The sky is falling; the sky is falling. The Jag Nation is entering the panic week 2. After an elating win over the Broncos the bottom has fallen out. Mike Vick, while a bit erratic, put up big numbers and the offense entered week 2 of their meltdown. What’s to be done now?
The most prevalent answers are to fire the coaching staff, bench Garrard for a quarterback yet to be on the roster (I’ve read Trent Edwards frequently), etc… I hate to be a downer, but to repeat our friend Vic “help is not on the way”.
The coaching staff is bearing the brunt of the Jag Nation anger. On just about every fansite I’ve visited this morning I’ve seen the “Fire Del Rio” movement growing in strength and volume.
Cold Truth 1: Firing Del Rio won’t help the Jags woes.
Love him, hate him, or a general “meh” feeling, Jack Del Rio is the coach of the 2010 Jacksonville Jaguars. Firing him will not bring a sense of order the Jags organization. Instead, the grease fire would turn into the Great Chicago Fire. Firing coaches midseason does not jump start teams. Think the Jags looked inept the past 2 weeks. Try taking Del Rio out of the picture, inserting an interim head coach, and watch the chaos grow.
Assuming Wayne Weaver axes Del Rio, who would step up to take the head coaching spot? Dirk Koetter or Mel Tucker would really be the only real answer. The Jags can’t raid another NFL teams coaching staff midseason. They could try to raid a college coach, but imagine the media backlash and potential lawsuits. Not only that, but imagine when Gene Smith tried calling colleges for information on a player. Can anyone say “cold shoulder/misinformation”?
Cold Truth 2: We underestimated the lack of talent in the secondary
I was one of those that ignored ProFootballFocus’ score of Derek Cox (just about dead last). “He’s a rookie with no safety help and no pass rush.” Perhaps we fans placed him on a pedestal he just wasn’t ready to climb. He was the most targeted cornerback last year, and this year he has lost his “swagger”. Will he recover? I hope so. But I don’t know if he’ll be the pro-bowl caliber guy many of us were expecting him to turn into. I think he may become a solid corner, but I think he’ll always need safety help throughout his career.
Safety has turned into…I don’t know the words to describe the safety position. It really surprised me that Gene Smith cut Gerald Alexander. I thought long term he would be a better answer than Sean Considine at Free Safety. Even if Alexander turned into an above average safety this defense would have huge problems on the back end. They struggle against big receivers, small quick receivers, tight ends… I read (perhaps here at BigCatCountry or from Vic) that the Jags only have 2 guys in the secondary they drafted (Cox and Mathis). The rest are cast offs from other teams.
Cold Truth 3: The “Box” Isn’t Fixed, Yet
Aaron Kampman is the Jags MVP of 2010 hands down so far. Terrance Knighton and Tyson Alualu have looked good in spurts. What’s happened to Left Defensive End? I have yet to hear a peep out of Derrick Harvey. He’s been credited, per NFL.com, with 3 tackles and 1 Pass Defensed.
Darryl Smith is a truly great linebacker. But Kirk Morrison has been average (5 tackles/game), and Justin Durant isn’t breaking out as anticipated. There is little depth besides Russell Allen. The Linebacker position isn’t as threadbare as the secondary, but if neglected a couple more years it will be.
Cold Truth 4: David Garrard or ????
This has been my argument for a while now. David Garrard has been average. He’ll give you some good games and some bad games. The past 2 weeks have been almost impossible to watch without the lights on. I cringe every time he drops back. But here’s the million dollar question I have yet to have anyone answer me. If not Garrard then who should the Jags roll with as the starter? Any quarterback not on the roster yet will take several weeks to learn the playbook. Todd Bouman? Do we think he’d be any better? Brett Ratliff? He hasn’t made it off the practice squad, yet. He has yet to appear in an NFL game after 2 seasons PLUS he’s still learning the playbook.
Perhaps it’s appropriate Jack’s fate be tied to David’s. I think both will be gone after this season. It makes me a bit sad as I really like David’s skill set (ok arm strength, decent accuracy, strong runner). Not only that David seems to be a good guy.
Cold Truth 5: The Jaguars next win will be…
I knew week 1 would be a must win. I thought the Jags would go 1-3 start the year. The next “winnable” game is at Buffalo. However, don’t sleep on the Bills. They’ve given the Jags trouble before, and perhaps they’re not as inept roster-wise as I thought.
Games most likely to win
At Kansas City
Assuming the Jags win those games we’re looking at least at 6-10. However, I really wonder how they’ll match up. I hate to be Suzie Kick-in-the-Nuts, but victory in those games if anything but assured. How will the manic Jag Nation respond if this team slips to 5-11 or worse?
Cold Truth 6: The Jag Nations best chance at peace with itself is…
Patience. This is hard for a lot of us these days. I have high speed internet, but I find it’s not fast enough these days. I can order pizza online without having to pick up a phone, but why the hell does it take 30 minutes to get to my house? I really don’t want to save up $60 for a PS3 game, so I think I’ll put it on my credit card.
We are a nation of impatience. We want results instantly. If something doesn’t work let’s fire the person in charge and get someone else in there. If player A isn’t getting the job done let’s trade for player B.
Sorry, Jags’ Nation. There is not going to be a quick fix for the 2010 season. It may be rough to watch. However, this is the chance to prove to the nation that the Jags are going to stay in Jacksonville. The Jaguars future is at the breaking point. If the Jags avoid blackouts this year, with inconsistent play, the future gets much brighter. Do not let yourself get caught up in mob mentality. Stop, take a deep breath, and think of the future. “If you take care of the future it will take care of you.”