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Big Cat Country Q&A: Who was worse — Gene Smith or Dave Caldwell?

Jacksonville Jaguars 2011 Headshots Photo by NFL via Getty Images

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Let’s answer some Jacksonville Jaguars questions ahead of our Week 13 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings!

Today we’re talking about the New York Jets possibly winning a game this week, quarterbacks other than Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields, and a decision on the worst general manager in franchise history.

Josh from Dayton, OH

Q: I have held out hope for a Jets win but I should just accept that we’re getting the No. 2 pick, huh?

A: Oh... au contraire, mon frère! The Las Vegas Raiders have a few significant injuries going into this week’s matchup on the road — Josh Jacobs, Johnathan Abram, and Clelin Ferrell are all out for Sunday’s game.

Sneaky game alert? Sneaky game alert.

Ryan from Macclenny, FL

Q: Outside of quarterback, what are your priorities in the draft? Also, what positions could we fill or add depth to in free agency?

A: Right now, I’d say tight end, edge rusher, and every defensive back position are priorities in the draft. We need depth on the offensive line, at running back, and (believe it or not) wide receiver.

Chad from Allentown, PA

Q: Say we don’t get the first overall pick, which seems likely. Do you think the gap between Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields is significant enough to warrant attempting to trade with the Jets? Also, what quarterback aside from these two would you take in the draft of the unthinkable happens and we pick later than top two or three picks?

A: No, I don’t think the gap is significant enough. Don’t get me wrong — Trevor Lawrence is the clear No. 1 quarterback in this draft. But Justin Fields is damn good. He’s more than a consolation prize. But if the right situation provided itself and the Jets wanted to deal the first pick, I’d listen and I’d consider moving up. As far as a quarterback outside the top two, Zach Wilson has been fun to watch. I wouldn’t be as excited to get him, but he looks good and he’s a first round talent.

Keith from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Will Shad Khan be overly patient in the next general manager? Or are we doomed for another seven out of eight double digits loss years.

A: You know, that’s an interesting question. I’d like to say no, he won’t be overly patient and that he’s learned his lesson. But he didn’t seem to learn it with Gus Bradley or Tom Coughlin, so I think Shad Khan will be who he’s been since he got here.

Ed from Baltimore, MD

Q: Between C.J. Henderson and Sidney Jones, are the Jaguars set at CB1 and CB2 at least for next year?

A: Yes, but that doesn’t mean they inspire a ton of confidence. I think the Jaguars need an upgrade at every single defensive back position and that includes cornerback.

Nate from Richmond, CA

Q: I think we should trade the No. 2 pick to get more draft picks and grab Trey Lance. I think he will be better then the other quarterbacks.

A: Please message me on Twitter so I can bet you on who will have the better career between Trevor Lawrence and Trey Lance.

Rae from Jacksonville, FL

Q: In your honest opinion, based on your knowledge of Gene Smith and Dave Caldwell, which general manager did worse in terms of taking advantage of draft capital and retaining and developing players?

A: Dave Caldwell. Think about it — Blaine Gabbert has been at least a serviceable backup and started real live NFL games as recently as 2018. He’s in his 10th year in the league. Will Blake Bortles last that long? Will Gardner Minshew? Did Nick Foles win a single game after being handed a boat load of money? Tyson Alualu might be the best first round pick this team has made with the exception of Jalen Ramsey. Gene Smith didn’t put together any good teams but at least he didn’t shipwreck the franchise. Dave Caldwell has put this franchise in a hole it won’t crawl out of for at least three years, including this season.

Joe from Jackson, MS

Q: What is the situation with Gardner Minshew?

A: He is the backup to Mike Glennon.

Daniel from Dayton, OH

Q: Will our defense make Kirk Cousins look elite?

A: No, but he’ll look good. Better than most of the games he’s played so far this season. You like that?

John from Medical Lake, WA

Q: Any chance Byron Leftwich gets a look for our soon-to-be-vacant head coach position this offseason, or is he still a year or two away from head coaching consideration?

A: I think he’s still a little ways off but, man, I love Byron. He was the most underrated player in franchise history, honestly. The way a lot of people talk about Leftwich’s tenure in Jacksonville however, you’d think he was on the same line as Blaine Gabbert but dude had some terrible receivers after Jimmy Smith and he still helped lead us to our first playoff berth in six seasons. He’s a good offensive coordinator but he needs to see that Tampa Bay Buccaneers passing game really take off to get consideration.