The stadium was empty. They said 46,000 people were there, but I swear there were more at the Washington preseason game. The thing that had to hurt Wayne Weaver was the almost completely empty club seats on the visitor side. If the Jaguars gain a significant amount of revenue from ticket sales, this team is headed for bankruptcy.
The problem is, the only winners of the game were the people who didn't come to see it. Loyalty aside, this was one of the worst home game experiences I have had in the four seasons I have been attending. To me and my friend who came with me, the game was over when they failed to score a touchdown to tie the game. We both ordered up another beer and said you can't trade touchdowns for field goals.There is a marked difference between Kurt Warner and David Garrard. Kurt Warner knew where the defense was soft on each play and took us apart. At one time he was 24 of 26 in pass completions and left early. Nothing spectacular, but a beautiful precision of reading coverage and knowing where to go. How much more could he have done if he played the entire game? Larry Fitzgerald was taken out of the game, but we might have been too consumed by him. It was too easy for Kurt. It isn't that he didn't have pressure, it was he read and executed so much faster than David did. You can't rush the guy because he doesn't have the ball very long. Someone said he could be 100 years old and still beat us. I think he could.
By comparison, David didn't look like he read the defense until the ball was snapped. It honestly looked like we had no game plan. Every play looked like sandlot football. Don't anyone say receivers weren't open. I watched Troy run curl routes all day and David never looked. I really wish they had put in Luke McCown just to see if it made a difference. The Cardinals did not play anything special against us on defense and I wonder what is wrong. Is it Dirk Koetter? Is it the line? Is it David? Some of it was the line, but a lot of it looked to be David. He runs around, but I don't think he sees the field and I don't think he picks up on reading defenses and knowing where to go. Kurt Warner playing for the Jaguars would have completed more passes. To be fair to David, Eugene missed people again and blitzing David is almost too easy. And more to Davids credit Marcedes dropped a beautiful ball in the opening drive and Nate Hughes had two touchdowns bounce off his chest and Torry Holt was hit right in the hands and dropped it. So David scrambled and hit people but it wasn't going to make a difference. Kurt Warner knew something David didn't, where to go with the ball.
I saw someone awarded the game ball to Mike Sims-Walker. Maybe by statistics you could but not by play when it really counted. I'd have to award a half of game ball to Torry Holt. He was making plays when there was still some semblance of a game, as in the first quarter and a half. I can't imagine how frustrated Torry must be having played with Kurt Warner. Let Torry call the plays was what I kept thinking, he knows what a good offense is. Actually, the guy that really deserved it was Justin Durant again. If I were another team and could steal players from other teams if I assumed their salary, I would steal Justin Durant and Scobbie from the Jaguars.
The people around me who have had tickets for 15 years agreed on one point. This looks to be a very badly coached team. If you don't believe me and want to defend Del Rio, fine, but it was very sloppy play. The body language of JDR on the sidelines says he is not in control. He looks perplexed out there. Yell at me all you want, but buy a ticket and go see it for yourself. Remember, this is a guy being paid the same level as a coach who has won a super bowl. JDR got a huge salary increase somewhere around 13 losses ago. Mike Smith is 13-5 since leaving and Jack Del Rio is 5-13 since he left. You can't tell me coaching isn't a factor. This team did not show up today looking like an NFL team and there was no organization or fire. Maybe losing does that to you.
I don't want to go into any more impressions. You guys will defend Jack Del Rio and David Garrard and Eugene Monroe and everyone else with passion. I really don't care to defend anyone, but this is not a team on the rise and this is not a product on the field that will inspire people to come and see. The empty seats spoke for themselves. Right now, there is no magic happening at the stadium and no one seems to know how to bring it back. Wayne Weaver must be sick by what he saw today.
- Terry O'Brien