The Jaguars made a historic move yesterday in selecting quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick, altering the direction of the franchise in what owner Shad Khan hopes in the positive direction and for a long time moving forward.
Jacksonville has undergone plenty of regime changes during Khan’s tenure as the team’s owner, including three head coaching fires, two general manager fires and one failed executive hiring since he took over as the team’s owner near the end of 2011.
Now, the team has had another fresh start with the hiring of head coach Urban Meyer, general manager Trent Baalke and who they think will become a franchise savior at quarterback in Lawrence. But, what makes this regime change so different?
“This time, I got it right, okay?” Khan began today when asked why this time would actually result in a positive.
“For me, it’s like as the owner you’re sitting on that knife edge of micromanagement and abdication. How do you strike that balance? And so, learning from experience. But starting off, we have the opportunity go with winners and then let them build.”
The Jaguars have made several moves to change the way they operate from a philosophical standpoint. The team is very coach-centric, with a seemingly unified front, one that has the owner involved in the decision-making process, at least in some fashion.
With all of the losing and heightened expectations this year, there would appear to be a sense of urgency that must be accounted for within the team’s organization, but Khan noted on Friday that there is necessarily a balance between urgency and patience.
“I think that’s what I’ve loved about Urban Meyer, that he understands the big picture,” said Khan. “A sense of urgency but also keeping the big picture in mind. So, and I think as you see with the great player sitting here, he’s put his Buckeye card at jeopardy to really help win for the Jaguars.”
The Jaguars certainly weren’t making any risky moves by selecting Lawrence first overall on Thursday. In fact, it would have been more of a head-scratcher if anyone other than Lawrence went first overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, regardless of who was picking at the time. Even with the big picture in mind, Meyer doesn’t feel like this process ought to be a lengthy one.
“Well, the way I’ve always looked at everything is—at the moment whoever gives us the best chance to win is going to be playing, if that’s your question,” Meyer said on Friday when asked about the balance of patience and wanting results right away.
“And that’s every position at that moment who gives us the best chance to win and that there is an incredible amount of urgency. I told our players that, all due respect, the four-, five-, six-year plans, that’s not that plan at all. The plan is to try to do the very best to win. Every time we line up, we try to win.”
The Jaguars’ vision of its future will center around Lawrence, who has quickly become the team’s face of the franchise. Regardless of the team’s expectations, the Jaguars are building the team in a way that makes sense, not with fear, but with a proven process.