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Are Gus and Dave Right for Jacksonville?

Oct 06, 2015 -- 10:18am

By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)

If your head coach says the team lost because of “self-inflicted wounds” and your players know they need to take advantage of opportunities missed in several drives in the 16-13 loss against Indianapolis, then why hasn’t this team woken up yet from the constant nightmare that plagues this franchise week after week?

I’m not trying to continue to constant ridicule by the fan base after two losses in a row, but if you know there is a problem, and you pinpoint said problem and you do not fix the said problem or problems, what does that say for those in charge?

For the first time since he has come to Jacksonville and lit a fire under the feet of this community that this team will get better and “learn from its mistakes,” I am starting to wonder if the Gus Bradley and Dave Caldwell regime in Jacksonville is the right fit for this franchise. And honestly I hate thinking that since Bradley is the nicest guy you will ever meet and it seems Caldwell is a young general manager that gets what is needed to make an NFL franchise run smoothly, but it also seems neither have figured out how to make it all work as a well-oiled machine.

The NFL is about winning and unfortunately, in many cases, nice guys finish last.

What do Don Shula, Vince Lombardi, Chuck Noll, Bill Belichick and to some extent, Bill Parcells all have in common?

They are all hard asses who own Super Bowl rings. I hate saying it, but in this case, we may need a little of Shula’s demeanor and Lombardi’s chutzpah.

I’m not calling for either Bradley or Caldwell to be fired – I am asking for a little more aggression and a little less “Rah Rah Attitude” in front of a microphone. If your team loses the way it did on Sunday, show more emotion, show how mad you are. Please let go of the “old college try” mentality. Show you give a game and frankly – you are pissed off.

Shad Khan hired a man who was a solid, fiery defensive coordinator in Seattle, but as a head coach I am not sure we are getting Gus Bradley from Seattle, rather Gus Bradley 2.0. We need the west coast version if this franchise is going to finally make a move upward, not remain in the current neutral position or reverse it has been for the past three-plus seasons.

While the team continually replaces players on the roster to find the right fit, sooner or later you have to stop looking at the 22 starters and start to look at the coaches making the decisions. This doesn’t mean you continually look for an offensive or defensive coordinator year after year. But it also does not mean you remain with the status quo because making too many changes might hurt the Chi of the team.

It sounds good – please just go with it.

Yesterday, Joe Philbin was fired in Miami after a 1-3 start to the season. Miami’s situation is so different than the one here it isn’t fair to compare. There were too many internal issues 350 miles from our city. But the 24-28 record Philbin had during his tenure showed he could win football games. Granted he inherited a better roster and was not in a rebuilding situation the last two years, but since Philbin got axed, does it mean more fans and the media are going to ask about Bradley’s situation? Will the questions ramp up if the team loses to Tampa Bay next weekend? Think of what happens should Jameis Winston look like Doug Williams at the Big Sombrero on Sunday.

Bradley is a likeable guy, but maybe he isn’t the right guy for this job. It’s just a thought. Some coordinators are better used as coordinators. Wade Philips is a good example. So is Norn Turner. Each excel as teachers of one specialty, not overseeing the entire team. I’m not saying let’s get rid of our coach – yet. What I am saying is if there is to be a continuation of what is happening right now with this franchise, I cannot see how this current situation can remain the same and there not be a revolt by its fan base.

And all that does is prove this is the NFL and we all know what happens to nice guys when they try as hard as they can, but don’t get the results they and a community starved for a winner desires.

When Will Jaguars Have Answers to Problems?

Oct 05, 2015 -- 1:37pm

By: Amanda Borges (@Amanda1010XL)

Is the word “disappointed” enough to describe how the Jaguars are feeling right now? That was the word coach Gus Bradley used to describe how he felt after last week’s loss to the Patriots, and that’s the same word he used after the Colts loss. It’s week five in the NFL and already, fans are rolling their eyes and turning their heads.

The theme of Bradley’s emotions on the day after a game that could’ve been won, I think the proper word is frustration. He’s frustrated with his offense, frustrated with the lack of communication and the penalties. But, to stay true to his form, Bradley is staying positive.

Bradley complimented the defense and reaffirmed his confidence in rookie kicker Jason Myers, who missed too many field goals. Bradley called those misses “waves,” saying that they knew there would be misses. That’s part of the game.

It’s hard to pinpoint what’s wrong. When asked about what’s missing, Bradley says he doesn’t know either. He said he sees similarities between this year’s team and last year’s team in that they’re making similar mistakes, but they’re also progressing.

Bradley says this team is a work in progress. It hasn’t reached the end goal just yet.

So, you’re probably asking when that will happen.

The truth is, we don’t have the answers.

Tags: Jaguars

Jaguars Blow Golden Opportunity

Oct 05, 2015 -- 8:55am

By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)

This one was given away. A 16-13 loss in Indianapolis by our Jacksonville Jaguars that by all right should have been a win in Indianapolis, an end to a 10-game losing streak on the road and a 2-2 record on the season with momentum going to Tampa Bay next week.

This game wasn’t won by the Colts as much as it was handed to them by the Jaguars, a team that looked much better on the field this week after suffering so mightily last week against the New England Patriots.

Blake Bortles looked better in his performance, throwing for 298 yards and no interceptions. TJ Yeldon showed he could be the bellcow runner this team needs in rushing for 105 yards. Allen Hurns proved he can be a valuable receiver and a go-to type player – hauling in 11 catches for 116 yards.

