FanPost

My take on the gutting and rebuilding of this team



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**I wrote this post prior to the 41-3 loss to Chicago.Having just watched a DVR of the Jags-Bears game, I was ready at the half to scrap this post, but in the end, this post is still pretty much my take on the team**

No need to sugarcoat the obvious, so here it is: the Jaguars are a bad team that really does not deserve a whole lot of national respect given the mediocrity (which is a generous term) that the franchise has so wonderfully epitomized over the past decade. A new owner and coach came in this past year, and we all got excited, but the truth of the matter is that they could only do so much with a roster that is just not loaded with a whole lot of talent. Despite me knowing that Shad very well could choose to hold out until the 3 years are up, the more I look at this team, the more I am convinced that the best thing for the future of this franchise is to as quickly as possible cut their losses and begin a total rebuild; by that I mean out with all football related personnel and begin fresh. This means new GM, coaches, scouts, players, training staff, etc.

It is still a bit early in my mind to delve into the specifics of the rebuild I envision. What I do think is in order is a quick overview of the areas of this team likely to experience major change follows below.

GENERAL MANAGER:

Gene Smith’s tenure as GM can for the most part be categorized as ‘safe,’ particularly in the draft where he seemingly looked to get "base hits". In principle, this does not seem like a terrible thing, but to continue the baseball analogy for a second, when you manage to strike out a whole lot despite your conservative approach, you quickly find yourself headed back to the minors. Back to football, Gene has got to go, and a new person needs to take the reins as Jaguars General Manager.

Along with bringing in a new GM, this team should expect a potential change in draft philosophy and player evaluations. For instance, maybe under the new GM, we would not be so quick to rule out a player like the super talented Janoris Jenkins just because of some past issues. Personally, I would definitely welcome a new philosophy and approach to building this team.

As for who could actually be the replacement for Gene Smith, I have done a little bit of research, and have come to be intrigued by a couple of guys. In no particular order of whom I like most, first on my list is Pat Moriarty, Ravens VP of football administration. From what I have gathered, he is more of the "cap guy" GM which is something that I sense Shahid Khan would like about him. It would seem on the surface that he might be lacking in the football/scouting department, but he has worked alongside Ozzie Newsome, who in my opinion is one of the best GMs in the league. Another guy who seems to be an interesting candidate is NYG Director of College Scouting, Marc Ross. He is young, has worked for an organization that he put together outstanding drafts (which in large part is likely due to his work), and is quite smart (degree from Princeton). The final name that really stuck out to me is Nick Caserio, Patriots director of player personnel. The guy seems to be incredibly well respected and he has worked closely with Bellichick through the years, which is not such a bad thing.

COACHES:

Mike Mularkey is only 4 games into his career and frankly I am not convinced that he is actually much of a problem. As of right now, the only real issue I have with him is how he seems to like to shove the play-calling sheet down the front of his pants. Unfortunately, a new GM very well could choose to kick him out and bring in a new guy to lead this team as head coach.

As for the other coaches, the same applies. As much as we may like some and dislike other guys on the coaching staff, reality is that each and every one of them could be gone after just one season.

Having only one year ago dissected the potential head coaches available, I am not going to do that again. However, I think this is a good post for me to throw out there that having watched ESPNU’s "Croom," I think Sylvester Croom definitely deserves a shot at a Head Coaching gig in the NFL. He does not seem to me to be a very flashy candidate with insane credentials, but from what I gathered while watching the show, he might be a good NFL head coach.

PLAYERS:

As I pointed out earlier, this roster lacks talent, and is in need of a major overhaul. I want to say that major overhaul does not actually necessarily mean 90+% of this roster is gone. What is does mean though is that EVERY SINGLE player on the team is subject to a serious evaluation and can be cut regardless of how young he is and/or how high he was drafted. This will actually entail getting rid of some good players if they are not so young and likely would not be major contributors in a few years when this hopefully new and improved roster would be ready to be serious competitors in the NFL. I am not going to delve into specifics right now as to who I think needs to be gotten rid of, but one name I will put out there that I think almost definitely goes is Maurice Jones Drew. The fact of the matter is that he still has value, especially for a team that is ready to compete now and is looking to really solidify their running game. To the Jaguars, all he really would be is a very good RB on a team that is rebuilding and under a new coach, potentially looking to move away from being so heavily reliant upon the running game.

