I am in a mood to say some controversial things. I hope I don't raise any fire storms, they are just things I feel and want to express.
Is Maurice Jones Drew eclipsing Fred Taylor as the greatest running back the Jaguars ever fielded?
This season, he is putting up numbers that are astounding. Fred Taylor put up 1,572 yards in 2003, Maurice is on track to break that record this year.Fred put up 14 touchdowns in his rookie season. Maurice will break that this year. To those of us attending the games, we are witnessing possibly the greatest running back season ever. If anyone deserves a standing ovation on Sunday, it is Maurice. Go Maurice! I do miss Fred, but MJD had eased that transition a lot. It is too early to call MJD better than Fred, but wow, what we are seeing this year is pro bowl caliber play. I can't believe I think this, but the decision to let Fred go looks like a good call.
I owe Jack Del Rio a big apology.
Jack, I am sorry I ever called for your dismissal. I like the new Jack a lot this season. He took the heat with grace and learned a lot last year. The decision by Wayne to keep him out of personnel decisions freed him up to coach and what a great job he is doing. Jack Del Rio is proving to me he is better than Jeff Fisher. The Jets game turned my head around. That was a beautiful game and I believe will be the turning point of this franchise. I like how Jack has dropped the bravado and simply gives us the truth in his press conferences. I think the money he is being paid is warranted. One more time, Jack, you are my coach and I am behind you, win or lose. Good job, Jack!
During the dead period I predicted a great season by Quentin Groves.
I was wrong. I still like the guy, but he seems to be a head-case sometimes. His mind is not always in the game and defenses love to pick on him. One thing I don't fault him for was falling down on the interception. My heart went out to him. He made a great play and I was glad to see it and he does play great on special teams, but he is not a real force on defense. Come on, Quentin.
I really like Mel Tucker.
I pointed out the defense has been rounding into championship level form in the last few games, and said Derek Cox has come a long way. If there is a defensive player of the year, to me it is Rashean Mathis. He has been a shut down corner this last few games and his presence will be missed. I thought Jack had lost the ability to attract good coaches but I was wrong. Mel Tucker is a top NFL coach and I am glad to have him here.
Despite what Collin yelled during the Rams game, I think Dirk Koetter is a good offensive coordinator. He took the Jets top defense and riddled them. The Jets did play very well in the second half but the mortal blow had been struck. The Jaguars, if they ever played to their potential, would have killed them. There is a lot of strength on this team offensively and when they get it rolling, they are a problem for any team to handle. His play calling always stumbled at times during the game, but lately he has been very sharp. Just look at the numbers. Doesn't call enough running plays? MJD is killing the league. I think Collin hurt his feelings.
Why Jack was questioned about the knee is beyond me. It was smart. If anyone should be questioned it would be Rex Ryan. Why ask his defense to let us score? What happened to smack the hell out of people and force a fumble? Take the ball away, launch a massive strike against David, pull all stops out to stop us. That is football. Maurice and David have given the ball up at the goal line, why not play real football? Let them score was not good football. Jack out smarted Rex. I still question a call to let the other team score the go ahead touchdown. Whimpy call there Rex.
Hats off to Andy Heck for rounding the rookies out on the line. This line is beginning to shape up nicely. Eugene Monroe played beautifully last game and it is a sign of more to come.
I was sorry to see the posts about empty seats and the vitriol it unleashed by our readers about Jacksonville. I have never lived in a better city that this. I met my wife here and have a wonderful circle of friends. To paraphrase Garret Morris "Jacksonville been berry berry good to me". Can we please get off the the ticket sales issue on this site? It has been covered everywhere else and there is nothing more to say. Trashing this city because of ticket sales doesn't inspire or will change anything. Remember, Jacksonville was the 13th best attended football city and had the third best local television audience. Let this city catch its breath after a devastating economic blow. They love the Jaguars and will be back.
Has Marcedes Lewis lived up to expectations yet?
I think he has. His blocking is strong and those clutch catches brought me to my feet. I don't think of him as having hands of stone any longer and David has a lot of faith in him. I think he has emerged. Speaking of receivers, Mike Simms Walker is owed an apology by the guy who called him Mike "I need a" Walker. His presence in the offense is a real spark to everyone. I never believed he was that good and I owe an apology to Jonathan for speaking down to him in comments when he called him a first round draft draft potential if his health had stayed. He is that good.
Here is one thing I know no one will buy, Shack Harris didn't do that bad of a job while here.
His 2007 draft included Reggie Nelson, Justin Durant, Mike Simms Walker, Uche Nwanari and Derek Landi. His 2006 draft included Marcedes Lewis, Maurice Jones Drew, and Clint Ingram. He blew up on first round draft choice because he was position drafting. Can anyone name a receiver they would have picked when Matt Jones was selected? If ever there is an argument for BAP it is our first round draft choices. Position drafting doesn't work, the Steelers know that. Everything bad wasn't Shacks fault and everything good wasn't Gene's genius. Having said that, I am glad he is gone, Gene is in charge and Jack is a coach. We do have the best of all worlds now.
He doesn't get much credit but David Garrard is impressing me. He looks to be in his prime and I hope he lasts a few more seasons. He is the reason we are moving right now and is in control of our offense. He has bad games and when he does, we will lose. But when he is hot, like the Jets game, he is hard to stop.
Back to Maurice for a moment. Would you trade Maurice for Adrian Peterson?
You know, I think it is an even trade right now but I wouldn't do it. Has anyone seen Adrian sit Merryman on his backside? Maurice is a Jaguar and I expect him to introduce Fred into the Pride of the Jaguars some day and for Fred to return the favor. Some day I expect to see them both in the honor roll.
Where has my friend John been? I need to call him soon.
With everything happening, I won't give up my season tickets. I think the best is ahead of us. As for ticket sales, I am sorry for those not coming. This has turned into a very exciting season, beyond my expectations. I love this team and love this city. I wouldn't want to be any where else right now. I just want to see a Super Bowl ring for Maurice. In the mean time, I hope the Saints get it this year. They have it all going for them right now. After that, it is our turn. Oh no, I am a homer! You know what, I am glad to be one. Have fun Jags, I'll see you in the stadium.
- Terry O'Brien