Your Jacksonville Jaguars – Ten Burning Questions…and Ten Perfect Answers

Posted: June 10, 2011 in Jacksonville Jaguars, NFL, NFL teams, sports, sports teams
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While wondering if the NFL owners and players will ever get their act together, and assuming they will, I decided to do a little Q&A with myself.  As a Jaguars expert, I was impressed with David’s knowledge and scope of questions – he’s really got his finger on the pulse of the team and the city.  And as an interviewer, I was amazed at Mr. Lamm’s insightful, candid answers regarding the Jaguars.  Enjoy!

Q. If the Jaguars struggle out of the gate how long would you go before inserting rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert into the starting lineup?

A. I’d stay with veteran David Garrard unless he absolutely stunk up the place. I know NFL teams seldom keep rookie QBs on the bench for several years so they can mature, but I still think doing so is a good idea. Confidence is such a key for quarterbacks and nothing can kill a quarterback’s confidence quicker than getting hammered play after by the rush or making mental mismakes that result in interceptions. If the Jaguars truly are convinced Gabbert is their future, patience will truly be a virtue.

Q. Okay, smarty pants, what if the Jaguars start off playing in front of a bunch of empty seats and have a string of TV blackouts? What then?

A. Well, that does put a different spin on the situation. No one, including Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver, wants to lose money and, worse, erode interest in the team. From what I can tell, nothing creates apathy in a fan base more than the old out-of-sight-out-of-mind cliché. In that case, I’d bow to the all mighty dollar and insert Gabbert to create some excitement. You can’t worry about tomorrow, especially if tomorrow might mean locating to another city.

Q. So you think the Jaguars might move if Everbank Field is as empty as a political promise, huh?

A. Actually, I don’t think the Jaguars are going anywhere. There are franchises in just as much trouble, maybe more. Besides, where are they going? Know how many NFL ready stadiums there are in non-NFL cities? None would be your answer.

Q. Will the owners and players figure this thing out?

A. I still think they will, and in time to have a full season. I know it’s getting down to nitty gritty time and apparently that’s exactly what it’s going to take. I think as the players truly begin to realize they’re going to start missing six-figure, weekly paychecks they’ll be more likely to make a few concessions. The owners are smart enough to bend a little, too.

Q. How can so many players making so much money run into financial difficulty this quickly?

A. First, they seldom ask how much something costs when they’ve got a pocketful of money. And who wouldn’t want garbage with an expensive luxury car, a hot sports car and a souped up truck? I know I would if I could afford it. Second, you think their wives are going to cut back voluntarily? Does yours? Third, even if they’ve paid for their multi-million dollar houses, they probably haven’t really considered how much it costs just to keep it going. There’s the huge, annual tax bill, not to mention the electric bill, pool upkeep, yard maintance expense, etc.

Q. Let’s talk about the coach, Jack Del Rio. If the Jaguars don’t make the playoffs, is he a goner?

A. It actually depends more on a full stadium and a large TV audience than it does the win-loss record. Admittedly, the two usually go hand in hand. Few fan bases are willing to support a loser. But to answer your question, yeah he’ll be gone quicker than you can say “see ya” if the Jags sit home in January. Remember, it was empty seats and bad PR that eventually led to Weaver firing Tom Coughlin in ‘02, not TC’s coaching.

Q. Let’s talk about the starting quarterback. I’m talking about Garrard. Why has he seemed to regress since his first season as a starter back in ’07?

A. He hasn’t had much help, you gotta admit. You think Aaron Rodgers would sparkle throwing to the gang that can’t catch, can’t get open and can’t run after the catch? What Jaguars wide receiver other than Mike Thomas would make another NFL roster? It isn’t all of the receivers, of course, Garrard hasn’t been allowed to audible very much because the coaches don’t think he makes good decisions. And if he was a baseball pitcher he’d walk a lot of batters. Basically, Garrard is a solid QB, nothing more. He probably was in the right position when he was a backup. He could come in and bail out a team on occasion, but not on a regular basis.

Q. If you could put your finger on one thing, what’s the Jaguars’ biggest shortcoming?

A. Pass rush, pass rush and pass rush would be my top three weaknesses. In today’s game if you can’t make the other quarterback at least get out of his comfort zone you’re gonna get beat. Remember the game last year when Indy’s Peyton Manning never touched the ground with anything but his feet? Losing Aaron Kampman to injury at midseason killed the team. Another weakness is linebacker. How many times do you remember a linebacker making a play in pass coverage? Or making a tackle behind the line of scrimmage? I’m giving the secondary an incomplete grade until it has a front seven worth a hoot.

Q. So why were the Jaguars in the playoff hunt until mid-December if they’re so bad?

A. I was wondering if you were going to ask about their strengths. I give Del Rio and his staff for getting about as much out of the team as it could get. And I give General Manager Gene Smith credit for building up the bottom half of the roster. The Jaguars have a lot of solid but not outstanding players. They seriously lack playmakers after Maurice Jones-Drew. Mercades Lewis is a Pro Bowler at tight end, but would you trade him for Dallas Clark, Antonio Gates, Jason Witten, etc.? The special teams are pretty good, too, and that goes back to the bottom half of the roster.

Q. Finally, allow me to ask a question that applies to all NFL teams. How is the NFL going to make the game day experience better than the TV watching experience?

A. That’s a great question!  It is ironic, isn’t it, how the NFL and technology have made watching a game on TV better in many ways than actually being at the game? Hell, most of the people who go to games spend much of their time watching to big scoreboard screen. (And a majority of the people in the luxury suites are glued to the TV when they’re not socializing.) Sports bars have created an at-the-game atmosphere in many ways. Friends gather at someone’s home and tailgate on the patio. Okay, these aren’t quite as good as onsite tailgating, but there’s no traffic to fight and less chance of a DUI driving home. Plus, it costs a heckuva lot less and the restrooms and concessions are closer, less crowded and cleaner. Chances are your seat is bigger at home than it is at the stadium. As for technology, the giant, HD, 3-D (even 4-D) TVs give you a better view of the action than being in the stadium. Ever sat in the upper deck? The players look like they’re ants. And at home there’s less chance of some jerk standing up and blocking your view at the exact moment there’s a leaping catch or great run or bone-jarring tackle. For those of you who hate listening to the TV commentators, you always have the mute button.

 

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  1. […] Your Jacksonville Jaguars – Ten Burning Questions…and Ten Perfect Answers […]

  2. […] being given, I’ve taken the responsibility of providing both.  So after dazzling you with an incredible Jags Q&A, and following it up with I would believe to be a Pulitzer Prize winning Gator snapshot, […]

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