Stop the Doom and Gloom, Jags Fans

Posted: September 2, 2011 in Jacksonville Jaguars
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Thank goodness we’re through with the preseason exhibitions. Soon we’ll be able to develop opinions about the Jaguars based on real, live action. Amazingly, Jaguar fans are ready to fire players and coaches based on practice. Think about it.

Yes, the Jaguars struggled during the preseason. Quarterback David Garrard did not PRACTICE well. We certainly didn’t see any wide receiver jump out of the pack. The pass rush looked a lot like the pass rush of the last two seasons, and that’s bad. Opposing receivers seemingly ran around wide open. That was the case against St. Louis in the Rams’ 24-17 victory.

But you don’t have to be a history buff to know how little the outcomes of preseason exhibitions mean. For the record, the Atlanta Falcons, thought to be a Super Bowl contender, went 0-4. The Rams, not a Super Bowl contender, went 4-0.

I tend to be a glass-half-full kind of guy, so I think more about the Jaguars who were 8-5 last December 18 rather than the team that collapsed after that or the team that looked less than stellar during the preseason. I’m giving Coach Jack Del Rio the benefit of the doubt. He has been extremely upbeat during the preseason, insisting the Jaguars will pressure quarterbacks when the real games begin.

I know what you’re thinking: Del Rio is hyping the team to help sell tickets. Yeah, there’s probably some of that, but Del Rio’s history is he hasn’t been hesitant to criticize his team. During this preseason he has continued to make it clear Garrard needs to improve his decision-making and accuracy. He has dropped the hammer on his offensive line and he has hammered his receivers for drops.

Based on what I’ve seen in real games, the Jaguars have coverage problems. The new linebackers don’t appear to be any better than the old ones. Safety continues to be a concern. An improved pass rush will help in those areas, but will it be enough?

Offensively, we know Garrard is limited and the wide receivers rank among the league’s worse. I do think the offensive line will be okay if Eben Britton’s injury problems disappear.

Most preseason projections have the Jaguars no better than third in the AFC South. Most “experts” have them finishing last. Few expect the team to have a winning record, most projections ranging between 5-11 and 7-9.

Call me a homer, but I think the Jaguars are better than the Titans, are as good as the Colts and equal with the Texans. I think the Jaguars will go 10-6 because Cecil Shorts will become a solid wide receiver, Garrard will be solid and the pass rush will be vastly improved.

Wishful thinking? Maybe, but isn’t that better than all of the preseason doom and gloom?


  1. The key to the Jaguars season is the Waiver Wire. One can hope and expect the Jaguars to put a creditble NFL starting line-up on the field to open the season. That done, the bench becomes the key to almost every team’s season. Guys need rest during the game. Do the replacements measure up close to the starters, more particularly, do they measure up to the players on the opposing team? The pre-season gave a strong indication the answer to the question is NO.

    Perhaps Rashean Mathis was playing “possum” in the pre-season as opposing players blew past him. If so, that’s good. If not, then Mathis will need to be moved to a new position of cut. Until he shows he is NOT a LIABILITY, one must assume he should be paid by the opposition, not the Jaguars, so poor has his play been. It would be a crying shame to dump a local player, so I am rooting for him to be a wily old “possum’ who will be stealing passes out of the air regularly, until the rest of the NFL catches on. If need be, I am prepared to see him cut from the team.

    Given the porous defense, the lack of protection for Garrard, and a receiving core that appears to have gone backwards from last season, the Jaguars should be heavily invested in seeing who is available on the Waver Wire. The bench is thoroughly lacking in quality depth. This team can not sustain injuries to starters and expect quality replacements to step in, unless they find them on the Waiver Wire. It’s a sad way to try to build depth on a team, but an absolute necessity for the Jaguars. Even if this team finishes 8-8, as I suspect this is the best the Jaguars should hope for, you want to finish as a strong 8-8 team, not the way it closed out the past two seasons.

    Doom and gloom? That sounds too positive an outcome for what I have witnessed in the pre-season. More like I am hoping this team can avoid total disaster. An injury to Garrard, Jones-Drew, or a few other key players on this Jaguar team could spell disaster. There’s no one you can feel confident about coming off the bench to replace these players, with little or no loss of quality.

    I give the Tennessee Titans the edge over the Jaguars, despite a new coach, quarterback, and being the visitor. They have felt at home here in the past; can’t imagine them not feeling at home again. The Waiver Wire may be the deciding factor to this game and the Jaguars future, this season. The Waiver Wire will decide the future of Jack Del Rio, Gene Smith, and this year’s Jacksonville Jaguars. Good luck! I’ll be rooting for you, Jaguars.


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