Another point to consider is a brand new coaching staff and a totally fresh start also could mean that this team shifts to a 3-4 on defense. That could drastically impact the front 7 and who would be retained among the younger guys on this team.


Below is part of one manifestation of a potential rebuild. Seeing as the entire rebuild can change solely based upon who is selected as GM, I will skip over GM selection as detail the rest as if I were GM.

(A) Coaching Staff

a. Head Coach: I like Mularkey, and would not entirely opposed to keep him on as Head Coach, but unfortunately, I think that for a total gutting and rebuilding, the team will be better off if the entire coaching staff is replaced. As I think through potential candidates, I can’t say I am looking for a specific area of expertise in the coach, kind of like offense with Mularkey. I just want a guy who is hungry to make a name for himself as a head coach in the NFL, and has a good overall knowledge of the game of football. While he is probably not the flashiest names for a job as head coach, I think that former Jags’ ST coach Joe DeCamillis is a very interesting option to be a head coach. He has worked close to 25 years as a ST coach in the NFL, and deserves a shot as a HC in the NFL. Working ST gets you involved with just about the entire roster, which I think makes ST coaches a little better suited than OC or DC to make the jump to HC where you deal with the entire team.

b. Offensive Coordinator: How I would love to just give Mularkey the job as offensive coordinator. Unfortunately, I am choosing to stick to the "no coaches return under this rebuild" thing, so I have to find someone from outside the organization to take over the reigns as offensive coordinator. When I consider the candidates, I obviously also want to consider what kind of offense I want this team to have and whether a given candidate can successfully implement a scheme to achieve the desired result. While I know next to nothing about him, current Chargers QB Coach John Ramsdell seems to be a VERY interesting person. From what I have gathered, he has been quite instrumental in making Phillip Rivers the NFL QB that he is today. He has also worked with Kurt Warner in St. Louis. Everything considered, after 17 years as an assistant of position coach, I think this guy might be a young offensive mind ready to take the next step in his NFL coaching career.

c. Defensive Coordinator: Once again, I need to consider scheme when looking at candidates to take over the defense. Is it really important to stay a 4-3 team, or am I ready to make a shift to the 3-4? I m not going to ramble on this one; I like the prospect of Patriots LB coach Thomas ‘Pepper’ Johnson as a defensive coordinator.

d. Special Teams Coordinator/Position Coaches: At this point, I am going to stop and suggest that the guys listed above could make good choices to fill these spots.

(B) Current Roster Management

PLAYER KEEP DUMP COMMENT
Russell Allen X
Tyson Alualu X
Bryan Anger X
Justin Blackmon X
Antwon Blake X
Kyle Bosworth X
Brett Brackett X
Cameron Bradfield X
Andre Branch X
Mike Brewster X
Eben Britton X
Mike Brown X
Jeremy Cain X
John Chick X
Reggie Corner X
Derek Cox X
Ryan Davis X
Antonio Dennard X
Kevin Elliott X
John Estes X
Blaine Gabbert X I do not see Gabbert as the QB long term, but I see value in keeping him over to either hold the job if a young guy brought in is not ready
DJ Hall X
Jerrell Harris X
Mike Harris X
Chad Henne X
Rashad Jennings X
Greg Jones X
Maurice Jones-Drew X I said it already, but he is going to be more vluable to another team, and so it is worth getting as much as possible for him in a trade
Terrance Knighton X
Dawan Landry X
Austen Lane X
Marcedes Lewis X
Dwight Lowery X
Brandon Marshall X
Rashean Mathis X If he wants to come back, it can be done, but he is old and I am not sure if he is best off returning
Brad Meester X If he wants to come back, it can be done, but he is old and I am not sure if he is best off returning
William Middleton X
Zach Miller X
Jeremy Mincey X Mincey is overrated, plain and simple. Jags were desperate and so they overpiad for him. The team is better off finind a suitor for his services and see what they can get for him
Eugene Monroe X
C.J. Mosley X
Drew Nowak X
Uche Nwaneri X
Montell Owens X
John Parker Wilson X
Jalen Parmele X
Austin Pasztor X
Jeris Pendleton X
Paul Posluszny X As much as I love Poz, I think that if this team moves to a 3-4, they have to move him. At this point I do not envision that happening so I have him being retained
Zach Potter X
Taylor Price X
Chris Prosinski X
Will Rackley X
Laurent Robinson X I always had that gut feeling Robinson would not pan out for whatever reason. With the concussion and subpa play so far, I just don't want him back on the team
Aaron Ross X
Kevin Rutland X
Josh Scobee X
George Selvie X
Clint Session X
Cecil Shorts X
D'Anthony Smith X
Daryl Smith X
Micheal Spurlock X
Julian Stanford X
Maurice Stovall X
Will Ta'ufo'ou X
Herb Taylor X
Mike Thomas X
Matt Veldman X
Guy Whimper X

