Expectations is the new buzzword surrounding the Jacksonville Jaguars entering the official start of the 2018 season, with veterans reporting to training camp and the first practice taking place on Thursday. Be it the fans, the media’s or even the players. We’ve seen a lot of the expectations from the former, but the latter portion has ranged from the absurd and claiming 16-0 to the measured of taking each game at a time.
One thing for sure though, is the Jaguars veterans are confident and ready for more success.
″We expect success,″ veteran safety Tashaun Gipson told John Reid of The Florida Times-Union. ″New England, Pittsburgh and Seattle do it year in and year out. When you think about those types of things and the recognition, you’ve got do it more consistently than one season. I have no doubt in my mind we can ultimately achieve what we want this year.″
Confidence has never been an issue for the players on the current Jaguars roster, just look at the things from All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey or defensive lineman Malik Jackson. It’s not totally false bravado, though. This is a Jaguars team that believes its good, knows its good and expects to be good.
″We expect big things from ourselves and we’re going to come into camp and work hard,″ veteran Calais Campbell told Reid. ″You don’t usually look forward to going to camp but with a team as good as ours, you can’t help but look forward to it.″
Some will think the Jaguars were a fluke team with a good defense and a soft schedule, but as Gipson pointed out they either beat or went toe-to-toe with the NFL’s elite last season, both in the regular season and in the playoffs. I would argue the Jaguars have earned a lot of respect nationally, with the skepticism only being slight and focused mostly directly on Blake Bortles, but as a team their a hot pick for success in 2018.
They know a lot of people will right them off as a one-year wonder, which is their motivation for 2018. Be it a fake chip on their shoulder or manufactured motivation, whatever works works.