So after my last controversial post, in which I called out a surprising list of players as cancers and lame-wads, I would like to clarify things in the name of holiday cheer and illuminate the silver linings which are managing to show through this cloudy season.
Firstly, hats off to the Jaguars for the Indy game. David Garrard and MJD are world-class players. Their skills and talent exploded mightily the night of that “slow death” loss; yet in doing so, a glimpse of possibility was displayed. So let’s begin and God bless to all:
The Rays of Hope:
1. David Garrard: I was chatting with a rather snooty Redskin fan of mine about the Jags’ hard luck and he said to me, “You know who you’re best player is, right?” I immediately thought and responded, “Maurice Jones-Drew.” “Nope,” he says. “David Garrard. He is awesome.” I was amazed. My hardcore, asshole Redskin-fan friend actually said that, and you know what, he’s right. David has a great arm, he makes great throws, and he is strongly mobile. You’ve seen him perform in the middle of turmoil, and he does it all with a winner’s attitude. Trust my friend here. He’s a jerk, but in this case, he’s right. David, is as Vic Ketchman says, “The Man”.
2. Maurice Jones-Drew: Duh. If this wasn’t obvious, then you must play tennis, everyday. We’ve got Brian Westbrook-reborn right here on the First Coast, and that’s great news. Cause picking up after Freddie-T won’t be easy. Luckily Pocket Hercules is up to the challenge. At 5’7” he gets leverage like a crowbar and pops both linebackers and safeties off their feet like a burglar does to door locks on a Lincoln TownCar. And, is he our best receiver?
3. Jack Del Rio: Don’t laugh. This guy has put up with shootings, coke snorting and contract disputes, but he still has class and holds steady with a firm chin. Plus, you know you love those
4th down attempts. Admit it. Jack is a tough bitch, and he’s proven it. Look around the league. Is there anyone else you’d want on the Jaguar throne? If Wayne Weaver is grandpa, Jack’s our dad and he’s a damn good one.
And well, that’s it. Not many rays. Nothing from the defense was available here. Possibly an honorable mention goes to Clint Ingram, as he’s really shown himself to be an impact player as of late. But I don’t want to hear anything about Daryl Smith, Justin Durant or any goofball from our defensive line. Our defense simply fails on 3rd down time and time again, and it just cost our offensive darlings a game.
I’d also like to finish with a special note. And that is this: the following names will be of two players who are absolutely terrible and if they never wore a Jaguar uniform again I would not cry, even over onions: Khalif Barnes and Reggie Nelson. Penalties on offense are drive killers Khalif, especially when they’re not necessary (although he did get hosed on a call against Indy, oh yeah Mercedes Benz’ belong on the road, not in trees), and constantly getting to the ball “just a bit late” doesn’t cut it (neither do half-ass tackles, Reggie). Sorry Gator fans, Reggie has cost this team games. That’s games, not a game, but multiple games. I simply don’t think he has the intelligence to survey an NFL field. Quarterbacks can out fox this dude with a flick here, a look there, a head nod this way, a pump fake that way. The only thing he’s “erased” are a couple W’s from the Jaguars win column.
Alas, this is about the Rays of Hope. It's about Santa, about elves, reindeer and the offseason. Before this all goes up in smoke and out your holiday chimney, remember this: the Jaguars are not going away. They are not far from the North Star, they will not go quietly into that good night. The problems will be fixed, our rays will shine through the clouds, and 2009 will be a day of reckoning for the rest of the AFC South. Even if Jack himself has to put the pads back on. God bless.