I really don't think Jack Del Rio threw David under the bus for play calling. I think he said we are going to help him more. If anything, he admitted the coaching mistake. I know it is fashionable to "Fire Del Rio" right now, but this is not the reason.
I still like the progress of Derrick Harvey. I think he is becoming a better and smarter player. Remember, he didn't play football until his junior year in high school and then only three years in college. All of this is still new to him. My fear is that he will learn the game very well in his fourth year and then be a valuable free agent. I just think Jack should have called him out with John Henderson. Derrick cost this team a lot and I am convinced the Mike Peterson and Fred Taylor decisions were financial decisions required to pay for Harvey. Expect him to play well, demand he play well, and I think he will respond. I just don't like the thought of lowering expectations. Derrick is better than that comment implies.
I still say David is taking too much punishment and will not last at this rate. David doesn't do everything right, but when he is on, he is very good. Look at it this way; he is not a third string quarterback like the guy he replaced. I just cringe at the physical toll he is taking this year.
May I return to Jack Del Rio for a moment if you don't mind? My biggest complaint against him is his talent evaluation. He had a seat at the table of every draft. He had a hand in most of the personnel decisions. He let good coaches go over his time. Last year, when Jack had the "juice", we suffered the biggest most devastating blunders in personnel ever. That is my complaint. We would be a better team if we had a better GM and he didn't listen to Jack. Jack may be a better coach than talent evaluator but he might not get the chance to prove that.
Jacksonville's attendance problems are not unique to this city. The NFL is in trouble on a lot of fronts and we just happen to be obvious. I feel bad for Wayne Weaver; I just think a lot of people have let him down over the years. I don't think there is a better intended or nicer man in the NFL than he is. I do, however, think there are better football owners. So the question is, do I want an SOB owner who wins or Wayne Weaver and a mediocre team? I want Wayne Weaver and a winner, I want it all.
Bad as this may sound; I am actually ok with the progress of the Jaguars this year. We are perilously close to disaster and only have a few good players, but who we have are really good. If Jack delivers 7 wins this year as a bottom feeder team and Gene gets another year to work personnel then we are moving. This is the climb from the bottom. It will take some time to accomplish. Fix the offensive line and the offense will look great. Fix the defensive line and the defense will look great.
I hope we get off this "In Gene We Trust" kick soon. Gene is doing a nice job but he will make mistakes. We need to let him off the pedestal now rather than push him off and stomp him later. He is good at his job, but not infallible. Give the guy room to be human.
Does anyone other than me think Vic Ketchman has lost something this year? I have been very disappointed in his responses to readers and choice of questions. I just sense a real disenchantment with this city and the people. I really find including the Gators in his power poll insulting. Florida is enjoying unprecedented success as a school with a real student athlete leader to look up to. Why is that so hard to recognize and celebrate?
While I am on this note, does anyone other than me miss Chris Harris writing for the site? His wit and insight was the attraction of BCC and I miss hearing from him.
In closing, I think the NFL in general has fallen far from its roots and has not put a good product on the field in a number of places. The Jaguars are not great, but they aren't Tampa Bay or Oakland either. I don't know what the NFL has done to itself, but this current crop of owners better get their act together. Baseball is beginning to outdraw football on television and that is a big red flag. Meanwhile, I will see you at the game!
- Terry O'Brien