EJ's thoughts on the Jaguars post-season
Look at what we have here. I was initially going to talk about the stats of the game yesterday vs. the Houston Texans and things that I noticed here and there, but there’s no point for that.
Why? Well week 12 just concluded and the Jaguars are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. There’s absolutely no chance for the team to win the division. There’s absolutely no chance for the team to even sniff the playoffs. The party is over before the invitations were mailed.
So you ask why this post’s picture blank? Why is there nothing on it? Because that is exactly what I am looking forward to seeing this postseason. NOTHING.
I have no real reason to cheer for the team to win until 2012. Let’s face it; it isn’t my pride on the line. And I’m definitely not rooting for anyone else. I’m a Jaguars fan through and through, but this is tough.
I’m tired of this. It has been the same thing week after week, season after season. Atleast we don’t a have a late season collapse to worry about. The suspense of wondering whether or not our team will make the playoffs has been long gone. So what now?
We learn. We move forward. But in order to do that, there must be an honest assessment of ALL of the problems that are plaguing this team and this organization. Unsurprisingly, I’m going to start with the head coach, Jack Del Rio.
Jack Del Rio’s track record as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars:
- 8 full years (this year is his 9th)
- 68 wins and 71 losses
- 2 playoff appearances
- 1 playoff win
- Since 2008, the Jaguars’ best record is 8-8 (last season)
Those are the important things to me. With Del Rio at the helm, this team has not gotten it done. Including this season, only 1/3 of the seasons that he has been head coach have resulted in a record better than 8-8.
So the Jaguars have been average at best for 2/3 of almost a decade? That’s disheartening. If this organization wants to break this cycle, changes need to be made immediately.
This brings me to the owner, Wayne Weaver. I’m not sure what the motives have been, but Mr. Weaver has been blindly faithful in Del Rio’s ability to lead this team. I thought that Del Rio was as good as gone at the end of the last season (the team was 8-5 with a chance to win make the playoffs and literally imploded the final three games of the season to fall to 8-8 and miss the playoffs).
I’m not telling him how to do his job, but I’m sure he realizes that things need to be revamped within this franchise. If the constant clock management issues, mental mistakes, throwing others under the bus, bad playcalling, and an overall subpar product on the field haven’t grabbed Mr. Weaver’s attention, nothing will.
Amongst the things that need revamping is the personnel. This team has A LOT of personnel issues. The main reason being the system.
The system is designed to have the team pound the ball down opponents’ throats, stop the run, and control the clock. The only problem is that other teams are not looking to run as much anymore and generally aren’t nearly as susceptible to this strategy as in the past. The league has evolved, and is still evolving, into a predominantly passing league, and teams have found many ways to defeat the outdated scheme that the Jaguars use.
Going back to player personnel, when your philosophy is to run the football, you get players that allow you to do that. As a result, the Jaguars don’t throw the football very well. They haven’t done so for a decade. The team needs to upgrade the pass blocking, acquire wide receivers that are able to get separation and CATCH the football, and have a major change in philosophy.
With that being said, if I were in charge very few people on the team, specifically the offense, would be a part of the organization next year. I would completely deconstruct the offense to fit Blaine Gabbert. He definitely needs some work but you cannot overlook the lack of talent around him. In order to be able to make an accurate judgment call on whether or not he is the franchise quarterback, his environment needs an overhaul.
Outside of Maurice Jones-Drew I don’t trust anyone else on this offense to deliver consistently. You will not win like that. Maybe I’m naïve or just plain missing something, but this seems as plain as day to me. The culture needs to change.
I suspect it will get that. But not in time to save this season. It’s too late for that. And this is extremely unfortunate because the Jaguars have a remarkable defense. So as I said before, I will be looking forward to nothing this postseason. Of course I’m going to watch and enjoy the playoffs, but I’ve longed for night where I see my Jaguars playing in January.
The thing that has to be the most frustrating is the fact that there has been no progress for almost half of decade, at best. The team has been at a standstill talent-wise (great running-back and good defense with not much else) for some time now. I hate it.
I hate looking at other teams and wondering why we haven’t been able to do the things that they’re doing. I want to see progress. But right now, I’ll just settle for change. I mean, look at the 49ers. The Lions. The Bengals. These franchises are making progress. They’re all legitimate playoff teams. That is what you look and ask for. That is what you want to watch grow and develop into a dominant team. However, that is what has been missing from Jacksonville.
So as I close, just know that if you’re feeling some sort of way based on the team as whole, you aren’t alone. These last few years have been rocky. The things we’ve seen this season have been unwatchable at times.
But through it all we are JAGUARS.