The Jaguars might lose every game this season, yes, tie the '08 lions record of 0 - 16. We might not even come close to winning a game, yet, I am more optimistic than ever about the direction of this team. Why? Shad Khan, Mark Lamping, Gus Bradley, Dave Caldwell, and Teddy Bridgewater.
Shad Khan is not only a person that has put money into the team and the city but he also has created a new level of excitement for this team. He has shown signs of being a good NFL owner, only time will tell if he really is, but he admitted to the mistake of Gene Smith and Mike Mularkey, invested first into his players by upgrading the locker rooms, weight room, and meeting rooms. He has put money creating a team president Mark Lamping, who has done a great job with marketing, getting a kick ass scoreboard and pool into our stadium next year. Making us more financially viable for years to come with the revenue from the game to London. You don't see the "Save the Whale" BS that Vic used to write. The Jaguars haven't been close to a blackout even after a 2 -14 season and a season that might be even worse! The Jaguars are more visible around all of NE Florida and have a strong foothold in our community. I don't think this team is moving anytime soon and that is a good thing.
Gus Bradley just makes you excited about football doesn't he? Remember he is a "rookie" head coach and he still has room to grow, but I think he is a guy I would want to play for, and I am the target demographic of the football team. (I am 23 around the age of most of the guys we should be bringing in). He has shown in Seattle that his approach works, and I trust that he will be a good Head Coach for the Jaguars for years to come, I might be wrong but I am excited about him! The defense is showing signs of life, and this team seems to rally around him.
Jaguar fans have been burned by GM's before, so Dave Caldwell is tough to judge. I will admit after Gene Smiths 2009 draft class I was in the "In Gene we Trust" crowd. I thought he had a good draft and was amounting to something. Obviously I was wrong. Caldwell's sample size is small and in his first year but I like the direction he is going in. I know we are 0 - 6 having lost each game by 10 or more points, but the talent on the roster when he took over was completely depleted and is winning this year going to do anything for us? I understand this is tough for people to understand but losing games now might be the best things for us to win games in the future. We are playing 7 new starters on defense and two rookies at safety and kept Peyton Manning under 300 yards. Our defense is not great this year, but it is young and we can predict that with good coaching (Gus Bradley and staff) it will get better. I think next year we can see a similar pattern of a bunch of new starters on offense that will be young and get better together.
The leader of that new offense will hopefully be Teddy Bridgewater, I have fallen straight into his bandwagon. I keep watching his highlights on youtube like it is my job. I think he is the real deal guys, and I think he can help turn this ship around. I can see why you pass on the 2013 crop of QB's when you can get a QB that grades out similarly to Andrew Luck out of school. Yes, I know we might not get the #1 overall pick and the draft is far away and it is a long season, but I can dream and hope Teddy is on the Jags. I can just see him passing to Blackmon and Shorts. Having Luke block his blindside and leading this team to the playoffs like Mark Brunell did in the 90's. I just can't hold back my excitement because of what I have seen from Teddy Bridgewater's tape. I don't see why people are down on him unless they haven't watched the guy. What some people are saying is he doesn't play any good competition. Watch him crush Florida in the Sugar Bowl
, yes a BSC bowl, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9GcKd1CkuA
Some say he isn't tough, watch him play Rutgers in 2012, .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2V0qU_vjkM with a broken wrist and a hurt ankle. By the way, Rutgers had 5 people from that defense drafted in the NFL. Teddy is a person to go 0 - 16 because what is the point of winning meaningless games in 2013? I obviously want the Jaguars to play competitively and our young players to develop.
I am just excited and optimistic as a Jaguar fan. This team might not be competitive until 2015 but it sure is going to be fun to watch the Jaguars grow. I am excited to watch the Jaguars play next week and see if Justin Blackmon can keep this pace up, if Evans and Cyprien can get their hands on the ball and catch one, and just if we can keep up some better play. Is OK for me to be this excited for our future?