As I sit here in my hotel room in Nashville, there's only one word that comes to mind at this point: drained. This season of few highs and many lows on the field has me drained. Sorry for being gone the last few weeks-the laptop exploded after an overload of jaguars losses. At this point, there's a lot of buzz concerning the change in ownership, the hiring of a new coach in the near future, etc. I think everyone's excited for this offseason, there's no question about that. So here's my thoughts at this point on what has been a long season:
- This defense will be good again next year-injuries decimated them but even the backups have made some plays. It seems that they give up these touchdown drives to start the game and maybe another, but overall they play pretty stout. Just remember at this point, they are without their starting: DE, OLB, 3 CBs, FS. Off the top of my head they've lost Roth, Kampman (he should be released after the season I hope), Session, Mathis, Cox, Middleton, Lowery, amongst many others that have left them signing guys like David Jones and Morgan Trent off the street.
- Gabbert had a good game today. If you think otherwise you are mistaken. Other than a couple errant throws, overall I saw a lot of crisp passes on the money, not including the dropped passes by receivers that most often were great throws. There's no question he's progressed in some ways already from his early games and an offseason will help him a lot. On the 80 yard touchdown drive, every pass was great and that drive was one of the best of the season.
- Maurice Jones-Drew is still a stud. This guy still racks up the yards despite everyone predicting his runs and no one fearing the Jaguars' anemic passing game. I feel so bad for a guy that carries the team on his back and works hard, probably will be the NFL's rushing leader this year, and not come close to the playoffs. That's a shame.
What I think the Jaguars need to focus on in the draft: WR (like 3 or 4), C/G/T (need some young guys to help with an aging Meester and an inept Whimper), DE (pass rusher), and a return specialist.
Obviously the receivers are just awful. They should all be cut honestly. Not one guy can catch a ball consistently, run routes well, or get separation on defenders. You can't pass the ball without receivers. Gabbert can't grow too much without receivers. End of story. All in all, I'm pretty drained from this season but my hopes are still high after seeing some positives every week. A lot will depend on Khan's philosophy and the coach he hires, but I have high hopes as this season is winding down.