Jaguars fans are understandably confused. Their team is bad and the new regime doesn’t seem to be doing much to improve the situation. There’s more news about releasing players than there is about signing new ones. Based on what General Manager Dave Caldwell has said, they didn’t make a play for any of the free agent quarterbacks. Nor did they make a play for any of the few free agent offensive linemen with recognizable names.
Seldom has an NFL franchise done the kind of house cleaning we’re witnessing in Jacksonville. There’s an uneasy feeling the Jaguars are embarking on a long rebuilding process in an era of quick turnarounds. Jaguars fans are restless because most regard the last four years as rebuilding.
What in the hell is going on?
I’ve been telling fans not to hit the panic button, but I understand their concern. The Jaguars say they have a plan and the right people – Caldwell and rookie head coach Gus Bradley – in place and maybe they do, but the truth is all the fans have to go on now is faith and patience.
Neither Caldwell nor Bradley has much of a track record. Caldwell was an assistant GM with the Falcons. What exactly was his role in acquiring players in Atlanta? Maybe he was the genius behind the scenes. Maybe he was the guy who got the boss’ coffee. Bradley’s energy is off the charts and his defense in Seattle was solid, but Jaguars fans have been burned before by a successful young defensive coordinator turned head coach.
With all of that said, I want to go on record as saying I basically agree with what I’ve seen so far.
Just because the Jaguars have tons of money to spend under the salary cap doesn’t mean they should spend it unwisely. Too often teams throw away millions of dollars at name players who are on the downside of their careers. The Jaguars are more than a few veteran free agents from being a competitive, much less good, team.
As for the draft, the Jaguars need to concentrate on getting the best players they can, regardless of position.
Getting younger and faster makes sense to me. If you’re going to lose, you might as well do it with young players who are improving and excited about playing in the NFL. And we all know speed can make up with mistakes.
The ugly truth is the 2013 season could be worse than last year’s 2-14 debacle.
After that . . . well, the fans then will deserve something more concrete than patience and faith.
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