Jags GM Has Steep Hill to Climb

Jan 16, 2013 -- 9:29am


The odds are stacked against Dave Caldwell, the Jaguars new general manager.

This isn’t necessarily a knock against Caldwell. In the ultra competitive NFL, how many rookie general managers or coaches succeed? And what is success for a franchise such as the Jaguars? A winning record? Making the playoffs? Winning playoff games? Winning the Super Bowl?

Caldwell has a difficult task. He could make all the correct decisions and still fall short of the fans’ expectations. His first big decision, of course, is hiring a coach. He’s obviously looking the next great coach, concentrating on young coordinators, not looking to give someone a second or third chance. No matter how much research Caldwell does, it’s still akin to throwing a dart in the dark.

The Jaguars were 2-14. Worse, they deserved to be 2-14. Sure, they could have won a game or two they lost, but overall this was not a competitive team. Caldwell doesn’t have a few holes to fill; he has to remake a roster. Expect the Jaguars to have as many as 30 – that’s 30! – new faces.

Where to start?

Quarterback is the obvious answer. It also is the most difficult. Is there a future franchise quarterback he can draft with the No. 2 overall pick? There doesn’t appear to be. Is there a hidden gem in the draft such as Russell Wilson last year? There is always that possibility, but who is he: Tyler Wilson, Tyler Bray, Matt Barkley, Jordan Lynch? Is there a free agent who has yet to proven he’s special? Keep in mind Alex Smith and Matt Flynn aren’t free agents – yet.

It has developed into a tight end league and the Jaguars are woefully void of tight ends. Marcedes Lewis is average at best. The offensive line needs rebuilding. Will Maurice Jones-Drew ever carry the ball as a Jaguar again? The defensive line is below average. At cornerback Derek Cox can’t stay healthy; Rashean Mathis is yesterday’s news; Aaron Ross showed why the Giants let him go.

Teams have flipped their records in one year before, but there doesn’t appear to be another Andrew Luck waiting to be drafted.

Now you say you understand and will be patient, but history tells us differently. Fans, media and owners forget rather quickly.

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