The Offseason has started early once again for our young Jacksonville team but somehow that same sinking feeling that us fans feel year after year has somehow vanished. 5 and 11 feels less like 5 and 11 and more like a playoff berth in the upcoming year. Yes the team ended on a 3 game losing streak but our passing offense hasn’t been this explosive since the Brunell to Thunder and Lightning connection. The fact that that the Jaguars finally have a Quarterback capable of leading a high powered offense is something we can all get excited about. The Jacksonville Jaguar Franchise is growing everyday by showing commitment to the process.
Dave Caldwell and his staff have ignored the temptations of handing a ton of money to big name free agents and instead have found gems and building blocks of a team such as Allen Hurns (who went undrafted ) Telvin Smith (5th round pick) and most importantly Blake Bortles. Bortles may have not been a late round steal but he was a great pick when many fans that obviously were watching too much ESPN and Mel Kiper had been clamoring for Johnny Manziel. Our beloved number 5 has already broken the single season touchdown and passing yardage record and he’s only 23; as for Manziel he’s most likely soon to be cut by the Cleveland Browns for partying in Vegas and not showing up to practice. It’s safe to say Caldwell made the right decision there. NFL players rookies and veterans alike want to play in the River City now and it’s not because of our world’s largest scoreboards or smoking hot cheerleaders it’s because we’re a team that’s committed to building the right way.
One event that proves how committed the Jacksonville Jaguars are to being an upper echelon franchise happened about 15 minutes into the 2015 season. Our 3rd Overall pick and hopefully future leader of the Jacksonville defense Dante Fowler Jr went down to an unfortunate ACL injury. Dave Caldwell, Gus Bradley and Shahid Khan all did the respectful thing and went ahead and signed him to his full contract anyway. We often forget that the NFL is a business and by this gesture of good will it set an example for the rest of the league that the Jacksonville Jaguars do things the right way. Fowler could come back and be the next J.J. Watt or he may never fully recover from his injury but regardless it was a classy business decision by Caldwell and his team and now we have to hope we get a return in our investment.
If you treat your employees with respect they’ll work that much harder to show results. This is a business tactic that our owner is implementing into running his franchise. Does he come on the sideline and yell at Gus Bradley and tell him how to do his job? No he puts his trust and expectations into his Coach to do his job and understands that a Superbowl Winning team or Historical franchise is not built over night. Gus Bradley’s current record as Head Coach is 12 and 36 which means he’s only won 25 percent of his games. This is an extremely frustrating statistic but in a league of knee jerk reactions and firings of Head coaches we must believe in Khan that he’s making the right choice retaining Bradley for a 4th year and it’s not just because Gus is a likeable guy. The reason being is that sometimes your win and loss record doesn’t always show the extent of your improvement but in many ways the Jaguars improved this past year and with a few made extra points and snaps that don’t go over the QB’s head we may have won the division. Players such as Allen Robinson played a big factor in actually giving the Jaguars their 5th highest total points scored in a season in franchise history.
The Jacksonville offense has come a long way since Blaine “Gabby” Gabbert was our signal caller, it’s revamped and ready to go and with a few players getting healthy on defense and some more added pieced this offseason the Jacksonville Jaguars are going to be a team to be reckoned with in 2016. We all wish we could just wake up and start the new season already but with just a little more patience and time to let our General Manager work his magic we really are going to have something special and a team to be proud of once again. “I spoke to Gus Bradley to confirm to him that he will continue as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2016. It’s evident to see how far we’ve come in many aspects of our game, and Gus deserves a lot of credit for that progress. It’s also evident the considerable work that remains to be done to be where we expect to be at this time next season, which is well above where we stand today. And Gus understands that.” This quote From Mr. Khan shows that he recognizes the certain progresses the team has made but also shows that he expects to either be a contender or a playoff team next year. When a Franchise is doing things the right way it truly starts at the top with the Owner and he’s leading by example by showing his faith in his staff which is a rare commodity among NFL owners.
The days of Shaq Harris and Gene Smith are finally behind us as Dave Caldwell is building the roster that he envisions one day bringing Jacksonville the Lombardi Trophy our city has longed for. So enjoy Super bowl 50 and the mellow tunes of Coldplay at halftime because you never know we could be next year’s Carolina Panthers. With the threat of Los Angeles no longer looming all of us Jaguar fans have something to be thankful for and now comes the fun part of enjoying the Jaguars climb to the top once again.
By | Zach Miles