All that was missing was a “W” in the victory column. And unlike some fans who will say this was a better performance, a great showing except for the end and the two missed field goals by Jason Myers, which would have ended this discussion, I do not believe in the moral victory.

This is going to be a season of peaks and valleys that are going to drive many of us insane. You could not have asked for a better scenario than the one Bortles and his teammates were given to end a football game. Opportunities like that are rare in the NFL, especially for a young team. Bortles matured again on Sunday. While his second half performance wasn’t the stellar showing of the first two quarters, he proved he is going to develop into a solid passer in this league. Yeldon showed he will be the answer to the running game – a component that was solid if not spectacular on Sunday.

And let’s not forget about the fact the offensive line looked much better this week as Bortles as only sacked once by the Colts defense.

We talked for days how this was a game this team could win, and should win, especially since Andrew Luck was on the sideline. But the reality is a 40-year-old back- up quarterback and a 42-yearold kicker beat this team, proving experience wins out in the NFL.

Head Coach Gus Bradley’s team will take this loss and learn from it, as he will say over and over again this week. Players will say the right things, give the important sound bites and prepare for the Buccaneers starting Wednesday. But off camera and away from all the media attention, I wonder how this coaching staff and the team will deal with a game that got away from them? Can they summon motivation from it, use it to play harder next week in a game they again should win without issue?

Games like this test character, test fortitude and will either make a team or break a team.

Hopefully this game, although one the Jaguars gave away, becomes a constant reminder of what could have been and should have been. Not one that hasn’t left its mark on the definition of what this team has become or will be the remainder of the season.

Why Aren't Jags Making Moves

Oct 01, 2015 -- 9:08am

By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)

Gus Bradley told the media right before the season he and David Caldwell had finally put together the roster they both thought would be a difference-maker here in Jacksonville.

While there have been injuries that have set the Jaguars back already this season, it appears the team is willing to stand pat and see what happens once Sen’Derrick Marks, Julius Thomas and other key starters return to the lineup. Whether that is the right thing to do or not, meaning the team should go out and sign free agents or make trades is not my call to make or the fans’ decision to make. But ask fans how they feel about there being free agent players on the street who could come in and possibly help the team, and be prepared to about it for a few hours.

The Jaguars aren’t really in a position to say they are set with the roster given starters are missing key playing time and there isn’t enough depth, or so it seems. When the Chicago Bears seemed desperate to unload Jaren Allen to the Panthers and Jon Bostic to the Patriots, everyone I talked to asked the same thing – “Why aren’t Gus and Dave making those same moves?”

It’s also a question I have asked myself a couple of times.

I have no doubt that the brain trust of this team is working to try to make the roster as strong as it can be. We as fans are not privy to all the inner workings of the team, and neither is the media to some extent. Who knows what phone calls have been placed? Who knows what deals have been offered? Who knows which players have turned down the opportunity to come here and play football?

Winning, of course, has a lot to do with that. Given a chance to play for New England and have a chance at a Super Bowl ring or come here and hope to make a good run toward relevance, players are going to reach for the brass ring. It’s nothing personal – it’s called winning, and its called football.

It’s also possible the Jaguars nor most of the other 31 NFL teams will make a significant move to bolster their rosters. Sometimes playing the hand you are dealt or the one you handpick is best for all concerned. Having money and cap space are great reasons to spend, but if Gus and Dave have a plan they intend to stick to, there is a pretty good chance they will sit at the table with a great poker face.

If I were in the position both are in, I’m not sure I would do it differently either. That’s why I write about things like this while there are others who execute those kinds of decisions.

Ultimately, the Jaguars will find success or fail based on the hand they are playing. In the end, it may have a direct impact on the future of this franchise. And for all of us who question the chess moves they have made, let’s remember that’s why they get paid to do what they do. Some decisions have been lauded over, some have been questioned. And it’s now time to see if all the moves they made in the last three seasons finally pay off.

Then we will really see how well the decisions that have been made really work.

Jaguars Start Preparation for First Divisional Opponent

Sep 30, 2015 -- 3:00pm

By: Amanda Borges (@Amanda1010XL)

The Jaguars know this next game is a huge test. They’re ready for it, though.

Talking to players in the locker room, the common word being used when talking about the Patriots loss was “embarrassing.” The players are so over that game, it’s not even funny.

They’re more than ready to take on a divisional opponent in a Colts team that isn’t as solid as they’ve been in years past. On a conference call today, Colts coach Chuck Pagano called this week’s game a “challenge” for the team and he complimented the Jaguars offense, naming a few receivers.

Andrew Luck also spoke to us, saying that his shoulder doesn’t feel as great as it could, but he expects to play Sunday.

For the Jaguars, injuries are all over the place. There was a report saying that tight end Julius Thomas could make his first regular season game appearance against the Colts, but after talking to him today, it doesn’t seem that way. He hasn’t yet been told what his game status is, saying that once he gets that call, he’ll be more than ready to start running around.

Left tackle Luke Joeckel was out on the practice field today, which is good news for the offensive line. As for who was not practicing? It looks like Safety Sergio Brown, WR Marqise Lee, RB Denard Robinson, and CB Davon House. (Will get confirmation on that when Bradley talks after practice)

Tags: Jaguars
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