(C) Roster Improvement

a. What major things need to be done?(just putting it out there that projected draft placement is based upon cbssports.com- I have not studied the prospects SO much yet as to have strong opinions about draft position)

i. A new DE: Getting rid of Mincey opens up a hole on the defensive line. In the free agent market, it would seem Avril and Barwin are the two most viable DE options that should be able to provide a consistent pass rush. Barwin is slightly more of a question mark since he has played in the 3-4 in Houston. As for the draft, there are some interesting first round players such as LSU’s Mingo and Montgomery and FSU’s Werner.

ii. A new starting caliber CB: I do not envision Mathis returning, and with Ross being cut, all there really is to rely on is Derek Cox, and given his injuries, that is really not so good. There also is a guy like Mike Harris who I like enough to have retained. As I look through the guys slated to be FAs, one name stands out as a real option for the team, specifically Sean Smith. Smith is young enough that he could have a long future with the team, and these he can come in and start opposite Cox; should Mathis choose to return, he could probably move in and play the slot. There are also some really special CB prospects that I would also strongly consider trying to acquire. In the early rounds, guys like Miliner, Byndom, and Amerson pique my interest. As we move to the later rounds (3 and on) Desmond Trufant and Logan Ryan are on my radar.

iii. A new starting OLB: Whether you believe this or not, Russell Allen is not a starting OLB in the NFL. I know next to nothing about the players set to be in the 2013 Draft, with the exception of Khaseem Greene, who I see listed as a 2-3 round prospect. As for the guys I see available in free agency, I am not too enthralled by any of them. As a whole, I am not sure this is a position that is best addressed this coming off season, although there some guys in the roster that are currently rookies who I think could develop into a solid option at OLB.

iv. A new QB: Obviously a bit early to really conclude Gabbert is not the answer, but at this stage, I am starting to sense that he is not the answer. It seems to me that he is going to amount to a Trent Edwards type player who is too safe and check-downs much too often. I like him to be a really good backup QB, but long-term I think that the team needs a better QB. As it happens, I believe that this year there are some really talented guys that could be had in the second or third round. In particular, I like guys such as Zac Dysert and Ryan Nassib.

v. Another good WR: Like it or not, but Blackmon is not AJ Green or even Hakeem Nicks. That is not necessarily a bad thing, although if we don’t want it to be such a bad thing, there has to be more talent at WR brought in. I am not sure if splurging in Free Agency for a Bowe or Wallace makes a ton of sense, so if more talent were to be brought in, the draft is the place to do it. To be honest, I am not sure the talent is there this year to make WR anything close to a priority to address.

vi. Something on the offensive line: Britton and Meester are gone, and Rackley hopefully is healthy and much improved from 2011. If all this holds true, the Jaguars need a new C (Brewster?) and RT (not sure if Bradfield is the RT of the future for this team). No one even worth noting in Free Agency, and in the draft two guys I like are Ricky Wagner and Alex Hurst.

b. What will I do? I hate to burst your bubble, but it is way too early to delve into specifics. We can get back to this later on when draft stocks can be better gauged and a more accurate free agent picture is known.

I will close by saying I envision this post being my last contribution to the site for a while. Between what I hope is a dismal rest of the season(since it speeds up the firing of Gene Smith) and the fact that I need to stop the addiction to the site as I prepare for my next actuarial exam which is a month away, I think it is time I take a total break from the site.

FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of the authors of Big Cat Country or SB Nation.

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