Elm
Has Urban Meyer interviewed with anyone else? You would think that if the Jags are that interested that other teams would be at least be interviewing him as well.
The Jaguars are perhaps the best job in this hiring cycle – and absolutely one of the best two jobs along with the Los Angeles Chargers. It's entirely plausible – even likely – that Meyer has no interest in many or any other jobs. He doesn't have to coach again, and I can't imagine he would want to get involved in just "any situation."
Jud from Jacksonville
Meyer has no NFL coaching experience. Coaching NFL players is not the same as coaching college players. Steve Spurrier learned that lesson. So why all the noise about Meyer?
He's the third-winningest college coach of all-time and a huge name. To some, that would mean instant credibility and excitement for a franchise that has lacked both in recent seasons. That doesn't guarantee success, but that's the reason for the noise.
Sean from Jacksonville
And now Brian Schottenheimer is in the mix for head coach? Maybe? Hopefully.
Schottenheimer was let go by the Seattle Seahawks Tuesday after three seasons as the franchise's offensive coordinator. Would he be a possibility in Jacksonville? He's a respected offensive mind. Stay tuned.
Gary from Wesley Chapel
Hello John, Happy New Jags! Food for thought: Just because Urban Meyer has told people that he will be the new head coach in Jacksonville doesn't mean anyone told him he would be the new head coach. This is a person who is very accustomed to getting what he wants. He has always been in-demand when looking for college head coaching jobs, basically having his choice of which opening he would like to fill. My question is, as Shad has mentioned an interest in moving on from an inability to develop quarterbacks at the NFL level in Jacksonville, what has Urban Meyer ever done to develop quarterbacks at the NFL level?
Well, he never has been a coach at the NFL level, so … nothing, I guess.
Mystr. E from Westside J-Ville
Born and raised in Jax, die-hard Jags fan since Day 1. Are there any more passionate and knowledgeable fans than here in Northeast Florida? Please tell Mr. Khan most Jag fans wanna get back to defensive football!! Winning at the line on both sides of the ball!! We live this and expect a product on the field that resembles our character. Please hire Saleh! Not that Urban couldn't build a program for the future, I just believe Mr. Saleh is the future of coaching in the National Football League.
So, one fer defense! And Saleh! And for the fans! Whooo!!!!
Cliff from Callahan, FL
Referencing Bruce's question and your answer: given that many successful college coaches have failed and many have succeeded in the NFL, isn't it fair to say that success in college coaching is a minimal factor at best? How do you really evaluate a potential NFL head coach beyond his won/loss record? I know the sort of factors you look for (leadership, culture, organization, etc), but how does one evaluate if a particular college coach actually has them?
You interview candidates. You talk to people who have been around them. You interview others and decide if you like one over the other. That's how many interview processes work, and it's how a lot of head coach/general manager hires get done, too.
Nathan from St Augustine, FL
John, I'm a fan and have been following you on this site since you came back to Jacksonville, but I got to disagree with you when you say no college team could beat an NFL team. Alabama would beat the current Jags team by 20 points! They would make our secondary look foolish. What say you?
The Jaguars would win and name the score.
Garrett from Jesup, GA
Well, it looks like all the players we traded are still going to be playing this weekend. If players-management relations were so bad before that we had to trade multiple players, I can't wait until Urban comes in and makes that sooooo much better. Give me a break.
The Jaguars in the last 13 months have dismissed all their key decision-makers from recent seasons and they're currently in the process of hiring a coach and general manager. I understand cynicism, but your email sounds as if you want change. The Jaguars are in the process of changing. Can't we see the results of that change before criticizing?
Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL
"It's also a fair question to ask what makes him less likely to be effective than Jimmy Johnson, Tom Coughlin or Pete Carroll." Tom Coughlin and Pete Carroll both had experience as position coaches in the NFL as well as their college head coaching gigs. So, Jimmy Johnson was your only example of lightning in a bottle. Could lightning strike twice in the form of Urban Meyer? Sure, but zero NFL experience, the odds are pretty long.
So, one not fer Urban…
Ken from Vero Beach, FL
Here is my feeling about Meyer. He will come in and bring in his people. He will make the Jags a solid contender for years to come, then he will leave, but it's OK because they won't have any trouble hiring a good, experienced coach. The point is they need to experience a winning attitude and put together three or four winning seasons in a row. There is no guarantee, but his record speaks for itself. What do you think?
… I think one fer Urban!
Tom from Charlottesville, VA
Alabama has a way of exposing players short comings! When LSU played Alabama a few years ago, a certain running back all but disappeared! The Jags decided to take that running back high in the draft. A certain quarterback had his shortcomings exposed. He missed a few easy passes (by general standards). He threw fastballs when touch was needed. Whoever will be making the decisions, please do not overthink the task at hand! Take the quarterback just about everyone says is the best!
I expect the Jaguars to select Clemson University quarterback Trevor Lawrence No. 1 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft unless there is a clear and obvious reason not to do so.
Bruce from Saint Simons Island, GA
It seems obvious that NFL teams are trending toward a mobile quarterback. Does Lawrence fit this trend?
Goodness gracious, yes.