FanPost

This is why it's so hard

When it comes to the idea of building through the draft, everyone's on the same page in May and June. When things go wrong in September, though, half of those people jump ship. Two games into the season and suddenly it's HONEYMOON IS OVER time. If you're one of those people, you are part of the problem. This is why it's so hard to build a winner in the NFL. Everyone knows what to do, but few are willing to do it. They pay lip service to the idea of building through the draft, but they don't actually believe it. I don't think they even understand what it means.

Building through the draft means no quick fixes. It doesn't matter if there are free agents that the team could have signed that are better than the players we have now. What matters is whether or not they are the long-term solution at their positions. Why get into a bidding war over a guy that's just going to get you from 2-14 to 5-11 and be gone in a few years anyway? Why waste cap space to go from bad to slightly less bad? You sign free agents as the last pieces of the puzzle to put the team over the top after using the draft to raise the baseline talent level of your team. You can't build any other way.

Everything that this ownership and management group has done has been with the long-term viability of the franchise in mind. Stadium renovations, fan engagement... Even the London series. Playing in London is just a way to build a fan following beyond the confines of a small media market. It seems like a contradiction, but these games are a demonstration of how committed the leadership of this franchise is to making it work in Jacksonville. The same goes for the way Dave Caldwell is building the team. Propping up mediocrity in perpetuity is how you wear down fans and create apathy. We all know the team stinks, but it is better to take our lumps in the short-term if it builds a winner in the long term.

I've only lived here for 10 years or so, and I'll probably be wearing a Chargers jersey when they come to town next month. I'm not #DTID. I am, however, raising my daughters to be, which is a big reason why I finally bought season tickets this year. Jacksonville is their home, and there are people dedicated to harnessing its potential. Building a winning NFL franchise is a big part of that, and we should respect the vision of those working to make it happen. So forget about the team's record for now. Give it time. Meanwhile, just go to games because they're fun. Go to games to celebrate the city. Go to games because you don't take being an NFL city for granted. And go because when the team finally does become a winner, it'll mean so much more to you than it ever could to some bandwagon jumper.

Go Jacksonville. Go Jags.

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

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