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Jaguars still feeling the ripple effects of Gene Smith

Gene Smith was so bad that he's still ruining this franchise. Find out how.

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A lot of Jacksonville Jaguars fans blame Gus Bradley for the franchise's ineptness since 2013. His dismissal brought a fresh wave of disappointment and frustration at what could have been. At the same time, a lot of fans have begun shifting their focus to Dave Caldwell, including me.

Dave Caldwell has been a pretty polarizing figure lately. Fans are split. Either you're a firm believer in his ability to make sound decisions for this franchise, or you think that Dave Caldwell is perhaps the biggest problem with this organization. I fall closer to the latter end of the spectrum, but to each his own.

I think a trap that a lot of fans have been falling into lately is being content with mediocrity. The biggest question you have to ask yourself when evaluating the performance of anyone tied to this business is -- are you jumping at the gun to extend him? In the case of Dave Caldwell, no. If you aren't jumping the gun to extend him, then he simply hasn't done enough to earn it. It was the same way with Gus Bradley. Fans felt like they had to extend Gus just to end any discussion of a lame duck year, not because he actually merited an extension.

I thought about it for a long time. Why are the fans so reluctant to change anything about this regime? They were reluctant to fire Gus Bradley and promote Doug Marrone. Even on the personnel side, people were reluctant to trade Josh Scobee. People are doing the same thing with Caldwell now. For me, if Caldwell fixes the quarterback position in 2017, I'll eat my words. I'll be glad to admit that I was wrong about him. But until then, I'm not a believer.

But I believe that we are reluctant to change anything about this regime simply because the last regime was so bad.

I mean, we all remember the Gene Smith Era. It's an era that no NFL fan should have to go through. It was a never ending nightmare of Jarret Dillard, Deji Karim, and Matt Turk. This team was colossal bad, and everyone knew it. After Gene Smith, I think many Jaguar fans were convinced there were a whole lot of Gene Smiths out there, just waiting to ruin a franchise. This could not be farther from the truth, however. In reality, Gene Smith was an all-time bust. They don't make those often. Just because we fire Dave Caldwell doesn't mean we're going to end up with another Gene Smith.

I honestly believe that this franchise is still feeling the after-effects of the Gene Smith Era. We, as a fan base, were so appalled and shocked at how bad our team was, that we would literally take anyone for an upgrade. And we did. We took Dave Caldwell and Gus Bradley.

The problem is, they are mediocre, if not awful. Now for a lot of us, mediocre sounds great! When juxtaposed with Gene Smith, Dave Caldwell looks like a genius. That's the problem though. We are scared that we will end up with another Gene Smith if we fire Dave. I mean, Dave looks like a godsend compared to Smith. But that doesn't mean he's actually good.

Don't settle for mediocrity just because it's better than shoddy. Being bad is still bad, no matter what.

It's okay to fire Dave Caldwell and search for another general manager. Ultimately, there has to be some accountability for hiring not only the worst head coach of all time, but also a highly erratic quarterback in Blake Bortles.

So what do you think? Is Gene Smith still haunting the Jaguars? Are we so worried about how bad our experience with general managers are that we're willing to stick with Caldwell? Does Caldwell deserve to be fired? Continue the discussion in the comments below.