Enough of the teasers, something has to give. After completely embarrassing the Tennessee Titans a week ago, the football world is now wondering, amidst smirks and grins, how the Jacksonville Jaguars managed to not only get completely shut out by the Seattle Seahawks, but to also yield 41 points by a quarterback with two broken ribs and little practice time.
While diving for the goal line late in the first half against the San Francisco 49ers in week two, Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was crushed by 49ers star linebacker Patrick Willis, which kept the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback out of action for nearly three weeks. Adamant about playing despite the recent injury, Hasselbeck made his first start in almost a month. Fortunately for Seahawk fans, it was a good day for nearly everyone at Qwest field.
Looking more like the 2005 version of himself, Hasselbeck put up season high numbers against the Jaguars on Sunday while on pain medication. Throwing for 241 yards and four touchdowns, Hasselbeck managed to help the Jaguars find one form of consistency in an otherwise consistently-inconsistent history of the franchise. The Jaguars defense was consistently atrocious on Sunday.
From the lack of pressure by monumental failures such as Derrick Harvey, though pressure on the quarterback has been nonexistent for the Jaguars all season anyway, to the fast-asleep secondary giving up huge plays and not wanting to tackle, the Jaguars defense simply did not perform well. In fact, expectations will no doubt be lowered by the fans in the following weeks, because there doesn’t seem to be much to hope for. Even Derek Cox, the darling, feel-good draft pick by Gene Smith, did not play up to standards, not even for a rookie.
Luckily for the defense, the offense was equally as horrible, successfully making it an embarrassing day to be a Jaguars fan.
The Jaguars have never been a team for the spotlight. They have found a niche in the NFL of going about their business in the shadows. Unfortunately, there is constant talk by the fans about the lack of respect the Jaguars receive by the national media. Constant belly-aching spews forth from the frustrated fan who doesn’t understand why ESPN covers the likes of Brett Favre and his retirement and subsequent return to the NFL when there are newsworthy and reportable events coming from the Jacksonville area. The answer, Jaguar fans, is that the Jaguars are doing nothing to warrant respect by the national media—especially when every home game is blacked out, the team is being rebuilt, and games are lost 41-0. In fact, the most serious fans donning Maurice Jones-Drew jerseys will turn their television off in disgust when they see quarterback David Garrard cough up the football and then watch as it’s returned 79 yards for a touchdown to put the team down 41-0 in the 4th quarter.
How does a defensive end, drafted for the purpose of sacking the quarterback, fail to find a way to do so when in an individual battle of wills against a Seahawk tackle activated from the practice squad? How does a team as a whole only produce one sack when the competition is playing without 3/5th’s of its starting offensive line? How does a quarterback who received the richest contract in franchise history complete only five of his first 15 pass attempts? How does a team known for its lethal running attack only produce 38 rushing yards?
The fans have been asked to remain patient. The fans have even reminded other fans of patience. This is a rebuilding year. The team has undergone drastic personnel changes in the roster and within the coaching staff. General Manager Gene Smith is in his first year of operation as the head guy. These are all solid arguments. However, I pose one counter-argument. Where is the consistency?
Every member of the Jaguars organization is paid to do their job. Day in and day out, it is what they receive millions of dollars to do. It is necessary in order to maintain job security. Therefore, when players such as wide-receiver Mike Sims-Walker break a team rule, it is also expected swift punishment will follow. I applaud that decision. However, it is also head coach Jack Del Rio’s job to not only enforce those team policies with the necessary reprimand but to also ensure that his team shows up to the field on Sundays ready to play with heart and dedication. If that were really happening, this Jaguars team would not be completely and ridiculously inconsistent. If that were happening, Seattle’s football players wouldn’t have uncontrollable grins on their faces during post-game interviews. If Del Rio was truly ensuring a specific level of commitment from his team, the defense would not be at the bottom of the NFL’s rankings, and the Jaguars would not have been crushed 41-0 by the now 2-3 Seahawks.
I would much rather see the Jaguars lose every game but be competitive while in a rebuilding season than I would to see them show up one week but not the next. The days of inconsistency have to end, and they have to end now. I do not know if there is a sole origin of these problems, but I know who is to be held responsible for these problems. Jack Del Rio needs to go.
I do not believe that a head coaching change should be made in the middle of a season, however, I do believe that owner Wayne Weaver agrees with me. I also believe that Mr. Weaver will ensure that, especially during a time when ticket sales are hard to come by, the needs of Jacksonville Jaguar fans are met after the 2009 season. No matter the outcome of 2009, Del Rio will most likely be job hunting in February, though I own no crystal ball.
This Jacksonville team needs help. The problems are within the coaching ranks. There is no question about this fact, and I am not resting until I see some changes. I am no longer flip-flopping on my opinion of Del Rio, and I am keeping a watchful eye on Garrard as well. There is no more patience in looking for consistency. It is a realistic expectation of the fans, and the fans will not rest until consistency is found. When that happens, the stadium seats will have butts in them, the media will show respect, and I won’t have to turn off my television during a 41-0 shutout.
Amidst rebuilding, should Jacksonville Jaguars fans be patient with the organization's coaching staff?
Yes (20 votes)
No (16 votes)
36 total votes