We all know the Jacksonville Jaguars have had somewhat of a knack for collapsing late in the season under head coach Jack Del Rio, so I won't get too much into the reasons why. However, Del Rio made a comment I found rather curious yesterday. "We probably got to where we were doing a little too much. I think we can help our guys that way." Del Rio told John Oehser of Jaguars.com. "We're going to do a much better job of creating more black and white and allowing our players to play faster," Del Rio said. "We're committed to that."
Head coach Jack Del Rio said that the younger players were pushed too hard, and faded downt he stretch. Del Rio pointed specifically to rookie defensive end Larry Hart as a guy who was tired and hit the rookie wall. "We actually put him down and made him inactive," Del Rio told Oehser. "He came back a couple of weeks later, and he looked like a different guy. He was like, ‘Coach, I can't believe how bad I needed that break.' "
So, in one session the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach used two excuses for the team's once again failures in the final quarter of the season. So how was it different that the previous years? Or the year before that, etc.? Was it rookies hitting the wall in 2009? There were only two rookies who started on the Jaguars defense during the 2010 season, first round pick Tyson Alualu and fifth round pick Austen Lane later in the season. The troubles on defense were because they were exhausted? I don't recall many rookies playing significant time on the offensive side of the ball, either. Doesn't every team deal with this issue?
Back to my initial "Wait, what?" comment, Jack Del Rio essentially stated that the Jaguars defense struggled as much as it did because it wasn't black and white enough.
It was too complicated.
I'm not sure how one should read that. Is Jack Del Rio saying his team wasn't adept enough to process the defensive scheme? Did they lack instincts on the field of play during the process? Or is Jack Del Rio saying that his defensive scheme was too convoluted and complicated? Remember, Jack Del Rio took over the play calling duties for the 2010 season.
"Assumptions are made about how much people are doing and how creative they are and how exotic they are. We probably don't have a reputation for doing a lot. We did too much, but it's really not about how much you do as much as how well you do it," Del Rio told Jaguars.com.
So, what were the Jaguars trying to do too much of on defense? Not rush the passer effectively? Not effectively stop the run? Not tackle properly or take correct angles?
I can't go too hard on Jack Del Rio, because as the head coach he's not going to say what the real problem is. The problem isn't how complicated or uncomplicated the defensive scheme is or player's responsibility. The problem is the talent on the football field.
The Jaguars simply lack the talent on the defensive side of the ball. So, maybe it is really that black and white.