Jags - you're making my patience speeches pretty hard these days.
"You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas." Shirley Chisholm
What to say about the Chiefs debacle? Embarrassing? Infuriating? I’ll go with disappointing (I left Thomas Jones on the bench for my ‘Vick’s Garrard Dogs’ PPR Fantasy Team, and will probably fall to 3-4 like the Jags).
We’ll hear plenty of "Fire Del Rio", "Get rid of Garrard" (I know he didn’t play, but Jacksonville.com’s users have serious beef with that guy)…I even heard some "Fire Gene Smith". What should we, as fans, be doing? It’s infuriating to watch the team you love embarrassed. Jack Del Rio, I believe, is getting political. I believe he’s about to put that Political Science degree to good use. All good politician’s know how to use the art of "double speak", and Del Rio’s double speak was in full force in the post game interview. Below are a few quotes from that performance.
"I’m heavily invested with the defense, and our defensive performance was embarrassing.
It’s unacceptable; it’s not been near good enough. Basic football plays not getting made. I take full responsibility for it. I’m too heavily invested defensively. I know what it should look like. We are coaching and teaching, but we are not touching these young men to have performances look like they look.
We talk about showing up today…Montell Owens spoke to our team yesterday about heart, and minds, and (football) being a game of will. We came here with that mindset; approached the game with that mindset. Played the first half, I thought, along those lines. It was 21-20 with the opportunity to make this a great game for ourselves. And we let it get away. I feel the places we’re letting things get away are mainly with our defense.
It’s not a matter of population; it’s a matter of shedding blocks and tackling. Basic fundamental football. If your defensive end is supposed to cheek a slice block you cheek it and spit it out to the corner and the ‘backer, and it becomes a 2 yard gain. You don’t it goes for 7. We’ve just made the routine plays that should be 2 or 3 yard gains…we’ve been hurt by them. It’s just ridiculous to sit here in week 7 and be talking about those types of things."
Del Rio begins by "accepting responsibility" then proceeds to rip the defense a new one. My favorite was "We are coaching and teaching, but we are not touching these young men to have performances look like they did." Is Del Rio setting up for a "lack of talent" argument to Wayne Weaver?
In the past, after major breakdowns, Del Rio says he takes full responsibility, and that he’ll fix the problem. Sunday I didn't hear it. Perhaps he’s trying to motivate the team by calling the defense out. Perhaps at 2:30 AM I’m being cynical.
I believe Jack is as good as gone when the season ends (if not before – though personally I hope that’s not the case). I think Jack is about to begin auditioning for another job. By inferring the players are not doing their jobs, though being "taught" and "coached" to play with good technique, he looks better interviewing for the next job.
Would Del Rio have a point? I think given the past 3 years' rosters he would. But taking into account this is his 8th season, and he's apparently not reaching the young players, perhaps a split might be best for him and the Jaguars.
Let’s be honest for a moment; the Jags’ starters, compared to the rest of the AFC South, are average. The depth is laughable at this point.
The Jags’ are a severely limited team. There are very few "core" guys in my opinion (long term building blocks with the potential to be blue or red chips in the NFL (top 10 or 15 at their position)).
RB: Good, solid depth and a star runningback (please don’t run him into the ground)
WR: Mike Thomas is solid, but can’t carry a team. MSW? He’ll want big money, but would the Jags’ be justified giving him a big payday?
TE: Yeah, Marcedes Lewis is, in my opinion, a blue chip guy. However, he's starting to get a little sloppy with the ball; you know the simple things like holding onto it.
LT: Eugene Monroe has his good days and his bad, but I believe he’ll be a long term fixture
RG: I guess Uche part of Gene’s long term vision
RT: Eben, though beaten like a drum at times, will be long term I think.
DE: Aaron Kampman, but how long will he hold up playing almost every snap so far coming off his ACL surgery?
DT: Set. Pot Roast (when his weight is under control) and Tyson should grow into a solid tandem.
LB: Daryl Smith, and...?
DB: In the past I would have said Rashean, but now? Derek?
Terrance Knighton, after the game, talked about guys on the defense trying to do too much. If guys can’t make routine plays, and other players try to do too much, it can leave gaping holes in the defense. Not only is a safety out of position, but the cornerback trying to make the play (while not playing in the system) makes things even worse in the long run.
Implementing ideas…That is what Wayne Weaver, Gene Smith, and Jack Del Rio will have to do the next 2 weeks.
"All human wisdom is summed up in two words – wait and hope." Alexandre Dumas Pere